Hello! I feel bad I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to or would like to. My apologies but here is this weeks sermon. Something went wrong with my recorder and there is no audio this week. So enjoy what I do have, my notes.
- I got more questions last week than almost any other sermon I have ever given. I love answering your questions. I provided a sheet that is in the back that answers the most common questions about Angels with scripture to back up the answers.
- Another way to have your questions answered is to attend a Cell Group. In our Cell Groups this week we ended up spending a lot of time dealing with Angels. It wasn’t supposed to be that way but that is what ended up. It ended up that way because it is more and more obvious that you can’t practice your faith alone. Yes, you can be a Christian without ever going to church but you may end up with some very weird beliefs. In our Cell Groups we are able to come together and talk about what it means to follow Jesus and figure out what the Bible means for all of us and how to apply it to our daily lives. I could tell you about cell groups for an hour but I got someone with more clout to sit down and talk about them. Here let me show you a video to explain more about Cell Groups. Then we will jump in to Hebrews 1:5-14
- We call our Cell Groups and we would love to have you join us and learn more about the Bible. Mondays or Thursdays.
- Throughout the book of Hebrews is a lot of talk about Angels because it appears the audience has some bad theology when it comes to angels.
- An ancient hymn. The predates the rest of the book and is quoted here to teach the listeners about Jesus.
- Verse 5
- After all, when did God ever say to any of the angels: You are my Son. Today I have become your Father? Or, even, I will be his Father, and he will be my Son?
- In days when this was written there were a lot of beliefs about angels.
- Millions and Millions with different jobs
- Considered the messengers of God who showed up, told a message and left
- Those who sang to God (Isaiah 6)
- Guardian Angels for all people especially children
- Wich comes up for Jesus in Matthew 18
- Jesus ain’t no angel. Jesus is above them.
- replace angels with anything else and you get the idea of what this church was struggling with.
- Verse 6
- But then, when he brought his firstborn into the world, he said, All of God’s angels must worship him
- The angels worship Jesus
- Bible says don’t worship anyone but God. So either Jesus is God or the Angels are breaking commandments
- For the audience of this sermon they thought that Angels were above everything else because they had access to God’s thrown room. but even they are subordinate to Jesus.
- If the angels are subordinate to Jesus, we should think that we are also subordinate to Jesus.
- Verse 7-8
- He talks about the angels: He’s the one who uses the spirits for his messengers and who uses flames of fire as ministers. But he says to his Son, God, your throne is forever and your kingdom’s scepter is a rod of justice.
- Jesus is in charge of Angels
- In the Gospels Jesus says he could command a legion of Angels to rescue him.
- But even this idea is prevalent, Angels are wind and fire. These things are temporary. Wind dies down, Fires go out, and so Angels are have a start and an end not immortal but Jesus exists forever.
- Verse 9-10
- You loved righteousness and hated lawless behavior. That is why God, your God, has anointed you with an oil of gladness instead of your companions. And he says, You, Lord, laid the earth’s foundations in the beginning, and the heavens are made by your hands.
- God is talking to Jesus and calling Jesus God.
- No, there is still only one God.
- Yes, it appears that God is having a moment of schizophrenia
- but God is calling Jesus
- God calls Jesus God because he loves righteousness and hates lawless behavior.
- This is a fulfillment of the Matthew 5:6 of the beatitudes “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
- Oil of gladness
- This is what you get when you are filled with righteousness. It isn’t about making yourself happy and doing whatever you want. It appears that the only way to have true gladness and happiness is when God gives it to you because you are trying to do what is right. you struggle against pride, arrogance, greed, and oppression and simply try to do what is right. it is there that you find gladness.
- Verse 11-12
- They will pass away, but you remain. They will all wear out like old clothes.You will fold them up like a coat. They will be changed like a person changes clothes, but you stay the same, and the years of your life won’t come to an end.
- Jesus was there from the beginning and even when everything else is destroyed he will still exist.
- Clothes wear out and we put them away in the closet
- Ministries wear out, toys wear out, gadgets become outdates.
- When they do they are put away and we remember how good they were.
- We wear out, we get tired, and we cannot go on any longer.
- But Jesus, never changes, never wears out.
- Even when the church you were used to coming to every week starts to change, Jesus never changes.
- I have heard about how some do not like the changes made here at HUMC, but that is okay because the one thing that has stayed the same is Jesus and Jesus is the only thing that matters. Ultimately things will always change, but the one thing that never changes and the only thing that matters is Jesus.
- Verse 13-14
- When has he ever said to any of the angels, Sit at my right side until I put your enemies under your feet like a footstool? Aren’t all the angels ministering spirits who are sent to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?
- Jesus holds the ultimate victory.
- Yes, everything changes, but Jesus always wins in the end.
- Jesus will destroy all of his enemies.
- Death, Fear, Hate, Oppression, Injustice. These are the enemies of God and Jesus that are destroyed.
- Angels are nothing more than ministering spirits who also are saved by Jesus who cleansed all sin. Angels are not able to save you, no human becomes an angel and angels will not save you. Only Jesus will save you.
This is an ancient sermon that quotes an even older worship song. So what do we do with it? This is some intense stuff! and we weren’t there when it was written and we aren’t the original audience. So what does it mean for us today? nearly 2000 year after the events. I think what it all comes down to for us today, 2000 years after it was written is that Jesus is above the prophets of old and the angels. That too often we begin to worship things that don’t save. To often we believe that our jobs, our rituals, and the stories we have been told will save us. We begin to believe that if we do the right thing, believe the right stories, and do the right things that we will be saved.
What today’s scripture tells us is that Jesus is all we need for salvation and that Jesus has broken down all the barriers between us and God. That nothing else will ever save us from destruction and that only Jesus is the way to spend eternal life with God. That if we have put things between us and God then we are in deep trouble eternally. We also learn from today’s text that God sent his only son to tear down every barrier between us and God. So that now there is nothing stopping us from being with God. That through the death of Jesus on the cross the gap that separates us from God is destroyed and through the resurrection of Jesus all the enemies of God have been destroyed.
Look at the pictures it is like this.
We are on one side, god is on the other.
We were born this way. When Adam and eve disobeyed God it created this giant chasm.
Our sin keeps us on this side.
- Lying, Cheating, stealing, forging our taxes, looking at pornography, hurting our spouses and our kids, all of this keeps us away from God.
- Nothing we can do can get us across this chasm.
- No catapult, sling shot, or jetpack can get us across.
If we stay on this side we end up with a separation from God
Some call it hell and there are pictures of flames and demons with pitch forks. I think it is worse than that. It is an eternity in which God is not with you.
God loved us so much and saw our deepest need that God came to us.
God entered the world of sin as Jesus and yet Jesus never sinned.
Instead Jesus died on a cross.
That death now allows us to cross over and be with God forever.
Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, some of us have done that. We pray the sinners prayer
B – Believe
C – Confess and
we still feel like we are separated from God. We are still stuck in our guilt.
We still feel like God is far from us. We still feel like we are just as lost as ever.
If all we do is stop at Jesus opened up salvation for us then there is still a sense in which we have to prove we are worthy, good enough, deserving enough, and it still becomes work that we have to do.
Instead this is our reality. That there is nothing we can do. We can’t even walk across the bridge to God because we are a disaster on our own.
On easter morning Jesus who was dead came back to life and is alive forever and will always be with us to pick us up and carry us closer to god.
Instead now we just let the savior pick us up and carry us across to God.
That this Jesus who was nailed to the cross is alive now, forever, to love us, carry us, and get us to the other side.
Sometimes it is a prayer. sometimes it is a ritual. but it is always a decision to let Jesus carry you to the other side whatever the cost and whatever it takes.