MESSAGE: Jesus Over Everything
“…it is important to note that these “nones” are not necessarily atheists. Many have moved from mainstream religions into New Age spiritual movements, as evidenced in a 2017 Pew poll that found an increase from 19 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2017 of those who reported being “spiritual but not religious.” Among this cohort, only 37 percent described their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” Even among atheists and agnostics, belief in things usually associated with religious faith can worm its way through…A 2014 survey conducted by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture…found that of the 13.2 percent who called themselves atheist or agnostic, 32 percent answered in the affirmative to the question “Do you think there is life, or some sort of conscious existence, after death?” Huh? Even more incongruent, 6 percent of these atheists and agnostics also said that they believed in the bodily resurrection of the dead. You know, like Jesus.” — Michael Shermer
“Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” – A. W. Tozer
TEXT: Hebrews 1:1-2:4
And the author is saying, if you want to know God, look at Jesus.
And, he does this in three ways. He tells us…(1. When God Spoke 2. What It Means 3. How We’re Transformed)
- When God Spoke (1:1-2)
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also hecreated the world.”
John 5:39 — “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…”
- What It Means (1:3-4)
“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” — Colossians 1:16-17
“The wisdom which created the worlds and maintains them in their due order may well beget in us a sense of wonder and awe; but the grace which has provided a remedy for the defilement of sin by a life freely offered up to God on our behalf calls forth a sense of personal indebtedness which the completion of divine activity on the cosmic scale could never evoke.” — F.F. Bruce
“When Christian Smith…took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” Smith explains, this faith “is about belief in a particular kind of God…one who is (not) personally involved in one’s affairs–especially affairs in which one would prefer not to have God involved. Most of the time, the God of this faith keeps a safe distance…In short, God is something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist: he is always on call, takes care of any problems that arise, professionally helps his people to feel better about themselves, and does not become too personally involved in the process.” —Albert Mohler
“Jesus is the Prophet through whom God has spoken His final word to men; He is the Priest through whom God has accomplished a perfect work of cleansing His people’s sins; He is the King who sits enthroned in the place of chief honor alongside the Majesty on high.” — F.F. Bruce
3. How We’re Transformed (2:1-4)
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” — 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
“Jesus does not just bring good news; He is the good news!” – Tim Keller
“To grow in your passion for what Jesus has done, increase your understanding of what He has done. Never be content with your grasp of the gospel. The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth. It has more facets than any diamond. Its depths man will never exhaust.” ― C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
TAKEAWAYS: How do we apply this to our lives?
- Are you embracing the real Jesus?
“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” – J.I. Packer
- How is God speaking to you?
- Do you believe the gospel is enough?
Corinthians 2:2 — “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you.” ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Spiritual Depression)
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” — 1 Corinthians 1:18-19