God's Final Word Part 1

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

24 October 2005

God's Final Word
Hebrews 1:1-1:4 (NLT)

1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets.
2 But now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son, he made the universe and everything in it.
3 The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven.
4 This shows that God's Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is far greater than their names.

One of the most difficult things for a person to endure is separation from someone they love.
That difficulty is made worse when, along with the separation, there is a breakdown in communication as well.
If you are apart from someone and have no communication with that person -- you don't know if they are healthy or happy--it's agonizing.

When my daughter Mary and her family moved here from Iowa, one of the things that I asked--knowing that we would be separated by a great distance--was that we keep in contact.
"Call us once a week," they said.
At the time it seemed like a lot to ask since money was tight for both of us.
Call them every week? I thought, what are we going to talk about?
After doing it for a little while I realized that I didn't want a long conversation every week.
I just wanted to know they were ok.
I wanted to communicate with them.
I realized that it makes a difference.
We never want to be left without a word from those whom we love.
It's good to know that God has never left his people without a word.

He has always spoken to His people.
They have always known how He is and what he expected from them.
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, God spoke to them.
He would fellowship with them in person.
He walked with them.
He gave them direct instruction.
That didn't last long though.
That fellowship was broken by Adam & Eve's sin.
And they were thrown out of the garden.
God still spoke to them outside of the garden, but it would never be the same.
It would not be enough.

Let's skip ahead to a time when the Hebrews were slaves.
For over 400 years they were slaves in Egypt.
God heard their cries for mercy though.
He spoke to Moses and had Moses lead them out of the bondage of Egypt.
Then He spoke to Moses again and gave him the Law, but it wouldn't be enough.
Many years later they were captives again, this time in Babylon.
Again, after over 400 years God heard their cries and led them back to the Promised Land.

In the midst of all of this, He sent His prophets -- Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Daniel, Ezekiel, and others.
Men called by God and spoken to by God were relaying the message of God to God's people.
The Israelites were never left without a word from God.
But it wouldn't be enough.
God spoke, but He never said all that he needed to say.
There was something lacking.
We continued to lack that something until God spoke his final word.

The Bible says, "In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,"
Today, God speaks to us through Jesus.
There is nothing left to be said because Jesus is God's final word.
The author of the Book of Hebrews lists what qualifies Jesus to be God's final word.
Let's look at those qualifications.
There are six of them.

First, Jesus will inherit everything.
He is the one whom God "appointed... heir of all things."
The Psalms are very important in the Book of Hebrews.
For instance, Psalm 2 is alluded to several times in Hebrews 1.
The second Psalm is a coronation Psalm.
It was used in a coronation service where a king was installed over Israel.

Some say the Psalm was written about Solomon's coronation.
He took over the kingship when there were a lot of people competing for the throne.
They conspired to get their way, but God in Heaven laughed because his anointed--Solomon--was destined to be king.
His anointed one would inherit the Kingdom.

Philippians 2 tells us that every person--ruler or ruled--will one day worship the Son.
And the Son will inherit all the kingdoms of this world.
The writer of Hebrews takes it even a step further.
He understands the inheritance to go beyond the things of this life.

In chapter 2, it says that Jesus is the one to whom the Father has subjected "The world to come."
Jesus is worthy to be God's final word because God has chosen him to inherit all things.

Second, Jesus was the driving force of creation.
Jesus was he "Through whom {God} made the universe."
God, the Father, used Jesus, the Son, to create the universe.
God spoke the world into existence with a word.
Jesus is that word.
Proverbs 8 uses the term "wisdom," in reference to the power source of creation.

Speaking in the first person Wisdom says, "Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind."
I believe that Proverbs 8 was finally fulfilled in Jesus.
Jesus is God's wisdom.
John's gospel says that Jesus is the word of God and everything that has been made was made by him.
Jesus is uniquely qualified to speak to us because he created us.
He knows us from the inside out because he created us.

Third, Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God.
We are thinking in terms of the earthly Jesus here.
The One who lived and ministered in Palestine in the first century was the eternal Son of God.

In his commentary, F. F. Bruce writes, "Just as the radiance of the sun reaches this earth, so in Christ, the glorious light of God shines into the hearts of men."
Jesus is qualified to speak to us because he comes directly from God the Father.

Jesus is the inheritor of all things.
He is the driving force of creation, and He is the radiance of God's glory.

Fourth, he is also the "exact representation of {God's} being."
God's character is completely present in the person of Jesus.
The term our author uses here is the same one that was used for an impression made on a coin.
The image left on the coin is the exact duplicate of the stamp used to make that image.
Every detail on the stamp is also on the coin.
God's character is in Jesus in the same way.
We can trust what we learn from Jesus because everything he says comes from the Father--it's not something he has made up on his own.

Fifth, Jesus is "sustaining all things by his powerful word."
Not only is Jesus waiting for his inheritance, He is also holding all things together in the mean time.
Everything that we see around us -- all of creation is dependent upon Jesus for its existence.

Jesus is qualified to speak the final word because he is all-powerful, and He provided purification for our sins.
Jesus is not only our creator and sustainer, he is also our redeemer.

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