Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Constructing a Clear Christology —
Gleanings from Hebrews 1:1–13
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Hebrews 1:1-14 catapults one into heavenly, triumphant, awe-inspiring Christological thinking. One cannot read Hebrews chapter one without being amazed at the glorious, divine, eternal, righteous, and sufficient Christ. God has spoken in His Son. Let the text construct a clear Christology for for the reader. It is impossible to have a Christology that is too lofty, too biblical, too robust, and too glorious. So let the text speak for itself.

Twenty Essential Features (in this text) in Building This Edifice of Biblical Christology:

1. God Has Spoken In Jesus, the Son (2a).
Of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways. But now, in these last days, God has manifested Himself, revealed His glory, spoken His will, and made His character visible in Christ.

2. God Appointed Jesus Heir of All Things (2b).
The person of Jesus Christ is so glorious that He is heir of all things. He is, in fact, the one who will receive a future inheritance — a purchased people, bought with His own blood, surrounding His throne worshiping Him.

3. Jesus Made the World (2c).
God made the world. The Father created the heavens and the earth. The text affirms also that Jesus made the world. He is the Creator, the Founder, the Lord and the Author of all creation. Nothing has been made apart from Christ’s sovereign and powerful finger.

4. Jesus Is the Radiance of God’s Glory (3a).
Jesus radiates God. Jesus puts the brightness of the glory of God on display for all to see. If anyone sees the Son, Jesus said that he sees the Father. Whoever sees the Son has seen the Father. God’s glory is in Jesus.

5. Jesus Is the Exact Representation of God’s Nature (3b).
The exact representation of God’s nature is manifested in Jesus Christ. Jesus perfectly, clearly, and exactly portrays the character of God’s being, substance, and nature. Jesus precisely and gloriously represents the divine nature because He is, in fact, God Himself.

6. Jesus Upholds All Things by His Powerful Word (3c).
The power of Jesus finds expression is that He upholds all things by His Word. In fact, Jesus carries all things by the Word of His power. There is nothing in the universe, on any mountain, in any galaxy, in any meadow, in any ocean, or contained in any human being that Jesus does not actively uphold and carry by His powerful Word.

7. Jesus Made Purification for Sins (3d).
The greatest need in all human history is for someone to make purification for sins. No one could ever do this finally, fully, and eternally. But Jesus came and made purification for sins. He brought cleansing and purity through the sacrifice of Himself.

8. Jesus Sat Down at the Right Hand of the Majesty on High (3e).
After Jesus completed His work of redemption, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. No priest ever sat because his work was never complete. But Jesus has sat down at the place of divine honor.

9. Jesus Is Better than the Angels with a More Excellent Name Than They (4).
As revered as the angels were in ancient Jewish thinking, Jesus is far better. He is better than they since God gave Him a more excellent Name! They mediated the Law; Christ fulfilled it and accomplished redemption.

10. Jesus Is the Son of God (5a).
Using language from the Psalms, God affirmed to Jesus that He would be God’s Son. He would have an intimate, eternal, unending, and covenant-bound relationship with the Father. He is the Son since He is God.

11. Jesus Is Begotten of God (5b).
The Father has begotten the Son signifying that whatever God the Father is, God the Son is. The Son has the very likeness, divinity, glory, and blessedness that the Father has. The Father begat the Son since they are One.

12. God Commands All the Angels to Worship Jesus (6).
God commands all the angels of God to worship the Son. God demands that the Son be worshiped. The Father receives worship and He requires that all His created beings — including angels — worship Jesus, the Son.

13. The Throne of Jesus Is Forever and Ever (8).
In a marvelous statement explicitly stating the deity of Jesus, God says that His throne is forever and ever. God even states that Jesus is God. His kingship and sovereignty shall remain forever and cannot end or fail.

14. Jesus Loves Righteousness and Hates Lawlessness (9a).
As the sovereign King and glorious God, Jesus combines two necessary and corollary truths: He supremely loves righteousness and He vehemently hates lawlessness. He blesses truth and He punishes all unholiness.

15. God Anointed Jesus With the Oil of Gladness (9b).
Christ lives forever as God and is joyfully consumed with righteousness. For this reason, God has anointed Him with the oil of gladness above all His companions. Christ rejoices in holiness and is glad in righteousness.

16. Jesus Laid the Foundation of the Earth in the Beginning (10a).
Affirming the power and eternality of Christ, the author affirms that Jesus is the Lord and that He laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning. When all things were created at the outset, it obeyed Christ’s word.

17. Jesus Remains Forever (11).
The heavens will perish one day. But Jesus Christ remains forever. The heavens will grow old, will be rolled up, and will be changed. But Jesus Christ is the same and His years can never end. He remains the same eternally.

18. Jesus Is the Same and His Years Shall Never Come to an End (12).
Everything changes. The planets rotate and orbit. The seasons change. Humans age and change. But God never changes. Christ is the same and shall never be altered, moved, changed, or defeated. He is the first and the last.

19. Jesus Sits at the Father’s Right Hand (13a)
Having purchased redemption and being raised victoriously, Jesus now sits at the Father’s right hand. That position of honor, blessing, glory and power is once for all and eternally given to Jesus, the blessed Son of God.

20. Jesus Will Rule Over All His Enemies (13b)
Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand till all His enemies will be defeated. The day will come when Christ will rule over all His enemies and triumph over them under His feet as the Sovereign King and the reigning Lord of all. The kingship, faithfulness, righteousness, and the glory of Jesus Christ will reign forever over all His foes.

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