2] In the last of these days, He spoke to us in [His] Son…. [author’s translation]
In our previous posts, we have seen that the writer asserts that God spoke. In doing so, he emphasizes the reality, the fact, that God spoke. Contrary to the “wisdom” of many, the OT is not a patchwork product of men who gathered myths and stories and formed them into a “holy book”; it is the word of God, given in and through “the prophets” by the direct revelation and inspiration of God Himself.
Furthermore, not only did God speak through and to the prophets of old, but He also spoke “in Son,” that is, personally and directly. The writer described this “Son” with eight statements. We wish to take a closer look at these statements.
We’re spending more time on this section of Hebrews because it is essential that we have a Scriptural understanding of Who Christ is and of what He did. Christianity stands or falls with Christ and who He is; no other religion so depends on the nature and character of its founder as Christianity. We believe, further, that the Christ of the Bible and the Christ worshiped by much, if not most, of modern Christianity, not only here in America, but around the world, are two different individuals. They take a verse here and there from the Bible to construct their Christ, but the Christ of the Bible is as foreign to them as a person would be from another planet.
Is that too strong? Too judgmental?
Only in the Christ of the Bible is there any hope for the reconciliation of guilty sinners to a holy and righteous God.
Who is this “Christ of the Bible”? Hebrews 1:1-3 gives a succinct description of Him.
1. “Son”: His Essential Nature.
It’s interesting to note that the writer begins by asserting the deity of the Lord Jesus. You see, if Jesus isn’t truly God, then nothing else matters. There is no salvation. If Christ isn’t God, then Christianity becomes merely a bandaid to cover man’s festering corruption and pollution, a social message to address social issues: “justice,” “fairness,” “equality,” etc., but without any ability to solve the underlying problem. Indeed, that problem, man’s basic sinfulness and his alienation from and opposition to God, is not even recognized. Often, it is denied.
As we’ve noted before, there is no article (“the”) before the word translated, “son.” Thus we’re brought to consider the nature and character of the Savior. The writer isn’t concerned with “relationship” as we might understand it, but emphasizes the agreement in essential nature (deity) which the Son and the Father share.
Jesus is not a “son” by adoption, as some falsely and blasphemously teach, thus “deifying” humanity. These false teachers hold out the same hope to men, that if we do well enough, God will also “adopt” us. Such a view is false. The “adoption” of which the Bible speaks, in which even our physical bodies (though in a glorified state) are to be received into the family of God, is never based on anything but God’s grace. It’s never a matter of reward or obligation on God’s part.
Nor is Jesus the “Son of God” by “creation,” as Jehovah’s Witnesses and others teach. Because He is God, He is eternally the Son of God and God the Son by nature and essence.
In addition to Hebrews 1:3, the following verses clearly teach the deity of Christ:
John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and [lit.] God was the Word. John isn’t teaching, as some declare, that “the Word” was merely “a” god, some lesser being, in contrast to the Father. Rather, he is emphasizing identity of nature, that is, whatever “God” is, the Son is.
Implicit in John’s thought is also the fact that the Father and the Son, though sharing the same nature, are not the same “Person.” That is, the Father is not the Son. We’ll have more to say about this later on.
Colossians 1:15, Christ is the image of the invisible God. The word translated “image” means “manifestation” or “representation.” With the addition of the word “invisible,” Paul teaches that Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation and representation of the invisible God. The uniqueness of His relationship with the Father is such that He could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” John 14:9. Again, He is not claiming to be the Father. We emphasize this because of those who say that He does say that.
Philippians 2:6, being in the form of God, [He] did thought it not robbery to be equal with God. The word translated “form” refers doesn’t simply refer to outward appearance, as we might consider it, but what’s on the inside, so to speak. It speaks of the nature and essence of the individual. It’s not what the person looks like, but what he is. In this case, it means that the Word was equal with, on the same level as, God. In the words of John 1:1, the Word was God.
Notice further that Paul said, “being…God.” Cf. John 1:1, 14. the Word was God, the Word became flesh. Nowhere is there any intimation of the Word becoming (a) (g)God.
John 10:30-33, Jesus made the statement, “I and the Father are one,” v. 30, literally, “I and the Father, we are one.” He isn’t saying that He and the Father are the same, in spite of those who claim otherwise. The sequel shows that the Jews most certainly understood that He was claiming deity: “…you, being man, make yourself God, v. 33. There are no articles before “man” or “God.” The focus is on nature. The Jews were saying, “You are human, but you blaspheme, claiming to be divine.”
We will look at Hebrews 1:3, but for now merely wish to show that the Scripture is unequivocal in its declaration of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the words of the ancient confession, He is: “very God of very God and very man of very man.”
Do we come to the Bible as the Word of God? Do we really accept its divine origin? Do we understand the tremendous privilege we have in its possession in our own language? Do we understand the responsibility we have toward it? …the eternal repercussions from it? Do we come to the Scriptures to learn of Christ? or for some other reason?
There are way too many who have advanced degrees in Biblical subjects who deny or question every word from Genesis to Revelation.
Without the Word of God, we have no Christ.
Without Christ, we have no salvation.