"The True Message"
There are many conflicting messages today about God. How do you know truth? There is a place to look.
The True Message
A. Just 9 days ago as we were getting ready to set up for my father’s big birthday party, the local news started alerting everyone that there had been a shooting at the middle school. At first there was no information, but the church there in Noblesville where my father had preached and attended for the last 31 years had children in that school.
B. One of the children was my cousin’s daughter. Brooklyn was in the school when the shooting took place. As with so many other children she called her dad on the phone in panic. “Daddy, someone is shooting and I’m scared. Please save me daddy, please save me! I am so afraid!” That was not how Jamie expected his day to begin. He was driving a client in Indianapolis about 20 minutes away; the client heard the call from car phone. Jamie left the client on the side of the road, did a U-Turn, broke several driving laws and raced back to the school.
C. As we stood outside the church building, the elementary school went into lockdown. We listened as systematically, we heard, “Entrance A – lockdown; Entrance B – lockdown.” Police cars were racing by and the news was trying to give up the minute reports and not all the stories were completely factual. It’s difficult to know what is true and what is rumor when so many different reports are being told of the same thing. Which do you believe?
D. You know, it’s really no different when it comes to knowing what God’s message is for you and me. There are conflicting interpretations of the message we call “The Bible.” Which interpretation is the right one? How do you know what God really means and wants from your life?
I. The Shared Message
A. The Hebrew writer opens what seems like more a sermon than a letter, by talking about how God speaks. READ verse 1.
B. God has always been about revealing His message to His creation. I love the stories when God spoke directly to the forefathers. God walked with Adam and Eve and spoke directly to them. God spoke directly to Cain, to Noah, Abraham, Moses and others. Then God began to speak more through a prophet who would then share God’s message to the masses. God used people like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Daniel and others to speak truth to the people. But sadly, there were false prophets would tell people simply what they wanted to hear, not what God spoke and the message was now less clear because of these false teachers.
C. One of the ways God revealed messages was through a being the means messenger – angels. The Bible mentions angels over 250 times. Angels have played a strong role of being God’s messengers in the OT. Angels appeared to Abraham, Lot, Balaam, an army of angels surrounded Elisha; my point is angels are important messengers, but the Hebrew writer says this (Heb. 1:4). Jesus is superior to angels and he is so for a reason.
D. The Hebrew writer knew that the viewpoint of his readers was that angels were messengers and servants of God and were higher and more powerful than man. But the question becomes, where does Jesus fit in the ranking? The readers struggle is one in which many would hold today. If Jesus was a man than angels must be more powerful and of greater authority than a man. But the fact is, Jesus never was simply a human being. He was God in the flesh, Immanuel, the Son of God.
II. The True Message
A. So let’s look at our text one more time in its fullness (Read Heb. 1:1-7). The take away of Hebrews 1 is that Jesus is the true message as well as a messenger. Jesus is described by the writer creator of the world. It Gen. 1:1-2 wrapped up in these verses. Then he described Jesus as the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s nature.” It wasn’t that God simply wanted to speak to us, God spoke to us in person.
B. Jesus is a superior revealer of the message of God, greater than the fathers, prophets and angels, because he is God in the flesh.
C. If you want to know about God the place to look is in the Bible. If you want to experience God, the place to be is in Christ. Listen to John 5:39-40. I want more than just the story, I want the life that comes through Jesus.
D. I am not putting the Bible down or making it irrelevant. For it is the voice of God given through the Spirit of God. It is the authority on every issue. What we need to remember is if we want to know God’s nature, know why God does for us what he does, then place to look is Jesus. The one we worship is not words in a book, but Jesus. You want to know doctrine, don’t seek to just use book, chapter and verse – let book, chapter and verse come alive in Jesus.
E. Why do even angels worship him? Because is greater than all the other messengers that have ever come to reveal God’s will to man. Why do I say this? Because here is what Jesus did that no other messenger could do – provide purification for sin and live.
A. Young Brooklyn called her dad that morning at the school and cried, “Save me, daddy!” Jesus came and did just that. He saved me.
B. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of his being. God revealed truth through many messengers, but God showed himself through one – Jesus. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved. Most of you have claimed Jesus and been united with him in the death, burial and resurrection of baptism. This letter we call Hebrews is for us who are saved. It is for us to remember the one who saved us.
C. Cry out to him and let God work in you. It’s amazing what can be done when you listen to the true message instead of all the noise of this world.
May God Bless You,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister