Archive for October 22, 2012

Hebrews is the “Better” Book, about our Surpassing Savior

Hebrews 1:4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

  • Superior or (more excellent KJV) is diaphoros, which can mean varying, but in  this instance means different in a surpassing way.
  • Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason. Thomas Aquinas
  • So our Salvation depends upon a SURPASSING SAVIOR!
    • Everything about Jesus is Superior and Surpasses that which took place before Him.
    • Hebrews is the only book that specifically calls Jesus a priest, although implied in others
    • This is probably what Jesus explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27)
    • Hebrews, more than any other book, expresses the unity of the message of the 66 books of the Bible
    • The author never refers to the human author of the Old Testament references, but always ascribes them to God or Christ!

A superior workman turns out a superior product, so Hebrews shows that the  Messiah, the Founder of the New Testament is better than the founders of the First Testament, who were the prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, and Aaron. Therefore, the testament He brought in is superior to and takes the place of theirs. In the light of this, we can better understand the words, “But now hath He (Messiah) obtained a more excellent ministry than they (prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron), by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant (the New Testament), which is established upon better promises”[1].

Commitment to Following Christ with all of your life will produce everything which is BETTER for you!

The Surpassing Life of Jesus

1. Jesus is superior to angels.

2. Jesus has a Name which is more excellent.

Hebrews 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

3. Jesus has a more excellent ministry

4. Jesus mediates a better covenant based upon better promises

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5. Through Jesus we have promise of better things

Hebrews 6:9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.

The Surpassing Life we share with Jesus

1. We Have a Better Hope

Hebrews 7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

2. We Have a Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

3. We have Better Promises

Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.

4. We Have a Better Sacrifice

Hebrews 9:23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 10:5-6 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.

5. We Have Better Possessions

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

6. We Have a Better Home

Hebrews 11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

7. We will Have a Better Life

Hebrews 11:35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.

Hebrews 11:40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

The Surpassing Life Focus

1. Endure for the sake of Better

Hebrews 12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

2. Sacrifice and Do good for the sake of Better

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

3. Draw Near to God in Better Hope

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

4. Be Better at Provoking

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

5. Better produces Joy even in the face of loss and tragedy

Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Hebrews is the Better Book which details the Surpassing Life of Jesus Christ. Not only did Jesus surpass everthing before Him, He offers His surpassing life to us, so that our lives will benefit and share in His surpassing life. And if we share in His surpassing life, our lives will focus on Him, and that focus will produce changes in our works and priorities.

[1] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies – Volume 2: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1973), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 142