Sermons

Jesus is Better, Pt. 1

Jun 14, 2020

Jesus is Better, Pt. 1

Passage: Hebrews 13:22-25

Preacher: Jeff Crotts

Series: The Race Set Before Us

Category: Sunday Morning

Detail

If you are like me, the hardest thing to do when you stop exercising is to start up again. 

  • You need “motivation!”

[Key] The Big Idea of Hebrews for application is “To run toward Jesus, and keep running.” 

  • The “So what?” of Hebrews is to “Run!”
  • To start and keep going. 

You, like me, need this point to hit home, not missing the forest for the trees.

  • Recap Hebrews with a sweep (13 chapters).
  • My outline is simple.

13 chapters giving 13 reasons to run and keep running the race set before us. 

  • Every point: Jesus is better!
  • He is better, so run!

 

Verses 22-25 is a postscript and it is pastoral. 

  • The author makes an intimate appeal or exhortation [parakalew – 2x] to come alongside these believers.
  • He says, “bear with my word” (v. 22).
  • Take this to heart.

21st Century ears hear sarcasm with, “I have written to you briefly” (v. 22). 

  • Compared to shorter letters, 13 chapters does not seem brief.
  • This is shorter than Romans and 1 Corinthians being under 10,000 words.
    • Can be read in less than an hour.
    • Probably was a sermon.
    • Themes are deep.
    • Could be unpacked with greater detail.

Author has a personal connection to Timothy.

  • Not to go full circle but this the closest nod toward Paul’s authorship.
    • News of Timothy’s release from prison?
    • The goal is personal connection.
    • Far more difficult in those days.
    • What is apparent is the eager anticipation.

Greetings made to “all leaders” and “all saints” (v. 24), both part of the body. 

  • This designation, “leaders” highlights Scripture’s standard from verses 7 and 17.
  • Along with the significance of being “set-apart” [hagious] as believers.
  • Every believer is free from sin’s curse!
  • Made holy by God through Christ forever!

The author’s mention of “Those who come from Italy send you greetings” (v. 24) is ambiguous. 

  • He is making a connection between where he is with this small church and those in Jerusalem.
    • Reflects the expansive reach of the Gospel.
    • God’s Gospel traveled through missions to Rome and beyond.

Early Jewish Christians were not bound to Jerusalem and early Christians were not only ethnic Jews. 

  • Christ was transforming hearts in Rome, Italy.
  • They “send you greetings” (v. 24).
  • Their love for Christ and for the church.

 

“What ties everything together?” 

  • In a word, “Grace!” (v. 25).
    • Grace is why we are saved and grace is why we grow.
    • We needed grace and we need grace!

 

  • Grace is the greatest common denominator between everyone.
    • No matter who you are!
  • Where you come from!
  • Ethnicity.  Gender. 
  • We need grace! The grace of Christ.

Growing by “grace” is running the race. The application is found in Hebrews 12:1-2.

ESV  Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and asin which clings so closely, and blet us run cwith endurance the race that is dset before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, awho for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising bthe shame, and cis seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 ESV)

 

  • Run and keep running!
  • Not drift, stray, or fall away!
  • We need to grace of Jesus.

To run and keep running, to you: Jesus is better than everything. 

 

Why Jesus is better?   
 1. Jesus is better than the angels (ch. 1)

This is the test of Motivations!

  • Your motivation to follow Christ directly relates to your picture of Christ.
  • The larger you believe Christ is, the more motivated you are to follow!

This is one of the single most Christ-magnifying verses in the Bible.   

ESV  Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and athe exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. bAfter making purification for sins, che sat down dat the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Heb 1:3 ESV)

  • The question is, “How big is Jesus?”
  • Bigger than the unseen world.

It takes faith to believe in angels.

  • Unless they appear in the form of man (per the Bible’s precedent), we do not see them.

"How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" (alternatively "How many angels can stand on the point of a pin?") is a reductio ad absurdum challenge to medieval scholasticism in general, and its angelology in particular, as represented by figures such as Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas.

  • Angels are there but we do not see them except by faith.
  • Angels are impressive and otherworldly but created beings.

John tried to worship angels twice.

ESV  Revelation 19:10 Then aI fell down at his feet to worship him, bbut he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant1 with you and your brothers who hold to cthe testimony of Jesus. Worship God." For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Rev 19:10 ESV)

ESV  Revelation 22:8 I, aJohn, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, bI fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, (Rev 22:8 ESV)

 

There is only One to whom we bow in worship. 

  • Jesus, is likewise invisible to you.
  • To see Jesus, you have to believe in him by faith.
  • We see both angels and Jesus by believing Scripture.

[Point] Believing in the Son is far superior, because believing in the Son is believing in eternal God.

I will not run for an angel but I will run for Jesus.     

 2. Jesus is better than family (ch. 2)

One of the most provocative titles Jesus gives you as a Christian is “brother.”

  • Not talking about simply being brothers and sisters to each other but to Christ himself.

ESV  Hebrews 2:11 For ahe who sanctifies and bthose who are sanctified call have one source.1 That is why he is not ashamed to call them dbrothers,2 (Heb 2:11 ESV)

 

ESV  Hebrews 2:17-18 Therefore he had ato be made like his brothers in every respect, bso that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest cin the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

18 For because he himself has suffered awhen tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Heb 2:17-18 ESV)

 

  • Jesus makes certain that everyone who believes in him knows he is family.
    • We have in common the link that supersedes all other bonds.
    • We “all have one source” (v. 11).

 

ESV  Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but athere is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Pro 18:24 ESV)

 

  • Exactly what our culture is in desperation to find!
    • The Gospel not only breaks down all barriers.
    • It takes an inestimably large step forward, bonding everyone with a bond that supersedes everything that the world says divides.

 

  • Christians all have Gospel blood coursing through all of our veins!
  • Our “brother” - Christ felt everything and feels everything we feel because he is your “brother.”

Running toward Jesus, our brother! 

 3. Jesus is better than Moses (ch. 3)

ESV  Hebrews 3:1-6 Therefore, holy brothers,1 you who share in aa heavenly calling, consider Jesus, bthe apostle and high priest of our confession,

2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, ajust as Moses also was faithful in all God's1 house.

3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses--as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

4 (For every house is built by someone, but athe builder of all things is God.)

5 aNow Moses was faithful in all God's house bas a servant, cto testify to the things that were to be spoken later,

6 but Christ is faithful over God's house as aa son. And bwe are his house if indeed we chold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.1 (Heb 3:1-6 ESV)

 

Moses is the Old Testament savior who redeemed Israel. 

  • The Old Testament intercessor who spoke for and prayed for God’s chosen.
  • God performed miracles through him.
  • Spoke face to face with God and his face shined God’s glory.
  • However, Moses was still just a man.

 

I am not going to run for Moses, I am only going to run for Jesus.

 

“What does it take to keep running toward heaven?” 

 

ESV  Hebrews 3:12-13 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from athe living God.

13 But aexhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by bthe deceitfulness of sin. (Heb 3:12-13 ESV)

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