Heb 1:2 God Spoke Unto Us IN His Son 4/3/2011 ßą
#1. God Spoke (Heb 1:1-14, Luke 1:35, Psalm 33:9, Matt 13:11)
#2. God Spoke By His Son (Heb 1:2, John 15:15, 14:26, Rev 22:18-19, Isa 6:5, Dan 10:8, 1Pet 1:10-12, Gal 4:4)
#3. God Has Spoken IN Son (Heb 1:2, John 1:14, Luke 2:11, 19:10, Matt 11:28-30)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 2:28 (2X). The title of this sermon is, “God Spoke Unto Us IN His Son” (2X), for that is what we read in Heb 1:2. We are going to find out what that means. But first we have to figure out who these Hebrews were to whom God wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews.
If you read commentaries you find that most of the commentators claim that this epistle was written to Hebrew Christians who have just been converted to Christianity, but are not sure of their new found Messiah. And then you also read that Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 are there to prove that Jesus is greater than the angels, and greater than the prophets, and greater than Moses, and greater than the high priests. These commentators are all copying one another. I dare to declare that they are all barking up the wrong tree. If we realize who the Lord Jesus Christ really is, then all these arguments to prove that Jesus is greater than so and so are debates about non-issues. We call those debates storms in a teapot, for you know the real Jesus you would not speak in those terms.
We already know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Person formed by uniting God the Son with the man Jesus from the womb of the Virgin Mary. In this one Person is united two natures: One Divine nature of God the Son who is fully God, and one human nature of the man Christ Jesus who is fully man, having a human soul, and made in the likeness of sinful flesh but without sin, and even without original sin. And even though the Lord Jesus Christ is one Person in whom these two human natures reside, at times His Divine nature dominates His actions, and at other times His human nature dominates His actions. For example, when He atoned for our sins on the cross and died He did atone in His human nature, for in His human nature He suffered and died, for God the Son cannot die. When He died His human soul went to heaven for two days, for He said so to the thief on the cross, in Luke 23:43, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Therefore according to Col 2:9, which says, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”, or when He said in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one”, we realize that when we are speaking of the Lord Jesus we are speaking of God who was clothed in human flesh. And so, to argue that Christ is greater than the angels, or greater than the prophets, or greater than Moses, or greater than the high priests, is like answering a rhetorical question. Of course Christ is greater than anyone else, for He is God. I have addressed these questions as if Hebrews chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 were addressed to us personally, and not just to the Hebrew Christians. And is that not really so? The Epistle to the Romans was not addressed just to the Romans, but to us. Every Epistle in the NT and every Prophecy in the OT was addressed to us in this century, and we have to apply those words as if they were addressed to us. Every Scripture that ended up in the Bible is addressed to all mankind and at all times in history. And so, when we ask the question, “Which Hebrews?” or to which Hebrews was this letter addressed, we have to answer, “We are those Hebrews”, for God said so in Rom 2:28-29,
Ro 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Ro 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
A Jew is another name for a Hebrew. After the Babylonian captivity the Hebrews were called Jews, which is derived from Judah, for most of the captives were Hebrews from Judah.
Therefore, let us now turn to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 1:1 (2X). Let us remember we are those Hebrews.
#1. God Spoke (Heb 1:1-14, Luke 1:35, Psalm 33:9, Matt 13:11)
We have here an epistle that was most likely written by the hand of the apostle Paul, although these words were dictated to him by God the Holy Spirit. As in every Scripture of the Bible, God is the Author, using human hands to pen these words. The Epistle to the Hebrews has certain Pauline characteristics, such as the term “sons” which Christ is bringing into glory. Paul is the only NT writer who uses the term “sons”. All the others use a different Greek word meaning “children”. In addition, in chapter 13:23 he mentioned “Timothy”. Now Timothy was a fellow worker with no other NT writer than Paul. We read here in Heb 1:1-14,
Heb 1:1-14 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Let us look at verses 1 and 2 again. The particular reference here is to God the Father, for He refers to the Lord Jesus as His Son. Even though it was the Holy Spirit who in Luke 1:35 overshadowed the Virgin Mary, the Lord Jesus is never in the Bible spoken of as the Son of God the Holy Spirit, always as the Son of God the Father. “God has spoken unto us by His Son”. We can be thankful that God spoke, for He is not like the impersonal “first cause” of philosophers and evolutionists, and He is not like the dumb idols of wood and stone that cannot speak, or move. God is not silent. God spoke and created the universe out of nothing. “He spoke and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9). God still speaks to us through the Bible, if we only want to listen. Unfortunately most people in America today are not interested in what God has said, and for this God withdraws from them His grace. And in the not too distant future you are going to see that God has withdrawn His grace from this country.
God spoke at sundry times, and in divers manners. Literally the Hebrew text says, “God spoke in many parts and in many ways of old”, which implies that God spoke some information at one time and other information at another time. During the period of about 1500 years that God dictated the OT God spoke frequently, but altogether the Mosaic revelation was only fragmentary. It was only here a little and there a little. And only when we piece it together with the information from the NT do we see the Revelation of Jesus Christ unbroken and complete, and only then do we fully appreciate the revelation given in the OT. And HOW did God speak to the fathers by the prophets? His revelation was sometimes communicated in types and figures, or in parables, or in direct explicit language. This reflects the sovereignty of God, for He is not bound by particular rules that men have set up, such as certain historical grammatical rules. God may speak in any way He desires to accomplish His goals; for example He spoke so that the wicked shall not understand (Matt 13:11). God did not speak uniformly, or confine Himself to one method of speaking to the fathers. He spoke by way of promise, or by prediction, or by types and symbols, or by commandments and precepts, or by warnings and exhortations. We should be ready with an open mind to receive God’s words in whatever form they come, and ignore man’s wisdom which dictates to us that we should interpret the Bible in a historical grammatical manner, for this is putting us in shackles again.
“God spoke in many parts and in many ways in time past unto the fathers by the prophets” (Heb 1:1)
Can you see that the apostle is setting his seal on the Divine inspiration and authority of the OT Scriptures? These were not the words from the prophets, but it was God who spoke in time past to the fathers. And the fathers here goes right back to the beginning of God’s dealings with the Hebrews; in other words, dealings with Abraham from the beginning. God says in Luke 1:55, “As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever”. We do not have to stop there, but we can see that these words also refer to God’s dealings with Adam, and with Noah, and with many to whom God spoke by the prophets. And when we consider the words “by the prophets” we should be informed that literally and more precisely these words should have been translated “IN the prophets”. It means that God literally possessed their hearts, and God controlled their minds, and God ordered their tongues, and God controlled their hands, so that they spoke not their own words, and they did not write their own words, but they spoke and wrote the words that God wanted them to speak and to write. These were God’s words. We read in 2Pet,
2Pet 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
You see, prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but God opened their mouths, and God moved them to speak these words and God moved them to write these words, the OT in Hebrew and the NT in Greek. Sometimes the prophets were themselves conscious of this fact. Please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 3:20 (2X). Who did the prophets speak about? They spoke about Jesus. They prophesied about His coming and about the work that He was going to accomplish on the cross, and about the forgiveness of sins that it was going to produce, and so on. And so, when the prophet speaks to us, it is God who is speaking to us. This is not something new. This was already dictated and commanded from the time of Moses. We read in Acts 3:20-24,
Ac 3:20-24 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
What does this passage speak about? It says: God shall send Jesus Christ, who was promised by the mouth of all His holy prophets from the beginning of time. This Jesus whom God shall raise up from among you will be a prophet like me, Moses, for He shall also establish a law, and it is not like the law of commandments that I have given you, it is not like the law of sin and death, but it is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2). And it shall come to pass that every one who will not listen to Him shall be taken out from among His people, and shall suffer the consequences of spurning the love that God has manifested in Christ crucified. All the prophets, from Samuel and all those that came after him, have prophesied of these days which we call the last days. And you see, all these are the results, or the outflows, of God’s statement in Heb 1:1, “God spoke in many parts and in many ways in time past unto the fathers IN the prophets”. Please turn again to Heb 1:2 (2X).
#2. God Spoke By His Son (Heb 1:2, John 15:15, 14:26, Rev 22:18-19, Isa 6:5, Dan 10:8, 1Pet 1:10-12, Gal 4:4)
“God has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son”. The God who spoke to the fathers now speaks to us. The God who spoke in times past now speaks in these last days. The God who spoke by the prophets now speaks by His Son. The God who spoke in the OT days in an incomplete revelation, has now given a complete revelation of the Gospel of grace through Christ crucified. The God who in OT days spoke with the obscurity and symbolism of the ceremonial law, has now spoken to us with the simplicity and clearness of the Gospel of grace alone.
And so, when we consider the OT ways in which God spoke “in many parts” (or at sundry times), that is now contrasted with God revealing His will under the Gospel, which came all at one time when His Son walked on earth. It was then that the whole counsel of God was made known so far as was necessary for the church to know it. That was the reason why the Lord Jesus said in John 15:15, “All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you”. Could the disciples remember all the things that the Lord Jesus taught them? No. But God the Holy Spirit brought back to their memory all the things that the Lord Jesus told them. We read in John 14:26,
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
And thus, when we ask, “Is the NT complete?” The answer is YES; for God the Holy Spirit brought back to the memory of the disciples what they had forgotten, and God made sure that ALL that they should have written down was written down. The only revelation that was added was the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John. And when John died, the last of the apostles died, God added no more revelation and He stated this clearly on the last page of the Bible in Rev 22:18-19. Anyone who claims to have an additional message from God is lying.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle of First Peter, 1Pet 1:10 (2X). Therefore, there is a great contrast between the OT prophets and Christ “the Son”. We can summarize this contrast with the following six points: #1. There were many prophets; one succeeded another, and they lived in different periods of time. #2. They gave out God’s revelation in “divers manners”, i.e. in similitudes, in visions, or in symbols. Each prophet had his own peculiar gifts and character which trickled down into their writings. For example, Jeremiah was the weeping prophet, Habakkuk was the baffled prophet. #3. They were sinful men. Even the least sinful of them, like Daniel, turned out to be very sinful men. For example we read in Isa 6:5, and in Dan 10:8,
Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Da 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
#4. They did not possess the Spirit of God constantly. The words from God came to them intermittently, but not constantly. #5. They did not understand the heights and depths of their own message. We know this, because God revealed this unto us. For example we read in 1Pet 1:10-12,
1Pe 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
And thus the OT prophets did not completely understand their own message, and still less did they understand all the messages of the OT. Even the holy angels did not understand it until God the Holy Spirit finally completed the entire Bible. And thus we can say that even Satan did not understand it until the Bible was written as complete. #6. Like John the Baptist they had to testify, “I am not the Light; I am only sent to bear witness of the Light”. John the Baptist was the last of the OT prophets.
Now the very opposite was the case in all these respects with the “Son”. Although the revelation that God gave to each of the OT prophets is equally inspired and authoritative, yet the revelation through His Son possesses a greater dignity and value, for the Son has revealed all the secrets of His Father’s heart, the fullness of His counsel, and the riches of His grace. This is the contrast between the OT prophets and Christ “the Son”.
“God has in these last days spoken unto us” from Heb 1:2 expresses the contrast with “in time past” from Heb 1:1. The ministry of the Lord Jesus marked “the last days”. The Holy Spirit is pressing upon us the finality of the Gospel revelation. Through the OT prophets God had given predictions and foreshadowings, but in the Son God gave us the fulfillment and the substance. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son (Gal 4:4). God has nothing now in reserve. He has no further revelation to make. Christ is the final spokesman. The written Word is now complete. And Christ has spoken unto us. The pronoun “us” refers directly to us. And God is still speaking unto us, not audibly, not through additional dreams, or visions, or angel visitations, or tongues, but through the words of Scripture, for all these additional dreams, or visions, or angel visitations, or tongues are violating God’s command of Rev 22:18.
Literally we read in Heb 1:2, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us IN His Son”. What does this mean? When we speak of Christ as the Son of God, we speak of Him in two respects. First, in eternity past Christ existed as the second Person of the Triune God, very God of very God. Make no mistake. The man Christ Jesus did not exist before the foundation of the world. Any claims that Christ atoned for our sins before the foundation of the world is a false gospel; it is a confusion of concepts of God. And whenever we have a false concept of God we have created an idol in our heart, and God will judge us for this idolatry. Secondly, He is also the “Son as incarnate”, meaning in the flesh. When He took upon Him sinless human nature He did not cease to be God, and He did not empty Himself of His Divine attributes as some people teach, for those Divine attributes are inseparable from His Divine Being. We read in 1Tim 3:16, “God was manifest in the flesh”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 3:13 (2X). The One born in Bethlehem and put in a manger was the same Divine Person as had subsisted from all eternity, although He had taken upon Him an additional human nature. However, we must keep in mind that He was not made like us, in sinful flesh, but He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, without original sin. And so perfect is the union between the Divine and the human nature in Christ that is some instances the properties of the one are ascribed to the other. For example we read in John 3:13, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which IS in heaven.” Christ walked on earth, but He was at the same time in heaven. That is why He qualified to be our blessed Savior and our Mediator.
Let us summarize what we have concluded so far. Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of John, 1John 1:5 (2X). God spoke through the OT prophets and through His Son. First, He spoke through the OT prophets in their respective characters, in fragments and incomplete. Then He spoke through His Son, perfectly and final. Second, in the OT God employed sinful men, and in the NT God employed His holy Son. Third, in the OT God spoke in times past, over a period of about 1500 years, and in the NT God spoke in these last days. This points to the fact that God was now done, He has fully expressed Himself, and He has nothing in reserve. Can you see the central idea here? “God Was Speaking”, God was revealing Himself. God gave a revelation of Himself “in time past”, and He also gave another revelation “in these last days”. And what were the characters of these two distinct revelations? It is remarkable that the characters of these two revelations, the OT and the NT, are shown to us in the First Epistle of John, in chapter 1 and in chapter 4. God says in 1John 1:5, “God is Light”. We read in 1John 1:5,
1Jo 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
This was the message we have heard of Him in OT time: “God is Light”. Please turn to 1John 4:8. If we now summarize the message we have heard of Him in the NT time we must say, “God is Love”. We read in 1John 4:8,
1Jo 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Let us explore these two statements which make known to us what God actually is in Himself. First, “God is Light”. It was in this character that He was revealed in OT times. The very first thing that God said in creation was, “Let there be light”. In what character does God appear to Adam and Eve after the fall? As “Light”, as the holy One, seeing their sin and uncompromisingly judging sin. In what character was He revealed at the flood of Noah’s days? As the Light who illuminated all the wickedness of men in their souls, and judging them for it. How did He make Himself known to Israel at Sinai? As the one who is Light, revealing Himself in flaming fire and with thunder and lightning. We do not say that His love was entirely unknown in the OT, but it certainly was not fully revealed. That which was characteristic of the revelation of God in the Mosaic dispensation was God as Light.
Next we look at “God is Love”. It is in this character that God was revealed in NT times. To make known His love, God sent forth the Son of His Love. It is only in Christ that love is fully unveiled. It was not that the light was absent; that could not be, since He was and is God Himself. The love which He exercised and showed was always a holy love. But just as “God is Light” was the characteristic in OT times, so “God is Love” is a characteristic of the NT revelation. This is the contrast that is pointed to in the opening verses of Hebrews. In the prophets God spoke (or revealed Himself) as light: The required demands of His holiness being insisted upon. But in the Son it is the sweet accents of love that we hear. These are the affections of God which the Son has expressed, and is appealing to our affections. Therefore, it is with the heart and not with the head that God can be known.
#3. God Has Spoken IN Son (Heb 1:2, John 1:14, Luke 2:11, 19:10, Matt 11:28-30)
Literally we read in Heb 1:2, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us IN His Son”. What does this mean? First we notice that the word “His” is in italics; it was not there in the original Greek text. Secondly, the words “by His Son” are literally “IN His Son”, or more precisely “God has spoken IN Son”. How can we understand this? Let us suppose that a friend told you that he has visited a church where the preacher spoke in Latin. You would have no difficulty at all understanding what he meant. “He spoke in Latin” means that he spoke in that particular language. Such is the principle thought here in Heb 1:2. “God spoke in Son”. And thus “in Son” refers to that language which characterized God’s revelation. The thought of the contrast here in Heb 1:1-2 is that God who in the OT spoke “prophetwise”, now speaks “sonwise”. Formerly God spoke through the characteristics of the prophets, but now God speaks through the characteristics of His Son, Jesus Christ. Something similar to that is mentioned in John 1:14, and there we read, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”. This glory that we beheld, full of grace and truth, is the language of “Son” that God used to express His love for those of mankind whom He has come to save.
And thus, the whole revelation and manifestation of God is now in Christ; He alone reveals the Father’s heart. It is not only that Christ declared or delivered God’s message, but that He was and is God’s message. He declared the Gospel, but He also is the Gospel. All that God has to say to us is in His Son: all His thoughts, His counsels, His promises, His gifts, are to be found in the Lord Jesus. Take the perfect life of Christ, that is God speaking, revealing Himself to us. Take His miracles, His tender mercies, His compassion, or displaying His mighty power; these are all God speaking to us. Take His death, commending to us the love of God, in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us; that is God speaking to us. Take His resurrection, triumphing over the grave, vanquishing him who had the power of death, coming forth as the first fruits of them that slept, the earnest of the harvest that was to follow; that was all God speaking to us. Can we see the blessings conveyed to us by the simple expression, “God spoke unto us in Son”? Can we see why it is so important that our hearts should lay hold of this truth that God has come out in an entirely new character: Sonwise! It is not so much that God speaks to us in the Son, but God addresses Himself to us in Sonlike character, that is, in the character of love. God might have spoken “Almightywise” as He did at Mount Sinai; but that would have terrified and overwhelmed us. God might have spoken “Judgewise” as He will at the great white Throne; but that would have condemned us, and forever banished us from His presence. But blessed be His Name, for He has spoken to us Sonwise, in the tenderest relation which He could possibly assume. For example, What was the announcement from heaven as soon as the Son was revealed? “Unto you is born”, what? Not a Judge, and not a Teacher, but “Unto you is born a Savior which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). There we have the heart of God revealed. It is the character in which God spoke, or revealed Himself, which is the emphasis of Heb 1:2. He has appeared before us in the Person of His beloved Son, to bring us a knowledge of the Divine affections, and this He did in order to engage our affections. In the very nature of the case there can be nothing higher or more loftier. Through Christ, God is now fully, perfectly and finally revealed. But let us not lose sight of the fact that Christ is God; He is “God manifest in flesh”. We profess to believe that He is the Divine second Person of the Trinity. But we often forget this when we read the record of His earthly life, or when we read the words from His lips. Let us always realize that He is God, speaking to us “Sonwise”, in which God’s affections are made known. Please turn to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 11:28 (2X).
For example; take the familiar words of Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” But who is this Son of man? It is God manifested in the flesh; it is God revealing Himself in His “Son character”. It is like the good Shepherd seeking to save the one sheep that was lost. It is revealing the heart of God who is yearning over His straying children. Another example; take the precious words of Matt 11:28-30,
Mt 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Those words were uttered by Jesus of Nazareth, and yet they illustrate what is said in Heb 1:2, that it was God speaking “Sonwisely”, meaning He is bringing to poor sinners a knowledge of Divine affections. Listen to the heart of God. He is saying in this passage, “Come to Me all you who are burdened by religious task-masters who are burdening your time with much “make-work”, and load your conscience with heavy burdens. Come to Me, for if the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, for I will not give you heavy burdens to bear. Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart. I have only your interest at heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” It is Sonwise language.
Can we not see the wondrous and blessed contrasts that are pointed out in these first two verses of Hebrews? How different are the two revelations which God has made of His character. In OT times God spoke, and revealed Himself according to what He is as Light; and this in keeping with the fact that it was “in the prophets”, which means those who made known His mind. We are absolutely not trying to belittle the prophets, for they were given words of wisdom which we can only appreciate in the light of 2Pet 1:21, where God said that He personally gave the prophets these words to speak and to write. There is much revelation of God to learn from the OT prophets.
In the NT times God has spoken, revealed Himself, according to what He is as love; and this was in accordance to the fact that it was “in Son” He is now made known. May we not only bow before Him in reverence and godly fear, but may our hearts be drawn out to Him in fervent love and adoration.
Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 16:22 (2X). When we meditate on these things, that God has revealed Himself in the NT as a God of love, it seems as if God is appealing to mankind to please come to His side, and abandon the way of the heathen. But let us now throw a little bit of anthropology in the mix, I mean throw in a little bit of knowing depraved mankind, and very soon we realize that most people are born in the kingdom of Satan, like the children of Israel were born in Egypt, in the house of bondage, and they could not free themselves. And so, it is not true that Almighty God is begging for people to please love Him as He loved us. That is not so. God is never begging. But God is laying all the cards in front of us and showing us His love in saving those whom Christ came to save. But since most people are in the clutches of Satan, none of them will come to the Lord Jesus, for if you are born in the house of bondage you cannot by your own free will choose to deliver yourselves from bondage and follow after the Lord Jesus. If you are born as a lion you cannot deliver yourself from the life of killing other beasts and start eating straw. That will never come to pass. The only way that will come to pass is if God will perform a miracle. And that is the miracle of grace. The Gospel of salvation is the Good News of salvation by the grace of God. Salvation is God performing the miracle of grace in our hearts. And so, if we look around we see that actually only a few people are saved and are touched by this incredible love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts. And so, what is God’s response to all those who have spurned His love, all those who have ignored Christ crucified, all those who have ignored His call to salvation, all those who live as if there is no God, or who live as if the idols that they have created in their heart are worth more than the Biblical Jesus Christ? What does God say to them? The Lord holds up the Bible and quotes, 1Cor 16:22,
1Co 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
O yes, if any man has spurned My love and does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, meaning accursed, Maranatha, meaning “the Lord comes”. Let him be accursed when the Lord comes. You see, salvation is not only believing that Christ paid for my sins. Salvation also includes an immense gratitude for what the Lord has done for us, and a fervent love for Him who loved us so much that He was willing to endure the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for our sins. Love for Christ is one of the evidences of salvation. That is why the Lord blamed the church at Ephesus in Rev 2:4, “Nevertheless I have against thee that thou hast left thy first love”. There is no salvation without a love for Christ. Pray to God that He may give us a love for Christ, for His love toward us is so great that we never will understand how much God loved us. Pray that we will get to know Him better through a study of both the OT and the NT, and pray that He will give us the grace to understand and remain faithful to His Word. It is only by His grace that we can remain faithful.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.