Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Children of God
Pastor Steve Schell
Hebrews 2:5-18
In chapter two the author of Hebrews explains to us the purpose of the incarnation. In other words, he answers why God would be willing to send His Son to become a human. In chapter one he told us that God has a Son who is divine, not created. As the Son He is begotten and shares all the divine attributes with His Father. No one should think Jesus is merely an angel; He’s God. But once we recognize who Jesus really is, it’s astonishing to think that this divine being would take on flesh & blood, suffer, be tempted and die like one of us. Why would His Father ever let such a thing happen? Isn’t it shameful to suggest that God would ever become a man? And while he’s answering this, the author reveals the real reason God made humans, and if we believe what he says it will forever change the way we see people. Never again will we think of people as accidents of nature, evolved animals or a species that’s over populating the planet. Never again will we determine a person’s value based on their age, health, employability, appearance, possessions or influence. Like Saul when the scales fell from his eyes (Ac 9:18) we’ll receive new sight. We’ll see people like God sees them. And that revelation will drastically change the way we live the rest of our lives.
A. Overview
1. Chapter 1: Jesus is not an angel, He is God’s divine Son through whom He created the worlds and whom He has now placed as Lord over all creation.
a) It’s not wrong to say God has a Son, it’s revealed in Scripture.
2. Chapter 2: This same Jesus took on our flesh and blood and became a man, because:
a) (vs 5-9) We are not simply finite little creatures made so unlike God that this could never happen. Sin has hidden the glory God intended, but His will remains unchanged.
• Psalm 8 shows His original intention for humans.
• By becoming a man and suffering according to the will of God, Jesus received the honor and authority promised in that psalm.
b) (v 10) From the very beginning it was always the Father’s plan to have many glorified humans (sharing His image and likeness) worship, fellowship and enjoy Him forever.
• He wills that we be “sons” in glory.
c) (v 11) Humans have an innate dignity that not even sin can take away. God is our Father because He created us in His image (Ge 1:26, 27; Lk 3:38). Though Jesus is begotten, and thus divine, He also has come forth from the Father. In this sense we both call God “Father.” This is why Jesus is not ashamed to call us His “brothers.”
• (vs 11, 12) In the great Messianic psalm (Psa 22) that so vividly describes His crucifixion, in the portion where He is resurrected He calls those He’s rescued “brothers” and looks forward to the day they will join Him in worshipping the Father (Psa 22:22).
• (v 13) In Isaiah the Messiah is quoted as calling His followers “the children who the Lord has given Me” (Isa 8:17, 18). He says that though Israel has “stumbled” over Him (Isa 8:14, 15) He will wait for the moment when the Lord will reveal the Messiah and His disciples with power.
d) (v 14) By deception the devil brought upon us physical and spiritual death. Our bodies age, die and decompose and our spirits (without Christ) continue to exist after death but are alienated from God forever.
• The devil tricked us into sharing his eternal doom.
• A fearful anticipation of our death grips us to varying degrees all our lives (v 15)
• To free us from the grip of death God’s Son had to conquer death by dying and rising. In dying He saved us from spiritual death. In rising He saved our bodies from physical death.
• Death lost it’s grip on Him and by faith we are joined to Him, so death lost it’s grip on us as well (Ro 6:4-11).
e) (v 16) Jesus was sent to save people, not angels. We have physical bodies, they don’t.
f) (vs 17, 18) Jesus had to experience our sufferings and temptations. These prepared Him to become our merciful high priest. He feels sympathy for our weakness and has real practical wisdom to help us when we are tempted.

B. Four Goals
1. God’s goal:
a) To share eternity with billions of people
b) To create beings who share His image (a spirit, a rational, conscious person) and His likeness (holiness).
• We are essentially spiritual beings who interact with the world thought physical bodies. The spirit is not a function of the brain, it interacts through the brain (Lk 8:55). Our spirit is our conscious personality and once conceived it is eternal.
• Life is not a biological product. It does not originate in the blood, though it resides in the blood (Lv 17:11, 14). All life comes from God and belongs to God. He only loans it. That’s why Israel was not to eat blood.
c) To be freely loved and worshipped
Before He created the universe God saw all that would happen. He knew Adam and Eve would sin. He knew He would have to send His Son or let all humans perish. He knew who would repent and believe and be with Him forever.
• Ro 8:28-30 Whom He foreknew, He also predestined.
• Eph 1:3-5 “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world”
• He’s a more-the-merrier God: “be fruitful and multiply” (Ge 1:28). His desire was for everyone, but sin ruined that, yet His will is for many children.

2. The Devil’s Goal:
a) To degrade the image of God
b) To deprive the Father of His children
c) To deceive humans into following him to eternal darkness (Jn 16:11; Rev 20:10).

3. Christ’s goals:
a) To rescue a new race of people who become “children of God”
b) To render the devil powerless
c) To free us from the fear of death

4. Our goal:
God’s goal for people drastically changes the way we see them. God’s love for people drastically changes what we will do to reach them (this is what sent Jesus to the cross; Heb 12:2).
• Read: C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory,” a sermon preached June 8, 1941.
• Do we have “eyes to see” people headed for glory or eternal agony?
• It changes how: we spend our money, what we do with our vacation, how we treat the poorest.
• It explains why: we care about fetuses, go to dangerous places, don’t waste our retirement years, lose interest in trying to accumulate riches for ourselves.
• Paul: (2Co 5:16) “Therefore, from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh (these are merely the “tents” we live in, 5:1); even though we have known Christ according to the flesh (a Galilean carpenter), yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.”

C. Questions
1) Have you ever made a “snap judgement” about someone only to get to know them later and find out how badly you underestimated them? Be careful about using people’s names, but tell us what you learned from this.
2) What do you do differently so you can help God reach His goal (section B, point #1)?

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