A Sermon Introduction for Hebrews 1:1-4

 

What Shakespeare is to playwrights, the Mississippi to rivers, and Westminster to cathedrals, Hebrews 1:1-4 is to all the New Testament. Seventy-two words in the Greek text comprise a single sentence and each word is pregnant with meaning and pulsates with deity. From high atop this theological Mount Everest, we are able to view God’s grand sweep of salvation, from creation to the consummation, and at the center of it all is Jesus.

Speech is a vehicle of Revelation. From Genesis to Revelation, God is a God who speaks. Ten times in Genesis 1 we are told “and God said….” When God speaks, things happen: “exist light…and light existed. . . . God spoke, and worlds leaped into existence.

God has spoken. In no other way could we know him. Though the universe declares the glory of God and bears witness to his power, it could never tell us of his love. Though history tells us of the sovereignty of God, it can never explain what Christ was doing on the cross. Though our conscience bears witness to the morality of God, it can never teach us how to live and love rightly.

Unless God speaks, we would never know him or his love for us. To us, the universe, history, and conscience are all one great undecipherable hieroglyph until we discover God’s Rosetta Stone—Jesus! Jesus is God spelling himself out in language we can understand. Jesus is the speech of eternity translated into the language of time. The inaudible has become audible. The invisible has become visible. The unapproachable has become accessible.

Speech is a vehicle of Communication. Communication can be garbled in two places: the source and the reception.

President Franklin Roosevelt once conducted an experiment. In a receiving line at the White House, as people passed by to greet him, he mumbled the words “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” People were so in awe of being in the presence of the president that most never even heard what he said. They responded with such statements as “Wonderful, Mr. President!” “We are praying for you, Mr. President!” “God bless you, Mr. President!” As the Ambassador to Bolivia passed through the line, he apparently understood what the president said. He leaned over and whispered into the president’s ear: “I’m sure she had it coming.”

When God speaks he does not mumble or stutter. God is the perfect communicator. Jesus is God’s perfect communication to us. Jesus is God’s ultimate communication because he is God’s perfect representation. Jesus perfectly represents God to us and Scripture perfectly represents Jesus to us.

Speech is a vehicle of Salvation. God’s perfect communication has as its goal the salvation of all sinners. He longs for you to know His salvation. God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God has spoken!

The famous comedian, actor, and movie producer, Woody Allen, was once asked in an interview: “Mr. Allen, I know you are a self-proclaimed atheist. But if there were a God, and if that God should speak to you, what would you most want to hear him say?” Allen thought for a moment and then responded: “I would most want to hear him say three words: ‘You are forgiven.’”

Because God has spoken in Jesus, there is an answer to your question, a solution to your problem, hope for our future, forgiveness for your sins, and salvation for your soul.

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