Better than the Angels
17 February 2019 AM – Hebrews 1:4-14 – Heb19 – Scott Childs

Introduction: In the Old Testament dispensation, angels were often the mediators between God and man. Frequently, God spoke to man through angels. The angel of the LORD spoke to Hagar, Abraham, Moses, Balaam, Gideon, Samson’s mother, David, Elijah, and others. Some of them may have been a theophany (God in human form), but they were called angels. Angels were highly respected.

Now in the New Testament dispensation, Jesus Christ is the mediator between man and God. The Jews in that first century needed clear proof that Jesus was really better than the highly respected angels.

Transition: Here in Hebrews 1:4-14, to increase our faith in and understanding of Jesus Christ, God gives us five clear proofs that Jesus is better than the angels.

The first clear proof that Jesus is better than the angels is…

1.        God gave Christ a more excellent name (v.4)
a.         The word “made” does not refer to His origin.
1)         It rather describes His placement in a human body on earth when He became a man.
2)         At His incarnation, Jesus was made (placed) a little lower than the angels (Heb 2:9). (Philippians 2:6-8) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
b.         God elevated Christ’s name above all
1)         (Philippians 2:9-11) “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
2)         On Judgment Day, every unbeliever and God-rejecter will bow and agree that Jesus is LORD!
3)         Jesus is much better than the angels. He is not an upgraded angel. He never was an angel.
O  Jesus has a much better name than the angels.

The second clear proof that Jesus is better than the angels is…

2.        God calls Christ His Son (v.5)
a.         Many heretics then and now believe that Jesus was nothing more than an angel.
1)         Today, both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh-Day Adventists believe that Jesus was Michael the archangel. That is not true.
2)         God created angels. Jesus was never created. He was never an angel. He has always been God.
3)         If Jesus is an upgraded angel, He was created and thus He is not eternal. If He is not eternal, He could not pay the eternal debt of man’s sin.
b.         God the Father called Jesus His Son
1)         The Greek emphasizes, “My Son you are.”
2)         God did not beget or give birth to Jesus. He was informing us of their divine relationship as Father and Son.
3)         While angels are collectively referred to as “the sons of God” in the Genesis and Job, no individual angel was every called God’s son.
O  Jesus has a better Sonship which no angel enjoys.

The third clear proof that Jesus is better than the angels is…

3.        God had the angels worship Christ (v.6)
a.         Christ is the firstbegotten
1)         Colossians 1:15, says that Christ was “the firstborn of every creature”. Three verses later, Colossians 1:18, says Christ was “the firstborn from the dead.” The word obviously is not used literally of birth or creation. It does not mean that Christ was God’s first creation as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim.
2)         Kenneth Wuest states, “The Greek word implied two things, priority to all creation and sovereignty over all creation.” He pre-exists all creation and He is sovereign Lord over all creation.
3)         No angel can make such a claim.
b.         God commanded the angels to worship Christ
1)         When Christ was born a man in Bethlehem, God the Father sent the angels of glory to announce His birth and to worship Him. (Luke 2:13-14) “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
2)         God has never commanded that any being should worship the angels. (Cf. Col 2:18; Rev 22:8-9)
O  Jesus is better than the angels that worship Him.

The fourth clear proof that Jesus is better than the angels is…

4.        God the Father called Christ God (v.7-12)
a.         God called His angels ministers (v.7)
1)         Angels are spirits.
2)         Angels are God’s ministers a flame of fire. This comes from Psalm 104:4 and it likely refers to their movements as a flash of lightening.
b.         God called Christ God (v.8)
1)         Christ has an eternal throne. The Father calls Him God. He holds a sceptre of authority, which is righteous. As King, He has a kingdom.
2)         He has always loved righteousness and hated iniquity (v.9). His “fellows” refer to those working with Him or under Him such as the angels.
3)         In creation, Christ laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with His hands (v.10-12). The Old Testament attributes both of these acts to Jehovah (because Jesus is Jehovah). (Psalms 102:25) “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” (Psalms 102:26) “They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:” (Psalms 102:27) “But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”
4)         The earth and heaven will perish, but Christ never changes. He is eternal.
O  No angel is God, has created, or is eternal as Jesus.

The fifth clear proof that Jesus is better than the angels is…

5.        God told Christ to sit at His right hand (v.13-14)
a.         God has never invited an angel to sit on His throne
1)         Satan wanted this and lost his first estate as the chief angel (Isa 14:12-14).
2)         God created angels to serve Him not to reign with Him.
3)         God created angels to minister for those who would become heirs of salvation. That is you and me! Evidently, every Christian has one or more angels ministering to him. Exactly what they do is not specified in the Bible, but Bible examples imply that they may protect us, deliver God’s blessings to us, and take our soul to heaven when we die. Whatever they do, it is a blessing!
b.         God the Father welcomed Christ to share His throne with Him.
1)         The throne of God is the highest throne that has ever existed.
2)         Christ is seated on God’s right hand. That is the highest position of honour anyone could ever have.
3)         God has made all Christ’s enemies His footstool. This pictures His complete dominance over all His enemies. Every enemy of Christ is a defeated foe, though some, like Satan, are still awaiting their doom.
O  No angel will ever sit on God’s right hand like Christ.

Conclusion: God created His holy angels to minister to Christians. God used them in the Old Testament dispensation as mediators. Today Jesus Christ is our mediator. (1 Timothy 2:5) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” His name is surpassing. He is the Son of God. Angels worship him. He is God eternal. He is seated on the highest throne in the universe.

Have you bowed the knee to Him and received Him as your Saviour? If you have, He is preparing a place in heaven for you where you will be His joint heir. Praise Him for that! If you have not bowed the knee to Him, do it today. You will bow your knee on Judgment Day but then will be too late to receive God’s mercy.

Song: Praise Him! Praise Him! 442