Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In these Last Days He has Spoken to us by His Son.

Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. [3] He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, [4] having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

Hebrews, it pains me to think that this letter is antilegoumena. I like it too much! But no one knows who wrote it, or where it comes from. Without apostolic authority behind it, it is hard to say ‘This is the word of the Lord.” It isn’t up to us to decide what is and what isn’t the word of God. That isn’t man’s decision to make, not on our own, nor in a council, or popular vote. A book either is or is not the word of God. With those letters written by Paul, who had apostolic authority, there is no question. It is the word of God, divinely inspired, inerrant etc. But there are actually books in the New Testament that have been questioned from very early on as to who wrote them, and how much authority they should have. These include: Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. For various reasons the early church held these books to be suspect, but also did not want to pronounce either way. The evangelical world seems to find the sum total of their canon among this list, James and Revelation. For that reason I almost wish the early church had tossed these books out with the “Shepherd of Hermes.” The collation of the canon, the books we have today in between the covers of The Bible is an interesting history, and is part of the context one needs to accurately interpret the Bible. It is just as helpful to know this history as it is to Know where Ephesus and Corinth were, and who the people were that inhabited those cities. But if I can’t say “thus sayeth the Lord,” after reading Hebrews, I do cherish this book for its explanation of the Gospel. It is the word of God, as far as I’m concerned, in the same way a Sermon that properly divides Law and Gospel is the word of God. I may not be able to source doctrine from it, or find in it any sedes doctrinae, seat of doctrine. But it sure does a wonderful job of explaining the gospel.
Long ago in many and various ways God spoke to us by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. What a mouthful! God has spoken to us by His Son! Tough act to follow. The prophets of the Old Testament were like the warm up if you will, the opening act. That band left the stage, and Christ came on. Now the show is over. I once saw Ozzy Osbourne in Italy. To this day I remember Fear Factory opened up for him. To my astonishment many left after they were done playing. Seats opened up down front, and my friends and I more or less made our way down. Ozzy Osbourne came on and delivered a fine show, well worth the money. I personally couldn’t say the same for Fear Factory. They were the opening act. Ozzy was the reason for the whole event. When Ozzy was done the only people that came on stage were roadies. The show was over. Who wants to follow the main act? You wouldn’t do this. The main act is usually a pretty tough act to follow. You would let the crowds down, leave them on a sober note so to speak. Where am I going with this?
We don’t need prophets anymore. God has spoken to us by his son. What more needs to be said? Everything that the prophets did before hand was a preparation for Jesus Christ. He has come, the show is over. We are saved, our sins are forgiven. This is the implication of Hebrews 1:1-2. He spoke to us by His Son! What more needs to be said. Why should we need a “prophet” when we have the words of Christ Himself, the Son of God?! We don’t need no stinkin Prophets. And around here they stink, stink bad. Their breath stinks of death, as their words carry the venom of an asp. But when I hear Christ, I smell life, a heavenly aroma carried in the forgiveness of sins, carried in his blood, the life of the world.

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