Andrew Fountain - Jesus is Better than Everything - Hebrews pt.1

Sermon notes - Jesus is Better than Everything - Hebrews pt.1

  • Today I want to start a new series on the book of Hebrews.
  • I’ve been praying about what to preach on and I feel God laying it on my heart to start the year with a series on Hebrews.
  • Were’s starting a new year, and the most important thing to focus on is Jesus
    • Nothing can compare with him
    • All our answers are in him
    • All our dreams are in him
  • The issues facing the readers of the book are very similar to us today: not outright persecution,
    • but a tendency to be worn down by the pressures of the world,
    • and lose the fire and excitement about what we have.
  • The response is to have faith, to:

Hebrews: Be strong in our faith!

  • “find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” [6:18]
  • “hold firmly to our confidence and the hope we take pride in.” [3:6]
  • “let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy.” [10:23]
  • Jesus is so superior to everything else and it’s by catching a vision of him that we can
    • “run the race.” [12:1]
    • and enter into a destiny that fills us with awe. [12:29]
  • The best antidote to the pressures of the world is to be on fire for Jesus!
  • But first, has anyone come across this expression?


  • Many people today would define themselves as “spiritual”
    • concept of SBNR really means spirituality with no commitment
    • a refusal to be accountable to any God, so Jesus’s demand to be our Lord is not acceptable
  • The city of Corith was very “spiritual”
    • Why am I talking about Corinth? Am I going to preach from Corinthians?
    • No, Hebrews
  • Some old Bibles title it “The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews”
    • That’s not the original title, and I think it’s wrong on all three counts
    1. It’s not an epistle (it’s a sermon, actually three sermons)
    2. It’s not by Paul (You’ll have to wait)
    3. It’s not to Hebrews (There’s good reason to think it’s to the church at Corinth)
    • I’ll explain why I think this next time
  • The city of Corith was very “spiritual”
    • Everyone was “spiritual” (very few atheists, if any)
    • They had all kinds of spiritualities and were very multicultural—a port with people from everywhere
    • If you were to tell them about Jesus, they were the kind of people who say “oh yea, Jesus. Cool!”
      • Just like today
    • But as soon as you start saying “Jesus is the only way”...
  • But the book of Hebrews starts out that way with a bang
  • It has a reputation for being a hard book, so we are going to start just by reading it through and commenting on it

Hebrews 1,2

Hebrews 1,2

1. Jesus is God’s final word

Hebrews 1:1–3

  1. After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets,
  2. in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world.
    • A new revelation through Jesus (far superior to previous revelation)
  3. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence,
    • In other words, when you look at Jesus, you are having a perfect and exact view of God
    and he sustains all things by his powerful word,
    • He keeps the stars in the sky, the leaves growing in the spring
    and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
    • He’s now in the position of power, rulling in glory
  • So, Jesus is God in full glory, so he begins to compare him:
  • The angels are a marker for a level of glory. Jesus is much better in every way:
    • [3] Exact representation of the Father
    • [3] Creator / Sustainer (by his speaking)
    • [3] Now at the right hand of all power
    • [4] and therefore Jesus is far higher than the angels
  • We’re not in a culture that over-emphasizes Angels, so what would be an equivalent for us?
    Markers for success in our culture:
    • The dream lifestyle in TV and adverts
    • Financial security
    • Perfect home and family
    • Fame and fortune
    • Becoming the “me” that I want to be
  • [1:5–2:4] Exhortation to pay attention
  • If Jesus is so much better than the angels
  • and he has brought a new revelation
    • beware that you don’t drift away into some other “spirituality”
    • or neglect following Jesus

Hebrews 2

  1. Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away…
  2. how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation
  • Then he starts to quote Psalm 8 (which is very important for this morning)
    • Psalm 8 is a creation Psalm—why should he want to start talking about creation?
  • Explain how this fits in to Hebrews and why quoting it

Psalm 8 - Creation

  1. O LORD, our Lord,
    how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth!
    You reveal your majesty in the heavens above!…
  2. When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made,
    and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place...
  • What is strange about Ps 8 is after talking about the amazing creation, he then swithches to descibing humanity.
    • how we fit in the universe
    • Quoted in Hebrews 2

Hebrews 2:6–8 (Ps. 8:4–6)

  1. What is man that you think of him
    or the son of man that you care for him?
  2. You made him lower than the angels for a little while.
    You crowned him with glory and honour.
  3. You put all things under his control.
  • Does this accurately describe mankind today?
    • crowned with glory and honour?
  • Adam, yes! —but not us
    • tested, with the possibility of glory
    • fall. Everything bad is because of that...
  • Actually, it is only Jesus whom it accurately describes

Hebrews 2:8–11

  1. At present we do not yet see all things under his control,
  2. but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honour because he suffered death, so that by God’s grace he would experience death on behalf of everyone.
  3. For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
  4. …and so he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,
  • Adam tested and failed
    • Jesus the first authentic man who passes the test
    • In some ways he is the first genuine human
  • But what about us?
    • And how can we have a relationship with Jesus, if he is immortal and we are mere mortals?
    • How can the immortal God come into relationship with weak and mortal mankind?
    • Story of Doctor Who Rose Tyler

Rose Tyler

Rose Tyler

  • Will bring many sons to glory (as Adam failed to do)
    • The answer is that he imparts some of his divine glory (but we are not gods)
  • Final goal, being like the Son, above the angels (judge them)
  • We share in his flesh and blood
    • He has suffered the tests ahead of us, so he can help us through


Our destiny is to be with Christ in glory

  • Heb 12:28 —we will receive a kingdom
  • Our destiny is to be kings with Jesus, to rule over angels,
  • Rev 3:21 —one of the most striking: “I will grant him to sit on my throne as I sat down with my Father on his throne”
  • “As the Son, so with the sons (and daughters)” (Church fathers)
  • We are being challenged to give Jesus exclusive value.
    • Why do people need a message like this?
    • Some here maybe are not 100% committed to putting him first
  • What we have in Jesus is extraordinary!
  • Assignment this week. Listen out for the messages you are getting from society.
  • When you identify one of them, compare it with Jesus:
    • The dream lifestyle in TV and adverts
    • Financial security
    • Perfect home and family
    • Fame and fortune
    • Becoming the “me” that I want to be
  • Remind yourself of how much better Jesus is!

Updated on 2017-01-12 by Andrew Fountain