Jesus is the Son of God. This statement is biblical and true and accepted as Christian orthodoxy. At the same time, the exact meaning of this true statement has been a source of great debate; it has been one of the most misunderstood, debated, and confused propositions throughout the history of the church. Errors in understanding the idea of sonship often stem from failure to see the roots of such an idea in Old Testament. It is a great benefit for us, from our vantage point after the cross, to look back into the shadows of the Old Testament and see how a doctrine develops over history. This is what the author of Hebrews does in our text from Hebrews chapter 1 – he roots his doctrine in the Old Testament, so that we might accurately understand exactly who this Son of God, who is greater than the angels, actually is! As we understand how the angels, Adam, Israel, David, and Solomon were all “sons of God” in the Old Testament, we come to a better understanding of what it means that Jesus is the unique Son of God. Without this foundation in the Word, we are left to our experience to define sonship – and many theologians have failed to understand it for this very reason.
We are in a text of Scripture where the author is describing the superiority of Christ to the angels who had a hand in declaring the Law (Hebrews 2:2). To prove His superiority, the author strings together seven passages in the Old Testament. These seven quotations are not merely “proof texts” wrenched out of their context to prove a point; rather the very context from which they were taken serve to support the author’s main point – Jesus is the unique Son of God. It would behoove us then, to take the worthwhile time needed to study these passages in their original context. We covered two of these last time (Psalm 97:7/Deuteronomy 32:43, and Psalm 104:4 – quoted in Hebrews 1:6-7 from the Septuagint version). If you would like to refresh your memory listen to the 11 minute clip from 31:20-42:25 at this link: sermon clip.
This Sunday we will examine the remaining five Old Testament quotations. To prepare for the sermon, in addition to reading chapters 1 and 2 of Hebrews, read and study the passages from which these five quotations were taken. As you do, try to understand the context – you may find it to be hard work, but it will pay off as the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you from the Scripture, and it will help you better understand as this is discussed on Sunday.
The passages are: Psalm 2, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalm 45:4-15, Psalm 102, and Psalm 110. As you read and study these passages, think about them in light of Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and second coming to establish his kingdom on earth; think about the eternal permanence of Christ and His servants. May the Holy Spirit enliven your study of His Word and equip you for every good work.