Wednesday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 1:1-14 (NKJV)
1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son, today I have begotten You”?
“I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”?
6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
7 And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
“You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
It is not enough to “believe in God.” One must also believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
In the fourth century, Arius (called by some the “archheretic”) taught that the Son of God was merely the first of God’s creations, who in the fullness of time was crucified, raised again from the dead, and assumed to the right hand of God, but that the Son of God was not essentially God. Against such a heresy we hold the Athanasian Creed, which confesses, “It is necessary to everlasting salvation that [one] also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man” (TLH, p. 53). This is also the message of Hebrews. Verse 3 declares that the Son of God is the very brightness of God’s glory, that He is the express image of God’s person, and that He upholds all things. This is nothing less than to say that the Son of God is God. And, as God, He is glorified above the angels, which are His creatures.
By denying the divinity of Christ, Arius robbed the crucifixion of its efficacy. No created thing, not even an angel, could be a sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the whole world. Only God could make such a payment. Therefore, the Son of God became man, so that, being man, He might die and, being God, His death might be sufficient for the sins of the world.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy help, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.