Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The seeking after spiritual things is not all good stuff

Good morning my friends. Have you realized what a spiritual world we live in? The great majority of people are trying to look beyond what we know to find explanation and purpose for their life. Unfortunately many would rather believe in ghosts and fairy tales than in the reality of the Word of God. Mysticism is a growing thing among the population of the earth as people turn to new ideas and philosophies to explain life or to add excitement to the ordinary. As people get lazy in their attitude toward Bible study we are seeing more of this way of thinking creeping into the Church as well.

People have an unhealthy appetite to go beyond the Word for explanation. They want to know more of the mystery without knowing the concrete revelation of the Word. They act as if the revelation God has given of himself through the Bible is not enough or does not contain enough information, so they use other philosophies and teachings to augment what they do not know or have not bothered to study. This is where we get the unhealthy appetite to see what cannot be seen and we start emphasizing things like angels and other spiritual beings. There are a great many myths surrounding angels and many reports of people speaking to angels. There has been a growing interest in these mysterious beings and many false teachings rising from it. In fact there are people in the Church who but more emphasis on these ministering spirits than they put on their relationship with Jesus Christ.

One thing mysticism does is create mediators between us and God. The Catholic church is famous for this with its emphasis on the "saints" who people pray to instead of praying directly to Jesus or the Father. Anything that teaches we need a mediator other than Jesus Christ is wrong and a false teaching. We do not speak to angels either. Why would we when we have direct access to the throne? The entire first chapter of Hebrews deals with the preeminence of Jesus and the place of angels:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

It is as plain as the nose on your face that Jesus is the instrument of creation and that all things belong to him. That is the beauty of the written Word of God, it does not change with the shifting wind of human philosophy. Just because a man says something is so does not make it so. But the Word of God is unchanging and what Gos says is so is so. This same chapter reveals a couple of other facts:

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (1:3-4)

Jesus told his disciples that if they knew him they also knew his Father which is exactly what is pointed out in this chapter. As well, it is also Jesus who is holding all of creation together. Sometimes we allow the doctrine of well meaning songs to shape our vision and understanding of Jesus but often they fall short of the understanding that is needed. Not only is Jesus the instrument of creation, he also holds it all together. That alone is a good reason to worship him. On top of it, Jesus provided the way to the purification of our sins and he has taken his place at the right hand of the Father to mediate for us.

Now to make my point, Jesus is not inferior to creation or to any spiritual being. He is superior to all things. Read the chapter for yourself to see the many references that are given to support this truth that the angels are less than Jesus' glory. The only other verse I want to point out is the one that puts our thoughts of angels in its proper place:

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (1:14)

Jesus, the son of God, who dwells in us by the Holy Spirit, sits at the right hand of our Father. All things were made through him, are sustained by him and have been given to him. It is through his sacrificial act on the cross that we have salvation. He is far superior to the angels and all other things. He is our saviour, brother, friend and King. Why would we ever think that we need any other person or spirit to mediate for us when we have direct access to the Father through Jesus the son, the only mediator needed by man? We need to be careful what we read, listen to and acknowledge as truth. All we have ever needed to know is found within the covers of the holy Word of God.

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