A Little Lower Than The Angels

Posted by on Jun 17, 2007

By Mike Withem, Pastor

First Baptist Church, Ranson, WV

June 17, 2007

Sunday Morning

“A Little Lower Than The Angels”

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 2:5-9

Scripture Text: Hebrews 2:5-9

Introduction:

 

A.   As we continue our study of the epistle to the Hebrews, we notice that once again we are reminded of the fact that Jesus is better than the angels.

1. Notice again Vrs. 5 of our text, “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”

2. In other words, during that period of time that we usually refer to as the millennium, the angels are not going to…

-rule,

-reign,

-be in charge in any way.

3. In fact, we are told that Satan, along with all of the other fallen angels, will actually be “bound” during this time. (Rev. 20:2-3)

4. And so, during the millennium (“the world to come”), the angels will not rule.

 

B.   Now this raises a question.

1. If the angels are not going to rule during the millennium, then Who will?

2. Let me give you a hint, “Who is better than the angels?”

3. Jesus is! And so, Jesus will rule during the millennium.

4. Listen to Rev. 19:15, as the apostle John describes his vision of the second coming of Christ, “And out of his (Christ’s) mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron:”

 

C.   Not only will Jesus rule this world during the millennium, the Bible says that we will rule with Him. (Amen?)

1. Listen to Rev. 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (the saved): on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

2. John put it like this in Rev. 1:5-6, “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,…And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.”

3. Do you realize what these two passages teach us?

4. They teach us that, as believers, our destiny is to one day rule this earth!

5. (Illus.- Not too long ago I was having lunch with some pastors, and we were talking about the upcoming presidential election. During the course of our conversation, one of the pastors jokingly said to me, “Why don’t you run for president?” Of course, I could never be elected president. However, if I could, that office, as grand as it would be, would be nothing compared to the position that I will one day hold in Christ’s coming kingdom. How do you compare being president of the United States of America to being ruler of the world? There is no comparison!)

6. And so, as believers, our destiny is to one day rule this world!

 

D.   Now with that in mind, there are three things that I want to bring call to your attention this morning. First of all, I want you to notice…

 

I.       Our Destiny Revealed.

 

A.   As I just said, it is our destiny to one day rule this world!

1. But this raises a question, “How long has this been our destiny?”

2. The answer is, it has been our destiny from the very beginning of mankind.

3. Turn with me, for just a moment, to Gen. 1:26-28, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth….So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them….And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

4. Did you notice that twice in this passage reference is made to mankind being given dominion over God’s creation?

5. This has been our destiny from the very beginning of mankind.

 

B.   This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews is telling us in Vrs. 6-8 of our text, “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?…Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:…Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.”

1. These verses are almost an exact quote from Psa. 8:4-6.

2. Turn there with me and let’s read the words of the psalmist David, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?…For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour….Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:”

3. Now what are David and the writer of Hebrews trying to tell us here?

4. They are trying to tell us our destiny as human beings.

5. They are trying to tell us that when God created mankind, He did so with the original intent that man should “have dominion” (rule) over God’s creation.

 

C.   But someone asks, “Just how extensive was this dominion intended to be?”

1. Vrs. 8 of our text answers that question.

2. Notice again what it says, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.”

3. This sounds pretty extensive! (Amen?)

4. What it includes is all of God’s creation.

5. In other words, everything that God has ever created, He intended that man should “have dominion” (rule) over it.

6. Someone asks, “Does this include the angels?”

7. Yes, this includes the angels.

8. Listen to what Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?…Know ye not that we shall judge angels?”

 

D.   What is our destiny as human beings? Our destiny is to “have dominion” (rule) over all of God’s creation, including the angels. In other words, our destiny is to be kings.

 

E.   But wait a minute.

1. Something is wrong, very wrong.

2. Even though, as we have just seen, it is our destiny to “have dominion” (rule) over all of God’s creation, we are not currently experiencing this blessed privilege.

3. We are not currently “kings,” when it comes to God’s creation.

4. Notice again Vrs. 8 of our text, especially the last phrase in that verse, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

5. Now this raises a question.

6. If we were created for the purpose of ruling over God’s creation, why is it that we are not currently in control?

7. But someone says, “Wait a minute, pastor. We ARE in control! We ARE exercising dominion over all of God’s creation!”

8. Okay, if that is true, then why is Satan referred to, in Scripture, as “the god of this world”? (2 Cor. 4:4)

9. The fact is, we are NOT currently in control of this world, but why aren’t we?

10.   The answer to this question brings me to my second point.

 

F.    First of all, we noticed our destiny revealed. Now I want us to notice…

 

II.      Our Destiny Revoked.

 

A.   Clearly something happened between the time that God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden of Eden and now.

1. Let me show you what I mean.

2. Look again at Vrs. 6-7, “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?…Thou madest him a little lower than the angels;”

3. When God first made man, man was superior to the angels, not in power, of course, but in position or rank.

4. But then something happened, something that caused mankind to be demoted, something that caused man to be made “a little lower than the angels.”

5. What happened?

 

B.   The answer is obvious.

1. Man sinned against God.

2. Eve, of course, was the first to partake of the forbidden fruit, but after she had eaten, she gave the fruit to Adam, and he partook as well.

3. Listen to Gen. 3:6, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

 

C.   Now several things happened when Adam and Eve sinned.

1. First and foremost, they died spiritually.

2. Do you remember what God had told them earlier?

3. In Gen. 2:16-17, we read, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:…But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

4. Of course, God did not mean that they would die physically, but rather spiritually.

5. The moment Adam and Eve sinned, in a spiritual sense, they became separated from God.

6. Not only did THEY die spiritually, but all of their descendants also died spiritually.

7. The Bible says in Rom. 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men.”

 

D.   Not only did Adam and Eve die spiritually when they sinned, but life for them on this earth changed drastically.

1. Before they sinned, they had it made! (Amen?)

2. Talk about a life of ease, they had a life of ease.

3. But all that changed when they sinned against God.

4. Listen to what God told Eve, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3;16)

5. You think that was bad, listen to what God told Adam, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;…Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;…In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:17-19)

 

E.   Now this raises a question.

1. Why did life for Adam and Eve change so drastically when they sinned?

2. It changed drastically because they had lost their kingdom (their destiny had been revoked).

3. Before they sinned, they were kings, but after they sinned, they were paupers!

4. Before they sinned, they ruled the earth, but after they sinned, the earth ruled them.

5. Before they sinned, they had a life of ease, but after they sinned, life was extremely difficult.

6. To put it simply, they lost their kingdom.

7. Or you might say, they forfeited their kingdom!

8. And not only did they forfeit their kingdom for themselves, but they forfeited it for us as well.

 

F.    And so, we see our destiny revoked. First of all, we saw our destiny revealed. Secondly, we saw our destiny revoked. Finally, this morning, I want us to notice…

 

III.    Our Destiny Restored.

 

A.   Thus far, what I have shared with you could be accurately described as “bad news.” Even though God intended for us to be kings, because of Adam’s sin, we are now paupers. This is bad news, any way you look at it.

 

B.   However, I have good news for you, this morning.

1. Even though we have lost our kingdom, it is God’s intention to restore it.

2. In fact, He has already taken measures to do so.

3. What has He done?

4. Look again at Vrs. 9 of our text, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

5. According to this verse, Jesus did at least two things for us.

6. First of all, He “was made a little lower than the angels.”

7. Now what does that mean?

8. It simply means that He became a man.

9. Paul put it like this in Phil. 2:5-7, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:…Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:…But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

10.   John put it like this, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14)

 

C.   Now this raises a question.

1. Why did Jesus become a man?

2. Our text says that He was “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” (Vrs. 9)

3. Which brings us to the second thing that Jesus did for us.

4. Not only was He “made a little lower than the angels” (become a man), but He also tasted “death for every man.”

5. Notice again Vrs. 9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

6. Do you realize what that means?

7. It means that He suffered our penalty for sin.

8. The Bible says in Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death,” however, Jesus paid those wages for us!

9. That’s why He became a man.

10.   That’s why He “was made a little lower than the angels.”

11.   So that He could “taste death for every man.” (Vrs. 9)

12.   The apostle John put it like this in 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

D.   Now perhaps someone is wondering, this morning, why Jesus would do this for us.

1. Why He would leave His place in heaven.

2. Why He would be “made lower than the angels.”

3. Why He would “taste death for every man.”

4. Why would Jesus do all of this for us?

5. Simply because He loves us, and it is His desire that our destiny be restored!

6. And one day, it will! (Amen?)

Conclusion:

 

A.   What have we seen this morning?

1. First of all, we saw our destiny revealed. (God created us to be kings.)

2. Secondly, we saw our destiny revoked. (Because of Adam’s sin, our kingdom was taken away from us.)

3. Finally, we saw our destiny restored. (Because Jesus tasted “death for every man,” one day our kingdom will be restored.)

 

B.   By the way, in order to benefit from what Jesus did on the cross, one must be willing to humble himself before Him, confess his sinfulness to God, and trust whole heartedly in what Jesus did on the cross for him.

1. Have you done this?

2. Have you humbled yourself before God?

3. Have you confessed your sinfulness to Him?

4. Have you trusted wholeheartedly in what He did on the cross for you?

5. If not, why not?

6. The Bible says Rom. 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”