“Different Times and In Different Ways”

(Hebrews 1:1-4)


Introduction.  ASV “divers portions and in divers manners” we might put this “different times and in different ways.”   What does it mean that God “spoke” in times past in “different times” and in “different ways”?  Let’s consider together some of what this means this morning.


I.  The Age of the Patriarchs.

A. Adam (Genesis 2:15-17).  God gave Adam one law.  He violated this and was cast out of the garden.  He was a patriarch (patros “father” + arche “chief”).  To Adam’s descendents, God communicated things about how they were to live and worship Him.  Things about sacrifice, lifestyle, and morality.  This was spoken to the patriarchs but not written.

B. Noah (Genesis 6:11-13; 22).  After Adam descendents multiplied and began to do what displeased God, he spoke to Noah.  After the flood he started over teaching the descendents of Noah in the same way.  This again was spoken to the patriarchs but not written.

C. Abraham (Genesis 17:1-8; Genesis 22:15-18).  God made a special relationship with one patriarch, through whom He promised to “bless all the earth.”  This would set apart Abraham’s descendents (from all other men) for a special purpose.

D. Jacob (Genesis 28:10-14).  Abraham’s grandson Jacob (whom God named Israel) received a promise like Abraham by which his descendents were set apart from all others whereby all people on earth could be blessed.  During this “age of the Patriarchs” there was no written law.  God spoke to the heads of the families and told them what He wanted them to do.


II.  The Age of Moses.

  1. Law (Exodus 19:1-6).  When the descendents of Jacob had multiplied and gone into slavery in Egypt God delivered them through a Patriarch named Moses.  Through Him the “children of Israel” received a written law.  It taught the Israelites how they were to live and worship Him.
  2. Covenant (Deut 5:1-3).  This was a covenant—a binding compact between God and man.  It was not for all men but for the Israelites.
  3. Kingdom (2 Sam 7:8-13).  Through one Israelite, David, God promised to establish an eternal kingdom.
  4. Promises (Jeremiah 31:31-33).  This promised a new covenant and a knew law expressing God’s will.  (Deut 18:17-19)  This promised a new leader like Moses.   (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7)  This leader would be “God with us”—“mighty God.”  So while this “Age of Moses” did have a written law, it promised something new would come.


III.   The Age of Christ.

A.  New Covenant (Matt 26:26-29).  Jesus Christ established a “new covenant.” He did this through offering Himself to die for man’s sin.  (Hebrews 9:11-15) He became the “mediator” of this New Covenant.  God offered Him as the way through which sinful man could have access to Him.


B.  New Law (Galatians 6:1-2).  This covenant brought with it a new law (sometimes called the “gospel” or good news.  It teaches how to live and worship Him.  It is written in the form of the New Testament.

C.  New Kingdom (Col 1:13-18).  Jesus, as a descendent of  David, in His death and resurrection established Himself as king over a spiritual kingdom.  This is His church over which He now reigns as king and head.

D.  Salvation (Acts 4:8-12).  In this “age of Christ” God offers to mankind the way to salvation from sin, death, and eternal life in the age to come.


Conclusion.  We note from the Hebrews 1:1-4, He may have spoken to others in the past in different ways—now He has spoken to us in Jesus Christ.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ to which all are now accountable.