Saturday, 1 February 2014

HEBREWS 2:1-4 'HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE?'

RGHP/5                Hebrews 1&2 - 'Such A Great Salvation '            PSC 2/2/14
'HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE? - Hebrews 2:1-4
Hebrews 2:1-4 delivers the first of several warnings to the readers. It comes with two notes: [1] v1 lest we drift away & [2] v3 how shall we escape. We must not ignore them by simply saying, 'Once saved always saved.' The writer includes himself - note how often he says, 'We'.
This warning is the 'therefore' of what we have seen over the previous 3 weeks. Here is his first application, his first direct exhortation. Why has he been saying all this? What's the relevance of it to those to whom he is writing and to us today?
1. GOD HAS SPOKEN ARE WE PAYING ATTENTION?
Hebs 4v1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
God has spoken but I'm not persuaded that we are really paying sufficient attention. If we do not then there are serious consequences for us - we will drift away from the truth as a boat slips her moorings.
It easy to read our Bible or hear a sermon and not take it in.
[1] We lose interest - we have heard it all before.
[2] We may undergo a loss of confidence in the word of God. What difference does it really make anyhow? That's just your point of view. How can we be sure what it means - so many different interpretations.
[3] The parable of the sower: Satan; Pleasures of the world; Cares and concerns;
[4] He talks in v3 of Neglect. What do you have to do to neglect the word of God? It's easy - do nothing!
So we begin to drift away - not a sudden departure, but little by little. Not drift away from all truth, but from some vital parts of the truth.
How can we stop ourselves from drifting away? The writer has told us. 'Pay much closer careful attention'. Make sure you get time with your Bible. Set yourself to listen to the sermon. Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.

"Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life." From the book of common prayer. 
2. THE WORD BROUGHT BY ANGELS
He begins by speaking about the message that came through the angels and the consequence of disobeying it - v2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution,
What word did God speak through the angels? When you read of God giving the law in Exodus there is no mention of the angels. however, in Deut 33:2; Acts 7:37-38, v53; Galatians 3:19.
Every transgression of the law was punishable. There were no free sins! This is legal language. The message delivered by angels was reliable. This is shown by the fact that the law was legally binding. So any violation, transgression, (that is overstepping the line) or disobedience (a word that meant a failure or refusal to hear) - more legal terms. Such acts were a deliberate rejection of God's will.
The law prescribed a penalty. For major offences the penalty was death, for lesser offences restitution could be made. For example: Exodus 21:29, v33; Numbers 15:27.
3. THE WORD BROUGHT BY THE SON
v3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord,
If all who disobeyed the word brought by angels were punished then how much greater punishment do we deserve if we neglect the word brought by the Son. This word is none other than the gospel.
The gospel is in the OT, Genesis 3:15; in the law in Exodus 20:2. But the gospel came more: clearly, powerfully, fully, beautifully, through Jesus Christ. If we neglect the gospel then how shall we escape?
The gospel is not just to get us saved - it is through the gospel that we stay anchored; we hold fast, so that we do not drift away. The gospel is not just for the unsaved, it is for believers too!
[1] It was first declared by the Lord. [2] and it was attested to us by those who heard, Initially by the apostles, then by those who believed through their message. [3] A 3rd confirmation v4 ...while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
The ministry of Jesus saw an unprecedented time of miracles. He gave gifts to the Apostles - 2 Cor12:12; Romans 15:18; All these signs and wonders bore witness to the truth of the gospel that we now have in the NT. If we neglect this then how shall we escape? 

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