Therefore, Pay Attention!
24 February 2019 AM – Hebrews 2:1-9 – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: On the highway, flashing lights, sirens and bright signs are designed to get our attention when there is something coming of which we must be aware. In a very real way, they are shouting “Pay Attention!”
Hebrews 2 begins with a similar warning. The word “therefore” points us back to the message in chapter 1. Then Paul says, “we ought to give the more earnest heed”. It is necessary that we focus significant attention on what we have heard about Christ. This is God’s warning for us to sit up and Pay Attention!
Transition: Because Christ is better than prophets and angels, we must pay careful attention to three duties.
First, we must pay careful attention that we …
1. Do not let what we heard slip away, v.1
The word “slip” means to glide by, to pass away or to escape. We tend to be forgetful. To prevent this, we must hold tightly Bible truths.
a. Hold tightly the words of the prophets about Christ
1) We must read and study the whole Bible. Sadly, many Christians neglect the Old Testament. Yet, the O.T. prophesies of Christ and points us to Christ.
2) Hold God’s Word tightly by reading it, noting principles in it, meditating on it, memorizing key parts of it and obeying it.
b. Hold tightly what Christ Himself said.
1) The Gospels (Mt, Mr, Lu, Jn) record many of the words, teachings and miracles of Christ.
2) John says this in his Gospel. (John 20:30-31) “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
3) In the first chapter of Hebrews, we learned that Jesus Christ was better than all the prophets and angels. We must hold this tightly and not let it slip away from us.
Second, we must pay careful attention that we …
2. Do not neglect God’s great salvation, v.2-4
a. Angelic messages were authoritative, v.2
1) God often spoke through angels in the O.T. As God’s representatives, they spoke God’s words. Their word was steadfast or firm because it was God’s word (Ac 7:38, 53; Ga 3:19).
2) Under the law, when God’s word spoken by an angel was disobeyed, that transgression (sin) and disobedience received a just punishment. For example, (Leviticus 24:16) “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”
3) Jews highly feared angelic messages; however, …
b. Christ’s message is more authoritative, v.3-4
1) Christ was better than the angels!
2) Christ spoke of the salvation He was providing.
a) (Matthew 11:28) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
b) (John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
c) (John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
d) (John 6:40) “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
3) Those who heard Him confirmed Christ’s words. All of His disciples spoke what they had actually heard. John assures us of this in (1 John 1:1) “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;”
4) God gave authenticating witness to the disciples’ words by enabling them to do signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit willed, v.4.
a) Centuries earlier, God authenticated His words to Moses by the miraculous plagues he performed in Egypt (see the book of Exodus).
b) God clearly told us that the plagues were for authentication. (Exodus 7:5) “And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
5) Verse three of our text opens with, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” The answer is obvious, we cannot! Escape is impossible! No human can neglect the salvation provided by God and escape the damnation of hell for all eternity. (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Third, we must pay careful attention that we …
3. See how God crowned Christ with glory, v.5-9
a. All things are not subject to angels or man, v.5-8
1) The word subjection refers to being arranged under another who is over you.
2) The world to come (Millennial Kingdom) will not be subject to angels, v.5.
a) God created angels to serve not to lead.
b) Angels always obey the wishes of the Lord.
3) God did give man some dominion at creation (Read v.6-8)
a) Some Bible teachers think that “man” in these verses speaks of Christ, (Spurgeon, Poole, Constable, Vincent) others (Barnes, Pett, Guzik, Wuest), myself included, believe that the context and quote better describe the human race.
b) In the Garden of Eden, God gave man dominion over all living creatures on earth. (Genesis 1:28) “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.”
c) When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost some of that dominion. Animals are no longer tame and fully submissive to man. Jesus is contrasted with man in verse 9.
b. All things are subject to Jesus Christ, v.9
1) God made Jesus a little lower than the angels during His temporary incarnation.
a) Jesus became a man so that He could suffer death for the human race. (Philippians 2:7-9) “But [Jesus] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
b) By God’s grace, Christ tasted death for every man.
(1) We cannot earn God’s salvation.
(2) We do not deserve God’s salvation.
2) God crowned Jesus with glory and honour because He suffered death for the human race. Through His death and resurrection, Christ conquered death and defeated Satan, providing salvation to all who will believe on Him.
3) The angels will not reign during the Millennial Kingdom, but Christ will reign and we who know Him as Saviour will reign with Him (Rev 20:4).
Conclusion: These verses warn us not to let slip what we have heard about Christ and we must not neglect God’s salvation. Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, to die for our filthy sins and to rise again to give us life. If you neglect that gracious gift of salvation paid for by Jesus Christ, you will never escape the eternal judgment of God upon your sin. My friend, there is NO other payment for sin. Without Christ’s salvation, you will pay for your sins in hell.
Christian, how long has it been since you praised God for His gracious provision to save your soul? After all He’s done for us, we owe Him everything. Let’s praise Him and live for His glory.
Song: God’s Final Call – 250