HEBREWS 2 – Neglecting the Greater

JESUS IS SUPERIOR TO ANGELS

Hebrews 2:1-4 – “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

Jesus is not just superior to Angels, but to all created beings and all creation, because he himself is not created. Unlike creation which has a shelf-life, the Son is eternal.

Angles are gifts of grace, but they only bring a short-term temporary salvation; while Jesus brings a long-term, life-altering, eternal salvation.

WHAT IS THIS “GREAT SALVATION”?

This salvation is out of SIN.

  • Like the Law, which reliably showed that every transgression or disobedience receives just retribution, so too does the salvation of Jesus reinforce the reality of sin, and the real salvation from sin because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

This salvation is out of SUFFERING — not from suffering, but through it.

  • Salvation is not escapism. 
  • We tend to be a people of avoidance: We want to avoid suffering and discomfort at all cost.
  • But no one avoids suffering in this life… not forever at least. No amount of wealth, fame or fortune can permanently keep us from suffering.
  • This is why the message of Jesus’ salvation is such good news: It was made possible not by escaping suffering, but in fact was “made perfect through suffering.”
    • Hebrews 2:10 – “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, is bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”

This salvation is out of DEATH.

  • We are enslaved to our fear of death, so we need a savior that has tasted death and defeated it.
  • Jesus “tasted death” for everyone.
    • Hebrews 2:9 – “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

 

ARE YOU DRIFTING?

Hebrews 2:1 says: “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

If we are not paying attention, we are neglecting the gospel and we are drifting away from God. When man is faced with the ultimate transcendence and holiness of God, he is made aware that his ethical and religious endeavors are but an illusion and that his present situation is one of ‘krisis’ (separation and divide from God). This theme of crisis (in greek = “krisis”) is central to the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It expresses the profound reality of the separation between God and man.

Man is incapable of obtaining righteousness by his own efforts. Righteousness belongs to God alone, and as separated from God, our relationship to Him is one of unrighteousness. Such a relationship between man and God reveals the impossibility of pleasing or satisfying His righteousness.

When we clearly see the lesser objects of our faith, whether that be angels, or the Law, our religious ritual, our higher education, our a superior bank account, our a romantic relationship…it should bring us to a state of crisis, because we see our continued separation from the greater object of our faith: the One True God. We realize that we are no closer to solving the ultimate problem, and this often leads us to despair.

That is, UNTIL we see Jesus. Until we hear and believe the message of Jesus, the one true God come in the flesh, the Son and heir to the throne, who calls us brother and sister. Jesus, who has provided the greater salvation to overcome every crisis and every fear.

Hebrews 2:14-18 – “Since therefore the children share in flesh an blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

  • Jesus Christ, the Son, God in the flesh, has tasted everything. He touches everything, nothing is outside his perception, not even death itself. That is why his promises are greater, his salvation is greater than anything else that can be offered.
  • It is not temporary, it is Eternal.
  • It is not partial, it is Full.
  • It is not exclusive, it is for Everyone.

NEXT STEPS

1. Apply these keys to stop drifting and hold fast to this great salvation:

  • ZOOM OUT – In the midst of a crisis. Look at the constant message God has delivered over thousands of years through the prophets, the apostles and Jesus.
  • APPLY THE JESUS FILTER – Look at everything God has done and said through the lens of Jesus. Being the ultimate revelation of God, Jesus sheds light on all of God’s other communication. God never contradicts himself. Read the Gospels – MatthewMarkLuke, or John to learn more about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  • TURN IT DOWN – Get into the right posture of hearing — clear the distractions. Turn down the music, give yourself space and time to hear from God, whether that is by prayer, reading the Scriptures, or by creating time in your schedule to worship and discuss Jesus in community. Join a Fellowship Group

2. Converse about this topic with others:

  • Why does it seem so easy to drift away from God?
  • What does it look like to experience salvation through suffering?

3. Reflect personally on what you have made the object of your faith. 

  • Is it eternal? Does it encompass every area of your life?
  • What fears are holding you back?

4. Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s