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TPC - CD 02(N013) - Do Not Neglect Salvation

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BETTER! Hebrews Series
Part 2
“Do Not Neglect Salvation” By Pastor Jeff Wickwire

Last time we saw that Jesus is superior to the angels in every way. Now this time we’re going to see that He offers a better salvation. In light of that, the writer encourages us to hold firmly to it!

2:1 “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”

Any time you see a “therefore” you should look to see what it’s there for. It is a connecting word that points to something you just heard and applies it to what is about to be said.

We’re told to “earnestly heed” the truth that Jesus is higher than the angels and has brought to us the way of salvation. He was the very Son of God, maker of the worlds, purger of our sins through His shed blood, and now sits at the right hand of God Almighty!

Therefore...pay close attention to what you have heard and don’t drift from it. The writer paints a vivid picture of a man holding a great treasure with limp fingers, and allowing it to drop from his careless grasp.

Drifting is the danger here. Many of us have experienced being on a raft in the ocean where we laid back, closed our eyes for a time, and looked back up to see that while we rested we had drifted

dangerously far from shore. The writer says, “Hold tight to the truth that is in Christ Jesus!”

He continues with his warning:

2:2-4 “For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”

There is no escape from judgment should we neglect the incredible salvation provided by Jesus Christ. While on earth He spoke about the salvation He had come to provide, and it was confirmed by the Apostles who heard Him in person. And this great salvation was also confirmed by mighty signs and wonders. In other words, there is no excuse for turning Him away. The truth of Jesus was spectacularly displayed among us!

Next, the writer returns to the comparison between Jesus and the angels:

2:5 “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.”

God has never, like He has Jesus, placed the world in subjection to the angels. This is an honor reserved only for the Son of God.

Then the writer reaches back to Genesis when God made man and gave him dominion over the earth:

2:6 “But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’”

This is a direct quote from Psalms 8: 4-6. It is a Psalm of David where he points out the original position of dominion God gave to man, which is found in Genesis 1:26:

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

But when man fell into sin, he forfeited the perfect dominion God had intended for him. So it had to be recovered, but could only be accomplished by someone not stained and tainted by sin. That Person was Jesus Christ, born of a woman but conceived by the Spirit of God so that Adam’s blood did not run in His veins.

Nor did He ever commit a sin in his life on earth. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”—2 Cor. 5:21 NLT

Verse 8 continues to point out that, though dominion was given to man, he is not now experiencing it due to the fall:

“For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.”

The restoration of the original dominion God ordained for man will be regained only at the return of Christ where the redeemed of the Lord will rule with Him when He sets up His kingdom.

In His coming to earth, Jesus also became a little lower than the angels:

2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”

Jesus, for the season of time He was on earth, was made a little lower than the angels—not in His deity but in His rank. He was the man/servant who humbled Himself all the way to the Cross. And on the Cross, Jesus tasted death for every man.

When He died, Jesus temporarily tasted death for us all. He died in our stead so that the devil, who had the power of death, could no

longer hold those who place their faith in Christ in the grave. He Himself could not be held by it but for 3 days and nights.

Death was the cup Jesus spoke of when praying to the Father in the garden, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”—Luke 22:42

Then next, the writer addresses the necessity of Jesus’ suffering:

2:10 “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

When it says Jesus was “made perfect" through suffering does not imply He had moral imperfection. Jesus was always sinless and complete.

It means that through His suffering the work of redemption was perfected. He offered through His suffering a perfect sacrifice! And through His perfect sacrifice, He brought many sons and daughters to glory!

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And then the writer informs us that through His perfect sacrifice, Jesus made us part of the family of God:

2:11 “Both the one who makes people holy (the Sanctifier) and those who are made holy (the sanctified) are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

Once when Jesus was teaching in a certain house he was informed that His mother and brothers were outside wanting to speak to Him. He replied, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” 34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”—Mark 3:33-35

This provides a glimpse into the way Jesus viewed the redeemed. We aren’t only forgiven, saved, and brought into heaven, but we are of the same family as Christ because we have the same Father!

In His teaching, Jesus regularly referred to God as “your Heavenly Father” when speaking to the disciples. Not just His, but yours!

Matt 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

Jesus said to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection, “Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”—John 20:17

Catch the family type verbiage—“Your Father, My brothers...”

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Then the writer of Hebrews quotes out Psalms, 2 Samuel, and Isaiah to show that our becoming a part of God’s very family was predicted long ago:

2:12-13 “So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises (Ps. 22:22).” 13 And again, “I will put my trust in him (2 Sam. 22:3).” And again he says,“Here am I, and the children God has given me (Is 8:18).”

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Next, the writer points to one of the great victories Jesus’s death on the Cross made possible for us—deliverance from fear of death:

2:14-16 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Jesus became one of us that He might taste death for every man. And in doing so he broke Satan’s power of death. This is how He was able to promise us: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”—John 11:25- 26

In bringing us salvation, He also delivered us while we’re still here on earth from the granddaddy of all fears—the fear of death. I have

come to believe that all fears have their root in the fear of death. Because all other fears contain the fear of annihilation, of being destroyed somehow or other. And that is what death does in the minds of the lost. It brings annihilation, total destruction.

But Jesus’s promise of eternal life removes that fear, and with it many other fears disappear!
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As we close out chapter 2, the writer further explains why Jesus had to become a man:

2:16-18 “For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Jesus became a man so that He could feel our pain, experience our plight, endure without falling the temptations we are subjected to, so that He might be two things for us—A merciful and faithful high priest.

MERCIFUL here means compassionate. He has compassion on us in our trials because He was there and understands from personal experience our plight.

FAITHFUL refers to Jesus’s total trustworthiness to fulfill all His promises. Paul wrote, “Faithful is He who calls you...”—1 Thes 5:24

Our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is compassionate in our struggles, and faithful to fulfill all His good promises! Because He’s been there and felt our pain, He is able to empathize and help us through all our trials!

Next time: Watch out for unbelief!