Hebrews 2-3 –Why we dare not ignore the gospel

One of the key themes you see throughout Hebrews is the supremacy of Christ. In chapters 1-2, you see his supremacy over the prophets and the angels. In chapter 3, we see his supremacy over Moses. And in chapter 4, we will see his supremacy over Joshua.

But there is a key point we need to remember as we consider Christ’s supremacy. If he is indeed supreme over all the angels and the other messengers of God, and all of them proclaimed the message of God and people were held to account for what they heard, then we dare not ignore the message that Christ brings.

We see this in the first few verses of chapter 2, where the writer of Hebrews says,

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?

This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (2:1-4)

Here, the writer of Hebrews seems to be referring to the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:2, Acts 7:53, Galatians 3:19). And the writer says the people were judged when they failed to keep this law, even though it was brought by “mere” angels of God.

But now Jesus himself has come and given us the gospel through his own mouth and the mouths of the apostles, and God testified to their veracity by performing signs, miracles, and wonders, not to mention all the gifts of the Spirit that were poured out. And if the Father, Son, and Spirit themselves testify to these things, not simply angels, will we not be held more accountable? Of course we will. And there will be no escape from hell if we ignore this gospel that God in Trinity has testified to.

The writer then compares Moses to Jesus. Moses had been a great leader. God used him to deliver the people from slavery in Egypt and through him taught the people His law.

And yet, the writer says,

Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast. (3:3-6)

Moses, the writer says, was a mere servant. A faithful servant, but a servant. And as much as the Jews were held to accountable to a servant like Moses in keeping the law he taught, we are held far more accountable to Jesus because he is God’s Son and the builder of God’s house, the church.

Because of this, we dare not ignore the gospel of salvation he brings. There is no higher court of appeal to go to. He is our final judge.

So the writer tells us,

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (3:1)

How about you? Are you taking the gospel lightly? As a message that you can simply ignore?

Whether you like it or not, you will be held to account for it. So believe it and embrace it while you still can. And if you do, you will find life. To reject it means judgment and death. More on that next time.

About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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