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FIRST WARNING: LISTEN UP!
Victor M. Eskew
A. Jesus is superior to both the prophets and the angels
1. The prophets and angels helped to reveal the Old Testament.
2. Jesus, however, revealed the New Testament.
3. Thus, His testament is superior.
B. If this is true, and it is, then we who are under the New Covenant need to “Listen Up!” This is the subject of Hebrews 2:1-4.
C. Last week we examined the first section, entitled: “The Expectation.” In this lesson, let’s consider the remainder of this warning from the inspired writer.
I. THE EXPECTATION (Heb. 2:1)
II. THE EXAMPLE (Heb. 2:2)
For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received just recompense of reward.
A. The word of old:
1. Spoken by angels – the Old Testament
a. Strong (949): stable :- firm, sure
1) Stable, firm, fast
2) Metaphorically: sure, trusty
c. Wacaster: reliable and dependable
B. Wages paid
1. Every transgression and disobedience
1) Strong (3847): violation, breaking
a) Literally: a going over
b) A disregarding, violating
c) The breach of a definite, promulgated, ratified law
1) Strong (3876): A hearing amiss, disobedience
2) Thayer: inattention, that is, (by implication) disobedience
c. Received a just recompense of reward
a) Strong (1738): in the right, equitable
b) Thayer: according to the right, righteous, just
2) Recompense of reward
a) Strong (3405): Requital
b) Thayer: payment of wages due, recompense
c) Examples: man picking up sticks, Moses, Nadab and Abihu, Achan, Uzzah
a. There are two types of violations of God’s will.
1) Transgression: a violation of a definite command
2) Disobedience: neglecting of one’s responsibility
b. When we are punished for our sins, it is because we have earned that punishment. We are deserving of it.
III. THE EXECUTION (Heb. 2:3-4).
A. The Question (Heb. 2:3a)
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…
1. Escape (1628)
a. Strong: to flee out
b. Thayer: to flee out, flee away, to seek safety in flight
c. Two points:
1) The author argues from the lesser to the greater.
a) He has shown how individuals were punished under the Law of Moses, a lesser law.
b) How do we think it will be under a more superior law, the law of Christ? Do we think that we shall escape? The question if rhetorical. The answer is: “We shall not escape.”
2. Neglect (72)
a. Strong: to be careless of, :- make light of, not regard
b. Thayer: to be careless of
c. The word is used in Matthew 22:5 when the marriage guests “made light” of the invitation to attend the feast.
d. LESSON: “It is significant that the apostle is here warning against neglecting, not rejecting God’s word…One need not militantly take up arms against God in order to be lost. All one needs to do to be lost is simply neglect the salvation offered to him” (Wacaster, 63).
3. Great salvation
a. Great (5082)
1) Strong: such as this in magnitude, so vast
2) Thayer: such and so great
b. Salvation (4991)
1) Strong: rescue or safety, deliverance, salvation
2) Thayer: deliverance…salvation as the present possession of all Christians, future salvation, the sum of the benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom
a) This is the salvation made possible by the precious blood of Christ. It is found only “in Christ” (II Tim. 2:10).
b) Why is salvation described as being “great”?
- It took the greatest life to procure it.
- It is designed to save us from the greatest of all disasters.
- It will lead to the greatest reward.
- It was motivated by the greatest love.