I've lived near an ocean most of my life—in Southern California, the Visayan region of the Philippines, and now in NE Florida. I'm familiar with the power of currents and tides.
Solid footing, secure moorings, and anchors are needed to prevent a person or a vessel from drifting off. Even where currents are gentle, if a boat isn't tied securely to its mooring it will drift away.
Rivers can be treacherous and even lakes when unexpected squalls kick up. Jesus' disciples knew this from experience. They also learned to not rely upon their own expertise and experience when it came to matters of faith.
For this reason we must pay closer attention to what we have heard. Then we won’t drift away ⌊from the truth⌋.
After all, the message that the angels brought was reliable, and every violation and act of disobedience was properly punished. So how will we escape punishment if we reject the important message, the message that God saved us?
First, the Lord told this saving message. Then those who heard him confirmed that message. God verified what they said through miraculous signs, amazing things, other powerful acts, and with other gifts from the Holy Spirit as he wanted. [vss 1-4]
(Hebrews 2:1-4 GW) [Context– Hebrews 2]
Key phrase—We must pay closer attention to what we have heard. Then we won’t drift away
[bctt tweet="We must pay closer attention to what we have heard so we won’t drift away" username="tkbeyond"]
Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What are we warned about and exhorted to do? What's the benefit of heeding this warning?
What is the "message that the angels brought"? How is this related to Chapter 1 and what we're told about the angels and prophets?
What is the consequence for violating or disobeying the previous covenant (the Law of Moses)?
Why do you think the triple emphasis is made of Jesus proclaiming the gospel, echoed by the disciples, and confirmed by God's Spirit?
This is the first of five warnings in Hebrews. There are three parts to this warning. It focuses on the gospel message of redemption and is confirmed three times. It's a solemn warning to not reject God's grace.
We're exhorted to "pay close attention" to this message of redemption through Jesus (Heb 1:3). If we don't, we will drift away. Consider this image in real life experience.
A riptide can pull a swimmer out to deep water without them realizing it. It's stronger than any swimmer, even an Olympic athlete. A river moves in one direction, but tends to pull a person down to where the current is stronger.
This gives some idea of the danger of in attention or indifference to the truth of the gospel. It happens when we get distracted or become lazy and indifferent to the truth of God's gracious redemption.
How important is this message? We see it confirmed three ways. First, the Lord Jesus—the Son of God as a human—brings the message. It's echoed by those in close relationship with Him, and confirmed with supernatural power.
The warning is simple. If we've heard and believed, we need to hold on to this message of gracious redemption. If not, we'll drift away with those who don't believe or don't care.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Do you understand how different the Old Covenant Law is from the grace of the gospel?
Are there times when you feel you've somehow drifted away from the truth of God's grace?
How do you keep yourself from drifting away, being distracted or indifferent to the gospel?
How have you seen the gospel confirmed in your life? How have you echoed or shared the gospel with others?
Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews