Message in the Hebrews (7)

The exhortation

“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, last we drift away.” Hebrews 2:1, NKJV. The author of the Hebrews inserts here the first of several exhortations to the readers of the Epistle before he continues his discourse on the superiority of Jesus Christ. Here, the author has in mind the Jewish believers who have left the Temple Judaism and joined “The Way,” the Christian Church. Because of their nostalgic attachment to the Temple Judaism, and due to the threat of persecution by the apostate Judaism, some of the converts to “The Way” allowed themselves to “drift away’ to their previous ways. They became inclined to abandon the New Covenant revelation and return to the structured Old Covenant law rules and practices.

The author of the Hebrews, however, urges the readers of his Epistle, not to abandon the New Covenant Way, of which Jesus Christ is the High Priest. He reminds the readers that if the disobedience to the Old Covenant word “spoken by angels received its just punishment,” how much greater will the punishment be for neglect of the message of “such a great salvation” spoken by the Son. Hebrews 2:3, 4, NKJV.  The “great salvation” through the Son, in the Greek, refers to the salvation itself, not to the teachings concerning salvation. The Old Covenant message, teachings, the law, and the temple, was about the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of the world. However, the New Covenant message gives the assurance of complete and perfect salvation in Jesus Christ. The New Covenant Good News, the reality, superseded the ineffective Old Covenant message. No additional messages or revelations could follow the New Covenant Good News. The salvation of the helpless sinners is complete forever. Therefore, the neglect of such a message would receive much more severe punishment than did the abandonment of the Old Covenant message.

The same problem exists in Christianity today. Some a sincere believer, who trusts Jesus Christ, have allowed themselves to be victims of teaching that they must assist Christ in their salvation, by repenting and making amends for their past sins. The New Covenant message, however, teaches us that nothing could be added to God’s complete and perfect salvation in Jesus Christ. God, on the cross at Golgotha, forgave us all our sins; the past, present and future sins against the law. (Colossians 2:13, 14) The righteousness that qualifies us for Heaven is in Christ Jesus, and only in Him. (Acts 4:12) What God accomplished for us, on the cross at Golgotha, is not reserved for some future review and determination. It ours now, and it must become our present and lasting joyful experience. “It is finished”, proclaimed the dying Savior and therefore, IT IS FINISHED!

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Dan Lazich

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