The writer begins with what is actually a continuation of Chapter 1. Chapter 1 ends with this:
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
We are the ones who inherit salvation, and then Chapter 2 picks right up:
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
See the 'therefore' at the start of Chapter 2? It is continuing the thought of chapter 1. "...give the more earnest heed" means to have regard, pay attention to, be cautious, apply one's self to. We are to give greater attention to the things we have heard and seen in the Word of God so we are not drawn away. God doesn't leave us or forsake us, but we can be drawn away from Him if our eyes are not forward on Jesus at all times. Our minds must be set on the things of Him and we must meditate on the word daily. The writer also tells us in verse 2 that through the law every transgression and disobedience would receive its reward (punishment). The law could not offer forgiveness, mercy, or grace.
Romans 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (4) that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The commandments of the law are very similar to our laws today. When we break a law, there is a punishment that coincides with the broken law. When, not if, we are caught as a law breaker, we stand trial before a judge and jury and they hand down whatever the punishment will be. There are degrees of punishment based on the severity of the broken law. However, today under the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, there is only one punishment for continued sin: Death (Romans 6:23).
Verse 3 says
Hebrews 2:3 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,
We cannot escape punishment if we neglect the salvation offered to us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Consider what it means to 'neglect' your salvation. Neglect here means to make light of, neglect, be negligent, or not regard or to not handle something with care. It is slightly different than what we carry as the meaning of neglect today. So, how do we neglect our salvation?
James 4:17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Knowing the right thing to do but not doing that thing makes our inaction a sin to us. We are neglectful with our salvation.
Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, (27) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
When we willfully walk in sin after receiving Christ, after the knowledge given to us of the truth, (remember He is The Way, The Truth, The Life) then we have made His sacrifice of no effect. It is like we have completely ignored the price our savior paid for us. We begin to fear punishment because we know we have been disobedient. This is where the enemy will begin to work in our minds with condemnation and lies about our future. But, Romans 8:1 says
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
When we walk in the Spirit and not according to our fleshly desires and wants and lusts, then we do not live under condemnation. We cannot escape punishment though, if we are neglectful of our salvation. Thankfully, we have a better way today than what the law could provide.
Galatians 3:18-21 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (19) What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. (20) Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. (21) Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.
If our inheritance were from the law of Moses, then it would no longer be a promise of God. The law was given for the transgressions of the people. The law is a punishment based system and was given for transgressions only until the Seed (Jesus Christ) came. The law could not have given the life promised to us through the sacrifice of Jesus. If it could have, then righteousness would have been the result of the law. So, what we have is Jesus fulfilling the law and moving it from a punishment based system into a heart based system, actually carrying heavier results for sin.
Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' (22) But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:27-28 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.' (28) But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
1 John 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Yesterday we talked about being transformed into His image. We cannot be transformed into His image without ensuring our hearts do not harbor these things within us that would prevent us from partaking of the promise of God.
Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET." 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.
Everything is in subjection under His feet. God put everything under Jesus. Subjection = obedience, submission. Everything, not some things or a few things or everything BUT that "thing"...Everything. Thoughts and emotions are included. This is why Paul said we are to take every thought captive and place it under the subjection of Jesus Christ. The enemy does his best to sidetrack us, and is quite often successful. He attempts to throw thoughts at us about our self esteem, what others think of us, what God thinks of us, no one really loves us, our relationships are in turmoil, God has left. You name it, the enemy will try and plant it. The best thing we can do is never allow those thoughts to take root within us. (There is so much more on this particular subject, but I don't want to chase rabbits). Doing so is even a form of neglecting our salvation. We must be vigilant not to make His sacrifice ineffectual. Jesus Christ has been glorified and is seated at the right hand of the Father awaiting the day the Father sends Him for His Bride.
His sacrifice has done what the law could not do...provide all those that believe on His name the promise of mercy, forgiveness, grace, and life everlasting. Because of Jesus' willing obedience to do what the Father asked of Him, we no longer have a punishment - reward system. We have a system of forgiveness and grace that transforms and changes us as we serve Him in sincerity and truth as new creations within Him.
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