The Danger of Neglect
Verse 1 – Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
Since Christ, the author of the new dispensation, is so far exalted above the prophets, and even the angels, we ought to give the more earnest attention to all that has been spoken.
Drifting away doesn’t happen over night. It’s a gradual thing. Neglecting the word of God and compromise will start to be the norm when a person starts to fall away.
Verse 2 – For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
Verse 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;
Verse 4 – God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
How is anyone going to escape the punishment for neglecting the salvation that was so graciously given through Jesus Christ?
Verse 5 – For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
Verse 6 – But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?
Verse 7 – You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.
Verse 8 – You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” (Psalm 8:4) 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.
Paul is saying: That there stood in the sacred Scriptures a declaration that “all things were placed under the control and jurisdiction of man,” but that they had not yet been accomplished.
God originally gave dominion to man over the creatures on earth (Genesis 1:26). The argument the author of Hebrews seems to be is this: Originally this control was given to man, but man rebelled and this dominion has been in some measure lost. It is found complete only in the “second Man, the Lord from heaven, the Lord Jesus to whom this control is absolutely given.
Verse 9 – But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
“Who was made a little lower than the angels,” as a man on earth. Jesus assumed rank, while on earth, was inferior to angels. He took upon Himself the nature of man, but without sin. By “voluntarily” suffering and dying for all mankind, He immediately was crowned with glory and honor. He was also immediately exalted to universal dominion, and as Mediator was raised to rank far above the angels.
Verse 10 – For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
God’s grace and mercy to us led to the suffering and death of Christ. He did this so that we would have eternal life with Him. Jesus perfected obedience in His perfect sacrifice. He completed the necessary work for our salvation.
Verse 11 – For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Verse 12 – saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You.”
Verse 13 – and again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.’
People who have accepted Christs’ sacrifice on their behalf are adopted into God’s family. Therefore, Jesus says we have become His brother or sister.We have the same Father. We now belong to Christ because He died for us.
Verse 14 – Inasmuch then as children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Verse 15 – and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Jesus had to become human, flesh and blood, so that He could die and rise again, in order to destroy the devil’s power over death (Romans 6:5-11). Christ’s death and resurrection set those who believe, free from the fear of death. Death for a believer is the doorway to an eternal life with Christ. Until a person knows Christ, they stay in bondage, held by the devil, and are without hope.
Verse 16 – For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Verse 17 – Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
In the Old Testament, the high priest was the mediator between God and the people. He had to sacrifice animals and intercede for the forgiveness of their sins. Forgiveness couldn’t come without the shedding of blood.
Now, Jesus Christ is and was our only, perfect sacrifice, that became a man to show mercy and become our faithful High Priest. He once and for all paid the penalty for sin by His own sacrifice. He took our place!
We are released from sin’s dominion over us when we commit ourselves fully to Christ, trusting completely in what He has done for us.
Verse 18 – For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
When a Christian is tempted, their true character is “tried.” Our true self will be put to the test. Do we trust in the Lord, who overcame every temptation known to man, or do we go it alone?
Our Savior was subject to both temptations and sufferings. His sufferings surpassed all others, and the temptations of Satan were presented in the most alluring form in which he could exhibit them. Being proved or tried in both these respects, Christ showed that He had strength of virtue which could bear all that could ever occur to seduce Him from attachment to God, and at the same time to make Him a perfect model for those who would be tried in the same manner.