Daily Devotional

April 6, 2021

Daybreak: Hebrews 1:1 through 2:4

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.” (Hebrews 2:3)

When I was in college, I had to take required classes in various subjects to meet my degree requirements. One of these was a history class dealing with the subject in which I was majoring. I had a busy schedule, so I made that particular class a low priority and rarely attended, figuring it wouldn’t take much effort to pass. Unfortunately, I missed one vital class sessionthe day our professor rescheduled the time for our final exam. You can imagine my dismay when I arrived at school one day and discovered the time change. Due to my neglect of that class, I had missed my final!

Most of us occasionally neglect things in our daily lives. In some areas, neglect comes with a price tag. If education is neglected, children grow up in ignorance. If weeding is neglected, a garden becomes overgrown. If home maintenance is neglected, a house decays. If sowing is neglected, a farmer reaps no harvest. If earthly interests suffer as a result of neglect, how vital it is that we do not neglect spiritual issues, for the price of such neglect is incalculable! 

Jesus Christ, the Son of God and appointed Heir of all things in Heaven and earth, spoke to the world the message of salvation. Those who are Christians have believed His Word and become heirs with Him. It was to believers that the author of Hebrews wrote to warn against neglecting or letting their salvation slip. Neglecting is not always denying or rejecting salvation; rather, it is often recognizing but ignoring, or knowing but failing to follow through. The writer was not encouraging sinners to become Christians; rather, he was encouraging believers to pay careful attention to the wonderful salvation they had received.

Today, as in the days of the Early Church, it is possible to take the Word of God for granted. It is possible to grow accustomed to the privilege of prayer and to fail to take advantage of our access to God. It is possible to grow lax in our commitment to the Gospel. It is possible to neglect opportunities for spiritual growth. It is possible, but oh, what a danger! 

I neglected my class because I thought I didn’t really need to attend on a daily basis. I thought I could get by with little effort. May we never get to that place regarding our salvation! 

Background

The Epistle to the Hebrews was originally addressed to Jewish Christians to warn them against falling back into Judaism. The writer contrasts God’s past method of revealing His word to man through prophets, with the perfect revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Then he shows the superiority of Christ to angels. Angels were important to the Jewish religion since the time they had assisted in giving the Law on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 33:2, Acts 7:53), but even they were immeasurably lower than the Son. Even when Christ was made in human form, angels were ministering spirits unto Him, as they are to all who are heirs of salvation.

Having established the superiority of Christ to the angels, in our focus verse the writer gives a warning to believers: If messages given by angels were extremely important, certainly the message given by the Son of God was vital. If God Himself bore witness of His Son with miracles and the Holy Ghost, how could believers neglect the gift He offered? 

The original word translated slip in the first verse of chapter 2 has a nautical connotation and means, “to drift away,” as an anchorless ship would drift from a harbor. The action is not sudden or premeditated, but subtle. 

The writer’s warning reached its climax with the phrase, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” He was asking, “What way is there of being saved from punishment, if we allow the great provision of God to be neglected, and do not embrace what it offers?” There is no other way of salvation, and the neglect of this will be followed by destruction.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.   Introduction  (1:1-3)
     A.   The revelation through the Son (1:1-2)
     B.   The person and work of the Son (1:3)
II.   The argument: the preeminence of Christ in His person and work
     A.   The superiority of Christ to the angels
           1.   Christ is higher (1:4-2:4)
                  a.   His more excellent name (1:4)
                  b.   His unique relation to the Father (1:5)
                  c.   His worship by angels (1:6)
                  d.   He is God, and angels are His servants (1:7-14)
                  e.   Parenthesis I: warning against drifting (2:1-4)

A Closer Look

  1. What was the position of Jesus Christ relative to the angels?
     
  2. What might be evidences of neglect in the life of a Christian? 
     
  3. What restorative steps would you advise for those who have drifted or neglected this “great salvation”?

Conclusion

Our salvation is a “great salvation” and was purchased for us at an infinite price. It brings us abundant promises and incomparable blessings. Let us purpose to never neglect it.

Reference Materials