Monday, March 26, 2012

Blogging Through Hebrews: Heb 2:1-4

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:1-4 )

The author, having established in part the divinity of the Son of God, next stresses the importance of what is taught. These words resonate with me strongly. I walk the tightrope between doctrinal purity and practical unity. Unity in the church is a primary doctrine, not a nice add-on but rather a "gotta have". Being divided simply is not OK. On the other side, the Bible is not sparse when it comes to meaty theological concepts and specific practices that cannot be ignored. Simply saying "I luv Jesus!" is not going to cut it, we need and we must study the Scriptures and apply and walk what we read in a manner that pleases the Lord. Theological sloppiness is the gateway to all manner of errors and ills. Of course what constitutes "good theology" goes beyond simply being able to explain the doctrines of grace or do an end-times flow chart. Good theology is practical and lived out.

I also find the phrase "neglect such a great salvation" quite interesting. I would suggest that this message is of particular importance to Jews, reminding them that the same salvation has come in the person of Christ to Jew and Gentile alike and that neglecting this salvation has consequences.

I found something in verse 3 fascinating. I am not a scholar and the authorship of Hebrews is an unsettled issue that I have not studied at any length but the author says that Jesus declared the words of salvation and that some of those who heard told them to the author and presumably his audience. Paul indicated that he spoke directly with the Lord. So does that mean that the author of Hebrews is definitively not Paul because Paul heard the Gospel right from the Lord? I am sure others have pondered and studied that particular question but I thought it was interesting.

Finally verse 4 reminds us of the importance and purpose of signs and wonders, namely to bear witness to the Gospel. God distributes the gifts as He sees fit but He always does so to point people to Christ. Anyone who attributes a "gift" to their own holiness should be immediately suspect. Anyone who uses a "gift" to enrich themselves or advance their own agenda should be seen as someone who is false. God is infinitely capable of doing miracles and wonders but His purpose in sending these gifts and signs and wonders is clear: testifying of His Son.

No comments: