So Great a Salvation
From Gospel Translations
“… how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3a)
- Hebrews 2:1–3a
Our walk through the “I AM” sayings found in the gospel of John reminded us that Jesus Himself teaches that He is God and therefore far superior to anything else in creation. The author of the book of Hebrews also confesses Christ’s superiority. He began in chapter 1 by teaching that Christ is superior to the angels and continues that theme in the following chapters.
Chapter 2 begins with one necessary inference that flows from Christ being superior to angels. We must, he says, pay closer attention to what we have heard lest we drift away from it (2:1). The Gospel must be the message that we have heard. We know this to be the case because Christ is the one through whom God speaks in these last days (1:2), and because the message we hear from Jesus is the Gospel that is spoken by Him through His apostles.
We must pay closer attention to the Gospel because of the person of Christ. The superiority of Jesus is so prevalent in Hebrews 1 that the “therefore” in 2:1 must teach that we have to pay closer attention to the Gospel because of His supremacy. Secondly, we must pay closer attention to the Gospel because of the Gospel message itself. The message previously declared by the angels was reliable and disobedience to it brought punishment (v. 2). This angelic message was none other than the Mosaic law itself. Jewish teaching at the time said that the law at Sinai was mediated through angels to Moses. Scripture confirms this (Ps. 68:17). The author of Hebrews is telling us that since the lesser law from the lesser angels at Sinai brought punishment, how much more punishment will come if we neglect the greater message given not through angels, but directly from the incarnate God Himself. This greater message brings greater responsibility.
Finally, note the strong warnings for disobeying the Gospel given in verses 1 and 3a. At first it might seem that the author is teaching that we can lose salvation. This cannot be the case, however, because we know the elect will be faithful unto the end and will not lose their salvation (John 10:28). Remember that Hebrews is written to Jewish Christians who were thinking of returning to the old covenant. These warnings are given as a means to keep the elect in their faith because the author does not know who is in danger of becoming apostate.
The great message of salvation revealed in Christ brings with it great responsibility. If we neglect it and fall away, our punishment will be immeasurable. In prayer, thank God for the great salvation He has given us, and confess your need for Him to give you the ability to remain faithful to the Gospel.
Passages for Further Study