Journal – August 29, 2021
1 Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 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,
DO NOT NEGLECT SALVATION (PART ONE)
Vs. 1 Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. Therefore: seeing the gospel has such a blessed Author, we ought to take heed that we do not forfeit our interest therein. We must, this expression is to be regulated by the phrase that follows; “Give the more earnest heed” The Apostle informs us that there is abundant cause to take heed to the things spoken and heard, because of Him who spoke to them; concerning Him alone came that voice from the excellent glory “This is my beloved Son, hear Him.” To the things we have heard, herein doth the Apostle magnify the great ordnance of preaching, as everywhere else he makes it the great means of men receiving faith He insists on and commends unto them, not only the things themselves, but also the way by which they were communicated to them, namely by preaching as he further declares (vs.8) lest we drift away. The design of the Apostle is this, as in verses 2 and 3 show that they shall perish who neglect the gospel. Therefore, it is not said that the word we hear flows out, but that as it were pours out. Diligent attendance to the word of the gospel is absolutely necessary to perseverance in the continued profession of it, such a profession that will be acceptable unto God and useful for our souls. To give the more earnest heed implies a due valuation of grace tendered in the things we have heard; it is giving such an attention as proceeds from an estimation of the things answerable to their worth. Also, it is needed that we mix faith with what we hear, and that we labor to express the word received with a conformity of heart and life unto it. There are sundry times and seasons wherein, and several means and ways whereby men are in danger to lose the word that they have heard if they do not give diligence unto its preservation. Some lose it in a time of peace and prosperity; others in a time of persecution; others in a time of trial by temptation; some lose it by the love of this present world; still others by the love of sin; and others by false doctrines, errors, heresies, and false worship. These break the vessel, and at once pour out all the benefits that were received. Observe from this:
- That the word heard is not lost without the great sin as well as the inevitable ruin of the souls of men.
- It is the nature of the word of the gospel to water barren hearts, and to make them fruitful unto God.
- The consideration of the revelation of the gospel by the Son of God is a powerful motive unto the diligent attendance unto it. This is the inference that the Apostle makes from one proposition he had made as to the excellency of the Son of God,
- This word is final; Last of all He sent His Son and has spoken unto us by Him. Never again will He speak in the world with this kind of speech.
- The true and only way of honoring the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, is by diligent attendance and obedience unto His word.
Vs. 2, For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward. The word is the doctrine of the law, given to Moses on Mount Sinai by God, the second person of the trinity. Moses spoke declared, published, it to the Israelites as they made their forty-year journey through the wilderness. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, Notice, it is not said that the law was given by angels but that the people received it by the disposition of angels (Acts 7:53) and that it was ordained by angels (Galatians 3:19), and in our verse spoken by them. From this we understand it is evident that not the original authoritative giving of the law, but the ministerial ordering of things in its proclamation, is that which is ascribed unto angels. The Apostle affirms concerning the word published, that it was steadfast, that is an assured covenant between God and the people. And every transgression and disobedience received a just reward. What is a just reward for every transgression and disobedience? It is that which is just equal according to the judgment of God. The Apostle refers especially to the temporal punishment of cutting off from the land of the living, which respected that dispensation of the law which the Israelites were subject unto. He is comparing the law in the dispensation of it on Horeb unto the Jews with the present dispensation of the gospel; and from the penalties where with the breach of it was then attended, he argues unto the sorer punishment that must needs arise upon the neglect of the dispensation of the gospel. For otherwise, the penalty to the transgression of the moral law is the very same, in the nature and kind of it, with that which belongs to despisers of the gospel, even eternal death
Vs.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. Our subject matter here is spoken of as so great a salvation. It is the gospel, which is intended by this expression, as is evident by our preceding verse, where it is called the word which we have heard. This gospel which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord. The great reason why the Hebrews so pertinaciously adhered to the law was the glorious publication of it, it was the word spoken by angels—thus they received it, by the disposition of angels. If, says the Apostle, there were a sufficient cause why the law should be attended unto, and the neglect of it should be attended unto, and that the neglect of it should be so sorely avenged, then consider what is your duty in reference to the Gospel, which is not only a word of life and great salvation, but was spoken, declared by the Lord Himself, whom we have manifested to be exalted so exceeding above all angels whatever. This great salvation was confirmed unto us by those that heard Him. The gospel was delivered unto those who heard it, infallibly by the ministry of the apostles; this was from their Divine inspiration.
WHY GO TO CHURCH?
Now when Moses went into the tabernacle of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice of One speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus, He spoke to him. Numbers 7:89.
Once the Tabernacle in the wilderness was complete, dedicated and the sacrifices were offered, it became the Divinely ordained institution for that economy. Moses would go into the Tabernacle through the sacrificial system, God had ordained, to meet with God and hear His word. Is there not a principle here for the New Testament believer? Some would say that they can worship God in nature better than in a building, surrounded by His wonders and a sense of His power. Others consider church attendance a mundane issue, saying that they are members of the Lord’s universal invisible church, and so can worship the Lord at their pleasure—and are not bound to any local assembly of believers.
In answer, it must be noted that the greatest examples of God’s poser and grace are seen among those whom He has redeemed—saved by His free and sovereign grace! Such trophies are more impressive than giant redwoods or the roaring sea. Further, the Scriptures are clear that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, a clear indication of the local or gathered church. (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Catechism Question 76
Q: What is required in the seventh commandment?
A: The seventh commandment requires the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity in heart, speech and behavior.
1 Corinthians 7:2
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
“Prove it” Catechism Question 111
Q: What does the bread represent?
A: The body of Christ, broken for our sins
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.