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The Danger of Drifting Away (and the remedy)

July 22, 2018 Speaker: Gibson Largent Series: Hebrews

Passage: Hebrews 2:1–9

Hebrews 2:1-9

[1] Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. [2] For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, [3] 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, [4] while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. [5] For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. [6] It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? [7] You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, [8] putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. [9] But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (ESV) 

Listening Guide:

“The readers may have been saying that while the Law came through angels, the gospel came by people”

The author of Hebrews is correcting this view by giving them four ways that the message of the gospel is trustworthy.

A Word about Teachability and Correction:

  • Proverbs 12:1 - “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
  • Proverbs 19:20 - “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”

4 Ways the message of Jesus (the gospel) is trustworthy 

  1. Jesus was the first to publicly verbally declare the message of salvation through His death and resurrection (rather than a false attribution to him after his death/resurrection)
  2. Jesus’ followers declared his message faithfully rather than adding or embellishing the gospel message
  3. God authenticated Jesus’ message by signs and wonders
    1. Whereever the word of God has not been established as an abiding witness, miracles often accompany the proclamation of the word to establish the authenticity of the message being proclaimed.
    2. It is a wicked sinful desire for those who have had the word of God established as truth in their surrounding culture to seek further proofs and validations by exclusively seeking miraculous signs and wonders at the expense of the already revealed witnesses God has already provided them.
      1. Matthew 16:4 - “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.”
  4. The Holy Spirit authenticates the message of Jesus by distributing spiritual gifts among the community of believers
    1. The goal is that people would see how the body of Christ, the church, functions in a special unique supernatural way with everyone operating according to their spiritual gifts to accomplish a purpose. And that operation lends credibility to the message of the gospel.
    2. Do you know your spiritual gift?


Spiritual Gift List 

There are three main passages that mention spiritual gifts in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28 lists at least 11 gifts, Romans 12 mentions seven gifts, and 1 Peter gives two gifts

1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28

Wisdom or Word of Wisdom: Special ability to understand truth or situations.

Knowledge or Word of Knowledge: Special understanding of information that helps others.

Faith: Ability to see what has yet to take place or believe when it is difficult.

Healing: Ability to help those with physical problems.

Special powers/Miracles: Ability over circumstances and/or evil spirits.

Prophecy: Ability to speak truth and/or future information.

Discernment: Special ability to tell right from wrong or truth from deception.

Tongues/Languages: Ability to communicate in other languages.

Interpretation of Tongues/Languages: Ability to interpret other languages.

Helps: Ability to assist those in need; some consider this gift the same as the gift of mercy in Romans 12.

Administration: Ability to organize people and information for more effective service.


Romans 12:6-8

Prophecy: Ability to speak truth and/or future information.

Serving: Likely concerns the ability to help with practical needs.

Teaching: Ability to instruct others in God's truth.

Encouragement: Ability to help others feel encouraged.

Giving: Ability to generously give time, money, or resources to others.

Leadership: Ability to govern, cast vision, and/or organize others.

Mercy: Ability to help others in areas of need.


1 Peter 4:10-11

Speaking: Ability to communicate Christian truth well.

Serving: May be the same gift mentioned in Romans 12