1. The Book of Hebrews contains what may be the most comprehensive presentation of Christology ever penned. The doctrine of Christ expounded in this epistle is a work of comprehensive scholarship and profound theological detail. Anyone who has undertaken a serious study of this book knows that it can be at times hard to fully understand. Some have decided that Hebrews is best studied from the lectern instead of the pulpit. This morning's text passage is one of the reasons why I do not agree with that assessment.
2. That the author of this letter was a scholar is beyond question. But four or five times in Hebrews he reveals that within him beats the heart of a shepherd. He exhorts; he encourages; he warns; he...preaches! Yes, he wants earnestly to instruct his readers, to lay before them the intriguing doctrine of Jesus Christ for the purpose of equipping them with the vital knowledge of God the Son, proving with thorough Old Testament references that Jesus is, in fact, the Promised One. But he is not content only to teach. He longs to engage the heart of each reader because he knows, as all pastors know, that only then will the will of each reader be moved to action on behalf of the kingdom of God.
3. It is the familiar formula presented often from this pulpit, too:
a. First, the m __ __ __ must be renewed: the believer l __ __ __ __ __.
b. Next, the h __ __ __ __ must be changed: the believer is t __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
c. As a result, the w __ __ __ is energized: the believer becomes a d __ __ __ __ __ __ __, one who actively follows Christ.
4. It would appear that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews regarded his Holy Spirit-inspired work as something other than a scholarly treatise. He refers to the letter in 13:22 as "my word of e __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __."
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 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, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? [ NKJV ]
So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. The message God delivered through the angels has always proved true, and the people were punished for every violation of the law and every act of disobedience. What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak, and God verified the message by signs and wonders and various miracles and by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose to do so. [ NLT ]