Summary: The process and causes of spiritual drifting, and the importance of paying careful attention to God’s word of salvation through Jesus, the anchor of our souls, in order to keep from drifting.
The Danger of Drifting Away
By Dr. R Bruce Montgomery
We were having a honeymoon picnic on Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Mo - . After pulling to shore to eat, I put our blanket and food back into the boat. My bride Connie thought she should help, and she put the anchor into the boat & it’s began to drift away. Fortunately the current was slow enough that I was able to quickly jump into the water and catch the boat!
Passage is about the danger of drifting away and the importance of paying careful attention to God’s Word of salvation through Jesus.
Examine some details of these verses:
No chapter breaks in the original document. “Therefore” - refers back to all that’s come before, to chapter 1. There is a sequential connection. Reference to Christ’s supremacy. Because Jesus is so GREAT:
Since Jesus is supreme heir (1:2)
“ “ “ creator (1:2)
. . . radiance of God’s glory (1:3)
. . .exact representation of God’s being (1:3)
. . .sustainer of universe by powerful word (1:3)
. . .supreme purifier of sins (1:3)
. . .supreme ruler (1:3)
and since He is superior to the angels (1:4-14), therefore
must pay more careful attention to the what God has spoken in Jesus, than even to the attention given to message through prophets and angels.
What God has spoken in Jesus must be taken seriously -
“Must” (2:1) = is of utmost necessity, non-optional if we’re going to keep ourselves from drifting.
Need for discernment, distinguishing between what is merely optional and what is essential in all areas of life – none more so than the spiritual life.
“More” - than what? cf. to law and prophets, various ways God has spoken in the past.
Now need to listen to “what has been heard, “ that which was spoken through Son.
Logical imperative: from the fact that Jesus is supreme, the revelation delivered through the Son must be regarded with the utmost seriousness.
Reason for such diligence is so we “do not drift away” (1a)
Drifting is a danger we all face.
There are many contemporary currents tugging on our souls, that would sweep us away.
The world is always tugging at us. Peer pressure, keeping up with the Joneses,
Easy to “let go” and “go with the flow”
Tendency = drift along with earthly things away from the gospel
All of us know of Christians who are no longer walking with God. Look around - where’s _________ that was here? What happened?
Examine our own hearts - are we as close to the Lord as we once were? Are we spending as much time in prayer?
Hungry for God’s word?
Expectant and eager to gather?
Passionate to share the good news with those who are not yet Christ-followers?
There is no standing still in life. Easier to drift than to battle the current.
Don’t have to be violently opposed to the message of salvation in Jesus to suffer loss: one only need to drift away from it.
Not intentional in most cases. Begins almost imperceptibly. Is gradual..
Vs. 2 – If (not any question. Since) the message spoken by angels (messengers) was binding
(literally “through” here and vs. 3 “through” the Lord.” ) Source = God, spoken through mediators.
If the law, transmitted through angels, who were creatures was legally binding , requiring adherence and spelling out punishment to transgressors - how much more important it is to listen when God himself comes and speaks?
Every commandment had its penalty.
Every “violation” and “disobedience” was punished.
In the Old Testament there was no reprieve for a person who deliberately defied or disregarded the law of God - the death penalty was fixed in advance.
E.g.: gathering sticks on Sabbath - inquired of God - “stone him.”
2 terms: (of many) - doesn’t use a general term for sin, but two with particular emphases:
“Violation” (transgression, infringement - “stepping over the line”)
Deviation from an original and true direction; neglect of the norm (the norm being the standards of law and righteousness in the Covenant.
“Disobedience” = “failure or refusal to hear or obey.” From root “akouo,” “to hear.” It implies an unwillingness to listen to the voice of God, not responding to the word of God. Knowing what you should do and not doing it.
When children little: “listen and obey.”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest (July 18): But woe be to me if when I see Him I say – I will not. He will never insist that I do, but I have begun to sign the death warrant of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say – I will not, He will never insist; but I am backing away from the re-creating power of His Redemption.”