Hebrews Lesson 21 August 4, 2005
NKJ Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are in Hebrews 2. This begins the first of five passages in Hebrews and they get successively longer. These five passages are generally referred to as warning passages. They come at the end of lengthy sections in the book that are expositions or developments of doctrine and developments of Old Testament passages out from the ritual practices of the Old Testament. Each one of these sections drives to a certain application. It is important for us to understand both types of sections. As I said in the introduction, I believe that the writer spoke this or wrote this as a five-point sermon. It drives to a conclusion of how important and crucial our Christian life is and how crucial it is that we continue to grow and advance and not give up along the way. There is a tendency in the lives of people to slip away or drift away from doctrine. They get on board for a while and get excited and then a few months or a couple of years later they disappear. They end up in some church that is all emotion or all experience. You wonder what happened. You never learn enough. There are so many more riches in the Word of God and understanding what goes on in the spiritual life that challenges us. There is no reason to ever give up. So we come to this first warning passage. That is the first four verses of chapter 2.
NKJ Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have
heard, lest we drift away.
This introduces the warning theme to these four verses. There is a challenge to what we have been taught so that we will not face negative consequences. We need to take some time to understand the context. As we get into the Word it is important to do three things when you are studying the Word.
First is context. We look at context because that puts it in perspective. We don't want to lose sight of what is going on in the text. We don't want to lose the forest through the trees. The first phrase in the Greek is dia touto. The preposition dia means because when it is with the accusative. The word touta is a pronoun indicating this. because of this literally. It means because of this or for this reason. So we always have to look at these statements to find out why they are there. It isn't therefore. He is saying more precise that therefore. He is saying "for this reason". So when we see that we need to ask the question, for what reason? So he draws a conclusion from everything that has been said in the prior chapter, especially from verse 5 on. So we have to see what that reason is. So this gives us a cause to go back and review and summarize the thrust of what the writer is saying in the first chapter.
The focus in the first chapter is on who Jesus Christ is. That takes us back to a couple of verses. I pointed out as we went through that that the main idea is that God has spoken today by means of His Son. In the past He spoke by means of the prophets. He spoke to the fathers, that is to Israel. He spoke in a variety of ways and in a variety of forms. But "in these last days" which is the Church Age, He has spoken by means of His Son. What is so important about that? That is what he is answering in the rest of the chapter.
He focuses on the priority and superiority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then he will draw a conclusion from that. The first thing we saw is the emphasis of His Sonship in terms of His deity. As I pointed out there are 6 different Sonships of the Lord Jesus Christ. The two crucial ones that are used in this chapter are the title Son of God that emphasizes His deity and the second is that He is the Son of David. That comes out of His humanity. It specifically ties Jesus' present role at the right hand of God the Father to His future role when He will come as the Messianic Son of David who will establish His kingdom and to rule and reign on the earth. So in terms of His sonship we have seen that the title itself Son of God indicates that Jesus Christ is full and undiminished deity. He has all the attributes of God the Father. He is not subordinate to God the Father in His essence. He is equal in His essence. The Son of God emphasizes that.
The second thing we see is that He is identified as the immediate creator of all things. God the Father is the architect, but God the Son is the contractor on the job. He is the building supervisor who saw that everything was accomplished. He is the one through whom He made the ages.
The third thing we saw related to His deity was that He has the exact same essence as the Father. He is said to be the flashing forth of His deity, the exact representation of His nature. This is in Hebrews 1:3.
The fourth thing is that He is seen as the perfect one who reveals the Father. God has now spoken through the Son. The Son is the expression of the Father. It is by through the Son that we come to know who the Father is. Heb 1:2-3 emphasize that He has spoken to us by means of His Son.
Fifth we see the Lord Jesus Christ as the one who sustains the universe. This is a function of His deity. He continues to sustain the universe and upholds things by the Word of His power.
Sixth we see that He is the eternal omnipotent one who made the universe and will outlast the universe. That was indicated by the quotes from Psalm 102:25-28 given in verses 10-12 of chapter one. All of that emphasizes the Sonship of His deity.
Then we have the concept of His Davidic Sonship, His messianic Sonship. This is an outgrowth of Psalm 2:7 as we saw. We see about 7 things related to His Davidic sonship that emphasizes His humanity.
- He is the God man Savior who made purification or cleansing for sin. The God man Savior in His humanity is our substitute. This is emphasized in Hebrews 1:4.
- At His ascension His humanity is promoted over the angels. So He is elevated through the ascension over the angels. In His deity He was always over the angels. In His humanity He now is in authority over the angels. There is human being at the right hand of God the Father who is at the control helm of the universe and rules over the angels. Heb 1:3-4
- In His humanity He sat down at the right hand of God the Father in order to wait for the giving of the kingdom. Psalm 2:8 indicates He is waiting to be given the kingdoms as an inheritance. He is asking for that. Heb 1:3.
- The angels worship him. This indicates that in His person He is elevated over the angels and is worthy of their worship. Only deity is worthy of worship. You never have any creature worship. He is elevated over the angels. Heb 1:6
- He is the creator of the angels. They are designed to serve Him. They are designated as angellos that is a term for messengers and they are leitourgos. They are ministers or servants. Heb 1:7
- He is designated a future king. The Davidic king who will establish and rule the kingdom for Israel in the Millennial Kingdom and fulfill all the promises given in the Davidic covenant. Heb 1:8. So He fulfills the promises of the Davidic covenant.
- These angels that He created that He is superior to are commissioned in verse 14. They are commissioned to serve the Church Age believers those who are said to inherit salvation. Those who are in training to rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ. These angels are dispatched and commissioned to serve us and to watch us. This is the basis of guardian angels for believers.
What the writer is saying is that since (referring to the whole body of information in the first 14 verses) Jesus Christ is the expression and ultimate revelation of God, since Jesus is fully God, since Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament covenants, since Jesus is superior to the angels and worshipped by the angels, since we will share His rule and reign and share His joy, and since He will destroy the nations and establish His rule. In light of all this, we must do something. That is the thrust of this. We are going to draw a conclusion from everything said. There is a mandate at the beginning of verse one.
The "we" there refers to all believers. It includes the writer as well as his initial audience. By virtue of application it includes us. There is an obligation that is part of the package of salvation. It is not an obligation that has to be fulfilled to be saved or to keep salvation. It is an obligation that if we are going to benefit from all that God has given us then there are certain things that follows from that. It is not an opportunity to live any way you want to and do whatever you want to without going to the Lake of Fire. God has done so many things for us that there is an incredible transformation that has taken place at salvation. He has given us 40 things that are our reality in terms of positional truth and these provide the potentials for living the Christian life and these provide the potential to prepare for us for our future. Therefore points us to that future mandate.
The verb used here is the Greek word dei. It is in the present active indicative. It is not in the imperative. There is an imperatival meaning in the meaning of the word. This is an obligation term. There is something inherent in this. The word dei means that it is necessary. It is something that one has to do or something that is inevitable in the nature of things. In other words if you really understand the dynamics of salvation and you understand what Christ did on the cross as He paid the penalty for our sins and as He defeated Satan and all of his strategies to rule the world and become a god on his own. If you understand what transpired in the ascension and session, then you must see that this will change the way you live. The problem with a shallow superficial gospel is that people don't understand why it radically transforms the present tense life of the church age believer. That is what these warning passages focus on. This verb refers to what must be done on the basis of our duty. There is an obligation as believers. It is not what is prescribed by the Mosaic Law, but what is prescribed by the mandates of the New Testament. All of the various imperatives that we have in the New Testament define the boundaries of the Christian way of life. That is the obligation. Some think we have no obligation in the Christian life. In a sense you don't. You are still going to be saved. But if you are going to enjoy the blessing and privileges of salvation, if you are going to advance to spiritual maturity and enjoy the happiness and peace that the Lord Jesus Christ has for us that means we have to follow the mandates of Scripture.
If you were given a Jaguar SR12, you drive it for 90,000 miles and you don't change the oil or check the tire pressure. One day you go out and turn it on. Nothing happens. That car is still yours but it isn't doing you a bit of good. You had an obligation with the gift to take care of it and maintain it. You need to do all the things that go along with car maintenance. Since you failed to do that it isn't any good. It is still yours. It is still parked in the driveway. You can look at it and enjoy it but it isn't going to do you any good. That is how the Christian life is for many, many believers. It doesn't do them a bit of good because they don't look at the owner's manual. They never figure out what they need to do to maintain it. They never learn anything about I John 1:9 and how to get back in fellowship. They never learn the dynamics of the Christian life. As far as they are concerned the Christian life is nothing more than a series of ethical commands. It isn't any different from what the unbeliever can do. So we have to understand the dynamics of the Christian life in order to go forward. This is the mandate.
The writer says, "Therefore in light of these things that Jesus has done for us we must."
There is the word more in the English that is a comparative. In Greek the comparative is sometimes used for the superlative. More is the comparative. That is comparing two things. Most is the superlative. It takes it to the highest level of intensity. That is what we have here. The adverb is perissos. It has the idea of something that is over and above. It is going to the fullest extent of something. It gives 150 % instead of 100%. One of the things that I have often said about my ministry is that I would rather have 30 or 40 or 50 believers who are sold out to pursuing the Christian life than to have a church of 300 or 400 or 3,000 or 4,000 with only 30 or 40 who want to go somewhere. Those other people who don't want to go anywhere will just drag everybody else down. We need to have people that have a goal of excellence in the Christian life who want to fully understand the Bible and want to make it part of their thinking so they can press on to be a part of this cadre that will rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. So that is what the writer of Hebrews is driving at. The adverb indicates exceedingly and abundantly beyond all measure. Those of you who believe in excellence and always want to go the extra mile; this is the verse to challenge you. We are to pay closest attention. It is to pay attention or to focus on something.
The next word is the verb prosecho in the Greek. It is the present active infinitive. It means to apply oneself to something. With the superlative it is used to apply oneself to the highest degree. It means to pay attention or to occupy yourself with something. What the writer is saying is that in light of everything we have seen the Lord Jesus Christ do because of who He is, what He is, and where He is headed if we are to be those companions then we must give ourselves to the closest possible attention to the most dedicated occupation with the Lord and the Word of God that is possible. It is not something you just do on Sunday. It is something that is the heart beat of your life. You do it every single day. You get doctrine in. You make it the first thing you do in the morning so that it orients your thinking throughout the day. You start the day in fellowship. You remind yourself of a few promises. The focus of your day and of your life is to live today in the light of eternity. That is the challenge of the whole book of Hebrews. The verbiage here is as strong and dynamic and powerful as it can be expressed. He is almost pounding his pulpit to tell people you have to make doctrine the highest priority of your life. Nothing else will do. You have to give it the closest attention. You have to concentrate day in and day out because it doesn't take much for you to lose it and start slipping away. In fact one of the meanings of this word prosecho is that it is used in nautical terminology for holding a ship on course. It means to firmly anchor a ship to the ocean floor. It has the concept of being tied down to something or being right on target all the time.
Corrected translation: It is necessary for us to pay the closest attention to the Word.
It is necessary to be the most occupied with the Word
We are to be firmly anchored in the message of what we have been taught.
How do you do that? How do you anchor yourself in the message? It is more than coming to class and listening. It is more than just taking notes. It is more than having a doctrinal notebook or a doctrinal file. It means that some times you are going to go home and maybe in the morning you will review your notes. You look at them from a personal perspective. You ask how you will put them into personal practice in your own life. What does this mean you need to do in terms of your thinking in terms of your priorities and how you spend your time so that there can be change. The whole issue of sanctification is change. A lot of people don't like that. They don't want to change because they just want to be comfortable. One of the things that the Holy Spirit is going to do if you are serious about your Christian life is, He is going to push you out of your comfort zone. If you like living in your comfort zone and want everything to move along nice and smooth, you are in for a rude awakening when the Holy Spirit starts using the Word of God in your life. He wants to conform you to the character of Jesus Christ. It is sort of like a sculptor taking a rough block of granite and trying to turn it into Michelangello's "David." You have got a lot of rough edges so you may look like Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is going to take you through a boatload of situations to give you the opportunity to trust God and so the Holy Spirit can knock those rough edges off. That is too much for some people. They want a Christianity that makes them comfortable. They want a Christianity that makes them feel good about themselves – a Christianity that will help them improve themselves every day so that they can name and claim all the blessings that God has for them. They do not want to go through the difficult challenges of learning the Word and learning to think biblically and learning to analyze situations they run into everyday from a Biblical framework. They don't ask where these situations occurred in the Bible. Who faced similar things in the Bible? Was it David? Was it Daniel? Was it Joseph? Was it Abraham? How did they respond? What was going on in their lives? In order to do that, you have to understand Abraham and David and all of the other characters. You have to have a full understanding of the Old Testament so that you have a frame of reference to go to. You are not going to get it in church once a week. At the end of twenty years you might know who David is. You might know who Abraham is. But you are not going to be able to face crisis in life and then reflect back on it. You won't be able to reflect back on the Scripture and the characters of Scripture and to think critically and analytically about it.
This is one of the things we are building into the curriculum that we are developing for the prep school. We want to train the children so that they can think biblically and come to know who the various characters are in Scripture. We have built the curriculum so that they can cycle through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation five or six times between the time they are two years old and the time they are twenty years old. If someone comes in and grows up in this church over the next twenty years they will go through the Scripture five or six times from beginning to end. When they are two years old it will be taught at a two year old level. They will be exposed to the basic stories and the basic principles. Each year it will get progressive and build. We will build with an emphasis on Bible memory and the problem solving. They will learn to deal with the intellectual attacks that they are going to face from peers and teachers and cartoons and the Internet. They will have the intellectual spiritual ammunition to deal with these things. We have to be occupied with the message.
The next word is the aorist passive participle of akouo. The aorist tense indicates that it is something that preceded the action of the main verb. They had already heard because they have been going to church. They have been getting instruction from the Old Testament and instruction related to New Testament doctrine. The fact that it is a passive participle indicates that they receive the action. They are in the mode that you are. They are sitting and paying attention. They are not thinking about what is going on tomorrow. You have to listen and concentrate. People aren't taught that anymore. They don't know how to take notes. They don't know how to focus. If you are going to get anywhere with the ideas of Scripture you have to listen and it must be over the months and years to transform thinking. You must pay attention to the doctrine that is being taught.
Let's talk about the term Bible doctrine. What is Bible doctrine?
NKJ 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
The devil plays interesting games with people. One of Satan's greatest ploys is to distort and dilute the vocabulary of Scripture so that people no longer understand what it means. The word doctrine has been yanked out of context. The way it is usually used by most people is that it as abstract theology. Some relate it to dogma or a technical doctrinal statement. They think that it is abstract reasoning. They want something more practical. They want something with shoe leather on it. They want to go home and have some principles to apply. Do they use them when they are there? No they just want to take pot shots.
By defining doctrine in a narrow restricted way where it refers to an impractical type of abstract theological type of teaching, they get away from understanding the facts, the teaching and the foundational ideas of Scripture that teaches reality. We have seen some difficult stuff in Hebrews. We have seen the ascension and session. We went back into Psalms 2 and 110. We have gone through some difficult things to lay the foundation of who and what Jesus Christ is. If you do not understand the nature of reality and the nature God, then when we come to an application like that found in the first four verses it won't mean anything. When you divorce morality and ethics from its foundation of the realities that God teaches in the Scripture, you end up in legalism. They want five points on how to live. But they don't understand the foundation for that. If you don't understand the foundation for that then you are on a grocery list and become a Pharisee. You are a legalist. You are no better than any ethical person. We are not in the job of producing moral, ethical people. We are in the job of producing spiritually mature people. Any unbeliever can be ethical and moral. We want people who are spiritually mature walking by the Spirit and applying the Word.
Bible doctrine is not a term that is a synonym for theology. The term comes from the Greek word didaskolos that means teaching. That includes everything from basics (understanding the trinity, the hypostatic union, the person and work of Jesus Christ, atonement, redemption, propitiation) to more advanced concepts (inheritance, dispensations, ascension and session of Christ). In order to do that you must understand those doctrines that become the foundation for action, for thought change for life change. You have to teach line upon line, verse upon verse, and precept on precept. It takes time to build that reservoir of knowledge in your soul so that when you face the issues in life you have something to draw on and you can apply it.
So let's look at some basic thoughts on doctrine. The best way to understand the word is how the military uses it. They use it in terms of various procedures how they go on patrol. All of that relates to doctrine. It includes everything the soldier does. It is all part of the doctrine of military engagement of the enemy. It is the same idea that we have in Scripture.
- Revelation from God whether it has to do with genealogies of Genesis 5 or Matthew 1 is breathed out by God and is profitable for doctrine/teaching. That is the application. It starts with teaching. Teaching relates to every single subject in life. It is never to be isolated from a mandate to change our thinking, our lifestyle, thought, speech, or our deeds. It is not just to stimulate your intellect. There is a tremendous amount of intellectual stimulation in studying the Word because it addresses every circumstance and every intellectual discipline that we can come up with. It is the foundation for every thing but it is never abstract and divorced from life in some sense. Some never understand that and do not connect it to how we think or live on day-to-day basis. It all drives to change. Rom 12:2
- Change doesn't necessarily mean external change but most importantly internal change that may change then impact external actions. Change is supposed to come from the inside out not the outside in. Someone comes in and you listen to their opinions on certain things. You don't impose an external standard on them. That is superficial and it doesn't last. You don't come in and tell people to stop doing this or that. That is typical of most churches. You teach the Word. Under the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, if they are positive to the Word, they will learn it. God the Holy Spirit will take the Word. He is the change agent. It may take time. He deals with different people in different ways. Some of you may be struggling with the same sin for years. Someone else may have dealt with that. So you can't sit across the church and talk about someone else's gossip or anger or whatever bothers you. God the Holy Spirit will eventually take care of it as long as they sit and listen to the Word. It comes from the solid spiritual dynamic produced by the Holy Spirit and not some induced straightjacket. But the focus is change. That is what God the Holy Spirit is doing. He is changing us.
- NKJ Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The word for world (aionos) indicates the spirit of the age. It is what the Germans called the zeitgeist – the spirit of the times. It is the thinking that is going on around us in our culture of the day whatever it is. Every one of us grew up and was influenced by the zeitgeist. Most of us don't realize how influenced we were. It is why your parents like certain kinds of movies and want to read certain types of books and certain types of music. You don't get into their music or their art or whatever it might be. You don't understand why your children listen to what they listen to. You don't know why they are dressing the way they do or why they are getting tattoos and getting pierced. It all flows out of the zeitgeist – the spirit of the age. If you are going to understand cosmic thinking you have to do some digging. We are going to study worldliness – understanding your times. The challenge is that if you are going to understand what is going on today you have to understand post modernism. If you want to understand post modernism, you have to understand existentialism. If you want to understand that, you have to understand Hegelian idealism. If you want to understand Hegelian idealism, you have to understand the content of Copernican revolution in philosophy. To understand that you have to understand Hume. To understand Hume, you have to understand the enlightenment empiricists like Locke. To understand them you have to understand their reaction to Descartes. The enlightenment is a reaction to the Middle Ages. If you are going to understand the Middle Ages where they tried to merge Greek philosophy with theology, you have to understand Greek philosophy, including Plato and Aristotle. They in turn were a reaction to the pre-Socratic. The pre-Socratics were a development or reaction to the mythic anti-mystic nature religions of early civilizations. To understand that, you have to understand Genesis 3. To understand Genesis 3 you have to understand Genesis 2. So you start there and you get the whole history of ideas. You have to do that to say anything substantival about how you think and what you think. I am going to do this enough so that when I talk about what is going on today in the world in terms of cosmic thinking and you don't set it up with all the other stuff. You will think that it is just my opinion. It will blow your socks off because we don't think objectively about our own thinking. We don't see how it is influenced by the cultural air that we breathe. It will take a lot of time to develop.
If you don't know the characteristics of the spirit of the age, how do you know that you aren't being conformed to it? You don't. People think that is such abstract stuff. They want to know how to have a happy marriage. But the reason you don't have a happy marriage is that your thinking is worldly viewpoint. You think about the world of men and women in ways that are influenced by the cosmic system. You don't even know it because it was instilled in you as you grew up in this culture. It's ultimately the most practical thing you can do. Do not be conformed to this world. The doctrine of faith affects every dimension of human learning from the sciences to the arts. If affects your view of history to geology from music to theater to literature – every dimension of life is affected by Bible doctrine. You don't get there unless you spend hours and hours thinking about these things. That is what produced the high points of Christian culture in various stages of history because you have because you had large number of believers and you have large numbers of pastors and theology professors who were thinking about these things. You go back to the period after the Reformation and you had pastors who also had hobbies in the natural sciences. They were categorizing and classifying various species on the side. You have people like Isaac Newton who formulated the law of gravity. Did you know that Isaac Newton wrote more on the Bible and theology than he did on science? That is what laid the foundation for modern culture. People let their thinking be radically transformed by the Word of God. They didn't just show up for church on Sunday and go home. That is what we have today. We have a superficial Christianity today that will never change the individual much less the culture. Yet they talk about it all the time. They don't have a clue how it happens. It only happens when you have a profound understanding of the Scripture.
- When you get into the Word of God it will change how you relate to other people. All of a sudden you realize that people are sinners. If you operate on technical human viewpoint, you think that everybody is basically good. But you found out in the Bible that they are basically evil including your husband or your wife and your children. People are sinners and so we have to deal with them as sinners. Rule number one in life is that people are people. Rule number two is that people are sinners. Rule number three is to look at rule number one. That is the only way to get through life is if we understand what the Bible says about people so that you can have serious significant relationships as God designed.
- It changes all of the social structures. We live in an era where we are so immersed in paganism that people are debating over the basic foundations for society. No one today believes in personal responsibility. They think it is genetic. It is not nurture; it is nature. They were just born that way. We see that as we study the Word it forces us to understand the foundational reality of the divine institutions. First of all God established human responsibility and accountability. As a corollary to that we have work and labor. That is grounded in the beginning before the fall. There was work in the Garden of Eden. It was not toilsome labor, but there were responsibilities. They had to tend the garden. Then we have marriage and family. The Word of God will transform your understanding of personal responsibility. When you understand personal responsibility, the things in marriage change. You are not blaming your spouse for everything. All of a sudden you realize you have to take accountability for all of your bad decisions. That changes things in marriage. Then in the family you have the responsibility of parents. Eventually that affects the fourth and fifth divine institutions in terms of government, in law, in politics, in internationalism, and in globalism. It gives you a perspective of history so that you can understand what is going on today in light of the trends of history. When you learn doctrine it affects your viewpoint on every issue in life.
- Doctrine gives you the understanding of reality as God defines it. When you were born as a fallen sinner your inclination as a sinner is to define reality on your own terms. It is all about you. If you don't believe that, look at some little baby. You will discover that the world revolves around them. And it revolved around you. The first thing you learned is that everything is about you. When you cried you would get attention. So you learned how to manipulate your environment because it was all about you. You define reality on your terms. But then the Word of God comes along and tells you no it is not all about you. It is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. So now you trust Christ as your Savior. You don't realize it when you get saved what is involved. Then the Holy Spirit gets a hold of you and takes you through the growth process. You stop and think about whether you really wanted to get involved in the intensified stage of the angelic conflict. Do I really want to go into this testing? Is this what I signed on for? The guy said that if you trusted Christ you would have a happy and meaningful life. You may not be so sure that this is happy and meaningful right now. But doctrine gives you the understanding of reality as God defines it. He gives rules for operating in a God-created but presently Satan-dominated world. We live in a fallen world with fallen people. That's reality. The Bible gives us the framework for handling that. That comes from Bible doctrine.
- Then doctrine moves into your thought life and teaches you how you handle every situation in life. We face all kinds of tests. We face people tests and we face system tests and we face health tests and we face problems in marriages. There are problems in corporations and financial tests. Yet it is the Word of God that gives us principles so that we can surround and envelope all those problems with the truth of God's Word. When we do that we have stability. We have peace and stability because our thinking is aligned with reality. We know that God is in control. No matter what happens we can relax and trust God. It is all part of the growth process. The writer of Hebrews says that because of who Jesus Christ is and what He has done and His superiority in the universe we must give the closest attention and scrutiny to things that we have heard, the doctrine that has been communicated to us.
Then we have a warning. In the New King James version we have the word "lest". It is a translation of the Greek word mepote. It is a compound verb, the negative plus ever or time. It is a temporal conjunction. It indicates that we might never drift away. It is a very strong statement. We must pay attention or else we will drift away.
Corrected translation: Therefore it is necessary for us to pay the closest attention to keep anchored to the things that we have heard so that we might not ever…
The key is staying anchored it the Word of God. That is the anchor of the soul that gives us the stability we need.
The verb is the aorist passive subjunctive of pararreo. It indicates purpose. It means to slip anchor. It is not a word that indicates something that happens instantly. It is a gradual process. All of a sudden we see that line slip overboard. The next thing you know you are drifting on the current and the tides of worldly thinking. You wake up one morning and your ship has been pushed around the point and you don't know where you are. All you see is water everywhere and you know that you are in trouble. It happens so easily in our lives. We start making decisions. It is little decisions that don't seem to matter much. But they accumulate over time. One day we wake up and ask how we got so mixed up in our spiritual lives. We don't know how it happened. It was gradual. It was one little move at a time.
It happens differently at different stages of life. It happens first when you first leave home. When you are young and leave home, it is now your decision. You are off at college and you have a lot of opportunities. You have social life and social pressures and academic life. Sometimes you want to sleep late on Sunday morning because you were up late on Saturday night. You have to discipline your nightlife and your partying. Then you have the academic rigors all week. If you work while you go to school you have those extra obligations. It is easy to say that you are just too tired to go to church. The next thing you know your life isn't any different from the unbeliever in the dorm room next to you. Then when you graduate from university you think you will get back. You are constantly being pelted with human viewpoint. But now you have a job. They expect you to be at work 50 to 60 hours a week. You have to fight traffic. You are too tired to go to class at night. You will go on Sunday. Then Sunday comes and you don't go to church. You sleep all day. You have another major test when you are in your twenties. How will you balance priorities in your life with material things? In your twenties you think you can put it off. You will wait until you are married. Then you want to have fun and travel. Then you have to deal with two sin natures under the same roof. You didn't make doctrine a priority when you got married so have someone who really doesn't care about doctrine. They are saved but don't care about spiritual things. They don't care much about the infallibility of Scripture. So now there are these tensions.
Parents let their kids date unbelievers or believers that were falling apart in their Christian lives. And then wonder why they married that individual. Now their spouse destroys them spiritually. Then you have kids. That is a real challenge to a young couple. How will they manage their time? You are up all night. Some manage to get organized and others don't. But by the time they get all packed up church is over. Then you get a little later on in life and there are always issues in life that keep you from being in class studying the Word. The issue is your volition. If you are going to blame your circumstances, your work, or whatever, then you have a recipe for spiritual disaster. The issue when it is over with is whether you hear the Lord say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Or are you just going to be glad you aren't in hell? That's what the writer is challenging us with.
Therefore we must give the highest possible priority to the doctrine we have studied. We must concentrate on it. Otherwise we will be cast adrift by the currents of cosmic thinking. We will destroy our temporal impact and long-range impact. Then he gives us an illustration in verse 2 and the Mosaic Law.