Read verses 1-4
Q: What is the keyword in v.1 and the keyword in v.3 which are starkly contrasted to each other? To what are they referring?
A: “Attention” (v.1) and “neglect”. (v.2) They are referring to “what we have heard” (v.1) – “the word” (v.2).
Q: To whom is the writer of Hebrews exhorting to pay attention and not neglect God’s Word?
A: Believers. This is extremely important for the overall context of the teaching. This is not a warning to the unsaved, but the saved.
Q: How might we summarize this warning?
A: Since the Old Testament “word spoken through angels proved unalterable” and those who were disobedient suffered consequences, how much more so our responsibility for the New Testament Word “spoken through the Lord”.
Q: What seems to be the common problem for Believers where God’s Word is concerned?
A: The danger that they might “drift away from it”. (v.1)
Application: This is actually an insight into the definition of “apostasy” – “the falling away”. No one can fall away from something they never had, thus this term always applies to Christians. It begins by drifting away from God’s Word and ultimately results in “a just penalty”.
Q: Who were the first and primary witnesses to the authority and authenticity of the Word of God given through Christ?
A: “…it was confirmed to us by those who heard” – the Apostles. (v.3)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,
— Ephesians 2:19-21
Q: What did God further provide to confirm the authority and power of the Word given through Christ?
- “…signs and wonders…” (v.4)
- “…various miracles…” (v.4)
- “…gifts of the Holy Spirit…” (v.4)
Point: This is how we always test whether a sign, wonder, miracle, or proclaimed manifestation of the Holy Spirit is genuine or counterfeit, by whether or not it confirms and conforms to God’s Word. False personalities claim such things have a newer and greater authority, but if they are truly from God they can never contradict the Word of God they are given to confirm.
Application: The central purpose of Christ’s ministry is to affirm God’s Word. In acting like Him, this was not only reflected in the ministry of the Apostles, but in every generation to whom gifts of the Holy Spirit are given. It is always about the Word.