This Great Way
1We must give our full attention to what we were told, so we won't drift away. 2The message spoken by angels proved to be true, and all who disobeyed or rejected it were punished as they deserved. 3So if we refuse this great way of being saved, how can we hope to escape? The Lord himself was the first to tell about it, and people who heard the message proved to us that it was true. 4God himself showed that his message was true by working all kinds of powerful miracles and wonders. He also gave his Holy Spirit to anyone he chose to.
The One Who Leads Us
5We know that God did not put the future world under the power of angels. 6 Somewhere in the Scriptures someone says to God,
“What makes you care
about us humans?
Why are you concerned
for weaklings such as we?
7You made us lower
than the angels
for a while.
Yet you have crowned us
with glory and honor.
8And you have put everything
under our power!”
God has put everything under our power and has not left anything out of our power. But we still don't see it all under our control. 9What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels. Because of God's gift of undeserved grace, Jesus died for everyone. And now that Jesus has suffered and died, he is crowned with glory and honor!
Think for a moment about the close friends you had when you were sixteen years old. How many of them are still your close friends? Chances are you are not in touch with most of them – not because of any great falling out but just because life got in the way; you got busy, you moved to a different city, your interests diverged. Friendships need cultivating; otherwise you inevitably drift apart.
We can easily drift in our spiritual lives too. Verse 1 urges us to “give our full attention to what we were told, so that we won’t drift away.” The English word “drift” translates the Greek pararreo, meaning “to flow by” or “slip away from.” The sense is that we might lose our faith not by conscious grappling with the message, but by inattention and carelessness.
The thought that we might drift from the Word of God is meant to frighten us because the stakes could not be higher. Verse 2 goes on to say, “The message spoken by angels proved to be true, and all who disobeyed or rejected it were punished as they deserved.” We are talking about salvation, about eternity. Nothing is more important to hold on to.
So how can we “give our full attention to what we were told” (v 1)? We can read the Bible regularly, putting our roots down into its stream of living water, as Psalm 1 puts it. We can meet with other Christians. We can learn to be evermore mindful of God’s presence, and “never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Whatever we need to do to stop the drift we must do. It is a matter of life or death.
Father God, thank you for the costly gift of salvation. Thank you for the many ways you have shown me you are real, that you love me, and that I am forgiven. Help me not to drift from you and to do whatever it takes to grow closer to you every day. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.