On the Goodness of Steak, Sex, & Everything Else
If you have been with us for the last three weeks in Hebrews, for chapter 1, then you know that the primary aim of the book is to conquer the Christian Church by the glory of Jesus in order that they might go—mastered by him, in awe of him, confident in him, worshiping him—and conquer the world in evangelism and discipleship. The book warns a Church called to the nations against shrinking back to the shadows of the Old Covenant.
And so in the first chapter of the book, the author piles up these massively glorious titles on Jesus:
He is God’s fullest, final revelation—perfect, potent divine speech.
He is the very Son of God.
He is the heir of all things.
He is the One through whom the world was created.
He is the great upholder of the Universe by the word of his power.
He is the radiance, the effulgence of the glory of God.
He is the exact imprint of the nature of God.
He is the great and final High Priest, purifier of mankind.
He is seated on the throne, ruling the cosmos.
He is the firstborn from the dead.
He is, in fact, God.
The point the author labors to make is the massive and cosmic supremacy of Jesus: He is no mere angel. He is no mere prophet, priest, or king. He is God.
And now in chapter 2, what the author of Hebrews would immediately do is head off any notion that what we are doing in talking about this Jesus is some kind of exercise in academic theology. We are not opening this letter and this book this morning to memorize some religious data to pass a theology test at the end of the sermon.
No, hearing about who Jesus is; learning about him; properly identifying his nature and attributes is not enough. We are here that we might know him—that we might know him and obey him and love him and be known by him.
Jesus is not a theological, philosophical concept; he is the Lord, and what he wants is you—heart, soul, mind, and strength. And so we come to the first application in the book here in chapter 2: In light of Jesus massive glory, don’t abandon him for anything.
Let’s get the text in front of us, Hebrews 2:1–4, and then ask for the Lord’s help before we get to work.
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”