1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
1–4 give us the first among several solemn warnings in the book of Hebrews (He 2:1–5; 3:7–4:13; 6:4–8; 10:26–39; 12:25–29). The main problem in the entire book was that people with Hebrew background were reverting to temple sacrifices and other practices in Judaism. The book warns about the issue of letting New Testament truth slip away in five places. The warning in this chapter is the shortest of them all. The five warnings are found here:
First warning: Hebrews 2:1-5
Second warning: Hebrews 3:7-4:13
Third warning: Hebrews 6:4-8
Fourth warning: Hebrews 10:26-39
Fifth warning: Hebrews 12:25-29
This section of Hebrews makes a shift from didactic to exhortation (He 13:22). The author includes himself in the challenge of 2:1–4.
Now the book of Hebrews turns directly to its audience; it will not allow truth to be unexamined in one’s life.
1 Therefore [for this reason]
We have heard this expression for years: “Whenever you see a ‘therefore,’ look to see what it is there for.” This is especially true for the “therefore” of our verse. This “therefore” draws a conclusion from chapter 1.
By harking back to the first chapter, the “therefore” draws a very strong deduction from it. The supremacy of the Son calls out serious implications on our lives. The Mediator (the Son) of the New Covenant has superior status to angels as mediators of the Old Covenant (angels). There is no comparison.
The argument is this: Because of the superiority of the Son (His person and office), the special revelation He brought directly from the Father, and His superiority over creatures higher than humans (angels), there is an imperative that we not become indifferent to the superiority of the Son.
Doctrine and practice invariably wed with each other in the New Testament.
The Bible involves both doctrine and practice. Truth always governs life. Its principles invariably relate to the reality of our lives. We cannot separate doctrine and life. Both relate to our faith.
The Bible uses doctrine to exhort believers to action. We do what we do because of what we believe. Superficial motivation based on emotion does not build the Christian life as it should be.
Go to my home page (http://versebyversecommentary.com) to see a statement by J. I. Packer where he says, “Exegesis without application should not be called interpretation at all.”