“We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” Hebrews 2:1-3 HCSB
We are moving on to a new chapter in Hebrews, as well as a new section in our study of Andrew Murray’s The Holiest of All. Here is the opening to “The First Warning”:
THE first chapter has set before us the divine glory of Christ the Son, in whom God hath spoken to us in these days. In the second the humanity and the humiliation of Jesus are to be unfolded. Ere the writer proceeds to this, he pauses to sound a note of warning. He reminds his readers of the greater responsibility and greater danger in case of neglect, which greater privileges bring, and to urge them to take more earnest, more abundant heed to what God is speaking in His Son.
We all know what duty is, and that of a danger. However, how many of us consider what it means to be privileged. Here are several definitions to help us recall: A right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most. An exemption to free from certain obligations or liabilities.
Another definition that I love is to enjoy the privileges of a free people. We are privileged because of what Christ has made available to live as free people. How many of us are? Murray is determined to make it clear.
The following excerpt is titled "The Danger of Neglecting so Great a Salvation,” from Andrew Murray’s The Holiest of All:
In what God speaks and does, it is all with the desire to show to us more abundantly, in full and overflowing measure, what the purpose of His heart is. It is for this He speaks in none less than His own Son. He has a right to claim that we meet Him with a corresponding whole-heartedness, and give more abundant heed to what He speaks.
Nothing less will satisfy Him; nothing less, in the very nature of things, will satisfy us, because nothing less than man's more abundant heed is capable of receiving God's more abundant grace. It is the lack of this taking more earnest heed, the lack of intense earnestness, giving God and religion the first place and the best powers of our life, which is at the root of the feebleness and sickliness of the Christian life. God is speaking to us in His Son, therefore we ought to take more abundant heed.
Lest haply we drift away—and perish more surely and more terribly than those who sinned under the Old Testament. There the word spoken, with its threatening, was steadfast, and every transgression was punished. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? The gospel does not, as so many think, lessen—it increases our danger. lt does not diminish, but will terribly intensify, the soreness of the punishment in those who neglect it.
Oh, let us sound out the warning: it is not only positive enmity or open sin that will be punished. No, simply "not taking earnest heed," just "drifting away" unconsciously with the current of worldliness and halfhearted religion, "neglecting" to give the great salvation that supremacy, that entire devotion which it claims,—it is this which will render escape impossible.
And why? How can we show men that it is right and meet that it should be so? And what is the motive that will stir men to take heed? The answer is in the one word: “So great salvation.” The insight into the more abundant glory, the divine, the all-surpassing greatness of this salvation, is what will compel men willingly and joyfully to give up all and buy this pearl of great price.