HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE?
Leslie M. John
“For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Hebrews 2:2-4)
The shortest explanation for the three verses cited above is that in contrast to the stringent method that was available for covering the sin of transgressor in the Old Testament period, the salvation provided by Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith is so great that we cannot neglect it.
However, that does not suffice our need to clearly understand the concept of salvation because of the depth of knowledge available in these verses. Therefore, let us look into little more in detail. The Ten Commandments were indeed written by God with His fingers. However, the disposition of the Law among the various ranks and files was made by angels. Stephen in his speech in Acts 7:38 and in Acts 7:53 and Paul in Galatians 3:19 confirm this fact.
The Mosaic Law pointed to the transgression and disobedience of the Law and the expiation to cover the sin was a very tough, and yet it was the beginning of the things to come, and it was the way to show that the sacrifice of Lord Jesus was perfect one. If such method was not available we would not have appreciated the greatness of Lord Jesus, who paid ransom for our sin, to deliver us from the bondage of sin.
The sacrifices offered on the altar in the prescribed manner by the Levite Priests were enough only for the sin of transgressor to be covered temporarily and it was never fully forgiven in the Old Testament period, until the price of it was fully paid by Lord Jesus on the cross by shedding His precious blood.
The Law was very severe, and it subjected everyone to suffer for every transgression and disobedience. “But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.” (Numbers 15:30-31 ESV. cf. also Deuteronomy 17:12, Psalm 19:13, Hebrews 10:26).
Angels looked with great curiosity of this great salvation that we benefit from, while the prophets diligently searched to know what it was, and yet this mystery was revealed unto us. No one understood it fully until Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead. The sacrifices offered by slaying thousands of animals was once for all replaced by the one and only sacrifice made by One Lord, One Christ, the divine being, who came into this world in the form of servant and in the likeness of man and dwelt among men.
The word spoken by angels was not vacillating or wavering but it was steadfast. Every transgression and disobedience received due recompense of reward. The way to permanent salvation came by grace through faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
That is the reason why the Word of God asks us how we can neglect this great salvation that we received. It is hard to increase in knowledge unless we work hard in that direction, but for degeneration of our body and brain, it is enough if we neglect the word of God.
A physical body needs continual upkeep; otherwise it stinks, a land needs continual upkeep; otherwise, weeds will surely grow in it. Our degeneration and backsliding occurs when we neglect our salvation. No truly born-again child of God forsakes salvation once it is received, but every Christian undergoes severe trials and temptations in this life. Our progress in the Lord increases only when we do not neglect the gift of salvation we received, and continually depend on Him seeing His guidance. The Lord calls all those who backslide to return to Him.
The forgiveness of sins in fully be achieved only by accepting Jesus as personal savior. He offered Himself on the cross as sacrifice on behalf of us that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Our salvation is secured by the Lord, and will, therefore, never be lost.
He took our sin upon Him and died a substitutionary death on behalf of us, in order that we by confessing Him as Lord and believing in heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day might receive salvation, free of cost. The price is already paid by the Lord, not in the form of silver or gold but by His precious blood.
How can we escape if we neglect such great salvation afforded to us by God. We were not worthy to come to His feet, but He made us worthy to call Him as “Abba, Father”. He gave us the privilege to be called as “sons of God”.
The salvation that the Lord spoke of was confirmed to us by them that heard Him. God bore witness, both of signs and wonders and with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will.