Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
In Hebrews chapter one, the author explains that though in the past God spoke through prophets, He has now spoken by His Son. Because the Son is so much better than the angels, we must give more earnest heed to His Word. After all, if the word spoken through angels was strong and demanded punishment for disobedience, how much worse will it be for those who refuse to hear Jesus and neglect the great salvation that He purchased for us?
We must give more earnest heed to the gospel of grace. Too often, the too-good-to-be-true news of salvation by faith in Jesus apart from our efforts is watered down with law. We somehow manage to go back to the Old Covenant and dig up rules to follow, or worse, we take the New Covenant and turn it into a list of rules as well. There always seems to be an effort underway to seed our own works into the fully finished work of Jesus. When we do this, we are not giving earnest heed to the grace message.
Incredibly, God Himself bears witness to the gospel with signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Why would we turn from that to give ear to law and condemnation? The temptation to do so is always at hand, whether through our own thoughts, the world system that demands performance to gain a reward and punishes failure, or through religion that insists that we must earn our place before God. Because of this ever-present pressure, the author of Hebrews reminds us to listen more closely to Jesus. Focus more intently on His great salvation.
We overcome the pressure of performance by what or Who we hear. The choice is ours whether to pursue earning righteousness or to receive it by faith. We can look over our shoulders to the law, or we can bravely give grace the more earnest heed.