“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.”
Today’s short verse passage is overflowing with meaning and significance. The verse begins with the word “therefore”, referring to the previous discussion of Christ’s deity, His superiority over the entire created order, and His spectacular redemptive work. In light of these remarkable facts, we ought to give our focused attention to the things of God, things of eternal significance. The writer contrasts this godly attitude with one in which these things are allowed to “slip.” What could this mean? The Greek text indicates a slipping away, or slipping past. The writer could be referring to the fact that if one does not give earnest attention to the things of God, he runs the risk of having them slip from his mind and memory. The text may also indicate a “slipping past” in the sense of drifting away from an intended goal. The goal of the Christian life is to become more like Jesus. To do this, we must study the word of God, which testifies of Him (John 5:39; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Revelation 19:10). The more we look to Jesus and consider Him, the more protected we will be from weariness and discouragement (Hebrews 12:2-3) and more we will progress towards reflecting His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Part of the process is learning to think as He did, putting others first in obedience to our heavenly Father (Philippians 2:1-11). This means walking the path God has laid our for us, performing the good works that God has ordained for us (Ephesians 2:10). Today’s verse is a gentle reminder that, though no Christian is consciously planning on openly rebelling against God, our defection from His wise rule can still occur if only incrementally. Two parallel lines will never intersect, no matter how long we make them. Conversely, if one of those lines is out of parallel by even a tiny fraction of a degree, sooner or later the lines will collide. Similarly, an aircraft pilot must plot his course with care and rely upon navigational instruments that are functioning accurately and with precision. If they are out of calibration by even the tiniest amount, the longer the plane is in the air the further off course it is going to be. The same is true of the Christian walk. A tiny compromise in Christian truth or conduct often leads to greater deviation later on. As today’s verse reminds us, we must give earnest heed to biblical doctrine and its proper application to our lives. Refusing to do so is like ignoring the helm of a great ship. Sooner or later the vessel will drift off course and suffer disaster (1 Timothy 1:19). May God help us to stay the course, for His own glory, for our own good also, and for the good of those He places in our lives. May it be so, O Lord!
God bless you, dear saints,