In order to understand the sermon and apply its message to ourselves, we need to understand the history of the congregation and their situation when they received the letter from the apostle.
Read Hebrews 2:3-4. What was the experience of the audience of Hebrews when they were first converted?
This passage implies that the audience of Hebrews had not heard Jesus Himself preach; instead, they had received the gospel from other evangelists who had announced to them the news of “salvation.”
Paul also says that the evangelists had “confirmed” the message to them and that God Himself had born “witness both with signs and wonders” (NKJV). This means that God had provided experiential confirmation of the gospel by signs and other powerful deeds — among them the distribution of the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” (NKJV). The New Testament relates that signs such as miraculous healings, exorcisms, and the outpouring of spiritual gifts often accompanied the preaching of the gospel in new places.
At the beginning of the Christian church, God poured His Spirit upon the apostles in Jerusalem so that they were able to announce the gospel in languages previously unknown to them and to be able to perform miracles (Acts 2, 3). Philip performed similar wonders in Samaria (Acts 8), Peter in Joppa and Caesarea (Acts 9, 10), and Paul throughout his ministry in Asia Minor and Europe (Acts 13-28). These powerful deeds were experiential evidence that confirmed the message of “salvation” — the establishment of the kingdom of God and a salvation from condemnation and freedom from evil powers (Hebrews 12:25-29).
The Spirit gave early Christian believers the conviction that their sins had been forgiven; thus, they were not fearful of judgment, and as a result their prayers were bold and confident, and their religious experience was joyful (Acts 2:37-47). The Spirit also delivered those who were enslaved to evil powers, which was compelling evidence of the superiority of the power of God over the forces of evil and revealed that the kingdom of God had been established in their lives.
|What is the story of your conversion? In what ways have you been confirmed in your faith and belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? Why is it good at times to remember how God first worked in your life to bring you to Him?|