Pay Attention

Pay AttentionText: Hebrews 2:1

We receive reminders throughout life to pay attention. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of paying attention. In this lesson, we are going to see what we are / are not to pay attention to and why this matters.

Pay Attention to These Things

  • To what we have heard (Hebrews 2:1) – not necessarily what we have been taught growing up; this is about what has been revealed by the apostles (Galatians 1:8-9); “pay much closer attention” to these things because spiritual growth must take place (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:13-14)
  • To the revelation of Christ (2 Peter 1:19) – these are prophecies that pointed to Christ (2 Peter 1:16); we have the prophecies and their fulfillment (Luke 24:44-46); as a lamp in a dark place, these revealed the mystery that was otherwise unknowable (1 Corinthians 2:11-12; Deuteronomy 29:29)
  • To yourself (1 Timothy 4:16) – our conduct and standing before God; we must examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and make sure we’re living up to His standard; we will each be judged by Him (2 Corinthians 5:10) and we do not want to be surprised on that day (Matthew 7:22-23)
  • To your teaching (1 Timothy 4:16) – these are the things that we teach to others; we have an obligation to speak according to the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11); hold fast to His word (2 Timothy 1:13); do not deviate from it (Galatians 1:8-9)

Do Not Pay Attention to These Things

  • Myths (1 Timothy 1:14; cf. Titus 1:14) – typically not true; carefully crafted to make a point (2 Peter 1:16); avoid them because we need to follow the truth, not just what sounds right (Romans 16:17-18)
  • Endless genealogies (1 Timothy 1:4) – not inspired genealogies (Matthew 1; Luke 3; et at.); these are records that go on indefinitely; avoid them because they are unprovable (“speculation“) and ultimately meaningless (Matthew 3:9; Galatians 3:28-29)
  • Deceitful spirits (1 Timothy 4:1) – those who lead us away from the faith; they do so through deception (2 Corinthians 11:13-15); avoid them because we will be lost if we fall away from the faith (Revelation 2:10; Hebrews 3:14)
  • Doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1) – teachings that contradict the doctrine of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20); avoid them because they will cause us to lose fellowship with God (2 John 9)
  • Commandments of men (Titus 1:14) – additional man-made rules in the realm of religion (cf. Matthew 15:2); avoid them because following man’s rules does not help our service to God (Colossians 2:23; Matthew 15:9)

Why This Matters

  • Our attention affects our direction (1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 2:1) – “fall away“; “drift away“; we are to follow the straight and narrow path (Matthew 7:13-14); press on toward the goal (Philippians 3:14)
  • Our attention affects our understanding (2 Peter 1:19) – “a lamp shining in a dark place“; we are to understand God’s will (Ephesians 5:17); this requires attention (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Our attention affects our service to God (1 Timothy 1:4) – “furthering [building up] the administration of God“; we are to be abounding in the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians 15:58); build up the body (Ephesians 4:16)
  • Our attention affects our salvation (1 Timothy 4:16) – and that of others; the gospel is God’s power for salvation (Romans 1:16); we must obey to be saved (Hebrews 5:9)

Conclusion

  • If our eternal destiny is important, we need to (1) pay attention to what the word of God says, (2) pay attention to ourselves and make sure we live up to His standard, and (3) avoid being distracted by those things that are contrary to God’s will
  • Let us always be willing to take time and consider whether our focus is where it needs to be

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