This past Sunday the sermon was on Hebrews 2:1-4. Check here for a preview. This is a brief (and selective) recap.
There are many dangers, internal and external, to your faith. These five share a common theme: they are each the result of simple neglect.
#1 Forgetting that your sins were forgiven: This is both the cause and result of neglect. Those who do not consistently reflect up the cross and the price paid for their salvation soon become self-righteous (“I was never such a bad person, the cost was not too great”). And the self-righteous rarely make any attempt to grow in grace and virtue (See 2 Peter 1:3-11).
#2 Neglecting God’s word: James 1 describes two kinds of things the grow inside believers: (1) Sinful desire which gives birth to sin which grows up into death and (2) The word of truth which is planted in us and gives us life. Sin comes to us naturally (no outside force required) but the Holy Spirit works through the word – something to which we must look intently… and obey (See James 1:13-25).
#3 Neglecting your mind: Romans 12 admonishes us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The only other option is to be conformed to the patterns of this world. Be careful what comes in. Avoid mind rot. Challenge yourself to learn and think biblically (See Romans 12:1-2).
#4 Settling for a form of religion: It is possible to get so caught up in the practice of religious activity that we forget that we are called to love God and love neighbor. Forgetting our first love (see #1 above) we settle for a shell. Eventually we see the shell for what it is, futility, and either run back to Jesus or give up completely.
#5 Giving up on church: Life in a local church is messy, but life apart from a local church is, for all practical purposes, a life apart from Christ. Where else do you receive the regular ministry of the word, the constant reminder of salvation through Jesus, the opportunity to think through life biblically, and the environment to practice pure religion? (See Hebrews 10:19-25)