[i]For this reason [that is, because of God’s final revelation in His Son Jesus and because of Jesus’ superiority to the angels] we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth. For if the message given [j]through angels [the Law given to Moses] was authentic and unalterable, and every violation and disobedient act received an appropriate penalty, how will we escape [the penalty] if we ignore such a great salvation [the gospel, the new covenant]? For it was spoken at first by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us and proved authentic by those who personally heard [Him speak], [and besides this evidence] God also testifying with them [confirming the message of salvation], both by signs and wonders and by various miracles [carried out by Jesus and the apostles] and by [granting to believers the] gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. – Hebrews 2:1-4
Our minds and memories are like a leaky vessel, they do not, without much care, retain what is poured into them. This proceeds from the corruption of our nature, temptations, worldly cares, and pleasures. Sinning against the gospel is neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt of the saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not caring for it, not regarding either the worth of gospel grace, or the want of it, and our undone state without it. The Lord’s judgments under the gospel dispensation are chiefly spiritual, but are on that account the more to be dreaded. Here is an appeal to the consciences of sinners. Even partial neglects will not escape rebukes; they often bring darkness on the souls they do not finally ruin. The setting forth the gospel was continued and confirmed by those who heard Christ, by the evangelists and apostles, who were witnesses of what Jesus Christ began both to do and to teach; and by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, qualified for the work to which they were called. And all this according to God’s own will. It was the will of God that we should have sure ground for our faith, and a strong foundation for our hope in receiving the gospel. Let us mind this one thing needful, and attend to the Holy Scriptures, written by those who heard the words of our gracious Lord, and were inspired by his Spirit; then we shall be blessed with the good part that cannot be taken away. Matthew Henry
Gifts of the Holy Ghost were extraordinary qualities and powers given to such as heard the apostles’ doctrine and believed it; as power to heal, to speak in strange languages, to prophecy, to do miracles. They are said to be gifts and effects of the Holy Ghost, because they had them not by nature, or industry, or instruction by man, but from the power of God-Redeemer, and the Spirit of Christ. They are called in the original, “distributions” or “divisions,” because they were
1. Communicated to divers persons.
2. Were many of different kinds.
3. Were given in several degrees. They were distributed according to His own will.
But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. The effect of these miracles and gifts was the confirmation of the doctrine of the apostles, which they did confirm by word and deed. – Biblical Illustrator