In chp. 5, he has pointed out the immaturity. Because of this lack of maturity they needed to be taught when they should have been teachers. Because of this lack of maturity Paul could not take them on into the deeper things such as the doctrine of Melchisedec.
These Hebrew Christians were stranded in the basic doctrines of Christ and the Christian religion. They were yielding to the pressure around them rather than hanging on to what they knew of Christ. God cannot give us more until we do what we already know.
Paul had told them of his desire to teach them the deeper things of God, yet their immaturity prevented it. Now he says therefore or because you are immature, lay it aside and grow up.
VV. 1, 2. He encourages them to leave these basic foundation principles of the Christian religion behind and press on to maturity. I suppose the letters tot he Christians at Corinth would be good examples of what he is referring to here, I Cor. chp. 15.
Those letters are emphasize on the death, burial, resurrection, repentance, faith, judgment, etc. Those letters emphasize these very basic principles of the Christian faith which is fine, but Paul here points out there is so much more to the teachings of our religion than just these basic things.
V. 3. He says that if God permits, he intends to move on, and he does. The Christian religion is a way of life founded upon Christ and Him crucified. It is so much more than a few simple basic doctrines. It is God's word and instruction showing His people how to live day by day.
It is a way of victory over the world, flesh and the devil. It is Christ living His life in his people, grace at work.
Notice Paul says, "if God permit." This should be our theme also, Ja. 4:13-17.
Notice v. 1, the goal of the apostle and his teachings was to bring God's people past the basic and on to perfection. He did not want to rebuild the foundation once again once they had been saved. Once they had repented from their dead works of the old Hebrew religion. He did not want to go back and again tell them of the necessity of this repentance.
I might add in here that people like messages based on these few things here. These kind of messages do not require commitment and self denial of what they want to do. These don't require diligent search and study and prayer and effort to follow. These may make us rejoice, yet they are very hard to apply to everyday life.
These doctrines don't demand confrontation with the world, flesh and the devil. These don't require a choice to be made as to who is the king, Christ Jesus or Caesar, Self or God, we can do our own thing and still be a Christian.
I might add that these messages won't bring a confrontation with the state because they don't demand allegiance to another king which undermines the control of Caesar over people. This message avoids what took place in Acts 17:7.
Also, this message of Heb. 6:1-2 can be preached by Billy Graham behind the iron curtain because it requires no change of allegiance from Caesar to Christ. If yo will watch close, the message promoted by the big name preachers, and TV evangelists center around Heb. 6:1-2. When you start teaching the word of God in such a manner that it demands a choice of who will be king and that choice will lead to a conflict with the King of this world, then the people will either speak out as they did with Paul in Acts 17, or they will quietly go elsewhere where they can hear these "feel good" messages. David Dilley was talking to the Greek Missionary who was here last spring. The missionary told him the mission boards are going under the WCC in order to stay in these countries and `preach Jesus.' There is no way we can continue support of mission boards.
To start with, there is no scriptural grounds for mission boards to do the work of God. Which, I guess, isn't really the problem. The problem is their operation under the authority of the state, rather than under scriptural authority.
I don't think there is a person in our circle of fellowship who would agree to support W.C.C. Missionaries regardless of the message they might preach. Yet, because these mission boards are being quiet about their connection with the W.C.C., we think it is okay to continue to support them and people working under them. I sit okay to link up with the W.C.C. to preach Jesus?
I'm sure some are going to disagree with some hard decisions which must be made but are we going to allow personal emotional attachments to make our decisions? I for one will not if I can help it.
I'll never understand how we can justify allowing people to make decisions concerning church policy who cannot get past the control of a cigarette, or can't get control of their tongue, or can't see the importance of tithing.
If we cannot allow God's word to make our decisions for us, then we might as well quit being a hypocrite and live for the world, flesh and the devil, and make no profession of Christ.
Col. 1:13, we have been delivered into the kingdom of God, the kingdom of his dear Son and we need to know how to live in this kingdom. This will require strong meat. Matt. 5, gives the law of this kingdom. These two kingdoms are at war, both demanding our allegiance.
6:4-8. Here is a difficult passage to say the least. I think this is one of those referred to by Peter in II Pet. 3:15-18. Peter points out that these difficult passages like this are used by the unlearned to their own destruction. He warns us of misusing these difficult passages. There are several other passages which go with this. II Pet. 2:20 would be one.
V. 6 is referred t in 10:26-31. "Fiery indignation--" Fire speaks of judgment against sin, whether in His people or in the world, Rev. 1:14.
In chp. 10 he is referring to judgment against God's people for their willful sin and in chp. 6, he seems to be talking of losing our salvation. If we don't hold out to the end, we know thought that is not consistent with an overwhelming amount of Scripture.
All I can say is v. 9, He expected better of these Christians. He expected them not to turn their back on the finished work of Christ. We have been chosen by our God to be holy even as he is holy, I Pet. 1:14. Our God makes it abundantly clear that a saved person who lives contrary to this calling is doing it at great risk. In fact, Heb. 10:23 covers this from another view. Live what we profess, v. 23, or vv. 26-31 will take place.
Heb. 6:9, he expects us to have the life which accompanies salvation and that is a number one obligation to Him and His word. Anything short of this leads to the hand of God against us.
Heb. 6:7-8, the implication here is that those who make a profession of salvation, yet do not go on to produce that which is expected of salvation, will be as the briers and thorns which are burned. Again, I believe in eternal security of the believer so this could be a confirmation of chp. 10. The fiery indignation against those who continue on in their own willful way contrary to God's word. There will be no excuses or reasons in that day of why a child of His did not find time to serve Him. This sure sounds like our Lord's words of Matt. 13:18-23.
I Jn. 2:15-19 also speak along the same line. Those who don't stay with us were never with us to start with.
V. 10. He encourages them to keep on keeping on. As they were pressured and even persecuted for Christ he urges them not to turn back. He assures them that God will not forget their service and work for Him.
Turning this around. God would be unrighteous to forget what we have done for Him, or are doing. Notice here also, how we do this labour and service of love for God. By ministering, serving, his saints.
Here we have this attitude showing up again. The attitude of a servant. This is as contrary to human nature as anything can be, yet this is our call, Eph. 4:1-3. Gal. 6:9, 10, goes right along with Heb. 6:10.
6:10-20, in these passages we have a very strong exhortation to patient and endurance. He is encouraging them not to go back from their profession of Christ and all it represents. He tells them that if they will hold on to that profession and be faithful in carrying through the responsibilities which come with it, it would not be right for God to forget their faithfulness.
V.11. His desire is for everyone of these people whom he is addressing here, is that they would all show the same diligence to their profession. That they would each one live actively in accordance to what they have professed their hope in until the end of life with the same diligence which those who are referred to in v. 12 showed. He will identify these people in chp. 11:13.
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Paul here is calling for diligence. He is warning against slothfulness. He reminds them of the blessings promised for this diligence and patience.
Let me call our attention to something. As I was reading over some material for the insert, for the bulletin, I came across the one we put in, the Promise of Poverty. At the end of the article, the author points out some passages which I think are well worth observing. These passages have been on my mind since I read them with what was pointed out.
1. "Go to the ants, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? `A little sleep, a little slumber, and your poverty will come in like a vagabond'" (Prov. 6:6-11a).
Notice the problem here:
1.) Inability to work without supervision.
3.) Inability to get out of bed.
With these comes a promise. The promise of poverty.
Answer: "whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men", Co. 3:23.
2. "Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored" Prov. 13:18.
Notice the problem here:
1.) Lack of discipline in his life.
2.) Refusing correction. Cannot be taught. Unwilling to learn.
The promise? Poverty and shame.
3. "In all labor there is a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty" Prov. 14:23.
Here he only talks about what he is going to do. Yet somehow never gets around to doing it.
4. "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advance, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty" Prov. 21:5. One other related verse is: "He who tills his land will have plenty of good, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished," Prov. 28:9-20.
Problem? This person wants something for very little or no effort on his part. Get rich quick schemes, state lotteries, debt.
The promise, poverty and punishment.
5. "He who oppresses the poor to make much for himself, or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty, Prov. 22:16.
Two things here: 1.) Oppresses the poor or takes advantage of the less fortunate for his own profit. 2.) He gives to the rich in hope of personal gain.
6. "For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man in rage," Prov. 23:21. "Do not love sleep, lest you become poor; open your eyes and you shall be satisfied with food," Prov. 20:21.
Again, a couple of problems. 1.) Unable to control his natural appetites. The need for drink, food and sleep.
To let the need of food, drink or sleep control our lives carries with it the promise of rage and poverty.
Paul warns us to be diligent. He warns us against slothfulness.
Some might say, "I tried these things for a while, but I saw no improvement, nor advantage for doing it."
Paul answered that with, Heb. 6:15. Just keep on whether we
see the results or not. These people did not see the results in
their lifetime but the continued on in their diligent service
The implication is that full assurance of their faith (salvation) comes from diligent, faithfulness to their profession. It takes diligence, effort, zeal to hold fast to our profession. To fulfill what we claim or live consistently what we claim to be. There will probably be more times we don't feel like diligence than what we do.
II Pet. 1:1-10--This is why people in sin feel they have lost their salvation. Of course, many go back into their sins. Paul encouraged his son Timothy with II Tim. 4:6-8.
Did Paul say here that he hung onto his salvation and kept his faith in Christ?
No, he says here that he kept his profession. He diligently lived what he claimed from the time he was saved until this present time near his death. He did not quit. He remained faithful to what he said he was, a Christian, a follower of Christ, right up to his time of departure at death. He fought the fight of faith to his death. There will probably be more times when we don't feel like keeping our diligence than what we will, it is a fight.
He does not say he kept his salvation but that he was diligent in living what he professed and the result was a crown laid up for him. This would fit in with what he said in II Cor. 5:10, 11.
He was going to appear before Christ because he was saved. Every man will who is born again.
He was confident in this appearance because he knew he had been diligent in his service to the Lord. He knew he would be rewarded according to his diligence (faithfulness), and he said here that because he knew this he desired to persuade others to prepare for this meeting. He persuades Timothy, and in our text in Heb. 6, he also is persuading these people.
Here in II Cor., he persuades using the terror of the Lord for His people not being faithful. In Timothy he uses the prospect of a crown. In Hebrews he uses the prospect that it would not be right for God to forget their faithful diligence to their profession in Christ. He also uses past saints as an encouragement.
He was able to die in full assurance. He desires that these he is writing to would be able to also.
Peter warns that we will lose that assurance through the lose of diligence, faithfulness to our profession in Christ.
V. 12. be not slothful-- He warns them that to let down for a moment will result in falling away in apostasy-false doctrine. Paul uses the illustration of running a race, Heb. 12:1-2. Just as a runner, if he loses his diligence or if he becomes slothful or lazy, the race is over and he will be a loser. Paul's warning here is that it will take the same dedication and determination to remain true and faithful to our calling in Christ Jesus.
One of the saddest things though is that a runner will be far more diligent to peruse a worldly or earthly prize than a Christian will be to peruse our heavenly prize.
A businessman will be far more diligent in the pursuit of his dollar than a Christian is in his pursuit of his heavenly calling. Is it any wonder that so many fall out of this most important race of all in total defeat.
Paul here in v. 12 is calling upon those he is writing to, to do what? (Be followers or imitators of them--->) Here is a reference to those of Heb. 11. He list this role call of faith. Those who remained faithful to their profession in the face of every obstacle the world, flesh and devil could throw at them.
Let's look at hell for a few moments. Really the thought of 11 starts in 10:35, with the definition of faith. Really, 10:36, gives us the definition of faith, much more than 11:1 does. 1.) Doing the will of God. 2.) Patiently wait for God to move and fulfill the promise which goes with the condition we are meeting. 3.) Notice how long they kept on ding the will of God without seeing the results, v. 13 of chp. 11. Doing, waiting. doing, waiting, etc.
This is probably one of the hardest things that we have to do. To keep on even if we see no results. This the desire of the apostles heart here in Heb. 6:11-12. Not to be slothful, lazy or discouraged, but follow the example of these saints who hung on until death without seeing the promise fulfilled.
6:13-14, he goes on. God made the promise which Abraham did not receive, yet he swore by himself that it would come to pass, Gen. 22:15-19. This promise is found and fulfilled in the NT, Rom. 8:17; Gal. chp. 3--vv. 8, 16, 18, 29.
This promise was made to Abraham 1,700 years before it was fulfilled, yet God said it would be. God swore by Himself that it would be. As long as God was alive he had this assurance. That it would be fulfilled and God far outlived Abraham.
The promises of God aren't dead as long as He lives. The world seeks to kill God so they can escape the promises of God.
the promises here could be the promise of eternal life, but I am more inclined to think it is the promise of rest in Christ.
Although we see from v. 14, the promise was concerning the church and the unnumbered multitudes which come into it, Rev. 7:9. This promise went to Isaac, Jacob, then Judah. This was the blessing which was passed down and which Esua didn't really have any use for.
V. 15. Patiently endured-- Abraham is being used as an example of faith. God made him a promise that He would bless him. Really this promise was made in Gen. 12:1-3, and only confirmed in Gen. 22:15-19.
Paul points out that Abraham patiently endured after he received this promise. 1.) Abraham was 75 years old when he received the promise, Gen. 12:1-5. 2.) It was another 24 years before God showed him how it would be fulfilled, 17:1-16. 3.) He was 100 years old before he even saw a glimmer of fulfillment with the birth of Isaac, 21:1-5. 4.) The promise of the Messiah was given to Abraham. (Either in 12:1-5 or 22:15-19). Abraham believed that promise and rejoiced in it, Jn. 8:56. The context of Gen. 22:8, indicates Abraham already knew by the time he offered Isaac in 15-19.
Abraham was able to look way ahead based upon the promises of God and rejoice in what he saw by faith, hundreds of years in the future.
Paul here in Hebrews uses this as an encouragement to these Christians and the same applies today. We must continue on in patience in our well doing even though we might not see a thing happen as we go about our activities.
Can we look for ahead and rejoice in what we see by faith? Abraham only had a glimmer. We have God's written word. How much more should we be able to continue on in faith. Christ has come in fulfillment of the promise.
V. 16. Paul continues on with the promises of God, showing how they cannot fail. He points out ere that in order to stop strife they take an oath. We will not go into the oath of our day and how men now swear by themselves rather than by God and His word.
Here he points out that an argument is settled when one person takes an oath. The oath is not sworn in the name of a lesser person, but a greater person. By an authority who can do something about it if the oath is not correct. Paul points out that His oath could not be sworn by someone greater, therefore, he swore by Himself that His promise was true.
V. 17. God now appeals to the oath which He swore to show that it would come to pass just as He had promised. His desire is to confirm the promise in the greatest way possible (very abundantly). He desires to confirm that the promise will not change. His counsel will stand. No one advises Him, nor changes His mind. It is as firm as any thing can be. As unchangeable as God is, Isa. 39:13-18.
A good example is the sure confidence of the farmer that his corn seed will produce corn. He stakes everything upon this. This is an unmovable, unchangeable law, just as God is unchangeable. He made a promise, swore by himself and it will come to pass.
This promise could easily be referring to salvation, yet I believe it is primarily referring to things like Gal. 6:9. His promise will not change. He confirmed His promise to Abraham by His own self.
V. 18. What are these two immutable things? I do not know what these are but he refers to two things about God which will not change. Maybe it is the oath and the promise, yet whatever these two things are they are built upon Titus 1:2. (God cannot lie.)
The purpose of Paul's reminding them? --we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us, etc.
Again, this could be an assurance of salvation passage, but I am more inclined to see this as a sure hope and strong, sted fast confidence in the promises of God. As we do right He will see us through the strong storms of life. This book seems to talk of claiming His promises in the face of dire need. It has many passages such as Heb. 4:16. I think Matt. 7:24-28, would be our Lord's illustration of this. I saw on the new today where another test missile blew up. I think we are locked out of space by the soviets and well on our way to captivity. Our hope is in our Lord.
We are living in a stormy day to say the least. The winds of false doctrine and unbelief are blowing at hurricane force, yet we have a firm foundation.
Remember, Paul is writing to those being pressured into returning to Judaism. He is assuring them that it will pay great dividends if they will remain faithful to their profession in Christ. His promises are true.
As the winds grow even stronger we must flee to our promises in Christ. Ps. 11, is a beautiful illustration. The foundations are being destroyed today like crazy. We have a sure hiding place where we can flee for safety, the word of God will not move. Ps. 11, is a perfect description of our day.
Heb. 6:18-19. Our anchor is the one who is entered into the veil. Again, He entered into the Holy of Holiest where God dwells as a forerunner for us. This is 4:16 over. He is our priest. Therefore we have boldness even in the worst of storms to come into God's presence.
6:20, Christ the forerunner. He has gone before us.
In closing this chapter, let us dwell upon the forerunner a moment.
1. We have already seen that he was tempted in every point as we are, Heb. 4:15.
2. I Pet. 2:21. Any suffering we might go through in the future
(or present), He has already been there and sown us how to respond,
I Cor. 1:4.
a. Also here, He has gone before and shown us the victory which can be won over the world, flesh and devil, Jn. 16:33.
b. The way has been prepared by Him for victory over sin.
3. Jn. 14:3, he has already passed into the heavens, Jn. 14:3.
a. As our High Priest.
b. To prepare a place for us. Therefore we have a firm, sure hope of eternal life for all who have trusted his atoning work.
4. I Cor. 15:20, His resurrection proves our resurrection and
a. He has already gone through death, Heb. 2:9.
He is our forerunner. No matter what we might experience, He has already gone through it. He has been through every human experience and was victorious. As our forerunner, He will see us through them all also, if we will let him.
1.) Is there a overwhelming sin? 2.) A dire situation. 3.) A unsure future (no doubt on this one). 4.) A certain death.
He is our forerunner. He has been through it all and will
provide us with the grace, wisdom, courage to please him as we
pass through what he has already been through.