Presentation on theme: "Near to the Heart of God A Study of the Book of Hebrews Lesson 15 Hebrews 6:13 – 20 Standing on the Promises."— Presentation transcript:
Near to the Heart of God A Study of the Book of Hebrews Lesson 15 Hebrews 6:13 – 20 Standing on the Promises
I. Introduction A.Promises, promises – Oh yes, its election year, isn’t it? 1. We know better than to believe them. 2. The question is, why does God need to swear regarding His promises? 3. Our text in context a.5:11—6:20 is a kind of digression, necessitated by dullness of hearing. b.5:11-14the author’s analysis c.6:1-3the author’s approach d.6:4-8the future of those who fall e.6:9-12the author’s assurance f.6:13-20the basis of our security
C.The emphasis and importance of our text. 1. The emphasis of 5:11—6:12 has been the believer’s responsibility. 2. It is possible that one might conclude that our security is dependent upon us, upon our efforts (the very thing Hebrews is opposing: law-works). 3. 6:13-20 teaches us that our confidence and security are based upon God’s covenant promises and Christ’s mediation. 4. 6:13-20 is also the “on ramp” back to the subject of Melchizedek (Guthrie, p. 240).
D.Questions to answer. 1. Why does God’s oath come so late in Abraham’s life? 2. Why does God need to swear when He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19) and we are commanded not to (Matthew 5:33-37; James 5:12)? 3. What are the two unchangeable things in which God cannot lie? 4. What is our hope, and why is it the anchor of our soul?
II. The key to our text – 6:11-12 11 But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:11-12). A. The same eagerness... until the end (v. 11) B. So you may not be sluggish (as they were “dull” in 5:11). C. Be imitators of those with faith & perseverence who inherit (not have inherited) the promises (6:12; see 11:13-16, 39-40).
III. The example of Abraham (prelude to chapter 11) – vss. 13-15 Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” 15 And so by persevering, Abraham inherited the promise (Hebrews 6:13- 15). Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” 15 And so by persevering, Abraham inherited the promise (Hebrews 6:13- 15).
III. The example of Abraham – Genesis 22:15-18 15 The LORD’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ decrees the LORD, ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. 18 Because you have obeyed me, all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants’” (Genesis 22:15-18).
A. God had repeated & clarified His covenant with Abraham several times: 1.Genesis 12:1-3 (initial covenant) 2.Genesis 13:14-17 3.Genesis 15:1-21 (note v. 6) 4.Genesis 17:1-21 5.Genesis 18:10-14 B. Abraham failed at various points 1.His journey to Egypt & lie about Sarai (12:10-20) 2.A child by Hagar (chapter 16) 3.Lying to Abimelech about Sarah (chapter 20)
C. Abraham had just passed the greatest test of his faith by demonstrating his willingness to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:1-14). D. So why does God swear by an oath now, after the greatest test of Abraham’s life? 1.Hope is the result of perseverance and trusting in God’s promises (6:11, 15; Romans 5:1-4). 2.Abraham has not yet seen (nor will he – Heb. 11:13- 15, 39-40) the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise. 3.This oath was not just for Abraham, but for the heirs of the promise (us) – Heb. 6:17.
IV. Showing Why men (and God) swear (Hebrews 6:16-18) A.Swearing confirms one’s statement, removing doubt (vs. 16). B.Men must swear by something greater than themselves (vs. 16). C.God can only swear by Himself, since there is nothing greater (vs. 13). D.So why does God swear? 1. To indicate that His purpose is unchanging – that His covenant is unconditional a.Some warnings and some promises are conditional (Jer. 18:7-10; Jonah 3:9). b.The Abrahamic covenant is shown to be unconditional (compare Genesis 41:32).
2. To give strong encouragement to us, the heirs of the promise (vss. 17-18) 3. Encouragement pertains to two specific, unchangeable things (vss. 17-18). a. Opinions differ here. b. My opinion: the two things God swore by an oath 1) His covenant with Abraham (6:13) 2) The high priesthood of the Son, after the order of Melchizedek (7:20-21)
E.So who is strongly encouraged? Those who “have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us” (vs. 18, NASB95). 1. Cities of refuge were Levite cities to which those who had shed blood without malice fled for safety, the lifetime of the High Priest. a.Numbers 35 (cities of refuge) b.Joshua 20:1-3 2. Grasping the horns of the altar for protection. a.Exodus 21:12-14 b.1 Kings 1:49-51 (Adonijah) c.1 Kings 2:28 (Joab)
V. God’s remedy for drifting (2:1): an anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:29-20). Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away (2:1). 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19-20). order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:19-20). A.God’s promises are the basis of our hope (Hope = 18X in Hebrews).
B.God’s covenant promises are fulfilled in Christ 1. Abraham’s seed and God’s blessing to all nations (Galatians 3:15-16) 2. A High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 7, etc.) 3. He enters within the veil as a forerunner for us (Hebrews 6:19) C.God’s promises are the basis of our faith, and for our perseverance while we wait for their fulfillment.
VI. Conclusion and application A.Promises assume some delay, and thus the need for patience. B.Our confidence and assurance rests upon God’s promises and faithfulness which are fulfilled in Christ, not our performance. We can see this illustrated in the mediatorial ministry of Moses (Exod. 32). C.The promises are in God’s Word, and thus the author’s emphasis on God’s Word. D.Promises are the basis of our faith – what is unseen (but is spoken). See Hebrews 11. E.To reject Christ (apostasy) is to reject the only source of one’s security. Thus the warnings (compare Deut. 28:64-67).