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The Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 6 Jan-Apr 2014 FXCC.

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1 The Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 6 Jan-Apr 2014 FXCC

2 Hebrews 5 Continued the High Priest theme Rebuked for not maturing, for being content to stay in infancy In a way the writer is telling them they are not ready to grasp what he is going to say about Melchizedek

3 Hebrews 6 Elementary principles Spiritual maturity Warning! Don’t crucify Jesus again? Anchor

4 Hebrews 6:1-3 1 Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, 2 teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this is what we intend to do, if God permits.

5 Hebrews 6:1-3 Chapter 5 ended in a rebuke 6 begins with “Therefore…” – Move beyond elementary principles – They are stuck and need to move on/mature – They like their milk, but the writer is getting ready to give them meat The elementary principles may not seem to be so elementary to you

6 Hebrews 6:1-3 Repentance from dead works and faith in God – Probably the foundation in the writer’s mind – The rest below are how the foundation was laid, i.e. by teaching the following things Teachings re baptisms/washings and laying on of hands Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment

7 Hebrews 6:1-3 Repentance seen throughout the Bible – OT many references – John the Baptist preached repentance (Matt 3:2, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:8) – Jesus preached repentance (Mark 1:15) – The Apostles preached repentance (Acts 20:21) – Repentance also requires turning to God Trusting Him Pleasing/obeying Him

8 Hebrews 6:1-3 Repentance here is more in the sense of “leave behind” The teachings/doctrines were/are true The teachings/doctrines are foundational, i.e. important – They are the things that led them to convert The teachings/doctrines are the “milk” They need solid food/meat to grow stronger

9 Hebrews 6:1-3 The dead works are those related to sin (9:14) Faith in or toward God is that saving obedient faith we will see in chapter 11 (also implies faith in Jesus) So repentance and faith are what led them to Christ, they are the basics Baptisms and laying on of hands are closely related to each other by the way they are written here in the Greek

10 Hebrews 6:1-3 Baptisms/washings refer to immersion and possibly to what they knew about the differences between Jewish and Christian baptisms/washings Laying on of hands was closely associated with baptism in the beginning – A sign of blessing/ordination – Miraculous healing/gift

11 Hebrews 6:1-3 The language in the text also indicates a connection between resurrection and eternal judgment This is our resurrection in the future, vice Jesus’ resurrection And our eternal judgment in the future, which occurs after our resurrection

12 Hebrews 6:1-3 All 6 (repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection, judgment) were/are the foundation – The author does not elaborate on the details They are the starting point Christians are to grow/mature beyond this The text is passive, meaning it is God who grants the growth/maturity – We can impede that, but we don’t cause it

13 Hebrews 4:4-8 4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, 6 and then have committed apostasy, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding him up to contempt.

14 Hebrews 4:4-8 7 For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed; its fate is to be burned.

15 Hebrews 6:4-8 If they do not reverse their trend they will end up in apostasy – Deliberately rejecting and publicly denouncing their former faith We are to produce fruit and we will The only question is what kind of fruit – Useful, blessing – Useless, like thorns and thistles, fit only to be burned

16 Hebrews 6:4-8 Note the prior state was – Enlightened – Tasted the heavenly gift – Partaken of the Holy Spirit – Tasted the goodness of the word of God and the mighty works of the age to come When you reject all that, then hope is lost

17 Hebrews 6:4-8 The warning here is very explicit! This is not simply stumbling, but apostasy Acts 8 – Simon Magus would be another example – Also Heb 3:12 “…see to it…that none of you has an evil unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God” Crucify the Son of God AGAIN! Holding the Son of God up to CONTEMPT!

18 Hebrews 6:9-12 9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints.

19 Hebrews 6:9-12 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.

20 Hebrews 6:9-12 The author hastens to note that the readers are not yet to the state he is warning them about – He calls them “beloved” This is a caution/warning It will not happen if they persevere Remember their hope, their hope that is centered in Christ

21 Hebrews 6:9-12 They have a history of faithfulness and service to God Their situation is not hopeless, they are not yet apostate They just need to be careful and hang on Imitate those who were faithful, persevered and inherited the promise (more in chapter 11)

22 Hebrews 6:9-12 The word for “imitators” is the root our English word “mimic”

23 Hebrews 6:13-20 13 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. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and the oath serves as a confirmation to end all dispute.

24 Hebrews 6:13-20 17 In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, 18 so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie.

25 Hebrews 6:13-20 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

26 Hebrews 6:13-20 Growth and assurance build on each other – The more we grow, the more assured we are – The assured we are, the more we grow Thus focusing on our hope will result in growth/maturity The quote and the story referenced here are from Gen 22 (a repeat of Gen 12)

27 Hebrews 6:13-20 Abraham is used as an example of perseverance God made a promise to Abraham and also swore by His Own Name to fulfill that promise – Abraham NEVER saw the complete fulfillment of God’s promises, YET he BELIEVED! How long did Abraham wait? – From a human physical limitations perspective, he had NO reason to believe

28 Hebrews 6:13-20 Two immutable (unchangeable) things – God’s nature/purpose/promise – God’s oath Those as seen in Jesus are our anchor – Anchors are intended to keep one from drifting – Ship anchors can slip, Jesus does NOT God has promised salvation to believers Do we believe?

29 Hebrews 6:13-20 Vs 17 “…the immutability of His council…” or “…that His purpose was unchangeable,…” The Greek word translated “council” or “purpose” refers to a legal contract, something incapable of being reversed or annulled But to make it even clearer the author adds the word “immutable/unchangeable”

30 Hebrews 6:13-20 God’s very nature demands that He keep His promises – He will not/cannot reverse Himself – It is impossible for God to lie!

31 Hebrews 6:13-20 Vs 18 “…who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us…” or “we who have found refuge in Him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope…” “laying hold of” or “hold fast” means to take into one’s own possession, to seize The hope is ours, the prize is waiting at the finish line

32 Hebrews 6:13-20 It is certain that those who finish WILL RECEIVE the prize Remember Abraham’s perseverance? Remember our High Priest, Jesus, is already in heaven waiting for us to join Him His presence there is part of our hope and God’s promise, He ensures that we will be there too!

33 References F.F. Bruce, “The Epistle to the Hebrews”, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1967 Edward Fudge, “Our Man in Heaven: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews”,, Baker, 1974 – Available on-line for free – html html

34 References Edward Fudge, “Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today”, Leafwood Publishers, 2009 John Mark Hicks, Hebrews, Word Doc – content/uploads/sites/10/2009/03/hebrews- edited.doc content/uploads/sites/10/2009/03/hebrews- edited.doc

35 References Referenced in John Mark Hicks, Hebrews, Word Doc are the sites for a sermon series (Strength for the Journey) by Rubel Shelly and John York on Hebrews – G=316&Start=121&SortAlpha= G=316&Start=121&SortAlpha – G=316&Start=101&SortAlpha= G=316&Start=101&SortAlpha – 60&Start=161 60&Start=161 – 60&Start=141 60&Start=141

36 References Bobby Valentine’s “Stoned-Campbell Disciple” blog – aul-and-the-unquestioned-authority-of-the-old- testament/ aul-and-the-unquestioned-authority-of-the-old- testament/

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