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Hebrews 6.13-20

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Chapter 5 and chapter six work together
5:10 all of 6 is like a parenthetical warning…
You could read 5.9 and move directly into 7.1
5.1-9 introduces Jesus as a high priest, not like the sons of Aaron (from the tribe of Levi), but after the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus was high pries through divine choice, not through genealogical connection with Levi.
5.11-14 The preacher laments that the people have become dull of hearing and are not able to understand the significance of what he just said..
Hebrews 5:11–14 ESV
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Ox - Priest - dull of hearing v.11
Lion - King - distinguishing good from evil
Eagle - Prophet - You ought to have been teachers
Chapter six began with the call to move beyond the elementary doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity...
He then warns them about what can happen if you don’t move on from the milk to the meat, what happens if you don’t build on the foundation given to them.
Danger of Apostasy
The warning comes in vv.4-6
where the author warns that it is impossible for the one who had
Once been enlightened
tasted the heavenly gift
Shared in the Holy Spirit
Tasted the goodness of the word of God
and the power of the age to come
And then falls away to be restored again to repentance.
He then gives them the analogy of the rain and the crops
Hebrews 6:7–8 ESV
7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
7-
The author then offers some encouraging words for these Christians
-
Hebrews 6:9 ESV
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
Hebrews 6:9–12 ESV
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:9 ESV
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
Beloved - agapetoi - a term of affection which appears only here in hebrews
We feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation
What are these better things that belong to salvation?
the community is like the good soil of the agricultural image which produces a fruitful crop.
and receives the blessing of God v. 7
The motif of “better” or “superior” is prominent in Hebrews referring to:
Christ being better than the angels 1.4
We have a better access to God 7.19
Jesus is the guarantor of a better covenant 7.22
Jesus is a better sacrifice 9.23
A better inheritance 10:34
A better resurrection 11.35
So why does the preacher have confidence for these better things for the Hebrews?
Hebrews 6:10 ESV
10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
Hebrews 6:11 ESV
11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,
Earnestness = diligence or eagerness
to have full assurance of hope until the end
Hebrews 6:12 ESV
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
heb
May not be sluggish
May not be sluggish
this is the same word for “Dull” of hearing in 5.11
Rather than being the sluggish, dull of hearing, milk drinking, bad priest that has not built anything upon the foundation of given to them.... He wants them to...
be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
What are the promises? And what does it mean to Inherit the promises.
Rest 4.1
What is the promise of rest?
Sabbath
New Creation
Kingdom of God
He wants us, rather than being sluggish thus lacking full assurance, to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise.
Abraham is the example he goes too for them to imitate.
Hebrews 6:13–14 ESV
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”
Hebrews 6:13 ESV
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
Do you remember this story? when God made this oath to Abraham?
Hebrews 6:14 ESV
14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”
Abraham and Isaac
Abraham laid the wood on Isaac
Abraham took the fire and the knife in his hands
God provides the substitute Ram
Genesis 22:15–18 ESV
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
God promises, by swearing an oath, “by myself I have sworn”
Genesis 22:15–17 ESV
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
He swore to keep his promises to Abraham…
=14
Hebrews 6:13–14 ESV
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”
And what did Abraham do?
Hebrews 6:15 ESV
15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
God spoke made an oath with Abraham, and what did Abraham do? he patiently waited, and obtained the promise.
Remember what he said in verse 12
Hebrews 6:12 ESV
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Abraham is
The author then gives the cultural human purpose for oaths
Hebrews 6:16 ESV
16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
Philo talks about oaths as supporting a claim that is lacking evidence.
oaths are used to convince people of something
And for an oath to be effective, you need to swear by something greater than yourself.
Something that has more credibility than you.
So why would God make this sort of oath? Isn’t this sort of thing below God?
Hebrews 6:17 ESV
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
So God, wanting to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose...
God swore an oath not because he was lacking or not trustworthy, rather he swore an oath so that we might better understand his trustworthiness.
18
Hebrews 6:18 ESV
18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
What are these two unchangeable things?
Promise - God’s word - Enter my rest
Oath - God’s person - Jesus is the Eternal priest
The promise given is found in 4.1 (ps95)
The oath is found in 5.6; 7.21 (ps 110)
And what is the purpose of these two unchangeable things (God and his word, promise and oath)?
For if we have this hope that God will not fail us. He is our rest, he is our high priest. Jesus will bring us to God. He will no fail.
Hebrews 6:19–20 ESV
19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
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