October 21, 2009
6:1 THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
1. From milk, the basic gospel, toward perfection: be complete, like Christ.
2 With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.
1. The laying on of hands: operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
3 If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching].
1. They were to discern between living truths and lifeless forms; such as those found in Judaism in the washings, baptisms, and rituals.
4 For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit,
5 And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come,
6 If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance — [it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace.
7 For the soil which has drunk the rain that repeatedly falls upon it and produces vegetation useful to those for whose benefit it is cultivated partakes of a blessing from God.
8 But if [that same soil] persistently bears thorns and thistles, it is considered worthless and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. [Gen 3:17,18.]
1. The issues were simple: Christ or no Christ, saving faith or unbelief,.
2. This falling away cannot be classed with ordinary sin, for it involves rejection of God’s provision in Christ, (crucifying the son of God afresh)
a. Hope would be gone, for God has no other cure for sin when Calvary is rejected.
3. In choosing to reject Christ, the apostates resemble a field that only yields thorns and thistles, even though rains fall on it, and the soil is tilled.
a. There can be no mistaking the strong warnings to readers tempted to turn away from Christ.
9 Even though we speak this way, yet in your case, beloved, we are now firmly convinced of better things that are near to salvation and accompany it.
1. Here the apostle softens his words after giving the most solemn warning against apostasy.
2. He now encourages them to persevere, and he commends the good that is in them.
3. Things that accompany salvation: proofs that you have not departed from the living God, even though several of their brethren have already apostatized, and the whole nation of Israel is in a state of rebellion against God by their rejection of Christ and His Gospel.
4. Jerusalem fell to the siege of Titus 7 years after this was written.
a. No genuine Christian, as best as we can perceive from the historical writings, perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, they all, previous to the siege by Titus escaped to Pella, in Coelo-syria.
b. It’s also remarkable to note that not one Jew escaped, again as best as we can ascertain from the historical writings,
c. All either fell by the sword, starved, or were led into captivity.
d. Remember what the Jews said to Pilate about Jesus, “let His blood be upon us and our children!!!!! (Matt 27:25)
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name's sake in ministering to the needs of the saints (His own consecrated people), as you still do.
1. God is only bound to men by His own promise; He doesn’t have to make this promise, but once made, his justice, or righteousness requires Him to keep it.
2. He has promised to reward every good work and labor of love.
3. Every good work must spring from faith in His name & have love as its motive.
11 But we do [strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity [all the way through] in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end,
1. They had an active faith and a laboring love, and the apostle wishes them to persevere in both.
12 In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith ( by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.
1. The person who has this full assurance of hope knows that his sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus, and also that his heart is purified from all unrighteousness.
a. That the whole body of sin and death is destroyed and he is fully made a partaker of the divine nature.
b. Without holiness, no man can see God.
2. The full assurance of hope is to be regulated and maintained.
3. Slothfulness will deprive them both of hope and faith; that faith which works by love will maintain hope in its full and due exercise.
4. God promised that he would bless all the nations of the earth through Abraham’s seed, through Christ.
13 For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear,
1. This promise was made to Abraham when he had offered his son Isaac on the altar.
2. God pledged his eternal power and Godhead for the fulfillment of the promise.
14 Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. [Gen 22:16,17.]
1. God blessed him with prosperity and through Isaac with many grandchildren.
2. Just as genuine Christians are Abraham’s seed, and God is continually increasing their number.
15 And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.
1. After he had patiently endured: Gr. Makrothumeo: to be long-spirited, forbearing or patient.
2. Isaac was supernaturally born, and in his birth God began to fulfill the promise by a multiplication of his seed.
16 Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife].
1. Men swear by one who has greater authority, one who knows of the obligation, and punish the breaking of the oath.
2. When two parties have a disagreement, the oath binds them to adhere to the terms of the agreement concluded on, or the two parties that enter into a contract, take a solemn oath to adhere to the conditions of an agreement, and that puts an end to controversy.
3. The connection is the same thing that was done by God; His oath by himself made his promise firm.
17 Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath.
1. The heirs of promise are all the “believing” nations of the earth.
2. Since Christ’s resurrection this would only include “Christians”.
3. God’s unchangeable purpose to call Jew or Gentile to salvation by Jesus Christ.
18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
1. There appears to be a comparison to the cities of refuge, and the people who fled to them for safety.
2. Because all have sinned, the avenger of blood is on their heels, only the shed blood of Christ provides sanctuary.
a. We are saved from eternal death, separation from God, by the redemptive blood of Jesus.
3. Grasp the hope: receive Christ and live in Him.
19[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it — a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, [Lev 16:2.]
1. This world is a dangerous, stormy sea and the only hope is an anchor to hold us firm.
a. If that anchor is in firm ground and the cable connecting it to the vessel is strong, the vessel can ride out the wind and the waves.
2. This comparison of hope to an anchor is frequent even among the ancient pagan writers, who believed it to be a necessity to support a man in adversity.
a. Socrates said: “To ground hope on a false supposition, is like trusting to a weak anchor”.
3. The hope of eternal life is represented as the soul’s anchor: Jesus is our only hope if we’re anchored to Him.
20 Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. [Ps 110:4.]
1. Jesus is the first fruits of human nature that has entered into the heavenly kingdom.
a. He has entered for us, as the first fruits of all who have found redemption in His blood.
2. The apostle resumes his explanation of Ps. 110:4, which he wrote about in Heb 5:6,10 in order to prove the permanency of the high priesthood of Christ.
3. In this chapter we have a very solemn warning against backsliding and apostasy, and that negligence and slothfulness,”laziness”, are their forerunners.
a. A man cannot be careless about God and heaven.
b. He must not depart from truth and purity, for this can lead to a denying the Lord who brought him.
c. Every obedient believer in Jesus has both the oath and promise of God that He will make all grace abound toward Him, and no matter what happens, if he continues in the faith, he will ride out the storm.
d. God’s oath and promise cannot fail.