"Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ." - George Washington

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hebrews 6 | Our Perseverance and God's Immutability

   Me with one of my tumbling students on Saturday night, at our homeschool tumbling recital. So proud of this girl, she learned her round-off back-handspring this year. =)


   I'm going to try to avoid too much explanation and write this simply. Last night, I started reading Hebrews chapter 6 and as I read, God began to open my eyes and connected dozens of puzzle pieces that have been floating in my mind for years. So I grabbed my phone and started writing down my thoughts as I read. I simply couldn't contain it all in my mind at once, like trying to hold a handful of marbles and adding more as you go. I am blown away by the power and promise of the this passage and I'm once again reminded why Hebrews is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Once you take the time to DIG in, you will be astounded by the hugeness of God. =)

   The sections below each passage are what I wrote on my phone as I was reading last night. Maybe none of it will make sense, right now it's fading like a dream that I have trouble remembering. But I praise the Lord for showing me a bigger slice of His... His power. His perfection. His faithfulness. His sufficiency. His complex and wonderful plan for me. =)
Hebrews 6 NKJV

The Peril of Not Progressing

1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
1 Move on past the basics of God and Christianity, keep growing in your knowledge of Him. 2 Don't sit and stagnate in your walk with the Lord. You shouldn't be content with relearning the things you already know. 3 If God lets us, we will keep growing in our knowledge of Him.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
4 There are some people who have come right up to the brink of Christianity and know what it's all about. They have felt the Spirit move. 5 They have learned things, they sat under good preaching, they understand eternal reward. 6 But they drift away and it is impossible to bring them back. They can't repent for things they aren't sorry for. They can't repent because they make God look cheap. They know what Christianity is about, and they don't want it. It is foolishness to them.
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
7 God sends blessings on everyone, saved and not. He feeds all people from His Word, and some respond in faith to Him. Those who respond are the children of God. He has chosen them and they bear His fruit. 8 But some people respond to Him with bad fruit. They weren't good, then gone bad; saved and then losing their salvation. They were bad all along and never were saved. They were not His chosen. They will be eternally damned.

A Better Estimate

9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 
9 The writer knows that his readers are not amongst those who have tasted and gone astray. He sees real fruit, indicative of salvation, that has come from their lives. 10 God won't be unjust and let go of His true children. These people has shown great love and borne good fruit, proving themselves to be children of God. 11 We ought to persevere, keeping up the same enthusiasm and always abounding in the work of the Lord until we see our hope - His promise of eternal reward - fulfilled. 12 We shouldn't become lazy and apathetic, proving that we were never truly children of God. This picture is meant to be a warning.

God’s Infallible Purpose in Christ

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
13 God made a promise to Abraham. There is no one greater than God, so God made that oath in His own name. 14 The promise God made was one of blessing and fruitfulness. He said that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him. 15 Abraham saw his son born and received as much of the promise as he would see in his lifetime. He waited a long time, and he went through so many impossible circumstances, but God always came through. 16 People swear all the time, by their parents, or something they hold in high regard. Making a promise and giving your word is a serious matter, and always will be taken seriously. So when someone takes an oath, it's meant to be believed and the matter is settled. 17 God decided that He would show us, His children, just how faithful He is to keep His promises. When He makes up His mind, He doesn't change it so He made an oath to convince us. 18 So by two unchangeable things- it's impossible for God to lie because a lie is a sin and God cannot sin. Plus a lie is an outright challenge to immutability. If God lied, He would not be unchangeable. -we have the very best reassurance of His promise. We have fled to God for protection from evil and condemnation and have claimed this promise that God has presented to us.
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
19 We have an incredible hope and reassurance! It is what keeps us anchored to God. It is strong and won't budge, it's in the right place. Even better, we don't have to worry about where our anchor is. It is behind the veil! It is in the presence of God! And it's not moving from there. We have a hope of a promise in God that God Himself holds fast and safe. 20 It keeps getting better! We don't have to worry about placing our anchor there, behind the veil in the presence of God. Jesus did that for us! He took our anchor of hope of a promise of salvation and towed us into the harbor. He is in the presence of God on our behalf. He is the High Priest, who was the perfect sacrifice once and for all, who suffered every temptation that we do and can sympathise, who lives now and forever and sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes on our behalf! We have a personal voucher from the Father's right hand man! And it's a hope of a promise that Jesus holds safe and sure, because He died and took our punishment. It's a promise that God made- an oath by Himself, that He must by all means keep. An oath that He would bless Abraham's descendants- the children of Israel. The children of Israel are all those whom God as grafted onto the tree, Jew and and Gentile alike. All those who are His beloved, chosen, elected, predestined.

   I have a promise that I don't have an end or conditions to fulfill. God has fulfilled the conditions, and will see it to the end. He has simply chosen me to be the recipient of it, and all I do is keep pressing on toward Him. I must keep up my perseverance, though it's not one of the conditions. I am blown away by this whole deal. God has Done. It. All.