In Hebrews 5:11-6:1, the writer of Hebrews really challenges the readers as he reminds them that they have become dull, that they need someone to teach them again, and that they still need milk, not solid food. The Word gives us discernment to realize the more we dig into God's Word, the more we realize we don't know. This gives us a hunger to know ever more. Chapter 6:1-3 speaks of a maturity in understanding how to become a follower of Christ, baptism and church, and the second coming. He is imploring the reader to build on these things to grow to maturity.
In verses 4-8 we are given our 3rd of 6 warnings in this book. Many can wrongfully interpret these verses to say that one can lose their salvation, but this is not what the author is saying. He is warning them and teaching them about how a true saving faith endures to the end. As we take the full counsel of Scripture into account, a few verses that show the completion of salvation are John 6:37-39 and John 10:27-28. Verses 4-8 speak to two different issues...backsliding and apostacy. Backsliding occurs when a Christian falls back into sinful ways due to a many number of influences. Apostacy speaks of someone who seemed to be a believer, was part of Christ's visible church, participated in the community of faith, and then later rejects Christ, turns away from sound teaching, and leaves the church. This person was never a believer to begin with (Matt 7:21-23).
Verses 9-20 focuses on the trustworthiness of God's Promises. God gives security and the sanctification to us. We can't earn it. Once saved, always saved! Once saved, always following! There are two reasons for our hope:
1. He made a promise (verse 13) "For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself." Swearing is when the truth of one's testimony is backed up by a higher authority. (ex. Is 45:23). God swears not because His world is in doubt but because we are in doubt! He goes out of His way to reassure us. We see a great example of this with this life of Abraham in Gen 12, 15, 17, and 22.
2. He KEEPS His promises (verse 16). "For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an OATH is final for confirmation." Oaths served a legal function and involved calling upon someone to confirm the truthfulness of an assertion. Again, the writer points back to Abraham as an example of an oath that God would never break. Man takes an oath because we are prone to sin. God stoops to sear an oath to Abraham in order that He can be assured of the promise. His Word is not weak...our faith is weak to believe Him.
Verses 19-20 are so full of hope because we see an illustration that an anchor has been dropped into the Holy of Holies, which is the place where the presence of God resided in the Temple. It is an anchor because it will hold fast no matter what! Our hope is connected to Christ Himself, and He doesn't change. Verse 20 calls Jesus a "forerunner", which is a word that means "advance portion of an army". It presupposes that others will follow!
This life is not home! Jesus is pulling you forward. Every day lived is one day closer to heaven. It is a direction we are going, and we are never alone. He is faithful in every way!
To Discuss Today:
1. What causes you to feel hopeless right now?
2. How does your confidence grow when you remember that God always keeps His promises?
3. What promises do you cling to? What does the Bible say about His promises?
4. Who do you share your hopeless thoughts with?