Hebrews 6:9-20 UPDATE

Hebrews 6:9-20 UPDATE

As we continue our studies in Hebrews, we need to remember the reason this letter was written.  It was written to Jewish Believers in Yeshua while the Temple was still standing.

Because of pressures from their home Synagogues and unbelieving family members there was the temptation to deny the finished work of Messiah.

Some were going to the Temple offering sacrifices thinking that they could remain silent. Somehow rationalizing that God might not notice.

They doubted the sufficiency of God the Father, the Son and His Holy Spirit to care for them and allay all their fears. Which comes by believing and confessing that Yeshua is the only way to be right with God for themselves, their families, and fellow Jews.

So far, we’ve learned in Hebrews the Superiority of Yeshua over Moses. In Chapters 1-2 we learned that Yeshua has:

A greater Name, The Name above all Names. That He’s greater than the angels – a greater messenger, with a greater message, providing a greater salvation and greater deliverance. 

In chapter 3 we learned He was greater Than Moses (3:1–19), and in Chapter 4 that Yeshua provides a greater Rest, through a greater Priesthood because He is a greater High Priest.

Then in Chapter 5 the author calls the Messianic Believers to have a greater commitment to Jesus.

As we complete Chapter 6 there is a call to a greater commitment with a warning for our failing to do so in Heb. 6:4-6:

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance.

I explained this passage in detail at our June 1 service which is available on our Youtube channel.  The manuscript if you prefer reading the notes are available at my website Royschwarcz.org. 

In VV. 1-2 the Holy Spirit here is commanding these Jewish believers to grow up. “let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

The Consequences – VV. 4-8 – When the command to grow up is ignored, believers could fall away to the point where God will not allow them to repent.

Without repentance our lives quickly become overtaken with thorns and thistles and bear worthless fruit.  This is exactly what happened to Israel when she was brought into captivity to Babylon as described in Ezk. 36.

But in V. 9 of Heb. 6 the author of this letter stops convicting and begins building.  He starts by encouraging his readers.

His tone changes, when he says he’s convinced of “Better things” and that their good works would stand the fire of God scrutiny.

In v. 9 he says “Though we are speaking this way” which is an indication that the writer knew his tone was strong.  There is an important truth here we should see and learn. 

Like the tone in this pastoral letter to the Jewish Believers we too need to be more encouraging in our relations with others.  A word of encouragement goes miles further than a handful of negative warnings that drive a person to guilt and condemnation.

In v. 10 he recalls what his readers will be remembered for: Their work and their attitude.  He urges them to persevere and not quit in doing those things.

With that thought the writer then shifts to one of the most significant sections of this book. Hope.

The subject of hope stems from the statement in v. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,

When dealing with the subject of Hope, there are two key words to keep in mind: Faith and Patience.  

There are times in all our lives when doubts increase. Like when things we believe should never happen to us do. Or When things we believe should happen, don’t, or when things we believe should happen now, occur too late.

Abraham is a classic example of a man of God who refused to doubt when a promise by God did not occur in the timing he hoped.

When Abraham was 75 years old and his wife 65, God promised them a baby.  God made this promise by His very name.  But God took 25 years to fulfill his promise.

In Rom. 4 Paul puts it this way “In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken.”  That’s faith!

Hope is always established on faith.  Hope is is primarily the fruit of spiritual maturity and growth.  Hope comes from the work of God’s Spirit working in our lives which is nourished by God’s Word

The work of the Spirit in our lives is the result of diligence on our part to cultivate it.  The more we know God’s Word the greater our faith, for faith comes from God’s Word. The greater our faith the stronger our hope.

When we don’t cultivate our faith by knowing and studying the Scriptures our faith and our hope is weak.  We can have hope only if we are willing to the pay the price for it. 

We have plenty of opportunities to read, study and learn God’s Word; here on Shabbat, at my weekly zoom class and a myriad of other resources that are available online in apps or computer.

Hope leads to assurance.  Earthly hope doesn’t give this kind of assurance, earthly hope often disappoints, but hope based on Scripture has the power to calm and assure our hearts.

This hope is not based on experience or feelings, but on God’s Promises found in Scripture. 

In Heb 6 we are told that the particular this Word hope is related the High Priesthood of our Messiah. That is why we need to Know what the Scriptures say concerning his High Priesthood.

Our hope is fixed on that which is within the veil.  The veil is what separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies.  In Heb. 5:6 the writer refers to Psalm 110 which prophetically pointing to Yeshua: “THOU ART A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

The High Priest on Yom Kippur was responsible for renewing God’s covenant with Israel. This was required to cover the sins of the nation that had not been atoned for in the daily offerings.

There were plenty of Israelites who ignored God’s provision for their sins made available to them and their families through the daily sacrifices.  

So, God in His grace made a provision for this shortfall in atonement with the Day of atonement. One of the key indications that God made a new and different covenant then Sinai was when the veil in the Temple was rent in two, when Yeshua died on the cross.  

Jesus is God’s present and eternal High Priest.  He is now beyond the veil, presenting His blood on the Mercy Seat in heaven before the Father. He is there as our intercessor. God replaced a perishable High priest with an imperishable High Priest.

This great Hope has the power to keep us steadfast.  It is described an Anchor to our soul.   It’s the same hope that Israel had as they were led through the wilderness by the Holy Spirit visibly seen in a pillar of fire by night and cloud by day.

The trials and tribulations that our fathers experienced in the wilderness were similar to the trials that these Jewish believers were facing. When faced from family and community pressure to deny their faith in Jesus they had an anchor to hold their faith.

An anchor keeps a ship from drifting away in the current, and in the same way our Hope, based on God’s word, keeps us from drifting. Based on the Atonement provided by our Messiah.

The hope we have, is the Hope of Israel.  The Hope of the New Covenant, the Hope of the Messiah, and the Hope of the reign of Israel’s King on His throne when he returns to Jerusalem.

This is not a hope based on feelings but based on God’s word and promise.  A hope for Jew and Gentile alike.  A hope anchored in God and His Word found in Scripture.

It is a hope that stands in the face of any fear we have including the ultimate fear, death.

Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their 2 sons were arrested, together with Rosenburg’s mother and father for the crime of being Jews. They were placed in a Nazi concentration camp. 

It was a labor camp, and the rules were simple.

“As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you will be exterminated.”

Rosenberg watched as his mother and father were marched off to their deaths. He knew that the next would be his youngest son, David – because David had always been a frail child. 

Every evening, Rosenberg came back into the barracks after each day of hard labour and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them, they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.

One day Rosenberg came back and didn’t see those familiar faces. 

He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, “Josh, tell me it’s not true.” 

Joshua turned and said, “It is true, Dad. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him.”

“But where is your mother?” asked Mr. Rosenberg. 
“Oh Dad,” he said, “When they came for David, he was afraid and he cried. So Mum said, ‘There is nothing to be afraid of, David,’ and she took his hand and went with him.” 

That mother’s love– a love so strong that she chooses to give up her life so her child can be comforted. 

The prophet Isaiah 700 years before Jesus was born said this about Him “But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

God says to us today as He did through Isaiah then. These words should give us hope and comfort. To keep us from fearing death by going before us. 

He met death head on—and then returned from the grave so we would have hope in the Resurrection. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” …Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah .”

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