Through the Book of Hebrews: exploration and discussion—Chp. 6:9-12
Brief Review: 6:1-8 we are called to maturity in our faith and knowledge of the Scriptures. We learned that “falling away” apostasy reflects the un-regenerated person who is in danger of being cursed (v.8). Genuine believers may struggle, but ultimately persevere to the end because of God. The writer is now encouraging genuine believers to persevere!
v. 9 Although the writer is critical toward “fake Christians” those who really do not know Christ and have not genuinely experienced transformation, he says “we are ______________ of ___________ things in your case—things that accompany salvation.”
How confident are you (am I) that you (I) have a relationship with Christ? Are there those in your (my) life who would say about you (me) “We are confident/sure” his/her life demonstrates things that accompany salvation?
Is it likely that someone could say this about you (me) without genuine/authentic accountable relationships with genuine believers?
The writer is sure that there are better things about the readers than the kind of disaster he has been speaking about. “Even though we speak like this…” referring to 6:4-8.
v. 10 “For” (gar) (the NIV does not translate) introduces the grounds for the writer’s confidence—a confidence that rests on God’s constancy.
Our God is a just God—the character of God allows us to have complete confidence that He will always do what is just, right, etc. according to His character. In context, why is God not unjust? So, how do we demonstrate our love for God according to this verse?
Do genuine Christians just profess belief in God or say a prayer for forgiveness and accept Christ as Savior? The Hebrew readers and all “real” Christians demonstrate a change in their lifestyle that truly reflects what our “profession” means.
More specifically, Morris (1981) said, “These Christians have served God’s people in the past and they continue with this kind of service. Thus they manifest the love for man[kind] that is a proof of real love for God (1 Jn 4:19-21).”
v. 11 The writer was passionately concerned for his friends. “We want” suggests a strong desire for each of them to persevere in the faith. He calls on them to show_________________ to the __________________.
What standards of behavior have to be maintained “to the very end” for genuine Christians?
The writer suggests that we have to persevere to the very end, in order to make our hope _______________.
Does maintaining diligence or excitement, passion, hunger, strong desire, thirst, overflowing, etc., to the very end bring assurance of salvation?
This kind of internal/supernatural experience allows confidence in knowing who we are in Christ! In the present and at the end of our life we overwhelmingly know to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord.
May our hearts be comforted in knowing and experiencing Christ everyday.
How do we practically maintain diligence and excitement to the very end? How do we avoid drifting in a world full of temptations? (Heb. 10:23-25)
v. 12 To avoid compromise and laziness, God the Holy Spirit tells us through the writer to ______________ those who through _____________and _______________ inherit what has been promised.
Who do you (I) know that has a genuinely mature faith in God? We need relationships with mature believers that demonstrate patience: a quality of being unshaken in difficulties. We are called not to simply follow them, but to “imitate” them as they demonstrate true faith in God. Paul supports this behavior (1 Cor 11:1).
Are we willing to humble/discipline ourselves and pursue genuine relationships that keep us accountable to the very end?
Do you agree that God never expects us to grow and mature in our living faith apart from authentic relationships with other believers?
If we waiver and even compromise, does that mean we are not really genuine Christians?
2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? ”
Rom 8:28-29a “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…,” Praise God!
These verses apply to genuine/transformed Christians who drifted and eventally were prompted by the Holy Spirit (God) to repent and renew diligence and excitement that accompanies living faith.
What about the professing Christian who does not care about these types of questions?
What about the one who continually rejects the faith and has no desire to repent?
Where’s the fruit fruit fruit? From the heart the mouth speaks, how do we sound to those around us?
As genuine believers, we are called to pray for those in a fruitless condition, especially professing Christians.
May God empower us to stand firm in what the Scriptures teach: Perseverance of the saints are those who persevere!
Ref: The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (1981) Gaebelein, F.E. (ed).