Epistle to the Hebrews (6:9-12)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.” Hebrews 6:9-12

The author is aware that he has been quite severe in the previous verses and reassures the readers that he does not believe that what he discussed regarding salvation applies to the Hebrews Christians. What he said was a warning because he saw that the Christians were becoming lazy and were still immature. The author believes that these Christians can bear fruits that born again believers should. God will not forget about their deeds and good works. The author is aware of the hardship of these Christians and their brotherly love. He encourages the Hebrews to abound in love. Love is the base of Christianity and on it stands the pillars of the Christian faith and doctrines. This was the reason Jesus came(John 3:16). Love summarised all his teachings and it is the royal command(James 2:8).

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 14:34

Paul rightly pointed out that love fulfills the law:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”Romans 13:8

If you love someone, you will not harm that person. You will not steal but will rather give, you will not commit adultery but rather strengthen bonds with your spouse, you will not be indifferent but feel concerned and you will do things which the law does not even ask (e.g. kindness, patience, generosity…). The law said that it is forbidden to work on the sabbath but love has precedence over what the law says. The disciples were harvesting grains on the sabbath and Jesus healed a woman on sabbath day.

I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!

Jesus said:

“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Mat 22:37

One purpose of the law was  to make the people be consecrated and remember God (e.g. sabbath, tithe, circumcision, sacrifices etc). The other reason was to protect the individuals. If someone stole, commit adultery or murdered someone etc there was a law which dealt with it.

But if you really love God, there’s no need to be reminded of a day for the Lord(sabbath). There’s no need to have a law which obliges you to give a tithe but you give voluntarily and with joy what you want (2 Cor 9:7). If you love God you will not sin by worshiping another God, you will pray and obey what He says. If you love people you won’t do them any harm. This is the power of love. What laws do we need if love is in our heart? God is love and love is divine.

Love is important because “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent” the author says.

Peter also said that:

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.”

Love is an indication of one’s maturity in the faith. One who loves knows the Lord. He is not spiritually dull and indifferent, he/she has Christ’s attitude and resembles Him.

Paul said in Eph 4:

“..This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”

John said:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7

Love, faith and hope last forever.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13

The author mentioned these 3 things in verses 9-12. Yes if we have these 3 things in us we’ll grow in maturity, we’ll be productive, we’ll persevere and can expect to receive great things from above. Let us follow the examples of those people who by their faith, love, and perseverance proved to be mighty servants of God and inherited great promises. The author here is probably referring to the heavenly rest.  Keith Green is a man who I admire for his love, faith and perseverance.  The life this man lived inspires me. Paul said to Timothy to imitate his example because he himself imitated Christ’s example. Let us imitate the examples of those people who are mature in the faith and are genuinely led by the Spirit.

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Posted August 4, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

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