Hebrews – Chapter 12

Example of Christs’ Endurance

Verse 1 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Verse 2 – looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The apostle is telling Christians to remove anything that would hinder or obstruct their focus on Christ. Too many compromises; too many get tangled in things of this world; and far too many allow people in their lives that pull them away from their faith.

Because Jesus is the source and perfecter of the Christian faith, we are to keep our eyes on Him. Just as Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame in order to attain the joy of rejoining the Father on His throne, so should we continue in our faith as if running a race.

Verse 3 – For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Him, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

No opposition of sinners ever turned Christ from the original plan; no argument or expression of scorn, ever caused Him for a moment to deviate from His course.

Then there’s the warning: There is a danger of being hardened and wearied by opposition which will come in trials. Trials are just what “trial” means – trials of our faith, but keep your focus on the Savior.

Verse 4 – You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

These readers of Hebrews were facing difficult times of persecution, but none of them had died yet for their faith, but soon, many would.

Verse 5 – And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him:

Verse 6 – for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

Trials are designed to get our attention, showing that they are necessary for training into a mature Christian. The same goes for chastening, it is proof of the Father’s love for us.

We are not to despise chastening as if it is a small matter or trivial. This verse pertains to “training up a child.” The idea here is that, God will and does correct bad behavior with calamities in order to bring us back to Him. He will not suffer them to wander away un-rebuked and unchecked.

We know when we are straying, so we also know if we don’t correct our behavior on our own, God will step in. Just as a parent will correct bad attitudes and behavior, God corrects us, but still loves us. Always keep in mind, “God is a good God,” and He doesn’t do things in our lives out of cruelness, God is love.

What kind of child would you rather be around, one who is disciplined, or one which is not? Which kind of Christian would you rather be around, one who is disciplined and in self-control or one who does as they please at other’s expense?

Verse 7 – If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

God will deal with His own in a loving manner.

Verse 8 – But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

If you never meet with anything that is connected to correction like subduing your temper, straying off, or your attitude, then you are illegitimate – not His.

Verse 9 – Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

Verse 10 – For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

There is a contrast in the dealings of earthly parents with those of God. One of the circumstances is that, the corrections of earthly parents had a much less important object than those of God. They related to “this life”  – a life so brief that it may be said to continue but a “few days.” So, we should be much more willing to submit to our heavenly Father’s discipline which is designed to extend benefits throughout eternity.

Verse 11 – Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

There are several responses a Christian can have when chastened: (1) we can accept it but are in self-pity, thinking we don’t deserve it; (2) we can get angry and resentful toward God, or (3) we can accept it and change, knowing it came from a loving Father.

Verse 12 – Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,

Verse 13 – and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

“Hands which hang down” – maybe from weariness and exhaustion. Make a new effort to bear trials that come by drawing on Christ’s strength.

“Make straight paths for your feet” – upright, removing obstacles out of your way, so that we don’t stumble or fall.

“But rather be healed” – whatever is defective in our lives, we should endeavor to restore, rather than keep doing harm which will increase the pain. Whatever is feeble in our faith and hope; whatever evil tendency there is in our lives and in our hearts, we should endeavor to strengthen and amend, lest it become worse, and we entirely fall!

Verse 14 – Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Verse 15 – looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up and cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

Sin blocks our vision of God and His goodness, so if we want to see God in our lives, renounce sin and obey God.

Bitterness is a root that will sometimes be caused by a great disappointment or a hurt. If we continue to let it grow, it becomes resentment and a grudge. Bitterness brings with it jealousy, dissension, and immortality. I think bitterness is one of the hardest things for people to admit they have. However, others know they are bitter by what comes out of their mouth about the subject or the person.

Verse 16 – lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

Verse 17 – For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

Even repentance and forgiveness do not always eliminate sin’s consequences. We have to consider and evaluate the long-range effects of our decisions and actions.

Verse 18 – For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest,

Verse 19 – and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, and so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.

Verse 20 – (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with an arrow.”

Verse 21 – And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said,”I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

The apostle is telling the contrast between them approaching Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. The people could not ever touch Mount Sinai. They waited for Moses to speak what God had spoken. Man nor beast could touch it without being put to death.

Verse 22 – But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,

Verse 23 – to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Verse 24 – to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

The apostle addresses all who are Christians, under the new dispensation. We come to Mount Zion in the revelation through the gospel. The approach to God was opened through the blood of Jesus Christ.

“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn”: Those who were firstborn had special privileges. The writer is talking about the patriarchs, prophets, and martyrs, all are now united with the church.

The blood of Jesus speaks better things more than Abel did. Abel’s offering was a “type.” The object here is to compare the Redeemer with Able, not in the sense that the blood shed in either case calls for vengeance, but that salvation by blood is more clearly revealed in the Christian plan than in ancient history.

Verse 25 – See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,

Verse 26 – whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised saying, “Yet once more I shake not only shake the earth, but also heaven.”

Do not turn away from Him who has addressed you in the new dispensation, and called you to obey and serve Him. God speaks by every message of mercy, by every invitation, by every tender appeal. He speaks by the Holy Spirit, and by all His calls and warnings in the gospel. If they  who heard God under the old dispensation rejected Him, how greater the punishment under Christ?

Verse 27 – Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Verse 28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

Verse 29 – For our God is a consuming fire.

Eventually this world will crumble, and only God’s kingdom will last. Those who follow Christ are part of this unshakable kingdom and they will withstand the shaking. Our faith in Christ is a “for sure” solid foundation.

“God is a consuming fire,” means, only that which is connected to God through Jesus Christ will last!

 

 

 

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Hebrews – Chapter 11

Faith

Verse 1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Eternal life depends on the existence and exercise of faith. Faith gives reality or substance of things hoped for. Faith is substantial enough to generate confidence. This is on inner conviction, not based on visible matters and beyond this world is a better resurrection.

Verse 2 – For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

Verse 3 – By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

The “faith” here is confidence in the truth of the divine declarations in regard to creation. Our knowledge on the subject is a matter of faith in the divine testimony – God said so.

Abel

Verse 4 – By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

People have speculated for years why God accepted Able’s offering and not Cain’s. The one was offered in faith and the other was not. Cain offered fruit from the land, which in itself is proper. Both the brothers selected what they had reared with their own hands – sheep and fruit.

The apostle, writing, knew by divine will, that Able offered his offering by faith and that God would accept it. By offering a blood sacrifice, Able showed a more attachment to God and faith in the great Redeemer, promised immediately after the fall (Genesis 3:15).

Enoch

Verse 5 – By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, “and was not found because God had translated him”; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Verse 6 – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of His existence, even the demons believe that much. He wants a personal dynamic relationship with us, one that will transform us. God cannot be pleased with the person who has no confidence in Him; who doubts the truth of His declarations and promises; who does not believer that His ways are right; or that He has all authority. We cannot come to Him if we don’t believe in His very existence. We do not see Him, but must believe He is. We believe, then draw near and then realize we are in the presence of the all-seeing Jehovah!

Noah

Verse 7 – By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Because God had told Noah of the flood that was coming, Noah prepared and built an ark as instructed by God, for a hundred and twenty years , believing what God had said. And Noah became heir of righteousness – he became possessed of that righteousness.

Noah was faithful to work and wait for the flood, because God said it was going to happen. So, why can’t we as Christians wait? However long it takes, for our prayers to be answered, we wait. We all give up too soon!

Abraham

Verse 8 – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

This required extraordinary strength to leave his own country and go to a distant land of strangers. Would we do the same? Some do.

Verse 9 – By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

This was the land of Canaan that had been promised to him. In all respects he lived there as if he had no special right in the soil; as if he never expected to own it; as if he was in a country wholly owned by others. To all intent, he was a stranger.

Yet, he seems to have lived in the confidence and quiet expectation that he land would at some period come into his possession of his posterity.

Verse 10 – for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Verse 11 – By faith Sarah, herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

If ever in serious doubt that our God can do the impossible, go back and read the story of Abraham, being 100 and Sarah 90 years old and conceiving a child. That story alone should boost our confidence in the God that loves us!

Verse 12 – Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude – innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

The entire Jewish people sprang from one man, and that, as the reward of his strong faith he was made the father and founder of the Jewish nation.

Verse 13 – These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

Verse 14 – For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

Verse 15 – And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.

The same is true today, there is nothing stopping Christians to returning back into the world and their old life-style. There are plenty of opportunities to do so, but truly born-again believers strive to move in another direction – following Jesus Christ. It’s our choice. Abraham could have went back to familiar land, but he believed God and chose not to go back.

Verse 16 – But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

This earth is not our permanent home. There is a city being prepared for those who love and trust in the Savior and one day we will be in that new city – The New Jerusalem!

Verse 17 – By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promise offered up his only begotten son,

Verse 18 – of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”

Verse 19 – accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the dead from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Not only did it take a strong amount of faith to believe God when He promised Abraham and Sarah a son in their ripe old age, but Abraham’s faith was tested again when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son. Abraham knew that God was able to raise Isaac fro the dead.

Abraham remembered the covenant and the promise that God made: from this one son, Isaac, an entire nation would come, so how was this going to happen if Isaac was dead? We are to base our faith on the promise from God no matter what it looks like now! Our faith in something will not line up with what we “See!” If you can see it, then it’s not faith.

Isaac

Verse 20 – By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

A blessing was pronounced on each, of a very different nature, but Isaac had no doubt that both would be fulfilled.

Jacob

Verse 21 – By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of his sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

By faith he blessed Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and by faith he reverently bowed before God in the belief that when he died his remains would be conveyed to the promise land.

Joseph

Verse 22 – By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

Moses

Verse 23 – By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the kings’ command.

Even Moses’ parents trusted God to protect their son’s life. They believed their child was destined for some important work for the Lord, so they disregarded the king’s command.

Verse 24 – By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

Verse 25 – choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

Verse 26 – esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Verse 27 – By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

Verse 28 – By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Verse 29 – By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

Moses was one of Israel’s greatest prophets and lawgivers. He gave up wealth, comfort, status, and achievement, to cling to the long-range benefits of God’s kingdom.

These things we enjoy now while on earth are only temporary. We, as Christians, have an eternity with the King of Kings – a much better life!

Joshua

Verse 30 – By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.

Those walls did not fall by any natural causes. Those walls fell by confidence and faith in God.

Rahab

Verse 31 – By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she received the spies with peace.

When Joshua sent spies to Jericho to see how fortified the city was, they met Rahab who was a prostitute and a Gentile. She showed her faith in God when she helped the spies escape, knowing when they came back to destroy the city, her and her family would be spared. And they were!

If you think God can’t use whom He chooses to accomplish His purpose, look no further than Rahab. After Jericho was captured, Rahab and her family were spared and she married Salmon of the tribe of Judah and was the mother of Boaz. She also is mentioned in the genealogy in Matthew as the ancestor of Jesus.

Verse 32 – And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthan, also of David and Samuel and the prophets;

Verse 33 – who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Verse 34 – quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to  flight the armies of the aliens.

Verse 35 – Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.

We too can be victorious over our enemies, with faith in Christ, resting on the promise of a sure resurrection with Christ for all eternity.

Verse 36 – Still others had trials of mocking and scourging, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.

Verse 37 – They were stoned, they were sawed in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented –

Verse 38 – of whom  the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

Verse 39 – And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,

Verse 40 – God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart form us.

As I’ve read the Old Testament stories of all that were mentioned here, I realize in my own life that if my God was able to do what He did for many of these, then He must be able to do the same for me! Why is it that we think our problems are so much bigger than these, and that God is not able? It’s because many don’t know the God of the Bible. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He will accomplish His will and use anyone He chooses, and always glorify His Son! Please believe that God does the impossible for those whose hearts and minds are turned towards Him! Amen.

 

 

 

 

Hebrews – Chapter 10

Verse 1 – For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Verse 2 – For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

Verse 3 – But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

When the people gathered to offer sacrifices on the Day of Atonement, they were reminded of their sins, and undoubtedly felt guilty all over again. This practice was only a shadow of the good things to come.

If these sacrifices had removed their sins and freed their consciousness of all guilt, then they wouldn’t have had to continue with them. The very fact that they did this year after year showed that their conscience had no peace.

Verse 4 – For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

So why did they do it? First of all because, God commanded it; second, it was a shadow and pointed to the coming Messiah, which pointed to the once and for all perfect sacrifice made by Him.

Verse 5 – Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.

Verse 6 – In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.

Verse 7 – Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me  – to do Your will, O God.’ ”

(Verse 5) Since it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin, Christs’ coming into the world was a better sacrifice. The Messiah came to render obedience of the highest order, even to such an extent that He was willing to lay down His own life. (Verse 6) The idea is that God had no pleasure in the sacrifices compared to obedience. (Verse 7) “In the volume of the book,” is the five books of Moses in a scroll. Referring to the time would come through the Messiah to take the place of those sacrifices, and by His obedience unto death would accomplish what they could not do.

Verse 8 – Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),

Verse 9 – Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

Verse 10 – By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Setting aside the first system in order to establish a far better, meant doing away with the sacrifices contained in the ceremonial law. It did not mean doing away with God’s moral law, the Ten Commandments. As we, as Christians, can fulfill the ceremonial law by receiving Christ living in us.

Verse 11 – And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Verse 12 – But this Man after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Verse 13 – from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Christs’ work is contrasted with the work of the priest. The priests’ work was never finished. Christs’ work and sacrifice (dying in our place) is finished, therefore He is seated! Christs’ sacrifice effectively cleansed us from all unrighteousness.

Verse 14 – For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Verse 15 – And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

Verse 16 – “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts and in their minds I will write them: (Jeremiah 31:33, 34)

verse 17 – Then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more.”

Verse 18 – Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Our sin cannot be paid for by us. This is where many Christians disagree. Christ paid the penalty in full for the world’s sin, past present and future. However, one has to believe in Him, and receive Him, as our Redeemer and Savior, in order for our sins to be forgiven. There is no more offering, no more sacrifice, and certainly, no more penalty for sin to the Christian, Jesus paid this  penalty with His death, in full!

Some don’t realize that even their future sin is forgiven and paid for. We better hope it is, because all of our sin was future when He died. We weren’t even born yet when He died for us, so all of our sin was future!”

Are we perfect? Only in our spirits, not our conduct and behavior, as of yet. This attitude of forgiveness does not mean that we live anyway we choose because we are forgiven . If a person is truly born-again, they don’t have a desire to sin anymore. When we do mess-up though, we can admit it to ourselves and another if you hurt them, and then try, through the power that lives in us, not to do it again.

Hold Fast he Confession of Faith

Verse 19 – Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Verse 20 – by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

Verse 21 – and having a High Priest over the house of God,

Verse 22 – let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies wash with pure water.

When Jesus died on that cross, the veil that divided the Holiest of Holies was torn, done away with, because Jesus became our High Priest, making it possible, through His blood that was shed, to walk in the presence of God. Christians now, can go boldly before the throne of grace, without fear. Christ’s blood gave us access to our heavenly Father.

“Full assurance of faith” – unwavering confidence, such a fullness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt.

“Sprinkled from an evil conscience” – by the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice, gives every believer a clean conscience of guilt, it gives us peace. Being baptized with water is the symbol of holiness – pure water.

Verse 23 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

The apostle encourages Christians to hold fast to their faith, even in trials, or by the arguments of others. Because God is faithful, we in turn are faithful to Christ.

Verse 24 – And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

Verse 25 – not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Fourth Warning: Danger of Drawing Back

Verse 26 – For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin,

Verse 27 – but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

The point is that there is no other acceptable sacrifice for sin than the death of Christ on the cross. If someone deliberately rejects the sacrifice of Christ after clearly understanding the gospel teaching about it, then there is no way for that person to be saved, because God has not provided any other Name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).

Verse 28 – Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

This does not mean in all cases the offender against the Law of Moses died without mercy, but only those offenses that were punishable by death.

Verse 29 – Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing,and insulted the Spirit of grace?

He who renounces Christianity ought to be regarded as deserving a much more severe punishment than the person who apostatized from the Jewish religion. There are some who have denounced Christianity for another religion and their punishment will be severe. That is trampling the Son of God underfoot by despising the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are we Christians narrow-minded about what is acceptable to God? Yes! The gospel, the true gospel, is the only way to Jesus Christ. Not by works; not by ceremonies; not by rituals; and certainly not by any other Name! All other religions are false. Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Verse 30 – For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. and again, “The LORD will judge His people.”

This is quoted from Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19. It is quoted to show we do not avenge ourselves. It is God who will give punishment to whom it is due.

Then from Deuteronomy 32:36, He will judge them when they deserve it and correct His own children when they need it. This truth was abundantly clear in the history of the Israelites; and the same great principle would be applied should any sincere Christian apostatize from their faith.

Verse 31 – It is a fearful things to fall into the hands of the living God.

For the purpose of punishment – which is the idea here – fear. God is strictly just, and will inflict the punishment which ought to be inflicted.

Verse 32 – But recall the former days in which after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings;

Verse 33 – partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;

Verse 34 – for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

For the scholars not to know who wrote this book, it sure sounds like it was the Apostle Paul. He says because “You had compassion on me in my chains,: that was Paul.

These Christians, had went through many trials and persecutions, as some do today. The apostle reminds us, those trials are not our focus, Christ is. There are rewards for those who endure to the end.

Verse 35 – Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

Verse 36 – For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

Verse 37 – “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

Verse 38 – Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

Verse 39 – But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

The apostle encourages us all not to disregard our confidence in God, even when trials seem to become unbearable. We have to look to our eternal future when hardships come, because our trials are but a little while. Jesus is coming for us.

Hebrews – Chapter 9

Old Covenant’s Sanctuary

Verse 1 – Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.

Verse 2 – For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;

Verse 3 – and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,

The tabernacle, like the temple afterward (the wilderness tent), was divided into two parts, by the veil, one of which was called the “holy place,” and the other “the Holy of Holies.”

The lampstand – it was made of pure gold, and had seven branches, there on each side and one in the center. This was to shed light on the altar of incense, the table of showbread, and generally on the furniture of the holy place.

The table – the table on which the showbread was placed. This table was made of shittim-wood, and overlaid with gold.

The showbread – this bread consisted of twelve loaves, placed on the table, every Sabbath. The Hebrews affirmed that they were square loaves, having the four sides covered with leaves of gold. The number twelve was selected with reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. They were made without leaven (yeast); were renewed each Sabbath, when the old loaves were taken away to be eaten by the priests only.

The Holiest of All – the room behind the veil was also called the Most Holy place, or the Holy of Holies. It was called this because of the divine presence – the “Shekinah” – dwelt there between the Cherubim.

Verse 4 – which had the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;

Verse 5 – and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

There were two cherubim on the ark, placed on the lid in such a manner that their faces looked inward toward each other, and downward towards the mercy-seat. They stretched out their wings “on high” and covered the mercy-seat, or the lid of the ark.

The mercy-seat was to be where God was seated, and from this place He was to dispense mercy to the guilty, when the blood of the atonement was sprinkled there. This was undoubtedly designed to be a symbol of His dispensing mercy to people in virtue of the blood which the Savior shed as the great sacrifice for guilt (Hebrews 9:13-14).

Old Covenant’s Sacrifice

Verse 6 – Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.

Verse 7 – But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;

The holy place was entered every day to make morning and evening sacrifices, but only the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year.

Verse 8 – the Holy Spirit indicating this that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.

The whole arrangement in the service of the tabernacle is represented as having been under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The way to heaven was not open or fully understood as of yet – “not yet made manifest.” That way has now been opened by the Redeemer to heaven, and by the assurance that all who will may come in His name.

“While the first tabernacle was yet standing” – while the first system stood and the appointed services were held, until it was superseded by a more perfect system.

Verse 9 – It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience –

Verse 10 – concerned only with foods and drinks, various washing’s, and fleshly ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation.

Even when the outward ceremonial rites, offerings, and sacrifices were made, it did not free the conscience from guilt. They could not fully do what the conscience needed for peace with God. Nothing would do but the blood of the Redeemer.

New Covenant’s Sanctuary

Verse 11 – But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands that is, not of this creation.

Now that the Messiah has come, a more perfect system is introduced by which the conscience may be made free from guilt.

Verse 12 – Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Verse 13 – For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

Verse 14 – how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

If the blood of animals had any effect at all, even in removing ceremonial pollution’s, how much more is it reasonable to suppose maybe effected by the blood of the Son of God?

Verse 15 – And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

People in the Old Testament were saved through Christ’s sacrifice also, even though that sacrifice had not happened yet. Then, there was no more need for the animal sacrifices.

Verse 16 – For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

It’s talking here of a “Last will and testament.” The will only goes into effect after the person dies.

Verse 17 – For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

Verse 18 – Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22).

Verse 19 – For when Moses had spoken every precept to all people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Verse 20 – saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”

Verse 21 – Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

Verse 22 – And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Yes, there were also some things purified by water, but almost everything in the tabernacle and temple were consecrated by blood.

There is no greater symbol of life than blood, blood keeps us alive. Jesus shed His blood to give us life, so that we wouldn’t have to spend eternity separated form Him. He gave His life to pay our penalty for our sins. After Christ rose from the grave, He claimed victory over sin and death.

Verse 23 – Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

I don’t think any of us fully understand how the things in the temple on earth that was a copy and symbol of the heavenly things.

Verse 24 – For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

Verse 25 – not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another –

Verse 26 – He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at ht end of the ages, He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

We are still living in the “end of the ages,” and will continue to do so until Christ’s return.

Verse 27 – And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Verse 28 – so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time apart from sin for salvation.

Christ died only once and made the atonement for sins and so we can expect to die only once. The same thing with judgment – only once, not to be repeated.

However, there is a second death for all those who do not have their names written in the “Book of Life!

 

 

 

Hebrews – Chapter 8

A Better Covenant

Verse 1 – Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Verse 2 – a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

Jesus Christ sits at the right hand, which is the highest honor, of the throne of God in heaven, in the true “tabernacle” dwelling place of God. This tabernacle – is eternal.

Verse 3 – For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.

A priest is one who offers sacrifice, mainly in the behalf of others. The principles involved in the office are; that there is need that some offering or atonement should be made for sin and , that there is a propriety that some one should be designed to do it.

The name “priest” should not be given to anyone who is not appointed to offer sacrifice. It should not therefore be given to the ministers of the gospel, for it is no part of their work to offer sacrifices – the great sacrifice for sin having been once offered by the Lord Jesus, and not being again to be repeated. According to the writers in the New Testament, they are consistent on this point.

Ministers, ambassadors, pastors, bishops, and overseers, are never to  be called priests!

The name priest, as applied to Christian ministers, has been derived from the “papist.” They hold that the priest does offer as a sacrifice the real body and blood of Christ in mass, and holding this, the name priest is given to the minister who does it “consistently. It is not “right” or Scriptural!” What the entire doctrine is based on is absurd and false.

Verse 4 – For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;

Now, don’t miss this: Under the old Jewish system, priests were chosen only from the tribe of Levi, and sacrifices were offered daily on the altar for forgiveness of sins. This system would not have allowed Jesus to be a priest, because He was from the tribe of Judah. His perfect sacrifice ended all need for further priests and sacrifices! Plain and simple – no man on earth today should be called “priest!” We have only One High Priest and His name is Jesus!

Verse 5 – who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Verse 6 – But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

The idea here is, that the model of the tabernacle was exhibited to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, so that he might have an exact idea of the tabernacle which was to me made.

There is One Mediator between man and God – The Lord Jesus Christ.

A New Covenant

Verse 7 – For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Verse 8 – Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah –

Verse 9 – “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD.

Verse 10 – “For thus is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Verse 11 – “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Verse 12 – “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Romans 11:27)

Verse 13 – In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

This passage is a quotation of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which compares the new covenant with the old. The old covenant was the covenant of the law between God and Israel. The new and better way is the covenant of grace – Christs’ offer to forgive our sins and bring us to God through the sacrifice of Christ.

This covenant is the new. It goes beyond Israel and Judah to include all the Gentile nations. It is written on our hearts and minds. It’s a new way to forgiveness, not through animal sacrifices, but through faith!

Hebrews – Chapter 7

Description of Melchizedek

Verse 1 – For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

Verse 2 – to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “King of righteousness,” and then also King of Salem, meaning “King of peace,”

Verse 3 – without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

The name Melchizedek in Hebrew means “King of righteousness – being compounded of two words – “King and righteousness. He is introduced to us with an air of mystery, concerning his birth, parentage, and death. The silence of the Scripture is intentional and refers to the great anti-type. He was the king of Salem and also the high priest of the Most High God.

Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils which he had taken from war.

This is another mystery of this Melchizedek. There are no Hebrew genealogy recordings of his birth, father, mother, or death. His name does not appear in any ancestry recordings of the priestly office.

It is mentioned in Psalm 110:4, that the Messiah was to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek. So then we turn to the only recorded mentioned of him – the very brief narrative in Genesis 14 – that he was a pious Canaanite king, who officiated as priest. So at what point does the Messiah resemble him? (1) That there is no account of his ancestry as a priest – neither father nor mother being mentioned as  indispensable in the records of the Levitical priesthood. (2) There was no account of any descendants in his office and no reason to believe that he had any, and he thus stood “alone.” (3) There was no commencement or close of his office as a priest and it was just as if his priesthood had no beginning nor end.

Superiority of Melchizedek

Verse 4 – Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.

The object of the apostle was to exalt the rank and dignity of Melchizedek. The Jews had a profound veneration for Abraham, and if it could be shown that Melchizedek was superior to Abraham, then it would be easy to demonstrate the superiority of Christ as a priest to all who descended from Abraham.

Verse 5 – And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who received the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;

The Levi priest had a right, according to God’s instructions, to receive tithes of their brethren. However, not all descendants of Levi were priests. The apostle, therefore, specifies particularly those who “received this office.”

Verse 6 – but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

Meaning – Melchizedek was not of the order of Levitical priests. He was of a different order.

Verse 7 – Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.

“Less” here means inferior rank, who is less in office, honor, or age, It does not imply inferiority of moral or religious character, for this is not the point the apostle was making. Melchizedek was thus superior to Abraham, and is declared that he “blessed” him.

Verse 8 – Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.

They who thus received tithes, though by the right to do so, were mortal. Like others, they would soon die; and in regard to the most essential things they were on a level with the brethren. They had no exemption of sickness, affliction, or bereavement, and death came to them with just as much certainty.

Verse 9 – Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,

Verse 10 – for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

The apostle does not mean that Levi had actually paid tithes to Abraham, for he had not yet existed. Abraham was the distinguished ancestor of Levi and the head of the Hebrew race. He stood therefore as if it were the act of all who descended from him. (Confusing? It is to me too.)

Verse 11 – Therefore, if protection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?

If perfection had come through the Levitical priesthood, as the Jews supposed, then there would have been no other need for a priesthood of a different order. This priesthood was not permanent; it could not make the worshipers perfect; the blood that was offered could not take away the sin and could not render those who offered it holy.

Verse 12 – For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.

This does not apply to the Ten Commandments, for there was no institution of the priesthood, nor could it apply to any other part of moral law, for that was not dependent on the appointment of the Levitical priests.

Verse 13 – For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe (not Levi) from which no man has officiated at the altar.

Jesus is of the tribe of Judah and no man laid hands on Him and appointed Him as priest. Only the Levites could be ordained as priest, until the Messiah came.

Verse 14 – For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.

Verse 15 – And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest

Verse 16 – who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.

That means – it was not concerned mainly with outward observances, and did not pass over from one to another by death, but was unchanging in its character, and spiritual nature. It was far exalted above the service performed by the priests under the formal dispensation.

Verse 17 – For He testifies: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Verse 18 – For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,

That is; it was not adapted to save men; it had no power designed to accomplish what was necessary to be done in human salvation.

Verse 19 – For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

The law made nothing perfect; it did not produce a perfect state; it did not do what was desirable for the sinner; it did not put away guilt and reconcile man to God. The “better hope” here refers to a more sure and certain expectation of heaven introduced by the gospel.

Verse 20 – And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath

Verse 21 – (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’ “),

Verse 22 – by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

The Levitical priest were set apart and consecrated without their office being confirmed to them by oath on the part of God. They received it by regular descent, and when they reached a certain age, they entered on it.

Surety – on who pledges a bond of property or influence, that a certain thing shall be done. In the case of the new covenant between God and man, Jesus is the “security” or the bondsman. He is the pledge that we shall be saved. He is not security that we shall be saved at any rate, without holiness, repentance, or faith.

Verse 23 – And there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.

Verse 24 – But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

Verse 25 – Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them.

So may Christians never or have ever studied or cared about understanding what was written about he Old Testament Law and the priesthood. So then, when we try to explain why we have to go through Jesus Christ in order to get to God, they don’t understand why they can’t just do it their own way.

One has to go to Jesus for salvation because He is the only One who can save us! And then, He is our intercessor, our go between, to God on our behalf. There is no other way and never will there be.

Verse 26 – For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Verse 27 – who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

The priests of the old covenant were in no way perfect, so they not only had to make sacrifices for themselves continually, but also for the people. When Jesus came, He was sinless and without blame of any kind. He offered Himself for all sin, once and for all! All we have to do is accept His payment for our sin. The blood was already shed by Jesus for the remission of sin.

Verse 28 – For the law appoints as high priest men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

After Christ rose from the grave there was never any need again to go to a man, appointed priest, to obtain forgiveness for sin. There is only One who paid the price for our sin and only One who forgives our sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. Only One is worthy to be called Father and that’s the One who died for you and me. There is no need for an earthly man to make himself a priest to offer forgiveness of sin for anyone. That is an illegitimate office. There is only One intercessor and only One that forgives sin. His name is JESUS CHRIST!!

 

Hebrews – Chapter 6

The Need For Maturity

Verse 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,

Verse 2 – of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Those who have been acquainted with the basic foundations of Christianity for a while, should move on to the greater mysteries. The idea is to advance to higher doctrines.

In other words: Let us advance to a higher knowledge of truth and holiness His intent was for them and us to advance from the elementary foundations to the point where we would not turn back – the danger of apostasy.

Note: The word baptisms has a S, because there are two baptisms involved with Christianity – water and then by or in the Holy Spirit by Christ.

Laying on of hands; in healing the sick; in ordination to office; and the imparting influence of the Holy Spirit.

The resurrection of the dead is one of the important foundations of Christian beliefs. It is the foundation of all hope in Christianity for an eternal life with Christ. No other system of religion can be found where the believers are raised to a life with God for all eternity, with proof such as Christianity has.

Verse 3 – And this we will do if God permits.

Meaning: Paul believed and had confidence that though they had lingered long around the elementary foundations of Christianity, they would advance to higher attainments.

Verse 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,

Verse 5 – and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,

Verse 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.

Some believe these verses are not intended for the true Christians, but only those who have been awakened and enlightened by the gospel and then fall back. We have to keep in mind that Paul is writing to true Hebrew Christians at that time. He was endeavoring to keep them from apostasy. It was to preserve those who were already true Christians, from going back to perdition. Paul was talking about Christians that had tried Christianity and had then rejected it, because they had rejected the only plan for salvation. They cannot be saved twice because Christ cannot be crucified again.

“Falling away” – going back to a state of Judaism, paganism, or a life-style of sin.

Let me make something clear: Most people who are concerned about these verses, that at one time or another have back – slidden, more than likely didn’t have the understanding of truly being born-again, so yes there was and is repentance. But I don’t know of anyone who back-slides more than once. I believe that they were never truly saved in the first place. Why? Because I was one. I thought I had done too much to be forgiven for and therefore stayed away. I had very little understanding of the gospel at that time. All I knew was, “Get saved or You are going to hell!”

However, when a light goes off and the Holy Spirit grips your heart, there will be no turning back!

Verse 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 blessings from God;

Verse 8 – but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Land that produces, shows that it has been cultivated and nurtured. Land that produces thorns and briers, is worthless and will be burned up.

There is a strong warning in these two verse for those who profess to be renewed, but yet show no evidence of such faith.

Verse 9 – But beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

Paul is saying he trusts that they are true Christians; that they will produce proper fruits of holiness; in the things that pertain to salvation.

Verse 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.

God never forgets what a Christian is doing for the kingdom. He sees the sincere heart that labors for Him.

Verse 11 – And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

Verse 12 – that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

As Christians, we are to persevere in our faith; doing good works; encouraging others; praying; and studying God’s word. Sometimes discouragement is a deal-breaker for some. They will stop praying and believing that God is able to turn their situation around and then before long, they fall away. Our hope and assurance is not placed in man. People will fail where only God can prevail.

Verse 13 – For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

Verse 14 – saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.”

God cannot lie! Did His promise to Abraham come to pass? Yes, it did! Why is it so hard for Christians to believe that all God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen!”

Verse 15 – And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Did you catch the words “patiently endured?” We are to endure and wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises.

Verse 16 – For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of dispute.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise, did not waver. He had a confident expectation that what God promised would come to pass. He believed God! Shouldn’t we as Christians also believe what is written about us being His children and giving us an abundant life?

Verse 17 – Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath,

Verse 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.

For God to lie, it would be against His nature. God’s promises do not change  This hope of eternal life with our beloved Savior, has been set before us and is not subject to change!

Verse 19 – This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,

Verse 20 – where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Our hope in Christ, our anchor for our very soul. Hope accomplishes for the soul the same thing an anchor does for a ship. The anchor secures a ship when the waves beat and the winds blow, as long as the anchor holds. So with the soul of the Christian. In the tempests and trials of life, our mind stays calm as long as our hope of heaven is firm, not giving way to “feelings.”

Steadfast and steady on course will lead us to that blessed promise land!