Sometimes the Fulfillment of Promises
Have to Do with our maturity level, or our character.
Christians are urged, in scripture, to pursue spiritual maturity- to grow our faith, and not remain a baby Christian indefinitely. While being a new believer is exciting for most because you get to experience miracles that build your faith, and grace to overcome sin/bondages, maturity allows the Christian to experience God’s promises on a deeper level. When we do this, not only is our faith increased, but we also begin to experience God on a whole new dimension that we never dreamed possible.
Hebrews 6:1-3 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.”
Acts that lead to death as referenced in this scripture are worldly acts of the flesh which would include pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, idolatry, strife, vulgarity, theft, and laziness.
Once we grow in our faith, the Holy Spirit takes over convicting us of sin- in which we should repent. The phrase, “acts that lead to death” comes from 1 John 5:16 wherein God reaches a point wherein He can no longer tolerate habitual sin. Some scholars have taken this to mean physical death (Acts 5:1-10 and 1 Corinthians 11:28-32), others spiritual, and yet others say it references a removal from church, power, place of prominence, etc.
Elementary teaching also includes the basics of our faith which encompasses cleanliness, laying on of hands, raising the dead and eternal
Mature Christians operate in wisdom, trust in the Lord even when they don’t understand, and have learned to depend on Him. They know when to surrender to Christ, and they are able to do the hard things in life because they know that it is God who gives them strength. They additionally disciple others to become followers of Christ. Their faith isn’t easily swayed but grounded in the Word.
Once You Have Tasted The Goodness Of God, Can You Fall Away?
Hebrews 6:4-6 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
This verse discusses that it is difficult to experience God at such a powerful level only to fall away- yet many do. It’s difficult to turn your back on a God who has performed the miraculous and yet deny Him. This type of a turning away is deliberate, and usually due to a hardened heart. This type of heart is difficult to sway back because bitterness can settle in.
Every time these lost coins continually come back into repentance, scripture tells us that they are crucifying Jesus again- acting as if they were not saved by the death of Christ.
Laws Of Sowing And Reaping Apply To Blessings
Hebrews 6:7-8 “Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”
Describes sowing and reaping. If we sow good things into our lives and live a holy life as God had commanded, then we will receive His promises. If we live in the flesh, it will spiritually destroy us (lead to death) thus creating thorns and thistles. This type of life does not bring glory or honor to God, and it will eventually lead to spiritual destruction.
Hebrews 6:9-12 “Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
This verse urges the believer not to get discouraged or fall away. It tells us that God never forgets the good that we have done- even if we feel we are going unrecognized. The hope is that the believer will remain steadfast, hold tight to their faith, and be patient while being tested so that we will inherit God’s promises over our lives.
God’s Promises Never CHange
Hebrews 6:13-17 “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”
God’s promise to Abraham highlights the previous verse. It was through steadfast faith that Abraham received God’s promise which was that he and Sarah would have a child. Abraham has faith for this promise to manifest.
The couple waited decades for the promises of God to manifest despite being discouraged, and because they were faithful, Isaac was born. God confirmed the seriousness of His promise by giving an oath swearing by Himself. Since there is nothing higher than God, this conveys the seriousness and validity of the oath that He gave to Abraham.
This oath was unchanging- that Abraham would be the father of many nations.
Hebrews 6:18-20 “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
Why was this amazing? It demonstrates that it is impossible for God to lie. Even though generations following Abraham acted in disobedience and turned from God, God still preserved the lineage- and the promise made to Abraham that the Son of God would come through him.
We should be encouraged because it means that all of the promises in the Bible hold true- they never change, and they will always manifest (eventually). Since God cannot lie, and He doesn’t change, our victory in Christ is guaranteed.
It is the knowledge of this that is our anchor because in it, we can hold firm to the promises of God knowing that they will come to pass.
While at first Hebrews 6 appears to admonish the believer to not follow the path of sin, it is in essence a gentle warning. God’s desire is that none of His children should perish- or experience eternal death. This wasn’t what Jesus died for. It does tell us that God’s grace and mercy only goes so far. If we continue on into willful disobedience, and have an unrepentant heart, God will give us over to our sins. While most of us probably won’t experience physical death, we will most certainly experience a spiritual disconnection. The worst part in a spiritual disconnection is when our hearts become hard or bitter. Then Jesus needs to intervene to soften it. However, hard hearts can often be difficult to break, and thus repentance is often difficult.
Yet if we stay connected to God, we can be confident of the blessings that He provides for us. While it may not be immediate or apparent, a battle still may be waging in the spiritual realm. Never think that God doesn’t hear your prayers, or that He has left. His promises to us are always true, and will come to pass- in His timing.