The Certainty of God's Promise
Comments for Study 5
Memory Verse 6:19
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The previous study concerned the dangers of becoming lazy in Christ, and how not to become lazy. Verse 12 said, "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." The verses in this study (5) points out one very important promise, God's promise to Abraham. From this promise we can learn that what God promises will come true. No matter how long it may take from God to fulfill his promises, we must wait and believe in faith. We must practically hope for the fulfillment of God's promises of the Kingdom of Heaven and spiritual descendent.
I. God's Promise to Abraham (13-15)
>1. Who is Abraham? Why did God make a promise to him? What was the promise? (15)
Hebrews 6:13-14 "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."
* "his promise to Abraham" -This promise of God is recorded in Gen. 22. God swore this promise to Abraham after he obeyed God and all but offered his son Isaac on an altar. When he obey God, God said, "I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
* "he swore by himself" -Thus it will happen.
>2. Verse 15 lists part of the promise. What is the rest? (Gen. 22) How does this apply to the Hebrew receiving this letter? How does it apply to us today?
>3. What is patience? What did Abraham receive? What part of the promise did he not receive when he had physically died? Are we heirs of the same promise? What does this mean to us?
Hebrews 6:15 "And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised."
* Abraham believed God and in dew time God kept his promise. He was truly blessed. His descendent, both physical and spiritual, are as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. His descendants, the Israelites took possession of the cities of their enemies. And his offspring Jesus was a blessing to all the earth.
* This promise applies to us as well. We can be sure that all nations on earth was blessed by Abraham's descendant, Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead freeing us from the agony of sin and death. By faith we believe this simple gospel truth even though we never saw it happen. Because of this we share in a common faith with Abraham. We are therefore his spiritual descendants and heirs of the same promise that Abraham had.
* Abraham never saw God fulfill this promise in his life time, but he believed it by faith. Because of this we are spiritual descendants of the same faith as Abraham. And now Abraham's descendent became "as numerous as stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore."
* When God promises something, especially with a swear, we can sure it will come true. All of God's promises are true in the Bible. We can believe them in faith.
II. God's Promise to Us (16-20)
>4. What is the principle of swearing? (16) Is it wise for us to swear an oath? (Matt. 5:33-37)
Hebrews 6:16 "Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument."
* The principle and purpose of a swear.
* In the old days men would say things like, "I swear by the Lord God that I will pay you in full tomorrow." When men swear like this in those days, it was assured that they would keep there word. God used this same principle when he made his promise to Abraham.
* I have learned the hard way never to swear by God for things that we can not control, even our fleshly and sinful habits. Jesus agrees. (Matt. 5:33-37)
>5. What did God want to make very clear? To whom did he want to make it clear? What does the fact that heirs is plural tell us?
>6. What are two unchangeable things?
>7. What have we fled? What hope is offered to us?
Hebrews 6:17 "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 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 offered to us may be greatly encouraged."
* God's purpose was to save the world through Abraham's offspring, Jesus. We can be sure that Abraham's descendent will increase in number by faith in this promise. We can believe that our own descendent will increase and we will have many, for we are heirs of the same promise. Even if we only raise up one person in Christ and even him after a long time, we can be sure, as we see how God fulfilled his promise to Abraham, that he will fulfill it for us. God swore by himself he will bless us. God's promise encourages us and gives us hope. We should therefore never give up. We should not become lazy but by faith obey God's commands. Even though there may be an interval before God's promise is fulfilled we should not lose hope.
>8. What is an anchor for our soul? What does an anchor do for a ship? What would happen if the ship did not use its anchor?
>9. What is the inner sanctuary? Who was the only person to have access to the inner sanctuary? How do we have access? Who was Melchizedek? (See previous studies in Hebrews.)
Hebrews 6:19-20 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
* "as an anchor" -No matter what kind of obstacle, temptations, persecutions, and troubles get in the way we can and should rely on God's promise to us. We should hold onto it as if it is our spiritual anchor.
* Our soul is like a ship in this life and we are traveling towards heaven, our safe seaport. While on this trip we will encounter much waves and mighty storms. But with God's words and promises secure in our hearts we wil be firm and secure. We can ride out the storms of life believing God.
* Our hearts are anchored on the promises of God. Our hearts are anchored on the altar where Jesus offered his blood for our sins. Let us fix our hearts on the promises of God so that no matter what storm comes our way we may believe and continue to do the gospel work.
* "He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek" -a subject of the next study.