Christianity is not a contest to see who can be the best. It's not about who's does not like songs that cuss, who does not go see R rated movies, and who wears a suit on Sunday. Christianity to me is the fact that all of us are equally screwed up and Jesus took pity and rescued me. Christianity to me is not a contest. I'm a loser and so are you. JESUS is the winner and the only victory I have is through him!
“Christianity does not protect from pain; it gives a new direction to your suffering. It makes you great; it enobles you, and prepares you for greater conquests. Just be assured that in the time of pain, you are in the arms of Jesus. So, ‘what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.’ [1 Peter 2:20]”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ, p. 57
Hebrews 6:18-20: The Christian Hope is Completely Reliable
Dear Lord, I apologize for the gap in these studies. Please bless all who read this and may they be assured of the promises You have for them. May You save us all in Your kingdom, and give us freedom in Christ on the way, in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
I am sorry about the long hiatus, but the studies are back by God’s grace! When we left off we were looking at the certainty of God’s promise. He wanted us to be so sure of our salvation that He gave us His word as a promise, and then swore an oath as another promise on top of that! Now, in verses 18-20 the Christian hope is shown to be reliable in 4 ways:
A City of refuge
A High Priest
We will look at 2 of them today.
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. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:18-20 NIV)
First, those who have “fled to take hold of the hope offered to us” have “fled for refuge.” (v. 18, KJV) They have fled from this doomed world, from Babylon, into the heavenly city of refuge (figuratively for now). God encourages these refugees with the dual assurance of His word and oath.
Second, this hope is an “anchor for the soul.” It is “firm and secure.” (v. 19) We rest assured that our salvation and glorification are as certain as if it had already occurred. This fact should anchor us and keep us from drifting into doubt and despair, as well as from apostasy.
This anchor takes hold firmly in the heavenly sanctuary. “It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” (v. 19 NIV) or “within the veil” (KJV). Our hope is secured in the presence of God behind the veil, which means that as surely as the anchor is there, so will we be! Our hope is to get to Heaven where Jesus is, with no more barriers between us and God ever again! To say this is quite a hope is an understatement!
Remember that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Hebrews 6:18-20 reminds us of the details of this assurance. Once you’re in Christ, you are saved! Don’t ever let Satan convince you otherwise. Quietly pray now, accepting God’s assurance and thanking Him for salvation. And enjoy the assurance! God bless you!
“In order to conquer, you need an assured heart and there is no inner assurance if Jesus is not present. One of the wonderful things Jesus does is put your world in order: He cleanses what needs to be cleansed, mends what needs to be fixed, and takes away what should not be there. In short, He puts peace in your heart; He takes from your life the permanent feeling of guilt that paralyzes you…”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ, p. 56
“Nothing is lost for those who believe in God. It is never late for those who recognize that they have no strength and turn their eyes to Him while seeking for help. Thus, today, before going out to face the troubles of a new day, remember that “the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.” [Psalm 4:3]”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ, p. 55
“The relationship, from the biblical point of view, is spending time daily with Jesus, studying the Bible and praying. There is no substitution for these activities of one’s devotional life: if you do not spend time daily with Jesus, you simply do not have a relationship with Him in spite of what you believe or say.
Today can be a day of victory with Jesus. Spending time with Him in the morning is like filling the gas tank of an automobile with the fuel that will make it function throughout the day. Do not run out to your activities of life. Remember Jesus’ advice: “Without Me, you can do nothing.”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ, p. 53
“Make this a day of observation on the road that takes you to work, to school, in your garden at home or at the university, finally, in the street. Pause, look at what God created, turn your eyes to heaven, look at the sky that is blue or covered with clouds and ask yourself, “What lessons does God want to teach me through the simple things that nature is showing me?”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ p. 52
“God is a loving Father who is interested in the lives of His children. he did not create you and abandon you to your sad destiny. He wants to guide you and take you through the right door of happiness. The problem is that there are so many voices in this world that tell you the same thing and sometimes, you have difficulty identifying God’s voice. However, He is by your side, calling you and inviting you to live an experience of love with Him.”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ p. 52
“…today, before facing the vicissitudes of life, think a little about the wonderful love of God for you. May that inspire you to live a new day. “For God so lived the world that Hour gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”—Alejandro Bullón, Finding Fulfillment in Christ p. 50
“The greatest characteristic a Christian can exhibit is this completely unveiled openness before God, which allows that person’s life to become a mirror for others. When the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, and by beholding God we become mirrors… Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you. It is almost always something good that will stain it— something good, but not what is best.”—Oswald Chambers (via joshuarice)
Dear Lord, may we be impacted by the reading and study of Your Word. Change us into the likeness of Your Son Jesus Christ. Fill all who read with Your Holy Spirit, and arrest their attention to Your Love and salvation, in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Paul closes the chapter by explaining how God’s promises are sure.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 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. 18 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. (Hebrews 6:16-18, NIV)
In human affairs when a person wants to end all dispute, he/she will swear by someone greater than themselves. This oath confirms his/her statement and the argument is over. Now, God wanted all believers (yes, you too!) to be absolutely sure that what He promised would come to pass. Now, His promise was already enough, but He wanted to assure all believers in a way that is absolutely plain and clear, so He stacked an oath on top of His promise! When Paul speaks of the heirs of the promise, he speaks of all who are children of Abraham by faith. The promise that has this oath resting on it is the promise of eternal salvation to all who believe on Jesus. When God promised a seed to Abraham, its ultimate fulfillment is found in Christ, and as a result, all the blessings that come from being joined together with Christ are included in this promise!
God did this in order to give hope and great encouragement to those who have fled other things (Judaism, family, jobs, etc.) to come to Christ. God provided this hope and encouragement by two unchangeable things; His word and His oath. What could possibly be more secure? God promises and then swears by Himself to save all those who believe in Christ. It’s a wrap. The conclusion is inevitable; the believer is secure for eternity!
“Today is a new day. Shine! Do not be intimidated before the dark clouds that surround you. Do not retreat, but go forward, fight, work, but remember that when life ends, only ‘the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ p. 43
“Make Jesus the center of your daily experience. Seek Him every morning before running after your dreams. Do not just pursue the brilliance that seduces, deceives, and kills. Just ask a butterfly. It will answer you with its wounded wings, with its pain and with its death.”—Alejandro Bullon, Finding Fulfillment in Christ p. 43
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8 "The word ‘pure’ in the original greek is kataros, which means, among other things, ‘which has no mixture.’ Like oil, that does not contain water." (Alejandro Bullon) What do you consume, read, or watch? Is it making you kataros? May we live a pure life by God’s grace, so we may see God. Happy Sabbath!