Terry Denis tells a story about a college professor, an atheist, who gave a lecture denying the existence of God. He cited book after book, scholar after scholar and a variety of “evidences” to prove there’s no God.
As the professor concluded, a man stood up eating an apple and asked: “This apple that I’m eating, tell me, is it sweet or is it sour?”
Incredulously the professor replied, “How should I know? I’ve not tasted that apple.”
To this, the man responded, “I know there is God. I have tasted Him.”
This week we’re reading the book of Hebrews written to a second generation of Jewish Christians who had “tasted the goodness of God’s Word,” to encourage them not to neglect the great salvation.
There’s much in today’s reading that’s blog-worthy. But consider these three simple, but important admonitions.
An Appeal to Spiritual Progress (Heb 6:1-3)
Following the author’s arguments concerning the superiority of Christ and the Christian religion he exhorts. “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection.”
God doesn’t want us to stagnate spiritually. He desires for us to grow. To improve. To move forward. The word “perfection” means maturity.
Just like a baby grows from infancy to adolescence to adulthood, so must those who’ve been “born again” by God’s Word grow spiritually. It’s said that Oliver Cromwell had a motto written inside his Bible in Latin when translated read, “He who ceases to be better ceases to be good.” Or as Max De Pree put it, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”
A Warning of Possible Apostasy (Heb. 6:4-6)
However, those who had “tasted of the heavenly gift” needed to be careful not “to fall away.” Apostasy is possible, contrary to the teaching of many in the religious world today.
Those who were once “enlightened” and enjoyed divine association, are in grave danger when they return to “the weak and worthless elements of the world.” One can reach a state where it is “impossible..to renew them again to repentance.” Not impossible on God’s part. Because He’s always willing and ready to forgive. But impossible from a human standpoint.
When we reject Christ, we renounce all hope. When we repudiate the cross and shame the name of God’s son, we’ve reached a depth of sin that can only be compared to those who shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
Pastors and preachers have witnessed those who began a gradual spiritual descent, who neglected their salvation finally fall headlong into the putridity of immoral practices. And ultimately become either infidels or outright atheists.
Be careful. Don’t lose your taste for God’s Word. Savor your spiritual communion with the Lord. Don’t whet your appetite for carnal cravings.
An Assurance of the Christian’s Hope (Heb. 6:9-20)
The Hebrew writer confidently believed better things about them. When you allow God to be on your side, find support from fellow Christians and sincerely engage yourself in Christian ministry, good things happen.
Building on the right foundation provides the basis for Christian growth. A focused faith, devoted diligence, and persistent patience are necessary elements for us to progress spiritually.
Furthermore, when we hold on tight to our hope, we can withstand any assault by Satan or spiritual storm that may threaten us. Our hope in Christ is the soul’s anchor. Sure. Solid. Steadfast.
We’re living in turbulent times. But as the late Paul Harvey once observed, “In times like these it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these.”
So, when the winds of opposition howl, the waves of doubt rise, and the storms of temptation surround you, trust your anchor. Stay calm. Remain confident. And keep your eyes focused on God’s unfailing promises.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
3 responses to “A Passage To Ponder: Hebrews 6”
The Ultimate Insult for an enemy is to be made a “footstool”. As a footstool, one is expected to Kiss the Master’s boots, his feet. The Woman in Luke 7 does just that. She lets Simon and her sister Martha and the whole household gathered to dine with Simon and Jesus the Rabboni that she is the enemy. Not because she hates Jesus, Simon and Martha, but rather because she loves much and according to the Law upheld by Simon the Father of the Law and Israel’s teachers she is a sinner… an adulterer.
Mature Christians can easily recognize her as The Woman, the Jesus person who spent the night with Jesus the Rabboni aka Nicodemus the Teacher of Israel and the esteemed member of the Assembly (John 3:1-21).
Her encounter with Jesus the Rabboni of Israel leaves her asking. How can I have eternal life? How can I go and sin no more? Should I sever my relationship with the Rabboni or keep it in the dark?
The Woman Jesus chooses to bring her relationship with Jesus the Rabboni into the Light in a dramatic way to which Luke bears witness. Her choice reveals her as an enemy and makes her one.
Mature Christians are asked to bear witness to the Jesus person who loved Jesus the Rabboni and his beloved and anointed them and Simon whom she stumbled upon in an uncanny way (Matthew 16:17;23). As she Jesus believing and trusting in their “heavenly and godly” souls called them into an eternal relationship with her to bring light and peace to the world, so she Jesus calls mature Christians today. Mature Christians are called to perfect their faith…and strive to vindicate God’s Wisdom by their love and their humility (Luke 7:35). And as Paul reminds the Corinthians “we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”(1 Corinthians 2:7).
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