Hebrews 6:7-12

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

AN APPEAL AND WARNING (continued)

INTRODUCTION:

 

In Hebrews 6:1-3 we have already seen that –

            I.         The readers must leave the elementary teachings about the Messiah – 6:1a

            II. They must go on to perfection – 6:1b

            III.      They must not lay again the foundation of Judaism – 6:1c-3

 

Hebrews 6:1-31 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

 

In Hebrews 6:4-6 we have also seen that –

      IV.      To renew to repentance those who have completely abandoned Christianity is impossible – 6:4-6

 

Hebrews 6:4-64 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

We move on to see that –

   V.     PEOPLE PRODUCE THE KIND OF FRUIT THEY REALLY ARE – 6:7-8

 

Verses 7 and 8 are given as a reminder that a person produces the kind of fruit he really is. It is a reminder of by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:20 ).

 

Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God.

 

A saved person is going to evidence his salvation in his life, and an unsaved person is going to evidence his lack of salvation in his life.

 

For introduces an explanation in the sense of now.

 

The earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it is a descriptive phrase which implies that the earth, which allows the rain water to soak in, is being compared to someone who has been genuinely saved.

 

Earth is ground or land.

 

Oft is often, many times, or frequently.

 

Bringeth forth herbs indicates that this same earth is fruitful. The earth not only takes in the rain but also brings forth herbs.

 

Herbs that are meet is suitable vegetation.

 

For them is for those and suggests that these persons did not personally care for their land but had others, such as hired hands or servants, taking care of it for them.

 

By whom is because of whom and refers to the landowners.

 

It is dressed is it is also cultivated or it is also tilled.

 

Receiveth means receives one’s share, shares in, or receives.

 

What is received is blessing from God.

 

Blessing suggests God’s bountifulness in giving this productivity.

 

Hebrews 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

 

Verse 8 is given in contrast to verse 7 as is indicated by but, which suggests a mild contrast.

 

That which beareth refers to that (earth) which beareth or that (ground) which beareth.

 

Beareth is used in the figurative sense of produces.

 

The ground which produces thorns and briers is rejected.

 

Thorns refers to thorn plants.

 

Briers are prickly weeds, especially thistles.

 

This kind of ground is rejected, which means that it does not stand the test. Hence, it is unqualified, worthless, base, disqualified, unproved, or unfit.

 

This land which bears thorns and briars is not only rejected; it also is nigh unto cursing.

 

Is nigh suggests (is) near and in the context is used in the sense of (is) close to.

 

What it (is) close to is cursing, i.e. a curse or an imprecation. With nigh it means that it is almost cursed or close to being cursed.

 

Whose end is to be burned is whose outcome is for burning or whose destiny is for burning. The farmer is going to burn over this land to get rid of the thorns and the briars.

 

Similarly, the person, who produces things which are characteristic of an unspiritual individual, is in danger because it may very well be (and likely is) that he is genuinely unsaved.

 

That this is the proper interpretation in verse 8 is made clear by the writer’s contrasting statement in verse 9.

 

 VI.     THE WRITER IS CONVINCED THAT MOST OF HIS READERS HAVE BEEN GENUINELY SAVED – 6:9

 

Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

 

Verse 9 is given in contrast to verse 8 as is indicated by but.

 

Beloved is dear ones or loved ones.

 

The tense of we are persuaded indicates that an action has taken place in the past and that its result has continued on. It is literally we have been convinced and, therefore, means we are certain. We refers to the writer. He has been convinced of something in the past; and as a result, he is still certain of it at the time he is writing this letter. In his opinion it is a settled matter.

 

Better things of you is better things about you or better things concerning you and suggests better than these works which are characteristic of unsaved people.

 

And may be used to continue the thought; or it may be used in an emphatic sense as indeed, in fact, certainly, verily, or yea.

 

Things that accompany salvation refers to the better things that the writer is persuaded regarding his readers. He is persuaded that there is evidence in their lives that they are genuinely born again.

 

That accompany is used in the sense of belonging to.

 

What these things belong to or accompany is salvation. This is the normal term for salvation and means preservation or deliverance from sin and its consequences.

 

The writer of Hebrews is persuaded that his readers evidence salvation in their lives and are to be compared with the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it and brings forth herbs which are suitable for them because of whom it is dressed, i.e. the writer is convinced that his readers are to be compared with the well-watered land in verse 7 which produces herbs for the landowners.

 

Though is even if, even though, or although.

 

Though we thus speak is although we are speaking in this manner.

 

We refers to the writer who is convinced that his readers are genuinely saved people, but he wishes to take no chances. As saved people they will not do the things which are mentioned in verses 4-6.

 

VII.     GOD KNOWS THE GENUINENESS OF THE READERS’ SALVATION – 6:10

 

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

 

In verse 9 the writer stated that he is persuaded that his readers are genuinely saved.

 

In verse 10 he introduces an explanation with the word translated for, which is used in the sense of now.

 

God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love.

 

God is God the Father.

 

Unrighteous is unjust.

 

To forget shows how God is not unrighteous or unjust. It means to overlook or to care nothing about.

 

God knows whether these people are saved. He looks on their works, and their works demonstrate that they are saved. Their works did not save them but are evidence or proof that they are saved.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 puts works and salvation in a proper perspective. One is saved by grace through faith rather than by works, but good works are something the believer has been created to do as part of his normal Christian life.

 

Ephesians 2:8-10 – (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

God will not miss this. There will be no confusion on His part regarding their salvation. He has not forgotten them, and He is not overlooking them now.

 

God is not unrighteous with the result that He would forget their work and labour of love. Because God is righteous, He will remember their work and labor of love.

 

Work means deeds; while labour means work or toil and suggests the weariness that accompanies the toil.

 

Of love goes with both work and labour.

 

These people served the Lord diligently out of love, and they wore themselves out doing it. They were not unsaved; instead, it appears that they may have been discouraged with the troubles they were enduring as a result of their salvation.

 

Which ye have shewed toward his name refers to love.

 

Ye have shewed is you demonstrated, and it has been translated in a way which emphasizes the result of its action.

 

Toward his name may be used in the sense of unto His name or because of His name.

 

His name refers to the name God and suggests all that He is and all that He represents. It is another way of saying toward God Himself.

 

In that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister shows what their work and labor of love was. They had ministered to the saints in the past, and they were still ministering to the saints in the present.

 

Ministered is the word from which the word deacon is derived. In this context it means that they were serving, helping, or supporting.

 

The saints were God’s people; and, as such, they were genuinely saved people. They had been set apart for the Lord’s use. They were not an elite group of believers but included the entire class of persons known as believers.

 

These believers in Hebrews 6 had not only ministered in the past to these saints, but the import of and do minister is that they were still continuing to serve, help, or support these saints. This is something that was normal for them. God would not forget this.

 

If He were to forget this, He would be unrighteous; but this cannot be because it is contrary to His very nature.

 

 

VIII.   THE WRITER IS CONCERNED THAT SOME OF HIS READERS MAY NOT YET BE GENUINELY SAVED – 6:11-12

 

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

 

Verse 11 indicates that what was true in verse 10 was true of the readers as a whole. There were some, however, who were not demonstrating these good works quite as well as others.

 

And indicates a continuation of the thought from the previous verse. It could instead be emphatic and imply indeed or in fact.

 

We desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence.

 

We is the literary plural and means the writer himself.

 

Desire is a term which means long for.

 

What the writer longs for is that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

 

Every one of you is each one of you. It is instructive to note that by the use of you rather than us, the writer does not include himself in this group he is exhorting to be eager to serve the Lord and, thereby, demonstrate the genuineness of their salvation. He is certain of his salvation and desires to be certain of theirs. He also knows that he is demonstrating his faith by his diligence in lovingly serving the Lord by ministering to his fellow believers.

 

Do shew is the same term translated shewed in verse 10.

 

What they needed to show or demonstrate is the same diligence.

 

The same implies that others have also shown diligence in ministering to the saints in performing a work and labor of love.

 

Diligence means eagerness, earnestness, or zeal.

 

The extent to which this writer of Hebrews wants his readers to show this same diligence is to the full assurance of hope.

 

Full assurance is another word for certainty.

 

Of hope refers to the hope of salvation.

 

The full assurance of hope is the certainty of the hope of salvation.

 

Unto the end suggests forever or for the rest of their lives. In other words, he would never want them to show anything less than the full assurance or certainty of their hope of salvation.

 

What he is doing is asking them to be eager to serve the Lord, thereby demonstrating their salvation in their lives. Although they could not earn their salvation, if they were serving the Lord faithfully, it would indicate that the Lord was working in their lives.

 

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises

 

Verse 12 continues the thought of verse 11. It shows purpose.

 

That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

 

Ye is the readers but does not include the writer. This is instructive in that he again differentiates between himself and those whom he is urging not to be slothful but followers of saved people.

 

Slothful is lazy or sluggish. It is the same term used in Hebrews 5:11 where it was translated dull in the phrase dull of hearing.

 

He is urging his readers to show diligence in exercising their spiritual faculties in order that they not be dull of hearing or lazy or sluggish in their response to the preaching and/or teaching of the Word of God.

 

Instead, he wants them to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises, which is introduced by but, which is used to demonstrate the contrast between what they should not be and what they should be.

 

Followers is imitators.

 

What they are to follow or imitate is them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. These are saved people.

 

Inherit suggests something which is occurring progressively. It may be used in the present sense of acquire, obtain, or come into possession of.

 

What they come into possession of is the promises. These represent the entire group of promises made regarding salvation which God has made to believers throughout the Word of God.

 

Believers will acquire these promises through faith or trust. They were saved by believing.

 

However, these promises are obtained not only through faith but also through patience. This is not the term which implies longsuffering; rather, it is the term which implies steadfastness or endurance. Thus, although these promises are acquired in the present sense when believers receive Christ as Savior, their fulfillment is not yet complete. They are in the process of being fulfilled.

 

Salvation also has a future aspect. It will not be complete until the redemption of the believers’ bodies. Meanwhile, the believer may be called upon to endure much tribulation while God is molding and shaping his life the way He would have it to be.

 

According to Romans 5:3 , tribulation worketh (i.e. produces) patience; and according to James 1:3 , the trying of your faith worketh patience. It is this sort of patience the writer has in mind.

 

The writer’s statement in this verse prepares the reader for what he will write in Hebrews 10:36 ,

 

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

CONCLUSION:

 

What do the things you are doing in life demonstrate about your salvation? Do they indicate that you are saved?

 

If they don’t evidence your salvation, make certain that you have been genuinely born again.