Hebrews 6:13-20

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

CHRIST IS THE BELIEVER’S

FORERUNNER WITHIN THE VEIL

INTRODUCTION:

 

In Hebrews 6:13-20 , Christ is shown to be the believer’s forerunner within the veil. Its connection is to the word promises in verse 12.

 

God has made some promises, and He is going to keep them. He will never fail to keep His word. Verses 13-20 are used to show the absolute certainty of God’s promises being fulfilled.

 

The readers knew that He made these promises, but they were greatly discouraged as a result of the trials they were enduring. Some were so discouraged that they were considering abandoning Christianity and returning to Judaism.

 

The writer is saying that trials and tribulations are normal for believers. They inherit these promises through faith and patience. They have already exercised the faith. Now they also need to exercise this patience or endurance and to continue in the direction they are going because God is going to keep His word.

 

In verses 13-15 the readers are reminded that God made a promise to Abraham. Verses 16-18 explain why God swore an oath after He made a promise to Abraham; and in verses 19-20 the promise made to Abraham is shown to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ’s entering into the presence of God as the believers’ forerunner.

We see that –

    I.     GOD MADE A PROMISE TO ABRAHAM – 6:13-15

 

Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.

 

For introduces an explanation of this promise and is to be understood in the sense of now. It may instead be causal and understood in the sense of because.

 

Verse 13 indicates that when God made promise to Abraham, He also did something else. In Genesis 12:1-3 God made a promise to Abraham.

 

Genesis 12:1-3 – (1) Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

(2) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

(3) And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 

In Genesis 13:14-18 God again promised Abraham,

 

Genesis 13:14-18 – (14) And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

(15) For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

(16) And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

(17) Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

(18) Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.

 

In Genesis 15:5 God promised,

 

Genesis 15:5 And he [i.e. God] brought him [i.e. Abram] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he [i.e. God] said unto him [i.e. Abram], So shall thy seed be.

 

In Genesis 22:16-17 God reiterated the promise and this time confirmed it with an oath.

 

Genesis 22:16-1716 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.

 

Back to Hebrews 6:13

God is God the Father; whereas, Abraham is the patriarch, the father of the Jewish nation.

 

Because he could swear by no greater provides the reason God swore by Himself.

 

He refers to God the Father.

 

Could swear by no greater is He had no one greater to swear by.

 

Swear means take an oath.

 

By no greater is by no one greater. God is comparing others to Himself.

 

Ordinarily, people who swear by someone or something take an oath by someone or something they consider to be greater than they are.

 

God, however, has no one greater than He is by whom He could swear an oath. Consequently, He could swear by no one greater than He Himself is, because no one greater than He has ever existed.

 

Therefore, he sware by himself.

 

It means that He took an oath based on Himself or according to Himself.

 

This oath He took was intended to confirm the promise He made to Abraham, and He swore this oath in order to show that He was serious and intended to carry out His promise.

 

Hebrews 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

 

God’s promise is introduced by saying.

 

When combined with sware in verse 13, it means He swore when He said.

 

What He said is, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

 

He said this in Genesis 22:16-17 , which has already been mentioned,

 

Genesis 22:16-17 – (16) And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

(17) That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.

 

Surely is truly or indeed.

 

Blessing I will bless is a literal translation of the Hebrew, and its construction in Hebrew is used to express emphasis. Thus, blessing I will bless is to be understood in the sense I will indeed bless, I will greatly bless, I will surely bless, or I will certainly bless.

 

I will bless means I will provide with benefits.

 

I refers to God the Father.

 

Thee is you (singular) and refers to Abraham.

 

God also swore, Multiplying, I will multiply thee.

 

Multiplying I will multiply is again a literal translation of a phrase in Hebrew whose construction is intended to express emphasis and is to be understood in the sense of I will surely multiply, I will indeed multiply, I will greatly multiply, or I will certainly multiply.

 

Thee again refers to Abraham, and I refers to God.

 

I will multiply means I will increase. Thus, God would greatly bless and increase Abraham, thereby producing a large nation from him.

 

Hebrews 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

 

Verse 15 reminds the reader that Abraham did not receive the fulfillment of this promise immediately.

 

So is thus or in this manner.

 

After he had patiently endured reminds the readers that they inherit God’s promises through both faith and patience.

 

God made a promise to Abraham, and Abraham believed God’s promise. Then, Abraham patiently endured while waiting for the promise to be carried out.

 

The tense of patiently endured indicates that its action occurred before the action of obtained. Thus, Abraham patiently endured before he obtained the promise. Patiently endured means had patience, waited, or waited patiently for.

 

He obtained is he attained to or he reached.

 

What he obtained was the promise. This is the promise or pledge God made to him regarding multiplying his seed.

 

The promise was made initially in Genesis 12:1-3 when Abraham was 75 years of age. It was repeated in fuller form in Genesis 13:14-17 and again in Genesis 15:1-6 . Finally, in Genesis 17:1-8 it was repeated again when Abraham was 99 years old. Isaac was only the beginning of the fulfillment of promise, and his birth did not occur until Abraham was 100 years of age. This was 25 years after God made the initial promise during which time Abraham patiently endured.

 

The patient enduring was still not finished. According to Genesis 22:16-17 , the promised blessing was renewed some years later after Abraham had offered Isaac upon the altar.

 

Furthermore, this promise has still not been fulfilled in its fullest sense; nevertheless, it is only a matter of time before it is.

 

Similarly, the writer is stating to his readers that they have exercised faith in Christ and that they are now patiently enduring, while waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. Their salvation will be completed at the rapture.

 

Soon they will obtain the promise God has made to complete their salvation. They should not be discouraged. This is normal and is to be expected.

 

  II.     GOD CONFIRMED THE PROMISE HE MADE TO ABRAHAM WITH AN OATH – 6:16-18

 

Hebrews 6:16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.

 

Verses 16-18 explain why God swore this oath after He made a promise to Abraham.

 

For introduces the explanation.

 

Men verily swear by the greater.

 

Men suggests human beings.

 

Verily is emphatic and suggests indeed, in fact, or certainly.

 

Swear is the same word meaning take an oath.

 

By the greater suggests by someone or something they view as being greater than they are.

 

And an oath for confirmation is and the oath for guaranteeing or and the oath for establishment.

 

Confirmation is a legal technical term meaning guaranteeing or furnishing security.

 

Thus, the oath for confirmation is the guarantee that the promise is going to be kept.

 

Is to them suggests (is) for them and refers to the men who swear by the greater.

 

An end of all strife suggests that there is a limitation of all contradiction or of every dispute. In other words, all parties are satisfied when the oath is taken. The verbal battle is then over because those involved are satisfied that the promise is going to be kept.

 

 

Hebrews 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.

 

Wherein is understood in the sense of because of which in reference to the principle in verse 16 where men swear by something or someone they view as being greater than they are.

 

This suggests the reason God confirmed His promise with an oath.

 

God is God the Father.

 

Willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel indicates the cause or reason God confirmed His promise to Abraham with an oath.

 

More abundantly is even more and, when combined with willing, suggests because God was even more willing.

 

What God was even more willing to do was to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel.

 

To shew is to demonstrate or to give proof of (something).

 

Unto the heirs of promise are the ones whom God promised. They are the ones who will inherit this promise. The heirs of promise are the recipients of the gospel. It is the we in verse 18 who have laid hold on the hope set before us and includes both the writer and the original recipients of the Book of Hebrews as well as all others who receive Christ as their personal Savior from sin and its consequences.

 

Ultimately, believers are the spiritual seed of Abraham through faith in Christ. Galatians 3:29 says, And if ye (be) Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

What God showed unto the heirs of promise was the immutability of his counsel.

 

The immutability means the unchangeableness.

 

Of his counsel means of His resolution, of His decision, of His resolve, or of His will.

 

He confirmed it by an oath means He mediated it with an oath. He guaranteed it by means of an oath. God’s word, however, is as good as His oath. In reality, His word needs no confirmation. However, because of the weakness of the faith of human beings, God gave the heirs of promise additional reason to believe the promise He made to Abraham when He confirmed it with an oath.

 

 

Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.

 

Verse 18 provides the reason God confirmed His promise to Abraham with an oath.

 

That is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that. It is to be connected with we might have a strong consolation.

 

By two immutable things is through two unchangeable things or by means of two unchangeable things.

 

These two unchangeable things are God’s promise and God’s oath of confirmation.

 

In which refers to these two immutable things.

 

It was impossible for God to lie expresses the inability of God to lie. He cannot lie.

 

We might have a strong consolation is we might have a strong encouragement or we might have a strong comfort.

 

We is specified as we who have fled for refuge or we who have taken refuge.

 

To lay hold upon the hope set before us is understood in the sense of in order that we might lay hold on the hope set before us or for the purpose that we might hold fast the hope set before us.

 

The hope set before us refers to the promise of salvation which believers will obtain in its fullness at the rapture when they see Christ face to face. It refers to the completion of their salvation when they receive their resurrection bodies.

 

 III.     GOD’S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM WAS FULFILLED BY JESUS CHRIST’S ENTERING INTO GOD’S PRESENCE AS THE BELIEVERS’ FORERUNNER – 6:19-20

 

Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.

 

Verse 19 indicates that it is this hope which believers have in the Lord Jesus Christ which serves as an anchor of the soul.

 

Which hope is simply which and refers to that hope set before us in verse 18.

 

We have as an anchor of the soul implies that the hope believers have anchors their souls.

 

This hope is both sure, i.e. firm, and stedfast, which means firm, permanent, or secure.

 

And which entereth into that within the veil also refers to the hope we have set before us in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

That within the veil is the very presence of God.

 

It is the believers’ hope which enters into that within the veil which serves as an anchor holding them fast so that they will not drift.

 

In other words, their hope enters as an anchor into the very presence of God. Thus, the hope of believers is anchored in God Himself.

 

The veil symbolizes having no access into the presence of God; and, of course, this veil has been removed so that believers now have direct access into His presence. This was symbolized by the veil separating the holy place from the holy of holies in the temple at Jerusalem being torn in two from top to bottom at the time of Jesus’ death on the cross.

 

Mark 15:37-3837 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

 

Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

Whither is where.

 

The forerunner is described as even Jesus.

 

Whereas the Levitical high priests, as representatives of the people, went where others could not go into the holy of holies once a year on the day of atonement, Jesus blazed the trail for believers as their forerunner and not merely as their representative.

 

As a result, believers may follow Him where He went and enter the very presence of God, symbolized as being within the veil.

 

Is for us entered suggests is entered on our behalf.

 

Jesus is described by made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

Made is having come to be or having become.

 

An high priest . . . after the order of Melchisedec is a high priest just like Melchizedek.

 

For ever signifies that there will never be a successor to Him. His is an unchanging priesthood. Of course, it will endure throughout all eternity.

 

Whereas the Levitical high priest entered into the holy of holies annually as the representative of God’s people, the Lord Jesus Christ as the believers’ great high priest entered into the heavenly holy of holies as their forerunner.

 

The fact that Jesus Christ is the believer’s forerunner as well as his high priest implies that the believer can likewise follow after Him and enter into the very presence of God just like He did.

 

Christ could enter His Father’s presence on the basis of His own righteousness.

 

A believer is enabled to enter into his heavenly Father’s presence on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, which has been credited to the believer’s account.

 

II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

It means that God the Father made Christ to be sin for believers that they might be made God’s righteousness in Christ.

 

In view of this the writer could write in Hebrews 10:19-20 ,

 

Hebrews 10:19-20 – (19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

(20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.

 

He could also write in Hebrews 10:22 ,

 

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

CONCLUSION:

 

Let’s realize that the writer of Hebrews is saying that trials and tribulations are normal for believers. We inherit God’s promises through faith and patience. We have already exercised the faith. Now we must also exercise this patience or endurance and continue in the direction we are going because God is going to keep His word.