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PRESS ON TO YOUR SURE HOPE (1)
Victor M. Eskew
1. Hebrews 6:1 exhorts readers to go on unto perfection.
2. Hebrews 6:19 speaks of the hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.
i. Encouragement (Heb. 6:1-6)
ii. Expectation (Heb. 6:7-12)
iii. Ensured (Heb. 6:13-20)
I. THE ENCOURAGEMENT (Heb. 6:1-6)
A. The Duties (Heb. 6:1-3)
1. Leave (Heb. 6:1a)
2. Go on (Heb. 6:1b)
3. Don’t lay again the foundation (Heb. 6:1c-2)
1) Strong (2310): something put down, that is, substruction (of a building, etc.)
2) Thayer: laid down as a foundation…metaphorically the foundations, beginnings, first principles or an institution or system of truth
b. Foundations are meant to be laid only once. Then, the remaining elements of the structure are to be built thereon.
c. The writer then lists some of the foundations that had been laid in the OT that needed to be left.
1) Repentance from dead works
a) It is significant that the writer did not say “repentance from sins.”
b) These are the “dead works” of the OT (See Heb. 9:14).
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
2) Faith toward God
a) The Jews had faith in God. They were His covenant people and possessed His Word in the OT.
b) They, however, needed to move forward to a full faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 14:1).
Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
3) Of the doctrine of baptisms
a) These are the ceremonial washings of the Levitical rituals (Exo. 30:18-21; Lev. 16:4; Num. 19:19).
Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: when they go into the tabernacle of the congregation they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord: so they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute forever to the, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
b) “The Greek word used in the occurrences noted above is ‘baptisma.’ But in Hebrews 6:2 the Greek word interpreted ‘baptisms’ is NOT that word ‘baptisma.’ It is instead this word ‘baptismaton.’ This word (‘baptismaton’) occurs only three times in the New Testament; here in Heb 6:2, again in Mark 7:4, and finally in Hebrews 9:10. Here the word ‘baptismaton’ is an unusual one. It is the plural form a ‘baptismos,’ a term which in its other New Testament usages refers to ‘ceremonial washings practiced by the Jews (Lightfoot, page 121)” (Wacaster, 206).
4) Of laying on of hands
a) Barnes: “The Jews practiced the laying on of hands on a variety of occasions. It was done when a blessing was imparted to anyone; and, when they offered sacrifice, they laid hands on the head of the victim, confessing their sins, Lev. 16:21, 24:14; Num. 8:12. It was done on occasions of solemn consecration to office, and when one friend supplicated the divine favour on another.”
b) Exodus 29:10; Leviticus 1:4; 3:2, 8, 13
And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.
5) Of resurrection of the dead
a) The resurrection of the dead is not unique to the NT.
b) Several OT passages clearly affirm the resurrection of the dead (cf. Job 19:25-27; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:2).
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: when I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
c) Martha believed in the resurrection (John 11:23-24).
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
d) We also know that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:8; 24:14-15).
6) Eternal judgment
a) Eternal judgment is more fully developed in the NT, but it was known in the OT.
b) Psalm 1:5; 96:13; 98:9b; Eccl. 12:14
For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
4. And this will we do, if God permit (Heb. 6:3).
a. This is not to be interpreted as if God was somehow unwilling that they should go onward from these first principles, for that was God’s very intention.
b. “It may be that the author was anticipating a doubt on the part of these Hebrews as to whether or not God would permit such an abandonment of the Old Law as implied in these words (Wacaster, 212).
c. The fact is that God will permit it. In fact, He demands it!