Summary: Believers can have hope in God through: 1) His Person (Heb. 6:13a,), 2) His Purpose (Heb. 6:14-15), 3) His Pledge (Heb. 6:13b, 16–18), and 4) His Priest (Heb. 6:19–20).
Tributes have pored in all week to the late Jack Layton, former leader of the Canadian federal New Democratic Party. Beyond all his contributions to various causes, a resounding factor that seems to have been recognized in him, was his ability to inspire hope. In a world rife with economic, political, personal and relational instability, it is easy to become pessimistic and fearful. People are always looking for something they can trust, something they can bank their lives on.
Some turn to political or social activism. They may spend years going to rallies and lobbying for change. Yet, outward laws or policies can only attempt to withhold the evil and destructiveness that grips our world.
Where can we find hope that does not come and go, that is not reliant upon frail humanity or ever changing world systems or trends? Christians know that only a hope that rests on God who does not lie and who’s purposes always come to pass can be trusted and relied upon.
In light of the Jewish persecution that the audience to whom the author of Hebrews is writing, would almost certainly face if they became Christians, they are pointed to Abraham. The father of the Jews is also the father of the faithful. He is the perfect illustration of a man of faith who, in the midst of adversity, uncertainty, and seeming impossibility, went all the way with God, totally trusting Him for everything. Yet Abraham’s faith was not blind. He could not see the consequences of his obedience but he could see God’s character. For some very obvious and powerful reasons, he could trust God. When the Lord makes a promise, He puts His integrity on the line. Every promise of God is secured by His character.
God’s integrity and faithfulness are the real theme of Hebrews 6:13–20. Abraham is simply an example of those who trust His integrity and faithfulness, which alone make our trust of any value. Can we trust our lives to God? Can we base our hope on Him and His promises?
In an age where hope is under attack, this passage in Hebrews gives us four reasons to trust God: Believers can have hope in God through: 1) His Person (Hebrews 6:13a,), 2) His Purpose (Hebrews 6:14-15), 3) His Pledge (Hebrews 6:13b, 16–18), and 4) His Priest (Hebrews 6:19–20).
1) His Person (Hebrews 6:13a)
Hebrews 6:13a For when God made a promise to Abraham, (since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself),
No one in the universe is greater than God. And the reason He cannot lie is that He invented truth. He is truth. By definition, whatever He says is true. By the very nature of His person, He cannot lie. He has no capacity to lie. His promises, then, are first of all secured by His Person. Whatever He does has to be right and whatever He says has to be true. If God makes a promise, therefore, He not only will keep it, He must keep it.
Please turn to Titus 1
The Hebrew readers who recognized the truth of the gospel, who had seen miracles performed by the apostles, were still afraid to let go of Judaism. They were afraid to cast themselves completely on the Messiah for fear that He might not be able to save them, that something would go amiss. And so the Holy Spirit encourages and assures all believers, that they can trust God to do just as He says.
Preaching is an exercise of Hope:
Titus 1:1-2 [1:1]Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; (ESV)
Illustration: (2273 Any Hope Of Rescue?)
Years ago the S-4 submarine was rammed by another ship and quickly sank. The entire crew was trapped in its prison house of death. Ships rushed to the scene of disaster off the coast of Massachusetts. A diver placed his helmeted ear to the side of the vessel and listened. He heard a tapping noise. Someone, he learned, was tapping out a question in the dots and dashes of the Morse Code. The question came slowly: “Is … there … any … hope?” This seems to be the cry of humanity: “Is there any hope?” (The preaching of the Gospel of Christ is the answer to that question) (Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.)
2) His Purpose (Hebrews 6:14-15)