Summary: Sermon 8 in Hebrews Series
Toward Spiritual Maturity
Last week we began talking about moving toward Spiritual Maturity.
We talked about the warning signs of Arrested Spiritual Development.
Ears that Don’t Hear the Word
Mouths that Don’t Speak the Word
Stomachs that Don’t digest the Word
We talked about Spiritual Milk and Spiritual Meat.
This week we are going to continue on talking about moving toward Spiritual Maturity and look at a warning and some encouragement that the author gives.
Turn with me to Hebrews 6:1
We are going to be focusing on Hebrews 6:4-20, but I want us to have the context of these verses in our minds as we look at what they say.
Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case-things that accompany salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
(from New International Version)
OK, as we spoke last week about arrested development, and some of the causes, this week we learn in this passage that
Continual Arrested Development is a Sign of Spiritual Death
This is a severe warning that the author is giving the Hebrews.
That is because what he is talking about is very serious.
It means eternal life or death for those whom he is talking about.
But that is the vital question for us.
Who is the author talking about?
Is it Christians or is it non Christians?
This is important because whoever he is talking about is dead spiritually with no hope.
I want to take a few moments and go over some basic rules of interpretation.
4 Basic Rules of Interpreting the Text
Knowing how to interpret the text is important especially for texts that are difficult to understand on a simple reading.
First, we want to
Interpret in context of the whole
That is the whole Bible. We understand that there are hard sayings, but we also know that God has given this word and is not going to contradict Himself.
Interpret in context of the passage
We need to take a look what the verses around this text are talking about and then interpret with a view to the particular context