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July 3, 2021 12:00 pm
It's the summer for Hebrews! Listen back to guest preacher, Pastor Grant Castleberry of Capital Community Church in Raleigh, NC, leading the Men's Study in Hebrews 6.
Not cuticle off the Russian nightmare know the devil's nightmare here from it's time to man up challenging men step into their true manhood. Your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening to the truth.
Podcast network. This is the Truth Network do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill to file Christianity was just a system of rules and regulations, I can do this but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God.
If you do you feel like your faith is dead or alive today. Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose of local Triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and finding purpose could visit us firstname.lastname@example.org connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious Church in this agreement is a really good preacher grant Russ called me last week and was like hey can you teach Hebrews for me is likable. What chapter he said. Hebrews 6 I said Hebrews 6. This is the heart of Hebrews 6 is like the Matterhorn right. This is the technical difficult chapter so it was turned Hebrews 6. It's really hard so you're going to have to make sure that we follow every step because the argument that the writer develops goes verse by verse and it hinges on what he has said before and if you don't grasp the whole context, then you're not going to understand what he's trying to say and he's going to give a warning and you see that warning in verses four through eight, and many commentators call it the most dire warning of the entire New Testament.
The most stringent sober warning. So to understand the warning in verses four through eight, we actually have to back up to verse 11 of chapter 5 and what the apostles going to address. And in this is just kind of the broad idea here at the beginning is the problem of spiritual immaturity.
The problem of spiritual immaturity. Verse 11. He says about this. We have much to say and it is hard to explain. Since you have become dull of hearing, he is much to say about what the priesthood of Christ about how Christ is the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament sacrificial system.
What we talked about last week with Melchizedek but he says you have a problem.
You're not ready to listen because you have become dull north Russ. It's only use one other time in the New Testament it's in verse 12. It's that word sluggish in the ESV so that you may not be sluggish. It means to be lazy. It means to be dull. He says you have become sluggish or lazy of hearing, he saying you have a moral inability in the heart to listen to what I'm saying because you're lazy, you become dull of hearing, and that my friends is the problem in the American church today.
The American church doesn't want to sit in here and listen and think about and meditate on God's word. We have become dull of hearing, we have become lazy. We take everything else, it seems to me seriously.
Finances are families but we tend to neglect what's most important, which is our own souls. But Jesus said, he says, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul. Your soul is the most important thing that you can nourish in your life.
Let me teach you a principle that Jesus teaches about the spiritual life about the kingdom of God. The rewards in the gifts of the kingdom are not for the lazy but for those who take them by force, those who press into the kingdom. Jesus said this is a startling verse. It takes us off guard.
He says in Luke 1616. The good news of the kingdom of God is preached and everyone forces his way into it in another place in Matthew he said the violent men take it by force. The kingdom of God is harnessed in your spiritual life by getting off your tail and pressing in to the kingdom. So friends right here. It is this exclamatory exhortation to us to not stand on the sidelines of the kingdom of God and simply to have our dull years tickled, but rather to press into the kingdom, for he says, look at verse 12 he says, for by this time you ought to be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God, he says, since the amount of time has elapsed since you became a Christian, you should be a guide – Deloitte. It's where we get our English word didactic, you should be a teacher you should be you could translate it in instructor but instead I'm having to go back and instruct you in the basic things you have to learn the basic fundamentals before you can go on and he say what you haven't learned even the basic fundamentals when you should be in instructor and so I'm having to come back and teach you the fundamentals again except were not talking about football were talking about something much more serious were talking about what is he say the oracles of God.
The oracles of God. What are the oracles of God, remember you talking to. What's the audience in Hebrews Jewish believers Jewish believers who had come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul says in Romans 32. That the Jews were inch entrusted with the oracles of God. So what's he talking about. He's talking about the old testament sucking out the old testament scriptures. So what are the basic principles of the oracles of God that they need to be re-instructed in two things, two things that they need to go back and learn regarding the Old Testament, both regarding Christ and these are the basic things okay these are the two basic things.
One, the predictive prophecies. The Old Testament points to Christ in direct addictive prophecies.
You can read all the way from Genesis 315 to Isaiah 9, Psalm two, Isaiah 53. These are all predictive prophecies about the person in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and secondly the Old Testament types the old testament types. The Old Testament is filled with types and shadows that point to realities that are all fulfilled in Christ. So every profit. Every priest every keen in the Old Testament points to the Lord Jesus Christ, the tabernacle and the temple goats they would kill on the day of atonement and slaughter on behalf of the people.
Since what it a point to the Lord Jesus when the Lord Jesus died on the cross member that Temple veil into the holy of holies was torn into why because Jesus had fulfilled its purpose. All of those institutions of the Old Testament .2 the Lord Jesus Christ Charles Spurgeon said this, he said, do you not know that from every town and village in tiny Hamlet.
In England there is a road leading to London. So whenever I get hold of attacks, I say to myself, there is a road from here to Christ and I need to keep on this track until I get to him. So they had failed to understand the Old Testament prophecies in the Old Testament types and for a Jewish believer. This is basic. This is basic.
This is the fundamental thing that you must understand is the fulfillment of Christ of your Old Testament Bible Jesus on the road to Emmaus is walking with his disciples after the resurrection. What was he doing he was unfolding to them from the Old Testament from the law, the prophets in the writings how he was the fulfillment of them. This is so basic saying you don't even understand these basic things he says. So you need milk, not solid food, and now he uses this illustration of a toddler of abating. He saying in your development as a Christian you are a little babe I have right now and 18-month-old boy and we are doing everything that we can to keep him from running into the fire at night right because he doesn't know you know when he says fire. He says fire no no, because every time we talked and we say no you can't get near that this morning dumped over to cereal bowls milk everywhere in the kitchen. He's a baby. He doesn't know and the apostles saying the same thing.
He says you're not ready to move past this discussion on Melchizedek. In these and how Christ is the fulfillment of these types and shadows.
Did you, you're not. You're failing to grasp the basic things of your Old Testament Bible. Paul said in first Corinthians 32, he says, I fed you with milk, not solid food or you were not ready for it and even now you are not yet ready, so there was a major failure on their part to grow and he says in verse 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a child.
The word of righteousness is obviously the word of God right this is this is clear. This is straightforward.
He says if he if you live on milk you are unskilled that you could translate that unacquainted with the word. In other words, he saying you don't know how to read and apply your Bible okay is as you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ but but you haven't pressed on beyond that you're unskilled in understanding the word of righteousness, but verse 14.
Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Okay, that word mature. It's an important word. You could also translate that word perfected. It means someone who is in their prime someone who is reached adulthood.
He uses the same word in chapter 5, verse nine.
If you look up in verse nine it talks about the Lord Jesus and he says, and being made perfect you say being made mature when Jesus was an adult. Right now, when he was a child when he was an adult, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believe in him same word and he saying you should be mature okay and now this is such an important verse because he defines spiritual maturity. What is spiritual maturity. What is it mean to be mature.
This is the test of spiritual maturity maturity. He says your powers of discernment are trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. That's what it means to be spiritually mature. It means that your conscience is so trained by the word of God that you are able.
When you are walking through the patterns of your life to distinguish good from evil.
You know it, it means that your conscience is dominated by the word of God or Martin Luther. When he stood before the Emperor never said you must recant a set I can't not recant because my conscience is compelled by the word of God number Daniel when he stood before the king said I can't eat the canes meets why because my conscience is compelled that I cannot eat them.
Joseph and Potiphar's house. Why does he run from Potiphar's wife because his conscience is compelled. So this is the test is your conscience, dominated by the word of God or are you easily governed by your sinful flesh in the ideologies of the world. That's the test that's the difference between being a mature believer in a mature believer so chapter 6 is about the need to press on to maturity.
That's the context he says therefore okay let us I love how he throws himself in this. This is a nice teacher easy. He puts himself in their shoes.
He says therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity. Okay, now what he's going to do now is he's going to list the elementary doctrines and is going to list six of them. These are the elementary doctrines of Christianity, and is going to list six of them in their three pairs of two and four of them are straightforward.
The middle two are more challenging. But first he says the elementary doctrines are repentance from dead works and faith towards God.
That's that's very straightforward weight when you come to Christ in faith.
You not only repent, which means to change your mind. You not only repent of your sins but you also change your mind out of the works that you did before to try to appease God you repent of those works and you realize that you must come to God in faith.
This is verse right here.
It is the Protestant Reformation in one verse that you it's all of the day it's faith alone right Christianity is a religion of faith not works so you repent of your dead works of which you did to try to please God and then you come to God like a little child in faith and you believe his promise that all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved and secondly second pair. He says and of instruction about washings. This is really complicated everybody debates this word washings that tis Moss, it means a murder seems there.
There were a lot of washings in the Old Testament, but specifically what I think he's referring to is John's baptism and the Lord Jesus is baptism, and then the laying on of hands, often times in the early church, the laying on of hands was synonymous worse with receiving the Holy Spirit, or being commissioned by him and then third, the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment. This is the Christians eschatology. These are basic beliefs that the Lord Jesus will return raise all the dead and resurrection bodies.
And then there will be a final judgment and then verse three he says and this we will do if God permits. In other words, our meet our maturity is ultimately dependent on the sovereign will of God, you know, I think we often think that in the Christian life.
We can just turn the switch that okay like I'm not going to do this.
Now I'm not good at pressing the maturity now.
I will do so at a later point. I intend to write. I'll get my act together, but not right now is as noted in an you can't just flip the switch it's if God permits. If God permits you press on towards maturity. So now he comes to this warning. Okay this is really challenging to interpret any gives this warning to these immature believers. And in this warning is the danger of apostasy on the call this the case of the unbelieving believer I liked working at work through it quickly to interpret these next few verses. Verses four through eight.
We need to be able to answer two questions in the first question is this one. Who is the apostle. Speaking of is he speaking about a believer or nonbeliever it into what is that that they are falling away from.
Is it salvation is a loss of rewards as some argue, let me read you. These verses. Okay and I and I just want you to hear them, read, and then working at dive in Jesus, for it is impossible, in the case of those who've once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift in a shared in the Holy Spirit and have tasted in the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come in. Then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt for land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to be cursed and it's in is to be burned now throughout church history there have been four major interpretations of this passage. I'm just going to give you those briefly.
The first is the Arminian interpretation the Arminian interpretation.
This passage is talking about believers, Christians, and the falling away is talking about salvation that the falling away is a loss of salvation and of course this is a massive problem. When you compare this Scripture than with other text, because what is the rest of Scripture teach you cannot lose your salvation right. Romans 838 for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rollers things present, things to come, or powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. If God saved you, he will keep you so we know that it can't be the Arminian interpretation is another interpretation heard this a lot in Texas, growing up that yes this is a believer, but what the falling away is is a loss of eternal rewards.
Now the problem I have with that interpretation is then why does he say that's it. It is impossible to renew them again to repentance that sound like a believer you doesn't sound like a believer to me and then there's the illustration he uses. If it's talking about a believer. Look at verse eight he says, but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless what God the Holy Spirit ever describe a believer as worthless and its end is to be burned but doesn't sound like a believer to me. Third view. This was Charles Spurgeon's view, and I hate to disagree with Spurgeon on anything but we must do so tonight.
Spurgeon said that this is describing a believer but it's a hypothetical warning. In other words, what this passage describes could never actually happen to a believer but it's a warning that God puts here to make sure it doesn't happen that confusing. Okay, it that's confusing. Let me give you an example. Okay, in acts 27 your paws on that ship in the Mediterranean and the bow to get shipwrecked and you member in Angel appeared to Paul and what are the angel say that I will deliver you everybody on this boat and then later on when they were getting closer to shore where the soldiers try to do the try to leave the boat and get on some rafts in rural Paul said.
He said if you leave the lives will be lost.
Why thought God or an angel already said every life would be preserved why the warning then the warning is used, to keep their lives preserved to Spurgeon said this is a hypothetical warning God's promise that he will save every believer but it's a warning that's given so that you will not apostatized that you will not leave the faith. Here's the issue I have with that view. Notice the language he uses in verse four he says, for it is impossible. In that case of those who've once been enlightened in the case of those other words, this is an actual instance. This is an actual circumstance that he's talking about.
And if this is a hypothetical, then why this illustration at the end with the two fields. The one that's blessed in the one that's cursed. If the field actually done even exist doesn't make sense. And so we come to the fourth view, the apostasy of an unbelieving believer now there's a general principle in the Bible when you think about classes of people spiritually. The Bible describes people as either unregenerate or regenerate right as believers or unbelievers.
The unbelieving believer. We show you an example of this. John 223 Jesus is in Jerusalem. He's performed a number of miracles and John write something very interesting. He said many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them.
That word in trust is the same exact word that's used for belief. This duo you could say many believed in his name. But Jesus on his part did not believe in them was a main means that they didn't actually trust in him. It was just an intellectual faith because of the science. It was head knowledge. It wasn't heart faith. Heavenly father, we thank you Lord for the this passage. It is difficult to hear and difficult understand the Lord, we do trust you. We do trust in your promises. We do trust that you will keep us to the end and I pray Lord for the man in this room tonight who hasn't trusted you and you are working in their heart right now. I pray Lord that that man would reach out in childlike faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. They would not stay in the shallows, the press and I pray Lord for us all that we would press on to maturity that we would press into the kingdom of God that we would take it by force all the saints in Christ, being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic and alive relationship with Jesus Christ you been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources finding purpose.net will connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local tribal men to study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh.
Find out more finding purpose.net. This is the Truth Network