Hebrews 6: Certainty of God’s Promise

What is the relationship between “good works” and “righteousness”?

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Romans 9:31–32 But the unbelieving Israelites, claiming to be righteous, have not been accepted. For lack of faith, they stumbled and fell. They failed to see the value of total commitment to what God wanted. Seeing themselves as basically good, they thought their works in obeying a few laws was sufficient to gain God’s approval.
Galatians 2:15–16 As Jews by birth, we should not act under false pretenses like sinful foreigners, because righteous comes from faith in Jesus Christ, not by the works of the Law. Whether Jewish or not, no person is justified by following religious traditions. We are all made righteous because of our faith in Jesus.
Galatians 3:2–3 I went at the urging of the Holy Spirit and privately shared among God’s reputable servants the message of Jesus that I preach to unbelievers everywhere, looking for confirmation that my preaching was not in vain. They said Titus, being Greek, did not have to be circumcised.
Hebrews 6:1 After we understand the fundamental principles of Jesus’ message, we need to move on toward a perfect relationship with God. We should not have to re-learn what we have already learned. Good works don’t make us righteous, and we need to trust God in all situations.
James 2:14 My friends, what good is a declaration of faith if you don’t have the actions that show you really believe? Can words alone save you?
King James
Romans 9:31–32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Galatians 2:15–16 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 3:2–3 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

When might it be important to again hear about what we already know?

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Hebrews 6:2–3 You don’t need to again hear about the importance of baptism and the laying on of hands. You know about the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. As God permits, what you need to do is act upon that knowledge.
King James
Hebrews 6:2–3 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit.

What can we do to keep our passion for the Lord from fading?

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Hebrews 6:4–6 Those who have seen the light, accepted the gift of salvation, and received the Holy Spirit, having tasted the goodness of God’s word, experiencing the spiritual strength of the world to come, if they turn away, they have no means to gain repentance and forgiveness, since they crucify the Son of God a second time, putting him to open shame.
King James
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

If God is responsible for the rain, why do we have floods and droughts?

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Hebrews 6:7 God blesses the farmer with frequent rains upon the earth, producing an abundant harvest.
King James
Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

Why do weeds seem to grow better than crops?

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Matthew 13:7 “Some seeds fell among thorny weeds that grew more quickly and choked out the tender plants.”
Hebrews 6:8 A field of thorns and thistles has no value, but is condemned by the farmer and burned.
King James
Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Hebrews 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

What is the best definition of a “weed”?

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Luke 3:9 “His axe is raised, ready to sever the roots of every tree that does not produce good fruit. You will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
Hebrews 6:9 My friends, you’re nothing like the thorns and thistles I’ve been talking about, for salvation brings abundance in life, making you fruitful.
King James
Luke 3:9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

What makes a person’s life fruitful?

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Matthew 7:22–23 “On Judgment Day, many will say, ‘Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out evil spirits, and do many wonderful deeds in your name?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you disobedient lawbreakers.’ “
Matthew 25:34–40 “The King will say to those on his right, ‘You who have been blessed by my Father, receive your inheritance, the Kingdom that was prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was homeless, and you opened your home to me. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’
“The righteous will say, ‘Sir, when were you hungry and thirsty, and we gave you food and drink? When did we see you homeless or in need of clothes? When were you sick or in prison, and we came to visit you?’
“The King will say, ‘I assure you, whenever you helped one of my needy people, you did it to me.’ “
Galatians 5:22 If the Holy Spirit is guiding your life, you show true love—giving to people without regard to whether they can return the favor. You have joy, peace and patience in stressful situations. Kindness, generosity, and faithfulness expresses who you are, not what people deserve.
Hebrews 6:9–10 My friends, you’re nothing like the thorns and thistles I’ve been talking about, for salvation brings abundance in life, making you fruitful. God can’t overlook your past service and what you are doing now. As you help his people, your labor of love gives honor to his name.
King James
Matthew 7:22–23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 25:34–40 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Hebrews 6:9–10 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

How important is our perception of God’s reward?

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Hebrews 6:11 May you all be fully confident in God’s eternal reward, giving yourself completely to his service, faithful to the end.
King James
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

What can we do to combat laziness?

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Hebrews 6:12 Don’t be lazy, but join those who actively pursue God’s promises with faith and patience.
King James
Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Does swearing help or hinder people’s perception of the truth? Why?

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Matthew 5:34–37 “I say you should not swear at all, not by Heaven because it is God’s throne, not by Earth because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply mean what you say, your ‘yes’ meaning ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ meaning ‘no.’ Anything more is of the devil.”
Hebrews 6:13–18 When God made a promise to Abraham, he swore by himself because no one is greater. “I swear,” God said, “I will bless you with great abundance and give you a multitude of descendants.” Abraham had to patiently wait for many years until finally he received the promise. By swearing by something greater, people make their promises public and indisputable. Determined to show that his promise was guaranteed, God affirmed his commitment with an oath. By the promise and the affirmation, he twice gave his word in which he cannot lie. Thus we can be absolutely sure that our hope of salvation is secure.
James 5:12 Above all, my friends, don’t swear by Heaven above or Earth below, as if by swearing you’re telling the truth when you weren’t at other times. You can avoid condemnation by being entirely truthful in all you say, your yes meaning yes, your no meaning no.
King James
Matthew 5:34–37 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Hebrews 6:13–18 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 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:
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

Why do people become impatient?

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Hebrews 6:15 Abraham had to patiently wait for many years until finally he received the promise.
King James
Hebrews 1:1 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

How can we be sure God’s promises are guaranteed?

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Numbers 23:19 God does not have our human flaws. He cannot lie, nor can he do anything that later would be cause for repentance. When he makes a promise, you can be sure he will fulfill it. Whatever he says, he will do, always keeping his word.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If the people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, if they will seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven. I will forgive their sins and heal their land.
2 Corinthians 1:20 To experience God’s promises, we must always say yes to him, just as Jesus did. For when we are in complete agreement with his purpose, we share his achievements and glory.
Hebrews 6:17–18 Determined to show that his promise was guaranteed, God affirmed his commitment with an oath. By the promise and the affirmation, he twice gave his word in which he cannot lie. Thus we can be absolutely sure that our hope of salvation is secure.
King James
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Hebrews 6:17–18 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 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:

How can we be sure we are safe in God’s hands?

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Romans 2:5–6 By refusing to repent, the hardness of people’s hearts will eventually bring God’s wrath. On the day when his righteous judgment is delivered, everyone will be judged according to what they have done.
Hebrews 6:19–20 This hope brings deep assurance that we are safe in God’s hands. The curtain separating us from God’s presence has been ripped away. Jesus has already entered ahead of us, our High Priest forever, of the Melchizedek order.
1 John 2:1 My youngsters in the faith, I write these things to you so you will not sin. But if you do, Jesus Christ, who is without sin, will change your heart and make you right with the Father.
King James
Romans 2:5–6 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Hebrews 6:19–20 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: