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Faithlife Corporation

Be Diligent In Your Faith Heb.6.4 To 12

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BE DILIGENT IN YOUR FAITH

HEB.6:4-12

INTRO: (EX: BOB VILLA HAD HOME IMPROVEMENT SHOW WHICH DETAILED HOW YOU COULD SPRUCE UP YOUR HOME—UPDATE KITCHEN/BATHROOM/ETC. YOU WATCH THOSE & GET INSPIRED TO DO SOMETHING YOURSELF—OF COURSE IT TAKES LOT OF PLANNING/PREP/WORK—ITS ALL CONDENSED IN T.V. SHOW. BUT YOU START IN WITH BEST INTENTIONS BUT 6MO. OR YR LATER ITS NOT FINISHED. MANY THINGS IN LIFE START WITH ENTHUSIASM/EXPECTATIONS—MARRAIGES/JOB/NEW HOME—BUT THEN TROUBLE COMES AND YOUR HOPE WEAKENS & DOUBTS COME.  WE CAN BEGIN SPIRITUAL LIFE WITH GREAT EXCITEMENT—THEN DISCOURAGEMENT/A HURT/YOUR WORSHIP GETS ROUTINE &YO WONDER WHAT HAPPENED.  SOME OF THESE READERS WERE IN DANGER OF SLIPPING IN THEIR FAITH—GOING BACK TO JUDAISM. SO AUTHOR ENCOURAGED THEM/US TO BE DILIGENT TO END. JESUS SAID (LK9:62) “ANYONE WHO PUTS HIS HAND TO PLOW & LOOKS BACK IS NOT FIT FOR KINGDOM OF GOD” –LOOK AT 6:11 “W DESIRE EACH ONE OF YOU SHOW SAME DILIGENCE (SINCERE DESIRE)—HAVE FULL ASSURANCE OF HOPE TILL THE END.

I.                  WARNING: BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION

THOSE WHO READ THIS LETTER WERE URGED TO PRESS ON TO MATURITY—THEN THERE IS THIS DIFFICULT PASSAGE—THERE HAS BEEN MUCH CONTROVERSY ON HOW TO INTERPRET IT & ITS BEEN DEBATED BY CHRISTIAN GROUPS FOR LONG TIME. SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ARE: IS IT POSSIBLE FOR BELIEVERS TO FALL AWAY FROM FAITH?  WERE THEY NOT BELIEVERS IN 1STPLACE?  SOME SAY THIS IS HYPOTHETICAL (ONE EXTREME) WHILE OTHERS SAY IF YOU COMMIT SIN AFTER BAPTISM YOU ARE LOST—LETS LOOK AT THE TEXT

A.   PHRASES THAT DESCRIBE BELIEVERS: WE KNOW PERSISTENT REJECTION OF GOSPEL/CHRIST CAN RESULT IN PASSING POINT OF REPENTANCE/SALVATION.  (EX: ISRAEL IN WILDERNESS FAILED TO TRUST GOD (REJECTED HIS LEADERSHIP)—EVEN THOUGH THEY SAW MIRACLES & RECEIVED HIS GRACE (FOOD, WATER,ETC).  SO ITS CRITICAL THE FOUNDATION OF OUR LIVES BE SECURE (6:19)—THERE WERE SOME WHO NEEDED TO LEAVE THE OLD WAYS BEHIND AND LIVE IN POWER OF THE NEW.  GENTILES WHO ACCEPTED CHRIST WERE TO PUT AWAY OLD LIFE (COL. 3:5-10)---IF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST IS IN YOU THERE IS NO NEED TO GO BACK INTO BONDAGE—JESUS IS ONLY SURE FOUNDATION (MAYBE YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS FALLEN AWAY FROM FAITH—WHO WAS ONCE STRONG—WHAT HAPPENED?—WAS IT AN  UNKIND WORD/DISAGREEMENT/BAD EX. (EX: MY VISIT WITH WOMAN WHO HAD NOT BEEN IN CHURCH FOR YRS—I ASKED HER IF SHE MISSED COMMUNION—TEARS IN HER EYES)—THESE 5 PARTICIPLES DESCRIBE ENTRY INTO CHRISTIAN LIFE

1.     ENLIGHTENED—USED IN CONNECTION WITH BAPTISM IN EARLY CHURCH—SEE EPH.5:8; 1:18; JN.1:9—THE WORD “ONCE” HER SPEAKS OF COMPLETION—THE SENSE IF ONCE FOR ALL

2.     TASTED OF HEAVENLY GIFT—THIS IS REF. TO FORGIVENESS OF SINS—“TESTED” IS EXPERIENCED—THESE ARE SAVED PEOPLE

3.     SHARED IN HOLY SPIRIT—ALL HAVE SPIRIT AS GIFT AT BAPTISM –THESE 3 TIE TO ACTS 2:38

4.     TASTED GOOD WORD OF GOD—GOSPEL WHICH IS POWER OF GOD TO SALVATION—POWERS (MIRACLES) OF AGE TO COME

B. THE DANGER OF APOSTASY

AUTHOR PRESSES THE POINT OF STAYING FAITHFUL/FINISHING THE RACE/BEING MATURE IN CHRIST. PAUL REFERRED TO DEMAS AS FELLOW WORKER IN  HIS EARLY LETTERS BUT THEN IN 2 TIM 4:10 IS REF. THAT HE LOVED PRESENT WORLS---LOTS WIFE COULD HAVE MISSED DESTRUCTION BUT HER HEART WAS SET IN SODOM.  SAUL & SOLOMON HAD GOOD BEG. BUT TRAGIC ENDINGS.  NOW 6:16 IS ALSO PART. “WHO HAVE FALLEN AWAY”  (KJV HAS “IF” BUT ITS NOT IN TEXT)—SOME WERE ON VERGE OF LEAVING CHRIST—GOING TO JUDAISM PERHAPS BECAUSE OF THREAT OF PERSECUTION. THE  AUTHOR WARNS IF THAT IS THEIR CHOICE & THEY STAY IN THAT STATE THEY CANT BE RENEWED TO REPENTANCE.  JESUS SAID “UNLESS YOU “REPENT” (PRES. TENSE)YOU WILL PERISH”—ONE WHO WILL NOT REPENT (REJECTS GODS GIFT OF GRACE) FORFEITS SALVATION (JUDAS)  (1 JN.5:16; 2 PET.2:21)—THEN HE SAYS “IT IS AS IF THEY CRUCIFY JESUS AGAIN “TO THEMSELVE” (PERSONAL/INDIVIDUAL ACT)--& THEY PUT HIM TO OPEN SHAME (CRUCIFIXION)—SO JESUS/GOSPEL IS DISGRACED. NOTE: LAST PART OF V.6 COULD READ “SO LONG AS THEY ARE CRUCIFIYING & SUBJECTING THE SON OF GOD”—WHICH SUGGESTS THAT RESTORATION IS POSSIBLE IF THEY STOP & REPENT.  BUT IF WE REJECT HIS COVENANT OF LOVE WE WILL LOSE HIS PROMISES

II.               AN ANOLOGY  (V.7,8)

THE AUTHOR ILLUS. THIS TRUTH—THE PICTURE OF SOIL/VINEYARD IS USED BY ISA. (5:1-7) AND BY JESUS IN HIS PARABLES. GOD SENDS HIS RAIN (WORD) TO ALL—BUT THE RESULT OF THAT RAIN (WORD) FALLING DEPENDS ON WHAT GROWS OUT OF SOIL (HEART). MATURE CHRISTIANS AREA LIKE A FIELD WHICH RECEIVED RAIN & GROUND IS CULTIVATED & GOOD CROP GROWS---THIS IS BLESSING—BUT ANOTHER POSSIBILITY IS GETTING THORNS & THISTLES—WHEN THERE HAS BEEN NO CULTIVATION OF TRUTH—BRINGING INTO MIND/HEART—THIS AMOUNTS TO REJECTION OF GODS GIFTS AND SO IT MUST BE BURNED. BUT ANYONE WILLING TO REPENT CAN BE RESTORED!

III.           ENCOURAGEMENT  (V.9-12)

THEN AUTHOR EMPHASIZES GODS FAITHFULNESS & CITES EX. OF ABRAM—BUT AFTER THIS STRONG WARNING HE GIVES ENCOURAGEMENT TO CONTINUE TO BE FAITHFUL. HE MAKES IT PERSONAL—“YOU” INSTEAD OF “THOSE WHO”---HE CALLES THEM “BELOVED” REMINDING THEM OF HOW MUCH GOD DOES LOVE THEM—GOD HAS NOT LEFT THEM DESPITE THE HARDSHIP THEY MAY FACE.  GOD IS FAITHFUL IN HIS COVENANT PROMISES (EVERYTHING HE SAID HE WILL DO)—UNLIKE MOST OF US (EX: MILLIONAIRE CONTRACT )

GOD IS ALSO VERY MUCH AWARE OF THEIR WORK & THEIR LOVE—BOTH IS PAST & PRESENT—WE GET THE OWRD “DEACON” FROM THIS GRK WORD (ALSO SAY MINISTER). WER ARE REMINDED JESUS SAID “WHATEVER YOU DO FOR OTHERS YOU DO FOR ME” (MATT.25:40)---IN DAYS OF EARLY CHURCH THE CHURCH IN JERUSALEM WAS VERY GENEROUS IN MEETING NEEDS (ACTS 4—SHARED WITH ALL WHO HAD NEED)

THEN IN V.11,12 HE IS MORE PERSONAL & PASSIONATE—“DESIRE” (INTENSE LONGING)—EACH ONE IS CHALLENGED TO BE DILIGENT IN WORKS OF LOVE---IF WE WOULD FOCUS OUR ENERGY/HEART ON THAT WE WOULD NOT BE IN DANGER OF DRIFTING---THIS IS OPPOSITE OF “SLUGGISH” OR LAZY (V.12)(SAME WORD IN 5:11) DILIGENT TILL DEATH.THEN WE ARE TO BE “IMITATORS” (GET WORD MIMIC FROM THIS) OF PEOPLE OF FAITH/PATIENCE—AND CH.11 WILL GIVE US A LONG LIST OF THOSE WHO SHOULD BE IMITATED.

CONCLUSION:  SO WE REMAIN IN JESUS AND HE WILL REMAIN IN US—HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US. BUT THERE IS REAL DANGER OF DRIFTING IN OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE—GETTING LAZY—TAKING IN FALSE TEACHING.  KEEP EYES ON JESUS—KEEP SERVING/LOVING GOD & HIS PEOPLE AND IN DOING THAT WE WILL CARRY OUT GODS PURPOSE & BEAR FRUIT AND BE WELCOMED BY OUR LORD “WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT”

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