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The Hebrews Commentary Project

Contents:

Hebrews 6:17-20

  1. Jim McClarty
  2. Tim Clifton
  3. Maurice Bergeron
  4. Kevin Hartley
  5. Michael Cruz

Hebrews 6:17-20

17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 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: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

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1. James McClarty

INTRODUCTION:

        The entire section we've been considering for the last two weeks stems from this central thought, found in Chapter 6, v.11 - "And we desire that everyone of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end."

        The author's intention and hope for his readers was that each and every one of them would persevere in their Godly work and "labour of love."  That continual "pressing toward the mark" (Phil.3:14) would result in "full assurance of hope unto the end". He wanted them to know that their hope of salvation would not be in vain (v.9).

        He used God's promise to Abraham as an example. Abraham eventually obtained the promise, but it required patience and faith. That was the extent of Abe's involvement in the deal - patience and faith, but the whole covenant revolved around God revealing Himself to be the surety and guarantor of His own word. To guarantee that every jot and tittle would come to pass, God swore by the Himself that He would perform it. He made an oath with Himself, and that's really the focus this week.

        See, we have a problem, you and I. We have a desperate need we're unable to satisfy, and we have a nature that is unstable, weak, changeable, and prone to self-sufficiency. But, we also have a nagging belief that there's a God up there and He just might be the judge of everyone and everything. Our desperate need is to find a way to deal with that God in a way which will satisfy His Holiness and Righteousness. The problem is, however, we haven't a clue how to go about it. We need someone to tell us, teach us, keep us, work it out for us, and let us know that it's going to be okay. And, of course, the optimal deal would be if this God we're incapable of approaching would be the very one to take care of all that.

        The good news (I love that phrase) is that's exactly what's happened.

        One of the defining attributes of Christ is that He is "The Prince of Peace" (Is.9:6). Before He left the earth and ascended up to His Father's right hand, He said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John14:27).  The Greek word translated "peace" in this verse is eirene, and it essentially means "a cessation of againstness."   In other words, when two opposing forces cease their struggle against each other, peace ensues. As a picture word, it's like a boxer laying his hands to his sides in resignation. There's no more fight. The combatants have laid down their glove, hence, peace.

        That's what God, through Christ, has accomplished on our behalf. The law of God which was against us, the Righteousness of God which was required to condemn us, the Holiness of God which could never be satisfied in the company of sinners, the Justice of God which demanded our punishment, all laid down their gloves when Christ laid down His life. The eternal struggle between you and God, between me and God, ended when Christ reconciled the breach between us and ushered in peace. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor.5:19).

        You respond, "Okay, Jimbo, you have my attention; but what's that got to do with Hebrews?" Well, just this: God swore to Abraham that He would accomplish every detail of the promise He made, and He swore by His own holy Self. That ended it. The oath from God made every word sure and certain. So, Abraham could rest assured. Likewise, the Hebrews readers could have "full assurance of hope to the end" because there's no struggle. There's no strife. "For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife" (Heb. 6:16).

        To the Christian, our assurance of every promise of God is wrapped up in His faithfulness to the oath He made to the Son:  the promise of a people, a bride, a body, a church. And, in Christ, we have assurance of every promise God has revealed for His chosen people. "For all the promises of God in Him (Christ) are yea, and in Him, Amen" (2 Cor.1:20).

 

COMMENTARY:

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: (6:17)

        God didn't just make a promise; He made a deal which He intended to openly display to, and through, Abraham's descendants. Beyond that though, He wants all "the heirs of promise" - that's you and me - to learn from the example of Abraham and find assurance in the New Covenant. But, I'm getting ahead of myself...

        As we saw in some detail last week, God made an incredible promise to Abram, and when Abram questioned God, wanting to know for sure that all these things were true, he was put into a deep sleep and given an equally incredible answer. The answer included the fact that Abram would die, but his descendants would go into slavery in a foreign land and 400 years later return to the very spot God had promised Abram.

        Now God didn't just want Abram to believe this, He wanted Abram's descendants, who bore these promises generation after generation, to believe it. He intended that the "heirs of promise" be convinced of the "immutability of His council."   In other words, God doesn't change; He doesn't change His mind; He doesn't change His intentions; He doesn't change His decrees. Once He's declared something, it's set in eternal stone.

        As James describes it, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17).

        So, to make it obvious to the millions of descendants of Abraham that God was actively working on their behalf, He confirmed it with 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: 6:18)

        This is so jam packed with cool stuff, we're going to have to consider it in sections.

First--"That by two immutable things..."

        As it's well known, Abram was childless and his wife past child-bearing when God gave him the promise of innumerable offspring, and Abram was a wanderer, a sojourner, a man without a home - in short, a Hebrew - when God promised him the land of Canaan. We'll pick up the story there:

And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. (Gen 15:8-12)

        These were the elements of a covenant. The idea was that when two men struck a bargain they would separate an animal and walk together through the pieces, vowing that if either of them failed to perform their part of the deal, they would be killed like the animals. But Abram was unable to do his part. He couldn't walk through the torn sacrifices; he was anesthetized--he was asleep. He could do nothing but passively observe.

And, it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. (Gen.15:17)

        Two elements passed through the animals, sealing the covenant (v.18). They were both from, and of, God. In fact God used these same forms as He led Abram's descendants out of Egypt and back to this very land, completing the proof He offered in response to Abram's question.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exod 13:21-22)

        Another aspect of these elements is that two is the number of adequate witness in Scripture. This concept is woven into both testaments and is the basis of the 9th Commandment against "bearing false witness" (Deut.19:15, Mat.18:16, 2Cor.13:1, Rev.11:3). Two were sufficient to complete the transaction; they were adequate to perform the ritual and seal the covenant.

        And, these two elements, being symbols of the power and presence of God, were "immutable", unchangeable, and unalterable.

Second--"in which it was impossible for God to lie..."

        These two immutable witnesses stood as testimony to the truth of the pact. They were proof that God said it and meant it. And, "God is not a man that He should lie..." (Num.23:19), so the promise at the base of this covenant cannot be altered. It is based on the very truth of God. The covenant promise was as secure as God's own veracity, honesty and trustworthiness.

Third--"we might have a strong consolation..."

        Uh-oh. Sudden change of focus! WE? Who is WE? How did WE get in there? This is an ancient tale of Abraham. How did it apply to the first century audience who received this letter? And, how does it apply to us? Er....WE?!

        Glad you asked.

        Remember, the thesis of this whole argument is: "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end"   (Heb. 6:11).

        This is about being fully assured of God's promises to us. His promises of Heaven, of redemption, of forgiveness, of restitution, of peace, of eternity. All these promises made to us in Christ are equally secured by the veracity of God's faithfulness to Himself.

        Knowing that, we have a consolation, the basis of our peace and assurance. But, more than that, we have a STRONG consolation. What is that source of comfort? It is Christ's own death, burial, and resurrection; it is the eternal covenant God made with Himself--the Father and the Son walked together through the sacrificial flesh, Christ's own body. And on the basis of those two unchanging witnesses, by whom it is impossible that God would lie, we have a STRONG consolation that every word of promised inheritance is ours.

        But, is that inheritance a universal offer? Does the promise belong to everyone? In other words, who are "WE"?

Fourth--"who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:"

        Nope, it's a very selective deal. Just as God approached Abram out of all the inhabitants of the earth and sealed His covenant with him alone, only those who have fled to the refuge of Christ's atoning work are able to lay claim to the eternal hope which lays at the foundation of the New Covenant. The hope is set before us, but by faith we lay our hands on the deed to Heaven and stake our claim in the Jew Jerusalem. That's our "city of refuge."

 

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (6:19)

        How is it with our souls? Are we in any danger? Can we be tossed about by the angry waves or shipwrecked midway through our journey?

        Not if our hope of salvation, by grace through faith, is the anchor that secures us through these rocky seas. It is a stedfast hope, built on God's word and protected by God's own immutable faithfulness.

        So, we have an entrance to God which has never before been available to mortal men. In the collective Hebrew memory, they knew what furniture sat behind the veil of the tabernacle, but they'd never seen it. They knew God met with the High Priest behind the veil once a year, but they'd never witnessed it. They knew the sacrifice for sin was offered behind the veil, but they knew they couldn't offer it. They knew that behind the veil lay "the holiest place,"...but, they knew they weren't welcome.

        But, when Christ died, "behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom" (Mat.27:51a), and for the first time, we were invited into the Holiest Place. Why? Because God no longer dwelt there. He'd taken up residence in His people, the lively stones which make up His living temple, the church. And, being indwelt with God's own spirit, we become "kings and priests unto God" (Rev.1:6), gaining access to the Holy of Holies.

        But wait; it gets better! The furnishings and divisions of the tabernacle were types and shadows, pointing toward the true (Heb.9:24). And just as the High Priest entered in for all the people of the Old Covenant, but only once a year, so our High Priest entered into the Holiest Place in Heaven with a sacrifice for the people of the New Covenant, and He did it only once. So, we get to stand before Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, and worship in the Most Holy Place in the universe.

        The veil is torn, the Father's satisfied. C'mon in.

 

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (6:20)

        Yep, there it is. The firstfruit of the resurrection paved the way, and His priesthood continues to this day, to this very moment, reconciling sinners to God and ushering them into His perfect presence.

        That's a promise; that's a guarantee, and, it's immutable. Hang your anchor on it.

        Oh, and we're finally approaching the Melchisedec connection. Want to know where Christ got His priestly credentials? After all, He wasn't a descendant of Aaron. And, what exactly is "the order of Mel"?

        That's next week. Ain't this fun?

CONCLUSION:

        So, back to the original thought. How can we have "full assurance of hope unto the end."

        Well, it's starts with hope. Do you hope in Christ? Are you "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus2:13)?

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (Jer.17:7)

        How can we know assuredly that our hope will endure all the way to our last day, last minute, last breath?

        The answer is: you aren't its foundation. Your hope and faith are not dependant on your fallible, unstable will. They are firmly established on the unerring, unalterable, everlasting, all-powerful word of promise which God made to Christ. To wit, that He would give His Son a people. And, if you are indwelt by the Spirit of God your soul is securely anchored in the finished work of Him who promised you eternal life...

        ...and He cannot lie.

        After all, more than just your salvation is at stake here. The veracity, the faithfulness, the power, and the authority of the One whose word holds the universe together will all tumble down in ignominious defeat if one single person for whom Christ died fails to enter the Most Holy Place.

        Your "full assurance of hope unto the end" can take refuge in the knowledge that our God will not be denied. You're His. And, He'll bring you all the way home.

Jim McClarty
McClartyfam@juno.com

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2. Tim Clifton

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:  (6:17)

        "Wherein God, willing..." Let's take note here that God is willing to show us the fixed, the unalterable, nature of His purposes that we may be comforted. He wouldn't have to do this, and is by no means obligated to do so, but He is willing. It is God who is willing--deliberately, and on purpose--in His affection and desire toward us, His beloved people, to assure us of His intentions and plans, and brethren, we can certainly be assured. Indeed, we should be willing as well, and indeed we will be, as it is written in Psalms 110:3,4,

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

        The day of His power for us has come, and He is willing to comfort us with not only His oath to Abraham, but with His Son as well. When God swears, it will stand, and all His counsels will stand, as it is written in "Ps 33:11, The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations."

 

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: (6:18)

        Thus our consolation is as strong as God's counsel and God's oath. Strong is an understatement for the encouragement and comfort we should feel. The Rabbis called the Messiah the consoler, the comforter, and our direction here is strongly Messianic. Messiah is the hope set before us, and we can all affirm with Paul in 1 Tim. 1:1 that the Lord Jesus Christ, is our hope! He is the hope of glory because He is in us. We are willing because He is willing, and "..He hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" 1 Pet. 1:3,4. So take heart you heirs of promise, for, by His grace, you have laid hold on Messiah Himself, and you can be sure your reservation in heaven will not fade away!

 

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (6:19)

        "Which entereth into..." Our hope is sure because Jesus our Messiah has opened up to us the very throne room of God through His sacrifice on that tree. We are 'in,' because we are in Him. But wait! Who is able to go into that holiest of all but the high priest himself? The answer is that we, who are His, are all able to go in because Christ our righteousness has opened the way, and it is open indeed! Again, take heart, for set before us, brethren, is the throne of God where we may find refuge and help in time of need. What a hope, and what an anchor of our souls!

 

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (6:20)

        And why can we enter into that place of comfort, rest, hope, and consolation? Because we have an high priest who is there already.  "..When he had by himself purged our sins, (He) sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (1:3). That is the sum and substance of this line of reasoning to the Hebrew Christians, and to us. Christ has paid it all and has gone ahead that we may follow after Him. He has paid it all, and our hope is not in our daily failures, but in His eternal victory! And that victory is indeed eternal because Messiah's priesthood is not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (7:16). "For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (7:17).  God cannot lie, and our hope is as strong as is the power of God Almighty to keep His oath to His Son and to establish us under the order of a better priesthood, one that will last forever. Praise His Name!

In Christ, Tim Clifton
tclifton@hotmail.com

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3. Maurice Bergeron

Wherein God . . . confirmed [it] by an oath: (6:17)

We live in a time when a personīs promise often has no meaning. Not so with my friend and co-worker Ralph, who has always had a concern for his reputation. He is an ethical person, and he will go to extremes to maintain his reputation that he has labored for throughout the past 48 years of his working life. The same in a far greater sense can be said of the God of Abraham. You can trust in His word for He is trustworthy.

 

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: (6:18)

        "That by two immutable things"  God's promised word to Abraham was/is as good as His reputation. An oath from this One is as good as it gets. Abraham could count on it!

        "...we might have a strong consolation,"  Notice that use of the pronoun “we.” What a delightful twist! From the sure word given by God to father Abraham “we” might have “strong consolation"--not weak beggarly consolation but strong God-given consolation. This is the sort of language that strengthens the weakest of His saints.

        "who had fled for refuge..."  But before we may enjoy this strong consolation we must flee to Him. In one respect it fills my heart with sadness to know that this strength of God is a provision to bear up saints who have no strength in and of themselves. That is the reality in which we now live if we be in Christ. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). In another respect I have great joy in knowing that there is a refuge set before me in Christ.

 

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;  (6:19)

        "Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul,"  These are delightful words indeed! Father Abraham, and all those who are numbered as the stars of the heavens and the sands of the sea, will one day stand together before this very same God, forever humbled by the sureness of His word.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24 )

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

        "and which entereth into that within the veil;" Consider the extended reach of this sure word from God. It brings the one who believes and trusts in Godīs sure word right into the presence of God Himself within the veil in the heavenlies.

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:5-7)

 

Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (6:20)

        "Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus," Follow closely the writerīs train of thought. He begins with Godīs sure promise to Abraham, and, along the way, he includes all of Abrahamīs children (that we word before mentioned) who through faith obtain the same promise; and then, after he has gathered us all up into his literal hands, he places us safely beyond the veil and into the presence of Jesus. Did you sense yourself being lifted up and carried by the Spirit of God as He laid these truths before you? How dare we live like beggars when we have this Jesus and His sure word?

Through the present service of this king-priest Jesus, we are locked into the promise of God.

        "made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Through this picture of Jesus serving after the endless order of Melchisedec, we see a continuous and tireless ministry He offers on our behalf.

The flame remains forever lit as He labors on behalf of His bride. What a love story we have here my brethren!

Maurice Bergeron
ic@mdc.net

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4. Kevin Hartley

        The epistle to the Hebrews is an epistle of grand encouragement unto the weary soul. Early in my readings of Hebrews I viewed the book as more threatening than encouraging. Now I can but see the sweet mercy of grace flowing through its words. We have in our passage today one of the most comforting and inspiring texts of all Scripture. Comfort is found in trust and rest, impetus by example in Christ. In our text we have seen such rest for the troubled soul.

        What illustrious examples of surety and hope are herewith put forth by our author. God, the immutable one in His steadfastness and impeccable character, does testify and swear by His own nature to the lasting hope of the saint of God. He sets before us several metaphors to set the soul aright that we might have strong and lasting consolation.

        One of the sweetest illustrations we find is the allusion of the believer's flight to a place of refuge. One cannot dwell upon this long before the mind hastens back to the Mosaic law. There we find God establishing cities of refuge in which the guilty flee to find escape. Here then do we see the sinner chased by His sins, fleeing the wrath to come, hastening from Sinai to that blessed place of rest and hope. With his every stride and every breath, he presses on with hope to lay hold of that city. He is perplexed; he is surrounded by many foes;  he is shot at with darts and chastened with the scourge. Bloodied, wearied, nigh unto death, he lunges with his all to seize upon his only hope.

        Oh, how the readers of this letter must have labored in great distress! How they must have been pressed down and wearied by those lovers of old law.  Thus from the very city of refuge itself does our author cry,

Press on good fellow; press on and lay hold! Let not your heart be troubled, for Jesus, that great and faithful High Priest of our confession has yet already laid hold of your surety. Rest in this reader, as sure as God is true, so shall you find safety in hope of His promise.

        Ah how sweet is our Christ. Is He not the One who has gone before us, who has opened the gates to our city of refuge? Has not His side been pierced?  Has not the split been opened? Has not water and blood flowed from His pierced side? Shall we not flee to Him in time of trouble and find the refuge of our hungry souls? Flee to Jesus troubled saint, flee to Jesus weary soul, come to Him without money or price, come you beggars and dwell in this city not made with hands of flesh. These walls were built with Calvary's wood.

        Then reader, do we find this, that our hope is as an anchor set within the holy place. What is an anchor but that which keeps us from drifting? What is an anchor but that which holds the wayward vessel? Shall not hope hold us fast--not hope in our ability to keep the law, nor hope in our efforts or labors, but hope in the One who has gone before us? Peel back the curtain again, forgetful one. Look again behind the shroud that has veiled your eyes from the truth. For within the holy place is a mercy seat sprinkled with the Lamb's blood. Within the holy place ministers that great and faithful High Priest, the One who intercedes on behalf of the children of God. Look upon His breast; do you not see your name engraved? Look upon His palms; do you not see the scars that etch out your salvation? Look upon His head; can you see the dried marks from a crown, from your reproach. There doubter, look to His side, and now, reach in your hand and know that for you was His side pierced, and for you, elect of God, for you did He die. What an anchor for the soul, Jesus Christ, the faithful and eternal High Priest, not after the order of Aaron, but after the order of Melchizedek. Dying once He shall never die, living shall we live. O how the weary and weeping Hebrew reader must in this place have had his tears dried. See the hand; it reaches forth. See the hole that glistens white; see the glorious splendor of perfected flesh; see how gentle he wipes his dear one's tears away. Ah what a touch of the faithful and dear High Priest. Stay awhile. Look. Weep. Rejoice. For there is Jesus--Your Jesus. What an order that is solely His own. He shall not share His glory with another. What a Savior! What a God who does not lie! Oh, dear Lord, let us see Him; comfort our weeping hearts. May He have mercy upon us all, Amen.

Kevin Hartley
kartleyk@erols.com

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5. Michael Cruz

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: (6:17)

        This brings us to verse seventeen and to the purpose God has had from all eternity. "My purpose will stand, I will do all that I please," God says in Isaiah 46:10. God has had an immutable purpose from the very beginning of time. Amongst Covenant theologians there is an attempt to protect God's character as unchanging (and it certainly is) by claiming that God's covenant has not changed from the fall of Adam to the present. This is what is referred to as the one covenant of Grace. However, it does not take much study of the scripture to see that the various confessions which attempt to solidify this view are in error. There are ample verses that make a clear distinction between the covenant God made with Israel and the New Covenant in Christ's blood. Hence, there is no doubt that there is diversity in these two covenants, and there is also no doubt that there is unity in the economy of God.  This is made clear in verse seventeen.

        How then do we reconcile the problem of diversity on one hand (which is surely present in scripture) and unity of economy (which is present as well). Well, the answer is here, for we see that the unity of the covenants exists in God's unchanging purpose. The promise that was made to Abraham is fulfilled and is being fulfilled in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ through a variety of covenants with but one unchanging purpose. This purpose is the full and undoubtable salvation of all those who believe. We have the evidence of fulfillment now which can be seen in the relationship of Christ to His only bride -- the Church.

        Imagine, He wanted so much to make this an eternal promise so clear that He swore upon the only thing He could in order to convince Abraham this was ample. He swore upon Himself! And again, as scripture often reminds us, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him as righteousness." And every believer knows this is a rock solid promise, for we are the heirs of what was promised. I rejoice in the reason this scripture gives behind God's motive. He desired to make it clear to those to whom it was promised. There is no desire here for any kind of work on man's part to receive it. This passage clearly debunks the myth that God created men with freewill and a desire for fellowship so that He could revel in the love which we choose to give him. That is man's desire not God's! His whole purpose was to express His love toward all of us who call upon the Lord Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation. Nothing says it better than 1 John 4:10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." This is God's unchanging purpose: to bring all of the pieces of our salvation together. Of this we can be sure as stated in Philippians 1:6, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

 

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:  (6:18)

        We know that God cannot lie, and we see in verse eighteen that these things are doubly assured in both His oath and His unchanging purpose. We stand upon a solid rock of assurance! We also see here that we, who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us (that is us believers) have been given the promise so that we may be encouraged in our worthless human hearts. In other words, God could have chosen to just save us and not tell us anything about it. He could have just bestowed it upon us and then let us sweat it out, but no! God did this whole promise bit for us, for our benefit, so that we would be encouraged in our journey. When the veil of sin was removed from our eyes, it was done so that the light would shine in and give us an immeasurable hope.

 

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. (6:19,20)

        Because this is based on God's oath and his unchanging nature, we have it as a mighty fortress and bulwark that does not fade with time. Our hopes goes boldly before the throne of God where no man has ever gone and lived — the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. It is this place where the Lord Jesus Christ has forged ahead for our benefit so that we can go there without hesitation. Only the high priest could go in there, and that  to make an atonement once a year, but we who have entered His rest can approach anytime. The faith given us has this ability. When we go in our own strength, we are denied entrance. Yet when we go with the hope and faith supplied by the ministry of our Lord, we can go without intimidation. He is now our one and only priest that is eternal and in the order of Melchizedek. We will expound more upon the topic of Christ's priesthood in chapter 7.

Michael Cruz
a_la_cruz@technologist.com

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