Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews’

If someone believes that they got themselves into Christ, then it is only natural to believe they can get themselves out of Christ. But Hebrews 12:2 clearly states that God is both the Author and Finisher or Perfecter of our faith. He began it and He finishes it perfectly. To say you can lose your salvation is saying Christ can only save me if I keep up my salvation. The truth is, you will keep up your salvation perfectly because of the new willing heart that God has given you and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which you received when you were Born Again by the power and will of God and God alone (John 1:13). God has guaranteed your perseverance and your perfect “keeping up of your salvation” (if you want to say that, which I don’t). But when you do persevere you can also say what Paul did in 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

There is a wealth of Bible passages that guarantee that our salvation is perfectly secure in Christ. There are some passages that people like to look to to try to say that you can lose your salvation, and the most popular one that people use is actually rarely read in context, which is the key to understanding anything in the Bible. This is Hebrews 6:4-6. Let’s look at these verses real quickly and then make some final thoughts.

4For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and 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.

People will say that these verses guarantee that people can lose their salvation. We have two problems with that;

  1. Language like enlightened, tasting the heavenly gift, sharing in the Holy Spirit, tasting the Word of God and  the powers of the age to come, do not, I repeat, DO NOT mean that the person was saved. Remember the audience of Hebrews that were being written to here. The Jews were enlightened with the knowledge of who God was because they were given the law and were His chosen people. They tasted of many heavenly gifts such as the manna in the desert in Moses‘ time and Christ’s bread and fish in John 6. They shared in the Holy Spirit in the sense that they experienced the Holy Spirit empowered ministry of Jesus and tasted of Christ’s Word. They also tasted of the powers of the age to come in the many interactions with God through Moses and Christ, as well as every other prophet in scripture. That didn’t mean that everyone who did those things were saved, in fact the reality is that in spite of all those interactions, most still did not believe. A whole generation was left in the wilderness before entering the promise land after the great “experiences” or instances of “enlightenment.” After they all “taste of the heavenly gifts” of Jesus Christ in John 6, the thousands that were well fed just a few verses earlier left Jesus in the dust when he said that God is sovereign over who comes and does not come to Jesus and has eternal life, thus proving that they were never truly born again, they just desired to have their bellies filled for free. What this verse is really saying is that when a person has the fullest experience of who God really is in Christ, and then they reject Him, they are never capable of getting more information and are saying they understand it all, and they still don’t want Him. You can try to tell them, but they have all the knowledge you can give them, it is hopeless.
  2. If you are going to say these verses prove you can lose your salvation, you have to also at least be consistent with the rest of verse 6 which clearly says that this person can never again be restored to repentance because they would be re-crucifying Christ. The crazy thing is that everyone who believes that you can lose your salvation also believes that you can get it back again. This verse clearly says you can’t restore them again to repentance, it’s impossible (Verse 4 and 6).

Telling people they can lose their salvation is more fear-mongering than it is equipping people for the battle that we all face everyday. That’s like a King saying to his people about to go into battle, “gear up, but you will probably lose cause I ain’t fighting with you. I will be back in the castle living it up. Good luck.”

My King says, “I guarantee your victory in this battle because I am the one leading the charge and doing all the fighting. When you succeed it is only because I’ve given you power to defeat your enemy. Also, I have determined the end from the beginning so I know infallibly that you will win this and all battles because I Am the Alpha and Omega and I will do all that I set out to do.”


So I was watching a video online this morning and I saw something familiar. Small world…

I thought I’d just throw out some random things just to get them out there.

  • We finally ordered high-speed internet so Jamie and I will actually be able to use the internet at the same time, and it won’t be over the Cricket network. Right now, we use a Cricket USB modem. Can’t wait for high-speed.
  • Even though I have been off for the summer from my teaching job, I really need a vacation. I have to get out of this town! haha.
  • I am somewhat excited to get back to teaching. I am looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to share the gospel with elementary-age children. If you didn’t know already, I am a worship leader and a full-time tutor at a Christian school. I run a chapel service every Wednesday that is truly a blessing to me and I hope to all the kids as well. I’m allowed to preach and lead worship! What an amazing privilege. Last night, I couldn’t sleep because I felt like God was giving me all these great ideas for things to do during the services. Ever feel like God is giving you these amazing ideas, but you know that you can’t do them on your own and you can’t do them without a great deal of resources? That’s what I feel like now. Not just with my the ministry I do at the school, but with a lot of different things too. I really hope and pray that God enables me to see some of these ideas fleshed out into real life. Do you ever do this though: you’ll have all these ideas and then they just drift into nowhere and they never come to fruition? Like there is a place where all lofty ideas and goals go to die. Hopefully some of these ideas don’t go there! lol.
  • I really have been frustrated lately with … (as I type this I start to realize that God is the one in control so I have to be careful with any frustrations. Ultimately I am frustrated with the way God is doing things so I must repent and instead, offer up prayers to God for him to bring about certain things, but also knowing that it is up to Him and His will to bring about those things and His judgment is perfect and sinless.) Sooooo…. lol.
  • I guess I should say I really pray for things to change. One of things I pray most about right now is for the salvation of one of my best friends who is currently not a believer. Notice I said in the last point that ultimately God is in control. Fully in control. Here is my Calvinism (which I would rather just call biblical thinking) coming out. My friend is blind to the truth of the gospel and Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.” So if my friend is still blind to God and not able to see Him for who He truly is, because of the blinding effect of inherited and willful sin, I need God to do something. I need God to exercise His free will and break that blindness and choose to show my friend mercy and grace. God in no way has to do that. No one has claim on his mercy or grace. God is not in debt to anyone. That is not how it works. God is free to show mercy and grace to whoever He wills (reference Romans 9:14-18). If you are reading this, pray for my friend. Pray that his household comes to know Christ as did Crispus’ household in Acts 18:8.
  • Did you ever really think about the fact that some unbelievers are so much more kind and selfless than believers and wonder why? I was talking to Jamie recently about this and she made a good point. She said, “they believe that as long as they are good people and they do good to others, then they will be in heaven.” Then I thought, we Christians know we are sinners saved by grace and that we are far from being perfect. For us, it almost seems okay that we are stuck in our sin and remain mean and selfish. Then we think, “well Jesus died for our sins so it’s okay.” The Bible warns us of this terribly dangerous way of thinking. Hebrews 10:26, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” We can learn a lot from non-believers. Although these kind acts may be done in some sad attempt to gain a pleasant afterlife, and in the end find out that all those righteous acts were as filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6), they could honestly be doing some of the good acts that the law lays out, because the Bible says in Romans 2:14-16 “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” God judges the heart, but I have been shown great friendship from certain unbelievers. The experience has led me to thank God for them and also it has motivated me to be better marked by love, for Christ sake.
  • I’m not handy at all but, I put in a pulley system so that Jamie can now hang clothes outside our apartment. Here is a picture of that.

    Makes me want to use it as a rip chord but I know it won't hold me.

    I had so much fun making this it makes me want to make some kind of crazy pulley system. Got any ideas?

  • Well that’s all for now.
Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Image via Wikipedia

Hebrews 5:7-10 ESV

[7] In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. [8] Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. [9] And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, [10] being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Thinking over these verses of Hebrews 5 and listening to John Piper expound on them, I started to wonder, “What is Jesus praying about here? If this is when Jesus was scared to die, then how can it be that God heard, or answered, his prayer because of his reverence? Jesus still died. It says, ‘to him who is able to save him from death.’ What does he mean by death then because it cannot mean from actual physical death? The context is talking about Jesus as high priest.” (It’s good to ask questions while you read the bible.)

Think about how this verse correlates with death.

Romans 6:23 ESV

[23] For the wages of SIN is DEATH, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Drawing this connection between sin and death, think about Hebrews 5:7 again. Remember, the context is talking about Jesus as our High Priest. Jesus, in his human nature and incarnate flesh, prayed the entire time of his human life that God would save him from death, and God answered his prayer because of his reverence.

In order for Jesus to become our perfect high priest, he petitioned God throughout his entire time on earth to keep him from SINNING! Isn’t that amazing? If Jesus sinned, we would have no hope. The consequences of His sin would have been disastrous for not only his own life, but for all of those whom were designed to profit from his perfection: to gain their righteousness through Jesus. What a marvel this truly is! We have a great High Priest! Praise Jesus.

The consequences of our own sin are terrifying enough; we get death (eternal separation from God). Our sin, ultimately, only affects us. Yes our sin affects others in earthly terms, but everyone is held responsible for their own sin. And Romans 3:23 explains that all have sinned and deserve death (cf. Rom. 6:23).

If Jesus had sinned, it would’ve affected an unimaginable amount of people.

Jesus did not sin, and because of this obtained perfection, he is the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (cf. Heb. 5:9). Because of Jesus, your sins are atoned for and you are forgiven, if you obey. Obey? Obey what necessarily? Obey Christ when he tells you to believe and trust in him.

The consequences of Jesus work, is your eternal salvation, if you obey. I plead with you to obey him today!

Click HERE to listen to a great message by John Piper expounding through this passage.

Photograph of medieval canvas "Abraham an...
Image via Wikipedia

Last night we had another awesome bible study. Jamie and I have been attending a new bible study on Monday nights in the city of Sharpsburg with other youth leaders and young adults. We are going through the book of Hebrews. Last night we went through most of chapters 4 and 5. During our reading we came across this verse: Hebrews 5:9-10 “9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Who is Melchizedek?

Melchizedek is first mentioned in the bible in Genesis 14:17-24. Instead of explain everything about him, I think it would be much more beneficial if you would listen to this 30 minute sermon from Pastor Doug Rehberg, senior pastor of Hebron Church of Penn Hills. Click HERE for the link to download this message. When I first heard Pastor Doug preach this sermon, I was blown away. It is apart of a series that Hebron was going through when Jamie and I first came there after leaving our old church. What an amazing series to come into! That series changed the way I look at the Old Testament and I am forever greatful to God for using Pastor Doug in order to start a passion in my soul for finding Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus, himself, taught that all of the scriptures are about him! Listen to this message and may it start a passion in your sould for Jesus Christ and his Word!