13th October 2022
Read (Hebrews 6v9-12)
Message (Scott Woodburn)
The opening verses of Hebrews 6 deal with the issue of apostasy. What is apostasy? Apostasy takes place when someone who professes Christ as their Saviour then proceeds to turn their back on the Lord. They have apostatised. They are apostate. Paul's warning is serious and we should read it paying full attention. Some of the Hebrews seemed to be turning from Christ and looking back to their past life. Paul's response? "Don't do it! Don't even think about it! Flee from apostasy!"
Thankfully Paul felt sure that the Hebrews were going to heed his warning. He was confident that they would enjoy better things - "things that belong to salvation" (v9). What a relief this must have been to the Hebrews! They certainly had their issues and the temptation to go backwards was real but nevertheless the Apostle was confident that they would stay the course.
Why was he so confident? Because Paul knew that the Hebrews loved the name of the Lord, so much so that they served the saints in response (v10). We are not saved by our works but having been saved then works are sure to follow. The faith of the Hebrews was evident in how they loved the wider church.
Therefore, Paul's desire was for the Hebrews to keep on going. Just as they were earnest in their service of the church, so too were they to be earnest in having the full of assurance of hope until the end (v11). In other words they were keep marching forward. They weren't to be sluggish in their Christian walk but they were to imitate those who by faith and patience had inherited the glorious promises of God (v12).
We can learn from both the apostate and the one who continues in the faith. The apostate causes us to be ever alert and watchful over the condition of our soul. We daily look unto Christ and strive to walk closely with Him. Equally we consider those who remained faithful to the end. We think about our wee granny who was a mighty woman of prayer and we imitate her zeal. We consider the man who devoted his life to preaching the Gospel and we imitate his passion. We learn from the Christian who knew great suffering and yet remained faithful. This imitation isn't like when we used to pretend to be a teacher or a policeman as a child. The imitation we are called to is one that learns from others and puts those lessons into practice.
The direction of apostasy is back but only great loss lies in that direction. The direction of the Christian is forward. The road ahead is narrow and at times it is incredibly tough but the child of God knows no other way. My brothers and sisters, keep going. March on with earnestness and full assurance of hope and surely one day you will inherit all the promises of God.
Q77 What is required in the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness bearing.