Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 5:8-6:1
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 5:8-10
Verse 8: Even though Jesus was the Son of God, the Father could not release Him from the terrible events which lay ahead. And when this was revealed to Him during His agony in the garden, Jesus wholeheartedly embraced the Father’s will and went on to obey His assignment completely (Jn 18:11; Heb 12:2). Of course He had been obedient to His Father’s will on innumerable occasions during His ministry, but it was this bold embrace of the cross in Gethsemane which is primarily in view here. Verses 9, 10: As we saw earlier (Heb 2:10). Jesus’ obedience prepared Him to be our source of eternal salvation. We who “obey Him” by repentance and faith now are able to draw near to God by means of our high priest Jesus, not by the Aaronic priesthood established in the law of Moses.

Monday: Hebrews 5:9-11
Verses 9, 10 (continued): Jesus belonged to an order of priesthood which is higher than that of Aaron and his descendants. The proof that such an order of priesthood exists was first demonstrated when Abraham acknowledged Melchizedek and submitted to him (Ge 14:17-20), and then it was reinforced when David prophesied that the coming Messiah would not only be a king (Ps 110:1-3), but a priest belonging to the “order of Melchizedek” (Ps 110:4). In other words the Messiah would be a priest whose authority is higher than all of the priests of Israel. Verse 11: The author of Hebrews expresses his frustration here. He would like to go on to teach more deeply about Melchizedek and the priesthood of Christ, and in fact he will do so later on (Heb 7:1-10:22), but when he remembers the sad spiritual condition of many of his readers, he hesitates. These had slid backwards in their faith to the point that he can no longer take their commitment to Christ for granted. By compromise, passive neglect or outright renunciation, they had backed away from Christ, an act which necessarily required each to harden his or her heart leaving that person in a condition where it would be difficult to understand any further revelation (Mt 13:12-16).

Tuesday: Hebrews 5:12
Verse 12: It is likely this letter is being written around A.D. 64-68. If so, three decades have passed since the explosive growth of the Jewish church began at Pentecost. At least a significant percentage of those being addressed must have known the gospel for years, if not decades. So their shallow spiritual condition can only be the result of choices they’ve made to stop learning. They are not new believers. Had they kept searching the Old Testament under the leading the Holy Spirit and focused on passages Jesus Himself had explained (Lk 24:25-27, 44-48), many would by now be teachers in the churches which were spread all over the Mediterranean world.

Wednesday: Hebrews 5:12
Verse 12 (continued): Their background in Judaism would be a great advantage (Ro 2:17-20; 9:3-5) so long as they didn’t turn back to legalism. One would assume that they would be the first to rise as elders and teachers, helping to guide the Gentile converts who were flooding into the churches. But sadly, for many this was not the case. Instead they had spiritually retreated so far that they nearly needed to be re-evangelized themselves, which, as we’ll soon see, is a process far harder, if not impossible, than converting a person in the first place.

Thursday: Hebrews 5:12-14
Verses 12, 13: The author says this group of backsliders needs to be taught the basics of the gospel all over again. Like babies who can only drink milk rather than chew solid food, they have kept themselves so ignorant that if presented with an in-depth explanation of Scripture they will likely become bored, offended or confused (Jas 1:22-25; 1Co 3:1-2). Verse 14: We learn here that the ability to comprehend God’s Word is a skill one develops through much practice. One revelation leads to another when a person studies the Bible with the aid of the Spirit. This process produces a growing body of knowledge, with the result that biblical comprehension becomes easier as the years go by. When a person trained in this way hears something true they recognize and receive it, and the reverse is also the case. If someone tries to teach them something false, they are spiritually discerning and reject it quickly.

Friday: Hebrews 5:14-6:1
Verse 14 (continued): To describe this process of spiritual training the author selects a word drawn from the Greek “gymnasium” which was a place where athletes trained for a sport by regular exercise and practice. His point is that believers ought to study the biblical truths about Jesus Christ with the same intensity. Chapter 6, Verse 1: Had his readers completely abandoned Christ, the author would be forced to go back and re-explain the elementary truths upon which Christianity is founded, but he is not willing to believe that they have actually passed over that line (Heb 6:9). This means that the warnings he issues are designed to rescue those who are faultering in faith (Heb 12:12, 13) rather than pronounce judgement on those who have lost their salvation.

Saturday: Hebrews 6:1
Verse 1 (continued): Those who are backsliding need to know what could happen to them if they stay on the path they are on, but God won’t let them go easily. They have a history of loving Him and ministering in Christ’s name and in some ways were still showing kindness toward His servants (vs 9, 10; 10:32-34; also: Mt 25:31-46). That history confirms the genuiness of their earlier faith, and God won’t forget that. In their present condition He viewed them as troubled children, not outcasts. So the author exhorts them here to “press on to maturity” which includes the deeper teaching to which he will return shortly (Heb 7:1ff).

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