Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Hebrews 6:18-7:1
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Hebrews 6:18
Verse 18: Since God is faithful and watches over His Word to perform it (Jer 1:12) an oath is quite unnecessary. He would keep every promise with or without a curse to enforce it (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Isa 40:8; 55:11). But humans aren’t like Him so vows do add some measure of credibility to our promises. This is why God uses an oath. He is communicating in terms we’ll understand. He wants us to recognize that He is completely committed to do what He promised and if an oath will help convince us then He’ll add one. When the author of Hebrews refers in this verse to “two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie…” he is referring to both God’s promise and His oath. Then he wants us to see that this type of double-confirmation, which was given to Abraham, has also been given in the case of the Messiah. God declared that the Messiah would be a great high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4; Heb 5:5, 6; 7:21) and then confirmed that promise with an oath (“the Lord has sworn and will not change His mind…” Heb 7:21).

Monday: Hebrews 6:18
Verse 18 (continued): The author of Hebrews uses here an interesting term for Christian believers. He calls us “we who have taken refuge…” which reminds us of those in ancient Israel who fled to “cities of refuge” in order to escape revenge for manslaughter (Nu 35:9-15; Jos 20:1-9), or those who fled to the tabernacle to cling to the horns of the altar (Ex 21:14; 1Ki 1:50-53; 2:28-34). He seems to be picturing us as desperate, guilty people running to the Messiah for refuge from the judgment which is pursuing us. When we cling to Him we will find mercy from God because He accepts the atonement the Son offers for us (Heb 7:25; 9:11-14).

Tuesday: Hebrews 6:19
Verse 19: The wonderful hope that we have in Jesus Christ functions like a spiritual anchor to prevent us from “drifting away” from Christ (Heb 2:1). Those who are filled with this hope will never abandon Christ because He is the One who can bring us into eternal fellowship with God. And the proof of this is that He has been resurrected and has ascended into heaven, and both those miracles were observed by His disciples. They touched Him after His resurrection (Lk 24:36-43) and they watched Him rise and disappear into a cloud from the Mount of Olives (Lk 24:50, 51; Ac 1:9). His physical presence “within the veil,” meaning that He is now standing before the Father Himself, is not wishful thinking but a fact “confirmed to us by those who heard” and saw Him firsthand (Heb 2:3, 4). If we realize that our hope for eternal life rests on what Christ has done for us then we can be confident that we too will be welcomed to “enter within the veil.” Like a good anchor this hope will hold firm and never slip.

Wednesday: Hebrews 6:19, 20
Verses 19, 20: Once a year on the Day of Atonement Israel’s high priest passed behind a curtain (“veil”) which divided the tabernacle, entering into a smaller area which lay behind it called the “Holy of holies” (Lev 16:2-17). That chamber contained only the Ark of the Covenant, which was a wooden chest with a gold plate on top called the “mercy seat.” There on that plate, he would offer blood to atone for the “unintentional” sins of the entire nation (Nu 15:28-31; Heb 9:7). As our great high priest, the Messiah Jesus followed a similar pattern. When He ascended into heaven, He too passed through a curtain, but in His case the curtain was the visible heavens (sky and stars) through which He traveled at His Ascension (Heb 4:14; Lk 24:50, 51). He too entered into a “Holy of holies” (Heb 9:6), only in His case He entered into the very throneroom of the Father Himself (Heb 8:2; 9:11, 24). And once there He too poured out blood as an offering for our sins, only in His case the blood He offered was His own (Heb 9:12).

Thursday: Hebrews 6:20-7:1
Verse 20 (continued): Before we move on there is one more word in this verse we must appreciate more deeply. When Israel’s high priest entered the Holy of holies he went alone and stayed only long enough to perform the necessary offerings (Lev 16:17), but by telling us Jesus is a “forerunner for us,” the author is assuring us that where Jesus is now we will be also (Jn 14:3). His embrace into the Father’s presence has opened the way for us to follow. Because He’s there atoning for us we too will be there with Him in God’s presence forever (Heb 10:19-23). Verse 7:1 (introduction): We have already been introduced to the concept that the Messiah would not only be a king but also a priest, superior to all the priests of Israel (Heb 5:5-10). But before the author of Hebrews completed his full discussion of that subject he interrupted his flow of thoughts to warn his readers about their spiritual condition (Heb 5:11-6:12). Now in chapter seven he returns to what is one of the major themes of this letter: the priesthood of the Messiah.

Friday: Hebrews 7:1
Verse 1: The historical person named Melchizedek lived during the time of Abraham and was king of the city (Salem), which later came to be called Jerusalem. He also ministered in the spiritual office of a priest, focusing his worship on El Elyon or “God Most High” (Ge 14:18-20). The people who lived in the land at that time were Canaanites so it’s amazing to think that one of their prominent leaders knew the true God, but clearly he did. The presence of individuals such as he is probably why God waited for 400 years before He drove the Canaanites out of the land (Ge 15:13-16). During Abraham’s time the Canaanite population must still have been “salted” with a few true believers (Ge 18:22-23).

Saturday: Hebrews 7:1
Verse 1 (continued): Abraham’s nephew Lot had chosen to live near the wicked city of Sodom (Ge 13:12, 13). As a result he was captured along with everyone else when a coalition of a few city-states and nomadic tribes from Mesopotamia (Ge 14:1-3) raided the Canaanite cities located near the Dead Sea. Their raid was provoked by the fact that these cities had stopped making tribute payments (Ge 14:4). When a fugitive notified Abraham about his nephew, the patriarch organized an armed band from the men of his own household along with volunteers from some of the neighboring Amorite tribes (Ge 14:13) in order to pursue the raiders as they returned to Mesopotamia. He divided his forces and struck at night completely surprising and defeating the Mesopotamians. His attack was so successful he was able to retrieve all the people and loot that had been taken (Ge 14:15, 16). Then on his way south toward his home in Hebron he passed Salem (Jerusalem) and as he did Melchizedek came out to meet him (Ge 14:17, 18). During the meeting two remarkable events took place. First, Melchizedek prophetically spoke a blessing over Abraham in the name of El Elyon (“God Most High”) (Ge 14:19, 20), and second, Abraham acknowledged and submitted to Melchizedek’s role as priest by tithing to him from all the captured loot (Ge 14:20).

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