“The Full Assurance of Hope”

(Hebrews 5:11-6:20)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.

Last time,

We saw that we needed a priest

If we are to draw near to God

If we are to receive

Any of the blessing He has to give.

No one can approach God without mediation –

Without someone to stand between Him and us,

To reconcile us.

But we also saw

That no one can simply decide to be a priest –

There were those who tried,

But they weren’t successful –

To say the least.

Only God can provide one –

Only He can call one.

And that’s exactly what He did:

He provided a perfect priest –

One who understands what we need

Since He went through everything we have;

One who was able to provide a perfect sacrifice

That was able to pay for all our sins;

And One who is able to pray perfectly for us

According to His Father’s will.

That’s why Jesus is the only source of salvation –

The only way to God,

The only name under heaven

By which we must be saved.

And that’s why you need to listen to Him

And do what He says.

That’s why you need to trust Him –

Have you trusted Him?

Is He your only hope of heaven?

That’s why you need

To turn from your sins and follow Him –

Is that what you’re doing?

Are you reading His Word

Paying attention to what He says,

And trying by His strength

To the best of your ability

To do it?

If you are,

Then He is your source of life –

He will bring you to heaven.

B. Preview.

The author to the Hebrews

Wants further to make sure

That you are doing these things

That you might see heaven.

So this morning,

He exhorts you to press on –

To be diligent in your obedience

So that you will have the full assurance of hope

That one day you will be with your Lord.

He gives us three things to help us:

1. He points out a problem that is far too common.

2. He gives us the solution to this problem.

3. And he gives us the proper motivation to pursue it.

Let’s consider each of these

For a few moments this morning.

II. Sermon.
A. First, let’s consider the problem

That is all too common in the church:

That of spiritual lethargy/dullness.

The author has so much more

He wants to tell them,

But it’s hard

Because they have become dull of hearing.

They have become too lazy/sluggish

To believe or do what the Lord wills.

Sadly, even believers can lose sight of

The things that are most important in life.

It’s not hard to do in our culture –

There are so many things

That can distract you,

So many things

That can draw your heart away –

To keep you from making the progress

You might otherwise make

In spiritual growth and fruitfulness,

That can stunt your growth.

The author points out

That by now they should be teachers,

But instead they’re still in need

Of someone to teach them the basics.

They were still spiritual infants –

Feeding on the milk of God’s truth –

Rather than adults

Able to digest meat.

What is this solid food

They weren’t able to digest?

In verse 13, he calls it the Word of righteousness.

In verse 14, he calls it

That which is able to train your senses

To tell the difference between good and evil.

It’s what God says is right and good

As opposed to what the world says.

If you don’t study the Word carefully

To know God and His will

You won’t really be able to tell

The difference between right and wrong –

You’ll be a spiritual baby.

Does we see this in the church today?

Far too much of it, I’m afraid.

Most professing Christians

Aren’t much different than the world.

Is that true of you?

None of us are where we should be –

Though we should be thankful

We have grown at all –

But all of us can improve,

All of us have room for growth.

B. And so what should we do?

The author next gives the remedy:

He says you must press on to maturity.

You need to move beyond the basics/foundational principles

Of the spiritual life.

Repentance and faith is where it begins –

You need to repent of your sins/dead works

And believe God –

What He said about His Son.

You need to trust Jesus Christ.

But you also need to know

It doesn’t end there.

You need to move beyond

Instructions about washings and laying on of hands,

Of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

The author was writing to first generation Jewish believers,

Appealing to what they understood

Of the Old Covenant in the clearer light of the New.

He told them they needed to move beyond

The Jewish purification rituals of the Old Covenant –

The baptism converts to Judaism would receive,

From John’s baptism to the reality Christian baptism symbolizes:

They needed to die to sin

And live to God in Christ.

He told them they needed

To press on from the laying on of hands,

That had to do with symbolically

Transferring their sins to the sacrificial animals

That would then die in their place –

Which pointed to the work of Christ

In atoning for their sins.

They needed to see themselves

As having died with Christ to sin,

To be raised to live for Him.

They were to do more

Than just know about the future resurrection and judgment –

They were to prepare for these things

Through a life of obedience

In the power of the Holy Spirit.

Basic knowledge isn’t enough –

Even more advanced knowledge

Won’t do you any good –

Unless you put it into practice.

It’s not enough to know truth,

You need to live it:

The more you do,

The better you will understand it,

And so the better you will be prepared

For the resurrection and judgment.

C. The problem is spiritual lethargy,

And the cure is pressing forward

To know and serve the Lord better.

But what is to be your motivation?

The author gives us two things:

A warning and an encouragement.

1. First, he gives a warning:

Not everyone in the church –

Not everyone who professes

To know Jesus Christ –

Really knows Him.

He tells us it’s even possible

For some in the church to fall

Beyond the point of recovery –

Beyond the possibility of ever being saved:

He’s warning us here of the unpardonable sin.

It’s interesting that here

This sin isn’t described

As being directly against the person of the Spirit,

But against His work.

If the Spirit enlightens someone –

If He has given him some measure of understanding –

If that person has tasted of the heavenly gift –

If he has experienced

Something of the Spirit’s common influences –

If he has become a partaker of Him –

If the Spirit has done His particular work

Of convicting him of sin, righteousness and judgment –

If the Spirit has revealed something to him of God’s truth

And the power of the age to come –

If He has shown him something

Of the glories that are to follow in heaven –

In other words,

If someone experiences the Spirit’s work –

In a way not unlike that of Judas –

And then after all that falls away –

After the Spirit has revealed

Everything He has to reveal short of salvation;

Enough light and truth

To convince him of its truth –

But he still rejects Jesus Christ –

He still sides with the Jews

In saying that Jesus deserved to be crucified –

Which is what he would be doing

If he abandoned Him

And went back to Judaism –

And so openly/publically shamed Him –

It’s impossible to renew that person again to repentance

Because there’s nothing more that can be done –

Nothing more he can see,

Nothing more he can experience,

Short of the Spirit’s saving work

Of revealing the beauty of Jesus Christ.

The author’s point is,

If you don’t respond appropriately

To the Spirit’s work in preparing you for salvation

Through the means of grace,

You may forfeit heaven forever.

That’s what he means by what follows:

If the rain that falls on you –

The means the Lord uses to convert –

Doesn’t result in useful produce/good fruit –

The fruit of faith, repentance and growth in grace –

If it instead produces briars and thorns –

The worthless fruits of the flesh,

If you reject Jesus Christ –

Then you are close to being cursed

And will end up being burned –

You will be judged for your sins

And will be punished for all eternity in hell.

Don’t sit week after week

Listening to God’s truth,

Experiencing the common work of the Spirit,

And continue to reject it

By not repenting and not believing.

If you do –

If after all this,

You decide finally to leave the Gospel

And go after the world –

You may so sin against the Spirit

That the Lord may choose never

To work in you by His Spirit again.

Here is one very good reason to press forward –

The possibility that this could happen to you.

The Lord says to you,

Trust My Son,

Turn from your sins,

And press forward.

But if that’s what you’re already doing,

Be encouraged!

That the author makes it perfectly clear

That what he just said

Is not true of one who is truly converted.

He says in verse nine, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things
concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are
speaking in this way.”

The Lord will not cast off His people.

Jesus says, “And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish” (John

Paul says, “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in
you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

This is a warning to those of you

Who continue to ride the fence

Between Jesus and the world,

And refuse to submit to Him.

You are the ones in danger of this sin.

Don’t keep putting it off.

Turn from your sins,

Trust Jesus to save you,

And you will be safe.

2. How safe will you be?

Here is an encouragement.

If you’ve savingly trusted Jesus Christ,

Which will be shown

By the fact that you love Him,

And His people,

And are serving them as well,

He will remember your love and work,

And reward you in heaven.

Will you arrive there

To receive that reward? Yes!

You are as sure to arrive

As Abraham was to receive

What God promised Him.

God made a promise

That He would bless Abraham,

And to further show His sincerity,

He swore an oath,

“I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”

When you combine this with the fact

That it’s impossible for God to lie,

That equals a very strong encouragement.

That promise He made to Abraham

Had everything to do with Jesus –

That God would send Him,

That He would save His people through His priestly work,

That He would enter heaven as our Forerunner,

And that He would be our hope of heaven,

An anchor for our souls,

One that is sure and steadfast.

He is our guarantee –

The One who gives us the full assurance

That we will see heaven.

So again, what do you have to do

To have this full assurance?

You must trust Jesus,

But having trusted Him,

You must press forward towards heaven.

You must yield to His Spirit

Who is working in you

To will and to do of His good pleasure.

The author says

You need to be diligent and not sluggish,

You need to imitate those

Who through faith and patience

Inherited the promises (6:11-12).

Focus on doing this

Through the strength Jesus gives you,

And all will be well. Amen.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful