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November 15, 2010 thru November 21, 2010

Jesus: Worth Sticking With
Hebrews 5:11-6:20
Introduction
As these Hebrew Christians were contemplating whether to stick with Jesus or take the easy route of reverting back to Judaism, the author invites them to think about growth. Sticking with Jesus will take you to higher levels of spiritual maturity than blending in with the crowd will take you. Notice as you read this section the many images of growth in natural settings.

Memory Verse
Hebrews 5:14 solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

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1. Observation
(Read the instructions on Page 2 and make your observations here) 5:11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull

of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for some-

one to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need

milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the

word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of

practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

6:1 Therefore leaving the

elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation

of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of instruction about washings and

laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will

do, if God permits. 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted

of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the

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good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is

impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of

God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and

brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from

God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up

being burned. 9 But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that

accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to

forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and

in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence

so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but

imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 6:13 For when God

made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

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14 saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” 15 And so, having

patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves,

and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way

God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His

purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible

for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the

hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and

steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for

us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

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INSIGHT: One of the most controversial sentences in all of Scripture is 6:4-6.

Many claim this verse as evidence that you can lose your salvation. If that were the case, then v6 is saying that you can never be renewed to repentance. But no one who uses v6 to claim salvation is losable also uses v6 to claim you can never regain it. For if the one who “has fallen away” (v6) is a truly born again believer who sins and by penalty forfeits their eternal life, then the writer is saying for that same person “it is impossible to renew”. Once you lose it, you cannot have it back. There is no commentator or denomination of church in existence that teaches once lost, salvation can never be regained. Sadly there are many who teach and many who are taken in by the teaching that you can lose your salvation. Equally many claim that this verse is speaking of unbelieving worshippers who fall out of attendance at church. This interpretation is just as wrong as the first on because v6 says it is impossible “to renew them again to repentance.” You can’t “renew” what isn’t there to begin with. You can’t do something “again” that that you haven’t done for a first time. Interpreting this set of verses in this way is reactionary and it misses the real and valid warning of the section. More likely the author is speaking about foundations (v1). You cannot rebuild the foundation of your walk with Jesus. You can continue from where you are. He can and will forgive every sin you do after salvation just as much as He does for sins committed before salvation. But there will always be earthly consequences for sins committed after salvation. This set of verses is an invitation to stop living in a cycle of sin, tragedy, repentance, restoration. It is a rally to live maturely at all times, rather than on a roller coaster.
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2. Interpretation
In 5:11, why do Christians become dull of hearing?

In 5:12-14, what distinguishes the infant from the mature?

In 6:4, what does “enlightened” mean? And what does “tasted the heavenly gift” mean?

In 6:8, how is the imagery of thorns and thistles used elsewhere in Scripture? See Genesis 3:18, Matthew 7:16 and also Matthew 3:10.

3. Application
In 6:9, if the writer is “convinced of better things concerning them” why does he “speak this way”? How do you feel when the preaching hits home in a hard way?

When you begin to feel that 6:6 has deflated your hope of eternal life, what hope does the writer lead you to in 6:19-20?

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