Hebrews Chapter 6
:7 “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. 9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that
accompany salvation, though we thus speak. 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Verses 7 and 8 above are set in contrast to one another. Paul uses these to illustrate the difference between the spiritual man and the natural man. The spiritual man is illustrated in verse 7 as follows:
1. “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it…” Like the earth which drinks of the rain that comes upon it, so the spiritual man drinks of the Spirit of God those spiritual things that come upon him.
2. “And bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed…” Just as the earth is dressed and brings forth herbs meet for them who dressed it, so the spiritual man brings forth spiritual fruit through the ministry of the gospel and the reading and studying of God’s word.
3. Just as the earth receives blessings from God, so the spiritual man receives manifold blessings from God.
In contrast verse 8 illustrates the natural man. Like the earth that brings forth thorns and briers is rejected and is nigh unto cursing, so the natural man brings forth that which is cursed. In Genesis chapter 3, God cursed the ground because of the sin of man and that curse included that it would bring forth: Gen. 3:18 “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” This
curse upon natural man is spelled out for us in Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The fruits of that curse are also spelled out in Gal. 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” Paul had seen the works of these Jewish brethren and was persuaded that they were manifesting the fruits of the Spirit, which are things which accompany salvation. He was fully persuaded that they were born of the Spirit of God and were
bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
God is not a forgetful God, moreover he sees and blesses those works of labor and love manifest by the saints. Revelations chapter 2 and 3 plainly demonstrate to us that God knows all of our works and rewards us with blessings for those good works that we do. The saints of the church at Jerusalem from the very earliest had been known for the good works manifest therein as we read in
Acts 2:44 “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Another example is in Acts 4:32 “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave
the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
:11 “And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely
blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”
Hope can be defined as the earnest expectation of the fulfillment of a promise. Our hope rest in the promises of God and that God will keep his promises.
“And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:” What Paul said here to the Jews is just as true for us today. We should also show the same diligence in our faith toward God and in our service to God with the full assurance of hope until the promises of God are fulfilled.
“That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The word slothful means lazy or sluggish. We should not become lazy or sluggish in our service and worship of God, but we should follow the example of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises. When we consider the promises of
God, we should by faith believe in those promises that God will fulfill his promises. Moreover, we should be patient until we possess the promises God promised.
“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.” Two things stand out in this verse. First, there is the promise. Second there is the oath. Both came from God. Obviously a promise and the oath are only as good as
the one who makes the promise or the oath. In this case, the promise and the oath stand, because the promiser and the swearer is God. Failure of the promise coming to pass would mean that God is a failure. That is not possible.
“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Patience indicates that Abraham waited for God to fulfill the promise. Patience is what we need when it comes to the promises of God. God will fulfill his promises in his own time.