Church of Christ
at
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19) Hebrews - Chapter 6:13-20
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The occasions of the promise - Genesis 12:1; his call, Genesis 15, Genesis 22:15-18.  The content, Genesis 12:1-3

He was to be blessed in seven ways:
       a) Abraham would be personally blessed
       b) He would have numerous descendants
       c) Through him the Messiah would come
       d) His spiritual followers would be great (Romans 4:11 and 16).
       e) His name would be great
       f) God would curse them that cursed him
       g) He would be a blessing to the whole world

Observe that "promise" is singular, but has several features.

Genesis 12:11-13 - Abraham is a good example of faith and perseverance.  
The occasion - Genesis 22:16-17: "By myself I have sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and
hast not withheld thy son, thine only son - "  The swearing is to make binding the promise.  Since He could swear by
none greater He swore by Himself saying, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

This is a Hebraism (Hebrew idiom) of intensity.  This is expressed in Genesis 22:17.

Having patiently endured -
What trials did he have?
       a) Called to a strange land, living in tents, digging wells
       b) Lot was a source of worry
       c) Called to give his son (Genesis 22:15-18)
       d) Sorrow for Sodom and Gomorrah

It covered about 100 years, from the departure from Haran to being gathered with his people (See Genesis 11:31
and Genesis 12:4).

Terah was 205, Abraham 75 when he departed out of Haran.  We must patiently endure -
       Hebrews 12:1: "Let us run the race with patience."
       Hebrews 10:36: "For ye have need of patience, that having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise."

The promise confirmed by the oath.  He lived long enough to see most of the promises fulfilled.
       a) The promise had several features, and Abraham saw them fulfilled in Christ.  Says that Abraham was
            received by God into His rest.
       b) This was to show to the family of Abraham God's plan to carry out His promise.

The immutability of His counsel
Immutability means to be unchangeable, invariable.  Both Jew and Gentile are included in God's plan (Acts 2:39).  
God's good tidings are expressed a counsel
       a) Men need advice, counsel and guidance, and God is able to give it
       b) Man's changeable opinions are not to be compared with God's unchanging counsel

Interposed with an oath
"Interposed is also translated "mediated."  This is to make His promise double sure.  God calls attention to His divine
being and pledges to fulfill His promises.

That by two immutable things
What are the "two things"?
       1) The promise
       2) The oath

Others say two oaths are referred to
       1) The promise - the oath made to Abraham respecting a Son, the Messiah
       2) The second refers to Christ's priesthood, recorded in Psalms 110:4: "Jehovah hath sworn and will not
            repent.  Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."

The character of God would be altered if He lied.  God would cease to be God if He were untruthful.

If He could not carry out His promise, He would not be all-wise.  God is absolute; hence there is the impossibility of
Him being anything less than true.

We may have a strong encouragement
This may also be translated, strong consolation.  This is the influence of the two immutable things.  With so much
encouragement, why should we fail to find refuge?

Who have fled for refuge
An allusion to the cities of refuge is made here.  See Exodus 21:13, Numbers 35, Deuteronomy 19, and Joshua 20.  
Three cities on each side of the Jordan afforded an opportunity of safety, or refuge, to evil men.  The Christian has
refuge in Jesus Christ.  This we must do if we expect to attain (1st Timothy 6:12: "Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto
thou art also called and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."  1st Timothy 6:19: "laying up in
store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is life
indeed.")  This shows man's responsibility.  To lay hold of the hope set before us which we have as an anchor of the
soul.

An anchor gives stability
A sea captain said once to a young man, "Wherever you go, go to church.  I find that it costs a little to anchor my
ship, but that keeps it from drifting out onto the waves where it will be lost."

Until a soul enters into God, it finds nothing stable
       a) A ship is worth little if its anchor is not adequate
       b) Because of the nature of God and the accomplishments of Christ, we may rest in confidence.

As long as the anchor holds, the Christian rides the waves in spite of troubled waters.  Our hope rests in the Person
of Christ.

The idea is that Christ goes nowhere but where his people can go.  Jesus entered for us; He entered ahead of us
and for us.

There was a veil that separated man from God.  Jesus came from within to live without the veil and rend it and open
a way for us.  We may enter in and dwell therein the power of the Holy Ghost.

The priesthood of Aaron was temporary, but Christ's priesthood is after an eternal one.  A priest of Christ's ability
eliminates any need for one on earth.

Who was Melchizedek?  He was a man (Hebrews 7:4).  He was a person of whom little is known.  He is named eight
times in Hebrews, and is named twice in the Old Testament (Genesis 14, Psalms 110).