A Serious Commitment
Lord Jesus, the Solid Rock, I trust myself to You as I navigate the shifting tides of life.
Read Hebrews 6:4-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
We can rest assured that when we reach rock bottom, our feet are on the solid rock, Christ Jesus our Lord.
“It is no exaggeration to designate the passage we now consider as one of the most controversial in the book of Hebrews–indeed, one of the most disputed in the entire New Testament” (Donald Guthrie). We are plunged right back into challenging readings. This passage appears to contradict what seems to be clear in other parts of Scripture, that nothing can sever the believer from Christ (Rom. 8:38,39). The difficulties come from a long and difficult sentence in Greek, different ways of understanding and translating this sentence, and the different presuppositions and prior theological commitments of different commentators and preachers. The first thing to do when reading a controversial passage like this is to try to put previous preconceptions aside and to be open to seeing things in a new way. That’s not easy to do, and perhaps is threatening! It is also important to read in context. This is not the only warning in Hebrews, and the warnings must be read in conjunction with the assurances.
The warning here is against deluding ourselves. If any believer abandons Christ for any reason, there is nowhere else to turn for salvation. The apostate may never find his way back. What counts is perseverance to the end. The New Testament provides some instances of apostasy: Judas (Luke 22:22), Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:19,20), and Demas (2 Tim. 4:10). Paul warned the Galatians about those who would lure them away (Gal. 1:6). The Scriptures contain both assurance to those whose faith is weak and warnings to the careless, and we need to hear both. There are dangers in carelessness and in lack of confidence. We need to be careful in developing our theology. Life and good theology–and human beings–are sometimes complicated, aren’t they?
Today, trust yourself to “him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy” (Jude 24).
Lord Jesus, I place my hand in Yours and ask for Your help as I travel each day through the difficult and slippery times I face.
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