Agonizomai: Heb 6:16-18 - Christ - The Object of Our Faith

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Heb 6:16-18 - Christ - The Object of Our Faith

Heb 6:16-18 - Christ - The Object of Our Faith

Heb 6:16-18 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

So here the lesson is extrapolated; God is worthy of our trust, as he proved worthy of Abraham’s. The two unchangeable things referred to here are:
1) God’s unalterable counsel and decree (the character of his purpose)

2) God’s promise to Abraham and, through him, to all the heirs of the promise.
It is taken as axiomatic to the hearers that God (the God they have known - the God revealed in scripture) cannot lie. Another axiom is that he is omnipotent and always accomplishes his will.

See then, faith operates not upon itself (don’t have faith in your faith) but upon the object of that faith - the God of the promise. Faith never looks inward to find strength and power, but is always looking upon the object and resting in the trustworthiness of that object. Faith endures by trusting in God to do all that he has promised. It does not endure by thinking it has the innate ability to bring God’s promise about or, by implication, rendering God a debtor to us through our obedience. In other words, it’s all about God, and we must not make faith into a “work”.

If there is to be faithfulness in us it will come through trust in God’s faithfulness. If we are to persevere it will come through faith in the preservation that God alone accomplished for us in Christ. It is not impossible for people to fall away, for them to waver as to purpose, nor yet for them to lie if they look to themselves. But Christians look to heaven from whence is their hope, where Christ their King is seated at the right hand of power, resting from his labours, while the inevitable fruits of his finished work (the ones decreed from eternity) are made manifest in the world.

Thus, while it is not only possible, but inevitable that we should fall away absent faith in Christ - it is also a contradiction in terms, since having faith in Christ is what makes a person a Christian to begin with. Such a man-centred view ignores the everlasting arms underneath the Christian - the immutable predetermined purposes of God - the exceeding great and precious (and unsolicited) promises which he has sworn to accomplish.

Now, many people do indeed flee to Christ. Some for the right reasons and some for the wrong reasons. Some want the bread of this world, but not the Bread which comes down from heaven. {John 6:60-66} But those who remain to the end - who see, receive, accept and embrace the hard truths will be saved. The reason why is because, by the grace of God, they find hope and encouragement in the spiritually revealed promises of God. And this looking to Him is what is called "abiding in Christ," by which all believers have the victory.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Abiding in Christ is the only peaceful place. Our trials remind us of that so we will keep turning to Him. God is great, and greatly to be praised! Hearing and reading Scriptural truths strengthens me for the day. Thanks!:-)

7:58 am  

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