Saturday, October 3, 2015

Repeat. Anchor that holds. Eternal Security. Own it.

Ok, so these next couple of chapters stumped me for a bit. At first casual reading they sound like a repeat of what has already been said, but they do go a little further in depth.   The flow of thought didn't come as smoothly this time as I hesitated to dig too deeply, while catching the irony of that thought as well. Isn't that part of what the author was saying back in chapter 5 when he said there was much to teach them but they weren't at a point in their spiritual walk to grasp it . Now, I am in no way saying that I am mature enough to grasp all that is being said in these next few chapters, let alone be able to explain it to others. But there is a desire to get as much from them as I am capable of understanding at this time. Perhaps that is the key here. Desire and willingness to learn what is there for you at this time vs. the 'status quo' or going back. I am reminded of being told that if you do what you know, God will show you what you don't know. 

So in that spirit, here goes something. :)

Chapter 6 begins with: Therefore. 
Definition: for that reason, or because of that; so (now do something)

Years ago I learned to ask when I saw that word: "What is that previous information there for?"

"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity,..." NIV Hebrews 6:1

As I alluded earlier it may sound like a broken record to some for the same message continues: Don't turn back to the old way, grow in the new.  There was a reason for the earthly priests and sacrifices of old but with Christ's appearance there is a better way resulting in eternal hope. Go forward in this new, let go of the old. Perhaps you may consider reading the chapter for yourself to see what you might find in it. And hey, if you find something to share, please share it! Leave a comment.

In this chapter the author urges them to stop going over basics again and again. How many times do you build a foundation for a building?  

Read vs 1 from the NLT :
"So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God."

And the paraphrase in the Message:
"So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God;"

The foundation has been laid. Jesus Christ died ONCE for all and ALL who turn to Him receive forgiveness of sin, elimination of the verdict on their sin, no judgment due for their sin, undeserved entrance into the Family of God, 'as a Child of God and if a child, an heir; joint heir with Christ.' (Matthew 26:28; Luke 1:77; Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:26Romans 8:15-17

Remember a 'changed destiny' from a previous post.  

We are not defeated by sin because Christ is the victor. By His sacrifice and resurrection He overcame sin for us.  We are no longer bound to the consequence of sin  which is God's judgment of it.
In light of this foundation, this knowledge - live in the victory of this changed destiny and build on the foundation of faith established when first you believed. Go on to higher learning. Grow your faith and OWN IT. No matter what life throws your way.

No, you are not going to live a perfect life in this body.

But, don't turn back to the old ways!

When you do make a mistake, when you lash out in anger rather than patience, when you do not respond with compassion but indifference, when tact eludes you and your words cut deep, when you choose a lie over honesty, or indiscretion over discretion - you are covered. Confess it and accept the forgiveness already given through Christ. Learn from the error and go forward strengthened to not let it control you in the future. 

But, don't nail Christ to the cross over and over again. Once was enough! His sacrifice was eternal. And as the eternal High priest interceding on your behalf - ALWAYS, eternally - forgiveness is yours-every time for everything. Own it. No matter that you may not feel it.

And no, it isn't a license TO sin; forgiveness is FREEDOM from the power of sin. 
Through Christ there is now the ability to control it, rather than it controlling you. 

Read this paraphrase of vs. 4-6 in chapter 6 from The Smart Guide to the Bible,  pg 294.

"What would you want to do? View your failure as a falling away of God, so access is now lost? How then would you ever be restored - you who have been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, shared in the Holy Spirit and known the flow of resurrection power? Do you want to crucify Jesus all over again and through a new sacrifice be brought back to repentance? How impossible? What disgrace, this hint that Jesus' work for you was not enough."

It was enough! We have the resurrected Savior in Heaven representing us as our High Priest!

Jesus is The Only One - to mediate between men and God. Own it.

And another therefore in 6:18: 
"Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek."

Go forward, exercise this faith in Christ, build your life upon this hope, and grow into a mature spiritual adult. Own it. No matter what society may say.

Jesus is the only one to trust as the anchor for your soul. 
Eternal Security - JESUS. 

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