Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 49
Hebrews 6:4-10 – Part 2
Alright, Hebrews chapter 6 and we’ll just pick up now in verse 8:
” But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected,…” Briers and thorns and thistles and they are good for nothing but to be cast to the fire. Then verse 9, we get yet another “B-u-t” another flipside back. But Paul says to these people, “You’re not in that thorn and thistle category.”
“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation,…” Notice how Paul calls them “beloved.” That’s the secret. He wouldn’t call them beloved if they weren’t believers. And so he says, “But beloved, we are persuaded.” That word persuaded is probably a little stronger than our English and he was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt. He said, “We are persuaded better things of you.” Well, better than what? Better than thorns and thistles. We’re to have considered “better things of you and things that accompany salvation.”
What is the number one theme of all of Scripture? Salvation. The whole reason for the Word of God is to bring lost mankind to a knowledge of salvation. Because, after all, three score and ten is the allotted time, 70 years. If we go beyond that, that’s just by God’s good grace.
So let’s stretch it and say we could live 90 years. That’s a long time, but compared to eternity, what is 90 years? Not even a blink of the eyelash. Mankind can’t get it through their heads that 90 years is nothing to be compared with eternity. And to have 90 years of the good things in this life and push God out and then lose it all for eternity. I can’t comprehend it. But yet, that’s the way it’s always been. The vast majority have spurned God. They’ve spurned His salvation.
But, now Paul is admonishing these people – that he understands that they do have salvation and the things that accompany it. Now it comes right back to what I’ve said so often. Salvation is not just a “fire escape.” Salvation is not just a matter of escaping eternal doom, but rather salvation is that which precipitates a life of spiritual production here on earth, and that’s what we’re here for.
Now that doesn’t mean you all have to be preachers or evangelists or missionaries but it simply means that God expects every believer to be fruitful. Let’s go back to Romans chapter 1 verse 16 and pick this whole thing up of salvation. Here’s where I have one of my controversies with some of these new translations. They have taken out the word “salvation,” in this verse, which is probably the most critical word in all of Scripture, and they’ve put something else in it. I think most of you know this verse, where Paul writes:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto (what?) salvation…” Salvation! Eternal life! The hope of glory to come! But, that which makes it possible for us to live a godly life in the here and now in this Church Age.
“…to everyone that believeth;…” Now, skip over to chapter 3, and we’re going to use some verses associated with this one crucial word – salvation. Verse 23, which I always call the very first step of faith to salvation and that is, we have to recognize that we’re sinners. That we have fallen short of the glory of God.
“For all (Jew and Gentile, Black and White, rich and poor) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Why? Because we’re sons of Adam. We have inherited a sin nature. Now verse 24,
“Being justified…” What’s justification? It’s a result of salvation. When we enter into God’s great salvation, He justifies us, see?
“Being justified freely by his grace (not by works) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
It’s been a long time since we taught Romans. Maybe we should stop a second. What is the whole idea of redemption? Paying the price to gain something back that was lost. In other words, if you’ve got a big beautiful diamond ring and you get in financial straits you can go to the pawn shop and you can get a few bucks for that diamond ring. Put it in hock. But you cannot get it back until you do what? Redeem it. You pay the price to once again gain control of that which was pawned.
Well, you see, that’s exactly what happened when Adam sinned. He “pawned” the human race to Satan. And the whole idea of the coming Tribulation is when God will finally pay off that debt that Satan is holding over the planet. And He’s going to pay it off with all of the wrath and vexation of that. But for mankind, He paid the price of redemption with His death on the Cross. Every sin was paid for. It has been made possible for every human being to come out of that slave market. The price of redemption was paid and we experience it only by virtue of our salvation experience.
Again, the other offshoot word of “salvation” in Scripture is “saved.” Paul uses it over and over, by which you are saved. By which you experience salvation. Alright, so we have two great words right here in one verse. We are “justified freely through the redemption (or the process of paying the price) which is in Christ Jesus.” Then verse 25:
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood….” The price of redemption. Now Peter said, “You’ve not been redeemed with silver and gold but with what? With the precious blood of Christ.” That was the price of redemption. And to think that most of Christendom has thrown the blood out the back door. They’ll never mention it. They don’t preach it, and it’s disappeared from my hymnals. Horrors! It is the very basis of our salvation and we dare not walk it under foot because it’s by virtue of our faith in that shed blood which is the price of redemption. That He could buy us back from having been hocked to Satan when Adam fell. Now verse 26:
“To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness: that he (God in Christ) might be just,….” Now what does it mean to be just? Fair! With no room for controversy and so God is just in doing what? Justifying the person who believes. Oh I love these verses! How it just screams against a works religion. We’re redeemed by placing our faith in that shed blood of Christ. We are justified when we believe the Gospel, that Christ died, was buried and rose again. And God is perfectly just in declaring us as justified. He’s Sovereign. He can do that.
Now that’s a concept that’s beyond my understanding. How can he take this sinner, born of Adam, and by my simple faith in what He has done there at Calvary, declare me “just as if I have never sinned. That’s justification.” That doesn’t mean I won’t sin. Don’t ever think that. Ask my wife! But, so far as God is concerned, I’m ‘just as if I have never sinned.’ That’s what justification does for us.
And we’re to live with that concept. Listen, if you go through life knowing that God has declared you as bought out of a slave market, justified from all things – doesn’t that give you incentive to do your part? Not for salvation, but as a result of it. Sure it should. And it should behoove every believer to do everything we can as Paul instructs in his epistles to “flee the things of the flesh and to avoid every appearance of evil.”
Now I’m going to Romans chapter 7 and the whole idea is that as a result of our salvation, God has now redeemed us, justified us. He has given us the indwelling Holy Spirit. He has placed us into the Body of Christ. He has declared that we are now children of God and on and on I could go, with all the things that came in the moment we were saved as a result of our salvation, by simply believing Paul’s Gospel.
But, that’s not just for a fire escape. We are to be productive. We are to do all we can to win others. Now I remember way back, in some of our early programs, I used an example out of Time Magazine. It was a little box on the bottom of the page and they had interviewed a young Communist worker in Moscow. And I shared it on the program, how that young man said that as soon as he got off work, say at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, he couldn’t wait to get down to Communist Headquarters to work for the Party. And he would work for the Communist Party until 10 or 11 o’clock at night, for the sole purpose of promoting Communism.
I said at the time, would that some believers have that kind of motivation. But most Christians are just content to sit and let the rest of the world go by. We should be motivated to get out there and do something that will bring somebody to Christ. See? Alright the other one is, right now today. Who are the militants? The Muslim world. And what do they really want? World dominion. And what are they going to do to get it? Work day and night. And we sit on our duff and do nothing. But that’s not what God intended. God intends us to be productive.
“Wherefore, my brethren, (Paul writes) ye also are become dead to the law…” We’re not under Law. See that’s the same thing he’s trying to tell these Hebrews. Get away from the legalism. Get out from under Judaism and step out into this which is so much better. And so he says:
“Wherefore, my brethren ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; (In other words, by virtue of His crucifixion) that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, (now this of course, is just a scriptural use of words to prove a point, that we are now united with Christ. Just like a man married, and for what purpose)that we should bring forth fruit.” You should have an impact on people around you to the place that you can bring in some lost souls. Now, I believe most believers go all the way to their grave never having led one person to Christ. Even their own children, they have never brought them to a knowledge of salvation. And if every believer would just win one, my what a difference we could make! But we don’t do it.
I remember in my younger days, hearing people say, “Well, that’s the preacher’s job. That’s the Sunday School teacher’s job.” Well, yes but it’s yours also, and it’s mine. And I always say, that doesn’t mean you collar people and force these things down their throat. It simply means that you’re skilled enough in the Scriptures that when someone asks a question – take them to The Book! If nothing else have a few notes in the back of your Bible That will help you to show them some Scriptures. How that it is by faith in that work of the Cross plus nothing!
I know people hate to hear that! I had a gentleman call again the other day and say, “Les why do people think they have to DO something?” Well it’s that old Adamic nature, see? And so to overcome that takes a lot a patience. I had another gentleman call and say, “You know, I can’t understand it, since I’ve been saved through your program,” he says, “I’ve gone back to the church where I was raised and I present these things.” And he said, “I’ve asked some of my fellow church people, do you know what the Gospel is? And you know what? They look at me and they don’t have a clue. They don’t know what the Gospel is.”
Another gentleman said, “You know what most people in my church answered when I asked them, “What’s the Gospel?” They said, “The Bible.” “Well,” he said, “The Bible’s got the Gospel in it, but that’s not the Gospel.” But see, this is where Christendom is tonight. They are so pitifully ignorant that most church people cannot tell you what Paul’s Gospel is, and how you gain salvation. They simply don’t have a clue.
Well, that’s where you and I come in. We’ve got to let them know that it’s not a whole bunch of do’s and don’ts. It’s not getting so holy that you’re just sort of an oddball. No way. The Christian life as I’ve said over and over on this program, is the most practical thing on earth. There is nothing more practical that a solid Christian life. You’ll never find a good, true believing Christian caught up in the throws of court proceedings and crime. That’s not their lifestyle. Now, we can all fail. My, we can all make a mistake, but it is not the Christian’s lifestyle to be constantly on the police blotter. And so, this is what the Scripture tells us, that now we’re to consider ourselves just like a woman that is married to her husband. We are in union with Christ and the purpose is that we are to produce fruit. We’re to get busy. And we’d better or the Muslim world will overtake us. And then, we’ll wish we would have.
Now let’s go to Ephesians chapter 2 verse 4. Remember this is all jumping off from that word salvation in Hebrews chapter 6 as Paul was agreeing that the believing element of these Hebrews had salvation. So he wasn’t condemning them for being apostate but it was the people who were a part and parcel of their congregation who were and had been.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5. Even when we were dead in sins, (the offspring of Adam) hath quickened (or made us alive spiritually)us together with Christ, ( by grace are you saved”) 6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” God always has a purpose in everything He does, and here is another one, in the next verse.
“That in the ages to come (eternity) he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (and here comes that classic verse that every believer should know) 8. For by grace are you saved (unmerited favor that we don’t deserve) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Is there anything added there? No. There’s nothing in there of baptism, or of tongues. There’s nothing in there of good works, because the only way we’re saved is by faith plus nothing! Now I always have to qualify that. That doesn’t mean that we can say, “Oh I’m saved”, and then go on our way. That’s not what I’m teaching. We’re saved for the purpose of producing fruit, and that’s not “easy believeism.” It’s not easy to get out there and produce fruit. You’ve heard me use it over and over and I’ll use it again. If you’re paddling a canoe up a river, upstream, how much of the time can you take the paddle out of the water? Never! Because the moment you do, back down the river you go.
And it’s a constant exercise of energy to keep moving on in the Christian experience. So don’t ever let anyone accuse me of an easy believeism. All I say is it is so simple because God has done all that needs to be done and all we have to do is believe it. But, recognize that God’s going to move in and make us a new creation, so that we can bear fruit.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (and you don’t work for a gift) 9. Not of works, (because if it was works then) any man should boast. (now we follow-up after salvation) 10. For we are his workmanship, (We are something now that God is working to form us and to prepare us for our service.) created in Christ Jesus unto good works, (Not for salvation I think that’s evident, but as a result of it.) which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Alright now, I’m going to take verses 11, 12 and 13 because again, too many people don’t know these are in their Bible. Look what they say:
“Wherefore remember, (he’s writing to Gentiles. He’s writing to you and I.) that ye being in times past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision…” Which remember was a derogatory term that the Jews used concerning Gentiles. And usually they made it a little more derogatory by adding the word dogs. Gentiles were uncircumcised dogs in the Jewish vernacular and so Paul is alluding to that same thing. That that’s what the circumcision in the flesh called Gentiles. Now verse 12.
“That at that time (while God was dealing with Israel back there in that Old Testament economy and during Christ’s earthly ministry and yes, even these Hebrews to whom Paul is addressing in the letter) ye (Gentiles) were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel (we weren’t citizens of Israel. We’re not Jews. We were uncircumcised Gentiles)and strangers from the covenants of promise, (consequently where were the Gentiles before the Age of Grace?) having no hope, and without God in the world.” But verse 13, This is the flipside – we’re no longer in that time, we are now in this Age of Grace,
“But now in Christ ye who sometimes were far off (we Gentiles) are now made nigh (not through the Mosaic Law. Not through Judaism. Not through legalism. But through what?) by the blood of Christ.” Through the blood of Christ. And remember what the Book of Romans said concerning the blood of Christ? “Put your faith in it, and believe it with all your heart.” God has said that the blood of Christ has paid your sin debt. Alright, Hebrews chapter 6 verse 9 again,
“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, through we thus speak. 10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
So these people Paul is commending because they were true believers.