Jesus Is Better #9 -- Jesus Is Our Best Anchor -- Hebrews 6:13-20

  • Theme: Believers should hold fast to God's promise regarding their future, and that hope regarding tomorrow should anchor their lives today.

1. God Made A Promise (13-14)

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.”

  • 13 Abraham: An introduction (or re-introduction) is in order.
    • Hebrews mentions Abraham ten times.
  • 13 God made a promise to Abraham: What did God promise Abraham?
    • The promise:
      • Initial promise: Genesis 12:2–3 (ESV) — 3 "...in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
      • After years of childlessness: Genesis 15:5–6 (ESV) — His offspring would be like the stars, and Abraham believed this promise.
      • But Hebrews 6:14 used this quote from when Isaac was a grown man: Genesis 22:17–18 (ESV) — 17 "I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
    • What is the promise? That God would bless and multiply Abraham, leading to the blessing of the nations.
      • If true, and if evil and Satanic powers exist, one would expect to find history riddled with division over Abraham and his offspring.
        • Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
          • Some might conclude that Abraham's presence, and the promise made to him, has actually led to the cursing, rather than blessing, of the earth.
          • But we know better.
      • The promise of Abraham is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
        • Galatians 3:8 (ESV) — 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
        • Galatians 3:16 (ESV) — 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
      • The promise of Abraham is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ's Kingdom.
        • Daniel 2:44 (ESV) — 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever...
        • Revelation 11:15 (ESV) — 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
    • But you might wonder, What does this have to do with me? Tons.
      • Much of your angst regarding the state of this world is caused by tensions Christ will eliminate.
      • More than that -- everything that is wrong, Christ is going to make right.

2. God's Promise Is Worth Waiting For (15)

15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.

  • 15 Patiently waited: Patiently wait!

  • 15 Abraham, having patiently waited: How did Abraham patiently wait?

    • 1 -- With faith: Genesis 15:6 (ESV) — 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
      • 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) — 7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
    • 2 -- With lapses: Egypt, Hagar, Ishmael.
    • 3 -- For a long time:
      • Isaac was born 25-years after the promise was given (Genesis 12:4, 21:5).
      • Grandchildren did not come for another 62-years (Genesis 25:26), only 15-years before Abraham's death (25:7).
    • 4 -- While others prospered:
      • Genesis 22:20–24 (ESV) — 20 Now after these things it was told to Abraham, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, 22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. 24 Moreover, his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
        • Twelve sons for Abraham's brother, Nahor!

3. God's Promise Is Guaranteed (16-17)

16 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 [That's us!] the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath...

  • 16 Something greater / An oath is final for confirmation:
    • Contracts, witnesses, courts -- a higher authority the society agrees to submit to.
    • But what can God do? There is no higher authority!
  • 17 God guaranteed his promise with an oath: He did guarantee his promise to Abraham, but this passage is about God's promise to Christians.
    • How did he guarantee his promise to us?
      • 1 -- The Bible
        • Matthew 5:18 (NIV) — 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
      • 2 -- The Spirit
        • 2 Corinthians 1:22 (NIV) — 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
        • 2 Corinthians 5:5 (NIV) — 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
        • Ephesians 1:14 (NIV) — 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

4. We Should Hold Fast To God's Promise (18)

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.

18 By two unchangeable things:

  • Unchangeable Thing #1 -- God's Oath
  • Unchangeable Thing #2 -- God's Nature

    • 18 It is impossible for God to lie, and he made us a promise.
      • It was not a conditional promise, but based on God's nature.
      • The promise was not based on Abraham's obedience, nor even his faith.
      • John 14:2–3 (NIV) — 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • 18 We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us:

    • We have fled for refuge.
      • Hebrews' audience: familiar with Old Testament cities of refuge.
        • Six cities within Israel for the innocent manslayer to flee (Numbers 35:9-15).
        • They foreshadowed Christ:
          • The city was open to all.
          • The manslayer had to live in the city.
          • There was no alternative, no other form of protection.
        • They contrast with Christ: they were for the innocent, but he is for the guilty.
          • Gospel!
    • We have fled for refuge, and we should have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
      • Life is discouraging, so strong encouragement to push forward.
        • That hope of Christ and his kingdom, the promise to Abraham, is ours!
        • Through trials, sickness, arguments, temptations, weakness, and despair, we are to hold fast to the hope Christ set before us.

5. God's Promise Should Anchor Our Lives Today (19-20)

19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

  • 20 Having become high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek: Brilliant.

  • 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul / forerunner / forever: God's promise, first to Abraham, and now to us, should anchor our lives today.

    • Anchor:a figure of hope in the ancient world.
      • Needed for stormy seas.
        • Divorce, trauma, ministry.
      • Only helpful when unseen.
        • The ascended Christ.
      • Keeps one from drifting.
        • It's not the toughness or willpower of the boat, but the weight of the anchor, that keeps the boat from drifting.
      • Our anchor, rather than going down, goes up (into the inner place behind the curtain).

Close

  • Abraham had a promise -- and it took a long time to see it through to fulfillment. He could have feared, but he hope.