Since He became perfected, He also became author of our eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Since this is hard to understand, many fall into the trap of combining works and faith in effort to fill in any gaps. However, there are no gaps in our salvation!
Hebrews 5:7-14 “7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
We know that in the garden the night before His crucifixion, Jesus offered up prayers with tears, and even sweat drops of blood. One thing He prayed for was God to deliver Him from the shame of the cross, this was a prayer from His natural man because He knew what was before Him and that at some point, because He would have every sin placed on Him, that God would have to turn His head from Him. There is nothing more devastating than to be absent from God and Jesus knew this and even spoke of it six times in Matthew and one recorded in Luke. Even though He prayed for deliverance from the shame of the cross He also, from deep in His spirit, prayed for God’s will to be done. This was the prayer that was heard by God. As a father I can only imagine the grief of the Father knowing what His Son was about to go through in the natural, But both knew it was the love of God for us, that Jesus was willing to be our sacrifice. Are we even willing to do what is right in our own lives to the point of our own hurt, most of the time no? We think we have that inner strength, but the first time we face ridicule for our walk with Christ we recoil and seldom overcome that emotion.
Verse 8 & 9 are a repeat of verse 2:10 and I have written in depth on this topic (see lesson 8). Jesus was already perfect Himself, and it was not as a result of His personal suffering that perfected Him. It was the perfection of our salvation that was made evident through His sufferings that perfected us in the sight of God. Jesus suffered so that we do not have to.
We were previously told in Hebrews 3:1 to consider Jesus the Apostle and High Priest according to our profession and then goes on from 3:1 through 4:16 comparing Jesus Apostleship to Moses. The writer of Hebrews now has hit them with a truth that they will have a very difficult time accepting in that now Jesus is compared to the order of Melchizedek. When we go into Hebrews chapter 6 we will read the truths which should bring them into maturity, but before the writer points out their turn from spiritual understanding back into carnal thinking.
Anytime a Christian, having accepted Jesus as Lord and savior by faith; if they grow into a spiritual understanding of their salvation only to fall back into works of repentance and acts of religion as a means to maintain their salvation, that person has reverted back into becoming a spiritual babe in Christ. This person has reverted to carnal thinking which is not any different than the reasoning of an unsaved natural man even though their spirit is born again. The problem with remaining in this state of mind is the potential of hardening your heart to the grace of God and becoming a modern day Pharisee living a life of works. Righteousness is actually being in right standing with God. The only way we can ever be in right standing with God is through our faith in believing in Christ Jesus as our Lord and savior. Jesus warned His disciples of the leaven of the Pharisee’s, that even a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Even a little legalism or works will negate the truth of the blood of Christ. When a person believes their actions, mixed with the blood of Jesus is what is necessary to maintain their righteousness with God, they are actually contaminating the perfect blood of Jesus. Consequently when a pastor preaches the gospel of grace and then adds in an action, or rule, of specific things to do to become righteous, they have single handedly leavened their entire sermon and the sermon has become fruitless. Even a little legalism contaminates the whole message.
The KJV uses the word meat for strong food in verse 14 indicating the difference between a baby that cannot chew meat and the mature person that can. We are called to exercise our senses. Our natural senses can be a blessing to us and useful in our natural lives providing we have exercised them to maturity where we are in control of them and not the other way around. An athlete does not wait until the day of completion to prepare, but prepares long before the competition. When we do not exercise the truth of the word of God to line up with the grace of God, we end up allowing our senses and emotions to dictate to us. This leaves sickness and sin to have a stronger foot hold in our lives than it should. The moment we begin to focus on the problem instead of the solution, which is Jesus and Him crucified, we become carnal instead of spiritual beings and we are actually pulling ourselves away from His righteousness. The moment we begin to focus on sin, which is nothing more than the bad fruit of a person, instead of focusing on our new root which is Jesus Christ, we have fallen back into carnal or natural thinking. Remember what Paul said about our carnal mind in Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be”.
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