The Power of Grace Ministries

October 17

The natural world is full of cause and effect; but Christians should have a supernatural confidence of better things that accompany salvation. 

Hebrews 6:7-9,
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.9 But, beloved, we are confident of better 

We must remember several things when we read the bible. For starters most people reading the bible will stumble unknowingly over the paragraph, verse, topic, and chapter breaks that are typical in today’s bibles. Secondly it was written in ancient dead languages with sentence structure different from English.  Third, with as much attention and prayer as the original translators used, our understanding of the Hebrew and Greek languages along with our computers gives us a better capability to discern a fuller. Finally to relate back to my first statement the bible was never written originally as we read it today with verse, chapters, and the topic breaks.  These were added to help the modern day reader find verse and topic references easily. Even the chapter breaks were added during translation. 

What does this mean? On several occasions if we read the bible and stop at the current designated verses and other breaks we can miss the full meaning or get a wrong understanding all together. Most bible translations today have such a break between verse 8 & 9. And this leads the reader to just view 7 & 8 as a topic and fail to include 9. If you just read 7& 8 together without 9 as the clarifier a reader will typically view 7 & 8's meaning along the lines that God gives everyone the same opportunity to produce good fruit and those that produce bad fruit will be removed and burned. Christians will further misunderstand these two verses with the sin/no sin or good work/bad work mentality of being a Christian and begin seeing faults in their lives, as well as others.  Re read 7 & 8 by themselves and see if that is not what you would basically be left to believe or possible have believed before reading this study? It is true that God does give everyone the same opportunity to turn to Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and those that do not will one day be condemned for not believing on Jesus; we read that truth in John 3:16-18.

The main problem with this thought pattern typical of verses 7 & 8 is it does not line up with the full message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ places all of our requirements to become God's child, and receive the promised blessings as the child of the King, on Jesus' perfect work on the cross.  The gospel takes those requirements out of man's hand. Why, because man cannot fulfill all of the requirements and maintain them without failure. If you are found guilty in one part of the Law you are guilty of all the Law (James 2:10). Therefore, as readers if we see bible verses that are seemingly pointing us back to something other than the true gospel of Christ, than there must be something missing. The missing piece is man's original misunderstanding of how the Greek sentence structure was. The original translators did not have the power of the computer that we have today to be able to view a verse in Greek with individual word definitions nor did they have the understanding of foreign sentence structure as precisely as today’s linguists have provided. 

Now with all this said re read verse 7-9 as I have grouped them and see if you begin to understand the true meaning? The writer of Hebrews is showing his readers how God has set things up on earth in the natural way of life, but His children can be assured of a better way under our salvation through the blood of Christ. God sends the rain and good soil produces good fruit; bad soil produces bad fruit for those who work the soil. This is a true statement in the natural for man, but the writer wrote to Jewish Christians, not natural man. Also remember that these Jewish Christians were becoming weary at not seeing Christ's return as soon as they believed and were turning back under the law. The writer of Hebrews is trying to stir up their faith. Like the Jewish Christians of Hebrews, we too can get caught up in such a hope for Jesus' return or waiting for our arrival in heaven so we can have a joyful life, that we often forget that we have been given the ability to live in the blessings of God while still here on earth. We no longer have a fearful expectation of rejection if we stumble, because the love of God that draws people to repentance is the same love that gave us His only Son to pay the price for ALL man's sins, past, present, and future. The stronger we understand this love toward us from God and the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross for us, the stronger we become spiritually to overcome the temptations that cause the carnal main to stumble.  

Remember that the bible must stay in context. Verses 4-6 paint the picture of the progressive 5 criteria a Christian must have achieved; and if then they reject Christ there is no other repentance. Verses 7-9 come right after and shore up the protection from being condemned if we stumble because we are God's children and live under the New Covenant paid for by the blood of Jesus on the cross. We do not live under the Law of Moses, we live under grace which is immeasurably more powerful in the life of a Christian than we will ever understand while here on earth.