About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
The Certainty Of God’s Promise
verse 13 we see that God made a promise to Abraham to give him many
descendents. There is no one
greater than God to swear by, so God swore by Himself.
When God makes a promise, whether a positive one or a negative one,
He keeps it. Abraham patiently
waited, and the beginning of the promise came true with the birth of his
should understand that the word "descendents" here is
specifically speaking of Israel, not what some call "spiritual Israel" who they also call the church.
I won't get into the discussion here because I've done it
elsewhere, but God promised Abraham's descendents certain things, and his
descendents are clearly Israel. At the same time, God
promised Abraham's offspring, who Paul says is Jesus in Galatians 3:16,
certain things as well. Both
writer goes on to speak about human oaths, or covenants. When
man makes oaths with one another they appeal to someone that is greater
than them to stop all arguments about the oath.
This is why we swear on the Bible in a court room.
13 is important. If you read
Genesis 15, the chapter where God confirmed what He promised Abraham in a
covenant ceremony, you will notice that God put Abraham to sleep.
This is significant because this tells us that God did not
covenant, or agree, with Abraham. This
covenant, known as the Abrahamic Covenant was not a covenant between God
and Abraham. It was a covenant
between God and God. In other
words, God agreed with Himself to fulfill what He promised.
This was an unconditional promise, meaning, Abraham, nor his
descendents. have anything to do with the fulfillment of the promises.
God, and God alone, will bring about what was promised, despite the
failures of Israel. He will do this for His name
sake, not Israel's name sake (Ezekiel 36:22).
14 tells us specifically that the covenant that the author is speaking
about is the Abrahamic Covent when he speaks of God blessing Abraham with
15 tells us that Abraham waited patiently and did get to see his many
Abraham had many more descendents after he died.
Some might suggest that because of this verse God's promise of many
descendents has been fulfilled, but I think there are sufficient
Scriptural reasons why the fulfillment of this promise goes far beyond
16 repeats what I said a couple of paragraphs back.
In human terms, a covenant, or an oath, is confirmed by someone
greater than the parties making the covenant.
That is meant to end all arguments.
The covenant, as verse 17 states, was to confirm to Abraham's
descendents that God's promises will be realized.
the words "heirs" in verse 17.
God wanted Abraham's descendents, or heirs, to realize the
importance of the promises, and for this reason God covenanted with
Himself in a ceremonial blood covenant to confirm His promises to
subsequent generations of Jews.
17 also speaks to the "unchanging" nature of God's purposes.
God had a specific purpose in mind when He covenanted with Himself
to bless Abraham and his descendents.
The author says that this purpose is unchangeable.
God will not change His mind about what He promised Israel. The Apostle Paul said the
same thing in Romans 11:29 when he told his readers that concerning
18 says, “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it
is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope
offered to us may be greatly encouraged”.
What are the two unchangeable things that the writer talks about
here? Traditionally speaking,
the two unchangeable things that the oath is based on is God Himself in
two different aspects. First
God Himself gives the promise and that should be good enough for us. Second of all, He is the one who guarantees the promise.
He is both the Giver and the Guarantor of the promise.
It is all His idea, ands He will carry it through to its
completion. He is not
depending on us to carry out His unchangeable plan.
That is to say, at some point His plan will be finished whether you
or I participate or not.
commonly say that all things are possible with God, but that is not quite
true. Here in verse 18 it says
that God is not capable of telling a lie.
That is sure good for us. God
is not capable of falsehood. Therefore,
what He says will happen, will happen.
This should also confirm what I said earlier.
If God told Abraham that his descendents would become a great
nation possessing a certain portion of land in the
the word "fled" in verse 18.
The author says that "we who have fled to hold of the hope
offered." He is using the
guaranteed promises God spoke to Abraham as an example.
God will fulfill His promises to Abraham, so we should be convinced
that He will fulfill other promises as well, example, the promise of New
Testament salvation. The word "fled" in this context suggest an
eagerness to run and jump into the promises of God.
word "fled" tells us something about the way the first
generation Christians thought. When
speaking about repenting, this is important.
The first generation Christians did not simply think in terms of
getting saved and going to heaven. Part
of the salvation process was being rescued from both our sin and the world
in which they live. Repentance,
therefore, involves a fleeing from our own ways.
You can picture people running fast out of a house inflamed with
fire. This is how the New
Testament writers view repentance. They
were fleeing from their old lifestyle.
They felt that they were being rescued from the world and their
should be great hope in us that God’s ultimate plan will be reached.
Verse 19 says that "We have this hope as an anchor for our
soul, firm and secure." It
is vital to feel this way in the depth of our hearts.
In all we believe, and hold true as Christians, we need to hold
strong and deep convictions. We
cannot be wishy washy. We
cannot be tossed to and for in our thinking.
We must be convinced of our hope in the truth.
19 and 20 speak of Jesus going behind the curtain and acting as high
priest on our behalf. This
reference to the curtain is in relation to the heavenly temple that the
Old Testament temple was a shadowy copy of.
In order to get to the most holy place where the presence of God
was, you had to go behind a curtain. Not
everyone could do this, only the high priest, and only once a year, but,
we know that at the resurrection of Jesus that curtain was ripped open.
Now in one real sense of the word, Jesus is has entered beyond the
curtain in the heavenly temple to represent us to God.
He is our lawyer, acting on our behalf as satan attempts to
discredit us before God. Once
again, Jesus is forever our high priest.
Now and forever through eternity, the only way in which we will be
able to come before the Living God is to have Jesus come with us.