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Tonight is our last time. I'd like to study Heb. Ch. 6 with you. The whole Bible comprises 1189 chapters, and its truth is comprehended in this chapter for our study. I love most of all to read this chapter.
Vs 1 "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God". We have discussed during the last few days "Rebirth", "Holiness", etc. These are basic Christian doctrines, and first steps of faith. Do not be satisfied merely with these beginnings, for then we will not progress. Let us proceed from the principles of the doctrine of Christ and go on unto perfection. That is with life let us seeking growth in life. Without life, we die midway --- no hope of progress. If we have life, we must grow. Grow unto perfection. A child who cannot grow is a sorrow to its mother. Christians who cannot grow must be sick, a sorrow to our loving Lord. Today we have Christians who do not progress but rather regress. So you must double up to go on unto perfection. What we've spoken on these several days were rudiments, consisting of six steps: The first step is repentance from former dead works. The second is trusting in God's love, we trust Him and confess our sins and are washed by Christ's precious blood.
Vs 2 "Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment." The third step, baptism, is a good foundation. In the Church we have immersion, sprinkling, as it pleases you. The fourth is laying on of hands, which is spiritual baptism. The fifth is resurrection. We believe we will rise from the dead and be caught up into the air. The sixth is judgment, after we have risen from the dead. After judgment, heaven or hell. In the Church today there are those who do not believe these six steps, who never seek progress. How about us?
Vs 3 "And this will we do, if God permit." God has promised to fulfill all the above. If our foundations are unsure then we have to start all over again. I have laid a good foundation in Foochow, in Swatow, by repeatedly speaking on the principles to make very sure so as to ensure against dangerous times. Let us now examine the evidences of rebirth.
Vs 4,5 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. These verses tell us how to determine between the truly born again and the falsely born again. In the truly born again there is the enlightenment. Before enlightenment there was no knowledge of sin, but when light came there came knowledge. Many comfort themselves to be without sin. When the "coffin" is opened, however, he knows there is sin. Secondly, he has tasted of the heavenly gift. Many after prayer and deep repentance find joy in the heart. This is the evidence. The third is partaking of the Holy Spirit, being under chastisement by the Holy Spirit. If one sins again one feels the sorrow, evidence of the chastisement. The fourth is appetite in hearing the Word. Before it was lugubrious, now it is joyous, to hear preaching, the more the better. The fifth is to understand the powers of the world to come. Knowing this world is vanity; heaven only is our home. When you come to this stage you see this world is vanity of vanities. We have these five evidences. We can enter heaven. These are our "five powers constitution". Do you have them? If you have, go on still to perfection. Don't backslide. Let's go on.
Vs 6-8 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drink in the rain that come oft upon it, and bring forth herbs meet for by whom it is dressed, receive blessing from God: But that which bear thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." This is most crucial doctrine. If a man falls away can he repent and be born again? For he has crucified the Savior afresh, putting Him to shame. Like a field not producing grain but rather thorns and thistles he is fit only for the fire. Some say those born again can be saved even when they practice sin. Don't listen to such rebellious doctrine. For those born again to practice sin is to be falsely born again. The truly born again dare not practice sin. This is eternal salvation. Know that this is a very important word: Satan often would tell you it is all right to practice sin after rebirth. Beware of Satan's word.
Vs 9 "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." The writer says, "Brothers, Beware! Be not afraid! Know that if the spirit is saved, the body is also saved." Now our spirit is saved. When the Lord comes the body being changed is also saved. And know also you are kept by the Holy Spirit.
Vs 10 "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister." The writer says, "Not that the Lord is unjust. Know that a person loves the Lord most at the moment he is born again. May you keep this fervent spirit.
We have a sure hope. Let us not go slow in love. Let us by faith hold on to the promises to the end. Our anchor of faith is cast up in heaven. The Lord is waiting for us there. We have a sure hope. Let us hold on to this hope. Let us go on unto perfection!