Paul’s letter to the Hebrews is actually a series of small sermons within a sermon. To use the words of the writer himself, it is ‘an exhortation.’ Paul seems to be trying to keep alive a fire that is flickering out. He used many literary devices and methods of communication to do this, including many metaphors relating to athletics, agriculture, education, architecture, seafaring, courts of law and more. This letter was probably written in the third century, but this timeline is still being debated by biblical students, so we cannot be certain.
The sixth chapter, from which today’s verse comes, is a stern warning, but with hope. The pattern occurs again as a stern warning followed by words of encouragement and hope. Paul wants to reader to hear the words about the impossibility of restoring certain persons to a second repentance as part of the larger message of pastoral encouragement.
Today’s verse speaks of better things. Two factors have persuaded Paul of better things from the congregation. One is the justice or faithfulness of God. The other factor is that God’s investment in them has borne fruit in their love and service in God’s name toward their fellow believers.
We, too, have been given the possibility of bearing the same fruit that Paul spoke of to the Hebrews so long ago. We are each able to love God and let him see how our works have helped the people. Our churches do this through missions of many kinds: ministering to the homeless, the addicted, the alcoholics, the children, the sick, the dying, the hungry, and even those far away in other parts of the world. We can each do it within our own families, our own circle of friends, and our own churches and communities. We can set a goal each day by asking ourselves: What can I do to help someone today? The answer may be very easy or very difficult, but God will always give us the guidance to find it, the strength to complete it, and the joy of accomplishing it to the glory of his name.
You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
- Evangelical Examiner, Jake Jones
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- Atlanta Bible Study Examiner, Donna Sundblad
- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
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