After a sermon on the second half of Hebrews 6 (not the controversial part, if you’re wondering), I started noticing things in the text I hadn’t before. I began just by writing out the verses, then noting the connections in red ink.
Here’s what the scrawl above is trying to note:
God’s purpose is unchangeable because it is His purpose. Nothing has to be done to it to make it unchangeable, but He can do something to show us that it is.
This demonstration is for “the heirs of the promise,” that is, the promise to Abraham (v.13). Galatians 3 tells us that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham, so this demonstration is for us, too.
God’s proof to us of His unchangeable purpose is twofold: one, He Himself cannot change (which is sufficient proof in itself); and two, He then swore an oath by Himself. These two things are by definition as permanent, sure, solid, and immovable as you can get, and here’s why. First, God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Second, He cannot speak anything but the truth (because He is Truth; it’s His very nature).
God offers the heirs of the promise––us––this proof of His rock-solid purpose for this reason: so that “we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us” (6:18 CSB).
God wants those who have take refuge in Jesus (Psalm 2:12) to have no fear that their refuge will fail or that they will someday be evicted from it. This proof is to give them hope to grab hold onto.
What then is this hope?
It is our “anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (6:19 CSB), just like God’s purpose. This hope “enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain”––that is, the Holy of Holies.
What does that? Better asked, who does that?
The very next word tells us: Jesus. “Jesus has entered there [i.e., the inner sanctuary behind the curtain] on our behalf as a forerunner” (6:20 CSB).
Jesus is our hope.Jesus is the proof of God’s unchangeable purpose “for us men and our salvation.”
Jesus is the forerunner into the Holy of Holies, meaning He’s leading us there. The Holy of Holies is the earthly, geographic representation of God’s immediate presence. Our hope––Jesus––takes us there. Takes us to Himself. And He is a better high priest than Aaron (or anyone in Aaron’s line) ever was: He is a “high priest forever” (6:20 CSB).
Our hope then, is that God’s purposes are only as good and certain as Jesus is. As it goes with Jesus, so it goes with us.
The original audience was Jewish Christians who were tempted to forsake Christianity and return to Judaism to avoid the severe persecution they were facing. The Preacher of Hebrews is telling them, “The promise made to Father Abraham is God’s unchangeable purpose, and that purpose is inseparable from Jesus of Nazareth. Don’t leave Him; there’s no hope to hold onto apart from Him.”