4-5: This Matter of “The Doctrine of Christ” with the Underlying Principles is a Matter of Christian Living in Order to Exercise between Good and Evil.
Once again B.H. Carroll writes in some of his comments on Hebrews 5:11-14.
“The phrase ‘by reason of use’ is illustrated by the senses, or faculties, or muscles which increase in power by use, or go into bankruptcy by disuse. Certain Chinese families, training the sense of touch for generations, can tell colors of cloth fabrics in the dark by feeling. It is said also that certain Japanese dentists, by long training of the muscles of thumb and forefinger, extract teeth, using the hand alone as forcepts. Again, the prophet, referring to the second nature of long continued evil habits, says ‘As the Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor a leopard his spots so one accustomed to do evil cannot learn to do well.’”
With this in mind, let us scan back through the chapters of Hebrews, first the ones before Hebrews 6:1-3 and then the ones after, looking for the underlying principles of the Doctrine of Christ. In other words looking for (1) repentance from dead works, (2) faith toward God, (3) doctrines of baptisms, (4) doctrines on the laying on of hands, (5) resurrection of the dead, and (6) eternal judgment.
1. Judgment, Hebrews 1:7.
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7)
With this quote from Psalm 104:4 we see the angels executing the will of God with the swiftness of the wind and the strength of the fire.
2. Judgment, Hebrews 1:10,11.
“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Hebrews 1:10-12)
Here is another foundation, but one that is going to pass away. The earth and the heavens, make through Christ as the mediator, will pass away. He will remain. The works of Creation will get old like a garment, and the Lord Jesus Christ will fold them up.
3. Judgement, Hebrews 1:13.
“But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Hebrews 1:13) We are reminded of what Paul wrote later in Philippians of how every knee would bow at the end time and in the judgment and every tongue confess to the glory of God that Jesus is Christ.
4. Judgement, Hebrews 2:3.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…” since “every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward…” (Hebrews 2:3,2)
Surely we have to see a just recompence of reward on (1) every transgression and (2) disobedience as judgment.
5. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 2:5.
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, wherof we speak.” (Hebrews 2:5)
The world to come and subjection tells of judgment and eternal judgment!
6. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 2:8.
“But now we see not yet all things put under him (Christ).” (Hebrews 2:8)
7. Resurrection from the dead, Hebrews 2:14,15.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14,15)
Jesus in His own resurrection from the dead showed that it was possible to overcome death; Jesus destroyed the power of death–the actuality and the fear; and Jesus made possible the resurrection from the dead of all believers.
8. Repentance from dead works, Hebrews 3:7,8.
“Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness…” (Hebrews 3:7,8)
It is the negative side of repentance in talking of a hardening of the heart, but the appeal is to hear his voice and that would be repentance or a change of attitude toward God. 9. Judgment, Hebrews 3:11.
“So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.” (Hebrews 3:11)
Since we have already peeked ahead in Hebrews, we know this to be God’s eternal rest so that this was a matter of eternal judgment. Which is interesting because it took place before the end of time.
10. Faith toward God, Hebrews 3:12.
Once again we have the opposite, even as previously we had the hardening of the heart, the opposite of repentance from dead works, now we have an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God which is the opposite of faith toward God.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12)
NOTE: From this itemizing of the foundational and underlying doctrines of the doctrine of Christ which we have done up to this point, I notice that primarily where Carroll refers to the exhortations of the doctrines is really the underlying doctrines of the doctrine of Christ. And we notice how often they are, a thing that we have missed in our casual reading of the book of Hebrews.
11. Repentance from dead works, Hebrews 3:13.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13)
Once again the opposite of repentance from dead works, the fear of a hardening of the heart because of a failure of repentance. Here, we see not only an initial act of repentance but a continuing repentance!
12. Faith toward God, Hebrews 3:18,19.
The children of Israel out of Egypt that were not allowed to enter the eternal rest of God happened to them because of their unbelief, and once again we have the opposite of faith toward God.
“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:18,19)
13. Faith toward God, Hebrews 4:2,3.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached id not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest…”
At first you may be surprised to realize that the Gospel was preached to the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses. Granted it was not a full gospel as far as the depth of meaning after Christ lived; however, it was the gospel and it had to be received by faith from the recepients just as we do today. We can even go behind Moses in history all the way back to Abraham to find that the gospel was even preached to Abraham. Paul tells us that in Galatians. God Himself preached the Gospel to Abraham even as He did to the children of Israel.
“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Galatians 3:8,9)
If we would be a stickler for details, we would have to say that the Scripture preached the gospel to Abraham, but we know where the Scriptures came from.
14. Eternal judgment,repentance, and faith, Hebrews 4:5 and Psalm 95:11.
“…and again in this place: ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” (Hebrews 4:5 and Pslam 95:11)
To appreciate the context of Pslam 95:11 as quoted in Hebrews 4:5, we should look at more of Psalm 95, verses 10 and 11.
“For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways. So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.’” (Psalm 95:10,11)
Here we have three of the underlying foundations to the doctrine of Christ: repentance from dead works which the children of Israel would not do for 40 years, going astray in their hearts which is the opposite of repentance from dead works; not knowing the “ways” of God which is the way of faith toward God; and then of eternal judgment, no rest eternally.
15. Faith toward God, Hebrews 4:6.
“…and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief…” (Hebrews 4:6)
Once again unbelief is the opposite of faith toward God.
NOTE: No wonder when Paul comes to the point of writing Hebrews 6:1-3 he talks of moving onward past the underlying principles of faith, repentance, and judgement; for it just any of the people to whom he was writing in the epistle of Hebrews were like the children of Israel, and surely there must have been for it to be so pointed, they had never really learned or practiced repentance, faith, and eternal life as an eternal judgment. Instead they had moved off on a new foundation of the hardening of the heart, unbelief, and eternity without rest.
16. Repentance and faith, Hebrews 4:7.
“…again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 4:7 and Psalm 95:7,8)
Once again the hardening of the heart is a failure at repentance from dead works and the hearing his voice would be the equivalent of faith toward God.
17. Eternal rest of eternal judgment, Hebrews 4:9,10
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.” (Hebrews 4:9,10)
Since all work is over surely you see this as eternal rest and eternal rest is an eternal judgment that is made already!
18. Faith and eternal rest, Hebrews 4:11.
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:11)
This is labour with our salvation, that is, work with what we already have in the same sense as Paul wrote “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
19. Eternal salvation which is a matter of eternal judgment, and faith, Hebrews 5:9.
“And being made perfect (Christ), he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him…” (Hebrews 5:9)
The obey is the obdience to the gospel; and the eternal salvation is an eternal judgment. If we have eternal salvation now, then that is a judgment that will last into eternity. In fact, we now that the one judgment at the end of time is to check the book of life to make sure our name is listed there.
NOTE: You see how as we continue in Hebrews, we get more into Paul’s thought, and that of the Holy Spirit, more than our own on what is in Hebrews!
20. Repentance and faith, Hebrews 6:4a.
“…For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift” (Hebrews 6:4a)
Surely the only way to be enlightened is through repentance and faith, and tasting of the hevenly gift would be tasting of salvation.
21.Faith toward God and eternal judgment, Hebrews 6:5.
“…and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come…” (Hebrews 6:5)
What can the good word of God be a statement about faith in God, and the world to come–hey, that is eternal judgment again.
22. Repentance from dead works, Hebrews 6:6.
“If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…” (Hebrews 6:6)
Surely Paul had read the epistle written by the Apostle James of how there is a dead faith and dead works, both do not originally provide salvation. Paul was dealing with the very practical problem of the wheat and the tares, knowing that while Jesus said don’t try to separate them; Paul desired by exposing them to the example of the children of Israel to give a second thought to separting themselves from dead faith and dead works.
23. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 6:7,8.
And you see right here in these verses how Paul is thinking of that very matter of the tares and the wheat.
“For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and in nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Hebrews 6:7,8)
Can’t you hear Paul crying to the churches of the Hebrews that if any of you think you may be near the “tare” category, or here the thorns and briers, listen to all the cautions. Flee from it!
24. Eternal judgment (promises) and faith, Hebrews 6:9-12.
These verses give us some insight into the church group to whom Paul is writing: they have labored and worked in the name of Christ; they have ministered to other Christians with gifts; and they continue to minister.
“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:9-12)
Just one further Scripture illustration of eternal judgment and of eternal promises and salvation being determined now. Immediately after the famous verse of John 3:16 where God gave His son that whosoever believes on Him should have everlasting life, then in verse 18 it is that “He that believeth on him is not condemned”–immediately not condemned or promised eternal salvation; and “he that believeth not is condemned already”–you see, the already, it doesn’t have to wait for eternity for eternal judgment. Eternity starts now, either for condemnation or eternal rest of life.
25. Faith toward God, Hebrews 7:19.
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
Drawing night to God and a better hope, surely must speak of faith toward God.
26. Faith and eternal judgment (salvation), Hebrews 7:25.
“Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)
Salvation to the uttermost, or the end, speaks of eternal rest and salvation; and the come to God by the way of Christ speaks of the faith both in God and in Christ. Remember, Jesus said that if you believe in Him you believe also in the Father and vice versa.
27. Eternal inheritance (judgment), Hebrews 9:15.
“And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:15)
The Judgment of eternal inheritance is available to those that are called.
28. Judgment, Hebrews 9:27.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27)
This is an aside to prove that even as there is the immutability of death and taxes–I mean death and judgment–even so Christ was once offered for the sins of many and will come again to complete salvation.
29. Judgment, Hebrews 10:12,13.
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God: from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” (Hebrews 10:12,13)
Certainly it is judgment then if not before as all the enemies of Christ are made to bow the knee.
30. Faith, repentance, and baptism, Hebrews 10:22,23.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering…” (Hebrews 10:22,23)
(1). Full assurance of faith.
(2). Hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, surely the equivalent of repentance from dead works.
(3). Bodies washed with pure water, the first and only mention so far of baptisms. Of course this is baptism like in Romans where the water immersion is a symbol of what has taken place in death with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life.
(4). Profession of our faith.
31. Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
“…and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching…” (Hebrews 10:25b)
32. Judgment, Hebrews 10:27.
“But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God…” (Hebrews 10:27,28)
33. Judgment, Hebrews 10:30,31.
“For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:30,31)
(1). Vengeance is the divine perogative of God, and that is judgment.
(2). God promises to recompence for wrong, that is judgment.
(3). God will judge His people: you know there is no doubt about a judgment.
(4). It is fearful to fall into the hands of the living God for eternal judgment.
34. Resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment, Hebrews 10:37.
“For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” (Hebrews 10:37)
35. Faith and judgement, Hebrews 10:38,39.
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:38,39)
(1). Faith, that is the way the “just” or justified live (see Romans and Galatians).
(2). God loses pleasure in those who draw back from faith.
(3). Perdition is the end result of those that draw back, eternal judgment apart from God.
(4). Belief to the uttermost even as Jesus can save to the uttermost is required to save the soul.
36. Faith, Hebrews 11:1.
This is a definition of faith. How much more fundamental by the way of underlying doctrines for the Doctrine of Christ can we get.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
(1). By faith the elders obtained a good report, and of course, in Hebrews 11 we are about to have the famous roll call of faith.
(2). Through faith we understand Creation, something made by invisible Entities.
37. Faith toward God, Hebrews 11:6.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
38. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 11:10.
“For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)
39. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 11:13,14.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such thing decalre plainly that they seek a country.” (Hebrews 11:13,14)
40. Eternal judgment, Hebrews 11:16.
“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16)
41. Resurrection from the dead, Hebrews 11:19.
“…accounting (Abraham) that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead…” (Hebrews 11:19)
42. Resurrection from the dead, Hebrews 11:35.
“Women received their dead raised to life again…” (Hebrews 11:35a)
43. Repentance from dead works, Hebrews 12:1.
“..let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
44. Repentance from dead works, Hebrews 12:16,17.
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he fund no place of repentance, though he sought it carefull with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16,17)
45. Eternal Judgment, Hebrews 12:22,23.
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heven, and to God the Judge of all…” (Hebews 12:22,23)
Much of this is definitely Advanced Doctrine to be covered in later chapters.
46. Eternal Judgment, Hebrews 12:25-29.
“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn sawy from him that speaketh from heven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hat promised,saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, taht those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
47. Resurrection from the dead, Hebrews 13:20.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus…” (Hebrews 13:20)
4-6: Regeneration, Sanctification, and Glorification–the Moving Onward without Moving Off the Foundation.
By the time we come to Hebrews 8:7 with an extensive quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34 about the new birth or regeneration, it is obvious that we have passed from the foundational underlying doctrines to the more advanced doctrines. We will want to go back to hints or minor tastes of these doctrines, but we know at this point Paul is following his outline of going onward from fundamentals. And there is another way we can tell that this transition has been made. Paul summarizes the sum total of what has been said in Hebrews 8:1-6.
“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the hevens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (Hebrews 8:1)
However, since this chapter is on the Doctrine of Christ with the underlying foundations of repentance, faith, judgment, etc., we will look at these more advanced doctrines in a later chapter of this volume.