ADDRESS

20 Norman Spencer Dr
Auckland 2104, NZ

Hebrews 6 – Advance or Retreat 希伯来书 6 – 不进则退

Wednesday, 12th January 2022

Rev Daniel Xi An Poon

Section One V1-3 Strive to go into Perfection

In the Kingdom of God, we are running a race, if we don’t go forward then we will go backwards. There is no stopping and there is no going back, we must continue forward no matter what. God is a good God, in this new year of 2022, there are a lot of uncertainties in our lives, God encouraged us in Hebrews 6, to walk in this path of faith, because His rod and staff are always comforting us and guiding us. We should not be afraid, but to walk forward, towards the guidance of God.

V1-2 ‘Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.’ This perfection is a mission from Jesus, to love God and to love people, to disciple the nations. We must strive to practice in our lives all that we have learnt, we have heard, and we have seen. Let our lives become an influence on others, we should not just bring knowledge and teaching, but to live it out.

We learn to love others with the love of God, how does God see a person should also be how we see a person. Jesus came to this world training 12 disciples, sadly there was one Judas, who be trayed Jesus. Jesus loved His disciples with unconditional love, despite that they failed Him again and again. By love, Jesus influenced the love of the people around Him, He was not in a ‘doing’ mode to complete the mission from God. He sacrifices Himself, even when He was on the cross, He asked God to forgive those, who wronged Him. He chose love and He kept the love.

The Holy Spirit comes to convict us of sin, of judgement and of righteousness. We must be humbler, to no longer rely on ourselves but to rely on the Word of God. Let us follow God’s Word, and let His Word guide us. Every morning God will give us His directions for us to go, so we will not be lost. V3 ‘And this we will do if God permits.’ God wants to prepare our lives, because if our lives are not prepared, it’s easy for us to trip others.

Section Two V4-12 Strive to the End by Faith

V4-6 ‘For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame.’ This is the comparison between the earthly priests and godly priests. Do we only share the love of God and not the righteousness of God? When we tasted the blessings of the Heaven, we must then strive enter the path being called, to read the Word of God, to understand the mystery of God, and to see God’s Will in our lives. Our church treasures the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit; both are equally important.

A lot of people only seek the wonders and miracles of God, they don’t read the Word of God and they don’t pursue the Holy Spirit. They only follow what they see, and this becomes idol-worshipping. In Jesus’ time, people saw what Jesus could do and they went to Him. Jesus’ intention was not to prove how powerful He was or how much He could do. Jesus performed the signs and wonders because He had mercy upon the people. We cannot put our focus in the wrong place, do not act according to our feelings, but to pursue the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, instead of the wonders and miracles.

How much do we know about the Word of God? Without the Word of God, we cannot face the challenges of this world, we cannot help people, and we cannot heal people. There are too many kinds of teaching in this world, we cannot just agree with everything. That’s why it’s important for us to understand the Word of God, then we can discern what are from God and what are not from God. When we are baptised, we become a new creation, do not always go back to our old ways, do not always focus on our hurtful experiences, and do not always think about how people wronged us in the past.

V7-8 ‘For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.’ Let us cultivate our land, do not let thorns and briers grow in it, do not let it be rejected, cursed, and burned. When we don’t work hard on the land given by God, then God will take it away. We must bear fruits and we must harvest.

V9-12 ‘But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labour of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.’ The apostles were going to different places from Jerusalem, they did not have anything, but by faith, they walked out, and the people accommodated them. Are we also willing to accommodate for our church? When we offer for our church, then the teachers and pastors of the church can focus on the Word of God.

When we support the church, we are not doing it for ourselves, because when we focus too much on what we have done, then we will lose our first love. Everything we offer for the church is not for people to see us, but for people to see God and to see the Body of Christ. We also must respect and love the authorities of the church, because they are chosen by God, and they are doing the Work of God. When we serve together, then we can glorify God together. On the other hand, if we do not work together, then very soon we will burn out and we will also stumble others. It’s never about how much we have done for the church, do not focus on how hard we offer and how hard we sacrifice, let us work as a team, as a family, support each other and carry each other.

Section Three V13-20 Strive in God’s Promised Purpose

V17-18 ‘Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.’ When we strive and believe in God’s promises for us, then He is willing to show us that His promises for us will not fail. God’s promise for us is not only in the Heaven but also in the world. Why does God allow us to continue live in this world after we are baptised? Because there is unfinished business for us in the world.

Do we have hope for God’s promises for us? Do we believe that God’s promises are real? God will not lie; whatever He promised He will make it happen. He is our shelter, and we can hide under His wings. The Word of God is our shelter, our fortress, our rock, our help… and in order to understand the Word of God, we need to have the Holy Spirit. God’s Word gives us strength, and the Holy Spirit gives us revelation and enlightenment from the Word of God. God promises us to be the priests of the New Testament, if we don’t go forward then we will go backwards, be rejected, be cursed, and parish. God loves us and He wants all of us to receive His inheritance, but we must strive forward and never turn back.

希伯来书 6 – 不进则退             

2022年1月12日 星期三

潘锡安牧师 

从上一章经文我们知道神所要的不是属地的祭司,本章的经文告诉我们要行动。我们是有选择的,正如在一间公司,我们若选择不做我们的工作,自然会被人代替。神的国度的原理是“不进则退”,就好像在赛场上赛跑一样,每一个运动员都努力向着终点奔跑,没有人说要停下来休息一下,我们也要如此竭力追求主。2022年是不明朗的一年,神用本章经文鼓励我们,跟随神的路是一条永不退后的路,无论光景如何,只要我们紧紧跟随,向着标杆直跑,神的恩宠必与我们同在。

一、竭力进到完全 v.1-3

V1-2 当我们知道“基督道理的开端” – 就是“神是爱”、“因信称义”、“旧事已过,一切都变成新的”、“受洗时我们已经与耶稣同死同埋葬同复活”,不要沉醉在这些“根基”的地步。当初的犹太教很沉迷于宗教仪式、礼仪,我们不要像他们那样,而要在因信称义的根基上向前走,得到“完全”。“完全”是耶稣基督给我们的使命,就是“爱神爱人”,并要“门训万民”。我们要努力将听到、学到的道理、知识应用到生命中,让我们的生命可以影响他人的生命,而不是能说不能做,或者做一半就放弃。当我们去传福音的时候,我们是否只是在邀请人来被拒绝后就放弃,还是愿意用神的眼光来看他们爱他们?耶稣基督2000年前来到世间的时候,他甚至可以去爱那位要出卖他的犹大和不认他的彼得。耶稣的爱不是要去完成一个任务,而是舍己的爱,甚至在十字架上还选择饶恕那些耻笑他的人。在世间有血有肉的耶稣若能这样去爱,我们这群跟随他的人也可以做到。靠着圣灵,我们就能行出来,因为圣灵让我们更多谦卑,为罪为义为审判自己责备自己,让我们的眼目和心思意念都在神的国度,不再只看自己。每一天我们都让神的话来带领我们,因为神的话是我们脚前的灯、路上的光。当我们如此愿意的时候,我们就要竭力进入完全 – 就是神要我们在世上完成的使命。至于那些让我们离开神要给我们完全的其它宗教形式,我们要将自己从中分别为圣。

V3 神若要我们超自然医病、或讲出知识的言语,神会给我们,这是可以自然而然发生的,但我们要先预备好我们的生命,扎根在神的话语。若不能完成神要我们做的事,我们反而会绊倒别人,所以要努力进到完全,不要半途而废。

二、凭信心坚持到底 v.4-6

V4-5 我们每一个信主的人都是经历过神的人,若没有被神的爱真实触摸,我们是不愿意信主受洗的。

V6 本节回应前章讲的两种祭司的区别。属地的祭司整天只会用神的爱安慰人的感觉,让人觉得犯罪没关系,但我们既然已经蒙召信主,就要努力装备自己,学习神的话语,明白神对我们生命的心意。我们需要圣灵来明白神的话语,但不要只会讲灵界的玄秘,我们所行的神迹奇事是要见证基督,带领人信主,而不是让我们沉醉这些超自然的能力,不然我们基督徒与那些利用灵界力量来行超自然现象的其他宗教人士有什么区别?在创世纪的时候,神给人的是带领、异象、祝福,但人堕落后,沉迷于灵界的奥妙,被江湖术士吸引。耶稣基督在地上行神迹,不是要显示自己有多厉害,而是怜悯那些来求他的人。我们不要沉醉于能发预言、解梦、按手医病等这些“开端”,而要有神的话,效法主耶稣去用神的话抵挡仇敌的攻击,并教导、帮助跟随的人。被人按手祷告的时候我们要谨慎,不是把从人而来的东西都照单全收,要懂得用神的话察验。我们都是重生的人,既已经受洗,我们的旧人就已经死了,有一个新的生命,我们受的伤能得到神的医治,所以不要用以前的东西给自己借口沉醉在自己的软弱。若不是努力进入完全,我们相当于“把神的儿子重钉十字架,明明地羞辱他”。

V7 我们有的是一亩良田而不是荒田。进入学房的时候,我们的生命如土地被开发,神用锄头为我们翻土、施肥,我们才能得福。

V8 若我们的田地没有栽种菜蔬,就会“长荆棘和蒺藜,必被废弃,近于咒诅,结局就是焚烧”。圣经并没有用人的话安慰不结果子的人,我们在神所给我们的良田要往下扎根、向上结果。

V9-10a 虽然上面讲的事听上去很可怕,但我们其实是“强过这些,而且近乎得救”。我们若努力为神摆上,神都看见、记念,我们要对神有爱有信任。

V10b-12 当时的使徒凭信心从耶路撒冷去到不同地方,他们的衣食住行并没有保证,四处的信徒就招待他们,殷勤“伺候圣徒”。如今我们是否愿意招待、支持教会的传道人,让他们可以专心传讲神的话语、毫不分心的祷告?我们为教会、为传道人的摆上都是应该的,神也会记念,因为我们都是蒙召的人,被神拣选来到同一个大家庭。我们看到有人在教会服事得很辛苦,不是只在言语在称赞人,致使人失去谦卑,而要大家一起来分担,让生命可以影响生命。我们的信心若放在某个人身上,当那个人跌倒后,周围的人也很容易被绊倒。我们都要健康的去看待人的“辛苦”,眼目看到的不是人的doing,而是在背后做事的神。

三、持定在神应许的指望里面 v.13-20

V17 当我们愿意持守、坚定在神应许的指望里,神也“愿意为那承受应许的人格外显明他的旨意是不更改的”。我们不是在天上领受这个“应许”,我们受洗、复活后,其实还在地上,正如耶稣复活后没有直接升天,因为他有未完成的使命。我们未完成的使命就是要去门训万民。

V18 两件不更改的事:第一,神是不会说谎话的,第二,神的起誓(就是神答应的事)。神是我们的避难所,神的爱、能力、应许都在神给我们的话语里面。我们能从圣经里面看到亮光,是因为我们有圣灵。神应许我们成为属天的新约祭司,这条路是不进则退的,所以我们要努力,不要靠着自己的情绪,而要靠着神的话语持定神的应许。