Hebrews 6:11-20 Receiving Abraham’s Blessing Through the Spirit
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13 For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.” 15 And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
God made an oath to bless and multiply Abraham as a way of encouraging Abraham to trust His leading. The promise given to Abraham is now given to all children of God as their rightful inheritance. However, in order to appropriate God’s promises, we must first understand God’s purpose for our lives. In aligning ourselves with God’s purposes, we may freely appropriate His promise. Today’s passage teaches us to receive the first blessing, the gift of the Holy Spirit, which forms the foundation of God’s manifold blessings in our lives.
“I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”
Abraham is raised up as a shining example of how through faith and patience, he obtained the promise of blessing, and became a blessing to the world. God made the promise to bless Abraham by making an oath: He swore by Himself. Why did God swear by Himself? Firstly, men swear by one greater than themselves in order to hold themselves accountable to a higher authority. But for God, He is the highest authority and perfectly trustworthy. Hence, He is accountable to no one. However, He made an oath in order to encourage Abraham to trust Him. Whenever God wants to do something, He does it without the need to obligate Himself to anyone. Nevertheless, an oath or promise denotes the confirmation or guarantee before a witness of the truthfulness of one’s words.
In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath.
Abraham obtained the promise through faith and patience. In the same way, believers today will be blessed if we hold on to His promises in faith. The reason why God swore by Himself when He made the promise to Abraham is because God wanted to make the unchangeable nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised. Hence, it was for the believers’ sake that God made an oath; God is not a man that needs to be motivated by accountability to a third party or by consequences. The two unchangeable things that assure us of God’s reliability are: His unchanging purpose and His word of oath (promise). God made an oath to Abraham having tested him of his reverence and faith in God.
“Indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22:17-18
The oath became to Abraham a constant source of faith and patience. The “seed” (a singular noun) refers to Christ who perpetuated the blessing beyond Abraham’s biological lineage to all men who receives the Holy Spirit. Before Christ was incarnated, the blessing is limited to those chosen along the biological lineage of Abraham. Now, the blessing is given to all who are filled with the Holy Spirit. Abraham’s legacy of faith and patience flowed along the blessed lineage culminating in the ministry of Christ and the Holy Spirit through which all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Today, the blessing of Abraham is fulfilled through Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul…
Christ as a descendant of Abraham is entitled to the promise that was first given to Abraham. Christ became the fulfillment of the promise of Abraham when He was resurrected, and in defeating the enemies, the kingdom of heaven descends upon the nations of the earth. Now, how does the promise of Abraham come to us? It is through the priestly ministry of Christ who entered the veil, who offered the perfect sin sacrifice and established a blood path for all men back to God.
However, as Christ has opened up the pathway of salvation as a forerunner for us, it remains for each person to journey on that path for himself. But not without the Helper, the Holy Spirit who serves as a hope (a constant encouragement), and an immovable anchor in the soul.
Abraham’s blessing is an inheritance given to all children of God. God gave Abraham a promise,
“1 Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3
The text categorizes the promise in the following:
- I will bless you (v.2) – The favor of God, personal wellbeing and prosperity.
- I will make you a great nation (v.2) – A dignified and blessed community and nation.
- I will make your name great (v.2) – Glory and honor.
- And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (v.3) – The calling and the anointing to bless the poor.
Every chosen descendent of Abraham from Isaac to Christ are blessed in accordance to the promise. However, descendants from Christ onwards are born not of blood (or of biological lineage), but those that put their trust in Christ (see John 1:12-13). Therefore, it is God’s plan that every believer be blessed with every blessing in the universe.
Every child of God must appropriate the blessing beginning with the regeneration of the heart through the Holy Spirit. The blessing of Abraham begins first with the believer, then overflowing into his community and eventually to the nations. The reason why the Israelites could not receive God’s blessing is because their hearts are hardened; they could not acknowledge God as their Lord and Father. The Holy Spirit was sent by the resurrected Christ to regenerate the hearts of believers enabling them to acknowledge God as Lord and to receive their inheritance. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the seed of all blessings. A blessed life must begin with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.
The Holy Spirit imparts to the believer peace regardless of his circumstances. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of the word for living. The Holy Spirit causes the believer to depend on God’s infinite resources in all his endeavors. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to trust God for bigger things and to persevere one day at a time. The Holy Spirit imparts the gifts of faith, wisdom, knowledge, courage and workings of miracles. Through the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to build strong enduring foundations for his family and career. Before long, his prosperity will become an inspiration and help to the others in the community. Therefore, the first blessing: I will bless you… in new covenant terms refer to the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the first foundation towards obtaining the other blessings of Abraham.
To appropriate the promise of blessing, we must first understand the God’s purpose.
Why does God explicitly obligate Himself by an oath? It is for the reason of helping believers trust and take Him at His word. Therefore, God’s promises and oaths are for the reason of increasing believers’ faith in Him. However, many believers despite knowing God’s promises could not put their trust in His leading. Why? It is because they do not know God’s purposes or will for their lives. Provided believers know God’s purpose, they would not know how to appropriate the promises for themselves.
God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath.
Paraphrasing the above text: God made an oath for the reason for displaying His steadfastness in upholding His purpose in the believer’s life. Therefore, the key to faith is to first understand God’s purpose in our lives. To illustrate: if a stranger comes to you promising to give you a thousand dollars. Anyone with a right frame of mind would not believe that the stranger is sincere in delivering his promise because there is no purpose or basis for his act. What is then the purpose of God for our lives? In other words, what is the basis of God’s promises? God’s purpose is revealed in Abraham’s last blessing: And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. God’s will is to save the world through individuals; He blesses the individual so that he in turn may be a blessing to the world. Having understood God’s overarching purpose and aligning ourselves with Him, we begin to exercise faith to appropriate God’s heavenly blessings in boldness and courage.
- Seek first to understand God’s purpose and calling for your life, then you will be able to exercise faith in appropriating God’s promises. The promises of health, prosperity and joy are given for the fulfillment of God’s purposes in our lives.
- When we are discouraged, instead of searching for a solution, we must seek to be filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the conduit through which heavenly blessings flow. Through the Spirit, we are filled with His joy, wisdom and power to appropriate God’s blessings through faith and patience.
Dear Lord, I thank you that as I am your son, Abraham’s promise is meant for me. Fill me with your Spirit and give me good health, peace, joy and the wisdom to prosper in my work. Use me to build a blessed and dignified family and community. Use me to edify and build up my church. Use me to influence my company towards the ways of righteousness. Use me to reach out the world so that they may receive the blessing of Abraham. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.