Messianic Jews 6:9-12
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post in this series, we examined Messianic Jews 5:11-14 ~ Lay Hold of Yeshua and His Redemption ~ Part 2. In this post, we continue to learn in Messianic Jews 6:1-8 ~ Lay Hold of Yeshua and His Redemption ~ Part 3 concerning true Believers encouraged.
True Believers Encouraged
“Now even though we speak this way, dear friends, we are confident that you have the better things that come with being delivered. 10 For God is not so unfair as to forget your work and the love you showed for him in your past service to his people — and in your present service too. 11 However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end when your hope will be realized; 12 so that you will not become sluggish, but will be imitators of those who by their trust and patience are receiving what has been promised.” ~ Hebrews 6:9-12 (CJB)
One thing stands out in this passage. This is the only time in the whole letter where the writer addresses the readers as dear friends. It is precisely after the sternest passage of all that he uses the address of love. It is as if he said to them: “If I did not love you so much I would not speak with such harshness.”
The hellfire-and-brimstone of verses 4-8 is balanced by a positive and comforting word: we are confident that you do not fall in the category of those who have fallen away and are close to being burned, but that you have the better things that come with being delivered.
What we learn is that even if the readers have failed to grow up in their Messianic faith and knowledge and even if they have been falling away from their first enthusiasm, they have never given up their practical service to their fellow Believers. There is a tremendous actual truth here.
Sometimes in the Messianic life, we come to times which are arid; the Kehilah services have nothing to say to us, the teaching that we do in Shabbat school or the singing that we do in the choir or the service we give on a committee becomes a labor without joy. At such a time there are two alternatives. We can give up our worship and our service. Or, we can go doggedly on with them. The strange thing is that the light, the romance, and the joy we first experienced will come back again. In the end, the best thing to do is to go on with the habits of the Messianic life and the Kehilah. If we do, we can be sure that the sun will shine again.
There is no hint of “justification by works” here rather, the work and service to his people constitute “good actions already prepared by God” which those “delivered by grace through trusting“ should do (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Keep showing the same diligence. Such action-oriented urging to “keep on keeping on” is also found at 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Philippians 3:13-14, Romans 8:11-13, and Messianic Jews 12:1-2. The point is reinforced by being expressed negatively in the advice not to be sluggish ~ a word found in the Brit Hadashah only at the beginning and end of this exhortation (5:11 and here). He is telling them to go on in the realization that others have gone through their struggle and won the victory. The Believers are not walking an unexplored path; they are walking where the saints of old have walked.
Believers will surely realize their hope and receive what has been promised. We’ll see more on this in my next post.
In my next post, we’ll continue to examine Lay Hold of Yeshua and His Redemption ~ Part 4 in Messianic Jews 6:13-20 to learn that God’s covenant promises are unchanging.