Thursday Hebrews: Connecting Chapters Six and Seven

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, – Hebrews 6:17 (ESV)

For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. – Hebrews 7:28 (ESV)

The book of Hebrews seems to be written as a sermon to its readers and hearers. But it’s not just any old ordinary sermon. No, this letter is filled with deep treasures that tell the story of God’s great love for us. As such, there are wonderful individual verses that we want to memorize and keep in our hearts forever. There are also wonderful passages of Scripture that pull us into deep reflection. But as we study these individual verses and deep passages, we also need to continually step back to consider the overall story that is being told here by the writer. We did that, for example, when we stopped some time ago and tied together chapters five through seven. We need to do that again here and look at how chapters six and seven connect.

In the second half of chapter six, the writer begins to discuss “imitators,” “faith,” and “promises.” Imitators are those – many of whom are discussed in chapter 11, that exhibit faith in their actions. This faith exhibited is because of promises that are made by God. And to show how important theses promises are, God specifically made them with an oath. God is able to pledge His oath by two ways. First He gives His word and second He gives His overall character, in which it is also impossible for Him to lie.

In chapter six, it is apparent that God’s oath applies to “the hope set before us” (v. 18). This is referring to Jesus Christ, our hope. But in chapter seven, we see the specific reference to the oath being made:

For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever. – Hebrews 7:28 (ESV)

This makes it very clear that the oath being referred town chapter six is related to the appointment of Jesus Christ as our high priest. This is an important point to keep in mind as we look at chapter seven. The chapter will discuss Jesus’ appointment and some specifics related to His role as High Priest, but we need to keep in mind that God has given His oath to this appointment. In the same way we are told that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us and that we can never be snatched out of His hand, in this same way, with the same veracity we are told that a God has guaranteed this appointment of Jesus.

Amen to that.

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