Sabbath School Lesson for February 5-11, 2022

Overview of Lesson 7

In seeing how Jesus is the anchor of our soul, we gain an understanding of these themes from Hebrews, in chapters 6 and 10:

  • “tasting the good word of God”, Hebrews 6:5–What does that expression mean? (Sunday)
  • being impossible to restore those who have fallen away, Hebrews 6:6–Who are those who have fallen away? (Monday)
  • “trampling the Son of God underfoot”, Hebrews 10:26-29–How do we do this? (Tuesday)
  • being “confident of better things”, Hebrews 6:9–What good things does God see in us? (Wednesday)
  • we have an anchor, Hebrews 6:19–How are we given that assurance? (Thursday)

By being our faithful Brother and Priest and giving us the opportunity to rest in Him, we have an anchor for our soul. Something that keeps us steadfast in good works, despite pain and suffering that often leads us to despair.  We can be faithful to Jesus, just as He is faithful to us, by keeping our faith strong. Exercising the spiritual gifts given to us will enable us to rise above all our troubles and be solidly anchored to the Word of God through His Spirit.

Memory Text: “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19, 20 NKJV

It’s common to have our spiritual senses dulled when hard times come knocking at our door. Self-pity, doubt, and careless, thoughtless behavior often result from difficulties that enter our lives from time to time. The author of Hebrews was encountering people with these very problems. They needed to be reminded that God, through Jesus, can give us solid footing and allow us to rise above the storms of life and remain faithful to God.

Sunday: Tasting the Goodness of the Word

In reading Hebrews 6:4, 5, we stop to contemplate what it means to be enlightened. By being enlightened, they were able to taste the heavenly gift, the Holy Spirit, and the good word of God. But what is Paul really talking about when he says they were enlightened? Hebrews 10:32 refers to the former days when they were illuminated. In other words, after they had experienced conversion and began to trust in Jesus as the Son of God.

This conversion experience is described quite well in Acts 26:17, 18. It says there that their eyes were opened, they were turned from darkness to light, and they received forgiveness and were sanctified. These are definitely things that happen when we are converted, or changed into something brighter and better. It’s what happens when we are “enlightened”.

After we are enlightened, we are able to taste the things already mentioned. Tasting the heavenly gift and being partakers of the Holy Spirit are expressions that are synonymous. They mean the same thing. The gift of God’s grace is imparted to us through the Holy Spirit.

To taste the goodness of God’s word surely means to experience the truth and meaning of the gospel, as found in the holy Scriptures. But it also mentioned tasting the “powers of the age to come”. These are thought to be the miracles (powers) that God will perform for us in the future (the age to come). That would include our resurrection, transformation of our bodies, and joy of eternal life with the Lord.

We can begin to taste these miracles, however, when our minds are transformed and renewed (Romans 12:2). John even suggests that our eternal life begins from the time we are converted. It is then that we pass from death to life (John 5:24 and 6:47).

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 6:4 and 10:32

  • What does it mean to “be enlightened”?
  • What is significant about light being the first thing created during Creation week (Genesis 1:3)?

Hebrews 6:5

  • How does God’s word prepare us for the miracles (power) He has in store for us?
  • What are some of those miracles we can taste even now?

Monday: Impossible to Restore

Hebrews 6:6 contains a disturbing situation when it mentions crucifying the Son of God and putting Him to open shame. Something has definitely happened to our relationship with God for this to happen. We must consider what is involved with this ugly turn of events for the believer. How do we fall away from Him and crucify Christ again, making it impossible to be restored?

Following particularly hard trials, our discouragement can lead to many unwise behavioral choices. It’s even possible to get to the point where we willfully reject God’s mercy and power to save us. More than occasionally drifting away and inadvertently performing a sinful act, we become one of those who crucified Christ and put Him to shame on the cross. Hebrews 10:29 says we trample the Son of God underfoot when we do this/

Paul was warning them about this possibility, so they wouldn’t have to go down that path.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 6:4, 6 and 10:29

  • So long as we don’t purposely choose to reject Christ, why is there still hope of salvation for the believer when he occasionally sins?

Galatians 5:16

  • How can we prevent this falling away from happening in the first place?

Tuesday: No Sacrifice for Sins Left

Hebrews 6:4-6 is similar to a warning in Hebrews 10:26-29. Both passages talk about the fearsome consequences of falling away, rejecting God’s mercy and law and sinning willfully, which amounts to trampling the Son of God and becoming His adversary. It’s impossible for us to experience repentance when we are in such a spiritual condition that the Holy Spirit, which brings repentance, is no longer welcome in our life.

The result of this kind of falling away will be the same as everyone who refuses to come to God in humility and repentance, seeking forgiveness for their recognized sins. Paul had reason for concern about this happening to the beleaguered, discouraged saints in the midst of their persecution and hardships. Their suffering was real, and so was the danger that they would turn their backs on the very source of their salvation.

This warning is for everyone who has come to God with sincere, heartfelt remorse for their sin. Our faith, too, may wane, especially with Satan’s endless efforts to win us back. This tells us that we are secure in our salvation only as we remain steadfast in our Christian faith and practice, something every believer should think about.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 6:4-6

  • What does it mean to “fall away” from Christ?
  • What is the result of this falling away, and why?

Hebrews 10:26-29 and Zephaniah 1:18

  • What are the things that indicate that we are trampling the Son of God underfoot?
  • What is the “fiery indignation” spoken of in Hebrews 10:27?

Wednesday: Better Things

At the beginning of chapter 6, Paul exhorts his listeners to “go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1). Although there are warnings in the middle of the chapter of falling away from the faith that leads to perfection, Paul is quick to go back to a positive, affirming tone before the chapter ends.

Hebrews 6:9 says that he is confident of better things from his fellow believers. Better than the thorns and briers  produced by those who reject salvation. We are curious about the nature of these better things. Knowing what they are will help us stay on course and produce the good fruit God intends from us (Hebrews 6:7, 8).

Hebrews 6:10-12 is quite specific in describing what our good fruit consists of. He mentions their labor of love and ministry to each other. They were to imitate those whose faith and patience caused them to minister to others through loving acts of kindness. These “better things” would keep them from being “sluggish” and not inheriting the promises they had received through faith.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 6:7-8 and Galatians 5:22-23

  • What kind of fruit does God have in mind for His followers?
  • How do these spiritual fruits that exist in the life of a believer?

Hebrews 6:10, 11 and John 13:35

  • Why is it important to show our love, and how is this the same as bearing fruit?

Hebrews 6:12 and Revelation 14:12

  • What is the reward of those who have the patience of the saints?
  • What are some of God’s promises that keep us anchored?

Thursday: Jesus, the Anchor of the Soul

The blessed hope of Jesus Christ is our sure and steadfast anchor, as Hebrews 6:17-20 tells us. This passage speaks of an immutable (or unchangeable) oath that God presents to two “heirs of promise”. These were the promises made to Abraham (Genesis 22:16-18) and to King David (Psalm 89:34-37) that the Messiah, the Son of God, would be born from their lineage.

These two witnesses to the oath are appropriate when we consider Jesus’ dual role as Priest and King, which was mentioned again in verse 20 when it says He was our High Priest, according to the order of Melchizedek, himself a priest and king.

The genealogy of Jesus, found in the first chapter of Matthew, highlights the importance of both Abraham and David in Matthew 1:17. The promises made to these two  men, and the way they were ultimately fulfilled in the birth of Christ, becomes the basis for our confidence in the Savior, truly the anchor of our soul.

Jesus’ Ascension (Acts 1:9-11), His being seated at the right hand of God, is our assurance that He will come again and take us with Him to that glorious Promised Land. The way His promises have been fulfilled here on earth gives us confidence that we can anchor our hopes and prayers in all His promises.

Bible Verses to Explore:

Hebrews 6:17, 18, Genesis 22:18, 19, Psalm 89:35-37, and Matthew 18:16

  • Why do you think it was it important to have more than one witness of the oath?

Hebrews 6:19-20 and Revelation 1:6

  • What does it mean to you that Jesus was our “forerunner” as High Priest?

Friday: Conclusion

Of all the disciples of Jesus, the one most receptive to the Savior’s love seemed to be John. Their love for each other was obvious and enabled John to reflect the humility and compassion of Christ more fully than some of the other disciples. Their close bond must have been a comfort to Jesus, even prompting Him to appoint John as His mother’s caregiver when He was dying on the cross. See John 19:26, 27.

Compare the life of John, who started out being called a son of thunder (Mark 3:17), with that of Judas Iscariot and you will see two men who became quite opposite in character and behavior. Although they both spent ample time with the Son of God, they took different paths in how they chose to follow Him. Judas struggled with self and submitting Himself to Jesus, whereas John found it easy to trust Him enough to make Him the anchor of his soul.

Ellen G. White elaborates on this struggle with self that we all have. She says in Steps to Christ, p. 43…

“The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness.”

Only when we win the battle over self can we be transformed and have the anchor for our soul that prevents us from drifting, or falling, away. Christ is our anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure

Next Week: Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant

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