Sermon Recap — March 17, 2024

Sermon Recap

Warning Against Apostasy

Hebrews 6:1-12
Jeremy Bell
March 18, 2024
Sermon Audio
Sermon Recap PDF

I. A Solemn Warning (verse 4-8)

“…were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” — John 1:13

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” — John 10:27-30

39 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” — John 6:39-40

II. A Reassuring Encouragement (verses 9-12)

“In their union with Christ, believers freely receive all the benefits of the gospel. Those whom God effectually calls to Himself, He justifies in Christ, forgiving all of their sins and declaring them righteous and acceptable in His sight. This declaration is judicial, addressing not our nature but our status with regard to God’s law; it is definitive, being neither gradually gained nor able to be lost; and it is gracious, a free gift of God’s righteousness based on nothing worked in us or by us, but received freely by faith. The sole ground of our justification is the righteousness of Christ, whose life of perfect obedience is imputed to us and whose substitutionary death on our behalf completely satisfies the demands of God’s justice toward our sins. Those God justifies, He adopts into His family, granting them the full status, rights, and privileges of beloved sons. As God’s children, we receive His name, enjoy access into His presence, experience His care and discipline, and eagerly await the glorious inheritance He promises His own.”
— Sovereign Grace Statement of Faith

Questions for Discussion/Application:

  • Consider taking time to read Hebrews 6:1-12 out loud. Then read this excellent article by Sinclair Ferguson out loud. This article is an excellent compliment to the sermon we heard on Sunday and will be referenced throughout this discussion.
  • Discussion Introduction: This passage is a warning passage and intended to sober and to warn us. It is not intended to make us hyper-introspective and inspect every nook and cranny of our souls for sin. It is however here to help us to honestly assess ourselves–which we should as a reminder, always do with the gospel and God’s grace in view. This text is here to help us to take sin, compromise and spiritual sluggishness in our lives seriously and to challenge us to live for Christ. So as we discuss this passage, let’s allow the text to have that effect on us.
  • Of those this passage describes in verses 4-6, Ferguson writes, “The truth and the power of the gospel were experienced. But ‘experience’ in itself is not regeneration unless gospel grace penetrates into the heart.” What is Ferguson getting at in that statement?
  • Ferguson writes, “The solemn fact is that none of us can tell the difference between the beginning of backsliding and the beginning of apostasy. Both look the same.” How should this reality sober us in our Christian walk?
  • What “thorns and thistles (verse 8)” can reveal that we are spiritually not in a good place? When we notice thorns and thistles in our own lives what should we do? How should we respond?
  • What are some of the fruits of the spirit you hope to see in a genuine Christian? If fruit is lacking in our own lives in specific ways, how should we respond?
  • Ferguson points out this identifying mark from the text that we are not spiritually in a good place:

    “The third thing is perhaps the most alarming: The failure to show “diligence“ and a tendency to become “sluggish” (Heb. 6:11–12, NKJV). Earlier the writer had warned how easy it is just to “drift away” (Heb. 2:1). But this drifting happens slowly, and it often goes unnoticed.

    What kinds of spiritual sluggishness can you see at at times in your own life?

  • Ferguson writes:

    Yes, apostasy happens. Sometimes the catalyst is flagrant sin. The pain of conviction and repentance is refused, and the only alternative to it is wholesale rejection of Christ. But sometimes the catalyst is a thorn growing quietly in the heart, an indifference to the way of the cross, a drifting that is not reversed by the knowledge of biblical warnings.

    How does that quote land on you?

  • Consider taking time to pray, asking God to help us to be faithful to in His grace, be faithful to be diligent in our walks with Christ and to not yield to sin and compromise–but rather to live wholeheartedly for Him.

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