Class Notes: 1/11/2009

Heb 3:12 The warning for believers to take care not to stand off from God in unbelief


Last time we started discussing the warning for believers to" beware" found in Heb 3:12; Again the Greek word "blepo" is used in the imperative mood. In this case the believer is "to see" or to "watch out for" to "beware" or to "pay attention" or to "be on guard" against having an evil unbelieving heart or stream of consciousness.

Heb 3:12; "Take care", brethren, (Church age believers today) that there not be in any of you an evil unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. Literally, to "keep standing off from the living God".

The verb translated "falling away" is the Greek word "aphistemi" that when used intransitively means to stand off from, to withdraw from, to leave or to go into apostasy.

In our discussion we ended with the idea that unbelief is resisting the work of God the Holy Spirit who is convicting both believers and unbelievers regarding the next step in their spiritual life. John 16:8-15; Acts 7:51-53; weather that is faith alone in TLJC alone for the unbeliever or a part of the faith rest drill for the believer.

Since unbelief is resisting the work of the Holy Spirit it is evil for believers to refuse to believe the promises of God and as a result depart from the living God.

Satan, the god of this world, and his deception is the source of unbelief in mankind 2Cor 4:4;

In the case of the unbeliever, unbelief or failure to believe in TLJC is the only unpardonable sin John 8:24; John 16:9;

God's wrath is directed toward unbelief Eph 5:6; the word translated "disobedience" in the NASB is the Greek word "apeitheia" that also means "rejection of belief"

From the TDNTA Page 819 "apeítheia" means “disobedience.” It is translated disobedience in Rom 11:32. The disobedience is that of the wilderness generation in Heb 4:6, 11; the Jews in Rom 11:30; and all sinners in Rom. 11:32; Sinners are “sons of disobedience” in Eph 2:2; Eph 5:6;

Eph 5:6; Let no one deceive you by means of empty words (elegant phrases that tempt the lust patterns whether lascivious or ascetic) for because of these things (false doctrines) the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of unbelief.
v7 Therefore stop being partners with them;
v8 for you were formerly darkness (in unbelief) but now light in the Lord. Keep on walking as children of the light.

Remember it is the will and work of God that we believe. John 6:40; John 6:28-29;

So unbelief is rejection of and disobedience to the will and work of God and is the antithesis of drawing near to God, Heb 4:16; unbelief is a refusal to listen to God's voice and wait on him for his deliverance and provision.

In his original state before the fall, man was full of faith. He lived in continual and unbroken fellowship with God but after the fall, his response to God was unbelief and fear. Gen 3:8-10; Adam’s unbelieving heart was exhibited by the fact that he hid from God in fear.

Because of the fall, and ever since that time, the natural inclination of man in depravity is unbelief and fear. Unbelief and fear are therefore at the root of man's disorientation to God and a major source of sin in his fallen state.

This makes unbelief a parent sin, and a progenitor of other sins, just as faith is a prime virtue, the source of the other virtues of the spiritual life. 1Cor 13:13;

Remember faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ. Rom 10:17; all other virtues of the spiritual life are established in faith as one learns and believes the doctrine.

Unbelief therefore removes any possibility of advance in the spiritual life so it is something that the believer is warned against so they will be on guard and avoid it.

For Israel, entering the promised land was equivalent to the Church Age believer's attaining spiritual maturity.

The Exodus generation was not able to enter the promised land because of their unbelief. Heb 3:19;

Canaan was to be a land of prosperity where the children of Israel were to face and conquer many enemies. God had proven Himself to the people in the Passover and the Exodus from Egypt. They had been required to do nothing but stand still and see God's deliverance.

God intended for them to believe him and to conquer Canaan by resting on His power, but except for Joshua and Caleb - they all failed because they did not believe His word to them. They did not rest in the promise by faith; they did not have "faith-rest."

The promised land in Scripture is not a picture of heaven, but of spiritual maturity. The rest that God wants His people to enter is a rest of maximum production and blessing. We cannot enter that rest until we learn to have faith in the promises of God.

But because faith is a learned response, we need a technique for learning it. The faith-rest technique is simply the process of claiming Biblical promises. As we do this day after day after day, we are by analogy pumping spiritual iron and our faith is growing stronger.

Church age believers are warned not to function in unbelief because unbelief makes them incompatible with the justice of God. Matt 13:58;

Heb 4:1-2; Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.

For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Heb 4:3-8; For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh {day}, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; and again in this {passage}, "They shall not enter My rest."

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."
For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.

This passage tells us that this life of faith rest is still available.

Abraham is described as the "father of us all" because unlike the Exodus generation he did not waver unbelief. Rom 4:16-20; He kept on trusting; he never stopped trusting, though all natural hope was gone. Without a miracle he could not have a son.

Faith is the basis for mankind's relationship with and for pleasing God. Heb 11:6; so unbelief is antithetical to and destroys that relationship.

Given the mandate for faith and the mandate against unbelief it is useful to discuss how faith is developed and maintained in it's various categories.

Before anyone can apply the promises of God that are found in the Bible they must start where God declares all faith begins: at the cross where God provided the solution to man's problem.

All faith that relates to God begins at the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.

At that point we have just a little more faith than is found in a grain of mustard seed because it is a gift from God and not from ourselves. Eph 2:8;

In John 20:31 we are told, "These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name."

In John 3:36; we are told, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

and in Acts 16:31; we are told ".... Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved..." In this passage word that is translated "believe" is the second person aorist active imperative of the Greek word "pisteuo” The aorist is the punctiliar tense that refers to the point of time where the action occurs.

Man's real problem is not the difficulty that is encountered from trials, adversities in life, it is the problem of his relationship with God. A barrier exists because it is impossible for a sinful man to have fellowship with a holy and righteous God.

Even man's good deeds cannot measure up to God's perfect righteousness. Isa 64:6;

Because of spiritual death, on his own, man is incapable of establishing fellowship with God. Rom 5:6;

God cannot have fellowship with mankind because they are sinners by birth and by action. But Christ died on the cross and paid for the sins of all mankind. Apart from faith in TLJC, God cannot have fellowship with any member of the human race, because they under the penalty of sin, which is eternal death eternal separation from God. There are three strikes against unsaved mankind, imputed sin, inherent sin, and personal sin. Jesus Christ resolved all three problems when He died upon the cross.

When Christ died, He paid for that penalty. God cannot have relationship with you because you are born into this world with three strikes against you - Knowing this; God devised the perfect plan - a perfect plan that was executed by a perfect person.

Jesus Christ came into this world, went to the cross, died for our sins and thereby completely removed the barrier that existed between man and God.

By human standards one's life may be very impressive with many good things accomplished, but as far as God is concerned, all those "good things" add up to relative righteousness that is insufficient for a relationship with God. All of the good works in the world cannot measure up to God's standard of absolute perfect righteousness.

Jesus Christ who is equal with God John 10:30 and yet a true member of the human race, John 1:14; is also absolute perfect righteousness. He therefore satisfied the requirement of absolute perfect righteousness. Everything that God had against individual members of the human race was resolved at the cross. The cross takes care of everything, so that Jesus Christ becomes my personal salvation when I believe in Him.

Where one spends eternity is determined by their attitude toward the Son of God. All true peace or blessing in this life is also determined by one's attitude toward Christ. The issue of salvation is very clear as it is established in John 3:16;

There is only one way to salvation there is only one Savior not two, not a dozen saviors, not a lot of religions, not a universal Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. There is only one savior the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore, only one condition of salvation: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."

This salvation, that begins at the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, results in the believer receiving at least 40 things. These include the forgiveness and cleansing of all sin, the absolute righteousness of God, eternal life, Christ dwelling in us, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, entrance into the plan of God, the election of God, and many other things, that are the direct result of our position in Christ. At this point every believer starts with a perfect position, but with a very weak faith experientially.

When the new believer submits to the authority in the church and sits under the communication gift that God has provided for the building up of the church Eph 4:11-13; their faith is built as Bible Doctrine is communicated per Rom 10:17;

The basic and primary prerequisite for the development of Faith is the habitual, daily intake of God's word taught isogogicallly, categorically and exegetically. As faith develops it increases until believers advance to maturity and production in the spiritual life.

Having believed, the believer begins to learn just what they have received at their salvation because Salvation by Grace through Faith alone in TLJC alone is just the beginning of faith. Once one believes in Jesus Christ they posses eternal life, and this eternal life, which is given at the moment of salvation, is something that can never be removed.

One of the 40 things that becomes the basis of faith is the doctrine of the believer's union with TLJC. At salvation every believer is placed into union with Christ Once that relationship is established by God one cannot be removed from it.

Rom 8:1; says "Therefore there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Paul also says in Rom 8:38-39; "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"

When one believes in Jesus Christ, one's trust is put in Him, We depend upon Him for salvation, and this means that salvation cannot be lost because we are protected by his power.1Pet 1:5;

This relationship is irrevocable and cannot be broken. Rom 11:29;

There is nothing believers can do to change this situation. Once they have trusted in Jesus Christ, they possess a relationship with Him that lasts forever. Eternal security is exactly what its definition implies - secure for all eternity.

Faith Alone in TLJC alone not only provides salvation but also the assurance of it as a result the believer becomes assured of having life forever in the presence of God.

Once the believer learns that the issue of their eternity has been solved, they can begin to understand that if God does not see fit to remove them from this life, He must have a purpose for their life.

Because of this, the believer can come to know that along with eternal stability, God has provided temporal stability

Since God has provided eternal security or eternal stability for believers through the cross, He will also provide temporal stability or temporal security for believers in time. Rom 8:32;

The believer begins to understand that not only is Jesus Christ their salvation, He is also their security.


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