STUDY Hebrews 6:7-12
(click here for notes)
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case-things that accompany salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)
Of Curses and Fruit
Immediately preceding this passage the author of Hebrews has presented two of the most disputed verses in Scripture. In verses 4-6 he discusses the terrible consequences of a person's knowing the truth about Jesus, of experiencing the reality and power of the word of God and of the Holy Spirit, but of refusing to allow the Holy Spirit to give him or her a new birth.
Verses 7-8 contain a small parable illustrating the contrast between people who drink in the love and power of God and allow him to make their lives productive for him and people who do not allow God to make their lives productive. The first receive God's blessing; the latter will be cursed.
1. What other biblical incidents/parables deal with land or plants being cursed? (Matthew 21:19; Genesis 3:17-18; Isaiah 5:1-7; 27:2-11)
2. What people will actually receive the curse illustrated in this parable? (see John 15:5-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 John 5:16)
3. Using agricultural metaphors in the Bible for insight, identify the spiritual problems that lead to a person's receiving a curse in the judgment. (see Matthew 3:10; 7:17-20; 13:3-9, 24-29; 21:19; Luke 13:6-8; John 15:1-2; Jude 12)
4. What is the fruit a Christian is supposed to bear? (John 15:16; Romans 7:4-6; Galatians 5:22-26; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:10-12; Hebrews 13:15; James 3:17-18)
5. What prevents professed Christians from bearing fruit? (Matt. 3:11-12; 7:21-23; 13:18-23; 26:41-46; John 3:3-8, 18-21; Romans 7:4-5; Gal. 3:10; 5:16-18; 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Speaking to Friends
"Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case-things that accompany salvation," says verse 9.
1. What is the significance of fellow believers calling each other "friends"? (see John 15:13-16; 1 Cor. 10:14; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 John 2:7; Jude 3)
2. What is the work which the author says God will remember? (1 Cor. 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Thess. 1:3; Eph. 4:12)
3. How have the Hebrews shown love to God by helping His people? (Matt. 10:40, 42; 26:34-40)
4. What is the hope the author urges us to "makesure"? (v. 11) (See 3:6; 6:11, 18, 19; 7:19; 11:1; Romans 5:2)
The author urges the readers not to "become lazy", a trait which verse 5:11 has already indicted as keeping a person from becoming spiritually mature. Now he urges them to "imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."
1. What is it that has been promised? (Hebrews 10:36-39)
2. Who are those the Hebrews should imitate? (see 2 Thess. 1:4; James 1:3; Revelation 13:10; 14:12; Hebrews 11)
1. Have you had times in your Christian life when you were not experiencing the fruit of the Spirit? When?
2. How did you get back on track?
3. In what ways are you spiritually lazy?
4. Who do you know who is a spiritual role model for you?
1. What thorns and thistles are you producing in your life which you need to submit to Jesus for uprooting and healing?
2. What spiritual laziness do you need to confess, asking Jesus to give you diligence and commitment in its place?
3. What pockets of stubbornness or resistance keep you from becoming deeply rooted in Christ or prevent you from bearing fruit?
4. Ask God to convict you of the things in your life which you need to
submit to him. Let his Holy Spirit give you a new birth and a soft heart,
and give your plans and desires to him. Let God be sovereign in your life.
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Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Revised December 17, 2000.