Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 6

The importance of oaths

Hebrews 6:16-17

Oaths are important in many situations where a person must not lie. For example, the judges in many countries insist that witnesses must give their evidence under oath.

An oath is a serious declaration that someoneís words are true. Its purpose is to convince people about the truth of those words. Without an oath, people often speak lies. But the oath may make a person too afraid to lie.

For example, a person may declare his oath in front of his God. If that person then speaks lies, he must not only deal with his own guilty conscience. He has also made his God angry.

Or, a person may declare his oath Ďon his motherís lifeí. If that person then speaks lies, he has said something awful against his mother. He has declared that he wishes for her death.

We know that all Godís words are true. He never speaks lies. He does everything that he promises. But, often, we still find it hard to trust him.

That is why, sometimes, God has used oaths. He had done it to help people to trust him. So, he used an oath when he made his promises about Abrahamís family (Hebrews 6:13-14). But those promises were not merely for the benefit of one ancient family. And that oath was not merely to give confidence to Abraham.

Paul shows the real meaning of those promises in Galatians 3:6-9. They were for the benefit of people from every nation who believe God. All such people belong to Abrahamís real family. They joined that family because of Christís death. (Galatians 3:13-14).

So, Christians benefit from the oath that God gave to Abraham. They believe God, even as Abraham did. And because of that oath, they can be sure that their relationship with God is genuine.

Next part: The hope that never disappoints (Hebrews 6:18)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.