Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 6

Repentance and faith

Hebrews 6:1

The author will soon explain more about Jesusí work as our chief priest. That knowledge will help us to become more mature as Christians.

But before the author does that, he provides the short but interesting list in Hebrews 6:1-2. It is a list of important lessons that the first Christian leaders taught to new Christians. The author did not intend to explain any of these lessons in his book. He expected his readers already to know these things. You may wish to compare this list with the things that Church leaders teach to new Christians today.

The first 2 lessons in the list, repentance and faith, are about the beginning of the Christian life. A person becomes a Christian by means of repentance and faith. There is no other way to begin a right relationship with God.

ĎRepentanceí means a change of mind. Really, this is describing a complete change in a personís attitudes. Before repentance, a person lives to serve the evil forces that are operating in his life. Or, he lives in order to please himself. He might know something about God. But he does not have a right relationship with God. He has neglected Godís laws, he has refused to allow Godís rule in his life.

At the moment of repentance that all changes. The person becomes aware of the many wrong and evil things that he has done. But that person wants to serve God for the rest of his life. And he desires very much that God will change his heart (his mind and his attitudes).

True repentance is a gift from God (Acts 5:31). And when a person receives it, it changes his life completely. Afterwards, that person loves God, and he desires to please God. He does not want to do anything that is evil. Sometimes he still does those wrong things; but now they cause him to be sad. So he confesses them to God, so that God will forgive him (1 John 1:9). And he desires not to do such things again.

By Ďfaithí here, the author means the beginning of faith. The Christian life begins with faith (active belief and trust in God), when we ask God to save us. When we invite God into our lives, we are putting our trust in him. We depend completely on him, because only Christís work on the cross can save us.

Like repentance, faith must come from God. These things cannot come from a personís mind. Faith, in particular, comes from the promises in Godís word, the Bible (Romans 10:17). God has promised to save the person who shows true repentance (Acts 2:38).

So a person who wants God to save him must do two things. He must confess his evil deeds to God, and he must invite God into his life. When someone does those things, God will give repentance and faith to that person. And God will do what that person cannot do. He will change that personís mind, attitudes and behaviour completely.

All this is only possible because of the death of Christ. Because he died, God can forgive our wrong deeds. And because he died, we can put our trust (faith) in him.

Next part: Lessons for new Christians (Hebrews 6:2)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.