6 So let’s push on toward a more perfect understanding and move beyond just the basic teachings of the Anointed One. There’s no reason to rehash the fundamentals: repenting from what you loved in your old dead lives, believing in God as our Creator and Redeemer, 2 teaching about baptism,[a] setting aside those called to service through the ritual laying on of hands, the coming resurrection of those who have died, and God’s final judgment of all people for all time. 3 No, we will move on toward perfection, if God wills it.
It’s clear that Jesus wanted His people to grow and mature in faith. Those who don’t move beyond the basics—tasting the gifts and powers of the new creation, partaking in the Spirit and the word of God—and then fall away bring shame to Jesus and produce nothing but briars and brambles. There is no stagnant life in the Kingdom. Either you grow and produce a blessing or you languish and descend into a curse. Be warned.
4-6 It is impossible to restore the changed heart of the one who has fallen from faith—who has already been enlightened, has tasted the gift of new life from God, has shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, and has known the goodness of God’s revelation and the powers of the coming age. If such a person falls away, it’s as though that one were crucifying the Son of God all over again and holding Him up to ridicule. 7 You see, God blesses the ground that drinks of the rain and then produces a bountiful crop for those who cultivate it. 8 But land that produces nothing but thorns and brambles? That land is worthless and in danger of being cursed, burned to the bare earth.
9 But listen, my friends—we don’t mean to discourage you completely with such talk. We are convinced that you are made for better things, the things of salvation, 10 because God is not unjust or unfair. He won’t overlook the work you have done or the love you have carried to each other in His name while doing His work, as you are still doing. 11 We want you all to continue working until the end so that you’ll realize the certainty that comes with hope 12 and not grow lazy. We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you, from whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God.
Melchizedek is perhaps one of the most mysterious figures in Scripture. He appears for the first time in Genesis 14:17-20 as Abraham returns from battle against Chedorlaomer and his allies. The name “Melchizedek” shows up again in Psalm 110, a song of David that is widely used to celebrate the coronation of the Davidic kings in Jerusalem. When God installs His king upon the throne of Jerusalem, He promises to vanquish his enemies and establish him as an eternal priest according to the honored order of Melchizedek.
But who was Melchizedek? Here Jesus is often referred to as “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” This mysterious Melchizedek, king of righteousness and peace, is a precursor to the Prince of Peace. In his brief appearances in Genesis and in Psalm 110, he opens a window into the mystery of God and His plan to redeem the world. The tradition about Melchizedek helps the early church understand Jesus’ role as priest and king even if He doesn’t seem to fit the traditional categories.
13 Remember when God made His promise to Abraham? He had to swear by Himself, there being no one greater: 14 “Surely I will bless you and multiply your descendants.”[b] 15 And after Abraham had endured with patience, he obtained the promise he had hoped for. 16 When swearing an oath to confirm what they are saying, humans swear by someone greater than themselves and so bring their arguments to an end. 17 In the same way, when God wanted to confirm His promise as true and unchangeable, He swore an oath to the heirs of that promise. 18 So God has given us two unchanging things: His promise and His oath. These prove that it is impossible for God to lie. As a result, we who come to God for refuge might be encouraged to seize that hope that is set before us. 19 That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls, a hope that leads us back behind the curtain to where God is (as the high priests did in the days when reconciliation flowed from sacrifices in the temple) 20 and back into the place where Jesus, who went ahead on our behalf, has entered since He has become a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.