The Berean Expositor
Volume 41 - Page 181 of 246
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"The House of Jacob shall Possess their Possessions"
"Dullness" in hearing. "Sloth" in following.
pp. 19, 20
Our possessions in Christ, as we have learned and believed are riches beyond the
power of the mind to compute, and consequently any light that the Scriptures may throw
upon sources of danger or anything that threatens the full possession of these priceless
possessions should be a matter of immediate concern to every believer.
The early church by putting sloth among the seven deadly sins, exercised clearer
discrimination than we have credited, for it is against sloth that the Apostle warned his
readers, whom he exhorted to go on unto perfection. Sloth is a derivative of the word
that gives us the English word `slow', and those who were `slow of heart' to believe,
were rebuked by the Lord (Luke 24: 25). The epistle to the Hebrews has as its
historical background:
In chapters 3: and 4: the failure of Israel to enter into their `rest'.
The failure of the Levitical system of priest and offering to touch the conscience and
put away sin (Heb. 5:-10:).
The examples of faith, set structurally over against the examples of unbelief of
Heb. 2:-4:, and which commence with Abel and traverse O.T. history (Heb. 11:).
Each of these typical and historical backgrounds have key words that indicate some
special danger, and which point to the remedy provided. The change of priesthood from
that of Aaron to that of Melchisedec, the stress on the fact that faith sees the `invisible',
the inability of any typical offering to touch the conscience, will occur to the reader.
The section of Hebrews which demands our present attention is Heb. 5: & 6: and the
structure forces into prominence the two occurrences of the Greek word nothros which
are found in the N.T. The one occurrence translating the word `dull' the other rendering
it `slothful'.
Hebrews 5: and 6:
A | 5: 1-6. Melchisedec. Priest.
B | 5: 6-10. Perfected.
C | 5: 11 - 6: 1. The SLOTHFUL (dull) versus the perfect.
B | 6: 1-10. Perfection.
C | 6: 11-19. The SLOTHFUL versus the overcomer.
A | 6: 20. Melchisedec. Priest.
One of the values of the structure of a passage of Scripture is that one can as it were
see the parts that have been underlined by God. The structure compels us to notice the
two occurrences of nothros which might otherwise slip our attention.