Hebrews 71 December 7, 2006
We are at the section getting into these verses, just coming off of that famous passage of tremendous difficulty, that warning passage dealing with those who have fallen away. The text says in verse 6 that it is impossible to renew them again to repentance.
Then there was the illustration we read in verses 7 and 8 dealing with two different types of soil. The first deals with the soil that drinks in the rain and produces fruit. That is a picture of believers who respond positively to the grace of God in providing the nourishment necessary for growth that comes primarily from the Spirit of God using the Word of God in the life of the believer to produce fruit. Now that illustration is important because the writer of Hebrews uses that to move on into his subject in the next section. So there is the contrast between the earth that responds to the nourishment and grows and produces positive fruit and receives blessing from God and that which rejects or misuses the grace of God and bears thorns and briars. It is rejected and is near to being cursed. We saw that it was not a salvation rejection, it is that they lose rewards. That is the backdrop for this entire passage.
But the thrust of this passage seemed very negative up to this point. I want you to remember how negative it has been. As the writer of Hebrews has entered into this section (this is the third section of the five major sections in the book of Hebrews), he started to develop the doctrine of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ in relationship to the royal high priesthood of Melchizedek. Jesus is not a High Priest according to the order of the Aaronic priesthood, which is under the Mosaic Law, but a higher priesthood that relates to all peoples, the Gentile priesthood of the royal king Melchizedek. As he just begins to introduce that in 5:6 he breaks off in verse 11 and just begins to castigate these people to reprimand them for their spiritual dullness. That word is picked up for their spiritual dullness in verse 12 in this next paragraph which we are beginning tonight in vs. 9-12.
So he reminds them….
NKJ Hebrews 5:11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
NKJ Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
You should have the spiritual maturity, the knowledge to have pressed on to spiritual maturity; but once again I have to go back to the basics of milk and start over again because you have regressed spiritually. Then there is the warning in the first part of chapter 6 that believers who regress spiritually jeopardize rewards and you can even possibly reach a point of no return in your spiritual life where you end up being taken out under the sin unto death. But he says in a positive note in verse 9 (that is where we begin tonight)…
NKJ Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner
In what manner? "Though we have just faced you down, though we have just confronted you and challenged you and reprimanded you for your spiritual sluggishness though I have just rebuked you for your lazy, sluggish, dull attitude toward Scripture, nevertheless I am confident of better things for you."
That is the main thing that he is saying here. There are three sentences in this paragraph. I want to run through those so you get the idea of what he is talking about. First he says…
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you
This is a very positive note in the midst of this warning passage in this exhortation section. Even though you have regressed and are dull, we expect and are confident that better things are going to happen, that you will recover. Why? For God is not unjust. He goes to the character of God to support his rationale for his encouraging and positive statements here. God is not unjust to forget what has already taken place in your spiritual growth.
NKJ Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
NKJ Hebrews 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
That is the same word used back in verse 11 of being dull of hearing - that you not become dull of hearing.
It is the last phrase that we see that the thrust of this is to encourage them to press forward so that they have an inheritance and receive rewards and blessings at the Judgment Seat of Christ. So the main idea of this first verse in verse 9 is to remind them that yes indeed, we have confidence that despite past failures - no matter what has happened in your spiritual life, no matter what sins you have committed, no matter how you have failed – you may go through a period of weeks, months, or years where you are just spiritually sluggish, where you are cold even to the Word where you are living your life based on the sin nature - nevertheless no matter how bad you have sinned no matter how far you have drifted off course from grace, no matter how far you have gotten from the Lord, nevertheless we have confidence that despite failure there is recovery. God's grace always provides for recovery. God's grace is greater than any sin that we can ever commit.
The beginning of this verse is extremely important. As I have been studying it for the last week or so and thinking about it especially the last few days something hit me about this today in light of some things that went on at Pre-Trib. That is this first phrase.
"But beloved we are confident of better things concerning you."
What a powerful word that is that we are confident. It is the Greek word peitho. It is a perfect passive indicative here. What is important to understand is that it is a perfect tense verb. Now the grammar there is important because it helps us to understand the thrust of what he is saying. A perfect tense verb in the Greek indicates, especially in the intensive perfect tense that this is, emphasizes the present results of a completed past action.
So the writer is saying, "I am currently confident and have been confident as a result of some past action."
Now that past action is his understanding of the grace of God and how the grace of God works in the life of the believer. If the believer fails no matter what it is we have a promise of forgiveness.
NKJ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Confess means to admit or acknowledge our sins to God.
1 John 1:9 is an important thing to understand because when we are out of fellowship we cannot produce anything of eternal value. We are out of fellowship with God. We have breeched that rapport. God the Holy Spirit isn't working positively in our lives for growth. He is working in a negative sense to bring us back into recovery into fellowship with God to produce. We are walking by the flesh and not by the Spirit. There is that important contrast that we have studied in Galatians 5:16-25. Before anything positive is produced in our lives after we have sinned, there has to be this recovery. You confess first.
Lately there have been people asking me, "What is the relationship between repentance and confession?"
The word repentance emphasizes change. Repentance really comes after (if you want to break it down logically) confession. If you repent before you confess, you are doing it when you are out of fellowship. You are doing it in the power of the flesh. You have to get back in fellowship before it has any value. You don't repent and then confess. You confess and repentance may be years away.
I was thinking of an example. Let's say you are in a situation. This happens. It is very common today. You have somebody who gets abused, maltreated, betrayed in a relationship. I can imagine many different situations involving marriage where there is betrayal or where there is abuse. There may be emotional abuse, physical abuse or whatever it might be. There is a horrible divorce situation. One person is more in the right and the other person is much more in the wrong. It has really produced a horrible situation which is very abusive and very wrong. And when that marital split occurs there are often on the part of one person very hurt feelings. There is that tendency to anger, resentment, bitterness, and revenge that can dominate the soul. If that abuse and all of that treatment has gone on for years and has been truly horrible, then that person may struggle for years with bitterness. Every time they think of that person they were married to, there is this welling up of emotion.
Yet in order to ever grow past that, what do you have to do? You have got to be in fellowship. Right? You can't deal with it in the power of the flesh. You have got to deal with it by the power of God the Holy Spirit. So that means you have to be back in fellowship. You can't wait and get back in fellowship. You may not even at times to be willing to admit that it is a sin. It feels good to be vindictive and to enjoy those thoughts. We are all that way. Don't look at me like I just said something …. We are all that way. But those thoughts don't dominate us 24-7, not 60 seconds out of every minute, 60 minutes out of every hour and 24 hours out of every day. There are times when you get distracted and you are watching the evening news. You get mad at some politician. (I am just kidding.)
You get distracted because your favorite football team won and there is happiness there. You confess some other sin. Yes, you are forgiven of all sins. That is what I John 1:9 says.
NKJ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
"Our sins" are those we mention.
Five minutes later when you think of that dirty SOB (that is son of Belial); then you are out of fellowship again. But you don't have to repent of that. It may take years in many cases for us to grow through and grow out of and pass certain sins that are trends, comfortable trends, of our sin nature. We all have the comfort zone of our sin nature. It is a dangerous place to live, but we all do that more often than we are willing to admit. But there is always recovery. We have to keep our eye on that forward momentum that we have to grow through all of this even though all this times it may take us years to recognize that certain mental attitude sins that we have aren't really unhealthy and we have to move passed them. If we have to come to a point of fully recognizing their sinfulness and they are wrong before we can ever confess any sin then we are in trouble because you never get back into that position where you can walk with the Spirit again and the Spirit can begin to deal with those things.
Here we have a statement that we have confidence – the writer says that we can be sure, we can have confidence that there is recovery and he has confidence that even though this congregation has failed miserably he is confident of better things for them.
Now this word confidence is very important because we can have confidence in the right things and we can have confidence in the wrong thing. This word confident is the Greek word that peitho which indicates the attainment of certainty. Certainty is one of the things that you are either sure or you are not sure. It is sort of like being pregnant. You are not just a little bit pregnant. You are either sure or you are not sure. Now the trouble with living in the postmodern era is people want to think that you can be a little bit sure.
"I am 80% sure. I am 50% sure. I am 30% sure."
You just don't have a basis of knowledge or what philosophers call epistemology for being absolutely sure of anything. Yet that is the terminology here. We can attain certainty. We can be convinced; we can be persuaded that something is 100% true.
As Paul says in I Corinthians 5, "We walk by faith and not by sight."
The trouble with most people is that they think that certainty relates only to sight. In other words if we put it into epistemological terms, you can only have certainty on the basis of empiricism or rationalism. But faith, well that is a leap of faith. That is subjective so there is not any certainty there. But the Bible says there are people who have certainty in the wrong things and in Luke 18:9 Jesus tells a parable to some of the people around Him who trusted. There is that word peitho. They had confidence in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt.
NKJ Luke 18:9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
This is the parable of the Pharisee and the publican where the Pharisee was the one who stood and he prayed, "God, I thank you that I am not like other people".
"I am not a Democrat." No…..
"I am not like other people, swindlers, unjust, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I pay tithes of all that I get."
Emphasis is on what he did - emphasis on his own actions as the source of righteousness.
In contrast there is the tax collector who says, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
Jesus goes on to make the point that the man who was humble, the tax collector, who recognized that he had no standing whatsoever before God on the basis of what he had done was the one who was the justified one. He recognized grace. So we see that there are those who are persuaded of the wrong thing. So you can believe or trust or be confident in the wrong thing. In fact peitho isn't a synonym for trust even though it is etymologically related to the word pistis which is the word for faith. Now we have a positive use of this confidence in Romans 8:38-39.
NKJ Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul is saying that he is confident and we can be confident too. On a scale from one to ten, how confident is Paul? Ten! He is absolutely confident. He has no shadow of a doubt that he has perfect standing before God. It is not 80% or 60 or 40%. The expectation from this verse is that we can be just as certain and just as confident of our salvation. So the bottom line here is that the Bible teaches that we can have confidence or the certain knowledge of the truth. Why is that? Again as I have stressed over and over, it is because our confidence is in the revelation of God. It comes back to that theory of knowledge. We can know truth because the God who is truth has communicated to us. The omniscient God who knows everything – who knows everything that will be, everything that could be has communicated to us. Not only that but we have an understanding that this God created us and He designed us in such a way that despite the chaos from sin we could still hear what He said. He could still communicate to fallen man. Of course in the Church Age for believers we have the addition of God the Holy Spirit who enables us to understand fully the Word of God. Aside from the gospel the natural man can't understand anything. He only understands the gospel because God gives us the Holy Spirit makes it clear to them. God gives us the Holy Spirit who makes the Word of God clear to us, makes it perspicuous to us so we can truly know what the Word of God says.
Now this last week when we were up at Pre-Trib one of the papers that was given (an excellent presentation) was by Dr. Bob Wilkin who is the president of Grace Evangelical Society. He delivered an eye opening paper entitled Postmodernism and Its Impact upon Theological Education. Now he sort of left no institution unturned. He dealt with a number of seminaries and Bible colleges around the country and how members of their faculty (not everybody on their faculty) the whole institution hasn't gone over to postmodernism, but how certain members of their faculty are allowed to make some extremely dubious statements. He named names and he gave examples. Some of these included recent examples from Dallas Theological Seminary. I thought that I would share that with you so that you could be warmed and spiritually encouraged by where our seminaries and schools are going.
Recently Dallas Theological Seminary had a conference on postmodernism and they invited as one of the speakers a man by the name of Brian McLaren. Now most of you have never heard of him, but he is one of the major influences in the Emerging Church Movement. Most of you have probably never heard of that either. That is one of these kind of movements where everybody sits around and instead of having pews or chairs they bring in a bunch of sofas and they all share with each other about all of the warm fuzzies that the have from God. So the Emerging Church Movement is just really going. That is the seeker-sensitive-purpose-driven next step. It is extremely scary. Anyway McLaren was listed recently by Time Magazine (according to Wilken) as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in American today. Wilken writes…
That fact combined with the fact that DTS wanted him to speak there should grab all of our attention. What he has to say is important even if it is heretical.
Bob's words. I agree, but they are Bob's words.
I used that term intentionally. During a question and answer session McLaren was asked if he knew anything for sure.
Now remember I just said that the Apostle Paul says you can know some things for sure. The Scripture is certain about that.
But initially McClaren said he did know some things for sure, such as knowing that he had experienced God's love. But then he said, "I can have doubts about anything if it's late enough at night. Certainty, he says I think, is overrated in the modern world."
My question is, "In the modern world there is no certainty. Nobody believes in certainty. It isn't rated at all."
But anyway Wilken goes on to comment about this statement…
That is the heart of postmodernism. He says certainty is overrated in the modern world. What is not overrated in the modern world is doubt. Everybody needs to have a healthy amount of skepticism.
He moved on from Brian McLaren who is not a DTS student or faculty member but was invited to speak at the conference to talk about Darrel Bock. Dr. Darrel Bock is a distinguished research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Seminary. He is a Houston boy. We may not want to claim him. I have known Darrel since about 1975 when he was first starting at Dallas Seminary and he graduated from Rice University. He was sitting next to McLaren during the conference and this is what Bock said according to Wilken. Wilken listened to the tapes of all the conference and he says...
Bock's remarks are equally amazing. He said the following immediately after McLaren ended his answer. This is Bock's speaking.
"I think when you are discussing foundationalism (the idea of having a sure and certain foundation to our doctrine) the concept of certainty has also to do with provability. Can I prove that something has taken place? Can I prove beyond any reasonable doubt? Can I prove it?
See most of us who went through Dallas years ago understood that there was evidence of proof for Scripture. The Bible didn't present faith as a leap into subjectivity, but that there were sure and certain proofs. Gee, I think that comes out of Acts 1 from the lips of Jesus that He gave certain proofs, evidence of His resurrection to the disciples.
So Bob goes on and he says (to give an illustration)…
We have to talk about the relationship of conviction, certainty and faith.
Then he says….
I am reminded of a situation where I was debating Marcus Borg.
For those of you who don't know, he is one of those big bad liberals who are part of the Jesus seminar who doubt that 95% of the gospels had anything to do with what actually happened. So he is debating Marcus Borg and Borg got up and began his debate by saying,..
"I don't think that this debate is a real debate because Darrel is going to defend the position that he holds to which is that the Bible is inerrant. Therefore as a result the resurrection must happen, talking about the proof for the resurrection of Christ.
Well, Bock responded by saying,"I thought that was an interesting way to begin a debate." I got up and said (these are Darrel Bock's words.), "I think what tonight is about is not whether I can prove the resurrection takes place as a matter of absolute certainty, but whether or not the case for believing in the resurrection as physical act has greater plausibility than the case that it's a metaphor. And, there is a distinction between what I believe and why I believe it and how strongly I hold to it and what I can actually show."
This is the research professor of New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary. What he is saying is that all we can get out of Bible is greater plausibility.
Why do you believe the Bible instead of Islam?
"Well, it is a little more plausible."
When you die and you are entering heaven and Jesus says, "Why should I let you into heaven?"
"Well, I thought you had a little more plausible explanation of things."
Is that what we are talking about? Now not every professor at Dallas Seminary holds to positions like this. I want to make that clear. There are some good men there. But, there was no one there like that 30 years ago. They would not have been allowed to come back on the campus if they ever made a statement like that 30 years ago. Now they are promoted to positions of research professor.
Bob went on to say that there is another example from two recent Dallas Seminary graduates who have a ministry called Reclaiming the Mind Ministry. He refers to a graduate named Michael Patton who graduated in 2001 and Rome Dick who graduated in 2004 who are president and executive director respectively of this Internet based teaching ministry. He says they have an internet radio ministry called Theology Unplugged. In one of their internet broadcasts they featured a discussion between the two of them and the radio talk show host, a man named Greg Kromarty, who himself is conversant on post modern thought. So Patton started off and he asked the other two how sure they were on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 represents absolute certainty.
"Are you sure you exist?"
"Yes, I am reasonably sure I exist."
That would be a 10. And if you are sure that is going to rain tomorrow that may be somewhere down around a one. Remember we are in Houston.
So he asked them if on a scale from 1–10 how sure are you of God's existence, Kromarty said that he would put God's existence on a scale somewhere between 5 and 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Rome Dick the DTS graduate (Kromarty is not a DTS graduate) puts God's existence on 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. How sure are you that God exists? In other words would you give your life? I have got a 45 pointed between your eyes, are you going to give your life for the existence of God? On a scale of 1 to 10, how sure are you?
"Well, maybe a 7."
Then they discussed how sure they were that Jesus will return at the rapture.
Kromarty quipped, "That is a nice story."
Now if you are in touch with postmodern thought, story is the key word. Everything is a story. It is all a narrative. If it is a story, then he said he would rate the Pre-Trib rapture as a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10. Dick the DTS graduate doesn't give a number but suggests that the answer to that question might even be a negative number.
Now Wilken goes on to note and I quote him…
The DTS students who worked for him (he always has 2 or 3 interns working with him) estimate that a huge percentage, over 80% of the students in their classes buy the postmodern uncertainty that they are being taught in class.
That would mean 8 or 9 out of 10 DTS graduates will be like Patton and Kromarty and will be going out to stand in pulpits and give people a plausible view of how God can solve your problems or how you can be saved. This is the cream of the crop today.
Now the Bible says that there is certainty. In fact the writer of Hebrews here is talking about a certainty that doesn't relate to salvation, that doesn't relate to the empty tomb, that doesn't relate to the existence of God, but is something that a lot of Christians wouldn't be that certain about. That is that he is confident that even though you have messed up your life to the maximum because you have been living on carnality and you have committed all kinds of egregious sins.
He says, "I have this same confidence of my eternal security than I have that better things are going to come out of you because you are going to turn things around and get right with the Lord again."
That is what he is talking about. He has certainty that if we completely blow it in the Christian life no matter how badly you have failed, whatever sins you commit, no matter what sins you commit God's grace is great enough to give you recovery. So we have to remember that as long as we are still alive God has a plan for your life and recovery may be long slow and hard and you might have to go through a series of divine discipline just like David did. Nevertheless God is going to provide a way for you to recover because no sin is too great for the grace of God. There was no sin that didn't make it into God's plan when in His omniscience He was aware of every sin in human history and imputed every sin in human history to Jesus Christ on the cross.
He didn't wake up the day after and go, "Oops! I forgot one. Oh! Oh! Wait a minute! John Hite is going to do this and I slipped. That's not covered. "
He is not going to do that. Every one of them made it to the cross. No sin was forgotten. So every sin is covered by the grace of God. No sin is too great for God to forgive because every sin was paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. No sin was left out. No sin was uncovered. Every sin was paid for and therefore that's not the issue. The issue is - are you willing to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and admit that what you did was a sin so that by confession you can have forgiveness, recovery and move forward? So there is no sin too great for recovery. The only thing that holds us back is that our volition gets too locked in negative and we aren't willing to confess the sin and move forward.
The point that we have to remember in the context of this passage is the serious warning just given that from a human perspective in terms of normal recovery there can be a point where apart from the grace of God there is no recovery. I pointed that out last time. Again and again in the book of Hebrews there is this emphasis on encouraging one another, strengthening one another but sometimes people get locked into negative and there is nothing you and I can say or do other than prayer to encourage their recovery. It is up to the grace of God and His divine discipline. So there is certainly assurance and we can be 100 % sure and certain of God's provision.
A lot of people today frankly don't have a lot of assurance in their salvation. In fact I was talking with one pastor at the conference, an older pastor, Dr. Joe Chambers. He would not mind me mentioning his name. He is the pastor of a large classic Pentecostal church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Joe is a great guy to put up with all of us. He has been coming to the Pre-Trib rapture study group since the first year. The first year he roomed with 3 5-point Calvinists and he is a classic Armenian. He does not believe in eternal security at all. We always give his a hard time about it. He is very good-natured about it but he doesn't believe in such a thing as eternal security. He even cornered me one day this week wanting to talk to me about the warning passages in Hebrews 10. But he has a tough time with it. We have gone through the doctrine of eternal security here many times so I don't want to cover that in depth. But I do want to touch on a couple of passages. We can be certain of our salvation. We can know that we are saved. That is what we have in I John 5:13. The Bible tells us that we can know that we are saved – not have an 80% certainty or 60% certainty or if you wake up and it's a good day you are sure. But if you wake up and it's not a good day, well, maybe not.
NKJ 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
That you may know - not that you may have a plausible case for eternal life.
So we can know that we are saved.
Another line of argument for eternal security is based on the power of God because God is omnipotent. He is able to do that which He intends to do.
NKJ Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
God is able to make you stand in His presence and to keep us. He is able to keep us. We connect this with passages such as John 10:28-9 where Jesus says...
NKJ John 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
NKJ John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
He doesn't say, "And they might not perish."
You see that have eternal life. That means it is not going to be lost.
These are dogmatic statements of absolute certainty.
So you are held in Jesus' hand. Then the Father has His hands wrapped around Jesus' hands and who do you think can come along and pry those open? It can't happen. So we have absolute certainty of our salvation because of the power of God.
Third, because of the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit. He puts His brand on us. I always like to think about the sealing of the Spirit in terms of good old cattle branding. If you're not familiar with cattle branding, back in the Wild West days they used to have cattle rustlers who would take a cinch ring off of a saddle that is a round ring. They would take that and hold it with a pair of pliers and heat it up and would use that to change a brand. If you are looking at the skin of that cattle from the outside it looks like that brand has been changed. That brand signified ownership. So instead of being owned by one person, it now looked like that cow was owned by another person. That cow might go the rest of his life with that brand on him like that because the only way you could tell that the brand had been changed was to slaughter the calf, cut the hide off and then look at it from the reverse side you could see that the brand had been changed. A lot of Christians are that way. When they get saved they get branded by the Holy Spirit and they are in the family of God and owned by God, but because of carnality they let Satan come along and try to counterfeit or change the brand. It is not going to be until they die that you are going to see what the real brand was. It is the brand of the Lord Jesus Christ. They haven't lost their salvation. They have eternal security and assurance of their salvation.
Now the writer of Hebrews here is confident of better things. Now what are those better things? Let's just go back and finish up. Let's get a corrected translation of the verse.
Literal Translation: But beloved, concerning you we are convinced of better things that are related to your salvation.
So there is an emphasis here with a term of endearment at the very beginning of the verse.
You who are dull of hearing sluggards who I have been reprimanding for the last 8 or 10 verses.
So what are these better things that are related to our salvation? Well, we are not talking about salvation in terms of classic justification or coming to Christ or gaining eternal life at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. Remember we have seen that the Word in Hebrews for salvation soteria has to do with that completed process of salvation not phase 1 justification when we are saved from the penalty of sin, not phase 2 sanctification when we are saved from the presence of sin but phase 3 salvation glorification when we are saved form the presence of sin. That is what he is talking about – the better things that are related to that salvation at the end of phase 3. So those better things that accompany salvation that glorification has to do with rewards and inheritance which is where he heads in verse 12 that through faith and patience we inherit the promises. We will come back next time and continue to look at the rest of verse 9 and the dynamics of spiritual work and service in verse 10.