HEBREWS CHAPTER 5
(v. 7) "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One Who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.
(v. 8) Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered
(v. 9) and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him..."
A) THE SON OF GOD WAS MADE PERFECT, I.E., MATURE OR COMPLETE IN THE EXPERIENCE OF HIS HUMANITY ESPECIALLY THROUGH SUFFERING IN ORDER TO BECOME THE SOURCE OF ETERNAL SALVATION
"made perfect" = "teleiotheis" = a better translation is made complete.
God the Son is absolutely perfect and complete as God. However, as a Man, He had to experience the condition of humanity, especially relative to suffering as a man in order to qualify as the Savior of the world. Christ was already perfect - morally, but He became mature or complete because of what He went through. He suffered with mankind therefore He was a part of mankind because of what He had gone through. Because of this completion He could become the source of all eternal salvation. As a Man, He is One of us.
B) ALL WHO OBEY CHRIST, I.E., OBEY HIS COMMAND TO BELIEVE IN HIM UNTO ETERNAL LIFE WILL INHERIT ETERNAL SALVATION
1) OBEDIENCE CAN BE AN OBEDIENCE WITHIN THE MIND
The phrase "tois hupakouousin autO" from Heb 5:9, is a dative participle which literally is rendered,"to the ones obeying Him" or the best rendering, "to those who obey Him".
Since salvation unto eternal life is via faith alone, (Eph 2:8-9);
and since one can obey not only with deeds, but also with the mind including certain mental attitudes such as believing;
then "tois Hupakouousin autO" is properly interpreted as an obedience by simply believing.
The Ten Commandments, for example, prohibit a number of mental attitude sins, such as coveteousness. To disobey one of these mental attitude commandments is to have that mental attitude of coveteousness - no actual deeds required! If one believed that coveteousness was a sin and did not practice such a mental attitude, then one was obeying that commandment within one's mind, and without any actions. Therefore, faith in Christ as Savior is indeed obeying the Gospel of salvation by simply exercising a mental assent - a simple trust in Christ in obedience to His command to believe in Him unto eternal life.
2) THE WORK THAT ONE MUST OBEY IN ORDER TO HAVE ETERNAL LIFE IS STIPULATED AS A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE
In the Gospel of John, our Lord explicitly states that the work that one must do for eternal life is exclusively a matter of faith. So to obey the Lord unto eternal salvation must necessarily be to obey His command to trust alone in Him alone for eternal life, no deeds required:
a) [Compare Jn 6:27-29]:
(v. 27) "[Jesus answered] Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.
(v. 28) Then they asked Him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?'
(v. 29) Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.' "
Our Lord picks up on the word 'work' which the disciples used but not in a literal sense and provided the answer which is no work at all: but to simply to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior.
Just as a father can answer his precocious young son's question using drive in a non literal fashion as follows: 'Which car can I drive to class, Dad?' with: 'I'll tell you which car you can drive. You can drive the school bus to class;" so our Lord uses the work in a non literal fashion also.
2) TO OBEY THE TRUTH IS TO BELIEVE IN IT
a) [Compare 1 Pet 1:17-23]:
(v. 17) "Since you [believers, v. 18] call on a Father Who judges each man's work impartially, [relative to rewards, 1 Cor 3:11-15] live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
(v. 18) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.
[Notice the word "redeemed". The subject is salvation. Peter is reminding Jewish believers that they were saved not by things nor by their "empty way of life", i.e., by trying to be saved by the deeds of the Law handed down by their forefathers but they were saved by the blood of Jesus Christ]:
(v. 19) but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
(v. 20) He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
[And the basis upon which the blood of Christ saved you, Peter says to fellow believers, is faith, i.e., belief in the gospel of salvation]:
(v. 21) Through Him you believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God [relative to salvation unto eternal life]
(v. 22) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart."
["Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth" = Now that you have received perfect righteousness, i.e., purification unto eternal life by "obeying the truth" = by believing in the gospel of salvation, (cp v. 21).]
(v. 23) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God."
[So obeying the truth according to Scripture is believing in it. Verse 21 states that believing in God, in what He did relative to His Son: His Son's death, burial, resurrection and glorifiication (the Gospel of salvation) will result in purification, i.e., eternal life. And verse 22 describes this action of believing in the gospel of salvation as "obeying the truth." Then verse 23 confirms that the subject is being born again, i.e., salvation]
3) TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IS TO OBEY CHRIST'S COMMAND AND BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL, I.E., IN HIM ALONE
a) [Eph 1:13-14]:
(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
(v. 14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."
[Notice that to receive the Holy Spirit one must simply believe in the gospel]
b) [Compare Acts 5:32]:
"We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him."
Since the Holy Spirit is given to one at the point of believing in the gospel in accordance with Eph 1:13-14, then to obey Christ to receive the Holy Spirit is simply to obey His command to believe in the gospel.
4) TO DISOBEY IS TO DISBELIEVE THE GOSPEL RELATIVE TO ETERNAL LIFE
a) [1 Pet 2:6-8]:
(v. 6) "For in Scripture it says: 'See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.'
[The one who trusts in Christ, the Cornerstone, (cp 2:4; Eph 2:20; Gen 49:24) "will never be put to shame" i.e., will never suffer eternal condemnation, (cp Ps 78:66), therefore will be saved unto eternal life]
(v. 7) Now to you who believe, this Stone is precious, but those who do not believe, 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,' and,
(v. 8) 'A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.' They stumble because they disobey the message - which is also what they were destined for."
["...they disobey the message" = "But to those who do not believe," (v. 7). So to disobey is to disbelieve. therefore, to obey is to believe]
b) [Compare Jn 3:36]:
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, [but] whoever disobeys [rejects, refuses to believe in] the Son will not see life for God's wrath remains on Him."
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life" =
"Whoever believes" = "ho pisteuon" = "pisteuon" = nom. sg. m. pres. act. part. = "the believing one", i.e., the believer.
"[but] whoever disobeys [rejects, refuses to believe in] the Son will not see life for God's wrath remains on Him." =
This second half of verse 36 is contextually the opposite of the first half considering the opposite result of not seeing eternal life and therefore not ever having become a believer is in view in order to not see [eternal] life and remain under God's wrath:
"whoever rejects the Son" = "ho de apeithon"
= "apeithon" = "disobeys", lit. "one that is disbelieving", i.e., rejects the son = an unbeliever. This word apeitheo is consistently used in the New Testament to refer to the disobedience of unbelief.
"for God's wrath remains on Him." = This last part of the verse signifies that the individual never had eternal life in the first place in order for God's wrath to remain on him, i.e., he never began believing in Christ at any time so that he could be out from under God's wrath. So the second clause refers to those who never believed and thus they remain under condemnation.
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever "apeithon" = refuses to believe and obey, i.e., rejects the Son [as his Savior] will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
c) [Jn 3:18]:
"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."
Notice that here in John 3:18 that the only condition presented for being condemned is to not believe in the name of God's one and only Son. Compare Jn 8:42-47 = those who do not believe in Christ belong to their father the devil, i.e., are not saved. Since the sole condition on the part of the individual is to receive eternal life is to trust alone in Christ alone
since the sole condition of condemnation unto the Lake of Fire, i.e., since the only thing that gets you condemned to hell is not ever trusting alone in Christ alone as Savior
since disobeying the gospel of salvation gets you condemned to hell then disobeying the gospel of salvation is the same thing as disbelieving it. One can disobey by doing something 'out of the line of the authority that you are under' and one can also disobey by believing something out of line.