Hebrews Bible Class: The Anchor of the Soul
Read: Hebrews 6:9-20
The Hebrew readers had been cut down to size. Their lives were no different than those who put the Son of God to open shame. If they had truly believed, were they in danger of losing their salvation because of this lifestyle? Could they become like those described in v4-8 of our chapter? The writer’s answer is a resounding “NO!” The remainder of chapter 6 shows that it is erroneous to say that those verses describe people who once were born again but lost their salvation. If someone could lose their salvation, God would not be faithful. Believers have a sure hope in God, the anchor of their souls. Enjoy that truth today!
6:9-20 – The Future Hope and Anchor of the Soul
V9-10 – The Persuasion: Their Service Shows a Difference
If the Hebrews were fraught with worry at the meaning of this letter, verse 9 must have calmed their hearts. Former friends and family who didn’t progress in learning had rejected the truth that Jesus was the risen Son of God, and declared by their life choice to return to Judaism that the crucifixion was no mistake. The readers of the letter were challenged because of the lack of reality being shown in their life because of their lack of learning. They were warned about not obeying the Word of God. Yet the writer confidently pens “we are persuaded better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation.”
What gave the writer this confidence? Works! An individual cannot work for their salvation since salvation is a gift from God, but God desires to see works. This is the same justification by works spoken of by James in his second chapter. While the Hebrews were lax in learning, their past and ongoing service were duly noted. God is interested in their works because they demonstrated their faith.
V11-12 – The Desire: That they would be diligent of the same hope to the end
Though their future was certain because of past works, they were not living in the enjoyment of those promises. It is difficult to continue living joyfully in a difficult situation if we don’t believe in God’s future purpose for that trial. Thus, the writer tells them to exert the same energy they devote to service into following past men of faith.
V13-20 – The Example: The Surety of the Promise
V13-15 – Surety of Abraham’s Promise by God’s Swearing
How can they follow past men of faith? By trusting that the promises of God were available to them now. Abraham believed God and was willing to trust Him based on who God was and that He swore by Himself in Genesis 12. Abraham decided that if God would swear by Himself, and since there is none greater than God, surely he could trust Him. Yet in Genesis 22:14, God gave Abraham an oath of confirmation following the work of Abraham that showed His full confidence in the promise of God.
V16-20 – Surety to the Heirs of Promise by God’s Swearing and Oath
Why did God give Abraham an oath on top of Him swearing by Himself? God is supremely gracious to His people. It would be more than acceptable for God to expect the heirs of the promises of God to rest in Him based alone on Him swearing by Himself, but God also made an oath to show that God will never change when He makes a promise. What a sureness! But there’s more: in these two immutable things, swearing and an oath, it is impossible for God to lie.
No wonder we can have confidence in God! The Hebrews are less than perfect Christians, but have fled to Him as refuge like those fleeing the avenger (Josh 20:3) and can lay hold of an unbreakable and never slipping anchor of the promises of God which is inside the veil. We can identify with the Hebrews, and can stand any test believing the truth that God is faithful, and knowing that our anchor is secure within the veil in the presence of God. Rejoice in God that though we may stumble and stagger in our Christian walk, our salvation is secure because He never goes back on His promises.
- What are “the things that accompany salvation” that the writer is talking about in v9?
- Who are the “heirs of promise” in v17? What is this promise?
- Why does the author return to the thought of Melchizedek at the end of v20?