What the Bible Says About Things That Accompany Salvation Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Title: What the Bible Says About Things That Accompany Salvation
Text: “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner” (Heb. 6:9)
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 6:7-12
Let’s begin our study by reading God’s word.
Our text is Hebrews 6:7-12.
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;
8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
One misleading notion that has stopped the spiritual growth of countless Christians is the idea of salvation is a termination point rather than a starting point.
It is almost as though some people, when they are saved, look back on that experience and say, “Whew! I took care of that, now I can settle down to the business of living!”
And they build a fence around their Christianity and pay periodic visits to it, but by and large, they live their lives as they want to.
In this Hebrew passage, the author is not talking about what makes up salvation; rather, he is recalling what shows or demonstrates a genuine salvation experience both in believers themselves and to those who watch.
In the letter to the Hebrews, we discover four major gifts that accompany our salvation.
First, we have the gift of assurance (Heb. 6:17-20).
Quite often a pastor hears someone say, “Pastor, there are times when I seriously doubt that I have ever been saved.”
And the look on the person’s face indicates that those are not idle words because the misery and doubt are plainly seen.
Often the person will add, “I just don’t feel the way I used to feel about my faith and my relationship with God.”
What people who doubt their salvation fail to realize is that few things in the world are more undependable than feelings.
And because of the inconsistency of our feelings, Satan takes pleasure in attacking us at this point.
In Hebrews, it says, “God wanted to prove that his promise was true to those who would get what he promised. And he wanted them to understand clearly that his purposes never change, so he made an oath. These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he makes a promise, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath. These things give those of us confidence who came to God for safety. They give us the strength to hold on to the hope we have been given. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong. It enters behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place in heaven, where Jesus has gone ahead of us and for us. He has become the high priest forever, a priest like Melchizedek” (Heb. 6:17-20).
We are taught in these verses that the safekeeping of our salvation rests totally on the faithfulness of God; not on ourselves.
Two things are underscored in this passage that forms the basis for the guarantee of our salvation.
First, we have the Word of God (v 18).
Verse 18 said, “These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he makes a promise, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath…”
Our confidence in fellow believers may be shattered at times because of their human weakness.
But God’s Word never changes.
It is alive with the breath of God.
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
God’s Word has a rich revelation of His love for us-it is the gift of His son.
In His Word we are told of His death and resurrection and of His ascension and intercession for us.
These truths never change.
Second, Jesus’ mission in heaven for Christians right now, is additional assurance that we are eternally secure in the grace of God.
Jesus functions now as our High Priest (v.20).
“Jesus has gone ahead of us and for us. He has become the high priest forever…”
When Christ ascended back to heaven, He assumed the office of High Priest.
He is there to intercede for us, and to represent us before the Father in heaven.
Verse 19 said, “He entered behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place in heaven.”
Christ, as High Priest entered into the temple in heaven.
Jesus passed through the veil and into the Holy of Holies, into the presence of God, and He presented His blood there.
Then He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
He could go in and set down because He had finished redemption.
Verse 19 also says that “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.”
We have an even stronger encouragement than Abraham had in his time because our High Priest has entered in advance into the presence of God for us, and He is there today interceding for us.
In verse 18 we read, “These things encourage us who came to God for safety.”
This reminds me of the cities of refuge which God provided for the children of Israel.
These cities of refuge serve as a type of Christ sheltering the sinner from death.
It was a very marvelous provision for a man who accidentally killed someone.
Maybe the one whom he killed had a hotheaded brother who wanted vengeance.
So the fugitive could escape to a city of refuge where he would be protected and his case tried.
If he was acquitted of intentional killing he had to remain in the city until the High Priest died.
What a picture this is for us today!
This reveals that Christ is our refuge.
My friends, I have already been carried into court, and at the trial, I was found guilty.
I was a sinner.
The penalty which was leveled against me was death-and it has already been executed.
Christ bore the penalty for me.
Because He died in my place I am free.
I have been delivered from the penalty of sin; never do I have to answer for it again.
I am free now to go out and serve Him.
I now have a High Priest, a resurrected Savior, to whom I can go.
What a wonderful picture of my Savior this gives!