We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul … (Hebrews 6:19).
Often as we think about Hebrews chapter 6, the first thing that comes to mind is the controversy surrounding the verses that deal with apostasy and the impossibility of restoring one who falls away to repentance. But, most of the chapter is dedicated to securing our hope of assurance of eternal life.
Thus far in this chapter, after issuing a stern warning due to immaturity and sluggishness in their Christian lives (v. 1-8), the author expects better things of his readers, namely works of love that they have seen done by others who, through faith, inherit eternal life (v. 9-12). We saw how both the stern warning and the encouraging hope serve the same goal – that God’s people would endure to the end. We left off last time saying that God is faithful and just to keep His promises to us, as we joyfully and willingly serve others, motivated by love for Him. Verse 10: God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints.
As we consider this text, it might lead one to wonder whether the assurance of the Christian’s salvation is based upon faith or works. After all, we know that we have been justified by faith apart from works; but it seems to suggest here that our works are necessary to somehow show God that we are truly saved. If this is true, then how can anyone be assured of his salvation? How will we ever know whether we have done enough good works? Would this not shake our assurance? Indeed, it would; and perhaps the divine Author of Scripture anticipates this concern.
In verses 13-20 of Hebrews 6, the author issues one of the strongest cases in the entire Bible for the utterly unbreakable eternal security that every believer may continually enjoy. Illustrating from God’s promise to Abraham, the author emphasizes the unshakeable nature of God’s oath. In verse 17 he writes, when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath. What a hope we have as Christians, knowing both God’s faithfulness to His promise and the unchangeable nature of His oath! We do not cast our anchor on the fluctuating seas of good works, emotions, or anything else in our ever-changing world. Christ Himself, as our great High Priest, is our sure and steady anchor, embedded in the unshakeable ground of heaven itself!