Our men’s study group will be firing up soon . . . our plan, Lord willing, is to work our way through Hebrews over the next 9 months, or so. That it’s on my reading plan now is good reconnaissance for what’s ahead of us. No doubt, the discussion on these first verses of Hebrews 6 will be interesting. Bottom line . . . I’d understand those who “have fallen away” after having “once been enlightened” to be those who the Spirit has brought to the point of salvation . . . yet have rejected it. They are those on whom “the rain has fallen,” but willfully refuse to bow the knee, and so, bear thorns and thistles . . . a worthless crop fit only for incineration (Heb. 6:4-8).
“Yet,” says the writer to the Hebrews, “in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation.” (Hebrews 6:9 ESV)
That’s the realm of my meditation this morning . . . things that belong to salvation.
Those who are called “beloved” of God are those who have been shown a light which dispels the darkness . . . those who have tasted the living water of heaven . . . those who have encountered the Holy Spirit through His pre-conversion ministry of conviction of sin and of wooing the sinner to the Savior . . . those who have tasted the goodness of the word of God . . . those who have rubbed up against the power of the kingdom to come . . . and, unlike the apostate who rejects it, have received it by faith. And, having received it by faith, they have been planted in good soil, able and ready to produce much fruit. This being among the things that belong to salvation.
They are those who find themselves “serving the saints” (6:10). Their salvation being an entrance into a community of divine origin. The new birth bringing the redeemed into the family of God with brothers and sisters of every tribe and tongue and nation. The Holy Spirit taking the believer, equipping them as He determines, and joining them into the Body of Christ as a functioning member of the Body, called to build up others, even as they are built up, in their most holy faith. Doing life with the saints . . . serving one another . . . that too, is a facet of the things that belong to salvation.
They are those who diligently pursue the hope that is theirs, “until the end.” They know the Christian life is likened to a race. And they know that it’s not a sprint . . . not a “gimme” that can be completed without some holy determination and grit. The race is more like a marathon . . . perhaps closer to an iron-man triathlon . . . with many legs to the race . . . sometimes hitting the wall . . . but always pressing on for prize that waits before them. And so they earnestly and diligently, in full assurance, keep on keepin’ on (6:11). ‘Cause that’s one of the things that belong to salvation.
Finally, they are those who “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (6:12). They inherit the promises for today . . . that which assures them they can do all things through Christ who is their strength (Php. 4:13) . . . the experiential reality of a God who has committed that He will never leave or forsake them (Heb. 13:5) . . . the day-to-day abiding realization of His grace and power through the indwelling Spirit given to be their Helper (John 14:16). And, they are confident of the promises for tomorrow. That tomorrow when the Bride is presented to her Bridegroom . . . when the marriage supper of the Lamb is celebrated . . . when the struggles of this world give way to the eternal blessings of the next. Can anyone say “Amen!” to these things that belong to salvation.
To be certain, there’s some controversy surrounding this passage . . . but, to be equally certain, there are some things that the believer can be assured of . . . the things that belong to salvation.
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .