Taking Care with Something That’s a Done Deal

Chewing on the dynamics of salvation this morning as I hover over Hebrews 3.

If salvation is all of God and nothing of us (and it is), then I’m inclined to think that those who are “truly saved” will be marked by “stick-to-it-iveness.” That the fruit of salvation is faithfulness to salvation. Case in point:

And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

(Hebrews 3:6b ESV)

For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

(Hebrews 3:14 ESV)

Holding on to the end with confidence and courage in our hope. It’s the evidence that we really have come to “share in Christ.” That we are, in fact, His people. If salvation is all of God (and it is) then shouldn’t those who are saved live and believe like they’re saved? I’m thinking.

So then, why include this exhortation?

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

(Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV)

Two commands to obey: take care and exhort one another every day. Watch out and encourage each other daily (CSB). Take heed constantly and be constantly exhorting one another (Wuest). Watch your step and keep each other on your toes (MSG). Sounds like a lot of daily diligence for something that’s already a done deal (and it is).

Behold, the dynamics of salvation. God’s finished work of an eternal hope intersecting with our faithful work of kindling daily our confidence in that hope.

And how come we need to “take care” of something that has already been taken care of (and it is)? Because a heart which has been made new is a heart in the process of learning to function like new. It’s a work in progress that still has “muscle memory” towards unbelief. A heart still susceptible to being hardened by the lies of sin. A heart which, though made new by the Spirit, can be drawn again towards the old by the flesh.

While the work of salvation begun by the Lord will be completed by the Lord (Php. 1:6), it happens as the Lord prompts, enables, convicts, and restores me to keep doing the work of salvation. While He has freely given me His forever “precious and very great promises, so that through them [I] may become [a partaker] of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2Pet. 1:4), I need to be encouraged by my brothers and sisters every day to intentionally live into these promises. While He has taken care of it, I must take care with it.

Isn’t that the dynamics of salvation?

Take care. Beware of the unbelieving heart and the deceitfulness of sin. What’s more, know that it isn’t an individual thing but is intended to be team sport as we are to encourage one another every day.

Confident in His forever finished work (and it is). Dependent upon His forever enabling power to do our work of holding fast to His work.

Such is God’s amazing, enduring, limitless grace. To God be all the glory.

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