“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak—for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward His Name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister.”
When our faith is in Who He is and what He has promised—not in who we are and what we have done or not done—it is “pleasing or saving faith” (Heb. 11:6).
“On what or in whom are you basing your salvation?”
That’s basically the question being asked by the anonymous author of Hebrews in 6:4-8. We must remember his Epistle’s recipients were most likely Jewish-Christians undergoing severe persecution and in danger of “falling away” or recanting their faith for survival’s sake. He knew that we are “saved by Grace through faith and that not of yourselves it is the Gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Yet, he also knew Jesus’ words “He that endures unto the end shall be saved” (Mt. 10:22).
Thus, the bottom-line issue at stake here is whether or not one is a true “possessor” or merely a “pretending professor.” And, like the Apostles Paul and James in their very pragmatic letters, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) to see if we have dead, demonic or dynamic faith (James 2:19-20, 26).
No doubt the author of today’s Manna was trying to console his readers after his sharp, straightforward words. Like a spiritual scalpel, they stripped away any veneer of pretense and laid bare the true essence of what it means to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3). He knew there was much more at stake in his readers’ lives than survival; the furtherance of God’s Kingdom and validity of the Gospel was at stake in each of their lives—even as it is today!
Therefore, it’s important—yea, imperative—to “examine (Grk. ‘peirazo’—‘to test, scrutinize, try, inspect, etc.’) ourselves to see if we be in the faith and to prove (Grk. ‘dokimazo’—‘to test, approve, discern, discover, find out if acceptable, etc.’) ourselves” (II Cor. 13:5).
And, again, the purpose is not for creating doubt; it’s a call for discernment.
That’s why the writer points them (and us) back to God Himself by reminding us that He is “not unrighteous (Grk. ‘adikos’—‘unjust, wicked, treacherous, heathen, etc.’) or forgetful.” As someone once said, “He’s writing it all down,” which should cause us to be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know our labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58). Hallelujah!!
It’s clear the author believed his readers wouldn’t fall away; that’s why he said “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you.” Like a coach, whose team was losing to inferior foes, he was exhorting them to refocus and renew their efforts in the Battle. How we need to do the same today! Why not spend a few minutes right now thanking the Lord for His faithfulness and recommitting your life in loving service to Him? Use Ps. 91 and 139:23-24 as guides to assist you. Then go forth today “clothed in your Armor and walk in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:10-18; Rom. 8:1). The Lord Jesus will be pleased and others’ lives will be touched.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated February 4, 2011