‘The assurance of the believer is not that God will save him even if he stops believing, but that God will keep him believing – God will sustain you in faith, he will make your hope firm and stable to the end. He will cause you to persevere.’ – John Piper
I’m sure there have been times that you have felt the same way that I have; that God could never forgive you for that sin. This time, you’ve gone too far! you think. But is that really true? To believe that there is a sin greater than the covering of Christ’s blood, is to fail to understand the hope of Christ as our substitute and advocate. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus can save you, and he does.
There is a warning here, however, on falling away. It is not an easy passage to read and may cause confusion and fear, though we must remember to interpret scripture with scripture. For example, have a read these scriptures that explain the simple step to salvation in Jesus.
‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.’ John 3:36
‘All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’ Acts 10:43
‘If you declare with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.’ Romans 10:9
There are many more. The warning is serious and true: those who reject Christ will not be saved. Those who professed belief in Christ but fell away show that their initial profession was not genuine. They have not lost their salvation, as you cannot lose what you never truly had. They never truly believed. What is the remedy? How do I know that I am truly saved? The answer is to do what those who fell away did not do and will not do: keep turning to Christ. Keep running to him! Every time you fail, look to Jesus. Every time you stumble and fall, cry out to Jesus!
Did you notice how this section ends? ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf’ (vs.19).
Like an anchor that holds a ship safely, we have our hope in Christ. Sure the ship will be buffeted by waves and be at threat of sinking, but it won’t with Jesus as its anchor! He guarantees our salvation. He assures us of our safety. He kept his promise to Abraham and he will keep his promise to you.
- In making a promise to Abraham, God swore by himself. How did this encourage and equip Abraham to wait patiently for the promise? How should it encourage and equip us to wait for the fulfilment of God’s promises to us?
- God does not lie (vs 18). How does God’s unchangeableness encourage you to flee to him in times of trouble or temptation?
- Think about your Christian experience thus far. What are some ways the truth of God’s Word has anchored your soul and encouraged you to hold on to the hope set before you?
Father God, thank you that I can have assurance of my salvation through your Son. Help me to grow in my faith and knowledge of you, so that I may be a mature follower and witness of Jesus in the world. Amen.