Hebrews 6: 9-12
9 “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
You and I are secure in Jesus. I am currently reading through the Torah, Genesis-Deuteronomy, and I see our spiritual patriarchs that are dealing with the flesh, multiple marriages, cheating, lying, and loving one son more than the other, as is the case with Isaac, and on we can go. Yet, they are secure in their relationship with God, not because they are good, but because God is good, and it is He who secures them. This foundation gives us a sure footing upon which to build our lives in the Lord. One of the most crippling things that we can face as children of God is doubts; we all have them. They can often come even after great victories in our lives as we walk with the Lord. Let me give you a few examples.
We often pick on Thomas for doubting the resurrection of Jesus, but in John 11:16, it was he who threw caution to the wind when he understood that going to help Lazarus could see them killed; nevertheless, he was ready to go and die with Jesus.
“Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him'” (NIV).
In the same way, we see Elijah have a great victory over the priests of Baal and lead a great revival in Israel, only to be running scared from Jezebel in the next chapter and asking God to kill him. We can get caught up in our own little worlds and forget that God loves us and is on our side. Paul, the writer of Hebrews (in my understanding), encourages us to be diligent; he calls us to stop being sluggish and reminds us that God is watching.
- Salvation is just the beginning, verse 9
There are things that accompany the salvation that we have in Jesus. These are referred to as ‘fruit’ in the scriptures. We can find these ‘fruit’ in Galatians 5: 22-23 (NKJV),
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
These are tangible areas of life that we can use to gauge our progress in the Lord.
My wife and I have a beautiful granddaughter who is about to turn one. We can see the normal progress that she should have, and it comforts us. There are some one-year-old babies that are already walking, but she is holding on and walking. She can stand for short periods by herself, and she can even feed herself small things. She is not walking, but we can see the progression. All babies develop at different times, but they develop, and if they don’t, we can see that there is something wrong. In much the same way, we can gauge our growth in the Lord by the above verses. These all happen simultaneously and complement each other.
We need to be growing in the Lord. Now, like human babies, we will all develop at different speeds, and one aspect may grow more or faster than the other, but we should see progress. Even if we cannot see progress, the desire to be more like Jesus should be in us from the leading of the Holy Spirit. Do you even want to be more like Jesus? Do you have this desire? If yes, then this is a great place to start; that desire is from God.
- God See your actions, verses 10-11
I was wondering just the other night, does God only see when I fail, or does He see when I get it right as well? We think of God more like a traffic cop; He only gets you when you are in the wrong. Wouldn’t it be cool if you got pulled over and the officer praised you for being a good driver? I have never had that happen, and we can begin to see God as only seeing when we fail.
Paul reminds us that God sees all of our good works as well and that He remembers them. This is a stark contrast to the fact that He forgets our sins, Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV),
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
God forgives and forgets our sins, but He remembers our good works. He washes us clean, and we are declared righteous long before we are permanently perfected in Jesus. Paul writes to the church at Galatia and says this in 6:9 (NKJV),
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Don’t stop doing what is right. In our text here in Hebrews, Paul encourages us to be diligent right to the end; don’t lose hope. Whether we live for Jesus till the rapture or die and meet Him there in the Kingdom, live for Him diligently and consistently. He sees, and He knows all that we are doing. He forgets our sins and remembers our good works. One day, we will inherit the promises that God has for us. We will get new bodies, a new home, and a new perfect life; we will see the face of Jesus one day, and we will meet men like Abraham, Daniel, Elijah, and David and women like Esther, Ruth, and Rahab. We will have the answers to all the questions and see things only God’s people get to see.
One day, God will ask you and me to give an account of the life we lived once we were saved. And there, He will judge our faithfulness, our diligence, and our obedience. Are you and I ready to meet Jesus there at the judgment? This is what Paul warns us about in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NKJV),
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.”
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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