Lesson 17

The Epistle to the Hebrews

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things for you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we speak like this. 6:10 For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you showed toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them. 6:11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, 6:12 that you won't be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.

Today's Lesson  

In the last session we had seen dire warnings against apostasy. The author wanted his readers to know that there were grievous consequences to turning away from the truth once received. These Jewish Christians must not return to the covenant of Moses because they had already tasted of the grace of Christ. He had rebuked them because they were not progressing above the most rudimentary things of God. By this time, they should have been teaching others but instead they were still stuck at an immature stage.


But the author wants them to know that even though he has spoken harshly to them that he is persuaded that they will be saved. He believes that God will acknowledge the work that they have done in His name and that God will lead them on to maturity. They have served other Christians with a labor of love and are continuing to serve them. Because of the work of the Spirit of God in their lives, the author was confident that God would continue to work in their lives.


What he would encourage them to do is to "show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end." The measure of commitment is time. The work of God is ongoing and eternal. Those that belong to Christ will endure until the end. Those who inherit the promises of God will be those whose hope endures until they have finished in this life.


Short of waiting years and years, how can we tell if someone will endure until the end? The short answer is that we cannot know. The longer answer is that once again the question is, in the long run, not the most important one. We should not be about the business of deciding who is saved and who isn't. What is important for the Christian is learning to discern the works of God.


Instead of looking at other Christians and trying to determine their status before God, we must always be looking to see what God is doing all around us. Our obsession must be God and what He is doing, not us and what we are doing. When we watch for - and acknowledge - the work of God in the lives of those around us, we will be glorifying God and not men.


The author was persuaded of "better things" for these Christians because he could see the works of God in their lives. Let's always be on the watch for the work of God in each other's Christian lives. When we see it, let's acknowledge and celebrate it. Let us celebrate the work of God in His creation.


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