Paul culminates his warning against apostasy and encouragement toward love and faith with a beautiful, soaring exposition of assurance in Christ.
Read Hebrews 6:17-20. How did God guarantee His promises to us?
God guaranteed His promises for us in several ways. First, God guaranteed His promise with an oath (Hebrews 6:17). According to Scripture, God’s oaths to Abraham and David became the ultimate basis of confidence in God’s permanent favor for Israel. When Moses sought to secure God’s forgiveness for Israel after the apostasy with the golden calf, he referred to God’s oath to Abraham (see Exodus 32:11-14, Genesis 22:16-18). The implied strength of his plea was that God’s oath was irrevocable (Romans 9:4; Romans 11:28-29).
Similarly, when the psalmist interceded before God for Israel, he claimed God’s oath to David. God had said: “I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies” (Psalm 89:34-37, ESV). According to the New Testament, both oaths were fulfilled in Jesus, the seed of Abraham, who ascended and was seated on the throne of David (Galatians 3:13-16; Luke 1:31-33, Luke 1:54-55).
Second, God has guaranteed His promises to us by the act of seating Jesus at His right hand. Jesus’ ascension has the purpose of corroborating the promise made to the believers because Jesus ascended as a “forerunner on our behalf” (Hebrews 6:20, ESV emphasis author’s). Thus, the ascension reveals to us the certainty of God’s salvation for us. God led Jesus to glory through the suffering of “death for everyone,” so that He might bring “many children to glory” (Hebrews 2:9-10, NRSV). Jesus’ presence before the Father is the “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19), that has been fastened to the throne of God. The honor of God’s rule has been waged on the fulfillment of His promise to us through Jesus. What more assurance do we need?
|What do you feel when you think that God has made an oath to you? Why should that thought alone help give you assurance of salvation, even when you feel unworthy?|