Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”
The author of the book of Hebrews, like the rest of the New Testament writers, is confident that genuine Christians will never lose their salvation. One of the ways we know this to be true is that the author “feels sure of better things” pertaining to salvation for at least some of his audience (Heb. 6:9). This assurance could not be possible at all if the author really believed that true Christians could abandon Christ permanently.
This teaching does raise a question for us even though we know that true Christians will not finally fall away. We might say “Yes, I know that it is true that a Christian cannot lose his salvation. But since so many abandon Christ who appeared to be true Christians, how can I ever know that I am really saved?” Verses 10–12 give us one answer to this question. We are told that God will not overlook the good works of His servants nor their love for one another that has been shown for God’s sake (v. 10). Love and good works flow from an earnestness to have assurance (v. 11). When we eagerly pursue the assurance of our salvation by pursuing the promises of Christ, we will produce love and good works that demonstrate God’s salvation. Thus, God reminds us of His persevering grace from beginning to end.
Today we will focus on the presence of love as evidence of salvation. In 6:10 we see that the love that marks someone as a true believer is the love displayed in serving the saints, that is, love for other Christians. This is not surprising at all. Jesus tells us that the world will know we are His if we love one another (John 13:35). Peter had to prove His love for Christ by lovingly feeding His sheep (21:15–17). If we have never felt love for fellow Christians, we are not His disciples.
Nevertheless, love for other believers is not the only kind of love that demonstrates our salvation. Though that is what Hebrews 6:10 primarily focuses on, there is another kind of love that is intimately related: love for Christ. When we show love to other believers we are really showing love for Christ. Jesus tells us this in Matthew 25:31–40, and it is implied in Hebrews 6:10 since the love shown in serving the saints is done for God’s sake. If we truly possess any love in our hearts for the biblical Christ, then we know we are saved. Non-Christians hate God and never, ever have any true love for the Christ of Scripture.
We know that the love the audience of Hebrews had for Christ was not perfect. In 6:10 they had to be reminded of two things perfect love does not forget: God’s justice and faithfulness. Imperfect love is the standard for our assurance in 6:11. If you love the biblical Christ, however imperfectly, you can be confident that you are saved.