Posted On August 25, 2020

Patterns of Growth

by | Aug 25, 2020 | Hebrews, Featured

Hebrews 6:11–12, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Hebrews 6:4–8 tells us that apostasy is a real danger under the new covenant. But we have also seen that apostasy is not something that happens to members of the new covenant with saving faith. Rather, when a professing believer falls away permanently, we can be sure that he was a covenant member who never possessed saving faith.

This raises a question for those who remain faithful to Christ. How can we be sure that we have true faith? The author knew this question would be raised and so he tells us to pursue earnestly the full assurance of hope (v. 11). When we do this, love and good works flow from our pursuit of Christ thereby evidencing our regeneration and confirming that God will not overlook us (vv. 9–10).

Yesterday we looked at how love for Christ and His saints demonstrates that we are true Christians. Good works are also an evidence (6:10). This agrees with the rest of the New Testament, which tells us that our faith is genuine only if good works are produced as a result.

In both love and good works, we are to show earnestness in order to have the full assurance of salvation (6:10–11). Far from being a secondary concern of the Christian life, the assurance demonstrated by love and good works must be something that we diligently and eagerly pursue.

When we pursue assurance through love and good works, we will not be sluggish but “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (6:12). This reference is to the old covenant saints who persevered in faith, works, and love throughout their lives. They inherited the promises when God called them to Himself by faith, and they were conformed to God gradually throughout their lives. None of them possessed perfect faith. For example, Abraham erred by producing a son through Hagar, not believing that Sarah would conceive. Nevertheless, he learned from his sin and grew in faith. He believed God and worked out his salvation, even to the point of sacrificing Isaac, the promised son.

The examples of the old covenant saints show us that good works and love will be manifested throughout our lives. We are justified by faith alone because of Christ alone. And by God’s grace, faith is followed by good works. Indeed, we are assured because of Christ, knowing that we are being conformed to His image throughout our lives (Rom. 8.29).

Coram Deo

Some in the original audience of the book of Hebrews wanted to return to the old covenant. In order to avert this, the author exhorts them to imitate the faith of the old covenant saints. This faith was not in the efficacy of the old covenant, but rather in God Himself (Heb. 11). Read Hebrews 11, and thank God for so many examples of faith.

Patterns of Growth, Copyright (2020), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

The Local Church and the Preaching of the Word of God

The Local Church and the Preaching of the Word of God

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave considers Jesus’ use of Scripture in preaching, why church members need good expository preaching, the nature of biblical preaching, and the biblical foundations of the Holy Spirit in preaching. What You'll Hear On This Episode...

Blessed Are Those Not Offended by Christ

Blessed Are Those Not Offended by Christ

Matthew’s story of John the Baptist asking who Jesus was (Matt. 11:1-6) deserves our undivided attention. This is a familiar passage we should run to in time of need. John the Baptist was imprisoned at the outset of Jesus’ public ministry (Matthew 4:12), so he had...

Biblical Authority In a Postmodern World

Biblical Authority In a Postmodern World

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Sarah and Dave Jenkins talk about the doctrine of Scripture and the Christian life, how biblical morality and sexuality is under attack today, along with Dave’s new book, The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against...

Wise Versus Foolish Responses

Wise Versus Foolish Responses

Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Things have been a bit rough recently at work. The opportunity to spill out with angry words in response to the actions or even perceived actions of others seems to know no...

Weekly Roundup 8/1/2022-8/6/2022

Weekly Roundup 8/1/2022-8/6/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 8/1/2022-8/6/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.