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

Finding Rest in Christ in Weariness

Finding Rest in Christ in Weariness

“All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it,” says the Preacher of Ecclesiastes (Ecc. 1:8). I can relate. Though perhaps, right now, it’s more that I myself am full of unutterable weariness. I can’t remember being more weary than I have been in this...

God’s Irrevocable Gifts and Calling

God’s Irrevocable Gifts and Calling

Romans 11:28-29, “28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” You may recall that in our study of Romans 9, we saw that...

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

Standing on the Authority of God’s Word

The challenges before us each day may seem daunting to us. We live in a culture that relies heavily on hunches, intuitions, and feelings. The emphasis on the subjective has led many to deny biblical Christianity and reject any notion of truth. The witty British...

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Israel’s Temporary Hardening

Romans 11:25-27, “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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