Hebrews 6:10 (NIV)
God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.
Our Verse of the Day made me pause to think about what the writer is really saying with regard to our “work” for God. So, I want to review the context of this passage:
Hebrews 6:1-12 (NIV)
Therefore, let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death (useless rituals); and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites (baptisms), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age – and if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
In the context, we see an exhortation to achieve maturity in the faith. He contends that believers have received sufficient knowledge to walk in the light of truth. And so, his concern is for those who fall away from what they know. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, to ‘fall away’ is a “phrasal intransitive verb” and it conveys a processing of diminishing … decreasing in size … eroding. If something such as a sound or feeling falls away, it becomes weaker and disappears. If something falls away, it breaks off from the thing it was attached to. To fall away from faith in Christ Jesus is tantamount to severing your personal relationship with Him … the One to whom you are attached. In the context here, the inspired writer warns that people who have been enlightened and repent … people who have been born of the Word of God and come to a knowledge of the truth … people who have received the Holy Spirit … people who engage in the spiritual conflict between light and darkness … can enter a place of no return if they “fall away” or “renounce their faith.” He indicates that a faith that is focused on the promise of salvation … a faith that is patient and mature … remains alive and active! In short, faith has no place for laziness at all…. Consider what Peter advises in this regard:
2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So, what is a faith that is alive and growing? Well, it is a faith that is engaged! It is a faith that manifests itself in good works and service to the Kingdom of God. It is a faith that we keep “adding” to – through bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It is a faith that is effective and productive! As Paul wrote: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Cf. Ephesians 2:10) A growing faith … a mature faith … is attending to the business of the Father who saved us in Christ Jesus to fulfill His purposes. And He has equipped us to accomplish it! And here is the point that I want us to see: “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” What you and I do when we help one another … when we love one another and continue to do so … is how we show our love to God! The Father does not forget our expressions of love but remembers each one. But if we should fall away … if we should become lazy in our faith … if we fail to persevere in the faith we have received, we essentially tell God that His salvation means nothing. As the author of Hebrews admonished: “To our loss we are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace….”
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race (of faith) marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.”
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
My friends, I want to encourage you to not grow weary as we do good for those around us. Such works do not save us; rather, they are the expression of love and a grateful heart for the salvation God promised to us through His Son … our Lord Jesus. I pray these verses I have shared will comfort you. Indeed, there is great reward for perseverance in faith!
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. ~ Galatians 6:8-10