"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 6:19-20)
Anchors have been around since the beginning of nautical travel. An anchor holds a ship in place in the midst of the most tumultuous seas. This has always been a safeguard for vessels keeping them from being thrown to shore in the middle of a storm.
As believers we also have an anchor that is steadfast and secure, it is hope. This hope is placed upon Jesus Christ himself. This is because this hope rests on God’s promise to Abraham and the oath taken that this promise would come to pass (Hebrews 6:13-18). Since the two, the promise and the oath, are intermingled and dependent on each other, we know that our hope is steadfast and secure. This acts as an anchor for our soul keeping our hearts at rest so they cannot be tossed about or dislodged from a place of peace.
"Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged" (Hebrews 6:16-18)
Even in today’s society an oath is sacred. To take an oath is to swear that what has been promised is true, binding all parties by this vow. We even have notaries who mark their seal on the oath certifying the vow. In the legal system willingly giving false information when making an affidavit is the crime of perjury. In other words, making an oath is sacred and guarantees the oath taker's honesty and integrity in the matter under question.
"When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised" (Hebrews 6:13-15)
I remember going to Sunday school as a child and learning about Abraham. We learned about the birth of Isaac and how it came about because God promised him a son. I remember a teacher bringing a jar of sand to the class and asking us to count it. Of course we couldn't but the object lesson rang true, Abraham was blessed by God and his descendants were going to be numerous.
"We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:11-12)
Perseverance is a necessary characteristic for believers. Judging by the world around us it would be easy to become discouraged by the events continually surrounding us if we did not know the hope we have in Jesus and cling to it until the very end.
We are encouraged to show the same diligence as those who went before us in realizing and inheriting the promise. Paul noted in Corinthians, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (I Corinthians 9:24). Forget what surrounds you, run to win. Looking forward to future with tunnel vision because we know that this world will distract us from accomplishing the mission the Lord has for us. Which is why we need to be diligent and steadfast until the end to make this hope a reality.
"Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case—things that accompany 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" (Hebrews 6:9-10)
Salvation is accompanied by lots of fringe benefits. In fact salvation is the entrance point for all the good things that God has in store for us. The moment we were born again every promise that was made belonged to us as heirs of this kingdom. Although the warning at the end of Hebrews 5 and beginning of chapter 6 is a strong warning, the entire passage is really focusing on moving into maturity so as not to become complacent with the eternal life that has been given us. As believers we are not in danger of falling away, the writer simply mentioned it because what he wants to say needs a good foundation to understand and his audience was not training themselves to gain spiritual insight as they should have been.
Both knowledge and understanding is one of the many benefits that accompany salvation. John explained how this works, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth” (I John 2:20). The King James Bible tells us that we have “an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things” (KJV). The word is translated both as anointing and unction comes from the same word, which Strong’s Concordance defines as “anything smeared on, unguent, ointment, usually prepared by the Hebrews from oil and aromatic herbs. Anointing was the inaugural ceremony for priests. The amazing thing is that John is referring to the Holy Spirit as the ointment covering the believer and granting them the means to possess the knowledge and understanding of God’s truth and walk in all His ways.
John goes on to explain later it the very same chapter, “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him” (I John 2:27). We have the perfect teacher to lead us into all truths and unlock the scripture to us. When we don’t understand, the Holy Spirit partners with us in bringing revelation knowledge concerning the things we have read or heard. This knowledge and understanding comes from within to illuminate our minds to the truth, this is one of His many functions. Jesus told his disciples shortly before His death that it was advantageous for Him to go back to the Father so He could send the Holy Spirit to us because He knew we needed Him (John 16:7).
Being confident of better things the writer also pauses to remind us that God is not unjust in noticing the labor of love shown the world through them for His name sake. Which is amazing considering that we are Christ’s ambassadors on this earth (II Corinthians 5:20), sent by him and in His name to love a hurting and dying world. He has given us full authority on this earth to act on his behalf, and God certainly notices and does not forget these acts of kindness. Which is why the writer finishes with this thought reminding us to persevere until the very end;, “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised" (Hebrews 6:11-12). Through knowledge, spiritual insight and perseverance we will lay hold of the hope to which we have been called. This is why we take encouragement through these scriptures, chiding us to move forward in our knowledge and understanding of God, because we know the best is yet to come.