Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; (Hebrews 6:19)
The sixth chapter of Hebrews is one of the most controversial passages in the New Testament. Scholars have debated the meaning of the first six verses for centuries and still there is much disagreement. Controversy arises over the first two verses as to whether the writer is telling New Testament Jewish Christians to move beyond the types and shadows of the Old Testament, or whether he is referring to elementary New Testament doctrines that should have already been settled in their minds. The former meaning would teach that Old Testament ceremonies were merely illustrations of the greater work of Christ, while the latter emphasizes New Testament doctrines. Both interpretations encourage Christians to maturity in the deeper doctrines of the faith.
This controversy pales in comparison to the arguments over verses 4 through 6. Without exploring these verses in depth, we are sure that one popular interpretation cannot be right. This is the idea that one that has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God and has truly received Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, could then totally and finally apostatize from the faith. There are too many other scriptures that convincingly refute this interpretation, and since the Bible never contradicts itself, this interpretation must be wrong.
We understand further that it must be wrong by the very meaning of salvation which is to be made safe, and by the work of the Trinity in securing eternal salvation. This includes the election of God’s people from the foundation of the world, the payment for the debt of their sins by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit through which He effectual calls the sinner to salvation. The intention of this great work is to conform the believer to the image of Christ. If any part of this fails, the Trinity fails and thus God cannot be God. Therefore, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
The whole of scripture presents an unshakeable convincing argument for the impossibility of the redeemed ever losing their salvation. However, I do not find it necessary to move beyond this chapter to find such assurance. All we need do is read a little further to verses 13 through 20 in which the writer relies upon the faithfulness of God to always remain true to His promises. If we have fled to God for the refuge of our souls (v. 18), then we have the promise of God that our souls are anchored with Christ in heaven (v.19). This promise is made sure not just by God stating it, which is exceedingly more than enough since God cannot lie, but is also confirmed by God’s oath. He swore upon Himself because there is no higher authority to swear by.
The faith once placed in Christ is a sure faith. If in the beginning it is real, it will never falter because it is anchored in heaven in the holiest place where Jesus Christ has presented His own blood as the surety of our salvation. Today, it is with full confidence that I can say, “Trust Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and you will be as sure for heaven as if you were already there!”
Pastor V. Mark Smith