Reading through the Bible together
Of all the chapters in Hebrews, this probably has caused more consternation among believers than any other. Is it really possible that a person may go beyond God’s grace? Are there people who God cannot really forgive? Yes, this chapter says that it is possible.
In vv. 1–3 the apostle tells us that the readers need to advance in their knowledge of the gospel. They need to eat the spiritual food of the adults. Their refusal to do so not only stops growth but may also lead to the death of their relationship with Christ. Verses 4–6 argue that the problem is not that there may be a sin that is too great to be forgiven (Jesus’ blood can cover any sin) but that once God’s gift has been enjoyed and then rejected, the person has neutralized the means God uses to save him or her. In fact, the Spirit’s gifts may then be used to distance himself/herself more from God (vv. 7–8).
Thankfully, that is not the case for the audience of the letter. They are in the path to salvation. They need, however, to do two things: (1) establish their hope until the end and (2) have patience and endurance (vv. 9–12).
In the rest of the chapter the author explains how to accomplish those two things. Verses 13–15 describe Abraham as the example of perseverance we should emulate and vv. 16–20 present Jesus as the steadfast anchor of the believer’s hope. God swore Abraham an oath that in his seed he would bless all the families of the earth (that is you and me). By enthroning Jesus to his right hand, God has begun to fulfill His promise to Abraham. It is impossible that He will forget his oath.
Jesus is the anchor of our soul!
Felix H. Cortez
Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary