September 23, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 23 September 2014
In 1956, Congress passed, and President Eisenhower approved the law, to establish “In God We Trust” as the official national motto of the United States. The Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag states that citizens of the United States are “one nation under God.” America’s history is based upon the belief in God and that it is impossible to govern rightly without the Bible. Hebrews 6:1-8 should cause us to inquire, “What will be the experience of those who receive good things from God, yet continually fail to produce good fruit?” (cf. John 15:5-6; Heb 10:26-27; 12:29).
Scripture encourages even the weakest believer, yet declares somber warnings to the one who carelessly presumes their own salvation (Heb 6:4-8). One may have an experience that appears to be Christian, yet not genuinely know Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. The reality of faith in Jesus is evident by urgently enduring with trust in Him. Scripture warns of judgment for those who produce habitual sin (Heb 6:7-8; 10:26-27, 39; 12:29; cf. John 15:5-6).
Having provided warning with regard to the consequences for those who “have fallen away,” Hebrews 6:9-20 provide encouragement by portraying the promises of God as certain and reliable, and thus worthy of enduring faith. The ones who bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit are encouraged to continue in well-doing (Heb 6:9-20); it is important to have confidence that our lives demonstrate “things that accompany salvation” (Heb 6:9).
What can we do to be confident of “better things”? God’s justice and our actions are demonstrations of divine grace. The believer labors in Jesus’ name, and these works include righteous living (Heb 6:7), concern for others (v. 10), and other Christian virtues (v. 9). We are to continue with “diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end” (v. 11). We are not to “be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (v. 12).
A genuine commitment to Christ is evident in one’s actions. The experience of Abraham is a supreme example in the subsequent verses (cf. Gen 22:16-17). Abraham obeyed God’s command, and then God subsequently made a promise to him and emphasized it with an oath. God resolved to do what He promised, which was an encouragement to faith. God swore by himself, and thus the fulfillment of his promise is inseparably related to his holy and loving character.
The salvation of the Christian is secured by the promise of God, which was confirmed by his own oath (Heb 6:13-18). Jesus Christ is “a high priest forever” and “one which enters within the veil.” Consequently, believers are to lay hold of this hope “as an anchor of the soul” (Heb 6:19-20). What an encouragement for urgently enduring in the tasks that the Lord God has given to you!!
Your missionary to our Capitol community,