“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” – Vs 19-20 (NET)
We have a hope that is based on God’s unchangeableness and faithfulness. The two unchangeable things are God’s promise (Vs 13) and His pledge (Vs 19). They are unchangeable or unalterable. The Greek word is ametathetos and it was used in relation to wills. Once made, a will was considered ametathetos, unchangeable by anyone but the one who made the will. God has said that His promise and pledge is ametathetos. They are binding and cannot be changed – even by Him. So those who believe in His promise and pledge are secure. Those who place their faith in God can rest in the knowledge that He will never let them go. They are secure. And our security is not based on us having to hold on to God, but in Him holding on to us. He has made a promise and a pledge to keep us and never let us go.
It is because of these two unchangeable things – His promise and His pledge – knowing that God will not lie to us, that we have taken refuge and have found a strong encouragement to “take hold of the hope set before us” (Vs 18). That hope is an anchor to our souls, a hope both sure and steadfast. It leads us right into the throne room of God, past the curtain and into His presence, where Jesus has already entered before us. He has opened the way ahead of us. At His death, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple was torn in two – from top to bottom – removing the barrier between God and man. Now we can enter confidently, with hope, into the presence of God, where Jesus our High Priest intercedes on our behalf. He has entered into the Holy of Holies as our High Priest and offered the final atoning sacrifice for our sins. Our soul is anchored, safeguarded, kept, or secured by the very presence of Christ at the right hand of the Father. His sacrifice was accepted by God. Our sins have been atoned for. We are secure and can never have our right standing with God removed.
So who are these who have “fallen away” in verse 6? They have “been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away” (Vs 4-5). If we are secure, how can we fall away? The writer of Hebrews is speaking to those in his audience who have heard the truth and acknowledged it, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ. They had been around the things of God. They had heard the truth of the Gospel. They had seen the works of the Holy Spirit. They had seen the life-changing power of God in the lives of others. But they had failed to place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Now they run the risk of losing their opportunity to believe. They have heard, but have rejected the truth of what they have heard. They have even feigned a form of repentance, but with no real heart change. There are those in our churches today who fit this description. They have been exposed to the truth of the Gospel, but refuse to accept it. They have all the appearance of being saved, but have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their sin-substitute. Instead, they think they can somehow save themselves through their own righteous acts. They can somehow earn their way into God’s good favor.
Our hope and assurance is in Jesus alone. He is our anchor. He is our source of confident assurance that we can never lose our salvation, and that we will inherit the promises that God has made to us who believe (Vs 12). I can know that I am right with God because I know that Jesus has died for me. He is my High Priest. My sins are forgiven and I can stand before God as righteous in His eyes.
Father, thank You for the hope that I have because of Jesus Christ. I am saved and can confidently know that my salvation is permanent, not based on my behavior, but on Your unchanging promise and pledge. You will never let me go. Your own Son stands in your presence as my High Priest, having offered the final sacrifice for my sins. He has paid the price, once for all, and I am Your child. Thank You that it does not rest on me and my good merits, but on Your good grace. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men