Hebrews 6:9-12 Better Things.

Our author now resumes the third section of his covenant renewal document-Stipulations. As he says in verse 9, in contrast with those singled out in the immediately preceding third part of the covenant lawsuit, he thinks better things of the status of his main audience. “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.” The difference between those who are the subject of the old covenant lawsuit and those who are part of the new covenant renewal, is that the latter are saved, and the former are not. The main audience evidenced the things which accompany salvation. By one’s fruits, one is known (v. 9a). As our author noted at the end of the last lawsuit section, some receive the rain of the word to blessing, but some do not bear fruit, but instead they bring forth briers and thorns, subject to cursing (vv. 7-8).

It has been said the hardest thing for a pastor, which our author is, is to oppose deceivers, but also to comfort the saved (v. 9b). Our author, with the lawsuit contained in this letter, wrote in a certain manner that included some serious words, and he wanted his main audience to understand that he saw them differently than the apostates, who are the subjects of the lawsuit (v. 9c). The lawsuit is of course a warning, but he also wanted to encourage the true believers to persevere in the faith, with assurance. They gave evidence of bringing forth fruit from the rain of the word-useful “herbs” (v. 7). He wanted to both give them confidence that he saw this fruit, and to encourage them to continue to grow beyond the first principles of the faith. “For God is not unjust to forget your work and of the love which you have shown toward His name” (v. 10a).

It is not enough to say that one believes, there must be works which show our love to God and others. These works are not the basis of our justification, as our author makes clear, but they are evidence of the Lord’s work in us, works and labour which the Lord will not forget (Cf I Th. 1:3). Love for others was evidenced in their ministry to the saints (v. 10b). Again, he wanted to encourage them to exercise this diligence to the very end, because perseverance is also a sign of God’s preservation of His own (v. 11). He warns them about being sluggish. They also had examples which they were encouraged to imitate and follow, “those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (v. 12 Cf. 10:36; 11). We should not miss a key theological point made here-“God is not unjust.” His lawsuit is completely just. It is only by grace that we are not all included in the lawsuit, in the covenantal representation of Adam (Rom. 5:12ff.).

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