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Full Assurance of Salvation

Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:12
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God wants every believer to have a full assurance of salvation.

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Our Scripture lesson today comes from Hebrews 6:9-20.
Hebrews 6:9–20 ESV
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Last Sunday we learned that Hebrews 6:1-8 provides no evidence that a true believer can lose their salvation. The list of spiritual blessings found in Hebrews 6:4-5 are not signs of regeneration, but of God’s provision to those who gather in His name. Just by being a member of the assembled people of God entitles you to enjoy these spiritual benefits. In fact, it is God’s graciousness, even to false believers, that makes their apostasy so inexcusable and traitorous! Like Judas before them, they would have been better off if they had never professed faith in Jesus!
Now beginning in verse 9, the author of Hebrews wants to assure the true believers in Jesus of their salvation. Now understand this about all of Scripture, the authors of Scripture are being inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit so that their words are the very Words of God. Therefore, the author’s desire is God’s desire. God wants you as a true believer in Jesus Christ to have a full assurance of salvation.
The first thing we learn from this text is that...

You Can Have Assurance of Salvation

Do not underestimate the importance of this statement. Because of bad theology, thousands, if not millions, of Christians live in fear that they might not be saved or that they might lose their salvation at some point in the future. To have an assurance of your salvation is a precious gift.
Look at verses 9-10 again:
Hebrews 6:9–10 ESV
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
There are two reasons the author of Hebrews feels assured of their salvation. The first is the character of God: “God is not unjust.” The second is spiritual fruit in the lives of these believers: “your work and the love that you have shown.”
The author returns to the character of God in verses 17-18:
Hebrews 6:17–18 ESV
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
The first and greatest assurance of our salvation is the character and promises of God. The God who promises to save WILL save! This is what allowed Paul to write to the Philippians these words:
Philippians 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The second reason for our assurance is the presence of spiritual fruit in our lives. However, this is really just another example of God fulfilling His promises. The promise of the New Covenant has always been that God would give His people new hearts that would joyfully and willingly obey Him. That is why Paul calls the fruits of obedience the Fruit of the Holy Spirit!
Galatians 5:22–23 ESV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Although the author of Hebrews does not speak of this, the Holy Spirit also provides us with an internal witness that we are children of God.
Romans 8:14–15 ESV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Consequently, our assurance of salvation is found in God and not in ourselves!
However, as we confessed today from the Westminster Confession of Faith, our faith is often attacked and weakened by the Devil. The Devil is the chief Accuser and he never tires of pointing our our sins and doubts. This is why our assurance of salvation is often weak, but God does not want your assurance to be empty, He wants it to be full! Thus the second truth we learn from this passage is this:

You Can Have Full Assurance of Salvation

We find this truth in verse 11:
Hebrews 6:11 ESV
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,
Our assurance of salvation is not always the same. Sometimes it is full and other times it is almost empty. This is a very important truth to understand. We can’t judge the reality of our salvation by how we feel. We have to always go back to God’s character and promises. However, our subjective feelings are important. God does not want His children in a state of low assurance, but of full assurance.
As our Heavenly Father, God does not want His children doubting His love for them. I ask you who are parents or grandparents here today: Do you want your children or grandchildren doubting your love for them? Of course not! God is no different.
Now in verse 12, God gives us the path to full assurance.
Our third and final point is this:

You Have a Clear Path to Full Assurance

Let me read to you again verses 11-12:
Hebrews 6:11–12 ESV
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
If you recall, it was their “sluggishness in hearing” that prompted this warning about apostasy. The sins we battle with as Christians are spiritually deadly. For example Paul writes in Rom 8:13:
Romans 8:13 ESV
For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
or in Gal 5:19-21:
Galatians 5:19–21 ESV
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Those who say a Christian can lose their salvation are correct in saying we are battling salvation killing sins, where they are in error is in believing that God would let these sins kill our salvation. God preserves His saints in their salvation and the proof is the example of the saints that have gone before us. This is why we must follow their example.
The author of Hebrews mentions two things we are to imitate: Faith and Patience.
As we struggle with doubt and temptation in this life the first thing we must persevere in is faith. The other of Hebrews will give us many examples of faith and patience in Hebrews 11, but here in Hebrews 6, he focuses in on Abraham. Consider how much faith and patience Abraham needed. He had to wait 25 years for God to fulfill His promise to give him a son by Sarah. He never lived to see God’s promise to give him the land fulfilled. He never lived to see God’s promise to make him a blessing for all the nations fulfilled. All the promises God gave Abraham have been fulfilled, but most of them were fulfilled after his lifetime.
Just as God gave Abraham Issac in his lifetime, God is going to give your some spiritual victories in this lifetime, but just as Abraham had to wait until the next life for some of God’s promises to him to be fulfilled fully, you too will have to wait until your glorification to be completely free from sin and doubt. However, just as Abraham grew in his faith and assurance, so can you!
We strive not because we think our efforts are going to secure the victory, but because we know that God is going to give us the victory! We fight the battle against sin not out of desperation and fear, but in confidence and joy!
1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we move from being a spiritual sluggard to being a spiritual warrior, we grow in our assurance of salvation. Peter puts it this way:
2 Peter 1:10–11 ESV
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God doesn’t need a confirmation, we do! So attack your sin and doubt. The victory is yours, because Christ has already won and secured it!
Let us pray:
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