“The Full Assurance of Hope”

Hebrews 6:11-12


The Apostle Paul is urging us to go on in faith, trusting Christ alone as our Savior. He is urging us to persevere unto the end. That has been his purpose since the opening words of chapter 2. He has been urging us not to let Christ and his gospel slip from our hands. He has told us plainly that some who once professed faith in Christ have fallen away, and that if any fall away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance.


      Having given us these warnings, he assures those who truly trust Christ that they shall indeed persevere. That is what the Holy Spirit tells us in the last paragraph of chapter 6.


All who are truly born of God, all who trust Christ alone as Savior and Lord, all who look to Christ’s blood alone as the atonement for their sins, all who look to Christ’s obedience alone for their righteousness before God, shall continue to trust him unto the end and shall be with him in glory.


      Every believer, every sinner who looks to Christ alone for salvation and eternal life, can and should sing with Toplady…


My name from the palms of His hands,

Eternity will not erase:

Impressed on His heart it remains

In marks of indelible grace.

Yes, I to the end shall endure,

As sure as the Earnest is given:

More happy, but not more secure,

The glorified spirits in heaven!”


      How can this be? How can any of us be sure of grace? How can anyone be assured of his salvation? Our adversary, the devil, seeks to devour us. Our temptations are many and great. Our trials are many and heavy. Our hearts are sinful and our flesh weak.


      Yet, in these verses the Spirit of God speaks to us of “the full assurance of faith.” What is the basis of this assurance? The text speaks of men and women in this world having “a strong consolation” and a “hope as an anchor of the soul.


Full Assurance


            Paul opens this section, dealing with “the full assurance of hope” (v. 11), by urging us to diligence. To many, that may seem strange, but not to a believer. Nothing so inspires diligence in the life of a believer as the assurance of his hope in Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-11, 19-20). As John Trapp put it, “A man may as truly say the sea burns, or fire cools, as that certainty of salvation breeds looseness.”


            The Apostle urges us to continue in faith and love, and in serving one another, with the desire that we might all arrive at “the full assurance of faith” in Christ.


These two things are obvious. (1.) Some true believers do not enjoy the blessed peace of “the full assurance of faith.” (2.) It is both possible for us to have this assurance in this world, and we should seek it.


What could be more blessed and more inspiring to my soul in this world than a well-grounded full assurance? That man or woman who is assured of an interest in the love and grace of God, -- the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, -- in the election of grace, -- a saving interest in Christ as our Substitute and Redeemer -- the Holy Spirit’s work of grace in us, -- of our fitness by grace for the possession of eternal glory and happiness in heaven, and -- of possessing this blessed assurance "unto the end" confidently walks in faith and is inspired to honor God in all things by the assurance of his goodness, grace, and faithfulness.


“Be Not Slothful”


Let us not be slothful concerning our souls and the things of God (v. 12), but diligent, following the examples of those who have gone before us into glory, who through faith and patience have inherited the promises of God in Christ.


            Grace, salvation, and eternal life in and by Christ are things bestowed upon sinners by the promise of God. This is stated here to show us that salvation is not by our works, or human merit, but is entirely the work and gift of God’s free grace in Christ. It is a gift that shall assuredly be obtained by God’s elect. It shall be obtained by that faith and patience which God gives to his people by the power and grace of his Spirit.


This gift of grace is expressed in the plural number, "promises", because it is the great, all-inclusive promise of God. It is described as an inheritance, because the whole thing is our in Christ, as the sons of God, as “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.”


Yet, this is a promise that shall be obtained after much trouble, after faith has been tried and proved, through “patience,” as illustrated in verses 13-15 in Abraham.