James Nisbet Commentary - Hebrews 6:9 - 6:9

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James Nisbet Commentary - Hebrews 6:9 - 6:9

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘Things that accompany salvation.’


It would seem that the things mentioned before were not necessarily marks of salvation. There was no love or faith. Out of the many biographies in the Bible, there is not one of an individual who was certainly once a child of God, and who afterwards fell away, and was as certainly lost. Sometimes a shoal or sandbank lies near the entrance to a port. So a lighthouse is created on or near the spot to warn the mariner of his danger. Hebrews 6, 10 are like two lighthouses near the entrance of the harbour of eternal safety. Their language is ‘Beware: there are gifts without grace; there is a form without the power: it is possible to have a name to live and yet to be dead.

I will mention three ‘things which accompany salvation.’

I. A sense of need.—Esau was a man of the world (Heb_12:16): his character was essentially worldly. He had no sense of any need of spiritual things. Though Jacob liked the good things of this world, like the rest of us, he knew there were better things still, and he set his heart on them, and even dreamed of them. Jacob knew his need of spiritual blessings, and that is always a thing which accompanies salvation.

II. A simple trust in Christ.—Faith invariably accompanies salvation.

III. A Christ-like life.—‘Let your light so shine.’ To ‘repent and turn to God’ is right, but there are also ‘works meet for repentance’ (Act_26:20). The imitation of Christ is sure to be poor and feeble and imperfect, marred and stained with sin, yet the great point is that it should be sincere.

Rev. F. Harper.


‘Remember the story of the drummer-boy in one of the English regiments, who was captured by the French in one of the Napoleonic wars. They brought him before the general, and the general made him go through his various drum exercises. “Beat the charge,” said the general, and the boy banged his drum with great enthusiasm. “Call a halt,” said the general, and again the drummer-boy obeyed. “Sound a retreat,” said the general, but the boy laid his sticks across his drum and said, “In the British army we never learn to beat a retreat.” ’



It is quite right to be interested in a salvation that is central; that is essential, but salvation is not solitude. Salvation represents a great sociality. Salvation is the heart of a noble fellowship.

Amongst the ‘things that accompany salvation,’ we find:—

I. Purity of character.—But does purity of character mean perfection? It does not. There is no perfect man. This cold space, this cage of time, could not hold him. Perfect man can only bloom in heaven, where the climate is pure and where the day has no night. By purity of character let us mean a real, honest motive, a just and noble desire, a wish to be, not in heaven, but heavenly in mind, thought, life, speech.

II. Unselfishness of service.—The service that does never look at itself in the Church mirror; the service that never dresses itself to go out into public service; the service that is crowned with self-unconsciousness; the service that does good things by stealth and blushes to find them fame; the service that does things as a monarch does them, not knowing that they are being done without any sense of taxation, and sacrifice, and painfulness. There is a doing that would rather do than not do. There is an action that must take place because the not doing it would be not only unreasonable but intolerable. Love must serve.

III. Evangelistic zeal.—What is the meaning of evangelistic? It means that some soul has a truth, a gospel, which he says he must go and tell everybody all over the world. That is the meaning of evangelistic. The truth burns him until he tells it. The gospel that fills his soul is the gospel for every creature.


‘Many men are saved who do not know it. I have known so-called bad men whose disposition I have coveted. I have known them more largely than they have known themselves, though their breath is burned with unholy suggestion. I have known that their souls have been fruitful in noble and kindly thoughts. Let God say who is saved. “Lord, are there few that be saved?” No answer. Christ takes the statistics, but He does not publish them. He says in reply rather than in answer, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate.” ’