Bob Utley You Can Understand the Bible - Hebrews 6:9 - 6:12

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Bob Utley You Can Understand the Bible - Hebrews 6:9 - 6:12

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


9But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Heb_6:9 "beloved" This paragraph shows the intense love and care that the author has for the readers. Heb_6:11 mentions (1) "desire," which could be translated "great desire" and (2) "each one of you," which shows individual concern.

"we are convinced of better things concerning you" This is a perfect passive indicative plural. The author was confident that this group of readers were Christians and would continue to act appropriately.

For "better" see full note at Heb_7:7.

NASB, NKJV       "things that accompany salvation"

NRSV     "things that belong to salvation"

TEV      "that belong to your salvation"

NJB      "on the way to salvation"

This Greek phrase is literally "having (present middle participle) salvation" which defines the "better things" of Heb_6:9.

Heb_6:10 "so as to forget your work" God will judge fairly based on

1. the book of life (cf. Exo_32:32-33; Psa_69:28; Dan_12:1; Luk_10:20; Php_4:3; Heb_12:23; Rev_3:5; Rev_13:8; Rev_17:8; Rev_20:12; Rev_20:15; Rev_21:27)

2. the book of deeds (cf. Psa_56:8; Psa_139:16; Isa_65:6; Mal_3:16; Mat_25:31-46; Gal_6:7)

"the love which you have shown toward His name in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints" Although these believing Jews had not fully identified with the Church, they did help the Church in its time of persecution (cf. Heb_10:32-34). Remember the Synagogue was considered legal, while the church was illegal in Roman law of this period!

"Saints" (hagioi) is theologically related to the OT term "holy" (kadash), which meant "set apart for God's service" (cf. 1Co_1:2; 2Co_1:1; Rom_1:1; Eph_1:1; Php_1:1). It is always plural in the NT except for one time in Php_4:21; even there, it is used in a corporate context. To be saved is to be part of the covenant community of faith, the family of believers.

God's people are holy because of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 4 and 2Co_5:21). It is God's will that they live holy lives (cf. Eph_1:4; Eph_2:10; Eph_4:1; Eph_5:27; Jas_2:14-26; 1Pe_1:16). Believers are both declared holy (positional sanctification) and called to a lifestyle of holiness (progressive sanctification). This is typical of the NT theological tension between the "already of the Kingdom of God" and the "not yet of the Kingdom of God."


Heb_6:11 "full assurance" Notice this is related to lifestyle action (cf. James, 1 Peter, and 1 John). Assurance is not primarily a doctrine to affirm, but a life to live (cf. Matthew 7).

"until the end" Perseverance is as true a biblical doctrine as security. By their fruits you shall know them (cf. Matthew 7; Jas_2:14-26). See note on perseverance at Heb_4:14, also note Special Topic at Heb_7:11.

Heb_6:12 "sluggish" This is the same term as "dull" (cf. Heb_5:11). It is used in contrast to "diligence" in Heb_6:11. The believers had not grown into Christlikeness nor Great Commission Christians as they should have (cf. Heb_12:1-3).

"imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" This may alude to the roll call of the faithful in chapter 11. These faithful OT believers held out to the end amidst great conflicts and trials, often resulting in physical death (cf. often in chapter 11 and possibly in Heb_12:4). God's promises are the focus of the paragraph, Heb_6:13-20. They are sure and faithful because He is sure and faithful!