Friday, June 03, 2005

Hebrews 6 and The Assurance of Salvation

David Wayne at JollyBlogger begins a much anticipated series on Hebrews 6 and the Assurance of Salvation.

This series stems from extended debate among some within the Christian Blogging community about the basic question: Can a believer "lose his salvation?"

David Wayne starts from the premise of, "No," but in response to a blog challenge, prepared a sermon on Hebrews 6 that yielded the series he begins here.

His opening theme is an excellent start, that even if you don't think a believer can lose their salvation, this passage isn't intended as letting us "off the hook":
People will often read this passage and go to great lengths to show that it doesn’t mean you can lose your salvation, which it doesn’t, and the effect is to make the readers or hearers wipe the sweat from their brows and say “whew, glad that doesn’t apply to me.” When many people read this passage what they want to hear is that they are in no danger of losing their salvation, so that is all they hear. As I mentioned, they focus on what it doesn't say, and never get around to what it does say.

But I have to tell you that this was not the intention of the original writer. When the original writer put this passage in the letter of Hebrews he wanted his readers to be sweating, not wiping the sweat away from their brows and saying “whew, glad that doesn’t apply to me.”
Because, as Wayne observes at the conclusion of Part 1:
This is a warning passage of Scripture. Warning passages are there for the purpose of calling you to stop and re-examine yourself, not just to skip over lightly assuming it doesn’t apply to you.

II Timothy 3:16-17 says:

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

That includes this passage of Scripture. We dare not read it and go through some kind of mental or exegetical gymnastics which cause us to say “oh, that doesn’t apply to me.” We need to read it with the sense that yes it does apply to me, and to ask how it applies.
I very much look forward to the rest of his series.


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