And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. — Hebrews 6:11-12
My mother loved to have company over to our house for Sunday dinner. She would plan her menu well in advance, and prior to the weekend, she would spend days cleaning the house and carefully preparing each part of the meal. By Saturday morning, the desserts and side dishes were ready, and the house was sparkling clean. She made it look so easy!
After I married, I decided that I would entertain on Sundays just like Mom did. However, I would find myself procrastinating during the week. On Saturday I would have to plan my menu, do my shopping, clean the house, and prepare the food. The day would zip by, and many times I had to stay up until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. trying to get ready for the company we had invited. By the time the guests arrived for dinner, I would be almost too exhausted to enjoy the “fruit of my labors.” If I had followed Mom’s example and spent several days preparing, it would have been far more enjoyable.
A key word in today’s focus verse is diligence, which means “strenuous effort, ardor, or zeal.” In the Gospel, if we do not remain diligent and consistent in our walk with the Lord, we may grow weary and slip backwards in our relationship with Him.
A lack of diligence could cause us to be unprepared for what lies ahead — and we never know what lies around the next bend in the road of our lives. Who knows but what we will face a subtle temptation that requires extra watchfulness to avoid? Perhaps we will face a physical trial that will test our faith. Maybe next year will bring a financial stress that will require real determination to maintain our peace and rest in the Lord. The best way to be prepared for these potential situations is to carefully maintain a close connection with God.
Our text encourages us to imitate the example of those who have remained faithful unto the end and have inherited the promises of God. Let’s diligently do so!
The opening of Chapter 6 is an exhortation to maturity. The writer of Hebrews was not content for his readers to remain in a spiritually immature state, so he admonishes them to “grow up.” After he warned about the danger of falling away, he told those to whom his letter was addressed that “better things” would accompany their salvation. He told them that God noticed their labor of love and how they were ministering to others. He encouraged them to continue to show the same diligence that they had been evidencing to that point, and to follow the example of those who, through faith and patience, had received the promises of God. He cautioned them not to grow lazy in their service to God.
In verse 11 of this chapter, the writer alludes to a “full assurance of hope.” Hope is a compound emotion made up of an earnest desire for an object and a corresponding expectation of obtaining it. The hope of Heaven is made up of a longing to reach that eternal dwelling place, along with the expectation that it will someday be ours.
The writer reminded his readers that Abraham had to wait patiently for a long time before he obtained the promise. However, God had made an oath that could not be broken, and in His time He kept His promise. Like the covenant made with Abraham, God has made a New Covenant with those who believe in Jesus Christ. This hope gives a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul. The New Covenant through Jesus assures believers that those who keep their trust in Him will also receive the promise.
The writer closes the chapter with an assurance about the validity of God’s promises. His purpose was to show that since God could not swear by one greater than Himself (for no such one existed), He made His promise as certain as an oath taken by people when they solemnly appealed to Him. God appealed to His own existence and veracity, which was the most solemn form of an oath, and thus put the readers’ minds at rest regarding their hope of Heaven.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The argument: the preeminence of Christ in His person and work
D. The superiority of Christ to Aaron
3. Parenthesis III: admonition to maturity
c. The persuasion of salvation (6:9-20)
(1) The certainty (6:9-10)
(2) The desire (6:11-12)
(3) The illustration (6:13-16)
(4) The application (6:17-20)
God wants the very best for us. He is mindful of our labors, and He wants us to remain diligent in our walk with Him. As we follow the example of those who have gone before us and successfully completed their spiritual journey, we will inherit the promises of God just as they did.