Summary: Our text for today describes the believers "hope" as an "anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast."
HOPE: AN ANCHOR FOR THE SOUL
Several years ago my parents and I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our neighbors had a beautiful 65’ yacht. His yacht was in process of being towed when a sudden violent storm came up. The neighbors entire family was on the boat. With the wind so fierce, the sailboat broke away from the tug boat and began heading toward the Pascagoula River bridge and a pile of huge rocks. They cast the anchor but it found no hold on the sandy river bottom. At last, just a very short distance from the rocks, and the pilings of the bridge, the anchor held and the family was safe.
Our text for today describes the believers "hope" as an "anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast." Hope is a very precious Biblical word. Now “hope” in the Bible does not mean doubtful longing, as when one might say "I hope so." I hope it doesn’t rain; I hope to get rich, etc. which means things probably will not happen the way I hope they will happen.
New Testament hope is a confident certainty. Hope is related to the concept of assurance. Hebrews 6:11 says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” There are several descriptions of hope given in the Bible. It is called "a good hope," "the blessed hope," "a living hope," and "a better hope." In our text it is a hope that is both sure and steadfast.
As we look at these verses in Hebrews we can discover three tremendous truths about the believers hope.
I. THE BELIEVERS HOPE IS GROUNDED IN THE PROMISES OF GOD.(6:13-18a)
V. 18-speaks of two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie. The word “immutable” means “fixed, unalterable.” Examples of the use of this word from ancient writings show that “immutable” was used as a technical term in connection with wills. In other words, the will cannot be altered changed. What are those two immutable things that cannot be altered or changed?
A. GOD’S PROMISE CANNOT BE CHANGED. V.13. This speaks of God’s promise to Abraham, to bless him v.14 and to multiply, to make him great. That promise, though seemingly slow in coming, was fulfilled.
(1).There was the giving of the promise in Genesis 12:1-2. “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get our of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.“ According to Genesis 12:4, Abraham was 75 years young when he departed for the land of Canaan. That promise was renewed in Genesis 13:16. “And zI will make your descendants as the dust of the earth.” That promise was renewed again in Genesis 17:5. “No longer shall hyour name be called 3Abram, but your name shall be 4Abraham; ifor I have made you a father of 5many nations.” The promise was an immutable covenant for a land, a nation, a kingdom, and a Redeemer. We real these promises in the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis. They are being fulfilled even in our life time. Remember, It was God who gave the promise, so they are certain to come to pass.
(2) The giving of the promise was followed by a time of waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. This, of course is the period of HOPE. The writer is not speaking of a “hope so salvation” but of a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation. We who have been saved are now living in the period of hope, a hope that is laid up for us in heaven.
(3) Finally there came the realization of the promise. Hebrews 6:15 says, “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Abraham was 100 years old when he became the father of Isaac. He obtained the promise God had first made some 25 years earlier. One thing we discover in the Bible is that God’s promises are absolutely trustworthy. The day will come when our hope will be fully realized.
B. GOD’S OATH CANNOT BE CHANGED. (6:17-18a) Since God’s promise is trustworthy it was not necessary for God to make an oath. But for man his oath simply confirms and strengthens his promise. One generally makes an oath by a greater authority than himself. Who is greater than God? No one. Since no one is greater He swore by himself, confirming His promise. God’s swearing an oath was a condescension to human frailty, thus making His Word, which in it self is absolutely trustworthy, doubly dependable. The believers hope then is grounded in the absolute dependability of the promises of God as found in His Word.