Grace For Your Day September 5

 In Hebrews 6:4-6, the author of Hebrews issues one of the strongest warnings ever given in the Bible. In his own words, he says:

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened . . . and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance . . .  

In other words, for in the case of those who have showed some outward signs of life at the beginning of their spiritual journey but then eventually turned away from God, it is impossible to bring them back if they do not repent. You cannot help them because, even though they seemed to be saved, they were lost. Their alleged “conversion” was only a lie which would have frightened the readers of this book because they would have wondered if it was describing them so the author says this next in verses 9:

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.  

This is the only time that the writer calls these people “beloved” and he does it to tell them that he does not think they are lost because they are acting like Christians. In order to show them what he means, he will go on to talk about “your work and the love which you have shown towards His name” in verse 10. In the same verse, he will also describe their ministry to the saints and their ongoing service to them. Then in verse 11, he will tell them to keep up the good work “so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end.” However, this is all done as a way to encourage them because they needed to remember what salvation truly looks so they could see the proof of it in their lives.

Such a passage is helpful for us to study at this point in time as so many are confused on this issue today because they think that a Christian is someone who looks sinless. They believe that you must have a perfect home, a perfect job, and a perfect family first in order to be saved which is not true because Romans 3:23-24 says that every Christian “has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” but is “justified as a gift by His grace.” In other words, no one is perfect, not even believers. We are just sinners saved by grace.

On the other hand, there are some who believe that a Christian is someone who sins all the time with no remorse. They think that a believer can do whatever they want to now that they are saved because God does not care about our behavior which is just as wrong. Romans 6:1-2 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”  

We could mention other misconceptions about this issue as well but the correct way to look at it is that a Christian is someone who has been rescued from a life of evil by the mercy of God so that they now produce good fruit. They are forgiven by God’s grace as they look to the cross and believe but, as they do so, they run from sin and not to it. This causes them to change and do “better things … and the things that accompany salvation” which is what we are going to be talking about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to be looking at “The Marks of a True Believer” in order to help clarify some of the misunderstandings about how to identify a true Christian from a false one. As we do, we are going to see four distinguishing traits of a believer in this passage:
  • Work 
  • Love 
  • Diligence 
  • Humility 

This is by no means a comprehensive list on this subject but it is a good place to start because anyone who consistently demonstrates these characteristics shows that they are walking with the Lord. They are giving proof that they have not “fallen away” (verse 6) and should be encouraged. Please join us as we explore that subject this week in our time together and see how it relates to our lives. If you are struggling with the issue of faith and works and how they coincide with one another in the Christian life, this message is for you.  

The sermon will be recorded and livestreamed on our You Tube Channel at 9:30 for anyone who is not able to come in person.

Jeremy Cagle