Saturday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 6:1-20 (NKJV)
6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself.”
It is customary in court (or at least used to be) to swear on the Bible to tell the truth. When public officials are “sworn into office,” they swear on the Bible. Lest men, in their fallen nature, make vows rashly or unfaithfully, it is right to appeal to a higher authority that the vow may be confirmed and men held accountable to what they have vowed. It is right that godly vows be taken on the Bible, for it is the greatest authority there is. God alone has nothing greater to swear by, so He confirms His oath by swearing by Himself, on His own Word. There can be nothing more certain than what God promises on His own Word.
When Christ commissioned the Apostles to teach and baptize, He established their ministry on His own authority, since there is none greater. He says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore…” (Matt. 28:18-19). When the called and ordained minister of the Word teaches the Word of God, baptizes for the forgiveness of sins, and distributes the Lord’s Supper, life and salvation are truly given to those who believe. God has sworn it; there is nothing more certain. The devil would use doubts, persecutions, and
fear to lead us to believe that God is unfavorable toward Christians. God has sworn by Himself salvation to all who believe. Nothing is more certain.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy help, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.