Such a Great Salvation (12)
But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 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. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6.9-12
There are things that “accompany salvation,” as the writer of Hebrews put it. He offers a short list: work, labors of love, ministering to other believers, bringing hope to full assurance, actively seeking to imitate that great cloud of witnesses among whom we run our race, and laying hold on more of Jesus and our great salvation (Heb. 12.1, 2).
Let’s not miss the things the writer did not mention, but which we may consider to be really important: feeling like I’m saved, having said the sinner’s prayer, belonging to a church, enjoying the service of worship, having lots of Christian friends. These, of course, may well be part of the experience of those who are saved. But they also may not be. Some of these were probably the experience of those first readers of the book of Hebrews who were in danger of neglecting their great salvation and drifting from the Lord.
What accompanies salvation has to be worked for. It requires effort on our part: we must learn, grow, sacrifice some of our own interests, invest our time in others, give of ourselves selflessly, be always ready to bear witness, and daily press on to increase in Christlikeness in every area of our lives. Faith that does not have such accompaniments is dead faith (Jms. 2.14-26). Conversely, the more and harder we work out and work for our great salvation, the more of it we may expect to realize, and the more our great salvation will affect our world for the goodness of God and His glory.
But there are obstacles. The enemy of our souls does not want us to know more salvation than we are presently enjoying. The times in which we live are not exactly hospitable to those who are seeking a great salvation. And to gain more of this great salvation, we need power from beyond ourselves, a power we must consciously seek and yield to, and which we need every moment of every day.
So if the accompaniments of our great salvation are to be increasingly realized, we need to make sure we are thinking about our salvation and pursuing it according to what Scripture prescribes.
Salvation as helmet and shield
For example, the Scriptures teach us to think of our salvation as armaments with which to engage our enemies in a struggle for our souls. We are in a fight for life – for eternal life, more and more of it, day by day. How badly we want it will determine how hard we are willing to fight for it.
When our great salvation fills our mind, so that we think about it with increasing clarity and fullness, desire it more earnestly, and value it above everything else, then that great salvation that fills our mind will guard us from enticements, distractions, and dumb ideas of various kinds. In that respect, our salvation is like a helmet, guarding our brain, surrounding our head, and serving to ward off the temptation blows of the enemy and our unbelieving age (Eph. 6.17).
No football player would go into a game without a helmet, or with a defective helmet, or one intended only for kids playing touch rather than tackle football. You need a strong helmet to protect your head, and you need a great salvation to protect your mind from being enticed away from the Lord Who saved you. The greater your salvation, and the more you think about it, meditate on it, pray and plan for increase in it, and talk about it with others, the more it will protect your thinking so that you will not drift from salvation; and the accompaniments of our great salvation will be increasingly in evidence.
Salvation as shield
The Scriptures also regard our salvation as a shield (Ps. 18.35).
In a pitched battle, a warrior holds his shield in front of him, moving it here and there to deflect blows, protect his bodily core, and push his way in advancing across the field. Our great salvation is like a shield when it goes before us, leading through attacks and obstacles, and presenting a strong front to the devil and the world.
Salvation must lead the way for us, since only it is sure and firm and unchanging. The more we put forth our great salvation in all aspects of our lives, planning for and wielding it into each day’s battles, the more progress we will make in our struggle, and the more we will realize the accompaniments of our great salvation in every area of life.
The cup of salvation
Our salvation is so great that Scripture counsels us to be utterly controlled by it, exuberant and joyous in celebrating it, and heartily inviting others to join with us in it.
Put another way, Scripture encourages us to be drunk with salvation and with the Spirit Who brings our great salvation to us in ever-increasing measure (Ps. 116.12-14; Eph. 5.18-21). Our great salvation is like a cup of fine wine, to be drunk in celebration with those who are saved, until we have become full of our salvation and are entirely shaped and guided and transformed by it.
We are not to be drunk with the world; we are to be filled with the Spirit, drunk with our great salvation, so that we go into each day’s struggle, filled with a power beyond our own strength, armed and confident that we can achieve more of salvation’s accompaniments in all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities.
The things that accompany our great salvation can be increasingly ours, but we will have to fight for them every day of our lives.
1. How is being filled with the Spirit and salvation like being drunk with wine?
2. How should we prepare each day for going out into a hostile world to gain more of our great salvation?
3. We are in a fight. We didn’t start this fight, and we’re not looking for trouble. But we are in a struggle for our soul. Either we fight to gain more of our salvation, or, neglecting our great salvation, we will drift from it. How would you advise a new Christian to prepare for a life of fighting for this great salvation?
Next steps – Transformation: Can you think of one change you could make in your daily life that would allow you to fight more effectively for your great salvation?
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.
Salvation to Fight For
- T.M. Moore
- February 13, 2019
Salvation has its accompaniments.
Such a Great Salvation (12)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.