The Anchor for our Souls

Hebrews 6: 13-20

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,  saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,  where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

A Warning

When I see words or phrases being repeated in Scripture, it makes me stop and ask the question, “What is the overarching message here?” Repetitive phrases and words should cause us to stop and take notice. When reading through the first six chapters of Hebrews, a recurring admonition begins to surface. While the author’s main message is on the supremacy of Jesus, there is a repetitive warning mixed within his message to those who would take notice. The author of Hebrews gives a charge to his audience with words of action. The reader is not to be passive in receiving his message. It’s not enough to know about this Jesus, but we must put our faith in Him.

The first warning comes in Hebrews 2:1, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

In Hebrews 3:1, we are to “fix our thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest, whom we confess.” We are then told that we are God’s house if we “hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast” (Hebrews 3:6).

And again in Hebrews 4:14, we are to “hold firmly to the faith we profess.”

The author sums up his warning in Hebrews 6:12. “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”


The author is talking about faith. What does faith look like?  Faith is not lazy or passive. The author gives a charge to pay attention, fix our thoughts and hold firmly. These are all action words that assume a part to play for the listener. While I cannot save myself, I can choose to believe in the one who can save me.

Against all of the lies and distractions this world would throw at us, we must be vigilant to hold tightly to our confession of faith. We do not work to earn our salvation, it has been freely given us, but we do work to keep our minds renewed in right thinking and believing. The enemy of our souls is looking for any chance he can get to cause us to disbelieve. This is what the author of Hebrews is warning against: unbelief. If we are not actively choosing faith, we will move away from it. This is the urgency in the author’s warning. There is no middle ground.  There are subtle lies that can seep into our belief system, and if we are not actively pursuing truth from God’s Word, we will easily assimilate false beliefs. Our victory and breakthrough come as we walk daily by faith, actively taking hold of the promises of God.

The Israelites could see the Promised Land in front of them. Rest was at their fingertips, but they could not enter it because of disbelief. When I come to God’s Word, am I asking myself, “Do I really believe what God has said?” There are many places in the Bible that talk about “acknowledging” God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.”

To acknowledge someone is the opposite of ignoring them. Hebrews 2:3 warns against this, “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” In warning us against ignoring God, the author of Hebrews is charging us to acknowledge Him! Faith is acknowledging that God is here with me, that He sees me and knows my need. Faith is choosing to believe what He said is true, and taking Him at His Word, even if I don’t see it with my physical eyes. Faith is something I must walk in daily. Just as I build my physical muscles by daily exercise, so I build my faith muscles by the daily exercise of choosing to believe. Sometimes it might be hour by hour, or minute by minute, but I must become in the habit of taking every thought captive that is not of God, and replacing it with the truth of God’s Word.

Confidence in the Promise

The author of Hebrews does not leave us with a charge to have faith without reassuring us that our faith in God is well placed. It’s difficult to trust a person you don’t know very well, or to trust someone who has let you down.  One of the most important results of studying God’s Word, is coming away with a greater knowledge of who He is. As I study the Bible, I should be asking myself, “What do I learn about God in this passage?” As we see how God works and moves in history, we learn that He is a trustworthy and faithful God.

When God made His promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself. God did not have to swear by himself because He’s God! But He chose to swear by himself to show just how secure we can be in putting our trust in Him. God swore by Himself to Abraham, that the promise He made would be fulfilled, and it was. One of the most assuring statements in Hebrews is that God cannot lie. It is IMPOSSIBLE for Him to lie. His unchanging character and nature are so that He will always, always be true to His Word. This is the encouragement that Hebrews 6:13-20 gives us. Because we have a God who is completely reliable, and in Him is no evil or deception, we can confidently place all of our faith in Him. Those who waver in their faith, do not know their God well. For to know God, is to know His faithfulness.

God’s faithfulness is truly an anchor for our souls. Let us daily walk by faith, knowing that our faith in God will not be disappointed.