Friday, February 05, 2016

The Vision (2.5.16): An Anchor of the Soul

Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

In v. 19 the inspired author describes the Christian hope as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.”  He is not thinking of an anchor in rock climbing but of an anchor that holds a ship steadfast in a storm and keeps it from crashing onto the shore.  The same word agkyra appears three times in Acts 27 in the description of Paul’s sea voyages (vv. 29, 30, 40).

In Ephesians 4:14, Paul can speak of immature Christians as like “children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” 

In 1 Timothy 1, Paul could likewise warn Timothy not to be like Hymenaeus and Alexander, who, he said, “made shipwreck” of the faith they had once possessed (vv. 19-20).

The point here:  The people to whom Hebrews is written were literally drifting away from Christ.  They were doing so either due to persecution, hardships, trials, doubts, moral failings, or, perhaps, due to spiritual laziness (see v. 12a:  “That ye be not slothful”).  The admonition here:  We have an anchor for the soul.  We have what Peter calls “the exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4).  Thomas Watson observed:  “Having cast anchor in heaven, a Christian’s heart never sinks” (Divine Contentment, p. 15).

So, like Abraham, we have God’s immutable counsel and his oath (Hebrews 6:17).

We have a strong consolation (v. 18).

We have a refuge (v. 18).

We have the horns of the altar.

We have the hope set before us (v. 18).

We have the anchor of our souls, sure and steadfast (v. 19a).

But notice how the metaphor shifts in vv. 19b-20.  This anchor entered “into that within the veil” (v. 19b).  He is talking about a high priest who entered into the holy of holies to make sacrifices for the sins of the people.

He is the “forerunner” who entered “for us” (v. 20).  The anchor of our soul is a person:  “even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (v. 20).  Jesus is the anchor of our souls.  It is because of Christ that we have assurance that we might persevere to the end.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

No comments: