Things That Accompany Salvation

By Scarlett Stough

The warning of Hebrews 6:4-7 has been explained in two opposing interpretations. One interpretation recognizes the warning is to believing Christians. This leaves many Christians in constant doubt and anxiety over whether or not they have truly been saved; the other interpretation teaches the warning is for those who say they are Christians, but have never been saved. Neither interpretation takes into account the purpose of the document we call Hebrews.

A careful reading of Hebrews 6 makes clear the warning is for those who have received the Holy Spirit; only those who belong to Christ have been given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. But does this mean Christians must go about in doubt about their personal salvation? Absolutely not!

The book of Hebrews is written to explain to Jewish Christians animal sacrifices and the Levitical priesthood have been made unnecessary. These are not "things that accompany salvation." Is it possible for non-Jewish Christians to add things to their worship which do not accompany salvation through Christ? Yes, but this is not the purpose of the writer of Hebrews. The writer is assuring Jews who believe Christ is their Messiah they do not need to continue doing the laws regarding the Levitical priesthood and animal sacrifices to be right with God. Jesus is their new and permanent High Priest and the only sacrifice ever necessary.

Love, good works and living a holy life according to biblical teachings are the "things that accompany salvation." They are not the way to being saved. Jesus made atonement for us once and for all securing eternal life for those who have living faith. No sacrifices need be made except those of the heart, such as giving thanks to God, doing good for others and putting aside unholy behaviors.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:15-16

Jesus said "salvation is of the Jew", but he was the Jew who secured our salvation. He told the Samaritan woman:

Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
John 4:21-25

Christ alone is our Savior. We are encouraged to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

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