The Expository Files

Things That Accompany Salvation

Hebrews 6:9-12

 {Note: I wrote the following article, basing it upon material offered in a sermon outline by Dudley Ross Spears. - J.W.Q}

"But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though are speaking in this way." (Hebrews 6:9). The context of this text in an exhortation not to fall away from the faith. Even though the Hebrew writer was encouraging brethren to live in such a way as to not fall from grace, he wanted them to know that he had confidence in them. He is persuaded of "better things" concerning them and the things that accompany salvation. The figure continues from the previous verses and tells us that it is our lives which produce what we choose for them to produce, either useful vegetation or thorns and thistles; "For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned." (Hebrews 6:7,8).

Salvation is not by anything one thing alone, contrary to some popular opinions expressed today. We need to continue to "growing" the things that accompany salvation in our lives, and God will not forget them (Hebrews 6:10-12). Jesus put the same lesson this way: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." (John 15:1,2; 5-8).

Things that Accompany Salvation
So, what are these things to which the Hebrew writer refers which accompany salvation? These things are natural fruits of being saved. They are what God expects of us. Like a tree producing what is natural for it to produce, saints must produce what is natural to them. You get tomatoes from tomato plants; not bananas. You also get certain things from lives lived by faith. The point is that what accompanies salvation is of the same nature as the salvation which it accompanies (James 1:21,22).

The following are some natural products of salvation:

1. Fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22,23).When the Spirit abides in a person; these are some of the things that result. There is no law against these things! How strange it is to hear someone claim "I have the Holy Ghost!" when he has little evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his life!

2. Sanctification: What is "sanctification"? (Hebrews 12:14). It means "to be set apart." We must be willing to live by a separate standard than the world (vss. 15-16). There must be a transformation (Romans 12:1,2).

3. Unselfishness: There would be no salvation if not for the unselfish nature of Jesus, the Savior. He is our example in this (Philippians 2:2-4). Developing the mind of Christ in oneself must accompany salvation.

4. Evangelistic enthusiasm: One theme we see throughout the New Testament is the enthusiasm of the disciples for bringing the gospel to others. Good news is worth sharing and eternal salvation is as good as it gets! (Acts 4:20; 1 Corinthians 9:16). And what joy there is in the heart of one whose efforts have resulted in a lost one being brought to God!

5. Benevolence: We also see a great willingness to help others in need by the disciples of the first century. "Pure religion" on the part of the disciple is helping his or her fellow human beings. (James 1:27).

Unnatural Products of Salvation
Sin, or darkness, is incompatible with righteousness, or the light of God (1 John 2:1-3) Specific sins would be things like fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2); . Evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33,34) and idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14; 15-18). Idolatry, by the way, comes in many forms, such as greed (Colossians 3:8).

We must not go to battle with Satan ill equipped; (Ephesians 6:12-17). Which of the following things do you suppose "accompany salvation"? Sword of the Spirit or popular standard/creed? Breastplate of righteousness or compromise? Shield of Faith or of Apathy? Put on the full armor of God. You're in the army now!

Christians are to Illustrate the Doctrine of Christ
People may not understand theology, but they can understand our actions. It is easier to appreciate a deed of kindness seen done than a philosophical argument (Titus 2:7,10). The good deed may well be the very thing that will open ears to our spoken message. We cannot be sound in doctrine and lead an unruly life and be successful in the Lord's kingdom. Our lives must be as our doctrine teaches, and our doctrine must be as the Scriptures state (Matthew 23:3; 1 John 3:17-19; James 2:18).

We are told to "adorn the doctrine" of God. We are to put on beautiful garments. We do this when we "put on Christ" (Romans 13:14; Colossians 3:12-15).

We are urged to "prove" (demonstrate) our faith (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 6:4). What do others see when they look at you? Do they see Christ? How sad it is when people profess that they are Christians but then allow their lives to be controlled by the Evil One. What an insult to our Savior and Lord! Those who make Christ and his salvation their plea and ground had better maintain a high quality of life, pure and disciplined. The Enemy is looking for something to criticize, something to tear down, something to malign, in each of our lives, so that through us who claim to be followers of Jesus he can bring hurt to the Lord and His cause. He will use you and me to besmirch the Lord if we allow him to. But we are not going to let him, are we?

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 8.2; February 2001