Our Hope is an Anchor

Hebrews 6:13-20


  1. The writer of Hebrews ends the last section (6:11-12) talking about a full assurance of hope that we can have as Christians.

    1. In this section, we see the reason for why we can have confidence in that hope.

    2. You see, we human beings are capable of so much deceit.

    3. And even if we make a promise that we fully intend to keep, there are some things out of our control.

    4. So if it were merely a human making these promises, then we wouldn’t have reason to hope—at least there would be no full assurance of hope.

    5. It also shows how very different the true God is over the false pagan gods of the time.

    6. Recall, they were mercurial, capricious, and cruel.

    7. The God of the Bible transcends all our human foibles, being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

    8. And so, as a result, He can know the future and be trusted when He tells us about it as we’ll see here.

  2. This passage transitions us back into the discussion on Melchizedek.

    1. The writer was convinced they couldn’t handle this discussion yet and chides them for their spiritual immaturity.

    2. He tells them of the importance of such maturity and how they need to move past fundamental principles.

    3. They must embrace the truth and fully engage in it to secure their place and not fall away.

    4. They can do this by recognizing the hope that God gives to them, a full assurance of hope.

    5. We we can put our hopes in Christ who is that better hope!

    6. And after this brief aside, he feels confident enough that at least some readers will appreciate the discussion on Melchizedek.

  3. Preview.

    1. Two Immutable Things (6:13-18).

    2. Sure and Steadfast Hope (6:19-20).


  1. Two Immutable Things (6:13-18).

    1. The two immutable things are His word and His vow.

      1. He made a promise to Abraham, and He sealed it with a vow.

      2. While God may be omnipotent, there are some things God’s nature will not allow Him to do.

      3. One of those things is to lie.

        Num. 23:19 – “God is not a man that He should lie.”

        1 Sam. 15:29 – “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent.”

        John 7:18 – He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true.”

        Titus 1:2 – “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”

      4. It is a bedrock principle upon which Scripture is based.

      5. If God could lie, then we would have no reason to trust the Scriptures or His promises at all.

      6. So why would He have to make a vow?

      7. Really, He doesn’t, so such a vow would be superfluous.

      8. But it strengthens and emphasizes the truth of this particular promise.

      9. On top of that, it gives greater assurance to the people to whom these promises were given, giving them that full assurance of hope.

    2. On what does God swear?

      1. Typically when we swear an oath, we tie it to something that we care about.

      2. There’s an exchange in a fairly obscure movie, you’ve probably never heard of it, that goes something like this.

      3. Inigo Montoya:
        But, I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.

Man in Black:
That’s VERY comforting, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait.

Inigo Montoya:
I hate waiting. I could give you my word as a Spaniard.

Man in Black:
No good. I’ve known too many Spaniards.

Inigo Montoya:
Isn’t there any way you trust me?

Man in Black:
Nothing comes to mind.

Inigo Montoya:
I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.

Man in Black:
Throw me the rope.

      1. You see, in this exchange, he swore by something he cared about, something that meant a great deal to him.

      2. In ancient times, they would swear by something greater than themselves to really make it stick.

      3. You can see this in the promise that God gives to Abraham in Gen. 22:16-18.

      4. This takes place right after when Abraham, upon following God’s commands, told him to sacrifice his son Isaac.

      5. God then stayed his hand, saving Isaac, and giving this promise.

        By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

      6. And of course, part of this was quoted in our text today (6:14).

      7. But, since there is nothing and no one greater than God, He swore by Himself, further emphasizing just how serious He was about this.

    1. Abraham patiently endured.

      1. This will be focused on quite a bit later in Heb. 11, but for now, consider all that Abraham had gone through in his life.

      2. Consider the fact that he never lived to see the promises that were given to him.

      3. Recall, it wasn’t just the seed promise discussed here, but a land and nation promise, both of which were hinted at in what we read from Gen. 22.

      4. It would be 400+ years before the nation promise was granted with Joshua, another 400+ years before the land promise was fully realized with Solomon, and another 1000 years before the seed promise was fulfilled in Jesus (2000 years from Abraham to Jesus).

      5. God keeps His promises, though it may take a millennium or two, you can rest assured it will come to pass!

      6. That’s how we know He’s coming back—promises made, and it may take a millennium or two, but promises will be kept!

    2. Oaths end all dispute.

      1. As we saw with the exchange between the Spaniard and the climbing man, the oath the Spaniard made on the soul of his father allowed the climbing man to trust him, it put an end to that dispute.

      2. Oaths make us Christians skittish sometimes because we see Christ’s commands in the Sermon on the Mount, and think that Christians ought to refrain from them entirely (Matt. 5:37).

        But let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

      3. But upon closer inspection of this passage and others like it, Jesus didn’t forbid all oaths, but deceptive and frivolous oaths.

      4. The Pharisees especially were known for this, as Jesus chastised them later (Matt. 23:16-22).

      5. If and when we make an oath, let us make absolutely sure we can keep it!

    3. We have a strong consolation.

      1. Here we see, that by these two immutable things, God has shown us, the heirs of the promise, that we have that strong consolation in His truth and His ability and power.

      2. When you study the Old Testament and see what challenges the people of God faced, and how they failed time and again, you wonder just how any of this was possible.

      3. How was God able to keep His promises through all of this!

      4. The seed was promised to pass through David, and yet so much happened with that kingly line that you wondered how it would prevail.

      5. Would their unfaithfulness force God’s justice to make the promises invalid?

      6. No! But even through their idolatry and wickedness, God was able to keep His promises through that faithful remnant.

      7. And so we know that, no matter what happens to us, no matter what happens in this world, God keeps His promises!

      8. We are strongly encouraged by this, knowing that His promises of salvation and return were not made in vain.

      9. Because of His faithfulness in His past promises, we can be assured of His current promises!

      10. As a result we can be confident in our sure and steadfast hope, that hope we have laid hold of, in which we find our rest and refuge, that which we hold fast!

  1. Sure and Steadfast Hope (6:19-20).

    1. It is an anchor of the soul.

      1. An anchor, what does it do?

      2. It holds a ship in place so it’s not rocked about by the winds and the waves.

      3. On the other hand, if a boat used an anchor all the time, it wouldn’t get anywhere, so it’s only used when needed.

      4. Of course there are different kinds of anchors used for different things, but the one the writer here is talking about is likely the one used on boats and ships.

      5. This kind is needed to hunker down during a storm, to keep it from drifting away—recall that imagery from 2:1—and it is reliable.

      6. It keeps our souls grounded, so that we do not drift away.

      7. This is why studying Scripture is so important, becoming more spiritually mature.

      8. It helps us to realize the seemingly insurmountable odds that they had to overcome in order to keep His promises, and through it all, He did!

      9. It builds our faith, giving us a greater hope and trust in our God.

      10. It builds our confidence so much, that we know that, while we can’t see it, Christ functions as our High Priest.

    2. Jesus, our High Priest, enters behind the veil.

      1. This is a reference, of course, to the duties that the high priest was to perform in the Old Law, particularly on the Day of Atonement.

      2. Recall, the Day of Atonement is mentioned in Lev. 23, but is really focused on in Lev. 16.

      3. On that Day of Atonement, it was the only day on which anyone could enter into the Most Holy Place where the ark of the covenant was housed.

      4. After making a sacrifice, he was to go behind the veil into this Most Holy Place to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat on top of the ark.

      5. The Israelites never saw this happening, but took it on faith that the high priest was doing the right thing on their behalf—after all, if he failed to do things properly, he would have likely died.

      6. He even had bells on the bottom of his robes. If they stopped jingling, the priests on the outside would drag him out by a rope tied around his foot.

      7. But there are no bells, no rope, no physical tabernacle or Most Holy Place under the Christian system.

      8. We must trust in the Lord to do His part, to be that High Priest for us, sprinkling His own blood in the Most Holy Place of heaven above!

      9. And based on His track record, we can most certainly trust in Him and His ability to do just that!

      10. While the roll of Christ as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek is the main focus in the next couple of chapters, the writer here reintroduces the idea to lead into that great discussion which we will begin in earnest next week, Lord willing.


  1. Do you trust in the Lord?

    1. I hope you do.

    2. While that hope is merely a wish, the hope that we have in Christ is a sure hope.

    3. It is a hope that is not in man—please don’t put your hope in me, I might just fail you.

    4. I won’t try to fail you, but I am but a man and am likely to fail.

    5. The Lord, on the other hand, has never failed, so you can trust Him completely.

    6. He is able to save your souls, He can and He will if you trust in Him.

  2. True trust includes obedience.

    1. Recall, Jesus “became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (5:9).

    2. Let us obey that sweet gospel of Jesus today so we can take full advantage of the hope that is an anchor for our souls!