Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Comment: After the stern warning, dealt with in yesterday’s passage, the author says that he feels that it doesn’t apply to those originally reading this short book. In the context of the whole of the Bible no one is forgiven and saved by their works. But that doesn’t means that works are not important. These people as a result of their relationship with God have been active in caring for other believers (saints); works of love and service. And God sees this and will acknowledge it. But again the author urges full commitment to their earnestness to imitate those who have gone before them and have persisted to the end. He seems to me to be using a ‘carrot and stick approach’. He tempts them with encouraging words and gently chastises them with a charge of sluggishness. At the end he tells them to look up and see the inheritance which awaits them, if they persevere.
Prayer: Help me to keep on, keeping on. I do believe that it is well worth it, O God.