The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 45 of 167
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Why is the hope called an anchor of the soul? Why not spirit? Scripture distinguishes
between soul and spirit (Heb. 4: 12; I Thess. 5: 23; I Cor. 15: 44, 45). The meaning that
attaches to the soul in Heb. 6: we may find by reading Matt. 16: 24-27:--
"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and
follow Me. For whosoever would save his soul shall lose it, and whosoever is willing to
lose his soul for My sake shall find it . . . . . For the Son of man shall come . . . . . then
shall He render unto every man according to his deeds."
Here it will be observed that the Lord bids His disciples to "lose their soul", not to
"save it"! What is involved in the losing of one's soul? self-denial, the taking up of one's
cross, and the following of the Lord. When we have a scriptural conception of the word
"soul" we shall realize that to lose one's soul means to forfeit many of the pleasures and
good things of this life for the truth's sake. Abraham lost his soul. He left Ur of the
Chaldees, and kith and kin, to become a dweller in tents, looking forward to the future
when in resurrection he should "find" or "gain" his soul, and under happier and holier
conditions enjoy to the full those things which he had foregone in this present evil age.
Moses lost his soul, that he might gain it. Before him lay a dazzling prospect. He was
learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He evidently had the offer of adoption into
the royal family; yet he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, esteeming the
reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the
recompense of the reward.
The epistle of Peter makes use of the "salvation of the soul" in a similar manner. In
I Pet. 1: 3-11 this expression is approached in the following manner:--
1. An inheritance is in view (verse 4), which is further spoken of as
2. Salvation ready to be revealed at the last time (5).
3. In view of this the believer rejoiced even though for a little while put to grief
through manifold temptations (6).
4. These trials were in the nature of a test, faith being submitted to a fiery trial,
that it may be found unto praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus
Christ (7).
5. This is spoken of as `receiving the end of your faith, even the SALVATION
6. The whole passage being summed up in verse 11, "the sufferings for Christ,
and the glories that follow".
To such "hope" was an anchor of the soul, called in verse 3 a "living hope".
Taking Matt. 16: and I Peter together we learn that the believer must "lose his soul"
during this life, and look forward to the "saving of his soul" in the life to come. The
context of both passages is reward for faithful service at the coming of the Lord. As we
have said so many times, Hebrews does not deal with salvation, but the things that
accompany it. To take joyfully the spoiling of their goods, as the Hebrew believers had,
necessitated some such anchor for the soul. In Heb. 10: 34 we read:--
"For ye . . . . . took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing that you yourselves
have in heaven a better and an enduring substance",