If We Continue in Faith
Hebrews 3:6 ESV
“But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”
This is not taught much at all in the church. We are not usually taught the “If” verses of the Bible. What is usually taught is that we believe in Jesus once, and then we are good to go. We are now part of God’s family, we are bound for heaven, and nothing can take that away from us.
But if we read the New Testament, in context, book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us what it says, then we can’t get away from the fact that the Bible does not teach a one-time belief which guarantees us eternal life unconditionally.
What the Bible teaches is very much a conditional salvation and eternal life with God. It is filled with “If” clauses. “If” we continue in his word, then we are the Lord’s disciples. God’s kindness is extended to us “provided” we continue in his kindness. We are saved “If” we hold firmly to the word of the gospel. We are reconciled to God “If” we continue in our faith, unmovable.
“If” we disown him, he will disown us. We are his house (his temple) “If” we hold on to our hope. We have come to share in Christ “If” we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first. “If” what we heard from the beginning remains in us, we will remain in the Son and in the Father, and we will receive the promise of eternal life.
[Jn. 8:31-32; Rom. 11:17-24; I Co. 15:2; Col. 1:21-23; II Tim 2:10-13; Heb. 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet. 1:5-11; I Jn. 2:24-25]
But, we must begin with the correct foundation, for this is not speaking of continuing in just any belief we were taught. This is about continuing in the gospel as taught by Jesus and his NT apostles. And, they taught death to sin, living to righteousness, and obedience and submission to Christ as necessary components of believing faith.
In other words, we must walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to have eternal life with God. We must deny self, and daily we must take up our cross (die to sin) and follow (obey) Jesus. We must leave our lives of sin behind us and now follow Jesus with our lives.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:19-20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6]
Today, If You Hear
Hebrews 3:7-15 ESV
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
First we are informed that our salvation and our eternal life with God are conditional. We must continue in the word of God, in the grace of God, holding firmly to the word, and continue in our faith, unmovable. For, if we disown him, he will disown us.
Then, we receive this warning, which is not to the world, but to the church. It is a warning to all who profess faith in Jesus Christ. “If” we harden our hearts after we hear the Lord speak to us, and we rebel against the Lord and against his commandments, we are in danger of falling away from God.
But it isn’t just that we might not be as close to the Lord as we were before, or that we might just have broken fellowship with him, but this is a warning that we could fall away from God to the point of unbelief because of disobedience to where we do not enter into God’s eternal rest.
And, we must take this seriously! We can’t just write it off or assign it to someone else. For this is talking to us Christians. The context makes that perfectly clear. And, he is paralleling what happened to the Israelites in the wilderness to what could happen to us today if we do likewise.
Thus, we must exhort (encourage, counsel, urge, spur) one another every day toward walks of faith in Christ in holiness, purity, honesty, morality, faithfulness, and righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us, so that none of us are hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
For, again, our salvation and eternal life are not a sure thing if we are not walking according to the Spirit but according to the flesh. Our salvation and our eternal life with God are conditional, and we will be judged one day by our works (Rom 8:1-17; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).
So, today, if you hear his voice speaking to you, do not harden your heart against him and against his word. Do not rebel against the Lord and against his word and his commandments. We cannot be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God if we are still living in sin (1 Jn 1:5-9).
Listen to Jesus calling out to you. Hear what he is saying. Turn away from your lifestyle of sin and let him transform you to where you now walk (in lifestyle) according to his Spirit and no longer according to your flesh. Then, you will be at peace with God and it will result in eternal life, not death.
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
*Caution: This link may contain ads