Do Not Throw Away Your Confidence

We read in the earlier part of Hebrews 10 about what Jesus Christ did for us in giving his life up for us on that cross for our salvation from sin. And then we are encouraged to draw near to our Lord with a TRUE heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (See Heb 10:19-22).

A true heart is an honest heart, a sincere heart. It is not a lying or a deceiving heart. Full assurance of faith is fullness of faith, not partially faith and partially not. No half-hearted faith which fluctuates back and forth. And faith is divine persuasion as to God’s holiness and righteousness, of our sinfulness, and of our need to forsake our sins to follow Jesus in his ways.

When we come to Jesus with such unadulterated faith as this, in truth, holding nothing back from God, ready to surrender our hearts to him and to follow him wherever he leads us, and we repent of our sins, he cleanses us from our sins. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to new lives in him to be lived to his righteousness.

We die with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and for self, and we are delivered from both the control of sin and our slavery to sin so that we can now no longer live under the control of sin but under Holy Spirit control and in slavery to God and to his righteousness. For Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

Once we believe in Jesus, and we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are given new lives in him of God to be lived to God and to his righteousness, then we are to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Heb 10:23). For faith is not a one-time deal. Faith must be continuous, and it must be in what we practice.

Sinning Deliberately and Habitually
Hebrews 10:26-27 ESV

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

Many people today have bought into a big lie which says we can believe in Jesus Christ, have heaven secured us, but that we can continue living in deliberate sin against God as a matter of practice since Jesus died to forgive us our sins and to deliver us from hell and to promise us heaven.

But that is not what the Scriptures teach us. And that is not the belief of someone with a true heart who has fullness of faith in Jesus Christ. For fullness of faith dies with Christ to sin and lives to his righteousness, and it continues in him in dying with him to sin and in walking in obedience to his ways. It doesn’t look for ways out of obeying the Lord.

What the Scriptures teach is if we go on sinning deliberately, as a matter of practice, after receiving (accepting, embracing) the knowledge of the truth, that heaven is not promised to us. There is no forgiveness of sins. We will die in our sins. We will face the wrath of God. And we will not have eternal life with God but a fearful expectation of judgment.

And the writer of Hebrews is not the only one to say this. Paul said it plenty. He said we must walk no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, and if we walk according to the flesh, we will die. We will not live with Christ for eternity. And he said if we make sin our practice or if we sow to please the flesh and not the Spirit, that we will not inherit the kingdom of God. Deliberately making sin our practice ends in death, not in life with God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Recall the former Days
Hebrews 10:32-39 ESV:

“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For,

“’Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.’

“But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

And this is speaking to those who walked with Jesus for a time after they believed in him. They suffered for the sake of his name, and they suffered along with other believers, and they empathized with those who were treated in like manner as they had been treated. They had compassion on those who were imprisoned unjustly, and they did not fight back when others took from them what was not rightfully theirs to take.

But now there was concern that their faith may be weakening, perhaps due to persecution and trials and tribulations that never seem to end. Or perhaps due to the pleasures of this world drawing them away from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ. So, these words are to encourage them to keep on keeping on and to not lose heart and to not waver and to not give up.

Sometimes life gets really hard. Sometimes we wait for that rainbow at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel seems to keep going on and on and on. We wonder how much longer things must continue the way that they are or if we will ever see the light of day on this side of heaven. So this is to encourage us to hang in there and to not throw away our confidence.

Whether our faith is under trial through difficult and trying circumstances or it is being challenged through the pressures of the world, we must never give up hope. We must keep pressing on in our faith. Our trials are to develop within us endurance and character and hope. So, they are for our good, to mature us in Christ and so we share in his holiness.

So, don’t give in to sin. Don’t decide the Christian life is just too hard. And don’t give way to pressure to give up just because things got much harder. Don’t throw away your confidence. You will receive what was promised from God if you don’t give up. You just have to wait for it patiently. For if you shrink back, God’s soul has no pleasure in you. So, please take this to heart.

Praise You in This Storm

Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it’s still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you”
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I’ll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I’ve cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm…

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