CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Swindoll's Chart, Interesting Pictorial Chart of Hebrews, Another Chart
See ESV Study Bible "Introduction to Hebrews"
(See also MacArthur's Introduction to Hebrews)
Borrow Ryrie Study Bible
THE FIVE WARNING PASSAGES
|Heb 2:1-4 (notes)|
|Heb 3:7-4:13 (notes)|
|Heb 5:11-6:12 (notes)|
|Heb 10:19-39 (notes)|
|Heb 12:14-29 (notes)|
Hebrews 10:34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: kai gar tois desmiois sunepathesate, (2PAAI) kai ten arpagen ton uparchonton (PAPNPG) umon meta charas prosedecasthe (2PAMI), ginoskontes (PAPMPN) echein (PAN) eautous kreittona uparcin kai menousan. (PAPFSA)
Amplified: For you did sympathize and suffer along with those who were imprisoned, and you bore cheerfully the plundering of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, in the knowledge and consciousness that you yourselves had a better and lasting possession. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: For you gave your sympathy to those in prison; you accepted the pillaging of your goods with joy; for you knew that you yourselves hold a possession which is better and which lasts. (Westminster Press)
NLT: You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: You sympathised with those who were put in prison and you were cheerful when your own goods were confiscated, for you knew that you had a much more solid and lasting treasure in Heaven. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For you both sympathized with those in bonds and accepted with joy the plundering of your goods, knowing in yourselves that you have a better and an enduring possession.
Young's Literal: for also with my bonds ye sympathised, and the robbery of your goods with joy ye did receive, knowing that ye have in yourselves a better substance in the heavens, and an enduring one.
FOR YOU SHOWED SYMPATHY TO THE PRISONERS: kai gar tois desmiois sunepathesate (2PAAI) tois desmiois:
- You showed sympathy - Acts 21:33; 28:20; Eph 3:1; 4:1; 6:20; Php 1:7; 2Ti 1:16; 2:9)
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Earlier the writer had alluded to the sympathy (compassion) of Christ...
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with (sumpatheo) our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:15+)
So when we show sympathy to our fellow believers who are suffering, we are imitating our Lord and enabled to do so by the Spirit of Christ in us. It would not be natural to sympathize with the persecuted lest we too be fall into the same straits. So this must be supernatural sympathy. The believers of course had to personally make a choice to show sympathy but were enabled to do so by the indwelling Spirit giving them the desire and the power (Php 2:13NLT+).
Webster says sympathy is "an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other." The derivation of sympathy - Latin sympathia, from Greek sympatheia, from sympathēs having common feelings, sympathetic, from syn- + pathos feelings, emotion, experience
For (gar) is a term of explanation. What is he explaining?
Wuest - This verse explains (Ed: See term of explanation) the significance of the words of the previous verse, “you became sharers.” The koinonos took the form of compassion. The latter word is the translation of sumpatheo, “to sympathize with, to feel for.” This sympathy went to the length of ministering to the saints (Heb 6:10-note) as noted in the previous verse. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Matthew Henry - They were afflicted in the afflictions of their brethren: Partly while you became companions of those that were so used. The Christian spirit is a sympathizing spirit, not a selfish spirit, but a compassionate spirit; it makes every Christian's suffering our own, puts us upon pitying others, visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. Christians are one body, are animated by one spirit, have embarked in one common cause and interest, and are the children of that God who is afflicted in all the afflictions of his people. If one member of the body suffers, all the rest suffer with it… We must thankfully acknowledge the compassions our Christian friends have shown for us under our afflictions.
Showed sympathy (4834) (sumpatheo [English = sympathy] from sun = with, speaking of intimate relation + pascho = to suffer) means to be affected similarly, to sympathize with, to suffer with, to feel for, to be compassionate toward. The only other NT use is also in Hebrews…
Showed sympathy - Means to have a feeling with, to sympathize with. The context shows that this sympathy was not just "warm fuzzies" but was an attitude that led to action prompting them to visit their comrades in prison. To understand the importance of this "sympathy" one needs to understand that the first century prisoner had no means of survival apart from the visits of friends who brought food, water and clothing. But as you might imagine, such visits placed the friends in some degree of danger. And yet the writer of Hebrews states that these saints visited willingly. In Matthew 25, in the context of His discussion of His return to earth and the establishment of His millennial kingdom \, Jesus talks about His rewards to the "sheep" (as contrast to the goats) who cared for the "brothers of" Jesus, during the dangerous time that immediately preceded His return. Matthew records Jesus words to those on His right (the "sheep" - which I interpret as believing Gentiles who aid the Jews during the time of the Tribulation)…
35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink?
38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
39 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' (Mt 25)
The Gentiles who by their aid to the persecuted Jews during the coming Great Tribulation will certainly place themselves at risk of death.
It is interesting that historically, by the second century, Christians were known for their care for the imprisoned.
The prisoners - The writer probably refers to Christians who had been imprisoned for their faith or for practices related to it (cp He 13:23).
Prisoner (1198) (desmios from desméo = bind from desmos = bind, chain) is an adjective, primarily denoting binding, bound, then, as a noun, the person bound, a captive or prisoner, one who was a deprived of liberty and kept in prison or some other form of custody as a punishment for a crime, while awaiting trial, or for some other reason. Click description of ancient prisons. Note that Roman law used prison as detention until punishment rather than as punishment itself.
AND ACCEPTED JOYFULLY THE SEIZURE OF YOUR PROPERTY: prosedexasthe (2PAMI) meta charas kai ten harphagen ton huparchonton (PAPNPG) humon:
- Accepted joyfully - Matthew 5:11,12; Acts 5:41; James 1:2
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
ENERGIZED BY THE SPIRIT
Their joy had to be supernatural joy given by the Spirit (Gal 5:22+) because joy is hardly a "natural" reaction when one's property is seized! If follows that (1) these were genuine believers he is addressing and (2) they had come to understand the importance of obedience to the command to be continually filled with (controlled by, energized by) the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18+)! They give us all a good model to emulate so that we too might show true joy even in the face of otherwise negative and/or adverse circumstances. When the lost world sees this type of visible reaction, they are made aware of the invisible God (read Mt 5:14-16+)>
NLT Study Bible - At times, the Roman government evicted groups of people from their homes and forced them to leave a city (see Acts 18:2, 3+).
Great parallel passages which serve as "commentaries" on this verse...
“Blessed (makarios - spiritually satisfied INDEPENDENT of the circumstances - this is a supernatural gift from God's Spirit!) are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 “Rejoice (chairo - present imperative) and be glad (agalliao in the present imperative and in the middle voice which speaks of personal involvement = jumping for joy!), for (term of explanation) your reward (misthos - related to misthapodosia in Heb 10:35+) in heaven is great (polus here = much in number!!!, in parallel passage Heb 10:35 great = megas = large in size!!!); for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11,12+)
So (Acts 5:40 - "they flogged them [Peter et al] and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus") they went on their way from the presence of the Council (Jewish Sanhedrin), rejoicing (chairo in the present tense) that they had been considered worthy (kataxioo) to suffer shame for His name. (Acts 5:41+)
Consider (hegeomai in the aorist imperative - "Just Do It!" but don't try to obey this command in your natural strength but in the supernatural power provided by the Holy Spirit. And in the middle voice speaks of personal involvement) it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (WHY CONSIDER TRIALS JOY?) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (hupomone = SAME WORD IN Heb 10:36+). 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4+)
Spurgeon - The early Christians (ED: AND IN CONTEXT SPECIFICALLY THESE ARE JEWISH CHRISTIANS) had to suffer for their faith. They were exposed to great ridicule and enmity: they were, indeed, the byword, the laughingstock, and the derision of all mankind. Nor did it end in ridicule: they were deprived of their goods. Ruinous fines were exacted from them. They were driven from city to city (SEE CLAUDIUS' EXPULSION OF THE JEWS - WHICH AFFECTED AQUILA AND PRISCILLA - SEE Acts 18:2+), and not thought worthy to dwell among the sons of men. They were made a spectacle to all men (Heb 10:33 - "theater"), both in their lives and deaths. Very frequently they were not put to death as other condemned persons were, but their execution was attended with circumstances of cruelty and scorn, which made it still harder to bear: they were daubed with pitch and set up in the gardens of Nero to be burned alive to light that tyrant’s debaucheries (see picture), or taken to the Amphitheater, there to fight with beasts and to be torn in pieces. Everything that could be invented that was at once degrading and cruel their persecutors devised for them: malice exhausted its ingenuity upon believers in Christ.
Don't miss the specific verb which the writer chose for "accepted" for this verb means in essence that these believers even "put out the welcome mat" (so to speak) for their persecutors! That is crazy! No, that is supernatural! Can you imagine the effect on the perpetrators of the crimes unjustly committed against the believers? I am willing to bet some were so transfixed by the visual testimonies of these followers of Jesus (Is your life "preaching the Gospel" to the lost around you?) and were later transformed by His Gospel and Spirit! Of course that is speculation, but God does at times redeem even the worst persecutors of the Church (compare the before Acts 26:9-11+ with the "after" in the case of man named Saul and later named Paul! See Acts 9:3-6+, cf Acts 9:1)
Vine adds that "For Israelites to treat the plundering of their property with joy was so contrary to natural inclinations that it was no small evidence of genuine faith, by which they counted it an honor and joy to suffer in the cause of Christ."
Accepted (4327)(prosdechomai from pros = in compound Greek words implies motion or direction toward + dechomai [see word study] = a deliberate and ready reception) means to accept favorably, to receive one into intercourse/companionship, to give access to oneself or receive to oneself.
Accepted - received kindly ~ even welcoming the seizure of their property! What a striking contrast to the natural human tendency which is to hold on as firmly as possible to what one possesses (which is really another way of saying that this person's possessions have ended up "possessing" them!)
Wuest - These Jews accepted the unjust seizure of their goods with joy. That takes grace (Ed: That takes the "Spirit of grace!"). That which enabled them to do so with joy was the consciousness that they had possessions which could not be taken away. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Matthew Henry -they took their sufferings patiently, and not only so, but joyfully received it from God as a favor and honor conferred upon them that they should be thought worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Christ. God can strengthen his suffering people with all might in the inner man, to all patience and long-suffering, and that with joyfulness, Col. 1:11-note.
Joyfully - Literally with joy (meta charas).
Paul associates exulting (which means to be extremely joyful) with affliction which is motivated by knowledge of the positive effects of the affliction - "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope (Ro 5:3-note, Ro 5:4-note) (For a similar dynamic see Jas 1:2-note, Jas 1:3, 4-note, 1Pe 1:6-note, 1Pe 1:7-note)
Joy (5479) (chara from chairo = to rejoice) describes an attitude which is cheerful and glad. The world defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. The Bible defines joy as a gift of God, a fruit of His Spirit, which is independent of circumstances.
KJV Bible Commentary - Through all this they had endured with joy and with a knowledge that they possessed something far greater than that which they had lost. They had done it before; they must do it now. (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson)
John Piper - “Joy in the midst of suffering, even persecution, is the kind of Christianity we should all strive for.”
Seizure (724) (harpage from harpazo = to seize upon with force, also used for the "seizing" or rapture of the saints) gives us the picture of violent, unjust seizure of the property of these who were being persecuted.
Property (possessions)(5225) (huparcho = to exist) means to be, to live, to exist and in this context signifies those things of which a person has the use and disposal.
Wuest - This verse explains (Ed: See term of explanation) the significance of the words of the previous verse, “you became sharers.” The koinonos took the form of compassion. The latter word is the translation of sumpatheo, “to sympathize with, to feel for.” This sympathy went to the length of ministering to the saints (Heb 6:10-note) as noted in the previous verse. (Hebrews Commentary online)
This verse begs the question of how is such an attitude/action possible? The "secret" of this power/ability is not in the human reasoning (mind over matter or positive thinking for example) but is in the superhuman realm. Paul alluded to this supernatural enablement in his letter to the Philippians writing…
Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me. (Php 4:11,12-see notes, Php 4:13 - see note)
These saints accepted the unjust seizure of their goods with joy which made possible by the Spirit (His "fruit" in believers) and grace (cp Gal 5:22-note). When one truly comprehends that his or her "real" possessions are not temporal and earthly, but eternal and heavenly, it shows itself in one's willingness (even a passion) to part with the earthly, knowing that the heavenly is guaranteed. In fact, a good test of how fixed one is to this passing present world is what he or she is not willing to lose. (cp 2Cor 4:16,17,18)
This description of these Hebrew saints parallels the description of Habakkuk when he declared…
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail, And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments. (Hab 3:17,18, 19).
Suffering because we are Christians may tempt us to forsake our faith. Actively recalling God's past faithfulness to see us through difficult experiences (He 10:32) should give us courage to face present persecution. Christian endurance is never complete until our Master returns. We can trust Him. His eternal reward justifies any and all the suffering we must endure for our relatively short time on earth.
John Piper writes "and this chosen suffering was not a morose, gloomy, miserable duty that they did because Christians are supposed to. It says that they joyfully accepted the seizure of their property. It's as if you were to carry food and clothing to flood victims and then go home and find spray-painted all over your house, "Christians get out!" and your windows broken and all your cabinets and drawers rifled. And instead of being mainly angry and discouraged, you gathered around you some friends - your small group - and prayed and sang a song of joy in God that he had counted you worthy to suffer for the Name (Acts 5:41).
That is evidently what they did, according to Heb 10:34. They joyfully accepted the confiscation of their property. But how did they become people like this? This is utterly against the way humans are by nature. We love safety and comfort and ease and fun and lots of possessions and money and free time to do what we want to do. And if we get that we rejoice, and if we don't, we complain. But here are people who rejoice when they lose possessions and share in sufferings. So somehow there is an indomitable joy, and this joy seems to be one of the keys to love and good works.
Then comes the all-important clause in He 10:34 to explain the source of this indomitable, love-producing joy:
"knowing that you have for yourselves
a better possession and an abiding one."
The key to indomitable joy that produces love and good works that share the loss of property others have experienced is
"knowing that you have for yourself
a better possession and an abiding one."
When you know that you have a better and a lasting persuasion, you are not paralyzed by loss. If that better possession is great enough, you will even be able to rejoice in loss.
What is this "better possession and abiding one"? Well, it's all the good news that we have been pondering for over a year in this letter. It's the triumph of Jesus over death (He 2:15), and the final rest for the saints in the age to come (He 4:9), and the subduing of all our enemies (He 10:13) and the perfect purification of our conscience (He 9:14), and the removal and forgetting of all our sins (He 8:12) - all of which is aimed at the ultimate and greatest reward of all, namely, that we shall be "near to God" (He 7:19, He 7:25) and know God (He 8:11) and that he will be our God (He 8:10) forever.
In other words, "the better possession and abiding one" is not a thing. It is a person and a great salvation. A great relationship of acceptance with God and fellowship with God and enjoyment of God forever. Notice the two adjectives: "better" and "abiding." It is better than anything this world can offer. And it last longer than anything this world can offer. This is exactly the same double perfection described in Psalm 16:11 -
"Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; in Thy presence is fullness [= "better possession"] of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever [= "abiding possession"]."
So Hebrews 10:34 is saying that the key to the indomitable joy that releases love and good works and that embraces suffering with those who suffer is knowing that you have this better and abiding possession.
Here's the key!
You must have this confidence. It's this deep confidence about your future that frees you from the fear and greed that kill love and make you into a cookie-cutter human who has to have security and safety and ease and comfort.
So where does that "knowing" come from? That confidence?
The answer to that is what this whole book is written to supply. Our confidence comes from Christ - what He did perfectly on the cross and at the resurrection, what He is doing now for us in heaven and what He will do for us at the second coming and to all eternity. Christ is the One Who destroyed the power of death (He 2:15). Christ is the High Priest who opens the way to the throne of grace (He 4:15, 16). Christ is the one who ever lives to make intercession for us (He 7:25). Christ is the one whose blood cleanses our consciences (He 9:14), and obtained an eternal redemption (He 9:12). Christ's death is the single sacrifice that perfects us for all time (He 10:14). Christ will make all his enemies a footstool for his feet (He 10:13). Christ will come again a second time to save all who are eagerly waiting for him. Christ is the mediator of a new and better covenant that insures the forgiveness of our sins, and the writing of the law on our hearts, and the presence of God in our midst forever and ever (He 8:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
All that we ever hope for is owing to Christ. We receive it not by earning it or meriting it, but by banking on it. If we love it above all that earth offers, it is ours. So when Heb 10:34 says that the key to indomitable joy in the face of suffering and earthly loss is "knowing that we have a better possession and an abiding one," it means that we know this because of Christ. Christ is the seal and the guarantee of our hope in all the promises of God. (Read the full sermon = The Present Power of a Future Possession)
Steven Cole adds a similar note that "The only way that they could joyfully accept the seizure of their property was, they knew that they had “a better possession and a lasting one.” They had “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Mt 6:20-note).
They knew that Jesus had gone to prepare a place for them to dwell with Him forever and that He was coming again to take them to be with Him there (John 14:2, 3). So while, no doubt, it was hard to lose their earthly possessions, their focus had shifted from the temporal to the eternal.
In 1986, I was preaching through 1 Corinthians and came to 1 Co 15:19, where Paul caps his argument for the resurrection with these startling words: “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” That verse jarred me. I asked myself, “Can I really say that?” Being a Christian provides me with a good life. I have a wonderful wife and children. I get paid to study and teach God’s Word. I have brothers and sisters worldwide. I know that my sins are forgiven. And, heaven is thrown in as a bonus after this life is over! Such a deal!” But Paul says, “If there is no heaven, if this life is all there is, being a Christian is ludicrous!” Why suffer ridicule? Why give your money away? Why spend this short life serving the Lord? Why deny yourself the pleasures of sin? Why bother living for anyone other than yourself? Better to eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. But, a Christian knows that this life is not all there is. Christians have shifted their priorities and values from the temporal to the eternal. (Lesson 31: Enduring Faith (Hebrews 10:32-39)
KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE FOR YOURSELVES A BETTER POSSESSION AND AN LASTING (ABIDING) ONE: ginoskontes (PAPMPN) echein (PAN) heautous kreissona huparchin kai menousan (PAPFSA):
- A better possession - Mt 6:19,20; 19:21; Lk 10:42; 12:33; 2Co 5:1; Col 1:5; 3:2, 3, 4; 1Ti 6:19; 2Ti 4:8; 1Pe 1:4; 1Jn 3:2
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
KNOWLEDGE OF A BETTER POSSESSION:
KEY TO ENDURING SUFFERING
Knowing (1097)(ginosko = knowing by experience) - You can mark it down belove - What you believe determines how you behave. And what you believe depends on what you know. These believers knew that the "best was yet to come"! How did they come to know this truth of a blessed future? The only source of such truth is the Word of God, so they had either read it themselves or they had been taught it by Word centered teachers and preachers.
THOUGHT - Does your congregation know this great truth? Is this truth repeatedly emphasized (we are prone to forget)? It is noteworthy that roughly one in 20-30 NT passages speak directly or indirectly about our "blessed hope", the Second Coming of our Lord. It seems God desires to keep before our "mind's eye" the truth of a better possession (ultimately this is Christ Himself, our "Husband"! - cp Hebrews 10:37+) and a reward that endures long after the present heavens are "destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!" (2 Pe 3:12+).
These bold saints believed Jesus’ words, and their belief guided their behavior. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus instructed His hearers…
Do not lay up (present imperative + negative = stop doing this!) for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up (present imperative = command to make this your life goal! Be careful. Jesus is not speaking so much about our "things" in heaven as our heart now on earth!) for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mt 6:19, 20, 21+).
As the writer of Hebrews says toward the end of this epistle, these saints knew that
here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come. (He 13:14+)
These saints had…
come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. (He 12:22, 23, 24+)
Peter writes similar encouraging words regarding our better possession…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1Pe 1:3, 4, 5 e+)
Jesus encouraged His little band with the words that no earthly power or authority could take away that which was most important (one's soul)…
Do not fear (present imperative + negative = stop doing this! See Need for the Holy Spirit to obey all the NT commands) those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear (present imperative = command to make this your lifestyle!) Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Knowing (1097) (ginosko) means knowing by experience. In other words it means to know as a process arising from experience. The present tense signifies that this experiential knowledge was continuing.
The "Knowing" referred to here is the knowledge that the saint is assured of an eternal reward which serves to encourage faithful endurance in the face of strong opposition and/or vigorous persecution. Personal suffering and public shame, sympathy with others who suffer, and loss of possessions are bearable when set against the prospect of the imperishable, undefiled heavenly possessions awaiting those who are faithful. The ultimate heavenly "possession" of course is the person of the Lord God Himself. The writer will amply illustrate this important principle of faith with vignettes from the "men of old" in Hebrews 11.
The actions of these Hebrew Christians were the product of genuine faith, and he urged them to keep this confident faith in Heb 10:35,36, emphasizing that perseverance (endurance) is the proof of reality. Undoubtedly, the persecution and injustice these saints endured presented strong temptations to give up, to return to Judaism, and to forget about Jesus.
Have (2192) (echo) means to have or hold and the present tense speaks of this as their continual possession.
Better (2909) (kreitton/kreisson) "pertains to being of high status, more prominent, higher in rank, preferable, better". (BDAG).
Kreitton - 12x in 11v - Heb 1:4; 6:9; 7:7, 19, 22; 8:6; 9:23; 10:34; 11:16, 35, 40; 12:24
Possession (5223)(huparxis from huparcho = to exist) in this context (and Acts 2:45) describes that which one has (property). Something one owns.
Lasting (abiding - present tense - continually) (3306) (meno) means remaining or staying. This possession has "staying power". It is notable that this verb meno is used 6x in Hebrews - He 7:3, He 7:24; He 10:34, He 12:27; He 13:1, He 13:14.
C H Spurgeon - Hebrews 10:34 - Real Estate in Heaven
This is well. Our substance here is very unsubstantial; there is no substance in it. But God has given us a promise of real estate in the gloryland, and that promise comes to our hearts with such full assurance of its certainty that we know in ourselves that we have an enduring substance there. Yes, "we have" it even now. They say, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but we have our bird in the bush and in the hand, too. Heaven is even now our own. We have the title deed of it, we have the earnest of it, we have the firstfruits of it. We have heaven in price, in promise, and in principle; this we know not only by the hearing of the ear but "in ourselves." Should not the thought of the better substance on the other side of Jordan reconcile us to present losses? Our spending money we may lose, but our treasure is safe. We have lost the shadows, but the substance remains, for our Savior lives, and the place which He has prepared for us abides. There is a better land, a better substance, a better promise; and all this comes to us by a better covenant; wherefore, let us be in better spirits, and say unto the Lord, "Every day will I bless thee; and praise thy name for ever and ever." (Faith's Checkbook)
Spurgeon - One Palmer, of Reading, being condemned to die, in Queen Mary's time, was much persuaded to recant, and among other things a friend said to him, "Take pity on thy golden years and pleasant flowers of youth, before it be too late." His reply was as beautiful as it was conclusive: "Sir, I long for those springing flowers which shall never fade away." When he was in the midst of the flames he exhorted his companions to constancy, saying, "We shall not end our lives in the fire, but make a change for a better life; yea, for coals we shall receive pearls." Thus do we clearly see that, although " if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable," yet the prospect of a better and enduring substance enables us to meet all the trials and temptations of this present life with holy boldness and joy.
Spurgeon - My horse invariably comes home in less time than he makes the journey out. He pulls the carriage with a hearty goodwill when his face is towards home. Should not I also both suffer and labour the more joyously because my way lies towards heaven, and I am on pilgrimage to my Father's house, my soul's dear home and resting-place?
Where Is My Focus? Hebrews 10:34
Early in September 2011, a raging wildfire destroyed 600 homes in and around the city of Bastrop in central Texas. A few weeks later an article in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper carried this headline: “People who lost the most, focus on what wasn’t lost.” The article described the community’s outpouring of generosity and the realization of those who received help that neighbors, friends, and community were worth far more than anything they lost.
The writer of Hebrews reminded first-century followers of Jesus to recall how they had bravely endured persecution early in their life of faith. They stood their ground in the face of insults and oppression, standing side by side with other believers (Heb. 10:32-33). “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (v. 34). Their focus was not on what they had lost but on eternal things that could not be taken from them.
Jesus told His followers, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). As we focus on the Lord and all that we have in Him, even our most precious possessions can be held lightly. By David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Lord, open our eyes to see You and to embrace what is most important each day. Where is your focus today?
Hebrews 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: me apobalete (2PAAS) oun ten parresian umon, etis echei (3SPAI) megalen misthapodosian,
Amplified: Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: Do not throw away your confidence, for it is a confidence that has a great reward. (Westminster Press)
NLT: Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you!. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Don't throw away your trust now - it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Do not throw away therefore your confidence which is of such a nature that it has great recompense of reward,
36 for you have need of patience in order that, having done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
Young's Literal: Ye may not cast away, then, your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward,
THEREFORE, DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE: Me apobalete (2PAAS) oun ten parrhesian humon:
- Throw away - He 3:6,14; 4:14
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
Therefore - see discussion of importance of observing terms of conclusion.
The opposite of throwing away is holding on and earlier the writer had given this parallel (positive) exhortation "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." (Heb 10:23-note)
William Kelly writes that "the great guard is against casting away their confidence or boldness of soul, the root within of outward suffering as of service. Patient endurance is needed as ever, of which the love of Christ is the spring, glory with Him the hope alone, the road, where the will of God is for us to do as it was done by Him perfectly. The recompense assured is inseparable from His advent; which here as elsewhere is kept immediately before the Christian.
Do not throw away - This is a prohibition with a negative particle. The upshot is don't throw away your confidence as if it were worthless.
Hughes comments that "After joyfully enduring severe afflictions and losses for Christ's sake, to throw away their confidence as though it were after all something worthless and dispensable would not make sense. Of all desertions apostasy is the most unreasonable, for it means turning one's back on him who has been professed before men as the sole source and ground of our confidence, and through whose blood we have freedom of access, in full assurance of faith, into the eternal sanctuary of God's presence (Heb 10:19-25. above; cf. Heb 3:6; 4:16). Discouraged by the perils and hardships of the wilderness, the forefathers of those to whom our letter was sent were moved with a spirit of apostasy when they asked, "Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" (Nu 14:3). These Hebrew Christians of the first century were in danger of following this evil example (cf. Heb 3:12) by "forsaking the God who made them" and "scoffing at the Rock of their salvation" (Dt. 32:15). To do this would be evidence that they had indeed "thrown away their confidence" and returned to the deceptive and impermanent material things of the present world which previously they had professed to "throw away." It would be a tragic failure of "earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end" (He 6:11). (A Commentary On The Epistle To The Hebrews)
The opposite idea is found in Hebrews 3:6+ "but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house–whose house we are, if we hold fast (katecho) our confidence (parrhesia) and the boast of our hope firm until the end." Their holding fast was NOT a condition of their salvation (being part of the His house), but was evidence that they were in fact part of His house. They became part of His house solely by grace through faith. Those Hebrews who had been attracted to His house, but had not genuinely placed their faith in Christ of course did not belong to His house.
Throw away (577) (apoballo from apo = away from + ballo = cast, throw) means literally to cast off or away, as of a garment (Mk 10:50, the only other NT use of apoballo). Figuratively apoballo is used of losing or rejecting a quality or state, of throwing it away, of causing it to cease. In Heb 20:35 the idea is to do away, reject or discard their confidence or boldness. The idea is to reject something as undesirable.
Apoballo - 3x in the Septuagint - Deut 26:5; Prov 28:24; Isa 1:30
A T Robertson - The Jewish Christians in question were in peril of a panic and of stampeding away from Christ. Recall katechōmen ("let us hold fast") in He 10:23-note.
Confidence (3954) (parrhesia from pás = all + rhesis = act of speaking > "speaking all things") conveys the idea of freedom to say all. It is that attitude of openness that stems from freedom and lack of fear ("shaking" fear - godly, reverential fear is always appropriate). Greeks used parrhesia of those with the right to speak openly in the assembly.
Parrhesia - 31x in 31v -
Mark 8:32; John 7:4, 13, 26; 10:24; 11:14, 54; 16:25, 29; 18:20; Acts 2:29; 4:13, 29, 31; 28:31; 2 Cor 3:12; 7:4; Eph 3:12; 6:19; Phil 1:20; Col 2:15; 1 Tim 3:13; Philemon 1:8; Heb 3:6; 4:16; 10:19, 35; 1 John 2:28; 3:21; 4:17; 5:14
Confidence speaks boldness in speech or openness and right to speak frankly, without reservation. In context of Hebrews parrhesia refers to our privilege of entering into the Throne Room of Almighty God because the rent veil, Messiah's flesh (cp Heb 3:6, 4:16, 10:19, 35) Those who lose confidence in Christ and in His promises and return to rituals and ceremonies show that they were never born again. It is against such apostasy that the writer's warning is directed.
Wuest - The writer exhorts the Jewish recipients of this letter not to throw away that cheerful courage, that boldness, that free and fearless confidence which they were displaying while they were enduring this persecution referred to in Heb 10:32–34. If they would persist in it, and go on to the act of faith in Messiah as High Priest, they would receive salvation. If they shrank away in fear and returned to the temple sacrifices, they would be committing apostasy, an act from which there would be no recovery, and because of which they would be doomed to everlasting banishment from the presence of God. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Vincent comments that the confidence refers to "The boldness and courage which you manifested under persecution."
The Jewish Christians were in peril of rejecting Christ because intense persecution undoubtedly created a strong temptation to reject their previous identification with Christ and return to Judaism (i.e., apostasy).
Times of danger call for renewed confidence, for confidence in Christ anchors the soul such times. To throw such confidence away is to miss the reward that is just "around the corner" (cp Rev 22:12-note). Patience is a moment-by-moment quality, one which grows with practice, and with reliance on the Spirit Who gives this aspect of His fruit (Ga 5:22-note). As the writer has already said, it is “through faith and patience” that we inherit what has been promised (He 6:12-note).
Practically we must warn (and/or encourage) each other not to throw away our confidence, not to drift away, not to love the world, not to be deceived into thinking nothing is at stake, not to fear the terrible prospect of not cherishing the promises of God above the promises of sin. We need to encourage each other especially to focus on the preciousness of God's sure promises.
Spurgeon on not throwing away your confidence…
Those who are acquainted with the original will know that it is not very easy to explain this word in one English word. The nearest approach to it would be boldness — “Cast not away your boldness,” and it is frequently translated by that word. In the Acts, where we read, “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John,” it is the same word in the Greek as that which is here translated “confidence.” But it means something rather different from boldness, because we read of Christ, in the gospel by Mark, that he spoke openly, and there the word is precisely that which is here used, and translated “confidence.” And the apostle says, “We use great plainness of speech,” and there the word is the same also. It means that freedom, that peace, that at-home-ness, which makes a man feel bold, free, confident. We come back again to the word in the text — your confidence, your child-like plainness, freedom, quietude, peace of heart, rest, sense of security, and, therefore, courage. The apostle meant a great deal when he said, “Cast not away therefore your confidence.”
And the elements of it seem to me to be these.
First, confidence in the principles which you hast espoused. Some persons appear to think that a state of doubt is the very best which we can possibly reach. They are very wise and highly cultured individuals, and they imagine that by their advanced judgments nothing in the world can be regarded as assuredly true. Some of the broad church school would seem to believe that no doctrine in the Bible is worth dying for, or worth anybody’s losing over and above a halfpenny for. They do not feel sure of any doctrine: it may be true, and there is a good deal to be said for it, but then a good deal may be said on the other side, and you must hold your mind “receptive,” and be ready to accept “new truth.” Some Robinson or other said something about new truth, as if there ever could be such a thing, and, under cover of his probably misinterpreted speech, like chameleons, they are always taking their flue from the particular light that falls upon them. They have no light in themselves and no truth which they hold to be vital. Such people cannot understand this confidence, but the veriest babes in the family of faith know what it means. Here are certain things which God has taught me; I believe them and am sure about them.
“Dogmatical,” says one. Exactly so; call it what you like, but we are bold to confess that there remains no doubt to us after God has spoken. The question is solved by God’s word; the doubt is laid to sleep for ever by the witness of the Holy Spirit. Oh, to know the grand truths of the gospel, and to know them infallibly. For instance, the grand doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Son of God — to know it and hold it and say, “Let others question and quibble, but I must believe it; it is my only hope, it is all my salvation. I stake my soul upon it: if that be not true then am I lost.” And so with regard to all the other grand truths of revelation, the thing is to know them and grasp them firmly. There must be leverage if we would move men, and to have a leverage you must have a fixed point. There must be certain undoubted truths about which you can sing, “O God, my heart is fixed; my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise “ — things which you perceive to be plainly taught in the Scriptures — things brought home by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is the groundwork of true confidence; but to make it complete there must be an open avowal of our belief in our Lord Jesus. The apostle has said, “Hold fast the profession of your faith,” not merely your faith, but the profession of it. To hold a truth which I am ashamed to utter is to be false both to God and man. To have convictions which I stifle, and principles which I dare not avow, is to be unworthy of the Lord that bought me, and unworthy of the Spirit who has instructed me. God forbid that we should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, but God forbid that we should refuse to glory in that (Gal 6:14). Let us never cloak our faith in Jesus, whatever be the company, and, though we are not to cast pearls before swine, yet, if a time comes to exhibit pearls, let us not conceal them, even though swine should gaze upon them. We are not sent into the world comfortably to sneak through it into heaven, but we are sent, like a troop of soldiers, to fight our way, and to win a victory all along from the beginning of our pilgrimage even to the close of it. The colors are not to be covered up and kept by the color-sergeant in a tent somewhere in the rear, but they are to be unfurled to the breeze and borne in the van, and every believing soldier is to labor earnestly to bear them farther forward, and to smite the foe that dares to insult the standard of the Lord. “Cast not away your confidence;” that is, hold confidently the truths which God has taught you, and never blush or stammer, or show the slightest sign of hesitancy in avowing them.
To do all this you must know your own interest in those truths. A man will readily let go a truth which may condemn him. Who will die for a truth in which he has no share? The man who can live and die for Christ is the man who believes that Christ has lived and died for him. A doctrine — what is that? A mere statement written in a book. It stirs no man’s heart, and awakens no one’s enthusiasm; but a blessed truth which has been verified in one’s own experience, in which one feels that he has a share, nay, which is all his own — this is a thing for which a man may well be willing to be counted the offscouring of all things. Beloved Christian friends, do you know that you have passed from death unto life? If so, you do not doubt the doctrine of conversion. Do you know that you have been washed in the blood of Jesus? If so, you do not doubt the doctrine of atonement. Do you know that Christ has saved you, and that you are one with him? Then you do not doubt the doctrine of union to Christ. Do you know that he has preserved you to this day? Then you do not doubt his faithfulness: you have proof of it before your eyes. We must “eat this roll,” as Ezekiel did, before we can bear testimony to it. The truth must be the food of our spirits, the sustenance of our inward life, before we can have that confidence in it which the apostle bids us never to cast away.
These are the first points of confidence — a full conviction of the truth of the gospel, willingness to confess it, and a full assurance of our own interest in it.
But the word, as I have said, cannot have all its meaning brought out by this word boldness, it means beside, a full and firm reliance upon the faithfulness of God, so that we are free from all mistrusts, and fears, and simply rest in God.
It is a very sweet thing to allow that God is true, and to sing, with the psalmist of old, “His mercy endureth for ever.” “Why,” saith one, “that is a very simple fact, and I never doubted it.” Dear brethren, when the Holy Ghost taught the psalmist to make that psalm whose many verses conclude with “His mercy endureth for ever,” he knew very well that we do not so easily believe in the Lord’s enduring mercy as we think we do; and, therefore, he has given us line upon line, and precept upon precept. Do you not feel that you have a very great deal of faith in God when you have no afflictions? Do you not feel sure about your daily bread when you are in good work, or have an excellent pension, or a good sum of money in the bank? Such faith is very easy and very unreal: the publicans and sinners have that faith. But to trust in God when you see nothing but starvation before you, to believe when you cannot see, ah, this is another kind of faith, and the faith, and the only faith that is of the operation of the Spirit of God.
I wonder whether you could have believed in Jesus if, for having been here last night, you had been arrested at the foot of the steps of the Tabernacle, and taken off to Horsemonger-lane gaol, and there kept in prison in the dark, with only bread and water, for several months. Suppose you were occasionally stretched upon the rack, or beaten with rods. Would you feel in the loneliness of the prison, smarting under the Rounds you endured, quite sure that all things worked together for good — quite certain of that promise, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”? If it was intimated to you that tomorrow morning you must go out to be burned to death in the great square of the city, or to be torn to pieces in the amphitheatre by wild beasts, would you be quite sure that the promise of God was faithful and true? Yet, beloved, that is the kind of faith we must have, for God deserves it, he cannot lie. He has promised that those who trust in him shall never be forsaken or confounded world without end. Now, to have the confidence of the text, we must subscribe in heart to a full surrender —
“Whatever happens, I believe in God. Come what may, I rest in his promise, and I leave my matters entirely in his hands, resting them with him as with a faithful Creator.”
Happy is the man who has this confidence, let him take care that he never casts it away.
Where that confidence really reigns in the soul, it takes the form of a sense of full acceptance before God. Let me illustrate that by the condition of a child. A child that lives in full confidence with its father is quite sure of its father’s love, it is also sure about its fathers wisdom, and, consequently, quite content with all its father’s dealings. This is confidence, and the sort of confidence which is meant in the text. That, at least, is part of what is meant — confidence towards God — confidence that all is well between my soul and God — that I can walk with him in the light as he is in the light — that the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin, and that, therefore, I have fellowship with him as a man has fellowship with his friend. We must have confidence so as to avail ourselves of perpetual access to God, so as to be able to speak with him at all times, not merely in the closet where we are accustomed to pray, but everywhere. True confidence makes the believer feel, “I am God’s child; I can speak with my Lord whenever I will, and I can hear his voice everywhere — hear it in nature as well as in the Bible. I dwell always in my Father’s own house at home, and I know that ’goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.’” Oh, what a sweet feeling that is, to know that you are ever near to God, that he is ever with you, and consequently you are always at home, and your Father is always accessible.
Upon this there follows that further confidence, of which John says, “This is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he heareth us,” — confidence that when we pray we shall be heard. Now, all Christians accept this as a matter of doctrine, but very few Christians really it. When you talk to them about God’s hearing prayer, they open their eyes at you. You tell them some cases in which he has answered you, and they look upon you as a wonder. Dear Mr. MŸller’s Orphanage at Bristol is thought to be a sort of miracle, and we ourselves in that and other cases are conscious of a feeling of astonishment when we hear of God’s answering prayer. It should not be so. If we have the confidence we ought to have in our heavenly Father we shall be astonished at his goodness, but we shall not be astonished at the fact that he keeps his promises, and answers his children’s prayers. I sometimes felt, when I was a child, astonished at my father’s goodness in giving me what I asked for; but not when he had previously promised it to me. A loving child asks with expectation. Probably if he had not the expectation he would scarcely ask; but he asks because he expects to receive. And, oh, what a sweet confidence that is — to know that God is your Father, that you are on happy terms with him through Jesus Christ, and that you may speak to him, and whatsoever you desire you may ask of him, pleading that promise.” Delight thyself also in the Lord and he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” Oh, blessed, blessed confidence! May we always enjoy it!
Over and above that, how delightful to feel that even what we do not pray for, by reason of ignorance or forgetfulness, our gracious God will bestow. “Your heavenly Father knoweth what ye have need of before ye ask him.” I would pray as if I had to remind the Lord of everything, and yet feel when I have done that he has never forgotten, nor could he fail to give anything that was good for me, for did he not say, “To good thing will I withhold from then that walk uprightly”? Beloved, this is the confidence that we have towards God, that he will bestow upon us all things necessary for this life and godliness, that he will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able, and that when he sends a trial he will also make a way of escape. “Ah,” says one, “that is a happy way of living if we could only attain to it.” That is how you ought to live, dear brethren, and, if you ever do so live, then remember the text, “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” If you get it, hold it. If you have a childlike simplicity of confidence in God reckon it to be a priceless jewel, and watch it night and day. Let no one rob you of it, but labor with might and main, by his blessed Spirit, to abide in this confidence as long as you live.
You may add to all this the confidence that he is able to keep that which you have committed to him, for we have this confidence — that whether we sleep or wake we shall be together with him. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord;” for we are confident that though we shall drop this tabernacle, “we have a temple of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” With confidence we are looking forward to resurrection after death; looking forward to a grand reunion with the beloved ones that have gone before; looking forward to being satisfied when we awake in his likeness; looking forward to seeing the lying in his beauty in the land that is very far off. We are looking; forward to sit upon Christ’s throne, even as he overcame and has sat down with his Father upon his throne. We comfort one another with these words; yea, we joy and rejoice, and we reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall revealed in us. Oh, blessed confidence, the confidence that he will keep us while we are here, and will glorify us hereafter! As sure as Christ is glorified so must his people be. “If we suffer with him we shall reign with him.” This is the confidence we have in him. Cast not away your confidence.
II. Having thus labored, as best I could to show the confidence, let us now spend a few moments in considering now We May Cast It Away.
It strikes one, at once, on reading the passage — and the best expositors think so too — that there is here an allusion to the Greek soldier with his shield on his arm. When he went out to battle, wearing his shield, which covered him from head to foot, the rule was that he must either come back with his shield or be brought back upon it, but he must never cast it away. Among the Spartans there was a law that any soldier who cast away his shield must die: he was not fit to be a soldier. You remember how one of the old Scriptural songs speaks of the shield of the mighty which was vilely cast away; showing that in the old war times, the casting away of the shield was a disgrace. It was showing the white feather; it was giving up the conflict, and ceasing to hope for safety, much less victory. Our confidence is our shield, and we are not to cast it away, or suffer any to tear it from our arm, but hold it fast until the battle is fought and the victory is won for ever.
How can you cast
your confidence away?
(1) You can cast it away by changing it for self-confidence… (See full sermon for more explanation of each of the following points)
(2) Some, however, cast away their confidence by giving way to sin… My brothers and sisters, we cannot enjoy confidence towards God if we live in disobedience. Old Master Brooks says, “Assurance will make us leave off sinning, or sinning will make us leave off assurance;” and, depend upon it, it will. He who lives in the light of God’s countenance must mind what he is at. Kings’ favorites live under a jealous eye. More is expected from those who lean their heads upon Christ’s bosom than from any other of the disciples. You cannot grieve your heavenly Father and yet feel the same confidence towards him…
(3) There is another way of losing our confidence, and that is by getting into worldly company and mixing up with the gay and frivolous… A deadening influence will come over your intimate communion with God if you are on close terms with unbelievers. You cannot walk with God and his enemies. You cannot be in league with Christ and Belial at the same time, or sit at your Master’s table and expect him to smile upon you after you have partaken of the cup of devils. Do not lose your sweet confidence and holy boldness in God’s presence by associating with the world, but come ye out from among them and be ye separate…
(4) You can very easily lose your confidence by changing your aim in life. The Christian’s aim in life is to live for God’s glory. If he does so, no persecution can ever shake him. If his goods be spoiled he says, “If it glorifies God for me to lose my property I am no loser. I gave my goods to God years ago.” If he is put in prison, he says, “I have lost my liberty, but I am no loser; I gave up my liberty to God long ago.” If they tell him that he will die, he says, “Well, I am no loser, for I gave him my life long ago. I am altogether Christ’s.” While your object is God you will be bold as a lion, but a sordid motive is the mother of cowardice.
(5) Alas, dear friends, some unhappy professors have apparently cast away their confidence in utter unbelief. They set out with a great confidence of a certain sort. Like Pliable, from the City of Destruction, they were going to have the Celestial City, and enjoy it for ever; but they fell into the Slough of Despond, and they felt that their confidence could not be kept up, and so they got out of the slough on the side that was nearest their own house, and went back through sheer despair of better things. May God keep you from this!…
III. I will close by noticing
The Reasons Given In The Text
For Holding Fast Our Confidence.
(1) The first argument in the text is “therefore.” “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” What does this “therefore” mean? Why, it means this — because you have already endured so much. You were made a laughing-stock, and you suffered the loss of your goods, therefore, cast not away your confidence, for if you do you will have suffered for nothing…
(2) Here is the other argument — Do not cast away your confidence, for it has great recompense of reward. There is a reward in it now: for it makes us happy. When we are sweetly confident in God, and do not molest ourselves with doubts and fears, how happy we are!…
(3) But it makes you so strong, too — strong both to bear and labor. When you are like a child in confidence before God, you can endure pain and reproach right bravely…
(4) And, moreover, it makes you victorious. Many a man has been won to Christ by the confidence of simple Christians. Our doubts and fears are mischievous; they are thistle seed, they sow unbelief in others; but our childlike reliance upon God, our humble joy in our dear Father’s care, and our unmoved resolution through thick and thin to stick to our Master is likely to convert others, by God’s good Spirit, to the right way. Therefore, cast not away your confidence.
(5) And, best of all, there is a recompense of reward to come. The day will come when the King will review his troops as the squadrons come back from the battle. The day will come when he shall come down our ranks and look at every one of us; and, if we have been faithful in this evil day, O brethren, it will repay us for anything are suffered if he shall say to us, “Well done!” Oh, those two words! These were enough to make us eternally happy; but hear the rest — “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Believe me, believe me, my hearers, kings and mighty men, who have rolled in riches, and yet were enemies to Christ, when they hear Christ say, “Well done!” to his poor people, will think themselves accursed that they were not martyrs, and that they did not lie in prison, or at least suffer reproach for Christ. The enemies of Christ laugh to-day, but they will laugh on the other side of their faces before long. Let them laugh, for we shall win. (See full sermon)
WHICH HAS A GREAT REWARD: megalen misthapodosian:
- He 11:26; Ps 19:11; Mt 5:12; 10:32,42; Lk 14:14; 1Co 15:58; Ga 6:8, 9, 10
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
YOUR BEST IS
YET TO COME!
hrow away your confidence is tantamount to throwing away your reward! Paul and Jesus both allude to the future reward for present persecution…
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Ro 8:18-note)
(Jesus declared) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:12-note)
(Jesus declared) “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)
Great reward - See this same phrase by David in Psalm 19 in his discussion of the inestimable value of the Scriptures…
Moreover, by them (see Ps 19:9,10) Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:11)
Spurgeon comments: There is a wage, and a great one; though we earn no wages of debt, we win great wages of grace.
Saints may be losers for a time, but they shall be glorious gainers in the long run, and even now a quiet conscience is in itself no slender reward for obedience.
He who wears the herb called heart's ease in his bosom is truly blessed.
However, the main reward is yet to come, and the word here used hints as much, for it signifies the heel, as if the reward would come to us at the end of life when the work was done; -- not while the labour was in hand, but when it was gone and we could see the heel of it.
Oh the glory yet to be revealed! It is enough to make a man faint for joy at the prospect of it. Our light affliction, which is but for a moment (2Co 4:17, 18), is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Ro 8:18-note). Then shall we know the value of the Scriptures when we swim in that sea of unutterable delight to which their streams will bear us, if we commit ourselves to them.
This "keeping of them" implies great carefulness to know, to remember, and to observe; and the "reward" (literally "the end"), i.e., the recompense, is far beyond anticipation. W. Wilson.
Paul reminded Timothy of another reward for enduring to the end "If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (2Ti 2:12-note)
Reward (or penalty) (3405) (misthapodosia from misthos = reward, wages, pay + apodidomi = render, give back) describes a recompense or retribution (the dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment). The context determines whether it means a "reward" or "punishment", and in the present context clearly speaks of punishment.
The only other uses of misthapodosia are in Hebrews, Heb 2:2 using it in a recompense for evil and here in Heb 10:35 as recompense for faithfulness…
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty (Heb 2:2-note)
(Moses) considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. (He 11:26-note)
In context there will be a payment of "wages" for trusting and obeying. The next time we contemplate committing a sin, we need to recall that not only does it costs to disobey but on the positive side, it pays to obey and that both actions have both temporal and eternal consequences. One is reminded of Paul's charge to Timothy…
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. (1Ti 4:7-9-note)
The writer exhorts the Jewish recipients of this letter not to throw away their courage, their boldness, their fearless confidence which they were displaying while they were enduring the persecution referred to in Heb 10:32, 33, 34-note. If they would endure, and hold fast in faith in Jesus their High Priest, they would receive their reward. On the other hand, if they shrank away in fear and returned to the Jewish rituals and temple sacrifices, they would be guilty of apostasy, an act from which there was no remedy, no recovery, (Heb 2:2-note, He 2:3-note, He 6:6-note, He 10:26-note, He 10:39-note) and because of which they would be doomed to everlasting banishment from the presence of God.
It is good for all God's saints to remember that not even the smallest act of service in behalf of the King and for the sake of His kingdom of God will go unrewarded (Mt 10:42; 9:41).
- See The Judgment Seat of Christ - 2Corinthians 5:10
- What is the Judgment Seat of Christ / Bema Seat of Christ?
- What does the Bible say about when God will judge us?
- What is the Great White Throne Judgment?
- What are all the different judgments in the Bible?
- What are the heavenly crowns that believers can receive in Heaven?
- What is the purpose of there being rewards in heaven?
Andrew Murray - Hebrews 10:35-36…
WE know how often we have had the word boldness in our Epistle.
If we hold fast our boldness (Hebrews 3:6);
Let us draw near with boldness to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16);
Having boldness to enter into the Holiest through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).
The boldness and confidence toward God is one of the strongest roots of the Christian life. Without it there is no strength to persevere, no power to draw nigh to the throne of grace in prayer, no liberty to enter into the full fellowship of God in the Holiest.
And so the Hebrews are urged not to cast away their boldness, because it has great recompense of reward. In the vigour mad joy of the Christian life, in the bright and joyous fellowship with God, in the courage for meeting the battle with the world and sin, the reward of boldness is great.
Cast not away your boldness.
When I have my hands filled, and something more tempting is offered, I may either directly cast away what I have, or, by trying to take the new object into hands already full, may gradually lose hold of what I first held fast.
Casting away our boldness always has its cause in something else that we allow to take its place in the heart.
It may be sin, whether only rising in the heart or breaking out into act, if it be not immediately confessed and cleansed away.
It may be something in itself lawful, but which is allowed too large a share in our interest or affections.
It may be something doubtful, so insignificant that it hardly appears worth considering, and yet which somehow robs us of perfect liberty in looking up into God's face.
It may be care or fear, it may be self-effort, or self-seeking, self-trust;
Anything that is not in the perfect will of God loosens our hold on the boldness before God, and, ere we know, we have cast it away: it is lost.
But we must not only know how we lose it; we want as much to know how to keep and increase it. The texts we quoted tell us.
Among the foundation truths we had it: We have a High Priest able to sympathise, let us come with boldness.
And in the fuller teaching it came again: Having boldness to enter through the blood, let us draw nigh.
The High Priest and the blood--these are the everlasting and unchanging ground of our confidence. It is as we consider Christ Jesus (cp He 3:1), and follow Him; as we grow in the knowledge and the faith of His blood (cp 2Pe 3:18), and enter through it into God's presence, that we shall hold fast our boldness with an ever firmer grasp. As with a true heart we draw nigh, and in the consciousness of our integrity, that in holiness and sincerity of God we are walking in the world, place ourselves in the light of God, we shall receive even in this life something of the great recompense of reward the boldness of faith ever brings.
Cast not away your boldness,
for ye have need of patience.
Your boldness you cannot dispense with for a single moment; to the end of life it is your only strength. Cast it not away; remember that without patience, in the persevering exercise and daily renewal of faith, you cannot inherit the promise (He 6:12). Between the faith that accepts a promise, and the experience that fully inherits or receives it, there often lie years of discipline and training needed to fit and perfect you for the inward possession of what God has to give.
Whether it be a promise to be realised in this world or the coming, you have need of patience. Therefore cast not away, never for a moment lose hold of, hold fast firm to the end, your boldness--ye have need of patience. In Hebrews 6:12 it was said: Be imitators of them who through faith and longsuffering inherited the promise.
This is one of the great practical lessons of the Epistle. Without perseverance, endurance, steadfastness, faith is vain; the only proof that it is a living, saving faith, is that it holds fast its boldness firm unto the end.
Ye have need of patience,
that, having done the will of God,
ye may receive the promise.
Doing the will is the way to receive the promise. Doing the will is to be the one thing that is to occupy us while we patiently wait. Between God's giving the promise to Abraham and his receiving its fulfilment there lay years of the obedience of faith. And each new act of obedience was crowned with new and larger blessing. Doing the will was the proof of his faith, the occupation of his patience, the way to his blessing.
It was even so with our blessed Lord. Between the promise given Him of the Father and His inheriting it in the resurrection and ascension there lay--what? His life of obedience: Lo, I am come to do Thy will, O God.
With every Christian who puts his trust in the living Christ, and enters the Holiest of All to live there, doing the will of God must be the link that unites the end to the beginning.
Between the faith that accepts the promise and the experience that fully inherits it, there may to us, too, be years of waiting and trial. These must be marked by the obedience of faith, by "patient continuance in well-doing," or we never can reach the promised end.
If we see to the doing of God's will,
He will see to our inheriting the promise.
The sure mark of true faith, the blessed exercise of life within the veil, the proof of the power of Christ, the obedient One within us, the blessedness of fellowship with God will all come with this--doing His will. To do the will of God is the only way to God and His presence.
Therefore, day by day, hour by hour, let this be our motto:
Patience, that having done the will,
ye may inherit the promise.
1. We have been so little accustomed in our Christian life to give the doing of God's will it's right place, and there is so much misconception about it as if it is not actually expected of us, that it will take time and trouble to get the heart under the complete mastery of the thought--I am every moment to be doing nothing but the will of God. Jesus Christ lived so.
He, our Leader, will teach it us. He, our life, will live it in us. He, our High Priest, will by His Spirit, in this new and living way, bring us in very deed nigh to God.
2. Boldness, courage, bravery, the chief of the manly virtues. Patience, one of the loveliest of the gentler sisterhood of passive graces. In each full Christian character the two must be combined. Cast not away your boldness, for--ye have need of patience. Boldness to undertake, patience to carry out the doing of God's will.
3. O believer, let the truth enter deep into thee--boldly, patiently doing the will is the way to inherit the promise.
Andrew Murray. The Holiest of All