Endure With Confidence
“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” (Heb. 10:35–36).- Hebrews 10:35–36
Faced with the real possibility of final apostasy among those professing faith in Christ, the author of Hebrews wrote his audience a letter to encourage them to persevere in their faith. This audience was so troubled by the persecution that came with being a part of the Christian community that they wanted to return to the old covenant where they could enjoy physical and, so they thought, spiritual safety.
The problem was that many in the original audience of the Hebrews had forgotten about the eternal reward they once anticipated (10:34). They had forgotten that Jesus was superior to the angels and to Moses (1:1–3:6). They had forgotten that He was the great High Priest from the greater order of Melchizedek (chap. 7) whose sacrifice did away with the ineffectual sacrifices of the old covenant (9:1–10:18).
However, things had not always been this way for them. The author reminds them in 10:32–34 of how they had behaved when they first professed Christ. Their love for one another and endurance of persecution demonstrated that some, if not all of them, had true faith and could be steered back to confidence in Christ.
In today’s passage, the author reminds his readers that they must hold onto their original confidence. He tells them not to throw it away because it has a great reward (v. 35). In light of the suffering that many have already endured for the sake of Christ, throwing away confidence in Him would not make any sense at all. It would be turning back on the only one who can give access to the presence of God (John 14:6). It would be turning away from the one who will renew all things (Rom. 8:21). It would be turning away from the one who grants His people to rule and reign with Him (Rev. 20:4).
If we throw away this confidence, we will also throw away our reward. We who have confessed Christ need endurance so that we will receive all of His promises (Heb. 10:36), because only those of us who maintain our confessions until the end will be saved (vv. 38–39). Commentators agree that this endurance is based on the firm resolve of heart and mind that result from having our confidence in Christ alone. The troubles of life will pull us away from Christ if we are confident in our own abilities to be faithful and not in His faithfulness.
We have been discussing at length the importance of the means God uses to keep us in the faith. However, as much as we are commanded to persevere, our confidence must not be in our own abilities but in Christ. Pray that the Lord would help you take your eyes off of yourself and put them on Christ as you persevere in the faith.
Passages for Further Study
Pss. 71; 77
1 Cor. 9:24
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred (where applicable). If no such link exists, simply link to www.ligonier.org.
Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343