Throughout his epistle, the author of Hebrews warns his readers against abandoning their Christian faith. In chapter 3, he applies the warnings that were given to the first generation of Israelites to his own audience. Like those Israelites, the Hebrews have experienced a great redemption. And, like those Israelites, those Hebrews are in danger of abandoning the Lord, thereby forsaking the promise.
Therefore, the author calls his readers to persevere in their faith. Hebrews 3:14 tells us that “we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” John Owen tells us that in this verse, the author reminds his readers that all of the benefits that they have come from Christ. “We share in Christ,” and by doing so, receive all the blessings He has promised. These include not only justification, sanctification, and glorification (Rom. 8:29–30), but also the assurance that we will reign with Christ (Rev. 20:4–6).
We share in Christ only if “we hold our original confidence firm to the end” (3:14). The phrase “original confidence” is a reference to our original confession of faith. When we first confessed Christ, we did so gladly and confidently. The trials of life and the tests of faith, however, bring doubt and confusion. At times, we may find that our love for Christ is not as strong as it first was.
Sharing in Christ means that we hold our original confession till the end. Only those who maintain faith in Christ throughout their lives will see Him in glory. Only those who work out this faith with fear and trembling will persevere and share in Christ. Our sharing in Christ is not based only on our first confession. Rather, our sharing in Christ also depends on possessing faith now and possessing it until the end. The original confession is important, but it only brings salvation if, by the grace of God, we hold it firm to the end.
The author of Hebrews tells his readers to guard their hearts and exhort one another so that they will persevere (3:12–13). Some have made a false profession of faith and will not persevere. That is why he warns his readers again in 3:15 not to harden their hearts lest they be counted as those with a false profession. And even though we are not in the same situation as the Hebrews were, we who confess Christ today must also take that warning seriously.
A majority of Americans claim to be born again Christians. The sin in our country makes it hard to take these claims seriously. Perhaps many think they are Christians because they once confessed Christ in the past. Scripture commands us to possess genuine faith in Christ. Pray that God would continue to sustain your faith in Him.