2/7/15 Don't Lose Confidence

Friday, February 6, 2015


Heb. 10:35-36

Morning Meditation 2/7/2015

Hebrews 10:35-39 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

I only want to comment on the first two verses of our text. I print the next three because it is important to see the context and outcome. We are called (the calling of salvation) to walk by faith. Our faith is challenged every step of the way. The Hebrew Christians were under siege and this Epistle is dealing with the problems and exhorting them to “. . . hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (3:6).

The words “Cast not away therefore your confidence” indicate an attempt of Paul to stabilize unstable Christians. The years I pastored I saw the need for this kind of exhortation over and over again. I could look at this person I loved in Christ, I could see the trials he was going through, they were tough hard trials, trials that were emotionally draining, trials where fairness was being abused to the limit, and I knew that failure in the Christian’s life was imminent if this person was not willing to suffer through the situation with Christ in control. Paul would no doubt have suffered for them if he could. But the most he could do was give them an exhortation and trust them into the hands of the Lord. The Christian faith is a continual chain of choices. We must make them ourselves.

The words “cast not away” (apoballo) translate one word. The word “apoballo” is made up of two words in the Greek. The word “apo” is a preposition of separation. It is the separation of a part from the whole. The word “ballo” means “to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls.” This is used with the negative which means “don’t do it.” Now when you put this together it means, “Do not throw away the faith you have embraced, casting it down and separating it from you.” The word “therefore” ties this thought back to his warning concerning chastening (vs 30-31) and the reminder of their initial faith (when they were saved) and former trials that they survived (vs 32).

Many a professing Christian has done this very thing. They have “cast away” their confidence and are back out in the world and not serving the Lord. I remember a young preacher that had so much promise. I heard him preach on more than one occasion and I thought this young man is outstanding in the pulpit. God is really going to use him. In a few months I heard that he had quit the ministry, gone back to his parents business, and told a preacher who tried to talk to him that God didn’t even know that we existed on this earth. Now, I don’t know what the trial or circumstances were, but I do know that he made a serious mistake in “casting away” his confidence. Let’s don’t make an excuse for him. No doubt he was hurting. No doubt he was severely tried.. But we have the Book of Job and it is there to teach us that the trials are for the proving of our faith not the “casting away” of our faith.

The word “confidence” (parrhesia) means “freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance.” This word is translated four times in Hebrews. It is translated “confidence” in 3:6 where the exhortation is to hold fast the confidence that is in him. It is translated “boldness” in 4:16 where we are invited to come “boldly” to the throne of grace. It is translated “boldly” in 10:19 where we are invited to enter the holiest with “boldness” because of our faith in the shed blood of Christ. Then in our text, we find this same word. It translated “boldness” in Acts 4:13 where they saw the “boldness of Peter and John.” They were outspoken. Then it is the church’s request in prayer in verse 29 where they prayed “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” Then in verse 31 where God granted their request and it is said, “. . . and the spake the word of God with boldness.”

So what is being said here is that they are not to throw away their “confidence” expressed openly in bold speech. I am not suggesting that they are being exhorted to hold street meetings. But God does not save us to be closet Christians. We should boldly confess our confidence in the hope that we have in Christ.

While there were those to whom Paul is writing who were about to throw away their faith because of persecution, there are those in our day who are throwing away their faith for sports, fulfilling the American dream, etc. The nearness of the Lord’s return does not seem to affect these defectors. They are in themselves a fulfillment of prophecy because they say what Peter says they will say in 1 Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

The words “Which hath great recompense of reward” are the carrot that Paul is holding out to these Christian to motivate them to steadfastness. The word “hath” is a present active verb which means that the rewards are right now. The words “recompense of reward” (misthapodosia) translate one word. It means “payment of wages due, recompence.” There is a present reward for faithfulness and willingness to suffer if necessary. Remember, salvation is not a reward. It is a gift. He is speaking to Christians.

The words “For ye have need of patience” is the translation of a present active indicative verb that means “to hold in the hand.” You need to have a grip on patience right now. This is contrasted to impatience with their situation which brought about the need of this message, i.e., they were about to quit. The word “patience” (hupomone) means “a patient, steadfast waiting for.” This steadfast waiting is for two things. First, strength to endure the present trial. Second, the return of the Lord (vs 37).

The words “that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise” mean first, there is the doing of the will of God. The will of God many times gets us into trouble with family and authorities and our peers. I’m sure all this was true of the Jews who had embraced the Christian faith. There is “after” you have done the will of God. This “after” when things don’t go right can throw you for a loop. The words “ye might receive the promise” mean that the promise will come. God does not forsake his children. It may seem to them that they have been forsaken. But God never leaves us or forsakes us. We can go to the bank with that. So don’t lose confidence.

May the Lord bless you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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