Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Jump to: Barnes • BI • Calvin • Clarke • Chry • Darby • Gill • GSB • Guzik • Homiletics • JFB • MHC • MHCW • PNT • PUL • VWS • WES • TSKHebrews 12, and that there was great danger that they would apostatize. As these persecutions came probably from the Jews, and as the aim was to induce them to return to their former opinions, the object of the apostle is to show that there was in the Christian scheme every advantage of which the Jews could boast; everything pertaining to the dignity of the great Founder of the system, the character of the High Priest, and the nature and value of the sacrifices offered, and that all this was possessed far more abundantly in the permanent Christian system than in what was typical in its character, and which were designed soon to vanish away. In view of all this, therefore, the apostle adds that they should hold fast the profession of their faith without being shaken by their trials, or by the arguments of their enemies. We have the same inducement to hold fast the profession of our faith - for it is the same religion still; we have the same Saviour, and there is held out to us still the same prospect of heaven.
For he is faithful that promised - To induce them to hold fast their profession, the apostle adds this additional consideration. God, who had promised eternal life to them, was faithful to all that he had said. The argument here is:
(1) that since God is so faithful to us, we ought to be faithful to him;
(2) the fact that he is faithful is an encouragement to us.
We are dependent on him for grace to hold fast our profession. If he were to prove unfaithful, we should have no strength to do it. But this he never does; and we may be assured, that all that he has promised he will perform. To the service of such a God, therefore, we should adhere without wavering; compare the notes on 1 Corinthians 10:13.
The various readings on this clause are many in the MSS., etc. Της ελπιδος την ὁμολογιαν, the confession of our Hope; D*, two of the Itala, Vulgate, Erpen's Arabic, and the Ethiopic. Ὁμολογιαν της πιστεως, the confession of Faith; one of the Barberini MSS. and two others. This is the reading which our translators have followed; but it is of very little authority. Την επαγγελιαν της ελπιδος, the promise of Hope; St. Chrysostom. Την ελπιδα της ὁμολογιας, the Hope of our Profession; one of Petavius's MSS. But among all these, the confession or profession of Hope is undoubtedly the genuine reading. Now, among the primitive Christians, the hope which they professed was the resurrection of the body, and everlasting life; every thing among these Christians was done and believed in reference to a future state; and for the joy that this set before them, they, like their Master, endured every cross, and despised all shame: they expected to be with God, through Christ; this hope they professed to have; and they confessed boldly and publicly the faith on which this hope was built. The apostle exhorts them to hold fast this confession without wavering - never to doubt the declarations made to them by their Redeemer, but having the full assurance of faith that their hearts were sprinkled from an evil conscience, that they had found redemption in the blood of the lamb, they might expect to be glorified with their living Head in the kingdom of their Father.
He is faithful that promised - The eternal life, which is the object of your hope, is promised to you by him who cannot lie; as he then is faithful who has given you this promise, hold fast the profession of your hope.Hebrews 4:14.
For he is faithful that promised; that is God; and it is true of Father, Son, and Spirit; but God the Father may be more especially designed: he is a promising God, and is known to be so by his people; he is eminently and emphatically the Promiser; and all other promisers, and the promises made by them, signify little; but the promises of God are exceeding great and precious, very ancient, free, and unconditional, irrevocable and immutable, and are admirably suited to the cases of his people, and will be fulfilled everyone of them: they include in them things temporal, spiritual, and eternal; things temporal, as that his people shall not want, that their afflictions shall work for good, and that he will support them under all their troubles; things spiritual, as that he will be their God, which takes in his everlasting love to them, and his gracious presence with them, and his protection of them; and that all grace shall be wrought in them, and every blessing of grace bestowed on them: and things eternal; as everlasting glory and happiness; the promise of eternal life was in God's heart, made in the covenant, and put into Christ's hands before the world began, and is declared in the Gospel: now God is faithful to all his promises, nor can he fail, or deceive; he is all wise and foreknowing of everything that comes to pass; he never changes his mind, nor forgets his word; and he is able to perform, and is the God of truth, and cannot lie; nor has he ever failed in anyone of his promises, nor will he suffer his faithfulness to fail; and this is a strong argument to hold fast a profession of faith.Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
our faith—rather as Greek, "our hope"; which is indeed faith exercised as to the future inheritance. Hope rests on faith, and at the same time quickens faith, and is the ground of our bold confession (1Pe 3:15). Hope is similarly (Heb 10:22) connected with purification (1Jo 3:3).
without wavering—without declension (Heb 3:14), "steadfast unto the end."Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering. The thought is, cling to the faith professed and the hope in the soul without wavering.Verses 23-25. - Let us hold fast the confession (ὁμολογίαν, see Hebrews 3:1, and ref.; also Hebrews 4:14) of our hope without wavering (ἀκλινῆ, agreeing with "confession"); for he is faithful that promised: and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The readers, having been exhorted to confidence towards God, are further warned against remissness in confession before men, or in their duties within the Church towards each other. They had once, at their baptism, "confessed the good confession" (τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν, 1 Timothy 6:12). Let not the recurrence of Jewish prejudices, or either influence or persecution from their Jewish compatriots, or any delay of the Parousia, induce them to waver in maintaining it. Some among them did, it could not be denied, show signs of such wavering, notably in their remiss attendance at Christian worship; let the faithful give heed to keeping faith alive in themselves and others, and especially through the means of the regular Church assemblies. That by τὴν ἐπισυναγωγὴν ἑαυτῶν is meant definitely the actual assembling together of Christians for reading, exhortation, and worship (such as is referred to in 1 Corinthians 11; James 2:2, etc.,; and described by Justin Martyr, 'Apol., c. 87), we hold confidently with the majority of commentators and with Chrysostom. The word ἐπισυναγωγὴ occurs in the New Testament only here and 2 Thessalonians 2:1, where it denotes the gathering together at the Parousia. In 2 Macc. 2:7, where alone it occurs in the LXX., it expresses the actual assembling of people together, as does the verb ἑπισυνάγω, both in the LXX. and the New Testament (cf. Matthew 23:37; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; Mark 1:33; Luke 12:1). Hence, and in regard to the context as well as the etymology of the word, we may reject the less definite meaning, by some here assigned to it, of Christian communion (conjugatio fidelium), and the explanation of Bengel: "Sensus est, non modo debetis synagogam frequentare, ut Judaei, quod libentius facitis, sed etiam episynagogam, ut Christiani. Neque tamen innuitur praecise aggregatio ad unum locum, aut aggregatio ad unam fidem; sed, medio sensu, congregatio mutua per amorem et communicatio publica et privata officiorum Christianorum." The seen approach of the second advent (τὴν ἡμέραν: cf. 1 Corinthians 3:13) is adduced as an additional argument against remissness. The word βλέπετε seems to imply more than the general belief in its imminence, founded on the language of Christ. It would seem as if the signs of the times were interpreted as denoting its approach (el. 1 John 2:18). And it may be that they were rightly so interpreted in reference to the primary fulfillment of our Savior's words, though to that only, as the event proved. The blending together in the discourses of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17. and 21, of the times of the fall of Jerusalem and of the final day, would naturally lead Christians to regard the signs of the first event as denoting the other also. And indeed the imminence of the first, of which the signs were really apparent, was in itself a peculiar reason why the Hebrew Christians should stick resolutely to Christianity, for its own sake and apart from Judaism. Else might their whole hold on Christ be loosened in the temple's fall Thus, though the writer might share in the mistaken view then prevalent of the imminence of the final day, his warning, founded on the supposed signs of it, hits well the peculiar needs of his readers.
hold. See on ch.
for. See on ch.
Rend. "confession of our hope." Faith does not appear among Ms. readings. It is an innovation of the translators. Hope is the rendering of Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, the Geneva, the Bishops', and Rheims. On confession see on 2 Corinthians 9:13, and comp. notes on 1 Timothy 6:12, 1 Timothy 6:13. The phrase confession of hope N.T.o. They are steadfastly to confess their hope in God's promise and salvation. Comp. Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 7:19. Hope is here equals the object of hope.
Without wavering (ἀκλινῆ)
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