For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:14 (ESV)
Jesus said this concerning his sheep, I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29 ESV) I have heard it said that though no one else is able to take us from our Father’s hand we can remove ourselves. However, Jesus said that the Father is greater than all which seems to include everyone; even ourselves.
In Hebrews 3:14 the writer was not suggesting that if we hold our original confidence firm to the end then we would be partakers of Christ. He was saying that if we hold our original confidence firm to the end it would demonstrate that we have come to share in Christ. If we have been born again we already share in Christ. The proof of our sharing is that we hold our confidence firm to the end. If we do not hold our confidence firm to the end it’s not that we lost something that we had, but rather that we never had come to share in Christ.
The writer made a similar ascertain in Hebrews 3:6 when he wrote, But Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. (ESV) The writer was not suggesting that his readers would be God’s house at some point in the future if they held fast their confidence. He already believed them to be partakers (Hebrews 3:1). He was saying that they would prove that they were God’s house if they held fast their confidence and boasting in their hope.
We are given a warning in Hebrews 3:12, Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. (ESV) If our salvation cannot be lost then from what can a person fall away?
It is feasible to believe that a person can pray and prayer, appear to make a commitment, witness and even participate in the power of God and yet not make Jesus the treasure of their heart. Jesus said that not every one who calls him Lord enters the kingdom of heaven and that there are those who do signs and wonders in his name that he does not even know (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus also spoke of a group of people who receive the gospel with joy but when testing comes they fall away (Luke 8:13). This group of people did not fall away from persevering faith, hope and confidence in God or lose their standing with Christ. According to the writer of Hebrews their falling away was evidence that they had never attained a standing with Christ.
Persevering in faith and hope and holding fast our confidence in God are demonstrations that we have been converted. They are not ways to keep from losing our salvation. Our salvation is sure and secure. God has guaranteed with an oath to keep those who are his (Hebrews 6:17-19; 13:20-21). Our confidence is that he who began a good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ (Philippians 1:6).
Are you secure? Are you persevering?
Scriptures for meditation:
Ephesians 6:10, 13