Hebrews 10:32-39

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

CAST NOT AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE

INTRODUCTION:

 

Hebrews was written to Jews professing faith in Christ. As a result of severe persecution, some of them were contemplating abandoning Christ and Christianity and returning to Judaism and living under the law. Hebrews was written to warn them not to do this but to persevere in their faith in Christ.

 

We have seen in Hebrews 1:1-10:18 :

 

    I.    That Christ is superior to angels - 1:4 - 2:18

   II.    That Christ is worthy of more glory than Moses – 3:1 - 4:13

  III.    That Christ’s ministry is more excellent than the Levitical priests’ ministry – 4:14 - 7:28

 IV.    That Christ is the mediator of a better covenant – 8:1 - 10:18

 

In Hebrews 10:19-13:21 we see that Christ has provided a better way of life than the law provided. It is the life of faith.

 

In Hebrews 10:19-25 we have seen that believers should hold fast their confession.

 

In Hebrews 10:26-39 we see an alternative for those who are wavering. It’s either Christ, or it’s judgment. There is no other option.

 

In Hebrews 10:26-39 we have already seen that –

            1.   No sacrifice other than Christ’s dying on the cross for our sins will satisfy the wrath of God – 10:26

 

            2.   That someone who abandons Christ may look forward to judgment in hell – 10:27

 

            3.   That someone who despised the Mosaic law died without mercy – 10:28

 

            4.   That someone who abandons Christ will suffer a worse fate than someone who despised the Mosaic law – 10:29

 

            5.   That the Lord will take vengeance on someone who abandons Christ – 10:30

 

            6.   And that someone who abandons Christ will experience the wrath of God – 10:31

As we continue, we see that –

    I.     THE READERS SHOULD REMEMBER THEIR JOY WHEN THEY FIRST TRUSTED CHRIST AND NOT CAST AWAY THEIR CONFIDENCE – 10:32-34

 

Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.

 

But introduces an advance in the writer’s logic. It may instead be understood in the sense of and or now.

 

Call to remembrance means be reminded, remember, call to mind, or remind yourselves.

 

What they are to remember is the former days, i.e. days which have already come to pass, apparently the days following their salvation.

 

In which refers to these former days.

 

After ye were illuminated is literally having been illuminated (or enlightened). It may be understood in the sense of after you were illuminated as the King James translators have done or after you were enlightened; or it may mean because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) you were illuminated (or enlightened).

 

Ye refers to the believers who are the recipients of this letter written to the Hebrews.

 

Endured means remained instead of fleeing, stood your ground, or held out in trouble, affliction, or persecution.

 

What they endured was a great fight of afflictions.

 

Fight literally means a contest, and in particular an athletic contest.

 

In the New Testament afflictions is used only figuratively of temptations, sufferings, or misfortunes which could be said to fight against men.

 

Hence, they were enduring a hard struggle with sufferings which were brought about by persecution which happened as the result of their being saved.

 

Hebrews 10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

 

Partly followed by and partly is this on the one hand . . . and this on the other hand. It indicates two ways in which the recipients of this letter have endured a great fight of afflictions in their former days after (or because) they were enlightened with the gospel.

 

Whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions shows one way in which they endured a great fight of afflictions.

 

Whilst ye were made a gazingstock may be understood in the sense of while you were made a gazingstock, by your being made a gazingstock, because you were made a gazingstock, or and you were made a gazingstock.

 

Were made a gazingstock means were put to shame or were exposed publicly.

 

What made them a gazingstock, put them to shame, or to which they were publicly exposed is reproaches and afflictions.

 

Reproaches is revilings, disgraces, or insults.

 

Afflictions literally means pressings or pressures. When used figuratively as it is in this verse, it means oppressions or tribulations.

 

Another way in which they endured a great fight of afflictions is indicated by whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

 

Whilst ye became is parallel to whilst ye became a gazingstock. Its tense indicates that its action occurred before the action of endured in the sense of after you became.

 

Ye became means that something came to pass which had not been true previously in the sense of you were made. Whilst ye became may be understood, not only in the sense of after you became (or were made), but also in the sense of by your having become (or having been made), because you became (or were made), or and you became (or were made).

 

Companions means partners or sharers.

 

They became companions of them that were so used.

 

So is thus or in this manner.

 

Them that were so used is used of human conduct and suggests those who lived in this manner (i.e. amid reproaches and afflictions) and means of those who were treated in this way.

 

These professing believers were sometimes abused with reproach and affliction because they were believers, and sometimes they were treated with reproach and affliction because they were companions of other believers who were being treated with reproach and affliction.

 

There had been a time when it did not bother them to be treated in this manner, and the writer reminds them of this fact from their past.

 

Now, however, they were apparently bothered by these things; and the writer is telling them that they need to stop being bothered by this treatment; instead, they need to expect it as normal.

 

Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

 

For is for both, for also, for even, for in fact, for certainly, or for verily.

 

Ye had compassion of me in my bonds is you sympathized with my bonds (or fetters), you had sympathy with my bonds (or fetters), or you showed sympathy with my bonds (or fetters).

 

Often bonds is used to imply imprisonment so that ye had compassion of me in my bonds may be understood in the sense of you sympathized with my imprisonment.

 

This verse makes one wonder whether Paul might have been the writer of Hebrews.

 

Although the book of Hebrews is anonymous, this verse indicates that the readers knew who the writer was. A phrase such as ye had compassion of me in my bonds clearly indicates that they, not only knew who he was, but that they also knew his circumstances.

 

However, this was not all. He also knew about them and their situation.

 

And introduces the idea that, not only did they have sympathy with the writer in his bonds, but also ye (i.e. you to whom Hebrews was written) took joyfully the spoiling of your goods.

 

Took joyfully is received with joy or welcomed with joy.

 

The spoiling of your goods is the confiscation of your property or the confiscation of your possessions.

 

These believers had compassion for (or had been sympathetic with) the writer in his imprisonment and had also endured with joy the forcible confiscation of their own personal possessions, and he knew that it had happened.

 

Knowing is understood in the sense of because you know.

 

In yourselves describes have and indicates where they have this hope. It refers to an inner conviction they have.

 

What the readers know is that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

 

Ye (i.e. you) refers to the believers as a whole.

 

Have indicates something which they possess or hold as a present reality. It is theirs.

 

In heaven tells where this possession is located. The fact that it is in heaven indicates that it is secure and that no one is going to be able to get to it to confiscate it as had been done with their earthly possessions.

 

A better substance is a term which means a better property or a better possession, something which one has.

 

Better indicates that the believers’ heavenly substance is superior to what had been confiscated. No matter how good their properties or possessions had been, what awaited them in heaven was even better.

 

Since it is in heaven, it is also an enduring (substance) which means a substance that will last (i.e. that will persist or that will continue to live). In this context enduring is used in the sense of permanent.

 

Previously their possessions had been theirs only temporarily, and these had been removed by confiscation. Now they can look forward to some lasting goods or possessions in heaven that will never be subject to confiscation.

We also see that –

  II.     THE READERS HAVE NEED OF PATIENCE TO ENDURE WHATEVER COMES BEFORE THEY RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE COMPLETION OF THEIR SALVATION – 10:35-37

 

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

 

As the readers remembered what they had endured and why they had endured it, the writer urges them cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

 

The tense of cast not away forbids the action in its very beginning. Therefore, it is understood in the sense of do not even begin to cast away or never cast away.

 

Therefore is used in the sense of consequently, accordingly, then, or so. It leads to a conclusion based on the fact that the readers have in heaven a better and enduring substance.

 

What they are not to cast away is your confidence, i.e. your openness, your boldness, your courage, or your fearlessness.

 

It is the same word translated boldly in Hebrews 4:16 . Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace . . . where boldly is literally with boldness or with confidence.

 

Which hath great recompence of reward refers to the confidence these believers had. It is literally which, to be sure, has great payment of wages (or has great reward).

 

People who have been genuinely saved will not cast away this boldness or this confidence. Those who cast it away have never been saved in the first place.

 

There is no reason to abandon Christianity to return to the elements of Judaism. Saved people have an eternal inheritance awaiting them in heaven.

 

One is reminded here of Hebrews 3:11-12 and the particular sin of having an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

 

Hebrews 3:11-12 – (11) So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. (12) Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

 

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

 

For suggests indeed or in fact.

 

Ye have need of patience implies you need endurance (i.e. steadfastness, fortitude, or perseverance). It reads literally for of patience you have need.

 

That shows purpose in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

 

After ye have done the will of God may instead be understood in the sense of because (i.e. since or inasmuch as) you have done the will of God. Its tense indicates that its action occurred before the action of might receive.

 

The will of God suggests that their enduring these trials and afflictions was God’s will for their lives.

 

Ye might receive is you might receive for yourselves or you might get for yourselves; and what they would get for themselves is the promise, which refers to the promise God made to them and relates to their final, complete, and eternal redemption.

 

Believers have been saved as far as their position in Christ is concerned, but the redemption of their bodies has not yet taken place.

 

Hence, their salvation is as yet incomplete; but someday it will be complete when they see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face and they shall be like Him for they shall see Him as He is (I John 3:2 ).

 

What these believers were enduring is normal for the Christian life.

 

The promise will come, but it will not come until after trials and afflictions have been endured in the Christian life.

 

Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

 

For indicates an advance in the thought in the sense of now.

 

Yet a little while is in a very little while.

 

And he that shall come refers to the Lord Jesus Christ and is literally the One Who is coming.

 

Will come means will have come or will be present.

 

And will not tarry is and will not stay away for a long time, and will not fail to come, or and will not linger.

 

Will come and will not tarry are predictive of future events which will definitely take place.

 

Eventually the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come back; and when the right time comes, He will no longer delay His coming.

Finally, we see that –

 III.     THE WRITER EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN HIS READERS THAT THEY ARE TRULY SAVED AND NOT OF THOSE WHO DRAW BACK UNTO PERDITION – 10:38-39

 

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

 

Now continues the thought.

 

The just is the righteous one.

 

Shall live is predictive of a future circumstance which will definitely come to pass, and by faith suggests by means of faith.

 

In the Greek text it is literally the righteous one by faith shall live or the one justified by faith shall live.

 

Salvation comes to pass by means of faith.

 

But introduces a contrast. It is the word ordinarily translated and. It may instead be emphatic suggesting in fact, indeed, certainly, verily, or yea.

 

If any man draw back is a condition which is literally if he draws back. If this condition is met, the result will also follow.

 

The result of this condition is my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

 

The speaker is the Lord, and it is the Lord’s soul or God’s soul which will not have pleasure in the one who draws back.

 

My soul represents God Himself.

 

Shall have no pleasure in him is actually present tense and means is not well-pleased in him or does not take delight in him.

 

Him is anyone who will draw back.

 

It means that God is not well pleased with someone who draws back unto perdition.

 

Although an unsaved person might draw back, a saved person will never draw back.

 

Hence, the one in whom the Lord will have no pleasure is an unsaved person. He has not been declared righteous by faith.

 

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to verse 38.

 

We refers to both writer and readers.

 

We are not of them who draw back unto perdition means we are not of those who shrink back unto perdition (or destruction).

 

The people represented by we are saved people; whereas, those who draw back are unsaved people. It does not mean that they become unsaved because they draw back; instead, it means that they draw back because they are unsaved.

 

This drawing back will result in their eternal loss (or their eternal destruction).

 

Perdition is destruction and refers to eternal ruin in the lake of fire.

 

But introduces a strong contrast.

 

We are must be supplied from the first half of this verse.

 

We are of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

 

Of them that believe is simply of faith, of belief, or of trust.

 

This faith results in the saving of the soul, in the keeping safe of the soul or in the preserving of the soul.

 

In other words, they are saved people. They had placed their trust in Christ, and their souls were saved. They are not going to be lost because they are not going to draw back unto destruction.