Every morning form 9:30-11:30 is Hebrew class. This is my favorite class. I first went through Hebrews a year ago just after I had graduated from Bible college. The first was very formative, coming to understand concepts such as “the endurance/patience of faith”, “the guarantee of God’s promise”, “the reality of apostasy”, “the significants of Christ’s blood offered in the heavenlies”, “the power love among believers”… etc. With now the second time going through I am still learning more about these same subjects and new subjects which I didn’t understand very well before.
Today in class we were brought to the conclusion of the middle section 4:14-10:31, and the start of the final section 10:32-13:25. The author after showing them all what they have in Christ’s work for them asks them to respond with “faith”, “hope”, and “love for one another” in 19-25. This is the right response to all that they have been given in Christ’s work for them. Then in vs26-31 the author shows them the negative response and it’s consequences. Here we saw once again the reality of apostasy within the Christian community. Then in vs32-39 the author seeks to motivate them to endurance by recalling their past experiences, when they showed compassion for those in prison (love for another), and accepted joyfully the confiscation of their property because they knew they had an abiding possession (faith + hope). The author calls them not to throw away their confidence/boldness with has a great reward. He is reminding them of their past so that in the same way they will now act in the future. The reward is the same abiding possession which motivated them in past, which the author now hopes will motivate them in the future. Finally the author concludes by quoting Habakkuk 2:3-4, constrasting those who live by faith and those who shrink back to destruction.
Thus because of what they have in Christ 7:1-10:18, they now have two roads placed before them. The road which holds on to what they “have” and responds in faith, hope and love for one another. Or the road which sins deliberately (does not respond with faith, hope and love for one another, but instead tramples Jesus underfoot, profanes the blood of Christ and abandons the community).
In chapter 11 the author goes on to show them the road of faith by bringing forth examples (heroes) of the Old Testament. He wants them to imitate their example and look forward in faith and hope towards the fulfillment of God’s promise, while enduring patiently now.
The idea of enduring patiently does not sound pleasant but it is made possible not because of our unwavering nature, but because of God’s unwavering promise. We are like boats being tossed to and throw by the winds and the waves, God’s promise is the anchor which holds us firm during these times. Thus the author’s call for faith is as much as call for the readers to realise just how great and faithful God is and to live in hope of his faithfulness to them.
May we live our lives by faith, knowing the faithfulness of God in keeping his promises, looking forward to the day we receive them in substance.