Let Us Hold Firmly to the Faith we Profess.

I have been singing “El Shaddai” with Amy Grant and thoughts of the various names of God are floating around in my head.

“Yes I have used various names from time to time – which had a specific reason at the time – but collectively they each reveal parts of Me and My character – but the most important is Jehovah (Yahweh), which is My covenant name for my people. Do you understand the importance of the covenant promises in the OT? My covenant is the basis for My relationship with you and my people – it is totally binding – from My point of view and all you need to do is to receive My promises. But that name Jehovah, which seems to ring out of the past – was looking forward to the name of the One who is very much in the present – Jesus – He is the completion of My covenant name and, while all my OT names may seem distant – Jesus is intimately present with you right now in 2021. My desire remains the same to call and gather a people to be My Bride – a people who want to be part of that covenant and therefore part of My Bride. They are many – enjoy being part of it and continue to play the role I have given you.

We pick up the story in Hebrews from 4:14 – 5:10. The opening vs shows that the theme or melody line is still he same as the warning in 2:2. In Chapter3 and 4 so far the writer has been giving an example of drifting away. He shows that most of the people, rescued from Israel never actually reached the Land, which was the aim of God’s ultimate covenant promises eg Exodus 34:10 ff. (ie The OT picture of Heaven). The reason? They did not hear with true receptivity and therefore the message had no benefit because there was no faith which followed and hearts were hardened and disobedience followed.

In to-day’s passage we are given God’s side of the agreement. The readers should understand that while the responsibility for holding on to the faith was each individual’s (4:14b), God has given very definite help. This help is described here as being equivalent to the role of the High Priest under the Old Covenant. This would resonate with these Jewish believers as this was the main figure in their rituals. He could minister effectively because he would have understood the frailty of the human spirit and the difficulties of resisting temptation.

Now Jesus, regarding His similar role also came and experienced the extreme temptations 5:7, however He managed to resist them in His humanity through the power released through the prayers, with tears that He prayed. Despite His peculiar relationship as Son, He still had to experience the full suffering that went with obedience in the face of temptation so that He can minister to us today. This passage does not mean he learned to become obedient step by step as He obeyed, which it may sound like, but that he learned exactly what it felt like to be obedient when tempted. (This probably mainly referring to Gethsemany).

In this way He was made complete when He had finished and ascended into heaven. Now note the summery in 5:9: He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.

We need to understand clearly what He is saying here. Obedience is NOT the means to earn eternal salvation. The Source of eternal salvation lies entirely in Jesus and His work on the cross. However we cannot sit back when we have received God’s promises of forgiveness and just “let God, from then on”. We have a very real responsibility, to hold firmly to the faith we profess. but note the point that the writer is making here. We do not have to go this path on our own. We have one who has had the full experience of being human and understands what that entails and He is available to us at all times through prayer. The sign of any true follower is general obedience. That is not perfection, but a changed life. This should not only be temporary but must persevere till we go to be with Him.

Paul speaks elsewhere of “running the race”. You don’t get to the finishing post in a race by sitting on the first milestone, watching the other runners go by. It takes exertion, training and stamina. may God bless each of you with this desire to run the race with the full resources of, not the god of Nike, but Jesus who has gone before you on the full track.

3 Replies to “Let Us Hold Firmly to the Faith we Profess.”

  1. Our hearts have to feel with every fiber, that Christ alone is the TREASURE for our salvation . We have to agree with Paul ” More than that , i consider all things to be loss in comparison to the surpassing value of the knowledge of Messiah Jesus, my Lord. Because of Him i have suffered the loss of all things and i consider them garbage in order that i might gain Messiah and be found in Him, not having my righteousness derived from the law , but one that is trusting in Messiah, the righteousness from God based on trust. ” Philippians 3 8 .. 9 All glory and power be to our Holy Lord forever and ever ! Amen

  2. Christ, our Rock!
    “… And they all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 10:3+4

    Christ created us, redeemed us, and is also sustaining us, enabling us to do His will. If we consecrate ourselves to Him, we’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit and fully equipped to do the good deeds we were destined for!

    Israel didn’t trust the Rock, in spite of all He had done for them. They were overcome with fear and decided to trust in themselves rather than trusting God to fight the battle for them. So they didn’t enter Canaan. And then they were overcome with sorrow for those consequences (instead of their rebellion and sin) when God pronounced Judgement, and got all armoured up to go fight, but without God… in vain.

    To obey is to trust Him, to step forward in His will, every step, every day, and to so take possession of the Promise.
    We can’t half obey God. It’s total submission.

    “The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you… You saw how the Lord carried you, as a man carries his son!” – Deuteronomy 1:30, 31

  3. Jesus is the Rock of our salvation and we are justified by His blood, and into the new covenant. Nothing should or would take us off the way we walk and talk to our Father. We are not under the world and its sin of pleasure in it. Our thoughst and desires should be of the things above, just like Abraham and Moses, who new of a permanent home in heaven.

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