I am sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening, the attitude of Mary – being close to Him and open to hear what He wants to say to me.
“Yes Ian, that is indeed the ‘better way’, the “way” that recognizes that I am the source of all life, wisdom, power and love. Even as you sit with Me know my blessings which I have poured out on you – “lavished”, by My grace (Ephes 1) – receive Me and and My power and love through My Spirit. But then, having spent time passively receiving – it is time to rise up and follow Me – taking up your cross – put to death your wrong desires and motives and simply follow Me – then you will be able to walk in the Spirit and My Spirit will fill you so that those you meet will be touched by Me and My presence”.
Back to Hebrews 10. there is so much meat in this section that I have been munching on that the proverbial gravy is running down my chin. Ch 10 brings to a conclusion the ‘doctrinal discussion of the last 4 chapters where he warned previously of the severe consequences of turning back from God in ch 6 and now repeats that again in ch 10. This theme of turning back is continually set against the backdrop of the main thought of the letter, salvation through the death of Jesus our High priest on our behalf.
He concludes the discussion with a warning that because Jesus will be coming soon (10:37) with a quote from Habbakuk 2:3,4, that the matter is urgent and then proceeds to repeat clearly the two options which are available to everyone. On the one hand those who shrink back and are destroyed and on the other those who “please God, who believe and are saved”. (v 39).
So now in ch 11 he sets out to demonstrate, by using the witnesses of the ancients, what he means by this statement of v 39. Starting in vs 1 he gives a definition of faith and then in vs 6 he reiterates the connection between faith and pleasing God. Just look at v 1 with me. Maybe a more helpful translation of this vs is ” faith is the foundation, (the base) upon which we build our hope on”.
In 11:6 he expands on that by saying that that the first step and foundation of faith is believing that God exists, and that He responds to our earnestly seeking Him by rewarding us.
Everywhere we read in the bible, especially in the New Testament, that faith is the key, as it were which connects us to God’s love and His work on our behalf. So this section is helpful in aiding us to understand some aspects of faith. The subject is wider than this simple definition though, although it is always useful to help us gather our thoughts on the subject. The writer here however is especially emphasizing the fact that faith, in the light of the transient nature of our, often difficult lives here on earth, is only demonstrated as being real by persevering to the end.
The definition falls short of defining “saving faith”. Maybe the reader may like to ponder what needs to be added to make that definition complete.
I would like to look at ch 11 in greater detail on Friday, but in the mean time what did Jesus say to me? It was a timely reminder of the transient nature of our lives here on earth. I do believe at the age most of us find ourselves, we are indeed experiencing many aspects of the reminder by God of that, nevertheless it is in everyone of our natures to want to cling to that which is familiar in this world.