LET US HOLD FAST: katechomen (1PPAS):
(Heb 3:6,14; 4:14; Revelation 3:11) (James 1:6)
us - exhortations in Hebrews (in the NASB). 13x in 12v - Heb 4:1, 11,
14, 16; 6:1; 10:22, 23, 24; 12:1 (2x), He 12:28; 13:13, 15
Hold fast (occupy,
restrain, possess) (2722)
from katá = intensifies meaning +
écho = have, hold) means to retain as by avoiding the relinquishing
of something. It was used literally of holding one to keep them from going
(Lk 4:42). Katecho was used figuratively in this verse (cp similar
use in 1Co 15:2-note)
meaning to adhere firmly to the teaching, one's convictions, and one's
beliefs. Please do not misunderstand what the writer is teaching. Our
salvation is kept by Christ’s holding us fast, not primarily by our holding
Him fast. Our holding onto Him is evidence that He is holding onto us!
calls for the hearer to keep on holding on to the One Who will never leave
us nor forsake us.
Hold fast is literally “hold
down” and speaks of a firm hold which masters that which is held. Holding on
is the human side of eternal security. The Reformers called it “the
perseverance of the saints”, a topic with which not everyone agrees but
which has Biblical support (cp He 3:6-note,
He 10:38, 39-note).
Holding on is not something believers do to keep themselves
saved, but it is evidence from the human perspective that one is saved.
Unsaved people would not keep on holding on, especially when the going gets
"tough" and persecution begins to rise. They are like those Jesus described
in His parable of the "soils"...
Mark 4:16 "And in a similar way these are
the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the
word, immediately receive it with joy 17 and they have no firm root in
themselves, but are only temporary; then, when (not "if", but "when"
= when you stand for Jesus, everything that stands against Him, stands
against you! cp Jn 15:18, 19, 20; 2Ti 3:12-note,
affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall
Steadfast faith marks
the elect. Persistence and hope characterize members of God's family.
(holding fast to the end - see Mt 10:22, 24:13,Lk 8:15, 2Jn 9, Col 1:23-note,
The greatest American
theologian Jonathan Edwards once said that the sure proof of election
is that one holds out to the end.
How sad that many
individuals come to Christ and say they believe and yet are gone so
soon. Mass evangelistic campaigns that have followed up the "decisions"
several years latter usually reveal a significant number who fail to hold
In the parable of the sower, Jesus
described four kinds of soil representing four different responses to the
sowing of the seed of the Gospel. Some people are so far from wanting salvation that
the devil simply takes away the seed of God’s Word before it has time to
germinate (Mt 13:19). Others hearers respond with joy when they hear the Word, but their
“belief” is only short lived and they fall away when their holding fast to
the Word begins to bring affliction or persecution (which it will always
bring! - Mt 13:20, 21). Others hear the Word but the worry of the world and
the deceitfulness of riches choke out the Word (Mt 13:22), so that they
bring forth no spiritual fruit (cp how to discern false teachers - Mt 7:15,
16, 17, 18, 19, 20). The fourth group constitutes genuine believers who hear
the "word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear
fruit with perseverance” (Lk 8:15, Mt 13:23).
We see a similar description of "belief" that falls short of salvation
in John 2, during the first Passover when “many believed in His name,
beholding His signs which He was doing.” But Jesus, knowing their hearts
were not with Him, “was not entrusting Himself to them” (Jn 2:23, 24). Jesus
could see their hearts and knew they
were not sincere believers See also Jn 8:30,31,
and compare it with the actions of this same group of Jews in Jn 8:58, 59
(and Jesus' assessment of their "belief" in Jn 8:44, 50).
To reiterate holding fast to the confession is not a meritorious work
and in no way keeps one saved, any more than good works can
save a person. But both holding fast and good works are evidence that one is
Professor William M. Marston of New York University asked three thousand
people, “What have you to live for?” He was shocked to discover that 94
percent were simply enduring the present while they waited for the future…waited for “something to happen”…waited for “next year”… waited for a
“better time”… waited for “someone to die”… waited “for tomorrow.” So many
people live on so little, surviving in this world, just putting one foot in
front of the other as they depend on unsubstantiated, ungrounded “hope.”
Draw near in FAITH
Hold fast your HOPE
Encourage to LOVE
THE CONFESSION OF
OUR HOPE WITHOUT WAVERING: ten homologian tes elpidos akline:
HOLDING FAST "WITHOUT WAVERING" is itself an
act of confession, even when no words are spoken
from homoú =
together with + légo = say) means literally to say the
same and so to agree in one's statement.
All true Christians “say the same
thing” when it comes to their experience of salvation. These Hebrew
Christians had confessed Jesus as their Apostle and High Priest. They do
not begin to understand Who Jesus is and means if they are tempted to
give Him up.
Homologia has strong legal connotations. A person can confess to a
charge in court and thus openly acknowledge guilt. Or one may agree with
a court order and thus make a legally binding commitment to abide by it.
This last sense is implied in passages that call on us to acknowledge
Jesus. We are to express our binding commitment to Jesus publicly and
thus acknowledge our relationship to him as our Lord.
The apostle John puts the
importance of this issue succinctly writing that
"No one who denies the Son has
the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also"
Commitment to Jesus brings us into
full relationship with God.
Homologia is a key
word in Hebrews (see below) with an urgent appeal to HOLD FAST.
Hebrews 3:1 (note)
- Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus,
the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;
Hebrews 4:14 (note)
- Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Hebrews 10:23 (note)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for
He who promised is faithful;
The confession of
our hope - Hope = Desire of
some good with an expectation of obtaining it. Even when faith falters, hope
comes to the rescue. Hope is analogous to a "long rope" (a "spiritual rope") that keeps us
attached to the
sovereignty and power of God. Victory over present circumstances comes when
you focus on your eternal inheritance and praise God regardless of your
circumstances. A Christian's
hope is grounded on the historical facts of the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession (He 7:25-note)
of our Lord Jesus Christ. And so the believer's hope is sure, steadfast and anchored
within the veil (see He 6:18, 19, 20-see note
at the right hand of the Father's Throne in heaven.
the storms of life, pressure to conform to this world, the persistent passions of
our fallen flesh, keep battering us like a ship on a stormy sea, and yet the Anchor holds! Jesus is our Rock.
Let us pray for one another that
we will finish well, holding fast to Truth.
No sailor would take an ocean voyage
in a ship without an anchor, because they understand that situations might arise when the
"hope" of the ship will depend not so much on the captain, etc, but on the
integrity of the anchor. When all people and systems fail, there remains a
steadfast hope in the anchor.
We see this principle in the OT, where the generation which left Egypt,
quickly returned in their hearts to Egypt. The writer desires that his
undecided, wavering or simply professing Jewish hearers, might hold fast.
Apparently, a number of the Jewish readers were wavering
between genuine faith in Messiah versus returning to the Law and the Old
Scripture is not the world's definition of "I hope so", with a few
rare exceptions (e.g., Acts 27:20)
but is is an absolute certainty of future good. Hope is defined as a
desire for some future good with the expectation of obtaining it. Hope
is confident expectancy. Hope is the looking forward to something
with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment. See related study on
Believer's Blessed Hope.
the world typically defines it is a desire for some future occurrence
of which one is not assured of attaining. The ancient world did not
generally regard hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary
illusion. Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness
covered the ancient world. Philosophies were empty; traditions were
disappearing; religions were powerless to help men face either life or
death. People longed to pierce the veil and get some message of hope
from the other side, but there is none outside of Christ.
it. In the OT
there are several Hebrew words translated
but each has the idea of
inviting us to look ahead
confident expectation, the same idea
Each Hebrew word for "hope"
calls for patience,
reminding us that the fulfillment of our hope lies in the future
("hold on...the best is yet to come").
is a repeated theme in Hebrews. Study the 5 uses in context...
Hebrews 3:6 (note)
- but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house --whose house we are,
if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until
Hebrews 6:11 (note)
- And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to
realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:18 (note)
- so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God
to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to
take hold of the hope set before us.
Hebrews 7:19 (note)
- (for the Law made nothing perfect ), and on the other hand
there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to
Hebrews 10:23 (note)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He
who promised is faithful;
“Hope is for the soul what
breathing is for the living organism.”
A study of
concentration camp survivors found that those prisoners who were able
to hold onto their sense of hope (‘things are going to get better’ or
‘we’re going to get out of here one day’ ) were much more likely to
survive. Hope then is not optional but for these prisoners proved to
be a matter of life and death.
writes that hope
"in classical Greek, has the
general signification of expectancy, relating to evil as well as to
good. Thus Plato speaks of living in evil hope (“Republic,” i., 330);
i.e., in the apprehension of evil; and Thucydides, of the hope of
evils to come; i.e., the expectation or apprehension. In the New
Testament the word always relates to a future good." (Vincent, M. R.
Word Studies in the New Testament Vol. 1)
leading intellectual figure, tutor of the depraved emperor Nero (who
forced Seneca to commit suicide!) and contemporary of Paul tragically
defined hope as “an uncertain good”, the antithesis of Biblical
hope! What a difference the new birth in Christ makes in one's
editor H. L. Mencken also inaccurately defined hope as
“a pathological belief in
occurrence of the impossible.”
definition does not even agree with the secular Webster's Collegiate
dictionary which defines "Hope" much like the NT declaring that
hope means "to cherish a desire with anticipation, desire with
expectation of obtainment, expect with confidence."
is not "finger crossing", but is alive and certain because of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Life without Christ is
a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
The book of
Hebrews defines hope as that which gives "full assurance" (see
Thus we can have strong confidence that God is going to do good to us
in future. The opposite of hope is despair, (hopelessness; a
hopeless state; a destitution of hope or expectation) which is all
that those without Christ as Savior can know, for Paul defines hope as
"Christ Jesus, Who is our Hope" (1Ti
1:1). Thus genuine Biblical hope is not a concept but a
Person, Christ Jesus!
pleaded with God on the basis of His Name, "Hope of Israel"
(God's Names all reveal some aspect or attribute of His character),
"Thou Hope of Israel, its
Savior in time of distress. Why art Thou like a stranger in the land
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?" (Jer14:8)
"O LORD, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on
earth will be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of
living water, even the LORD." (Jer 17:13)
"Thou art my hope; O Lord
GOD, Thou art my confidence from my youth." (Ps 71:5)
Paul uses makes
an allusion to this OT name ("Hope of Israel") speaking to the Jews
"I requested to see you and to
speak with you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the
hope of Israel." (Acts 28:20)
Old revealed spoke of the Hope of Israel and predicted His coming to
save His people as well as Gentiles, there was no mention that the
Messiah of hope would actually live within each member of His redeemed
church. Paul explained that in the New Covenant, "God willed to make
known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the
Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col
The unsaved are born into the world but have "no hope and (are)
without God in the world" (Ep 2:12-note,
1Thes 4:13-note) and if they die without
Christ, he will be hopeless forever.
poet, Dante, in his Divine Comedy, put this inscription over the world
of the dead:
“Abandon all hope, you
In other words,
life without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an
Scripture is the absolute certainty of future good and believers are
to be continually, actively, expectantly
"looking for the
blessed hope and the
appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."
A living hope
should motivate a "looking" hope, so that we are waiting anxiously for
Christ's return at any time, this event providing great incentive to
"discipline (one's self) for the purpose of godliness" (1Ti
knowing that godliness "is profitable for all things, since it holds
promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (1Ti
Chesterton said that
"Hope means hoping when
things are hopeless or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are
really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude. It is only when
everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength."
an essential and fundamental element of Christian life, so essential
indeed, that, like faith and love, Peter refers to it in this verse to
designate the essence of Christianity
one component of the great triad of Christian virtues, along with
faith and love.
“But now abide
faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
13:13; see note 1Thessalonians
Gal 5:5, 6; Ep 1:15, 16, 17, 18-see notes
Ep 1:15 16; 17; 18,
Ep 4:2, 3, 4, 5-see notes
He 10:22, 23, 24-see notes
1Pe 1:21, 22- see notes
1Pe 1:21; 22).
and hope are inseparably linked. We
and so we hope.
prayed for believers
"that the eyes of (our) heart may
be enlightened, so that (we) may know what is the hope of His
calling." (Ep 1:18-note)
Hope is a
"helmet of salvation" for we know that
"God has not destined us for wrath
but for obtaining salvation through our Lord
Christ" (1Th 5:8).
Hope as you can see
is a deep well, which is well worth lingering over if you have time.
To renew your mind with this great Biblical truth go over the
following Scriptures, asking what each teaches about the "source" of
hope, the stabilizing effect of the truth, the sanctifying effect,
etc. --; ;(Job
8:13, 27:8, Ps 31:24,; 42:5, 6, 71:5,;119:49, 50;130:7, 146:5,
Pr 10:28, 13:12 ;Jer 14:8, 29:11; Jn 5:45 Acts 2:26,;23:6, 24:15,
26:6, 28:20; Ro 4:18, 5:1, 2; 8:25, 12:12, 15:4, 13 1Co 13:13, 15:19,
21, 22, 23 2Cor 3:12 Ep 1:15, 16, 17, 18, 2:12 4:2, 3, 4, 5; ;Gal 5:5,
6 Col 1:4, 5, 1:27, ;1Th 1:3 2:19; 4:13, 14,1 5, 16, 17, 18, 5:8;
2Th 2:16 1Ti 1:1; Titus 2:11, 12, 13; 3:7 He 6:11; 6:18, 19, 20,
7:19, 10:22, 23, 24; 1Pe 1:3, 1:21,22; 3:15; 1Jn 2:25; 1Jn 3:2, 3 ;
FOR HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL: pistos gar o epaggeilamenos:
(He 6:18; 11:11; 1Corinthians 1:9; 10:13; 1Thessalonians 5:24;
2Thessalonians 3:3; Titus 1:2)
In this passage the writer emphasizes the
complete reliability of God (He 6:17, 18-see notes
He can be trusted to complete the good work He began. His promise is absolutely certain because "it is impossible
for God to lie" (He 6:18-note).
To place one's unwavering trust in the unwavering
God is not a gamble, but a sure thing. The practical effect of trusting God's
trustworthiness is that our fears tend to dissipate.
I love Jesus' Name at
the end of the Great Tribulation, when Christ
returns as the one Who is "Faithful and True" (Rev 19:11-note)
from peítho = to
persuade - induce one by words to believe, have confidence) is
something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is
applied to God, humans, His Word, etc
gives a nice summary (expanded in the discussion that follows) of the
meaning of pistos, faithful, writing that it is used
"(1), of one who shows Himself
faithful in the discharge of a duty or the administration of a trust (Mt
24:45). Hence, trustworthy (2Ti
2:2). Of things that can be relied upon (2Ti
2:11). (2), Confiding; trusting; a believer (Gal
Acts 16:1; 2Cor 6:15; 1Ti 5:16)"
(Word Studies in the New Testament)
means firm in adherence to whatever one owes allegiance and implies
unswerving adherence to a person or thing or to the oath or promise by
which a tie was contracted.
used in two senses in the NT
1) An active
meaning = trusting or believing -
This is the less frequent usage.
This sense speaks of a sinner exercising faith in the Lord Jesus. In
the first NT use in this sense, Jesus "said to Thomas,
“Reach here your finger, and see My
hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not
unbelieving, but believing." (Jn 20:27)
let those who have believers
(pistos) as their masters not be disrespectful to them because
they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those
who partake of the benefit are believers (pistos) and
beloved. Teach and preach these principles." (1Ti 6:2)
is used in this active sense to refer to the faith which a lost sinner
must place in the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, it includes the
following ideas -- the act of considering the Lord Jesus worthy of
trust as to His character and motives, the act of placing confidence
in His ability to do just what He says He will do, the act of
entrusting the salvation of his soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus,
the act of committing the work of saving his soul to the care of the
Lord. This means a definite taking of one’s self out of one’s own
keeping and entrusting one’s self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus.
Thus Paul says
those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the
(pistos)." (Gal 3:9)
Using a striking
contrast, Paul asks
"what harmony has Christ with
Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?" (2Cor
records that Paul
"came also to Derbe and to Lystra.
And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a
Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek." (Acts
Note also that
with regard to believers, they are spoken of sometimes in the
Active sense (as "believers") and sometimes in the Passive (as
Testament concept of faith includes three main elements,
mutually connected and requisite, though according to circumstances
sometimes one and sometimes another may be more prominent
(1) a fully convinced
acknowledgement of the revelation of grace; (2) a self-surrendering
fellowship (adhesion); and (3) a fully assured and unswerving trust
(and with this at the same time hope) in the God of salvation or in
Christ. (Modified from Cremer)
2) A passive
meaning = trustworthy or faithful - which is the use here in Hebrews
11 - Here the basic idea
is that of trustworthiness. In this sense pistos describes God,
Christ, servants, His Word as faithful, reliable, worthy of belief or
trust, , , dependable.
adds that pistos used of God describes Him as
"True to his own nature and
promises; keeping faith with Himself and with man."
Paul writes that
"if we are faithless, He remains
for He cannot deny Himself." (2Ti 2:13-note)
this passive sense is used of one who shows Himself faithful in the
discharge of a duty or the administration of a trust
then is the faithful
and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to
give them their food at the proper time?" Mt 24:45.
describes the one who is trustworthy
the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many
witnesses, these entrust to
men, who will be able to teach others also." 2Ti 2:2-note).
Of the Word of
God (which is the sense pistos is used in Titus 1:9) that can be
"It is a
statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine
work he desires to do."
"It is a
statement: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him." -
In this passive
sense of trustworthy or faithful, pistos is
applied to God as fulfilling His own promises (He 10:23-note;
as fulfilling the purpose for which He called men (1Th 5:24-note;
1Cor 1:9), as responding with
guardianship to the trust reposed in Him by men (1Cor
Christ is faithful (2Thes
Revelation 19:11-note) Christ as
the faithful witness (Rev 1:5; Re 3:14). God’s and Christ's
faithfulness in these verses speak not only of His essential being
(faithful is Who He is), but also of His faithfulness toward us, as
shown for example in the famous verse
If we confess our sins, He is
and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. (1Jn 1:9)
In the papyri,
we find the following illustrations of the use of pistos --
"Whom no one would trust even if they were willing to work" =
confidence in the person’s character and motives. "I have trusted no
one to take it to her" = confidence in the ability of another to
perform a certain task.
Moses in turn
records the following of God writing
"Know therefore that the LORD your
God, He is God, the
faithful (Lxx = pistos)
God, Who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth
generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments." (Dt
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Our Daily Bread -
"A young paratrooper admitted that he had been frightened the first time he
jumped. There was nothing but a big piece of fabric between him and death.
What if that fabric accidentally tore apart? What if his ripcord didn't work
and the parachute failed to open? But when he jumped, everything functioned
perfectly. Supported by that life-preserving umbrella over his head, the man
floated earthward. He said, "I had a release from fear and a marvelous
feeling of exhilaration." What about the promises God makes in the Bible?
Will they uphold us in times of crisis? It all depends on whether we believe
them to be God's promises--not merely printed words, black marks on white
paper, nor simply the guesses of fallible human beings like ourselves.
Because they are the promises of God, we can cling to them with assurance.
This will bring relief from fear and impart a deep inner peace. Throughout
the ages, our God has been trusted millions upon millions of times. And He
has never been proven untrustworthy. So let's trust Him today and add our
personal testimony to that of the countless host of fellow believers who
have found that our promise-keeping God is unfailingly faithful. --VCG
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Standing on the Promises
Click to play
the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. --Carter
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There was once a young boy whose dad left him on a downtown corner one
morning and told him to wait there until he returned in about half an hour.
But the father’s car broke down and he could not get to a phone. Five hours
went by before the father managed to get back, and he was worried that his
son would be in a state of panic. But when the father got there, the boy was
standing in front of the dime store, looking in the window and rocking back
and forth on his heels. When the father saw him, he ran up to him and threw
his arms around him and hugged and kissed him. The father apologized and
said, “Weren’t you worried? Did you think I was never coming back?” The boy
looked up and replied, “No, Dad. I knew you were coming. You said you
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PROMISE KEEPERS - He who promised is faithful.- Hebrews 10:23the-scenes kind of person - quiet, unassuming, often
unnoticed. To see him, you wouldn't think he had been carrying a heavy
burden for more than 11 years. But Joe carried it well.
Joe was a behind-
Every so often I would think about Joe. I hardly knew him, but just knowing
what he had to live with encouraged my faith in God. Joe was being faithful
to his wife, who for 11 years lay in the hospital following brain surgery.
With the exception of just 2 or 3 days, Joe visited her in the hospital
every day until she died.
Such unfailing fidelity is the stuff God-fearing men and women are made of.
It's the fruit of the Spirit rooted in the hearts of people who hold firm to
God's love through life's trials. And when you talk with these people, they
take no credit for their fidelity but give God all the credit. One Sunday at
church before Joe's wife died, I told him what an inspiration he was to me.
He said humbly, "It's all by God's grace."
As we appropriate God's grace in Jesus Christ and persevere in faith, He
gives us what we need to keep the promises we make according to His will.
And when one day He says to us, "Well done," we will respond, "It's all
because You were faithful in keeping Your promises to us." Dennis J. DeHaan (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
In scenes exalted or depressed,
Thou art our joy and Thou our rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.- Doddridge
Because God is faithful to us,
we can be faithful to our promises.
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GOD IS A
FAITHFUL PROMISER - It has been
said that God’s promises are dated in heaven. And since we know only
“in part,” as the Bible says (I Cor. 13:12), we don’t always know then
they will be fulfilled. But that shouldn’t matter, for we do have the
confidence that God will keep them. Suppose a wealthy man were to give
you a note saying, “Sometime in the future, a time I’ve decided upon,
you will receive $50,000 that I have set aside for you.” Although you
might become impatient as you wait for the money, you confidently
expect to get it. But if that same man were to say, “If everything
works out, I might give you $50,000,” you’d expect the money only if
he didn’t go bankrupt, change his mind, forget his promise, or die. Of
course, the first situation carries the greatest certainty. And that’s
the way it is in God’s economy. He dates, as it were, many of His
promises according to His sovereign will and in keeping with His
perfect knowledge of what is best for us. This in no way diminishes
the value of God’s promises, for He backs them all with the infinite
riches of His character. He never changes His mind. He never forgets
His word. He never dies. God may seem to delay the fulfillment of a
promise, but we can be encouraged that every promise is as good as His
Most of us have
come to the end of our resources and then have discovered that at the
right time and in the right way God imparted His strength. He was
neither slow nor tardy. So don’t be discouraged, Christian. Keep on
claiming the promises. God is the faithful Promiser. - P. R. Van
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Wait for the Promises - Suppose a
wealthy man were to give you a note saying, "Sometime in the future, a time
I've decided upon, you will receive fifty thousand dollars that I have set
aside for you." Although you might become impatient as you wait for the
money, you would confidently expect to get it. But if that same man were to
say, "If everything works out, I might give you fifty thousand dollars"
you'd expect the money only if he didn't go bankrupt, change his mind,
forget his promise, or die. The first situation carries the greatest
That's the way it is in God's economy. His promises are dated in heaven. And
since we know only "in part" (1Co 13:12), we don't always know when they
will be fulfilled. But that doesn't matter, for we do have the confidence
that God will keep them. Nor does this diminish the value of God's promises,
for He backs them all with the infinite riches of His character. He never
changes. He never forgets His Word. He never dies. God may seem to delay the
fulfillment of a promise, but we can be encouraged that every promise is as
good as His word.
Most of us have come to the end of our resources. And there we have
discovered that God, at the right time and in the right way, imparted His
strength. He was neither slow nor tardy. So we need not be discouraged. We
can keep on claiming the promises. God is the faithful promiser. —P. R. Van
Our prospects are as bright as the promises of God.
><> ><> ><>
John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, once wrote that when
Christians begin to lose communion with God, one of the first things
forgotten is that they live in God's very presence and their lives are in
><> ><> ><>
As Good As His Word
- Insurance agent Ken Specht had called on Medicus Robertson at the TV store
where he worked. Robertson agreed to purchase a $5,000 life insurance
policy, which would double in value in case of his accidental death. Mr.
Specht said that his company would cover the client until the formal
policy application could be issued.
Just then an irate customer burst through the door and shot Robertson,
killing him instantly. The insurance company later paid the widow $10,000,
minus the $10.50 premium Robinson had not paid. Instead of seeking a legal
loophole, the agent kept his word.
We who have put our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation can be sure
that God will keep His word. Because "He who promised is faithful" (He
10:23), the author of Hebrews encouraged believers to boldly "draw near"
to God, confident that He has accepted us and our sins have been forgiven
(He 10:22). And we are to encourage one another to be faithful to Him because
we know that He will one day return for us (He 10:24, 25).
We have a hope that is based on the trustworthy promises of God. Our
future is secure. God has always proven Himself to be as good as His word.
--D C Egner
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. --Carter
To trust in God is not a gamble,
it's a sure thing.
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LUTHER HELD FAST AT WORMS -
Still, Luther had deeply rocked the boat of the church world. The full
imposing might of a papal council was called against him; they summoned him
before them to Worms, demanding he recant. Terrified, some of his best
friends left him. Yet Luther set his face like a flint. He bravely set out
for the trial with a: "If there be as many devils at Worms as tiles on the
roof-tops, I will enter!" There on that awesome day they pointed to a row of
his books; he was asked whether he would retract them or not? Faced with the
combined might of his intellectual and theological peers, his courage almost
failed him. He requested time to think it over. They gave him a day. Friends
came to encourage him and next afternoon he was once more before the
assembly. He acknowledged in the heat of controversy, he had expressed
himself too strongly against persons. But the substance of what he had
written he could not retract, unless convinced of its wrongfulness by
Scripture or adequate argument. The Emperor could hardly believe someone,
would dare deny the infallibility of a general council and cut the
discussion short. Eck, a chief Church official, told him (in Latin) "Martin,
your plea to be heard from Scripture is the one always made by heretics. You
do nothing but renew the errors of Wycliffe and Huss . .. would you put your
judgment above that of so many famous men and claim you know more than any
of them? . . . I ask you, Martin - answer candidly and without distinctions
- do you or do you not repudiate your books and the errors they contain?" In
German Luther replied, ". . . Unless I am convicted by the testimony of
Sacred Scripture or by evident reason . . . my conscience is captive to the
Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against my
conscience is neither right nor safe." Then, fully prepared to die for what
he believed, Luther supposedly cried out the words engraved on his memorial
at Worms: "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen."
F B Meyer...
JESUS, THE MEDIATOR
OF A NEW COVENANT
THIS IS called the Better Covenant. There
are no ifs; no injunctions of "'observe to do"; no conditions of obedience
to be fulfilled. From first to last it consists of the I Wills of the Most
I will put my laws into their minds, refers to the intellectual faculty,
which thinks, remembers, and reasons.
I will write them upon their hearts, the seat of the emotional life and
affections. What a man loves, he is pretty certain to follow and obey. "A
little lower," said the dying veteran, as they probed for the bullet, "and
you will find the Emperor." So with the Christian who has been taken into
the Covenant with God, the law is inscribed on the deepest affections of his
being. He obeys because he loves.
I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people. This last clause
is even better than the first, because it implies the keeping power of God.
If we are to be a people for His peculiar possession, it can only result
from the operation of His gracious Spirit, who keeps us, as the sun
restrains the planets from becoming wandering stars.
All shall know Me. Oh, wonder of wonders. Can it be? To know God! To know
Him as Abraham did, to whom He told His secrets; as Moses did, who conversed
with Him face to face; or as the Apostle John did when he beheld Him in the
visions of the Apocalypse. And that this privilege should be within the
reach of the least!
I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins will I remember no
more. As a score is forgotten when blotted from a slate, so shall sin be
obliterated from the memory of God. It will be forgotten as a debt paid
Do you ask how God can call this a covenant, in which there is no second
covenanting party? The answer is easy: Jesus Christ has stood in our stead,
and has not only negotiated this covenant, but has fulfilled in our name,
and on our behalf, all the conditions which were necessary and fight. He has
become our Sponsor and Surety, so God is able to enter into these liberal
terms with us, if we will identify ourselves with Him by a living faith.
This is the new and better covenant.
PRAYER - Holy Father! I claim from Thee the fulfilment of Thy
Covenant Promise, that Thou shouldst write Thy law upon my heart, and
remember my sins and iniquities no more. May I hear Thee say: "Thy faith
hath saved thee; Go, and sin no more!" AMEN (F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
THE RECEPTIVITY OF FAITH
"'Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith."--Heb.
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith."--Eph. 3:17.
FAITH IS our power of appropriation. The pity is that we are so slow to make
use of our Lord s resources! He does not force Himself upon us. Though He
brings with Him gold tried in the fire that we may be enriched, and white
raiment for our clothing, and eye-salve for our blindness; and though He
knows how urgently we need these things, He will not force them on our
acceptance. Rather, He stands and knocks, as a travelling merchant knocks at
the door, who has wares to dispose of, and we need to open the door and
receive the gifts which are offered, without money and without price (Rev.
3:18, 19, 20; Isa. 55:1, 2).
Faith is our reception of the spiritual to make good the lack of the
physical. It is a drawing on the Eternal for the deficiencies of our earthly
pilgrimage. Probably when we look back on our present life, we shall find
that our deficiencies were permitted, and even assigned, that we might be
driven to avail ourselves of the fullness of the Lord Jesus (John 1:16; Eph.
3:19). We were allowed to wander in the sultry heat, that we might know Him
as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land; we were exposed to wild
tempests and storms, that we might make for alcoves and harbours in Him that
we should otherwise have missed.
It has been truly observed that Job's rebellious moods arose when he thought
that God was afar off, but there was a difference when he realised that God
was suffering with him. Remember that you are not divided from God by a deep
chasm. He knows your sorrows. In all your afflictions He is afflicted. We
have not a High Priest, who cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities. When Jesus saw the sisters weeping, He not only succoured them,
but entered into their distress, and wept with them.
Are you weary with burdens that are crushing you? Is your lot cast with them
that hate peace? Is your heart oppressed with loneliness? Take Jesus into
account. Don't face your difficulties alone, but meet them in the fellowship
of your Saviour. Have faith, i.e., reckon on God. Let the Lord Christ dwell
in your heart, and He will be responsible for all, as you reckon on Him for
PRAYER - O Lord, I open my nature, and since my capacity is small, I
pray that by love and faith, by patience and suffering, Thou wilt enlarge my
heart, that it may be filled with all the fullness of God. AMEN. (F. B.
Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
THE FRUIT OF THE
FAITH IS an attribute of the heart,
rather than of the head. It is largely intuitive in its first promptings. It
is impossible to argue men into faith. Do not think, discuss, or reason too
much about Faith, or you will miss it. It is like Love in this, that when
you turn the dissecting knife on it for the purpose of analysis, its spirit
and life vanish, leaving only the faded relics of what was once a thing of
beauty and a joy for ever. If, however, turning from Faith to any object
which is worthy of it, you concentrate heart and mind there, almost
unconsciously Faith will have arisen and thriven to maturity.
Faith has two kinds of objective, first a person, and secondly a statement.
When we are drawn powerfully towards a person, so as to feel able to entrust
our soul, our destiny, our most precious possessions to His care, with an
inward feeling of tranquillity and certainty that all is safe with Him, and
that He will do better for us than we could do for ourselves, that is faith.
We may be attracted by a statement, which appeals to our moral sense; it is
consistent with the decisions of our conscience; or perhaps, as the
utterance of One in whom we repose utter confidence, it commends itself to
us for His sake. We accept that statement; we rest on it. We believe that
what it attests as fact either did happen or will happen. We are as sure of
it as though we have been able to attest it by our senses of sight, hearing,
or touch. That also is faith. "Faith is a well grounded assurance of that
for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of the unseen" (Heb.
We must indicate a difference between this faith and "the faith once
delivered to the saints." The former is the heart that accepts, and the hand
that reaches out to obtain; the latter is the body of Truth to be accepted.
Out of faith comes faithfulness. Faith is your trust in another;
faithfulness is your worthiness to be trusted. A faithful soul, one that can
be absolutely relied upon, is of great price. Nothing so quickens our faith
as to meditate on God's absolute trustworthiness. "Blessed is the man that
trusteth in Him."
PRAYER - Give us faith in Thy love that never wearies or faints.
Whatever else we doubt, may we never question the perfectness of Thy
lovingkindness. Fulfil in US the good pleasure of Thy will, and the work o f
faith with power. AMEN. (F. B. Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
THE NEW AND LIVING WAY
THE Holiest of All is opened for us to enter in and appear before God,
to dwell and to serve in His very presence. The blood of the one sacrifice
for ever, taken into heaven to cleanse away all sin for ever, is our title
and our boldness to enter in. Now comes the question, What is the way that
leads up and through the opened gate, and in which we have to walk if we are
to enter in. This way, the only way, the one infallible way is, a new and
living way, which Jesus dedicated for us, through the veil, that is to say,
His flesh. The boldness we have through the blood is the right or liberty of
access Jesus won for us, when we regard His death as that of our Substitute,
who did what we can never do--made redemption of transgressions, and put
away sin for ever. The new and living way, through the rent veil, that is,
His flesh, has reference to His death, regarded as that of our Leader and
Forerunner, who opened up a path to God, in which He first walked Himself,
and then draws us to follow Him. The death of Jesus was not only the
dedication or inauguration of the new sanctuary and of the new covenant, but
also of the new way into the holy presence and fellowship of God. Whoever in
faith accepts of the blood He shed as His boldness of entrance, must accept,
too, of the way He opened up as that in which he walks.
And what was that way? The way through the veil, that is, His flesh The veil
is the flesh. The veil that separated man from God was the flesh, human
nature under the power of sin. Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and dwelt with us here outside the veil. The Word was made flesh. He also
Himself in like manner partook of flesh and blood. In the days of His flesh,
He was tempted like as we are; He offered prayer and supplication with
strong crying and tears. He learned obedience even to the death. Through the
rent veil of His flesh, His will, His life, as yielded up to God in death,
He entered into the Holiest. Being made in likeness of men, He humbled
Himself, becoming obedient even unto death. Whore-fore also God highly
exalted Him. Through the rent veil He rose to the throne of God. And this is
the way He dedicated for us. The very path in which, as our Substitute, He
accomplished redemption, is the path which He opened for us to walk in, the
path of obedience unto death. "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an
example that ye should follow His steps." Christ our High Priest is as
literally and fully Leader and Forerunner as He is Substitute and Redeemer.
His way is our way. As little as He could open and enter the Holiest for us,
except in His path of suffering and obedience and self-sacrifice, as little
can we enter in unless we walk in the same path. Jesus said as much of His
disciples as of Himself: Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and
die, it abideth alone. He that hateth his life in this world shall keep it
unto life eternal. Paul's law of life is the law of life for every believer:
Bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus
may be manifested in our body. The way into the Holiest is the way of the
rent veil, the way of sacrifice and of death. There is no way for our
putting away sin from us but the way of Jesus; whoever accepts His finished
work accepts what constitutes its Spirit and its power; it is for every man
as for the Master--to put away sin by the sacrifice of self. Christ's death
was something entirely and essentially new, and so also His resurrection
life; a life out of death, such as never had been known before. This new
death and new life constitute the new and living way, the new way of living
in which we draw nigh to God.
Even as when Christ spoke of taking His flesh as daily food, so here where
the Holy Spirit speaks of taking the rent veil of His flesh as our daily
life, many say: This is a hard saying; who can bear it? Who then can be
saved? To those who are willing and obedient and believe, all things are
possible, because it is a new and living way. A new way. The word means ever
fresh, a way that never decays or waxes old (Hebrews 8:13) but always
retains its first perfection and freshness. A living way. A way always needs
a living man to move upon it; it does not impart either life or strength.
This way, the way of obedience and suffering and self-sacrifice and death,
however hard it appears, and to nature utterly impossible, is a living way.
It not only opens a track, but supplies the strength to carry the traveller
along. It acts in the power of the endless life, in which Christ was made a
High Priest. We saw how the Holy Spirit watches over the way into the
Holiest, and how He, as the Eternal Spirit, enabled Christ, in opening the
way, to offer Himself without spot unto God; it is He whose mighty energy
pervades this way, and inspires it with life divine. As we are made.
partakers of Christ, as we come to God through Him, His life, the law of the
Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, takes possession of us, and in His strength
we follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus. The way into the Holiest is the
living way of perfect conformity to Jesus, wrought in us by His Spirit.
The new and living way through the rent veil into the Holiest. We now know
what it is: it is the way of death. Yes, the way of death is the way of
life. The only way to be set free from our fallen nature, with the curse and
power of sin resting on it, is to die to it. Jesus yielded Himself
absolutely to the will of God, even unto death. Let us not fear to yield
ourselves in full surrender to that will, even unto death. The Spirit of
Jesus will make it to us a new and living way. As we know Him in the power
of His resurrection, He leads us into the conformity to His death. He does
it in the power of the Holy Spirit. So His death and His life, the new death
and the new life of deliverance from sin, and fellowship with God, which He
inaugurated, work in us, and we are borne along as He was to where He is.
Having therefore boldness, to enter in by the new and living way, let us
1. When first a believer avails himself of the boldness He has in the blood,
and enters into the Holiest, he does not understand all that is meant by the
new and living way. It is enough if his heart is right, and he is ready to
deny himself and take up his cross. In due time it will be re-sealed what
the full fellowship is with His Lord in the way He opened up, of obedience
2. The new and living way is not only the way for once entering in, but the
way for a daily walk, entering ever deeper into God's love and will.
3. The Way of life is the way of death. This fallen life, this self, is so
sinful and so strong, there is no way of deliverance but by death. But,
praise God! the way of death is the way of life; in the power of Christ's
resurrection and indwelling we dare to walk in it.
Andrew Murray. The Holiest of All
WITH A TRUE HEART
WE have been looking at the four great blessings of the new worship by which
God encourages us to draw near to Him. We shall now see what the four chief
things are that God seeks for in us as we come to Him. Of these the first
is, a true heart.
In man's nature the heart is the central power. As the heart is so is the
man. The desire and the choice, the love and the hatred of the heart prove
what a man is already, and decide what he is to become. Just as we judge of
a man's physical character, his size and strength and age and habits, by his
outward appearance, so the heart gives the real inward man his character;
and "the hidden man of the heart" is what God looks to. God has in Christ
given us access to the secret place of His dwelling, to the inner sanctuary
of His presence and His heart; no wonder that the first thing He asks, as He
calls us unto Him, is the heart--a true heart; our inmost being must in
truth be yielded to Him, true to Him.
True religion is a thing of the heart, an inward life. It is only as the
desire of the heart is fixed upon God, the whole heart seeking for God,
giving its love and finding its joy in God, that a man can draw near to God.
The heart of man was expressly planned and created and endowed with all its
powers, that it might be capable of receiving and enjoying God and His love.
God's great quarrel with His people is that their heart is turned from Him.
In Hebrews 3. we heard Him complain of the hardening of the heart, the
wandering heart, the unbelieving heart. No wonder that the first requisite
for entering the Holiest of All should be a true heart. It is only with the
heart that religion, that holiness, that the love and the will of God can be
known. God can ask for nothing else and nothing less than the heart--than a
What the word true means we see from the use of it made previously (Hebrews
8:2 and Hebrews 9:24), the true tabernacle, and, the Holy Place, which are
figures of the true. The first tabernacle was only a figure and a shadow of
the true. There was, indeed, a religious service and worship, but it had no
real abiding power; it could not make the worshipper perfect. The very
image, the substance and reality, of the heavenly things themselves, were
only brought by Christ. And God now asks that, to correspond with the true
sanctuary, there shall be a true heart. The old covenant, with its
tabernacle and its worship, which was but a shadow, could not put the heart
of Israel right. In the new covenant God's first promise is, I will write My
law in the heart: a new heart will I give thee. As He has given His Son,
full of grace and truth, in the power of an endless life, to work all in us
as the Mediator of a new covenant, to write His law in our hearts, He calls
us to draw nigh with a true heart.
God asks for the heart. Alas, how many Christians serve Him still with the
service of the old covenant. Religion is a thing of times and duties. There
are seasons for Bible-reading and praying and church-going. But when one
notices how speedily and naturally and happily, as soon as it is freed from
restraint, the heart turns to worldly things, one feels how little there is
of the heart in it: it is not the worship of a true heart of the whole
heart. The heart, with its life and love and joy, has not yet found in God
its highest good. Religion is much more a thing of the head and its
activities, than of the heart and its life, of the human will and its power,
than of that Spirit which God gives within us.
The invitation comes: Let us draw near with a true heart. Let no one hold
back for fear, my heart is not true. There is no way for obtaining the true
heart, but by acting it. God has given you, as his child, a new heart--a
wonderful gift, if you but knew it. Through ignorance or unbelief or
disobedience it has grown feeble and withered; its beating can,
nevertheless, still be felt. The Epistle, with its solemn warnings and its
blessed teaching, has come to bring arousing and healing. Even as Christ
said to the man with the withered hand, Stand forth, He calls to you from
His throne in heaven, Rise, and come and enter in with a true heart. As you
hesitate, and look within to feel and to find out if the heart is true, and
in vain to do what is needed to make it true, He calls again, Stretch forth
thy hand. When He spake that to him of the withered arm, whom He had called
to rise up and stand before Him, the man felt the power of Jesus' eye and
voice, and he stretched it forte Do thou, likewise. Stretch forth, lift up,
reach out that withered heart of thine, that has so been cherishing its own
impotence,--stretch forth, and it will be made whole. Yes, in the very act
of obeying the call to enter in, it will prove itself a true heart--a heart
ready to obey and to trust its blessed Lord, a heart ready to give up all
and find its life in the secret of His presence. Yes, Jesus, the great
Priest over the house of God, the Mediator of the new covenant, with the new
heart secured thee, calls, Draw nigh with a true heart.
During these last years God has been rousing His people to the pursuit of
holiness, that is, to seek the entrance into the Holiest, a life in full
fellowship with Himself, the Holy One. In the teaching which He has been
using to this end, two words have been very much in the
foreground--Consecration and Faith. These are just what are here put first,
a true heart and the fulness of faith. The true heart is nothing but true
consecration, the spirit that longs to live wholly for God, that gladly
gives up everything that it may live wholly for Him, and that above all
yields up the heart, as the key of the life, into His keeping and rule. True
religion is an inward life, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Let us enter in
into the inner sanctuary of God's love, and the Spirit will enter into the
inner sanctuary of our love, into our heart. Let us draw nigh with a true
heart--longing, ready, utterly given up to desire and receive the blessing.
1. If you look at your own constitution, you see how the head and the heart
are the two great centers of life and action. Much thought and study make
the head weary, Strong emotion we excitement affects the heart. It is the
heart God asks--the power of desire and affection and will. The head and the
heart are in partnership. God tells us that the heart must rule and lead,
that it is the heart He wants. Our religion has been too much that of the
head--hearing and reading and thinking. Let us beware of allowing these to
lead us astray. Let them stand aside at times. Let us give the heart time to
assert its supremacy. Let us draw nigh with a true heart.
2. A true heart--true in what it says that it thinks of Itself; true in what
it says that it believes of God; true in what it professes to take from God
and to give to Him.
3. It is the heart God wants to dwell in. It is in the state of the heart
God wants to prove His power to bless. It is in the heart the love and the
joy of God are to be known. Let us draw near with a true heart.
THE FULNESS OF FAITH.
THIS translation, the fulness of faith, is not only more correct than that
of, full assurance of faith, but much more significant. Full assurance of
faith refers only to the strength and confidence with which we believe. The
truth we accept may be very limited and defective, and our assurance of it
may be more an undoubting conviction of the mind than the living
apprehension of the heart. In both respects the fulness of faith expresses
what we need,--a faith that takes in objectively all that God offers it in
its fulness, and subjectively all the powers of our heart and life in their
fulness. Lot us draw near, in fulness of faith.
Here, if anywhere, there is indeed need of fulness of faith, that we may
take in all the fulness of the provision God has made, and of the promises
that are waiting for us to inherit. The message comes to a sinful man that
he may have his continual abode in the Most Holy; that, more real and near
than with his nearest earthly friend, he may live in unbroken fellowship
with the Most High God. He is assured that the blood of Christ can cleanse
his conscience in such power that he can draw nigh to God with a perfect
conscience and with undoubting confidence, and can ask and expect to live
always in the unclouded light of God's face. He receives the assurance that
the power of the Holy Ghost, coming from out of the Holiest, can enable him
to walk exactly in the same path in which Christ walked on His way to God,
and make that way to him a new and living way, with nothing of decay or
weariness in his progress. This is the fulness of faith we are called to.
But, above all, to look to Jesus in all the glory in which He has been
revealed in the Epistle, as God and Man, as Leader and Forerunner, as
Melchizedek, as the Minister of the sanctuary and Mediator of the new
covenant--in one word, as our great Priest over the house of God. And,
looking to Him, to claim that He shall do for us this one thing, to bring us
nigh, and even on earth give us to dwell for ever in the presence of God.
Faith ever deals with impossibilities. Its only rule or measure is what God
has said to be possible to Him. When we look at our lives and their
failures, at our sinfulness and weakness, at those around us, the thought
will come up--Is it for me? Dare I expect it? Is it not wearying myself in
vain to think of it or to seek for it? Soul! the God who redeemed thee, when
an enemy, with the blood of His Son--what thinkest thou? would He not be
willing thus to take thee to His heart? He who raised Jesus, when He had
died under the curse of thy sins, from the death of the grave to the throne
of His glory, would He not be able to take thee, too, and give thee a place
within the veil? Do believe it. He longs to do it; He is able to do it. His
home and His heart have room for thee even now. Let us draw near in fulness
In fulness of faith. The word has also reference to that full measure of
faith which is found when the whole heart is filled and possessed by it. We
have very little idea of how the weakness of our faith is owing to its being
more a confident persuasion of the mind with regard to the truth of what God
says, than the living apprehension and possession of the eternal spiritual
realities of the truth with the heart. The Holy Spirit asks us first for a
true heart, and then at once, as its first exercise, for fulness of faith.
There is a faith of insight, a faith of desire, a faith of trust in the
truth of the word, and a faith of personal acceptance. There is a faith of
love that embraces, a faith of will that holds fast, and a faith of
sacrifice that gives up everything, and a faith of despair that abandons all
hope in self, and a faith of rest that waits on God alone. This is all
included in the faith of the true heart, the fulness of faith, in which the
whole being surrenders and lets go all, and yields itself to God to do His
work. In fulness of faith let us draw nigh.
In fatness of faith, not of thought. What God is about to do to you is
supernatural, above what you can think. It is a love that passes knowledge
is going to take possession. God is the incomprehensible, the hidden One.
The Holy Spirit is the secret, incomprehensible working and presence of God.
Do not seek to understand everything. Draw nigh--it never says with a clear
head, but with a true heart. Rest upon God to do for you far more than you
In fulness of faith, and not in fulness of feeling. When you come, and,
gazing into the opened Holiest of All, hear the voice of Him that dwells
between the cherubim call you to come in; and, as you gaze, long indeed to
enter and to dwell there, the word comes again, Draw nigh with a true heart!
Your answer is, Yes, Lord; with my whole heart with that new heart thou
thyself hast given me. You make the surrender of yourself, to live only and
always in His presence and for His service. The voice speaks again: Let it
be To-day--Now, in fulness of faith. You have accepted what He offers You
have given what he asks. You believe that He accepts the surrender, You
believe that the great Priest over the house takes possession of your inner
life, and brings you before God. And yet you wonder you feel so little
changed. You feel just like the old self you were. Now is the time to listen
to the voice--In fulness of faith, not of feeling! Look to God, who is able
to do above what we ask or think. Trust His power. Look to Jesus on the
throne, living there to bring you in. Claim the Spirit of the exalted One as
His Pentecostal gift. Remember these are all divine, spiritual mysteries of
grace, to be revealed in you. Apart from feeling, without feeling, in
fulness of faith, in bare, naked faith that honours God, enter in. Reckon
yourself to be indeed alive to God in Christ Jesus, taken in into His
presence, His love, His very heart.
1. Be followers of those who, through faith and longsuffering, inherited the
promises. Faith accepts and rejoices in the gift; longsuffering waits for
the full enjoyment; and so faith in due time inherits, and the promise
becomes an experience. By faith at once take your place in the Holiest; wait
on the Holy Spirit in your inner life to reveal it in the power of God; your
High Priest will see to your inheriting the blessing.
2. In the fulness of the whole heart to accept the whole fulness of God's
salvation--this is what God asks.
3. As in heaven so on earth. The more I look at the fulness of grace in
Christ, the more the fulness of faith will grow in me. Of His fulness have
we received, and grace for grace.
4. A whole chapter is to be devoted to the exhibiting of what this fulness
of faith implies, Let us go on to study it with the one object for which it
is given--our entering into that life in the will and love of God which
Jesus has secured for us..
OUR HEARTS SPRINKLED
IN Hebrews 10:19 we had boldness through the blood of Jesus, as one of the
four precious things prepared for us by God. It is that actual liberty or
right which the blood of Jesus gives, apart from any use we make of it.
Along with the opened sanctuary, and the living way, and the great Priest,
the blood and our boldness in it is a heavenly reality waiting our faith and
acceptance. Here the blood is mentioned a second time, and our being
sprinkled with it as one of the things God asks of us. It is in the personal
application and experience of the power of the blood we are to draw nigh.
This second mention of the blood is in accord with what we had in Hebrews 9.
of its twofold sprinkling. First, Christ entered with it into heaven, to
cleanse the heavenly things, and fulfil the type of the sprinkling on the
mercy-seat. It proved its power with God in putting away sins. And then we
read of its cleansing our conscience. The blood which has had its mighty
operation in heaven itself has as mighty power in our hearts. It makes us
partakers of a divine and eternal cleansing. In heaven the power of the
blood is proved to be infinite and immeasurable, never-ceasing and eternal,
giving boldness to enter even as Christ did. As the soul learns to believe
and rejoice in this heavenly power of the blood, it will claim and receive
the very same power in the heart; as Jesus washes us in His blood, we know
by faith what it is to have, in a heavenly reality, a heart sprinkled from
an evil conscience.
There will ever be harmony between a home and those who dwell in it, between
an environment and the life that is sustained by it. There must be harmony
between the Holiest of All and the soul that is to enter in. That harmony
begins with, and has its everlasting security in, the blood of sprinkling.
The ever-living and never-ceasing energy of the blood, ever speaking better
things than the blood of Abel and keeping heaven open for me, has a like
effect on my heart. The blood has put away the thought of sin from God; He
remembers it no more for ever. The blood puts away the thought of sin in me
too, taking away the evil conscience that condemns me. The better things
which the blood speaks in heaven, it speaks in my heart too; it lifts me
into that heavenly sphere, that new state of life and intercourse with God,
in which an end has been made of sin, and the soul is taken in to the full
and perfect enjoyment of the love of God.
The action of the blood in heaven is unceasing--never a moment but the blood
is the delight of the Father and the song of the ransomed. Draw nigh when
thou wilt, the blood is there, abiding continually; not a moment's interval.
And even so will it be in the soul that enters in. The difficulty that
staggers the faith of many lies just here: they cannot understand how one
who has to live amid the cares and engagements and companionships of this
daily life can every moment maintain heart sprinkled from an evil
conscience. They do not know that, if once, with a heart sprinkled they
enter in, they are in an inner sanctuary, where everything acts in the power
of the upper world, in the power of an endless life. They breathe the
inspiring, invigorating air of the Holiest of All; they breathe the Holy
Spirit, and enjoy the power of the resurrection life. The Minister of the
heavenly sanctuary is also the Mediator of the new covenant in our hearts.
All He does in heaven He does each moment on earth in our hearts, if faith
will trust Him; for the blood of sprinkling is the blood of the covenant.
And what may be the reason that so few Christians can testify of the joy and
the power of a heart at all times sprinkled from an evil conscience? The
answer is, That in the apprehension of this, as of every other truth, there
are stages according to the measure of faith and faithfulness. See it in
Israel. There you have three stages. The Israelite who entered the outer
court saw the altar and the blood sprinkled there, and received such
assurance of pardon as that could give him. The priest who was admitted to
the Holy Place not only saw the blood sprinkled on the brazen altar, he had
it sprinkled upon himself, and might see it sprinkled on the golden altar in
the Holy Place. His contact with the blood was closer, and he was admitted
to a nearer access. And the access of the high priest was still more
complete; he might, with the blood for the mercy-seat, once a year enter
within the veil. Even so there are outer-court Christians, who trust in
Christ who died on Calvary, but know very little of His heavenly life, or
near access to God, or service for others. Beyond these there are Christians
who know that they are called to be priests and to live in the service of
God and their fellow-men. They know more of the power of the blood as
setting apart for service; but yet their life is still without the veil. But
then come those who know what Christ's entering with His blood implies and
procures, and who experience that the Holy Spirit applies the blood in such
power, that it indeed brings to the life in the inner sanctuary, in the full
and abiding joy of God's presence.
Let us draw near, with a true heart, in fulness of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled from an evil conscience. Oh, let us not bring a reproach upon the
blood of the Lamb by not believing in its power to give us perfect access to
God. Let us listen and hear them sing without ceasing the praise of the
blood of the Lamb in heaven; as we trust and honour and rejoice in it we
shall enter the heaven of God's presence.
1. "Wherein is the blood of Jesus better than the blood of goats and bulls,
If it cannot free us from the spirit of bondage and the evil conscience, if
It cannot give as a full glad confidence before God? What Jesus hath
perfected we can experience and enjoy as perfect in our heart and
conscience. You dishonour your Saviour when you do not seek to experience
that He has perfected you as touching the conscience, and when you do not
live with a heart entirely cleansed from the evil conscience."--STEINHOFER.
2. A true heart--a heart sprinkled: you see everything depends upon the
heart. God can do nothing for us from without, only by what He can put into
the heart. Of all that Jesus is and does as High Priest in heaven I cannot
have the least experience, but as it is revealed in the heart The whole work
of the Holy Spirit is in the heart. Let us draw nigh with a true heart, a
sprinkled heart, our inmost being entirely and unceasingly under the
heavenly power of the blood.
OUR BODY WASHED
MAN belongs to two worlds, the visible and the invisible. In his
constitution, the material and the spiritual, body and soul, are wonderfully
united. In the fall both came under the power of sin and death; in
redemption deliverance has been provided for both. It is not only in the
interior life of the soul, but in that of the body too, that the power of
redemption can be manifested.
In the Old Testament worship the external was the more prominent. It
consisted mostly in carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation.
They taught a measure of truth, they exercised a certain influence on the
heart, but they could not make the worshipper perfect. It was only with the
New Testament that the religion of the inner life, the worship of God in
spirit and truth, was revealed. And yet we need to be on the watch lest the
pursuit of the inner life lead us to neglect the external. It is in the
body, as much as in the spirit, that the saving power of Christ Jesus must
be felt. It was with this view that our Lord adopted one of the Jewish
washings, and instituted the baptism with water. He that believed with the
heart, came with the body to be baptized. It was a token that the whole
exterior physical life, with all its functions and powers, was to be His
too. In was in this connection John wrote: There are three who bear witness,
the Spirit and the water and the blood. The same Spirit who applies the
blood in power to the heart, takes possession and mastery of the body washed
with water. And where in Scripture the word and water are joined together
(Eph. 5:26; John 13:10; 15:3), it is because the word is the external
manifestation of what must rule our whole outer life too.
It is in this connection the two expressions are used here: Our hearts
sprinkled from an evil conscience, our bodies washed with pure water. The
thought was suggested to our author by the service of the tabernacle. In the
court there were only two things to be seen--the brazen altar and the laver.
At the one, the priest received and sprinkled the blood; at the other, he
found the water in which he washed, ere he entered the Holy Place. At the
installation of the priests in their office they were first washed and then
sprinkled with blood (Ex. 29:4, 20). On the great day of atonement the high
priest, too, had first to wash ere he entered into the Holiest with the
blood (Lev. 16:4). And so the lesson comes to us that if we draw near with
hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, we must also have the body washed
with pure water. The liberty of access, the cleansing the blood gives, can
only be enjoyed in a life of which every action is cleansed by the word. Not
only in the heart and the disposition, but in the body and the outer visible
life, everything must be clean. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?
or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He that hath clean hand,, and a pure
heart. A heart sprinkled with the blood, a body washed with pure water from
every stain,--these God hath joined together; let no matt separate them.
There have been some who have sought very earnestly to enter into the
Holiest of All and have failed. The reason was that they had not clean
hands, they were not ready to have everything that is not perfectly holy
discovered and put away. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your
hearts, ye double-minded--is a word that always holds. The blood of Christ
has unspeakable and everlasting power for the soul that, with a true heart,
is ready to put away every sin. Where this is not the case, and the body is
not washed with pure water, the perfect conscience which the blood gives
cannot be enjoyed.
Our body washed with pure water. It is not only in spirit, but with the body
too, we enter into the Holiest of All. It is on as here, where we are in the
body, that the presence of God descends. Our whole life in the flesh is to
be in that presence; the body is very specially the temple, and in charge of
the Holy Spirit; in the body the Father is to be glorified. Our whole being,
body, soul, and spirit, is in the power of the Holy Spirit, a holy sacrifice
upon the altar, a living sacrifice for service before God. With the body,
too, we live and walk in the Holiest. Our eating and drinking, our sleeping,
our clothing, our labour and relaxation, all these things have more
influence on our spiritual life than we know. They often interrupt and break
the fellowship we seek to maintain. The heart and the body are inseparably
joined--a heart sprinkled from an evil conscience needs a body washed with
When He cometh into the world He saith, A body didst thou prepare for Me.
This word of Christ must be adopted by each of His followers. Nothing will
help us to live in this world, and keep ourselves unspotted, but the Spirit
that was in Christ, that looked upon His body as prepared by God for His
service; that looks upon our body as prepared by Him too, that we might
offer it to Him. Like Christ we too have a body, in which the Holy Spirit
dwells. Like Christ we too must yield our body, with every member, every
power, every action, to fulfil HIS will, to be offered up to Him, to glorify
Him. Like Christ we must prove in our body that we are holy to the Lord.
The blood that is sprinkled on thy heart came from the body of Jesus,
prepared by God, and, in His whole life, even to His one offering, given up
to God. The object of that blood sprinkling is that thy body, of which the
heart sprinkled with the blood is the life, should, like His, be wholly
given up to God. Oh, seek to take in this blessed truth, and to accept it
fully. The heart sprinkled from the evil conscience will then become an
unbroken experience, and the blood of the Lamb the ever-living motive and
power for a life in the body, like Christ's, a sacrifice holy and acceptable
1. I am deeply persuaded that in the self-pleasing which we allow in
gratifying the claims of the body, we shall find one of the most frequent
causes of the gradual decline of our fellowship with God. Do remember, it
was through the body that Satan conquered in Paradise; it was in the body he
tempted Christ and had to be resisted. It was in suffering of the body, as
when He hungered, that Christ was perfected. It is only when the law of
self-denial is strictly applied to the body, that we can dwell in the
2. He was tempted in all points, like as we are--in His body very specially,
and is able to succour us. Let the committal of our body into the keeping
and the rule of Jesus be very definite add entire.
3. "If Miranda was to run a race for her life, he mould submit to a diet
that was proper for it. As the race which is set before her is a race for
holiness and heavenly affection, so her every Day diet has only this one
end--to make her body fitter for this spiritual life."
LET US DRAW NEAR
WE have studied the four great blessings of the new worship, as the motives
and encouragements for us to draw nigh. They are--the Holiest opened up,
Boldness through the blood, the New and living way, and the Great Priest
over the house of God. And we have considered the four great marks of the
true worshipper--A true heart, Fulness of faith, The heart sprinkled, and
The body cleansed. We now come to the four injunctions which come to us out
of the opened sanctuary, and specially to the first Let us draw near. Both
in speaking of the entering in of Christ, and the power of His blood in
Hebrews 9., and in the exposition of our context, we have had abundant
occasion to point out what is meant by this entering in, and what is needed
for it. And yet it may be well to gather up all we have said, and in the
very simplest way possible, once again, by the grace of God, to throw open
the door, and to help each honest-hearted child of God to enter in, and take
his place for life in the home the Father has prepared for him.
And first of all I would say: Believe that a life in the Holiest of All, a
life of continual abiding in God's presence, is most certainly your duty and
within your power. As long as this appears a vague uncertainty, the study of
our Epistle must be in vain. Its whole teaching has been to prove that the
wonderful priesthood of Christ, in which He does everything in the power of
an endless life, and is therefore able to save completely; that His having
opened a way through the rent veil into the Holiest, and entered in with His
blood; that His sitting on the throne in heavenly power, as Minister of the
sanctuary and Mediator of the covenant; that all this means nothing if it
does not mean--the Holiest is open for us. We may, we must, and we can live
there. What is the meaning of this summing up of all, Wherefore brethren,
having boldness to enter--let us draw nigh, if a real entrance into and
abode in the Holiest is not for us? No, beloved Christian, do believe, it
can be. Let no thought of thy weakness and unfaithfulness hold thee back.
Begin to look at God, who has set the door open and calls thee in; at the
blood that has prevailed over sin and death, and given thee a boldness that
nothing can hinder; at Christ the almighty and most loving High Priest, who
is to bring thee in and keep thee in; and believe: yes, such a life is meant
for me; it is possible; it is my duty; God calls me to it; and say, then,
whether thy heart would not desire and long to enter into this blessed rest,
the home of God's love.
The second step is, the surrender to Christ, by Him to be brought into the
life of abiding fellowship with God. This surrender implies an entire giving
up of the life of nature and of self; an entire separation from the world
and its spirit; an entire acceptance of God's will to command my life, in
all things, down to the very least. To some this surrender comes as the
being convicted of a number of things which they thought harmless, and which
they now see to have been in the will of the flesh and of man. To others it
comes as a call to part with Some single doubtful thing, or some sin against
which they have hopelessly struggled. The surrender of all becomes only
possible when the soul sees how truly and entirely Jesus, the Mediator of
the new covenant, has undertaken for all, and engages to put His own delight
in God's law into the heart, to give the will and the strength to live in
all God's will. That faith gives the courage to place oneself before Christ
and to say, Lord, here am I, ready to be led by Thee in the new and living
way of death to my will, and a life in God's will alone: I give up all to
Then comes, accompanying this surrender, the faith that Jesus does now
accept and undertake for all. The more general faith in His power, which led
to the surrender, becomes a personal appropriation. I know that I cannot
lift or force myself into the Holiest. I trust Jesus, as my almighty and
ever-living Priest on the throne, even now, at this moment, to take me in
within the veil, to take charge of me there, and enable me to walk up and
down before the face of the living God, and serve Him. However high and
impossible such a life appears, I cannot doubt but that He who with His
blood opened the Holiest for me will take me in; and that He who sits on the
throne as my great High Priest is able and faithful to keep me in God's
presence. Apart from any feeling or experience of a change I believe He
takes me in, and I say: Thank God, I am in the Holiest. Let us draw nigh in
fulness of faith.
And then follows, the life of faith in the Holiest, holding fast my
confidence and the glowing of hope firm to the end. I believe Jesus takes me
in to the fulfilment and the experience of all the new covenant blessings,
and makes me inherit all the promises. I look to Him day by day to seal my
faith with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven in my heart, The disciples,
when their Lord ascended the throne, kept waiting, praising, praying, (till
the Spirit came as the witness and the revealer within their hearts of the
glory of Jesus at the right hand of God. It was on the day of Pentecost that
they truly entered within the veil, to which the Forerunner had drawn their
longing hearts. The soul that gives itself over to a life within the veil,
in full surrender and in simple faith, can count upon this most surely,
that, in the power of the eternal, the Pentecostal Spirit in the heart,
faith will become experience, and the joy unspeakable be its abiding
portion--Wherefore brethren, let us draw near.
1. Having boldness to enter in is the summary of the doctrinal teaching of
the first half of the Epistle; let us draw nigh, the summery of the life and
practice which the second half expounds.
2. The faith that appropriates the blessing, Jesus now takes me in and gives
me my place and my life in the Father's presence, is but a beginning. Faith
must now count upon the Holy Spirit, in His Pentecostal power, bringing down
the kingdom of heaven to us, to make it a personal experience. Until this
comes, faith must in patience wait till it obtains the promise, in
accordance with the teaching we had: " Cast not away therefore your
boldness. For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God,
ye may receive the promise."
THE CONFESSION OF OUR HOPE
THE three chief words of this injunction we have had before--Hold fast,
Confession, Hope. If we hold fast the glorying of our hope firm to the end.
Give diligence to the fulness of hope. Christ the High Priest of our
profession. Let us hold fast our confession. A better hope, by which we draw
nigh to God. We have now been brought to see what Christian perfection is,
in that perfect life in God's presence to which Jesus brings us in: here,
more than ever, we shall need to hold fast our hope.
Faith and hope ever go together. "Faith is the substance of things hoped
for." Faith accepts the promise in its divine reality, hope goes forward to
examine and picture and rejoice in the treasures which faith has accepted.
And so here, on the words Let us draw near in fulness of faith, there
follows immediately, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope. Life in
the Holiest, in the nearness of God, must be characterised by an infinite
It is not difficult to see the reason of this. Entering into the Holiest is
only the beginning of the true Christian life. As we tarry there God can
begin to do His work of grace in power. There the holiness of God can
overshadow us, and can be assimilated into our life and character. There we
can learn to worship in that true humility and meekness and resignation to
God's will, which does not come at once, but in which we may grow up even as
Jesus did. There we have to learn the holy art of intercession, so as to
pray the prayer that prevails. There we wait to receive in larger measure,
in ever-fresh communication, that fulness of the Spirit which comes and is
maintained only by close and living contact with Jesus on the throne. The
entrance into the Holiest is only a beginning. It is to be a life in which
we every hour receive everything from God, in which God's working is to be
all in all. Here, if anywhere, we have need of an infinite hopefulness.
After we have entered in, we shall very probably not find what we expected.
The light and the joy and the power may not come at once. Within the veil it
is still, nay rather it is eminently, a life of faith, not looking to
ourselves, but to God, and hoping in Him. Faith will still be tried, will
perhaps most be tried when God wants most to bless. Hope is the daughter of
faith, the messenger it sends out to see what is to come: it is hope that
becomes the strength and support of faith.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope. Men always speak out of the
abundance of the heart of that which they hope for. We, too, must confess
and give expression to our hope. The confession strengthens the hope; what
we utter becomes clearer and more real to us. It glorifies God. it helps and
encourages those around us. It makes God, and men, and ourselves, see that
we are committed to it. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, that it
waver not. Let the better hope by which we draw nigh to God, by which we
enter within the veil, be the one thing we hold fast and confess with a
confidence that never wavers.
For He is faithful that promised. Study the references on the word "promise"
in this Epistle, and see what a large place they take in God's dealings with
His people, and learn how much your life depends on your relation to the
promises. Connect the promises, as is here done, with the promiser; connect
the promiser with His unchanging faithfulness as God, and your hope will
become a glorying in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Faithful is He that
promised: that word lies at the root of the life within the veil. Just as it
is God who speaks in Christ, who sent Him, who appointed Him Priest, who
perfected Him, so it is God to whom Christ brings us into the Holiest, for
Him now to work directly and continually in us that life in which, as His
redeemed creatures, we are to live. This is the blessedness of being brought
into the Holiest: Christ has brought us to God. And we are now in the right
place and spirit for honouring Him as God--that is, for allowing Him to work
freely, immediately, unceasingly in us such a life as He wrought in Christ.
He is faithful that promised. God is going to fulfil His promises of life
and love, of blessing and fruitfulness, in a way we have no conception of.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, for He is faithful that
My reader, thou hast heard the call, Let us draw near in fulness of faith.
And hast obeyed? And hast believed that Jesus takes thee into a life of
abiding in God's presence? And art, even amid the absence of feeling or
experience, even amid the doubts and fears that threaten to press in,
holding fast the confession of thy hope?--Listen, look up--He is faithful
that promised! Let this be thy rock. Say continually--O my soul, hope thou
in God, for I shall yet praise Him. Thou art my hope, O God! I will hope
continually, and praise Thee yet more and more. This is the blessing of the
inner sanctuary, that thou hast found thy true place at God's feet, there to
wait in absolute dependence and helplessness on His working. Look up in the
boldness the blood gives thee. Look up with a true heart, an which the Holy
Spirit dwells and works. Look up with a heart sprinkled by thy blessed High
Priest with the blood--and hope, yes hope, in God to do His divine work in
thy soul. Let Him be to thee more than ever the God of hope. Claim the
fulfilment of the promise of His word: The God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy
Ghost. The infinite faithful God, as the God of our hope, filling us with
joy and peace in believing, and we learning to abound in hope through the
power of the Holy Ghost: Be this our life in the secret of God's presence!
1. Fulness of faith and fulness of hope are two dispositions that mark the
true heart. It is because we are to have nothing in ourselves, and God is to
be all and to do all, that our whole attitude is to be looking up to Him,
expecting and receiving what He is to do.
2. That ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. See how
the life of hope in the Holiest depends entirely upon the Holy Spirit
dwelling within us. To live this life, we need to be filled with the Spirit.
Not a moment can we dwell in the Holiest, but by the Holy Spirit. Not a
moment but we can dwell in the Holiest, by the Holy Spirit. Let us abound in
hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Andrew Murray. The Holiest of All