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Hebrews 3:14  (King James Version)
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<< Hebrews 3:13   Hebrews 3:15 >>


Hebrews 3:14

The author implies the faith that we had at the beginning of our conversion, the faith that led us to believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that it is by His blood that we are saved. It led us to repent, to change our minds in relation to God and the way that we were living, so that we were baptized, made the new covenant with God, and began to live His way on the strength of the conviction we had about the teachings we had accepted at that time.

In saying, "For we have become partakers of Christ," he is now referring to an end result—"if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast to the end." Just a few verses later (verse 17), He speaks about the corpses of the Israelites being strewn all over the wilderness. His point is that the Israelites did not hold their conviction to the end. When they left Egypt, they were full of joy. When God divided the Red Sea, they danced around and had a real celebration (Exodus 15). But it seems that, from that time on, God's great miracles on their behalf began to recede into their minds, and they did not hold onto the joy and faith and conviction that they had then.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Does Doctrine Really Matter? (Part 4)



Hebrews 3:14

"To the end": The Hebrews were neglecting things. They were not holding steadfast to the end but drifting away. Paul begins, then, to show that the quotation from Psalms 95:7 has never been fulfilled. So, who would be the first ones to fulfill it? The first ones, you would think, would be the ones God called out of Egypt. They would be the first ones that could fulfill it, but they did not, as chapter 4 shows.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 4)



Hebrews 3:12-14

"The deceitfulness of sin"! In this context, to be deceitful is to be seductively and enticingly misleading. Sin promises what it cannot deliver. It promises pleasure, contentment, fulfillment—life—but its delivery on these things is fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying. Its deceitfulness is the very reason why it has addictive qualities. It lures us on to try to capture what it can never deliver.

The pleasure is never quite enough to produce the contentment and fulfillment one desires. Thus, people are forced into greater and deeper perversions until it results in death. All along the way, from its inception to death, sin quietly produces hardness of heart. Like a callus that forms over a break in a bone or stiffens a person's joints, sin paralyzes right action.

"Hardness" is translated from skleruno, from which name for the disease multiple sclerosis is derived. In a moral context, it means "impenetrable," "insensitive," "blind," "unteachable." A hardened attitude is not a sudden aberration, but the product of a habitual state of mind that reveals itself in inflexibility of thinking and insensitivity of conscience. Eventually, it makes repentance impossible. The will to do right is completely gone.

The will is the power or faculty by which the mind makes choices and acts to carry them out. An old adage says: "Sow an act and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny." At first, against his will, a person engages in some forbidden pleasure out of weakness, curiosity, or sheer carnality. If the practice continues, he sins because he cannot help doing so; he is becoming addicted to it. Once a sin becomes a habit, he considers it to be almost a necessity. When it becomes a necessity, the destiny is produced.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Sin Is & What Sin Does



Hebrews 3:12-14

We all need to guard against unbelief as we would against an enemy. Paul is not speaking about a heart in which unbelief is merely present, but a heart that is controlled by unbelief, the kind of heart that will drag a person down even as Peter was dragged down into Galilee's water when he took his eyes off of Jesus. The peril of unbelief is that it breaks the trust on which our relationship with God is based. Unbelief leads to falling away, which is the opposite of drawing near. "Drawing near" is a major theme of Hebrews.

Falling away is the supreme disaster of life, the ultimate defeat, because it completely thwarts God's purpose for creation. It is essential we remember that when a person falls away, he is not merely falling away from a doctrine or even a set of doctrines, but from a living, dynamic Personality.

Faith needs to be cultivated. It grows by reading and studying God's Word, and by meditating on it. It grows in an atmosphere of trial or experience because it is exercised through use. It also grows, as we find here in these three verses, in an atmosphere of exhortation from others who are fellowshipping with us. Exhortation is a preventative of falling away, which is a major reason why fellowship is so necessary. Without it, a person may hold his own, and perhaps his faith will not slip very much, but one who is not fellowshipping with others of like mind will rarely ever grow.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Hebrews 3:14:

Matthew 5:4
Hebrews 3:6
Hebrews 10:23-25

 

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