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Hebrews 3:15  (King James Version)
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<< Hebrews 3:14   Hebrews 3:16 >>


Hebrews 3:15

Verses 7 and 15 focus on "Today," meaning "right now"—the subject must not be put off. In this way, "Today," injects a sense of urgency as well as the thought of "as long as the opportunity exists," implying that now is our time of salvation. It must not be wasted because God calls one only once.

At the same time, he is suggesting that the Israelites failed because they did not use their faith as a day-to-day function of life. Faith is not something to be held in reserve for the really big trials of life, but it is the solid foundation of daily living. It is this level of faith that Jesus was concerned about when He asked, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" Living faith motivates every thought meant to produce action, beginning with what God requires before all else. Paul is urging believers to work toward using faith in God as the driving force of everything we do each day.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Accepting God's Sovereignty (Part Two)



Hebrews 3:15-18

In regard to faith, we must understand what the Bible means by its frequent admonitions to "hear." Paul writes in Hebrews 3:15, "Today, if you will hear His voice." He is not pressing us to hear the sound of His voice, but to understand what God wants us to learn through what Paul, the preacher, is expounding in his epistle. Paul is urging us to take the time now to "get" it, to "see" or "grasp" what God is teaching.

Hebrews 3:17-18; 4:2 will help us reach a conclusion about what God intends regarding hearing. Whether a person physically hears the actual voice of God Himself is of little importance. Whether "hearing" in our personal reading or "hearing" the preaching of a minister, what is critical is that we obey the godly instruction, because unless we actually obey, we have not yet truly heard. If a person continues to sin, he has not really heard, in the biblical sense, what God has taught.

Put in another way, if a person continues to sin because God's Word does not motivate him to obedience to what He teaches, then he, in a worst-case scenario, either does not believe God or at this point his belief is so weak that he cannot bring himself to trust Him. Such are the ones who died in the wilderness. The weakness is not that people do not believe that He exists, but that they do not trust what He says because, in reality, they do not know Him. Thus, in the biblical sense, they have not yet truly heard.

In Hebrews 4:2, Paul uses the Greek word pistis for the first time in his letter. He will use it 31 more times. Pistis is translated either as "faith" or as "faithfulness." I believe that "faithfulness" is better here because that is what the Israelites lacked. Faithfulness is trusting God in continuous fashion as shown by conduct. God has given us a great deal, but it is our responsibility to hold firmly to His instructions by living them. Living them engrains them into our characters as habits, and this is good. Through habitual use, they become so entrenched in our behavior that we do not even have to call them to mind.

The unbelief that Paul is speaking of here is that our weak trust results in weak Christian living because we do not know and "see" God with the clarity that we should have. It can be rectified, but that is not always easy and at times may seem costly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Fully Accepting God's Sovereignty (Part Two)




Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Hebrews 3:15:

Matthew 5:4
Hebrews 3:15-18

 

<< Hebrews 3:14   Hebrews 3:16 >>



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