Warning Against Deliberate Sin
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 10:19-39, Deuteronomy 32:35-36, Matthew 27:50-54
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-39, Deuteronomy 32:35-36, Matthew 27:50-54
The universal law of cause and effect says that for every effect there is a cause, and likewise, for every cause there is an effect. Why am I giving you a refresher course in seventh-grade natural science? Because applying this law to our passage today is crucial in understanding hope in light of Christ’s faithfulness to us.
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” With “since” being the key word, we can determine that the law of cause and effect applied to this verse would go something like this:
Cause: He who promised is faithful.
Effect: We hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering.
What if we changed the placement of the word “since” to read, “Since we hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, he who promised is faithful”? It would entirely change our cause and effect, right?
Cause: We hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering.
Effect: He who promised is faithful.
In the first set of cause-and-effect statements, we hold on to hope because Christ has been faithful to us. In the second, Christ is faithful to us because we hold on to hope.
If Christ’s faithfulness to me is contingent upon my hope, I’m in big trouble. My hope is not consistent. It varies from day to day, depending upon my circumstances, the weather, or how much coffee I’ve had. My hope can be high one hour and plummet the next.
Fortunately, Hebrews does not say we hold on to hope because we are a people who are so very good at hoping. It says we hold on to hope because Christ has been faithful. As the verses leading up to this one emphasize, “since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus… and since we have a great high priest over the house of God… let us draw near… Let us hold on to the confession of our hope” (Hebrews 10:19,21–23).
The blood of Jesus, our Great High Priest, His faithfulness—this is why we hold on to hope.
It has taken me a long time to grasp this idea that living a life of faith is so much more about God’s faithfulness to me than it is my faithfulness to Him. To be honest, I still don’t think I completely get it. If I did, I would have far less anxiety, I would sin far less, and I would have much more hope. I need this reminder as much as the early Church did. When I feel hopeless, I need to repeat the cause again and again:
Have hope today—not in your ability to hold onto hope, but in Christ’s faithfulness to you. It does not waver. It is the same day in and day out—yesterday, today, and forever. When we rely on His faithfulness alone, our posture toward life will be one of hope and not fear, of trust and not turning away. As the writer said, “We are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life” (v.39).
Andrea Lucado is a freelance writer, Texas native, and the author of the memoir English Lessons: The Crooked Path of Growing Toward Faith. When she is not conducting interviews or writing stories, you can find Andrea laughing with friends at a coffee shop or creating yet another nearly edible baking creation in her kitchen. One of these days she’ll get the recipe right.