Summary: The writer exhorted his audience to recapture & retain their initial confidence. Effective Christians must recapture & retain their initial confidence in Christ. How is this done? Recapturing & Retaining confidence in Christ comes thru....
OUR ENDURING CONFIDENCE—Hebrews 10:32-39
While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist capsized his boat. He could swim, but his fear of alligators kept him clinging to the overturned craft.
Spotting an old beachcomber standing on the shore, the tourist shouted, "Are there any gators around here?"
"Naw," the man hollered back, "They ain't been around for years!"
Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming leisurely toward the shore. When he was almost there, he asked the guy, "How'd you get rid of the gators?"
"Oh, its nothin’ we did," the beachcomber said....."The sharks got 'em."
The man had an enduring confidence that the gators were gone!
Likewise we can have confidence in Christ that endures to the end!
The writer exhorted his audience to recapture & retain their initial confidence.
Effective Christians must recapture & retain their initial confidence in Christ.
How do/can Christians recapture & retain their initial confidence in Christ?
3 means of recapturing & retaining your confidence in Christ.
1—Recapturing & Retaining confidence in Christ comes thru....
COLLECTIVE & PERSONAL RECOLLECTION(:32-34)
:32—“But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:”
“But”=Contrast to previous section(:26-31), which highlights the consuming fear experienced by those of religious unbelief as they fall into the hands of the Living God their final/eternal judge. In order to not have such judgments & reproofs apply to them, the readers are encouraged to remember their “former days.”
Our memories, when jogged are of great help for us in our walk with Jesus. Memory is a tremendous asset/weapon in our arsenal against evil & for Christ’s Kingdom!
When a Christian is asked to remember his/her salvation, they are in actuality asked to recall everything which led to their trust in Christ—particularly inclusive of their formerly frustrated life which led them to the desperate decision to let go of themselves & admit their need for Christ. Thereby this is meant to bring to their remembrance the change Jesus wrought in their life. Such memories are meant to bring us to the place where we will return to the commitment of Jesus as our ‘first love’(Rev. 2:4-5).
“The former days” highlighted were those following their “illumination” or enlightenment.” They had been made plainly aware of God’s truth in the Gospel & they had accepted it or they would not have been the target of such an exhortation. These had obviously faced the sobering & soul-searching reality of physical persecution(See :33-34).
In the “former days”(days past in Christ), the readers/audience had “endured a great struggle with sufferings.” Physical sufferings cause the Christian to “struggle” with their reliance upon God. In such “struggles,” their faith is rigorously or exhaustively tested for its purity & truth.
“Recall”—anamimnhskw—1) To call to remembrance, to remind, to admonish; 2) To remember, to remember & weigh well & consider. Strong—To remind; (reflexively) To recollect. Used 6X.
“Former”—proteron—Adj.—1) Before, prior—1a) of time, Former. Strong—Previously. Used 10X.
“Illuminated/Enlightened/Received the light”—fwtizw—V.—1) To give light, to shine; 2) To enlighten, light up, illumine; 3) To bring to light, render evident; 4) To enlighten, spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge. Strong—To shed rays, i.e. To shine or (transitively) To brighten up (literally or figuratively). Used 11X.
Heb. 6:4—“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened(fwtizw), & have tasted the heavenly gift, & have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,”
“Endured”—upomenw—1) To remain—1a) To tarry behind; 2) To remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee—2a) To preserve: under misfortunes & trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ, 2b) To endure, bear bravely & calmly: ill treatments. Strong—To stay under (behind), i.e. Remain; figuratively, To undergo, i.e. Bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere.
“Struggle/Fight/Conflict/Contest”—aylhsiv—1) To contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial. Used 1X.
“Sufferings/Afflictions”—payhma—1) That which one suffers or has suffered—1a) Externally, a suffering, misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction—1a1) Of the sufferings of Christ, 1a2) Also the afflictions which Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause which Christ patiently endured, 1b) Of an inward state, an affliction, passion. 2) An enduring, undergoing, suffering. Strong—Something undergone, i.e. Hardship or pain; subjectively, An emotion or influence.
:33—“partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches & tribulations, & partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;”
Such “sufferings” specifically involved 2 major areas:
This humiliation came thru “reproaches” & “tribulations”(pressures) which they experienced solely because of their personal faith. These were brought upon the believers by other people who disdained & scoffed at the Christian faith.
Such trials of these Christians were not hidden struggles but they were openly theatricalized because of their adherence to the faith of Christ.
with other Christians who were themselves experiencing similar persecutions as they had.
“Partly”2X—touto men & touto de—touto men—1) Truly, certainly, surely, indeed.