DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE
35 Therefore, do not
throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have
need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may
receive what was promised. 37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS
COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. 38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE
BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. 39 But
we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who
have faith to the preserving of the soul.
There is something a
Christian really needs, - and that is boldness.
You can get saved without having so much boldness, - those are the
ones who walk trembling through the gate, but nevertheless go through
it, - and so some boldness is there, because they have after all
received the testimony of Jesus, - still they’re faith remind you more
of a smoking wick than a fully lit candle.
But they don’t really become anything for other people these ones,
- that is as Christians. It’s like there is no glow! – If there is a
testimony meeting, they have never anything to say, - I’m not thinking
about those who really would like to say something, but lack that kind
of boldness, - there is no eagerness in them to want meeting in the
village, a gathering around God’s word, no need and eagerness for others
to hear and get saved, - they’re just there, - no emanation of either
joy or peace, but rather melancholy.
Why? – Because there are no boldness! And there is no
possibility that a person can get boldness himself, - it’s not like
that, like now I’m pulling myself together and say to myself: “No, now I
have to start being more bold” – and then I really go for it. No, there
is something that gives birth to boldness, and when that
is present, then boldness has to come, - that is faith!
When the gospel was revealed in my heart, I got boldness to
believe that I was a child of God! – Then I got boldness to
believe that my case with God was good. And it is this boldness you
received by believing the gospel that the apostle here asks you not to
throw away; - because has the Lord received you for Jesus Christ sake,
then He has received you completely, without any proviso, - He has
received you on behalf of Jesus bill, and not your own, - and
Jesus lack nothing, you know!
You see, if you get your eyes fixed onto what I am preaching for
you now, - your eyes moved away from yourself and onto Him, then there
is probably one thing that you notice; - the boldness increases!
I can count on Him, you see!
I remember the wrong
understanding I had about this thing called boldness, when I was
a new Christian; - I heard many witness about boldness having a big
reward, like boldness to testify, confessing the name of Jesus out in
the open etc., - and I wasn’t always bold like that, so I felt judged,
in this context, with an afflicted conscious, - and I could not
count on any reward! Until I saw what it was really about; - the
apostle writes in the same chapter in the letter to the Hebrews:
“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence ((boldness)
for instance Norw. transl.) to enter the holy place by the blood
of Jesus” (v.19).
That is the boldness that has a great reward! – That
you believe the testimony of Jesus Christ, God’s Son’s blood, and enter
before the throne with it! – Because what is it that the Word testifies
about this blood? – “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all
sin.” (1 Joh.1:7), - from all sin!
What is it then that will shut me out from God’s holy place? I am
then without sin! – We read that this blood cleanses from all
sin. So you see it is the faith that gives birth to
Therefore you must hear the word of faith over and over again.
Where it cannot attach at all, the human being remains in his sin and
perishes, - and where it just gets attached a little, there will be
birthed, as already mentioned, only a little boldness, and you become
like someone who is surrounded by doubt and obsession and
discouragement, and just ail yourself through life.
Look at Jesus! – The Word says; - hear Him! He is
your deputy before God, - you who have to honestly confess: “My
salvation I do not know, without You, the Lamb of God, only in Your
righteousness all my shame is hidden.”
Maybe you should ask
God for forgiveness for the sin that you have had so little faith in His
testimony about Jesus, His Son? He also forgives sin today!
“Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer
any offering for sin.” (no need for offering; Norw. transl.) (v.18).
You don’t have to walk downtrodden, - you don’t have to accuse
yourself, - you don’t have to give anything extra in the offering, or
whatever it might be, - you have to listen to the word of God: “God has
been given the sacrifice He demanded for your sake of your sin!”
That is a word to faith! – That is a word to confidence, we
may say. If you want to add something to the sacrifice Jesus brought it
is an act of disbelief. Jesus said it Himself: “It is finished!”
Take this little word
is and let it sink so deep into your heart as possible! It is
finished! – It is completed! – And there is no need for any
sacrifice for sin anymore.
What happens wherever we hear this message and it isn’t rejected is
that faith arises, - and that is a powerful thing! – You heard
what was preached in our message: “But my righteous one shall live by
Shall live! – shall live eternally! Not the one who
is righteous by his works, - because there is none, - but the one
who is righteous by faith! Believe in Jesus and what He
has done for me, - completely on the outside and independent of me. I
believe in something that somebody else did! – And I cannot find that in
my own chest, you know – no, I find that in heaven by God’s right hand,
in Him, of whom it says: “When He had made” - Made! –
“purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on
That is what gives you and me boldness to go right in there, - He,
our Savior, has gone in there before us! “For we do not have a high
priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been
tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb.4:15).
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great
reward.” (v.35). – Do you understand the verse better now? – It is that
kind of boldness that has a great reward.
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the
will of God, you may receive what was promised.” (v.36). – Therefore
this admonition to not throw away boldness, - because there will be a
struggle to keep it, - we need patience, - because you look at yourself
and everything that is wrong, - you look at the congregation, - how it
sleeps inn and maybe decreases, you look at the world around you, and –
yes, it will surely be a struggle to remain bold! – But God’s word to
you will then be over and over again: Look at Jesus!
“When you have done the will of God.” (v.36b).
Listen to what the will of God is for you: “For this is the
will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him
will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
This is the will of the Father for you, - that you shall see the
Son and believe in Him, and by that have eternal life!
But then it says
something very serious that we should consider here at the end: “But my
righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has
no pleasure in him.” (v.38).
That’s a special expression: - To shrink back. To
withdraw. Not the obvious attack, - as we can see now and then, -
but that you withdraw yourself, - this: No thanks! – Maybe even
performed with a polite and humble way, but still a no thanks!
This no thanks! – This withdrawal leads to destruction, we read in
the next verse.
But then this positive expression from the apostle appears here, -
and if we all only could have a yes and amen in our hearts to that: “But
we” – we! – are you included here!? ”- are not of those
who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the
preserving of the soul.” (v.39).
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your
household.” (Acts 16:31).
Not in any Jesus that is preached, - no, the Lord Jesus Christ, He
who the Scripture testifies about, - He who made purification for our
sins, by His perfect life of a deputy and by His sacrificial death on
the wooden cross. Him you are allowed to have faith in! – A trustworthy
statement! – As the apostle expresses in 1.Tim.1:15.
Holy Bible, New American
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart