Do we hold fast to our faith? Will we desert the Lord when the going gets tough? Why should we hold unswervingly to the faith we profess?
The Apostle Paul told the Hebrews: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23).
Paul is drawing certain inferences from the Covenant of Grace upon which he has been enlarging. He shows that God has made a Covenant with His people by which they are effectually preserved. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb 10:16-17). He shows that by this Covenant the fear of returning to our old sin is removed and the guilt of our sin is forever put away. He bids us, therefore, be bold in our approaches to God. As pardoned men, upon whom there is no sin, he bids us exercise the freedom of near access to God, who has accepted us in Christ. Then he tells us that since we are put in such a blessed position—a position which is altogether unique—it becomes us to hold fast to what we have received. Since the glorious Gospel has done so much for us, let us never quit it. Since it has brought us into a condition which angels might envy, let us never think of leaving it. Let us not dream of giving up that Divine principle which has worked us such blessedness, but, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.”
We may imagine this or imagine that, but we think nothing of our imaginations! Our faith deals with what God says, not with what learned men think. What the Spirit of God has written in the Bible is the Truth of God to us and we allow no human teaching to rank side by side with it. Well, then, we have faith—faith that believes, faith that learns, faith that reclines, faith that trusts herself entirely in the love of God—faith that can say, “Father into Your hands I commit my spirit.” We have it, and we know that we have it! Unbelief calls God a liar—do not live a moment in such a horrible God-provoking sin! “He that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). May we never remain in such a state as that, but come to a knowledge of the Truth and to a sound faith in that Truth—for this is the faith of God’s children.
If we have faith we have hope. We have a blessed hope, a hope most “sure and steadfast, which entereth into that which is within the veil” (Heb 6:19). The day of our Lord’s appearing will be the day of the redemption of the body from the dust with which it mingles. We have a joyful, glorious, blessed hope which purifies, and comforts, and strengthens, and sustains us, and this hope is in us now. Are we not enriched with the grace of God? Where faith and hope are found, love cannot be far off; for the three Divine sisters are seldom separated. Let us love the Lord who has given us the first two.
We have made a profession of our faith, and a confession of our hope. By the memories of the day when we made that profession, be firm in it to the end. If we were not false then, if we were not deceivers then, hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for “He is faithful that promised.” Let us remember also the many times in which we have repeated that profession of faith, that confession of hope; for instead of retracting it, we have gone on to repeat it. We have been marked anew with the King’s name. If you ask how we have renewed our vows, I reply: we have done it many a time at the table of communion. We have repeated our profession in the shop, and in the market, and in the place of business, and among our friends, and in our families, and to our life partners. Those around us know us to be professedly an heir of heaven, a child of God: it is well that they should. We have considered how we began this profession, and we have also seen how often we have made it since. Let us think for a minute what it has cost us. Religion has cost many of its disciples somewhat dear: but it has cost nothing compared with its worth. What bashfulness it cost us to make the first confession of our faith! What a struggle it then appeared! We cried to God about it and we obtained courage; and now we wonder how we could have been so foolishly timid. Do not in future fall into the same fears. But perhaps some of us lost the friendship of many by becoming disciples of the Lord Jesus. What if all our friends from the high and fashionable circles leave us when we choose to follow Jesus? We are reminded not to love the world or the things in the world (1 John 2:15), so it is about the best thing that happens to us when worldlings cut our acquaintances.
We are called upon to hold fast the profession of our faith. The things which we have believed, continue to believe. If it is true at first, the same things are still true and must be true forever and ever. We know that there can be no progress in the foundational Truths of Christianity when we remember such a text as this, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, forever” (Heb 13:8). Revelation comes from the mind of God. Nothing may be taken from it! Nothing may be added to it!
Hold, next to our hope. Hope in Christ and in His coming and in the victory of the Truth of God. If the storm lower, believe that there is fair weather ahead. And if the night darkens into a seven-fold blackness, believe that the morning comes despite the darkening glooms! Have faith and trust in Him that lives, and was dead, and is alive forevermore! Let our hope begin to hear the hallelujahs which proclaim the reign of the Lord God Omnipotent, for reign He must, and the victory shall be unto Him and to His Truth. Hold fast our faith. Hold fast our hope.
But that is not the text. It is hold fast your profession of faith, your confession of hope; that is to say, stand to what we have done by way of open declaration of these things. Constantly keep up our confession. We made it once. Renew it. We are Christians, not for a time, but for eternity! Our new birth is not into a dying existence, but into life everlasting! We are born again of a living and incorruptible seed that lives and abides forever! So be strong. Stand fast, “Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58). We shall continue our confession and never conceal it.
Perhaps we may have to go into a certain company where we do not want to have it known that we are Christians. It is imperative that we break through that snare and put the case beyond debate. We should make our profession known in that very company because the idea that we must not be known to be a Christian will be very dangerous to us. We cannot exactly tell in what way it may endanger us, but it will surely do so and, therefore, whenever the thought of concealment crops up, down with it and come out clear and straight for Jesus! Only when we are out-and-out for Jesus can we be in a right condition. Anything short of this is full of evil! Since Satan tempts us to hide our faith, feel that he seeks our harm and, therefore, come out all the more decidedly.
We are to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, because He is faithful that has promised. Have we found Him faithful? Has the Lord failed us? Has the Lord been untrue in His promises to us? If He has, then do not hold fast our profession. If, after all, it has been a mistake and a delusion, then give it up. But if He is faithful that has promised — if till this moment we have proved the power of prayer, the wisdom of providence, and the truth of the Sacred Word, then deal with the Lord as He has dealt with us. Be not faithless to the Crucified. He gave His heart for us and even after death it poured out blood and water for us—give our whole heart to Him! If it is so that these Truths of God are firmly established and that God keeps His Covenant, then let us come at once to the feet of the blessed Lord and say, “Lord, we do not regret that we entered Your service. On the contrary, we are ready to begin again.” If we had our lives to live, over again, we that began to be Christians as lads would begin earlier! We that have served the Lord desire no better Master and no better service, but we would wish Him to find, in each one of us, a better servant. Lord, we have been happy with You. When we have been unhappy, it has been our own fault, not Yours. We would return to You and say, “Permit us to serve You still. We would be Your servants forever.”
Let us remind ourselves to walk by faith, and not by sight with the song “We Walk By Faith”: