Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward.
The confidence here mentioned is not merely that trust in the personal sacrifice of Christ whence springs pardon of sin. It is the filial trust of a believing heart, washed from guilt in the redeeming blood, already an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ. And in what is this confidence placed? In self-goodness, or self-power? No; but in God, through Jesus Christ alone. The more of this confidence the Christian possesses, the more humble will he be; for it makes Christ supreme in the heart. And on what is it immediately grounded? This rejoicing confidence is not founded on dim speculations, on vague hopes, on boasted deeds, but on the clear testimony of the Divine Spirit. In this must be the basis of all the enjoyment in the blessings of the kingdom of grace here, and all for which we may look in the glory hereafter. In hours of distress it ministers consolation. In danger it brings preservation and rescue. In trouble it gives support and relief. It realises not only a deliverance from all evil, but a communication of all that is good. Who can tell how rich in delight earth may be, with this confidence in God keeping the soul; with the kingdom of righteousness, and peace, and joy as its government; with the sure promise that the maintenance of this confidence is constantly adding to the lustre of our heavenly crown! But its highest, its supremely great " recompense of reward" is beyond the grave. With expanding and quickened facilities, with ever-opening objects for thought and feeling, with closer approach to the infinite, and changing into the Divine likeness, the faithful saints shall reap the eternity of their reward. The apostle here alludes to the conduct of the ancient warrior. The Lacedaemonians were celebrated for a valour which chose death before an ignominious defeat; therefore they threw their lives away rather than shrink from the foe. The mothers of their young men often gave them, as they departed for the fight, the shield of the father, and commanded them to bring it back, or be brought back upon it — that is, to return victorious or slain. So the loyal, valiant Paul bids the soldier of the cross never to give up his shield, never cast it away in foul retreat. Ours is a mighty moral conflict. If we Can cast this away, we can have no hope of succour and deliverance from Him. We must fall a prey to the devourer. Let us, then, resist the various devices to ensnare us. Cast not away your confidence in any sore temptation. Cast it not away should the prosperity and flattery of the world try to attract you from it. Perhaps this is the least dreaded, but it is the most dangerous combatant; for, like Judas, it first kisses, then betrays.
(S. B. Bangs.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.