Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath, etc. We have in our text -
I. A GREAT REWARD PROMISED. "Great recompense of reward.... Ye might receive the premise." By "the promise" is meant here, not the promise itself, but the blessings promised; not the word of promise, for this they had already, but the good things which that word assured unto them. By the recompense of reward and the promised blessings we understand one and the same thing; i.e. "the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15), "the better and enduring substance" (ver. 34). It is the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ. The life is characterized by
(4) perpetuity. A perpetuity of bliss is bliss. This life is promised to every believer in our Lord and Savior. "Whosoever believeth on him shall have eternal life." This life the Christian believer has now in its imperfect and early stages; he will have it hereafter in its fullness and perfection. "Your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our Life," etc. (Colossians 3:3).
II. A GREAT DUTY MENTIONED. To do the will of God. This must precede the reception of the promised blessings. "Having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise." If we combine the interpretation of several expositors, we obtain what we regard as the true interpretation of "the will of God" here. Thus M. Stuart: "To do the will of God here, is to obey the requirement, to believe and trust in Christ" (cf. John 6:40). Ebrard: "By the will of God, in this context, is to be understood his will that we should confess Christ's Name before men." And Delitzsch: "The will of God is... our steadfast perseverance in faith and hope." It seems to us that the doing the will of God includes each and all of these things - faith in Christ, confession of Christ, and continuance in Christ. Moreover, the Christian accepts the will of God as the authoritative and supreme rule of his life. This will is sovereign, gracious, and universally binding. Let us endeavor to do it willingly, patiently, and cheerfully; for in so doing it our duty will become our freedom, dignity, and delight. We must do this will if we would receive the recompense of reward. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
III. A GREAT NEED EXPERIENCED. "Cast not away therefore your confidence.... For ye have need of patience," or endurance. The confidence which is not to be cast away and the endurance which we need are, not identical, closely related. The confidence is perhaps (as Ebrard suggests) the root, and patience the fruit, the endurance growing out of the confidence. The confidence is the joyous assurance "of faith and hope, and boldness in confessing Christ." We must not cast this away, as a dismayed soldier casts away his weapons; for we shall need it in the conflicts which yet await us. And the patience is "that unshaken, unyielding, patient endurance under the pressure of trial and persecution, that steadfastness of faith, apprehending present blessings, and of hope, with heaven-directed eye anticipating the glorious future, which obtains what it waits for." Now we need both these things, the confidence and the patience, the boldness and the endurance; for:
1. Our spiritual battles are not all fought yet. We still have foes to encounter; therefore we shall need our confidence and courage, our faith and hope.
2. Our various trials are not all passed through yet. We shall have to meet with losses and sorrows, to suffer afflictions, to be beset with difficulties, to bear disappointments; hence we "have need of patience."
3. Our possession of the promised inheritance is not attained yet. Perfect purity and peace, progress and blessedness, are not ours as yet. There are times when the recompense of reward seems long delayed, and our spiritual advancement towards it seems slow; and we have need of patience to wait and hope, and to work while we wait.
IV. A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT PRESENTED. "For yet a very little while, and he that cometh shall come, and will not tarry." The end of our trials is very near. The inheritance of the promised blessing will speedily be ours. "The recompense of the reward comes as certainly as the Lord himself, who is already on the way." "Be patient therefore, brethren,... for the coming of the Lord is at hand?
"Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
The strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle,
The next the victor's song."
(Duffield.) = - W.J.
Parallel VersesKJV: Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.