Hebrews 10:35
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

(1) purity;

(2) progress;

(3) blessedness;

(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.







Cast not away, therefore, your confidence.
I. WHAT THIS SPIRITUAL CONFIDENCE IS.

1. Confidence in Christ.

(1)In His inherent goodness.

(2)In His power and will to save.

2. Confidence in the riches which Christ will give.

II. SPIRITUAL CONFIDENCE IS TO BE FIRMLY HELD. For .the better understanding of this, it is well to bear in mind the difference there is between confidence and faith. They are much the same in their exercise; still they are different. Confidence is the outcome of faith. Confidence is stronger than faith, and leads the soul onward to be bold and daring. Faith is as the root; confidence the branch springing out of the root. Confidence grows on faith, and cannot live without it; but faith may exist without confidence, though there can be no doubt that the one is affected by the other, and that as the one strengthens the other strengthens, or that as the one wanes the other also wanes. We see, therefore, that we may cast away our confidence by unbelief. Once begin to doubt the power and will of Christ to bless us, and our confidence is gone. The faith may not altogether have departed, but confidence is thrown away. In fact, it seems to be possible for one to have all the evidences of Christ's character and goodness set before him, so that he cannot doubt, but must believe in Christ's divinity and salvation; and yet to have no real confidence in Him, no confidence which leads one to trust Him fully, and to go forth in His name in all boldness and with Christian courage. If, then, you are a possessor of this confidence, hold it fast. It is a step in advance of the ordinary Christian plan. It leads to something more, something higher, bolder, and grinder, for Christ and for His cause. Hold it fast, and exercise it. The more it is cultivated and exercised, the more it will grow and the stronger it will become.

III. SPIRITUAL CONFIDENCE BRINGS ITS OWN REWARD.

1. We have it here upon earth. You cannot confide in Christ one single hour without receiving some blessing. If you have this confidence, it matters but little what may befall you here. There may be war, or jealousies, or collapses in business, or bodily suffering, or temptation, or any other kind of trial as sharp as death itself, yet your mind is calm amidst it all; and, like the bird which sits on some secluded twig and sings sweetly while the thunder roars and the lightning flashes, so you are joyful in the Lord, and amidst every storm can sing to the praise of your Saviour.

2. We shall have a further reward hereafter. Self-devoting unselfishness for Christ's sake will be its own reward in heaven. Can any soul absolutely confide in Christ and not be made holier in heaven than he is here? He will also be rewarded with the rest of heaven — blessed, peaceful rest, after his toils and sufferings here. He will have the glories of heaven poured upon him in such a measure as he never anticipated, and of a kind of which he had not conceived.

(H. F. Walker.)

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.)

I. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THIS CONFIDENCE of which the apostle speaks? It is not very easy to explain this word in one English word. It means that freedom, that peace, that at-home-ness which makes a man feel bold, free, confident. The elements of it seem to me to be these.

1. Confidence in the principles which you have espoused. There must be certain undoubted truths about which you can sing, "O God, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise" — things which you perceive to be plainly taught in the Scriptures — things brought home by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. This is the groundwork of true confidence but to make it complete there must be an open avowal of our belief in our Lord Jesus.

3. To do all this you must know your own interest in those truths man will readily let go a truth which may condemn him. Who will die for a truth in which he has no share? The man who can live and die for Christ is the man who believes that Christ has lived and died for him.

4. This means, besides, a full and firm reliance upon the faithfulness of God, so that we are free from all mistrusts and fears, and simply rest in God.

5. Where this confidence really reigns in the soul, it takes the form of full acceptance before God.

6. Upon this there follows that further confidence, of which John says, "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us" — confidence that when we pray we shall be heard.

7. Over and above that, how delightful to feel that even what we do not pray for, by reason of our ignorance or forgetfulness, our gracious God will bestow.

8. You may add to all this the confidence that He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him; for we have this confidence — that whether we sleep or wake we shall be together with Him.

II. How THIS CONFIDENCE MAY BE CAST AWAY.

1. By changing it for self-confidence. Be empty, and Christ will be your fulness, but if you become full in yourself you have done with Christ. Cast not away your confidence by leaving your simple reliance upon Jesus Christ.

2. Some, however, cast away their confidence by giving way to sin. Old Master Brooks says, "Assurance will make us leave off sinning, or sinning will make us leave off assurance." You cannot grieve your Heavenly Father and yet feel the same confidence towards Him.

3. Another way of losing our confidence is by getting into worldly company and mixing up with the gay and frivolous. A child would soon lose his loving, confident feeling towards his father if his father had an enemy opposite, and he constantly went into that enemy's house, and heard all the language that was used there.

4. You can very easily lose your confidence by changing your aim in life. While your object is God you will be bold as a lion, but a sordid motive is the mother of cowardice.

5. Some unhappy professors have apparently cast away their confidence in utter unbelief.

III. THE REASONS GIVEN FOR HOLDING FAST OUR CONFIDENCE.

1. "Cast not away therefore you confidence." What does this "therefore" mean? Why, it means this — because you have already endured so much. Do not lose the victories which you have already gained. If it was wise to go so far, it will be wise to go on to the end. I recollect going over the Col D'Obbia on the Alps, and when I got a little way down I found myself on a steep mountain side upon a mass of loose earth and slates. There seemed to me to be some miles of almost perpendicular descent and no road. My head began to swim. I set my feet fast down in the loose soil, turned my back to the scene below me, and my face to the hill-side, and stuck my hands into the earth to hold as best I could. I cried to my friend, "I shall never go down there: I will go back." He coolly replied, "Just look where you have come from." When I looked up it appeared to be much worse to try and clamber up than it could possibly be to go down, and so he remarked, "I think you had better go on, for it is worse going back." So we must go on, for it will be worse going back. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and push onward with firm resolution, by the help of the Spirit of God.

2. Do not cast away your confidence, for it has great recompense of reward. There is a reward in it now: for it makes us happy. Do not cast away your confidence, since it yields you such pure delight. But it makes you strong both to bear and labour. When you are like a child in confidence before God, you can endure pain and reproach right bravely. And, moreover, it makes you victorious. And, best of all, there is a recompense of reward to come.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. There are many discouragements which follow false conceptions of life, and which result from the practical rectification of those conceptions. There are those who enter upon a Christian life expecting to be borne, as it were, by the Divine afflatus, straight through their course. When they find, on the other hand, that God only works in them to will and to do, and that the effect of the Divine influence upon them is to make the necessity of work in them still more emphatic, they are disappointed. There are those who have supposed a religious life to be a tide of joyful emotion. They thought religion was some Cleopatra's barge of ivory and gold, with purple sails, and with music and joyfulness within; and though there would be savage barbarians along either shore, that would shoot arrows at them, they meant to fire out of the barge a great deal better than was sent at them; and when they find that instead of being a Cleopatra's barge, it is a galley, as it were, and that they are galley-slaves, they are despondent. The dispersion of these illusions destroys all that they stood on; and yet, at that, it is far better. There is many a man who is much nearer the kingdom of God at the point of discouragement than he was at the point of hope. The point of hope was the point of misconception; this discouragement is more wholesome than was their hopefulness, because it is nearer to the truth.

2. There are those who begin a religious life upon the nourishment abundantly supplied to them in the peculiar circumstances in which they are born, but who have a slender capacity for supplying themselves with nourishment. They lack that motive force which makes religion, and that inspiration which gives them vital courage. Those who are slenderly endowed in this respect, find, as soon as they begin to live a Christian life for themselves, that it is very dull. It is for such persons that the external routine of church duties is peculiarly useful. If they could be held to some set, stated exercises allied to religion, they would find themselves, both by the regularity of these exercises and by their routine nature, to be greatly sustained and helped. For they are persons that are living upon a low plane.

3. Men suffer discouragements arising from the misconception of the relations of joy to the Christian life. They think while they are joyful that they are growing, and when they are not joyful, then they are going behind-hand. But pain is a far more growing element than joy. Sunshine is not more indispensable to harvests than rains and cloudy days. And in the Christian life the yoke and the burden are eminently profitable to men. There are many men who think that religion is an invitation to go into the house and sit before a great fire that has been built for them. Religion is an invitation to more than that. It is also an invitation to the felling, hauling, and preparing of the fuel. And is not this rational? Is not this the way to make true and wholesome natures?

4. There are discouragements arising from conflicts and rivalries between lawful secular occupations and religious emotions. Our whole life is a religious life. The experiences of inspiration may be spiritual in the closet; .but the real life of every man is that into which he puts his energy, his strength, his vitality, his power. Wherever men are, there they ought to put their power of understanding, their power of sentiment, their power of feeling, their power of planning and execution. That is the thing for a Christian man to do. And the kind of power which he has, and the moral quality of it, depend upon the influence of the interior and invisible life.

5. A large element of discouragement arises in minds of fine temper, on account of the discrepancy which must always exist between ideality and practical reality. There will always be a chasm between duty and performance. The higher our conception of justice is, the harder it will be to reach it. The fact is, a person of a vivid imagination will conceive of an amount of duty and a fineness of experience which it would be impossible, except by a tutoring of years and years, to meet. Do not you suppose that Raphael's mind, before his hand was trained to paint, painted pictures that were infinitely more beautiful than any that his hand painted? No men are so apt to be discouraged as those who are living far up along the scale. They judge themselves by a high ideal of life. I would not have them discouraged finally; but it does not do any hurt for a man to be enough discouraged to keep down pride and vanity. Men are discouraged, frequently, from a perception of the weakness and unfruitfulness of their will-power — their power of executing what they mean to do. Men resolve, and do not accomplish. The relation between the power of the will and the thing to be executed is different in different people. I have often said that moral stamina lay in the will more than anywhere else. The will is like a rudder. Some ships are very hard to steer, and some are very easy. Some you can hardly turn from their course, and some you can set about by the least touch of the wheel. So it is with men. And they are discouraged, usually, if they find it hard to direct their course aright, because they think it is owing to some wickedness in them. Persevere, and work manfully, with weakness and temptation, in darkness and light, and you will reach your Heavenly Father soon. No father on earth was ever so lenient with the faults of his boy who wanted to do right, as God is with your faults if you want to do right, and will try to do right. In a little time you will know that this is so. Not to mention the other classes of discouragement, I remark, in closing, that behind and within all our personal labour is our God. No man will ever reach heaven that does not himself strive; but no man will ever reach heaven simply through his own striving. There are two co-ordinate lives; there is power within a power; there is God in us; and that is the secret of the power by which we are saved. It looks as though the pointers of a watch kept time; but is it the strength of the pointers that carries them round? No. Down deep below there is the coiled spring that moves the wheel, and, in obedience, the pointers move and register the time. But suppose the pointers were taken off? Then all the springs in the world, though they might set the wheels playing round, would not indicate the time. The measuring power would be gone. Both of them, the spring and the pointers, must be concurrently adjusted in order to keep time. It is God that is the mighty spring within us; and it is we that on the great dial of time are moving round in obedience to this interior force. There is, behind our own will and within our own purposes, the Divine influence; and this truth affords a ground whereon we may comfort ourselves in discouragement.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I recollect a brother minister saying to me when I was a very young man, "I remember being sent for, and going to see a very blessed old man. I had never seen a dying Christian; and as I had read a lot of poetry about the deathbeds of the Lord's people, I had got the notion that they all died very quietly. As I drew near to his bedside, I said, "Oh, sir I it is all peace now.' It took the old man a little while to get breath enough to speak; and when be did, the sound of his voice seemed to come from beneath the bed-clothes, and chilled me. I could almost have fallen, but I waited a minute, and I then heard what he said. He said, 'No, it is not all peace yet. I must wear the halbert a little longer, and I must carry the sword a little further. It is a hard fight; but I shall get the white robe and the crown by-and-by. It is a hard fight; but it is worth it.' I have never forgotten the lesson I learned at that death-bed."

(S. Coley.)

The celebrated Philip de Morney, Prime Minister of Henry IV. of France, one of the greatest statesmen, and the most exemplary Christian of his age, being asked, a little before his death, if he still retained the same assured hope of future bliss which he had so comfortably enjoyed during his illness, he made this memorable reply: "I am as confident of it from the incontestable evidence of the Spirit of God, as I ever was of any mathematical truth from all the demonstrations of Euclid."

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