If We Hold
Hebrews 3:14 (ESV) -- For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
There is conditional language all over the Bible. Conditional language is when someone says, “If you do _______, then ________.” Or “If you don’t do ________, then ______.” For example, if I tell my kids, “If you keep your room clean, I’ll take you for ice-cream.” The condition for getting ice-cream is maintaining a clean room. The implication is that if they don’t keep their room clean, they won’t get ice-cream.
The Bible contains a lot of conditional language. There are expectations for how we live. There are blessings and curses. Our passage today is an example of a conditional text. The Hebrew writer says, “For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” This text is clear: if we hold our original confidence in Christ, then we share in Christ. Or said another way: if we do not hold to Christ, we will not share in Christ. This is a real condition. Those who persevere to the end will be saved.
Does this mean that our salvation is dangling by today’s actions? By no means. Those who are truly saved and in Christ will never be snatched from His hands. The Good Shepherd doesn’t lose sheep. So how does conditional language work for the believer? Is it genuine? Yes. It is genuine. The conditional language is real. If you don’t stay the course, you are not saved. But for those who belong to Christ, the conditional language passages are a means of keeping us in the fold. In other words, God uses conditional language passages to anchor us to staying faithful.
As a Christian, you should read a passage like today’s and be resolved to stay true to Christ. It shouldn’t scare you to read conditional language, it assures you. God gives us His Word to keep us in His fold. The words of Scripture serve as a staff of the Good Shepherd to lead, guide, and comfort us. So hold firm in the faith!
Reflection & Journal:
- What does conditional language passage mean?
- Name some examples of conditional language passages?
- How does God use conditional language passages for His people?
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