FAITH THE MAINSPRING OF CONSECRATION
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
for He is faithful that promised."--Hebrews 10:23.
THE Apostle is here writing to some in the early Church who had given evidence of wavering, who were failing properly to hold on. He is telling them that while they had been faithful at one time they apparently had become lukewarm, at least, respecting the Lord and the Christian way. He intimates that the firmness of faith in the child of God, and the firmness with which he holds the profession of his faith, has much to do with his consistency in Christian life. Our faith was the mainspring that led each of us to make a consecration to the Lord. We believed that God had provided the Redeemer for the forgiveness of sin. We believed that we would be acceptable and our sins forgiven through the Lord Jesus Christ; and that we would be made sons of God, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus. These were the inspiring incentives that first led us to God. They served a good purpose in leading us to the decisive step.
St. Paul says that these Hebrew Christians had witnessed a good profession; but some of them, at least, had been growing more or less indifferent. He declares that although by this time they should have been teachers, they needed to themselves be taught again what were "the first principles of the oracles of God." They had lost part of their faith, their assurance in the Lord.
We all know from experience how things that are brought before our minds may afterwards become dim and hazy. When spiritual things become thus hazy, when we cannot grasp spiritual verities as once we could, when we are fearful and our joy in Christ is fading, we are getting away from this mainspring of our consecration. We are losing our faith. So let us earnestly hold fast to this anchor of our souls lest we drift and be dashed upon the rocks. Unless we do hold fast to our faith we shall lose everything; for "without faith it is impossible to please God." Without faith it would be impossible to gird on the armor and go forth to fight the good fight. We would never go out to a battle that we did not believe existed, [R5698 : page 168] or to a battle that we did not believe would bring any results, any reward for the hardships and suffering involved.
OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Apostle's argument is that we should hold fast the faith which began our Christian life and which is also to be the finisher of our Christian life. The Lord is able to carry us through and He will do it, if we do our part. But the terms on which the Lord has received us are that we purpose to abide faithful. Hence everything depends on our holding fast to this faith which we have professed, without wavering, without harboring any doubts and fears; and the basis of our faith in our ultimate triumph is the assurance that "He is faithful that promised." We know that in the Bible there are "exceeding great and precious promises" for us. While the Lord tells us that there is nothing in ourselves that we can depend on, He assures us that His grace is sufficient, that His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We have only to lay hold upon it. If therefore we hold fast to our faith, we may obtain all that God has promised us. He will be faithful; He will not disregard His promises; He will do all that He has said.
If we hesitate and waver we are either losing our faith or losing the spirit of obedience and love. If, therefore, we realize that either of these conditions exists, we should go at once to the Word of God and to prayer, that our faith, love and zeal may be renewed. We should scrutinize our hearts day by day, to make sure that we are still loyal to the Lord, to see whether we are seeking to lay down our lives according to our covenant, to see whether we are developing the fruits and graces of the Holy Spirit. Thus we shall fulfil our vows, and there shall be "an abundant entrance" administered unto us into the "everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
"Awake, my soul, awake!
The precious days are flying!
Yield not to ease nor sloth,
The far-spent day is dying.
"Up, and gird on thy Sword!
Didst dream the battle ended?
The last fight's on--and no such Cause
Was ever yet defended!
"Not yet, but soon, the Prize--
One last, supreme endeavor
Is thine, and then the Crown,
The bliss, the joy, forever!"