A Faith that Saves
Category : General
Hebrews 4: 11 (KJV)
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
It has been noted that having pointed out the goal to which we are to advance, he exhorts us to pursue our course, which we do, when we habituate ourselves to self-denial. And as he compares entering into rest to a straight course, he sets falling in opposition to it, and thus he continues the metaphor in both clauses, at the same time he alludes to the history given by Moses of those who fell in the wilderness, because they were rebellious against God. (Numbers 26:65.) Then, “to fall” means to perish; or to speak more plainly, it is to fall, not as to sin, but as a punishment for it. But the figure corresponds as well with the word to “enter”, as with the sad overthrow of the fathers, by whose example he intended to terrify the Jews!
Hence, he says, after the same example, signifying as though the punishment for unbelief and obstinacy is there set before us as in a picture; nor is there indeed a doubt but that a similar end awaits us, if there be found in us the same unbelief. The word “unbelief” best expresses the sense, as the apostle was showing that this was the principal thing that prevented people from entering into heaven. Disobedience is the root of unbelief. Unbelief is the mother of further disobedience.
Faith is submission, voluntary, within a man’s own power. If it be not exercised the true cause lies deeper than all intellectual ones, lies in the moral aversion of his will and in the pride of independence which says, “Who is the Lord over us?” Why should we have to depend upon Jesus Christ? And as faith is obedience and submission, so faith breeds obedience, and unbelief leads on to higher-handed rebellion. The two interlock each other, foul mother and fouler child; and with dreadful reciprocity of influence the less a man trusts the more he disobeys; the more he disobeys the less he trusts. We are not saved for our faith, nor condemned for our unbelief, but we are saved in our faith, and condemned in our unbelief.
We may regard this as an intimation that care and trouble are absolutely necessary on our part, in order to the procurement and enjoyment of those things “which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” We should never fail to consider this life as a state of trial. Therefore, let us earnestly strive. Since there is a rest whose attainment is worth all our efforts; since so many have failed of reaching it by their unbelief, and since there is so much danger that we may fail of it also, let us give all diligence that we may enter into it. Heaven is never obtained but by diligence; and no one enters there who does not earnestly desire it, and who does not make a sincere effort to reach it.
Have a great and godly day!