Key Verse: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised).”
OUR LIFE AS A CHRISTIAN is based on faith in the shed blood of Jesus as the ransom for father Adam. His is the only name by which we might be delivered from the curse of death. (Rom. 10:13) As noted in our previous lesson, the faith spoken of by Paul in Hebrews 11:1 is a matter of both the mind and the heart. Today’s lesson teaches the necessity of keeping this faith active in our daily lives.
It is by God’s grace that we have been saved through faith. (Eph. 2:8) Such faith, however, does not imply merely a passive response. We recall that Jesus, after miraculously feeding 5,000 in the wilderness with only five loaves and two fishes, asked his disciples who the people thought that he was. He then asked the disciples directly who they believed that he was. It was Peter who immediately spoke up, answering, “God’s Messiah.” (Luke 9:10-20, New International Version) Jesus told his disciples not to say anything about this because he needed to suffer, die, and be resurrected on the third day. Then he laid out the requirements of an active faith in following him: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”—vs. 23, NIV
Faith requires that we carry our symbolic cross of sacrifice and service daily, not for a fixed time, but even until our death. God has promised a twofold reward for those who are successful in this life of faith. To those who faithfully lay down their lives daily in sacrifice, even unto death, is the promise of immortality. (Rom. 2:7; II Tim. 1:10) In addition, by following the example of divine love toward the human family, there will be the additional reward of sharing with Christ in blessing all the families of the earth in his coming kingdom.—Gal. 3:7,8; Rev. 20:6
With this tremendous opportunity before our mental vision, the Scriptures exhort us to stand firm in our calling, remembering that God is faithful toward us in that he cannot lie concerning his promises. (I Cor. 1:26-31; Tit. 1:1-3; Heb. 6:17-19) Indeed, temptations will surely come to those who have professed their faith in Christ, to those who have made a vow of sacrifice to the Lord, and the Adversary will look to take advantage of these to dishearten us.—I Pet. 5:7-9
The profession of our faith also requires that we let our light shine in a dark world. (Matt. 5:14-16) Jesus spoke of this light and the danger of not letting it shine, saying, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”—Matt. 6:22-24
Let us keep our profession of faith strong, as Paul exhorts in the concluding verses of our lesson: “Don’t throw away your trust now—it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God’s will, you are to receive what he has promised.”—Heb. 10:35,36, J. B. Phillips New Testament