Are You Stedfast?
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” Hebrews 3:12-14
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Hebrews tells us, “For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence STEDFAST unto the end (bold and italics added).” The Merriam-Dictionary online includes in the definition of steadfast, “fixed in direction”, “steadily directed”, “firm in purpose, resolution, faith…,” “unwavering…,” and “firmly fixed in place or position.” Paul give us a powerful warning about being unwavering in our faith instead of DEPARTING from God. What would cause us to depart? An evil heart! Unbelief! A heart hardened by the “deceitfulness of sin”! He is equating UNBELIEF with a heart hardened by sin. Flip that around. If unbelief is equated with wickedness, then a life of BELIEF, or FAITH, is one committed to God and His ways. This is an ongoing, STEDFAST FAITH that is demonstrated in a life devoted to God! This doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but that we’re turned to God so He can perfect His love and ways in us! We have lived our lives stedfast to our sin nature. We need to repent, turn to God, and live stedfast in our faith and dedication to Him.
Paul is not merely telling us to believe in Christ, but that we need to be diligent in sticking with the Lord and His ways if we want to partake of Christ. Many of us are walking around believing a one-time profession of faith, an intellectual belief in Jesus, or church and synagogue attendance, wearing a cross, praying, or calling ourselves Jewish or Christian, etc. will secure us a relationship with God and a pass to heaven. Not so! Let us heed the warning. We need to believe in Christ, our faith needs to endure, and real, enduring faith manifests in living according to God’s ways!
Countless people think a one-time profession of faith in the Lord made in an emotional experience after reading a tract, hearing an altar call at church, watching a tv evangelist, or during a crisis, etc. is enough to secure a place in heaven. Others are placing their security in what was once a strong faith in God but what has become a departure from God in their hearts and lifestyle, if they ever truly came to Him at all.
Be stedfast. No longer in living according to the ways of your flesh and this world, but in your faith in and obedience to the Lord God almighty!