Hebrews 3:14

But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, etc. We discover in these words -

I. AN AWFUL PERIL. "Lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." The danger is that of growing into a condition of moral obduracy, of becoming "past feeling." The greatness of this peril largely arises from two facts.

1. That this condition is generally reached gradually. Men do not become hardened in sin by one act of wickedness. Moral insensibility is the result of a process. The progress may sometimes be distinctly traced.

(1) The hardening of the will against certain Divine commands, as in the case of Pharaoh (Exodus 5:2). The refusal to do a manifest duty.

(2) The hardening of the entire moral disposition in sin. In this stage the struggle against temptation to sin is renounced, and the effort to be and to do what is true and right is given up (cf. Ephesians 4:18, 19).

(3) The hardening of the heart against the influences of Divine grace. In this stage the offers of the gospel are rejected; unbelief becomes positive and active (cf. Acts 7:51). How inexpressibly terrible is such a condition of soul!

2. That this condition is generally reached insidiously. "Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Sin never approaches the soul in its true aspect. It assumes attractive disguises; it propounds plausible reasons; it exhibits fascinating yet fictitious prospects. For example, to those who are "not far from the kingdom of God," and who are almost entirely decided to serve him heartily and wholly, the deceitful and dangerous suggestion is presented that tomorrow will be more favorable in circumstances than today for beginning a decided Christian life, that a more "convenient season" for genuine personal religion will speedily arrive. And. so the holy decision and. consecration are deferred; procrastination becomes habitual; the heart hardens in procrastination. Again, to the Christian the temptation to unbelief is never presented in its real character, or it would be rejected immediately and decisively. It approaches the heart in fair forms, and with a show of reasonableness and righteousness. Thus, if a man be not on his guard, the hardening process will have begun ere he is aware of it. Hence the awful peril.

II. AN INSPIRED PREVENTIVE. "Exhort one another daily, while it is called Today."

1. The nature of this preventive. "Exhort one another." The word translated "exhort" indicates two exercises.

(1) Admonition of each other. Stuart translates, "Admonish one another." Let Christians warn each other when they detect impending dangers.

(2) Encouragement of each other. Let Christians endeavor to inspire their disheartened brethren with new hopes, to comfort their troubled brethren with Christian consolations. "Wherefore, lift up the hands that hang down," etc. (Hebrews 12:12, 13). Christians, being children of one Father, disciples of one Master, members of one great community, exposed to similar perils, sustained by similar influences, and inspired by common hopes, ought thus to "exhort one another." Moreover, there is a preventive mentioned in the preceding verse against, this dread peril which each one must exercise for himself. "Take heed." Be watchful, etc.

2. The season for the exercise of this preventive. "Exhort one another daily," or, "day by day." Mutual oversight and help should be continuous. Watchfulness and prayer and Christian effort must not be irregular or intermittent, but steady and constant; not occasional exercises, but abiding dispositions.

3. The limit to the exercise of this preventive. "While it is called Today." This may mean while our present form of life shall last; as in our Lord's words, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day," etc. Or it may mean while the day of grace continues. Adopting either interpretation, the season for this mutual exhortation is limited and uncertain. "We have but an uncertain season for the due performance of most certain duties; how long it will be called Today, we know not; the day of life is uncertain, and- so is the day of the gospel; a summer's day for clearness, a winter's day for shortness; our working day is a wasting day." Let the solemn gravity of the peril lead each of us to a diligent use of the Heaven-inspired preventive. - W. J.

We are made partakers of Christ.
There is nothing that Christ hath, but we have part of it. His wisdom, holiness, His righteousness is ours; yea, His kingdom is ours. We are heirs, yea, co-heirs with Him of His kingdom. As the man at the day of marriage says to his wife, "With all ray worldly goods I thee endow," so the Lord Jesus endoweth us with all His goods; by reason whereof, being poor and worth nothing, we become exceeding rich. Christ is ours, death, life, the world is ours. Oh, unspeakable prerogative vouchsafed to dust and ashes! Let us walk worthy of this honour whereunto we are advanced: being Christ's partners, let us not be the devil's partners. Let us be holy as He is holy, humble as He is humble; let us contemn this world with all the vain pleasures that be in it as He did. What fellowship is there between Christ and Belial?

(W. Jones, D. D.)

What does this mean? The first idea that suggests itself is that " Christ" stands as a synonym and compendium of salvation, just as "Moses" in the above-quoted words of Paul is a synonym for the redemption he was God's instrument in achieving. An alternative course is open to the interpreter: to render, "partakers with Christ," and to find in the words the thought that only such as persevere in faith share in the glory and the joy conferred on Him at the close of His earthly career as God's faithful apostle. This view, however, though true in itself, attains to its full heights only when we adopt a bolder course, and take μέτοχι as meaning here, as in chap. 1:9, "companions " or "fellows." We then get the striking thought that by persistent loyalty to the Christian vocation we become fellows of Jesus. It is intrinsically likely that the passage about the Messiah quoted from the forty-fifth Psalm in the first chapter was present to the writer's mind at this point. It speaks of the Messiah as anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows, implying that they too, in their measure, have a cup full of joy. In the present connection of thought mention is made of a "boasting of hope," a hope rising into exultation, implying a still higher measure of triumphant joy when hope reaches its consummation. The idea, "the faithful the fellows of Christ," is also in full sympathy with the thought expressed in ver. 6, "whose house are we." The faithful are God's house, at the head of which is Christ, God's Son. They are God's house not as Moses was, as servants, but as sons, therefore the brethren of Christ. But brotherhood is a thing of degrees. There is an initial brotherhood, in which, as Paul says, a son differs nothing from a servant; and there is a brotherhood, the result of a normal moral development, in which a younger son, at length arrived at maturity, becomes the companion of the elder brother. We are brethren to begin with, but if we are faithful we shall end in becoming fellows. And so our author, having already said of those who persevere that they are the house of God, now takes a step in advance, and in renewing his exhortation to steadfastness says, "The faithful are not only the house of God and the brethren of Christ, they are His fellows, sharing His joy and having perfect communion with Him in spirit."

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)

I. First, then, here is A VERY HIGH PRIVILEGE. "We are made partakers of Christ." Observe that the text does not say we are made partakers of rich spiritual benefits. There is more than that here. To be partakers of pardoning mercy, of renewing grace, of the adoption, of sanctification, preservation, and of all the other covenant blessings, is to possess an endowment of unspeakable value: but to be made "partakers of Christ," is to have all in one. You have all the flowers in one posy, all the gems in one necklace, all the sweet spices in one delicious compound. "We are made partakers of Christ" — of Himself. "It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell," and we are made partakers with Him of all that He is ordained to be of God unto us "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." We are made partakers of Christ, when first of all by faith in Him we procure a share in His merits. Moreover, we are partakers of Christ, inasmuch as His righteousness also becomes ours by imputation. We further become partakers of Christ by living and feeding on Him. The sacramental table represents our fellowship. Partakers of Christ! Yes, and therefore with Him partakers in destiny. The language of the text reminds us that none of us have any title to this privilege by nature. "We are made partakers of Christ." From our first parentage we derived a very different entail. "We are made partakers of Christ." This is the Holy Ghost's work in us, to rend us away from the old wild olive, and to graft us into the good olive; to dissolve the union between us and sin, and to cement a union between our souls and Christ. This is work as grand and godlike as to create a world.

II. The privilege of which we have spoken suggests A SOLEMN, SEARCHING QUESTION. Are we made partakers of Christ? There is nothing more to be dreaded than a counterfeit justification, a spurious hope.

III. Now we come to THE UNERRING TEST. Patience comes to the aid of faith here. Evidences accumulate till the issue is conclusive. "We are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." This passage may be read in two ways, neither of which violates the literal meaning of the original as we have it in our version, "the beginning of our confidence," or, as I would rather translate it, "the foundation of our confidence," the basis on which our confidence rests. Take your choice. We will expound both. That man is a partaker of Christ who holds fast the faith he had at first, having received it, not as an education, but as an intuition of his spiritual life; not as an argument, but as an axiom he could not challenge, or rather as an oracle he received joyfully and bowed to submissively. The confidence which is based upon the true foundation, even Christ Jesus, is simple and clear as one's own consciousness. It asks no proof because it admits no doubt. Now what was the beginning of our confidence? Well, the beginning of my confidence was, "I am a sinner, Christ is a Saviour; and I rest on Him to save me." We were nothing at all, and Jesus Christ was all in all. We are not made partakers of Christ unless we hold this fast to the end.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Egypt, Jerusalem
Alike, Assurance, Beginning, Christ, Companions, Confidence, Faith, Fast, Firm, Firmly, Hold, Indeed, Partakers, Really, Share, Sharers, Start, Steadfast, Stedfast, Substance, Till
1. Christ is more worthy than Moses;
7. therefore if we believe not in him, we shall be more worthy punishment than hardhearted Israel.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Hebrews 3:14

     4909   beginning
     4930   end
     5953   stability
     6214   participation, in Christ
     8022   faith, basis of salvation
     8459   perseverance
     8465   progress

Hebrews 3:7-19

     6195   impenitence, results

Hebrews 3:12-14

     6156   fall, of humanity
     6243   adultery, spiritual
     8707   apostasy, personal

Hebrews 3:12-15

     6178   hardness of heart

Hebrews 3:12-18

     8023   faith, necessity

Hebrews 3:12-19

     5705   inheritance, spiritual
     8836   unbelief, response

Hebrews 3:13-15

     6734   repentance, importance

March 22. "Hold Fast the Confidence and the Rejoicing of the Hope Firm unto the End" (Heb. Iii. 6).
"Hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Heb. iii. 6). The attitude of faith is simple trust. It is Elijah saying to Ahab, "There is a sound of abundance of rain." But then there comes usually a deeper experience in which the prayer is inwrought; it is Elijah on the mount, with his face between his knees, travailing, as it were, in birth for the promised blessing. He has believed for it--and now he must take. The first is Joash shooting the arrow out of the windows,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

April 10. "Hold Fast the Confidence" (Heb. Iii. 6).
"Hold fast the confidence" (Heb. iii. 6). Seldom have we seen a sadder wreck of even the highest, noblest Christian character than when the enemy has succeeded in undermining the simple trust of a child of God, and got him into self-accusing and condemnation. It is a fearful place when the soul allows Satan to take the throne and act as God, sitting in judgment on its every thought and act; and keeping it in the darkness of ceaseless condemnation. Well indeed has the apostle told us to hold firmly
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

A Persuasive to Steadfastness
We shall have to show the value of faith while we try to open up the text before us, in which I see, first, a high privilege: "we are made partakers of Christ;" and secondly, by implication, a serious question--the question whether or no we have been made partakers of Christ and, then, in the third place, an unerring test. "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." I. First, then, here is A VERY HIGH PRIVILEGE. "We are made partakers of Christ."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872

The Mind of Jesus.
THE MIND OF JESUS! What a study is this! To attain a dim reflection of it, is the ambition of angels--higher they can not soar. "To be conformed to the image of His Son!"--it is the end of God in the predestination of His Church from all eternity. "We shall be like Him!"--it is the Bible picture of heaven! In a former little volume, we pondered some of the gracious Words which proceeded out of the mouth of Jesus. In the present, we have a few faint lineaments of that holy Character which constituted
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

Discourse II.
Chapter XIV.--Texts explained; Fourthly, Hebrews iii. 2 Introduction; the Regula Fidei counter to an Arian sense of the text; which is not supported by the word servant,' nor by made' which occurs in it; (how can the Judge be among the works' which God will bring into judgment?') nor by faithful;' and is confuted by the immediate context, which is about Priesthood; and by the foregoing passage, which explains the word faithful' as meaning trustworthy, as do 1 Pet. iv. fin. and other texts. On the
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

The Exercise of Mercy Optional with God.
ROMANS ix. 15.--"For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." This is a part of the description which God himself gave to Moses, of His own nature and attributes. The Hebrew legislator had said to Jehovah: "I beseech thee show me thy glory." He desired a clear understanding of the character of that Great Being, under whose guidance he was commissioned to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. God said to
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Of the Creation 0F Man
Gen. i. 26, 27.--"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."--With Eph. iv. 24.--"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."--And Heb.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Weighed, and Found Wanting
'And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron; and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3. And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 4. And they said one
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"And if any Man Sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,",
1 John ii. 1.--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,", &c. There is here a sad supposition, but too certain, that any man may sin, yea, that all men will sin, even those who have most communion with God, and interest in the blood of Christ. Yet they are not altogether exempted from this fatal lot of mankind. It is incident even to them to sin, and too frequently incident, but yet we have a happy and sweet provision, for indemnity from the hazard of sin,--"we have an advocate
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Saints' Privilege and Profit;
OR, THE THRONE OF GRACE ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. The churches of Christ are very much indebted to the Rev. Charles Doe, for the preservation and publishing of this treatise. It formed one of the ten excellent manuscripts left by Bunyan at his decease, prepared for the press. Having treated on the nature of prayer in his searching work on 'praying with the spirit and with the understanding also,' in which he proves from the sacred scriptures that prayer cannot be merely read or said, but must
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Jesus Angry with Hard Hearts
But I must not let imagination mislead me: they did nothing of the kind. Instead of this, they sat watching the Lord Jesus, not to be delighted by an act of his power, but to find somewhat of which they might accuse him. When all came to all, the utmost that they would be able to allege would be that he had healed a withered hand on the Sabbath. Overlooking the commendation due for the miracle of healing, they laid the emphasis upon its being done on the Sabbath; and held up their hands with horror
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ Himself is the one perfect manifestation in history of the complete work of the Holy Spirit in man. 1. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit. We read in Luke i. 35, R. V., "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee; and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God." As we have already seen, in regeneration the believer is begotten of God, but Jesus Christ was
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Apostles To-Day?
"Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are ye not my work in the Lord?"--1 Cor. ix. 1. We may not take leave of the apostolate without a last look at the circle of its members. It is a closed circle; and every effort to reopen it tends to efface a characteristic of the New Covenant. And yet the effort is being made again and again. We see it in Rome's apostolic succession; in the Ethical view gradually effacing the boundary-line between the apostles and believers;
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Introduction to Four Discourses against the Arians.
Written Between 356 And 360. There is no absolutely conclusive evidence as to the date of these Discourses, in fact they would appear from the language of ii. 1 to have been issued at intervals. The best judges, however, are agreed in assigning them to the fruitful period of the third exile.' The Discourses cannot indeed be identified with the lost account of the Arian heresy addressed to certain Egyptian monks (see Introd. to Arian Hist. supra); but the demand for such a treatise may have set Athanasius
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Humility is the Root of Charity, and Meekness the Fruit of Both. ...
Humility is the root of charity, and meekness the fruit of both. There is no solid and pure ground of love to others, except the rubbish of self-love be first cast out of the soul; and when that superfluity of naughtiness is cast out, then charity hath a solid and deep foundation: "The end of the command is charity out of a pure heart," 1 Tim. i. 5. It is only such a purified heart, cleansed from that poison and contagion of pride and self-estimation, that can send out such a sweet and wholesome
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Predestination and Calling
Eternal Father, who shall look Into thy secret will? None but the Lamb shall take the book, And open every seal. None but he shall ever unroll that sacred record and read it to the assembled world. How then am I to know whether I am predestinated by God unto eternal life or not? It is a question in which my eternal interests are involved; am I among that unhappy number who shall be left to live in sin and reap the due reward of their iniquity; or do I belong to that goodly company, who albeit that
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

How Shall the Soul Make Use of Christ, as the Life, which is under the Prevailing Power of Unbelief and Infidelity.
That we may help to give some clearing to a poor soul in this case, we shall, 1. See what are the several steps and degrees of this distemper. 2. Consider what the causes hereof are. 3. Shew how Christ is life to a soul in such a case; and, 4. Give some directions how a soul in that case should make use of Christ as the Life, to the end it may be delivered therefrom. And, first, There are many several steps to, and degrees of this distemper. We shall mention a few; as, 1. When they cannot come
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The Coming of the Called.
"That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."--Rom. ix. 11. The question is, whether the elect cooperate in the call. We say, Yes; for the call is no call, in the fullest sense of the word, unless the called one can hear and hears so distinctly that it impresses him, causes him to rise and to obey God. For this reason our fathers, for the sake of clearness, used to distinguish between the ordinary call and the effectual call. God's call does not
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Shepherd and the Fold
... Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation.' EXODUS XV. 13. What a grand triumphal ode! The picture of Moses and the children of Israel singing, and Miriam and the women answering: a gush of national pride and of worship! We belong to a better time, but still we can feel its grandeur. The deliverance has made the singer look forward to the end, and his confidence in the issue is confirmed. I. The guiding God: or the picture of the leading. The original is 'lead gently.' Cf.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Second Commandment
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am o jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of then that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.' Exod 20: 4-6. I. Thou shalt not
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

After Prayer Jesus Selects Twelve Apostles.
(Near Capernaum.) ^A Matt. X. 2-4; ^B Mark III. 13-19; ^C Luke VI. 12-16. ^c 12 And it came to pass in these days, that he went out into the mountain ^b 13 And he goeth up into the mountain, ^c to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God. [It was a momentous occasion. He was about to choose those to whom he was to entrust the planting, organizing, and training of that church which was to be the purchase of his own blood. Jesus used such important crises, not as occasions for anxiety and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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