Holding Fast (Hebrews 10:23)

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:23, KJV 1900)

When I was a young adult, my dad organized a fishing trip to the Chesapeake Bay for striped bass with a group of his fishing buddies. When we arrived at the spot, it was very foggy and we literally could not find the water. We saw cars parked, but had no idea where to go. Finally, a couple guys came by got out of their car and tied a rope around a tree and used it to descend a steep fifty-foot grade on the side of the road, to the water. The grade was quite slippery and the only way down safely was to use the rope. We got permission to use the rope and we scaled down the slope to go fishing.

A while later the fog cleared and one of my dad’s fishing buddies arrived. He stood on top of the road and shouted down to us for instructions on how to get down. My dad told him to take the rope that was tied around one of the trees and use it to scale down to the water. Now, the soil on the slope was wet and deceptively slippery. It looked good, but would suddenly give way. My dad’s friend got his gear and went to the rope and began to scale down the slope.

He started down and then yelled down to my dad, “Hank, I don’t think we need the r – o – o – p – e.” Yes, he let go of the rope and his feet slipped out from underneath him. He slid down the steep incline like it was a sliding-board, miraculously missing all the trees. Splat, he hit the muddy bottom, unhurt. He sat there for a minute, a bit stunned and looking like a great ball of mud from head to toe. He did not believe he needed the rope and thus, he made the decision not to hold fast to it.

The writer of Hebrews in this section of the letter, laid out three appropriate responses that true believers will take that are prefaced with the words, “Let us.” The second is, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.” The word, “profession” is the Greek, homologia. It comes from two words, homou, meaning together and logos, which refers to speech. The thought with this is that true believers in Christ will hold their joint profession of faith in Christ.

In the community of Jewish believers there were, like in any church, some who were true believers and others who had a mere intellectual assent to the teaching of salvation in Christ. The group who had mere intellectual assent made professions of faith, saying they believed. However, there was a danger that they would not move from mere intellectual affirmation of the gospel to a true immovable faith. True believers will hold fast to their profession to the end (See Heb 3:14).

These of mere intellectual affirmation to the gospel, would be something like my dad’s friend who knew what we had told him about the rope. However, after initially grabbing the rope and starting down the incline, he believed he really did not need it. Thus, he did not hold fast to it and to his peril, entertained us with a long slide down the slope. However, for these who have only assented to an intellectual understanding of the gospel, it is no laughing matter. This is the author of Hebrews’ concern for those Jews transitioning from Judaism to trusting in Christ alone.

True believers will hold fast to their profession of faith. Yes, there may be a momentary wavering now and then, but characteristically they will hold fast till the end. Remember, He who promised eternal life to those who believe is faithful. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6, KJV 1900)

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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