Wednesday, February 22, 2017


"For we have become partakers of Christ,
if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end..."

"For we are made partakers of Christ,
if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end..."

As per the warning in the previous verses,
we are hopefully found
not having an unbelieving heart,
not having a hardened heart,
not having been deceived by sin,
 but have a believing heart,
a soft and tender heart,
with eyes wide open to see the dangers of sin
so that we will not believe its deceitful lies.
Thus we have become partakers of Christ.

Gill in his commentary calls it a "communion, a conjugal union."  Matthew Henry says, "partakers of Christ, that is of the Spirit, the nature, graces, righteousness, and life of Christ.
Barnes says, "We are spiritually united to the Saviour.  We become one with Him...a union of feelings and affections...a union of dependence as well as love...a union on the part of the great Redeemer, of great condescension."  This hints of the beauty of love and marriage as the bride of Christ.

"...that they may all be one;
even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You,
that they also may all be one;
even as You, Father are in Me and I in You,
that they also may be in Us,
so that the world may believe that You sent Me."
(John 17:21)

"The glory which You have given Me
I have given to them, that they may be one,
just as We are one;
I in them and You in Me,
that they may be perfected in unity,
so that the world may know that You sent Me,
and loved them,
even as You have loved Me."
(John 17:22-23)

In spite of the crazy weather, rainfall threatening failing dams, pressured levees, and rivers overflowing banks causing flooding, the trees have begun their business of blooming.  It is amazing to see, almost as if they are beacons promising us a future beyond the storms.

It is the union of the branch to the vine, where the branch is supported and nourished by the vine and not the union of the ivy to the oak and climbs upon it."  Meyers calls it "participators in Christ, i.e. in His treasures of blessing and in His glory."  Right now, these branches are like the petticoats of pink petals showing...

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit,
He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit,
He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit...
Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
it abides in the vine, so neither can you
unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine,
you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me,
he is thrown away as a branch and dries up;
and they gather them, and cast them into the fire
and they are burned."
(John 15:1-6)

"Partakers of Christ."  What a privilege!  Then there is the big "if"...

"...if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,"
"our confidence steadfast unto the end."

Not everyone who begins the race finishes.  Not every branch bears fruit, and it is pruned away as dead wood and burned.  Some would say, well they never did truly belong.  However, the author is speaking to those Hebrew Christians who had converted, who had perhaps left everything to follow Christ but were now facing persecution and painful consequences for their choice to follow Christ. Many were tempted to give up.  Those who did, truly were believers, but fell away; once being branches upon the vine, they became dead wood.  It is not those who begin, but those who finish who win the prize.  The prize goes not to the fastest, the swiftest, but to all who endure to the end. (Hebrews 12)

The Expositor's Greek New Testament calls "confidence, ground of hope...guarding the the sense of fortitude, bearing up against pain."

Adam Clarke says, "Having  believed in Christ as the promised Messiah, and embraced the whole Christian system, they were consequently made partakers of all its benefits in this life, and entitled to the fulfilment of all its exceeding great and precious promises relative to the glories of the external world.  The former they actually possessed, the latter they could have only in case of their perseverance...For our participation of glory depends on our continuing steadfast in the faith, to the end of our Christian race."

He goes on to say that the word "confidence" "signifies properly a basis or foundation; that on which something else is builded, and by which it is supported.  Their faith in Christ Jesus was; on that all their peace, comfort, and salvation were builded.  If this were not held fast to the end, Christ, in His saving influence, could not be held fast; and no Christ, no heaven.  He who has Christ in him, has the well-founded hope of glory; and he who is found in the great day with Christ in His heart, will have an abundant entrance into eternal glory."

So hang on little branches and bloom, even in through the storms!

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