Faithlife Sermons

Don't Throw Away Your Confidence

Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:23
0 ratings
· 22 views

As believers we have great reason for confidence. This confidence is too valuable to throw away by unbelief.

Files
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Imagine the Steelers have an undefeated regular season next year. Not only that, they remained undefeated throughout the playoffs and are in the Super Bowl! But now imagine they have an embarrassingly bad first half. What is coach Tomlin going to say? I am sure that he will give them a harsh warning that if they don’t get their act together they are going to lose the game. But if he is a good coach he can’t end on that note, he must also give them a word of encouragement. I am sure he will remind them of their perfect season and how well they have played up to this point. They have already proved they have what it takes to beat anyone. Moreover, he is going to remind them of their heritage. The Steelers have won more Super Bowls than any other team. They have great reason for confidence! No matter what the score board says, they are still the favorites to win this game! However, if they do not get their act together they will be throwing their confidence away.
This is what the author of Hebrews does in Hebrews 10:32-39. In Hebrews 10:26-31, he gives them a harsh warning about not persevering in the faith, but after this harsh warning, he gives them a word of encouragement. Let’s turn to our text..
Hebrews 10:32–39 ESV
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Despite the falling away of some of their members and despite the persecution they face, they have great reason for confidence! First the author of Hebrews points to their past victories, then he then points them to their future hope of rewards and finally, he points to their present assurance of God’s salvation. All these things are great reasons for having confidence, but if they do not endure their present trials and tribulations, they risk throwing away their hard won confidence.
The same is true for us. We have great reason for confidence in the midst of our trials and tribulations, but just like them we must not throw away our confidence.
Let’s look more closely at our text, beginning with our...

Confidence Arising from Past Victories

Let me display the verses that teach this:
Hebrews 10:32–33 ESV
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
The first word I have highlighted is the word “enlightened.” This word is referring to their conversion. It is talking about the time when they were new Christians.
The second word I have highlighted is “struggle.” This is word in the Greek is athlēsis and originally referred to an athletic contest. You can hear the word athletic in athlēsis. Apparently, at that time a persecution broke out against this infant church consisting in some being publicly “reproached” and others being “afflicted,” even “imprisoned.” It is significant that the author of Hebrews chose to describe trials and tribulations as being like athletic contests. What seems to be like defeats in this world are actually victories in the eyes of God. Listen to what Christ tells the church in Smyrna.
Revelation 2:10 ESV
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Do you realize what this means for you? All your past trials and tribulations you have suffered while trusting in Christ are like great athletic contests that Christ has turned into victories!
The Christian life is a great contest, we just don’t see it. It is being waged on a spiritual level. Paul reminds us of this when he writes:
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Consider Job. Job was unaware of the spiritual battle raging around him as his suffered. In rare occasions, as Satan did with Job, Satan is the direct cause of our suffering. However, he rarely has to resort to that, because there is plenty of suffering in our lives for him to take advantage of. Peter says that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Now consider how a lion hunts. They don’t go after the strongest animals, they go after the sink, injured or weak animals. Just like a lion, Satan is an opportunist. He attacks us when we are down. When we are going through the trials and tribulations of life, that is when the great contest between Satan and ourselves is fought.
Think back to those times. Were you not tempted to get angry at God and renounce your faith? Yet you stood faithful to Christ! Why? Was it not by the powerful grace of God working in you through the Holy Spirit? We are celebrating Pentecost today—where the Holy Spirit is there is power! This gives us confidence. Consider the words of our closing hymn, Amazing Grace:
Thru many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
Don’t throw away your hard won victories in the past. Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence.
The second reason we can have confidence is...

Confidence Arising from Future Rewards

The primary way that God gives us grace to endure suffering are through His promises. This truth is found in verses 34-36 of our text:
Hebrews 10:34–36 ESV
For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Perhaps the most important player in football is the “eleventh man.” The players on the bench and the fans in the stadium are often the most important participates in the game. There is a reason the Steelers have six Super Bowl rings and it is not just because of the coaches or players—it is because they have the NFL’s greatest fans!
The author of Hebrews describes a situation in which the “eleventh man” was a game changer. The persecution this church faced in its early days was uneven, some were “publicly exposed to reproach” and others to “affliction.” What was this “affliction”? Verse 34 provides the answer—imprisonment. Now you have to understand that imprisonment was much different back then, the state did not provide prisoners with food, clothing or medical care. This was the responsibility of friends and family. When the author of Hebrews says that some were “partners with those so treated,” he is say that some of these young Christians took the risk of visiting and caring for their fellow Christians who were imprisoned.
This put them at risk of persecution themselves. Indeed, this is exactly what happened. In verse 34, we read that as a consequence of their compassion towards those who were imprisoned their property was plundered. Now comes the amazing part, they accepted this plundering with joy! How could anyone accept the plundering of their property with joy? The text provides the answer, “since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”
This is God’s promise of reward to those who remain faithful to Him. This is what the author of Hebrews says is our great reason for confidence, but only if we don’t throw it away. Faith in God’s promises gives us the grace to endure any hardship and pay any price. Jesus illustrated this in His parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of Great Value:
Matthew 13:44–46 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In giving us His promises, God has given us a great reason for confidence. Again, the hymn Amazing Grace speaks of the confidence God’s promises give us.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be As long as life endures.
Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence!
The final reason for confidence is found in the present...

Confidence Arising from Present Assurance

This is taught in verses 37-39:
Hebrews 10:37–39 ESV
For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Although it has been over two thousand years since Jesus’ first coming, the New Testament insists that Jesus’ Second Coming is “soon” and will come “like a thief in the night.” As Peter explains, Jesus in not being slow, but merciful—He is giving us an opportunity to repent and believe. However, this mercy does not take away from the fact that Jesus could come “any moment.”
What this mean is the present is of utmost importance! We remember the past and anticipate the future, but we live in the present. It is of utmost importance that you have assurance of your salvation right now; not yesterday, not tomorrow, but right now!
This is what the author of Hebrews says his readers have: “We are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Our confidence is not in ourselves, but in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Again, this truth is beautifully expressed in the hymn Amazing Grace.
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound—That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fear relieved;
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.
How can we throw away such a great salvation? How can we throw away such a great confidence?
We can’t, and we won’t! God’s Amazing Grace will preserve us! Christ Himself is our greatest confidence!
John 10:27–30 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Brothers and sisters, we gave great reason for confidence today:
Our grace won victories in the past.
God’s promises of future reward if we remain faithful.
Our assurance that Christ will never let us go.
So fight the good fight. Run the good race. Soon you will be wearing the victor’s crown if you...
Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence!
Let us pray.
Related Media
Related Sermons