The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 82 of 160
Index | Zoom
"For we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence
steadfast unto the end."
These two passages are followed by almost identical words, which is a more forcible
reason why we should compare them together. Following verse 6 we read:--
"Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not
your hearts, AS IN THE PROVOCATION . . . . . forty years . . . . . I was grieved . . . . . I
sware . . . . They shall not enter into My rest. Take heed brethren, LEST . . . ." (3: 7-12).
Following verse 14, we read,
"While it is said, To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, AS IN THE
PROVOCATION . . . . . with whom was He grieved forty years? . . . . . to whom sware
He that they should not enter into His rest . . . . . Let us therefore fear, LEST . . . . ."
(3: 15, 4: 1).
The whole context of chapters 3: & 4: makes it impossible that the "house" of 3: 6
can mean the church. In the case of the church there can be no "if", and the figure of
Israel falling in the wilderness can by no system of interpretation set forth that church
whose standing is in pure grace. So also the parallel expression "partakers of Christ";
this too refers to something which is in addition to redemption. The word "partakers" is
the same as that which is rendered "fellows" in Heb. 1: 9. The idea in these passages is
that of association with Christ in "the joy that was set before Him", the "oil of gladness"
being that of exultation or extreme joy. Heb. 3: 1 places no "if" against the statement
that those addressed were "associates of the heavenly calling", that being unconditional.
The association with Christ, however, is different. Rom. 8: 17 contains a parallel with
these two conceptions.
"And if children, then heirs, heirs of God" (parallel with Heb. 3: 1).
"And joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with Him, that we may be also
glorified together" (parallel with Heb. 3: 14).
We shall find that all the teaching of this epistle focuses upon the few verses with
which chapter 12: opens. The exhortation is "so run that ye may obtain".