In regard to the thought of “holding fast the profession of our faith” it is found in more that a few places including Jesus’ own words. More importantly it is bearing witness in our spirit that we are in a very awesome time in God’s timetable — a sobering time indeed!
Mat 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
Mat 24:12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
Heb 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house–whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,
Heb 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
Heb 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Rev 2:26 ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end,
It is a foundational principle that those who have received (LIT. “were given”) Him also received (LIT. “were given”) the power to BECOME (implies a process) the sons of God. (John 1:12) This verse, along with the whole tenure of the scripture, especially the New Testament, speaks of a conception and a gestation period of co-laboring toward growth, maturing and ultimate attainment (birthing) of that glorious state of BEing a son after the likeness and pattern of our elder brother, Jesus Christ. It is undeniably obvious that some will attain to this lofty position in Him and some simply won’t. The question that begs to be answered is; “How does one attain unto this very high calling?”
Obviously only those who have an ear to hear in the first place have even the opportunity, but beyond hearing the Voice of the Lord we must appropriate the Word that we heard in order to be changed. This is done solely by the grace (divine empowerment) of God by His Spirit Who now dwells in us!
There is a sense in which we can loose out in some regard, if not our salvation, certainly our reward or some measure of reward, which clearly includes authority or responsibility in His Kingdom, in the age to come, as well as experiencing the glory and power of the first resurrection. It is pretty undeniable from reading the scripture that some will most certainly suffer loss while others will hear those blessed words; “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter ye into the joy of the Lord.”
This is a sobering thought because evidently there is a HIGH calling that not everyone will qualify for. Certainly we know that from God’s perspective these things were established in Himself long before the foundations of the earth were set out. However, you and I don’t have the luxury of knowing the mystery of how some will be counted as overcomers and some not. All we know is this, that if we are to attain to the High Calling in Christ Jesus, there is need for endurance, a total denying of self, a walking the way of the cross, a putting off of the old man, a putting to death of the deeds of the body by the Spirit, a holding fast to the profession of our faith, an increase of CHRIST and a decrease of SELF, a counting of all as dung, a pressing on to know (epinosis) Him, a counting it all joy AND an overcoming of ALL enemies (giants) in our land in order to attain to and enjoy the promises that are clearly ours in Christ Jesus.
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:23-27)
Apparently even Paul the Apostle seemed rather concerned regarding this and was realizing the need to keep his bodily (carnal) demands in check to the end that after he had preached the good news of the Kingdom to so many others, at the end of the day, he himself could potentially be disqualified. In the passages below, again I hear the Spirit challenging us to be willing to deny self in pursuit of the High Calling. Redemption is a offered to ALL based entirely on the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to those who are called to salvation. But, the reward of ruling and reigning with Captain and King is based on the faithfulness of the disciple to walk in a manner that is worthy of the high calling and IF we are faithful over little, He will make us to RULE over much.
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3)
It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him (regarding suffering), He also will deny us (the glory of reigning with Him); If we are faithless (in regard to redemption), He remains faithful (in regard to redemption), for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. (Luke 16:10)
“And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ (Luke 19:17)
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the Fire (God Himself for our God IS a consuming Fire) itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
This same sober warning is alluded to in the article you sent (below) of Esau and Jacob wherein the point is well made that we also could give up our inheritance as Esau did, or suffer the loss of reward, if we don’t look continuously to the Lord for strength in overcoming our old adamic nature and hold fast to the prize, although I can’t entirely agree with his understanding of Jacob and Esau. But that’s a discussion for another time.
Having said that, it is ALL by grace that is ours through the faith which He has given. It IS this faith (His faith in us) that gives us the confidence that HE is able to keep that which we have committed to Him against that Day. For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)
I know (by faith) that I am called and have (graciously been given the type/quality of) faith (His) that is able to preserve the soul. It is HIS power to keep me that I trust, not my (carnal) ability to hang on. In fact this is the paradox that can’t be understood with the mere natural intellect.
It is only the mind of Christ (in me) that can comprehend and apprehend the mystery which is “union with Christ”. No injunction in the scripture is given to the fleshly mind, for it is in enmity to the Spirit and is powerless to keep the injunctions/commandments. It is ONLY for the Christ Man that I now am in Him that can hear AND fulfill these injunctions. However we are encouraged, exhorted even commanded to HOLD FAST to our faith and admonish one another to do likewise.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:20-25)
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 was promised. FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING 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 to destruction, but of those who HAVE FAITH to the preserving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:35-39)
I hope this blesses you in some measure,
Tim : )