Those who keep at it will enjoy the reward
We have all heard about the first love. But what do we mean when we speak about the “beginning of our confidence”? A divine service on conviction, trust, and hope, and the answer to the question, where does it all lead?
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” This is what it says in Hebrews 3: 14. How this is to be understood Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider explained in a divine service in Frankfurt (Germany) on 20 September 2020 step by step: if we hold on to our initial confidence firmly to the end we will become partakers.
Confidence and what it constitutes
The Chief Apostle mentioned three aspects that constitute confidence:
- “First of all, this confidence is—this is how I am going to define it—the absolute conviction: Jesus Christ is God, His teaching is the truth. He will return.”
- It also has something to do with trust: you are convinced of it, even in moments when you do not see it.
- “It also has something do to with hope. There is this certitude: Christ is coming! He will triumph, and I am waiting for Him and am preparing for it.”
Focusing on the fundamentals
Our initial confidence definitely has nothing to do with the idea that everything must have been better in the past. For the “Holy Spirit was effective, after all, and there was certainly a development.” However: “One of the translations is fundamental.”
“We are exhorted to remain firmly committed to the foundations of the faith we professed when we consciously became Christians, when we became New Apostolic,” the Chief Apostle explained. “I believe in God, I believe in the church, I believe in the Apostle ministry, I believe in the return of Christ. These are the fundamental elements of our faith.”
Continuing to the end
“Let us hold on to this until the end.” Whatever happens, even if everything else changes, we will hold on to it firmly until the end.
The end is the return of Christ : “It is He who decides when the end will be, not me. I will continue to believe. I will continue to trust and to hope until He says: “That’s enough now.”
Steadfast to the end means “carrying on to the extreme, come what may, with all the consequences it entail,” the Chief Apostle said. It is not just a theory, a theological construction. No, it is the basis of our actions. Our life is based on this: on our faith, on the way we profess it.”
Partaking in five ways
„“If we do that we will become partakers of Christ,” Chief Apostle Schneider said. What does that mean?
- Salvation. “Those who believe in Jesus Christ and hold on to their faith will be sanctified through Christ, perfected by Him, and saved.”
- Help. “Those who believe in Jesus Christ and act accordingly come what may will always experience: the Lord is with me, He helps me and has not forsaken me.”
- Preparation. “We can be prepared for the coming of the Lord through the Apostle ministry, but this power can only be experienced by those who really believe in it.”
- Encounter: “The church of Christ is not only a nice gathering of believers. No, it is God’s work of redemption. And if I believe this then I can indeed experience: Christ is present in His church!”
- Calling: “Whoever belongs to Jesus Christ has also been called to something. This is a reference to our service within the church of Christ. If this firm faith is not there, however, then this service will not contribute to our salvation.”
The Chief Apostle’s concluded: “We believe in Christ, trust in Him, and hope for His help. We are steadfast in the faith which we have publicly professed. This steadfastness allows us to enjoy the goodness and kindness of Christ.”