Epistle to the Hebrews Chapter 3:7-15 Antique Commentary Quotes

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:7

Wherefore – In view of the fact that the Author of the Christian dispensation has a rank far superior to that of Moses. Because Christ has claims on us far greater than those which Moses had, let us hearken to his voice, and dread his displeasure.

As the Holy Ghost saith – In Psa_95:7-11. This is full proof that in the estimation of the author of this Epistle the writer of this Psalm was inspired. The Holy Spirit speaks through the word which he has revealed. The apostle quotes this passage and applies it to those whom he addressed, because the admonition was as pertinent and important under the Christian dispensation, as it was under the Jewish. The danger of hardening the heart by neglecting to hear his voice was as great, and the consequences would be as fearful and alarming. We should regard the solemn warnings in the Old Testament against sin, and against the danger of apostasy, as addressed by the Holy Spirit to us. They are as applicable to us as they were to those to whom they were at first addressed; and we need all the influence of such appeals, to keep us from apostasy as much as they did.

Today – Now; at present. At the very time when the command is addressed to you. It is not to be put off until tomorrow. All God’s commands relate to “the present” – to this day – to the passing moment. He gives us no commands “about the future.” He does not require us to repent and to turn to him “tomorrow,” or 10 years hence. The reasons are obvious:

(1) Duty pertains to the present. It is our duty to turn from sin, and to love him now.

(2) We know not that we shall live to another day. A command, therefore, could not extend to that time unless it were accompanied with “a revelation” that we should live until then – and such a revelation God does not choose to give. Every one, therefore, should feel that whatever commands God addresses to him are addressed to him now. Whatever guilt he incurs by neglecting those commands is incurred now. For the present neglect and disobedience each one is to answer – and each one must give account to God for what he does today.

If ye will hear – In case you are willing to hearken to God, listen now, and do not defer it to a future period. There is much in a “willingness” to hear the voice of God. A willingness to learn is usually the precursor of great attainments in knowledge. A “willingness” to reform, is usually the precursor of reformation. Get a man “willing” to break off his habits of profaneness or intemperance, and usually all the rest is easy. The great difficulty in the mind of a sinner is in his will. He is unwilling to hear the voice of God; unwilling that he should reign over him; unwilling now to attend to religion. While this unwillingness lasts he will make no efforts, and he sees, or creates a thousand difficulties in the way of his becoming a Christian. But when that unwillingness is overcome, and he is disposed to engage in the work of religion, difficulties vanish, and the work of salvation becomes easy.

His voice – The voice of God speaking to us:

(1) In his written word;

(2) In the preached gospel;

(3) In our own consciences;

(4) In the events of his Providence;

(5) In the admonitions of our relatives and friends. Whatever conveys to us the truth of God, or is adapted to impress that on us, may be regarded as “his voice” speaking to us. He thus speaks to us “every day” in some of these ways; and every day, therefore, he may entreat us not to harden our hearts.

Pop Comm Bible Schaff

Hebrews 3:8

Heb_3:8. As in the day of provocation; like as in the day of temptation in the wilderness. These clauses probably refer to two distinct occasions. The two words which are here translated ‘provocation’ and ‘temptation’ are in the Hebrew proper names, ‘Meribah’ (strife) and ‘Massah’ (temptation). On the first occasion (Exo_17:1-7) the place is said to have been called Massah and Meribah, which the LXX. renders ‘temptation’ and ‘provocation.’ The second similar temptation occurred towards the close of the forty years, and is recorded in Num_20:1-13. Their wanderings began and ended in tempting and proving God; forty years long did their unbelief last. Not for single acts were they finally condemned, but for settled habits and a fixed character.

Cambridge Bible

Hebrews 3:9

when] Rather, “where,” i.e. at Massah, or in the wilderness. The rendering “wherewith” or “with which temptation,” would have been more naturally expressed in other ways.

proved me] The better reading is “by proving me.”

saw my works forty years] The “forty years” is purposely transferred from the next verse of the Psalm. The scene at Massah took place in the 40th and that at Meribah in the 1st year of the wanderings. Deu_9:7; Deu_33:8. They indicate the spirit of the Jews through the whole period. The number 40 is in the Bible constantly connected with judgment or trial, and it would have sounded more impressive in this passage if the date of the Epistle was shortly before the Fall of Jerusalem, i.e. about 40 years after the Ascension. The Rabbis had a saying “The days of the Messiah are 40 years.”

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:9

Proved me – “As if they would have made an experiment how much it was possible for me to bear.” – Doddridge. The meaning is: “they put my patience to a thorough trial.”

And saw my works – That is, my miracles, or my interpositions in their behalf. They saw the wonders at the Red Sea, the descent on Mount Sinai, the supply of manna, etc., and yet while seeing those works they rebelled. Even while sinners look on the doings of God, and are surrounded by the proofs of his power and goodness, they rebel, and provoke him to anger. Men sin when God is filling their houses with plenty; when he opens his hand daily to supply their wants; when they behold the manifestations of his goodness on the sea and on the land; and even in the midst of all the blessings of redemption, they provoke him to wrath.

Forty years – The whole time during which they were passing from Egypt to the promised land. This may mean either that they saw his works forty years, or that they tempted him forty years. The sense is not materially affected whichever interpretation is preferred.

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:10

Wherefore I was grieved – On the word “grieved,” see the notes at Eph_4:30. The word here means that he was offended with, or that he was indignant at them.

They do always err in their heart – Their long trial of forty years had been sufficient to show that it was a characteristic of the people that they were disposed to wander from God. Forty years are enough to show what the character is. They had seen his works; they had been called to obey him; they had received his Law; and yet their conduct during that time had shown that they were not disposed to obey him. So of an individual. A man who has lived in sin forty years; who during all that time has rebelled against God, and disregarded all his appeals; who has lived for himself and not for his Maker, has shown what his character is. Longer time is unnecessary; and if God should then cut him down and consign him to hell, he could not be blamed for doing it. A man who during forty years will live in sin, and resist all the appeals of God, shows what is in his heart, and no injustice is done if then he is summoned before God, and he swears that he shall not enter into his rest.

And they have not known my ways – They have been rebellious. They have not been acquainted with the true God; or they have not “approved” my doings. The word “know” is often used in the Scriptures in the sense of “approving,” or “loving;” see the notes at Mat_7:23.

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:11

So I sware in my wrath – God is often represented in the Scriptures as “swearing” – and usually as swearing by himself, or by his own existence. Of course this in figurative, and denotes a strong affirmation, or a settled and determined purpose. An oath with us implies the strongest affirmation, or the expression of the most settled and determined purpose of mind. The meaning here is, that so refractory and perverse had they showed themselves, that he solemnly resolved that they should never enter into the land of Canaan.

They shall not enter into my rest – Margin, As in the original, “if they shall enter.” That is, they shall not enter. The word (אם ‛im) “if” has this negative meaning in Hebrew, and this meaning is transferred to the Greek word “if;” compare 1Sa_3:17; 2Sa_3:35; 2Ki_6:31. It is called “my rest” here, meaning that it was such rest as God had provided, or such as he enjoyed. The particular “rest” referred to here was that of the land of Canaan, but which was undoubtedly regarded as emblematic of the “rest” in heaven. Into that rest God solemnly said they should never enter. They had been rebellious. All the means of reclaiming them had failed. God had warned and entreated them; he had caused his mercies to pass before them, and had visited them with judgments in vain; and he now declares that for all their rebellion they should be excluded from the promised land. God speaks here in the manner of human beings. Men are affected with feelings of indignation in such circumstances, and God makes use of such language as expresses such feelings. But we are to understand it in a manner consistent with his character, and we are not to suppose that he is affected with the same emotions which agitate the bosoms of people. The meaning is, that he formed and expressed a deliberate and solemn purpose that they should never enter into the promised land. Whether this “rest” refers here to heaven, and whether the meaning is that God would exclude them from that blessed world, will be more appropriately considered in the next chapter. The particular idea is, that they were to be excluded from the promised land, and that they should fall in the wilderness. No one can doubt, also, that their conduct had been such as to show that the great body of them were unfit to enter into heaven.

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:12

Take heed, brethren – In view of the conduct of the rebellious Jews, and of their fearful doom, be on your guard lest you also be found to have had the same feelings of rebellion and unbelief. See to it, that under the new dispensation, and in the enjoyment of the privileges of the gospel, you be not found to manifest such feelings as shall exclude you from the heavenly world. The “principle” has been settled by their unbelief that they who oppose God will be excluded from his rest. That may be shown under all dispensations, and in all circumstances, and there is not less danger of it under the gospel than there was when the fathers were conducted to the promised land. You are traveling through a wilderness – the barren wilderness of this world. You are exposed to trials and temptations. You meet with many a deadly and mighty foe. You have hearts prone to apostasy and sin. You are seeking a land of promise; a land of rest. You are surrounded by the wonders of Almighty power, and by the proofs of infinite beneficence. Disobedience and rebellion in you will as certainly exclude you from heaven as their rebellion did them from the promised land; and as their great sin was unbelief, be on your guard lest you manifest the same.

An evil heart of unbelief – An evil, unbelieving heart. The word “unbelief” is used to qualify the word “heart,” by a Hebraism – a mode of speech that is common in the New Testament. An unbelieving heart was the cause of “their” apostasy, and what worked their ruin will produce ours. The root of their evil was “a want of confidence in God” – and this is what is meant here by a heart of unbelief. The great difficulty on earth everywhere is a “want of confidence in God” – and this has produced all the ills that man has ever suffered. It led to the first apostasy; and it has led to every other apostasy – and will continue to produce the same effects to the end of the world. The apostle says that this heart of unbelief is “evil.” Men often feel that it is a matter of little consequence whether they have faith or not, provided their conduct is right; and hence, they do not see or admit the propriety of what is said about the consequences of unbelief in the Scriptures. But what do they say about a want of confidence between a husband and wife?

Are there no evils in that? What husband can sleep with quietness on his pillow, if he has no confidence in the virtue of his wife? What child can have peace who has no confidence in a parent? How can there be prosperity in a community where there is no confidence in a bank, or an insurance office, or where one merchant has no confidence in another; where a neighbor has no confidence in his neighbor; where the sick have no confidence in a physician, and where in general all confidence is broken up between man and man? If I wished to produce the deepest distress in any community, and had the power, I would produce the same want of confidence between man and man which there is now between man and his Maker. I would thus take away sleep from the pillow of every husband and wife; every parent and child; and make every man wretched with the feeling that all the property which he had was insecure. Among people, nothing is seen to be productive of greater evil than a want of confidence or faith – and why should not the same evil exist in the divine administration? And if want of confidence produces such results between man and man, why should it not produce similar, or greater, miseries where it occurs in relation to God? There is not an evil that man endures which might not be alleviated or removed by confidence in God; and hence one great object of the Christian religion is, to restore to man his lost confidence in the God that made him.

In departing from the living God – Manifested in departing from him; or leading to a departure from him. The idea is, that such a heart of unbelief would be connected with apostasy from God. All apostasy first exists in the heart, and then is manifested in the life. They who indulge in unbelief in any form, or in regard to any subject, should remember that this is the great source of all alienation from God, and that if indulged it will lead to complete apostasy. They who wish to live a life of piety should keep the heart right. He that lives “by the faith of the Son of God” is safe; and none is safe but he.

Pop Comm Bible Schaff

Hebrews 3:13

Heb_3:13. Exhort one another. The verb is very frequent in the Acts and in Paul’s Epistles, and occurs four times in this Epistle. Both here and in Heb_13:16 (where it is said in the Authorised Version that Christians are to exhort one another in psalms and hymns) mutual exhortation is implied; but the Greek is literally ‘exhort yourselves,’ and part of the idea is that the exhorter should have himself also as a hearer, even when he has no other. The word ‘exhort,’ moreover, includes all the kinds of help, consolation, encouragement, rebuke, which the Christian life needs.

While—as long as ‘the today’ is called—sounded—in your hearing, so long as the warning lasts, and the need for it, let there be circumspection and wariness.

Look to it (Heb_3:12) that no one from among you (as well as your fathers, Heb_3:9) fall into unbelief.

Another interpretation of ‘while today is called’ is, ‘while the Psalm continues to be read;’ so some eminent commentators (de Wette, Bengel, etc.); but this does not agree with the use which is made of the words in Heb_4:7, nor does it give an appropriate sense to ‘is called.’ The words may mean while the day of grace lasts, the time during which we hear the Gospel and are warned of the danger of apostasy. This meaning does not practically differ from the one already given, ‘while today is sounded in your ears,’ and is supported by a similar comment on the ‘day of salvation’ made by Paul (2Co_6:2).

The deceitfulness of sin. All sin has this quality (comp. Rom_7:9; Rom_7:11), and especially the sin of unbelief, which is the sin of this context. Unlike the violation of purely moral precepts, it excites small disturbance in the conscience, and yet most effectively hardens the heart by making the most impressive truths powerless over the feelings.

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:13

But exhort one another daily – This is addressed to the members of the churches; and it follows, therefore:

(1) That it is their duty to exhort their brethren; and,

(2) That it is their duty to do it “daily;” that is, constantly; see Heb_10:25; 1Th_4:18; 1Th_5:11; note, Rom_12:8. While this is the special duty of the ministers of the gospel 1Ti_6:2; 2Ti_4:2; Tit_2:6, Tit_2:15, it is also the duty of all the members of the churches, and a most important, but much-neglected duty. This does not refer to “public” exhortation, which more appropriately pertains to the ministers of the gospel, but to that private watch and care which the individual members of the church should have over one another. But in what eases is such exhortation proper? What rules should regulate it? I answer, it may be regarded as a duty, or is to be performed in such cases as the following:

(1) Intimate friends in the church should exhort and counsel one another; should admonish each other of their faults; and should aid one another in the divine life.

(2) Parents should do the same thing to their children. They are placed particularly under their watch and care. A pastor cannot often see the members of his flock in private; and a parent may greatly aid him in his work by watching over the members of their families who are connected with the church.

(3) Sunday School teachers may aid much in this duty. They are to be assistants to parents and to pastors. They often have under their care youthful members of the churches. They have an opportunity of knowing their state of mind, their temptations, and their dangers better than the pastor can have. It should be theirs, therefore, to exhort them to a holy life.

(4) The aged should exhort the young. Every aged Christian may thus do much for the promotion of religion. His experience is the property of the church; and he is bound so to employ it as to be useful in aiding the feeble, reclaiming the wandering, recovering the backslider, and directing the inquiring. There is a vast amount of “spiritual capital” of this kind in the church that is unemployed, and that might be made eminently useful in helping others to heaven.

(5) Church members should exhort one another. There may not be the intimacy of personal friendship among all the members of a large church, but still the connection between them should be regarded as sufficiently tender and confidential to make it proper for anyone to admonish a brother who goes astray. They belong to the same communion. They sit down at the same supper of the Lord. They express their assent to the same articles of faith. They are regarded by the community as united. Each member sustains a portion of the honor and the responsibility of the whole; and each member should feel that he has a right, and that it is his duty to admonish a brother if he goes astray. Yet this duty is greatly neglected. In what church is it performed? How often do church members see a fellow member go astray without any exhortation or admonition! How often do they hear reports of the inconsistent lives of other members and perhaps contribute to the circulation of those reports themselves, without any pains taken to inquire whether they are true! How often do the poor fear the rich members of the church, or the rich despise the poor, and see one another live in sin, without any attempt to entreat or save them! I would not have the courtesies of life violated. I would not have any assume a dogmatical or dictatorial air. I would have no one step out of his proper sphere of life. But the principle which I would lay down is, that the fact of church membership should inspire such confidence as to make it proper for one member to exhort another whom he sees going astray. Belonging to the same family; having the same interest in religion; and all suffering when one suffers, why should they not be allowed tenderly and kindly to exhort one another to a holy life?

While it is called Today – While life lasts; or while you may be permitted to use the language “Today hear the voice of God.” The idea is, that the exhortation is not to be intermitted. It is to be our daily business to admonish and exhort one another. Christians are liable every day to go astray; every day they need aid in the divine life; and they who are fellow-heirs with them of salvation should be ever ready to counsel and advise them.

Lest any of you be hardened – the notes at Heb_3:8. It is possible for Christians to become in a sense hardened. Their minds become less sensitive than they were to the claims of duty, and their consciences become less tender. Hence, the propriory of mutual exhortation, that they may always have the right feeling, and may always listen to the commands of God.

The deceitfulness of sin – See the notes at Eph_4:22. Sin is always deceitful. It promises more than it performs. It assures us of pleasure which it never imparts. It leads us on beyond what was supposed when we began to indulge in it. The man who commits sin is always under a delusion; and sin, if he indulges it, will lead him on from one step to another until the heart becomes entirely hardened. Sin puts on plausible appearances and preferences; it assumes the name of virtue; it offers excuses and palliations, until the victim is snared, and then spell-bound he is hurried on to every excess. If sin was always seen in its true aspect when man is tempted to commit it, it would be so hateful that he would flee from it with the utmost abhorrence. What young man would become a drunkard if he saw when he began exactly the career which he would run? What young man, now vigorous and healthful, and with fair prospects of usefulness and happiness would ever touch the intoxicating bowl, if he saw what he “would be” when he became a sot? What man would ever enter the room of the gambler if he saw just where indulgence would soon lead him, and if at the commencement he saw exactly the wo and despair which would inevitably ensue? Who would become a voluptuary and a sensualist, if he saw exactly the close of such a career? Sin deceives, deludes, blinds. Men do not, or will not, see the fearful results of indulgence. They are deluded by the hope of happiness or of gain; they are drawn along by the fascinations and allurements of pleasure until the heart becomes hard and the conscience seared – and then they give way without remorse. From such a course, the apostle would have Christians guarded by kind and affectionate exhortation. Each one should feel that he has an interest in keeping his brother from Such a doom; and each Christian thus in danger should be willing to listen to the kind exhortation of a Christian brother.

Pulpit Commentary


For we are become partakers (or, partners) of Christ, if only we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. This is a repetition in another form of the assertion of our position as Christians, with the appended condition, in Heb_3:6. It is a question whether μέτοχοι Χριστοῦ means that we partake of Christ as being in communion with him, or that we are partakers with him of the glory he has won for us (cf. συγκληρονόμοι Χριστοῦ, Rom_8:17). The first is undoubtedly the ordinary sense of μέτοχος with a genitive in classical Greek, and generally in the New Testament (cf. e.g. infra, Heb_6:4, Μετόχους Πνεύματος ἁγίου), and is on this ground maintained by Bleek, Alford, and others; but in the LXX. μέτοχος, followed by a genitive, is as undoubtedly used for” partner” or “companion;” of. Psa_119:63, Μέτοχος ἐγ ὼ εἰ μι πάντων τῶν φοβουμένων σε: Hos_4:17, Μέτοχος εἰδώλων: and especially Psa_45:7, Μέτοχους σου, which has been already cited (Heb_1:9), and justifies, as it may prove suggested, the expression in this sense here. Cf. also in the New Testament, Luk_5:7, where μετόχος, though without an expressed genitive following, occurs in the sense of “partner.” Further, the second sense accords better than the first with the view of our relation to Christ so far set forth in the Epistle.

(2) On the word ὑπο ́στασις (translated “confidence”), see what was said under Heb_1:3. All the ancient interpreters understood it here in the same general sense as in the former passage—that of substance or subsistence, either as denoting our subsistence as members of Christ, or our faith regarded as the substance of our Christian life, or with other modifications of the general meaning. Modern commentators agree in understanding merely the sense in which the word is found to be commonly used by the Alexandrian writers—that of confidence, derived from the physical conception of a firm foundation. It thus corresponds with the παῤῥησίαν of Heb_1:6.

(3) “The beginning” (τὴν ἀρχὴ ν) of this confidence refers to the earlier stage of the experiences of the Hebrew Christians, before their faith had shown any signs of wavering. There is no sufficient ground for Ebrard’s inference from this expression, that the Epistle was not addressed to the Hebrew Church at large, which was the oldest of all Churches, but to “a circle of catechumens and neophytes.” The phrase does not imply that the “beginning” was recent. All it need mean is, “Go on as you began.” Further, we find, in Heb_5:12, a distinct intimation that the Church addressed is one of old standing.

(4) “Unto the end “may have an individual reference to the end of life, or (the Church being addressed as a community expecting the second advent) a general one to the close of the period of grace during which “it is called Today.”

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:14

For we are made partakers of Christ – We are spiritually united to the Saviour. We become one with him. We partake of his spirit and his allotments. The sacred writers are accustomed to describe the Christian as being closely united to the Saviour, and as being one with him see the Joh_15:1-7; Joh_17:21, Joh_17:23 notes; Eph_5:30 note; 1Co_12:27 note. The idea is, that we participate in all that pertains to him. It is a union of feeling and affection; a union of principle and of congeniality; a union of dependence as well as love; a union where nothing is to be imparted by us, but everything gained; and a union, therefore, on the part of the Redeemer of great condescension. 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 and the oak, where the ivy has its own roots, and merely clings around the oak and climbs up upon it. What else can be said so honorable of man as that he is a “partaker of Christ;” that he shares his feelings here, and that he is to share his honors in a brighter world? Compared with this, what is it to participate with the rich and the frivolous in their pleasures; what would it be to share in the honors of conquerors and kings?

μετοχοι του Χριστου metochoi tou Christou cannot signify, as some explain, participation merely in the blessings of Christ’s death, but must be referred, as our author here affirms, to the spiritual union which subsists between Christ and his people. That union doubtless involves, as necessary consequents, “a union of feeling and affection, a union of principle and congeniality, a union of dependence and love.” Yet, we think, it is something more. It is a “real” and vital union, formed by the one Spirit of Christ, pervading the head and the members of the mystical body. And this is the “foundation” of all union of affection, etc. For a condensed view of the subject, see the supplementary note on Rom_8:10.)

If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast – see the note at Heb_3:6. If we continue to maintain the same confidence which we had in the beginning, or which we showed at the commencement of our Christian life. At first, they had been firm in the Christian hope. They evinced true and strong attachment to the Redeemer. They were ardent and devoted to his cause. If they continued to maintain that to the end, that is, the end of life; if in the midst of all temptations and trials they adhered inflexibly to the cause of the Saviour, they would show that they were true Christians, and would partake of the blessedness of the heavenly world with the Redeemer. The idea is, that it is only perseverance in the ways of religion that constitutes certain evidence of piety. Where piety is manifested through life, or where there is an untiring devotion to the cause of God, there the evidence is clear and undoubted.

But where there is at first great ardor, zeal, and confidence, which soon dies away, then it is clear that they never had any real attachment to him and his cause. It may be remarked here, that the “beginning of the confidence” of those who are deceived, and who know nothing about religion at heart, is often as bold as where there is true piety. The hypocrite makes up in ardor what he lacks in sincerity; and he who is really deceived, is usually deceived under the influence of some strong and vivid emotion, which he mistakes for true religion. Often the sincere convert is calm, though decided, and sometimes is even timorous and doubting; while the self-deceiver is noisy in profession, and clamorous in his zeal, and much disposed to blame the lukewarmness of others. Evidence of piety, therefore, should not be built on that early zeal; nor should it be concluded that because there is ardor, there is of necessity genuine religion. Ardor is valuable, and true religion is ardent; but there is other ardor than what the gospel inspires. The evidence of genuine piety is to be found in what will bear us up under trials, and endure amidst persecution and opposition. The doctrine here is, that it is necessary to persevere if we would have the evidence of true piety. This doctrine is taught everywhere in the Scriptures. Persevere in what? I answer, not:

(1) Merely in a profession of religion. A man may do that and have no piety.

(2) Not in zeal for party, or sect. The Pharisees had that to the end of their lives.

(3) Not in mere honesty, and correctness of external deportment. A man may do that in the church, as well as out of it, and yet have no religion.

But we should persevere:

(1) In the love of God and of Christ – in conscious, ardent, steady attachment to Him to whom our lives are professedly devoted.

(2) In the secret duties of religion. In that watchfulness over the heart; that communion with God; that careful study of the Bible; that guardianship over the temper; and in that habitual contact with God in secret prayer which is appropriate to a Christian, and which marks the Christian character.

(3) In the performance of the public duties of religion; in leading a “Christian” life – as distinguished from a life of worldliness and vanity; a life of mere morality, and honesty; a life such as thousands lead who are out of the church.

There is something which distinguishes a Christian from one who is not a Christian; a religious from an irreligious man. There is “something” in religion; “something” which serves to characterize a Christian, and unless that something is manifested, there can be no evidence of true piety. The Christian is to be distinguished in temper, feeling, deportment, aims, plans, from the people of this world – and unless those characteristics are shown in the life and deportment, there can be no well-founded evidence of religion.


(1) That it is not mere “feeling” that furnishes evidence of religion.

(2) That it is not mere “excitement” that constitutes religion.

(3) That it is not mere ardor.

(4) That it is not mere zeal.

All these may be temporary. Religion is something that lasts throughout life. It goes with a person everywhere. It is with him in trial. It forms his plans; regulates his temper; suggests his words; prompts to his actions. It lives with him in all his external changes, and goes with him through the dark valley of death, and accompanies him up to the bar of God, and is with him forever.

Albert Barnes

Hebrews 3:15

While it is said, Today … – That is, persevere as long as life lasts, or as long as it can be said “today;” and by persevering in this manner you will have evidence that you are the friends of the Redeemer. This is a quotation from Psa_95:7. Paul means, undoubtedly, to make use of this language himself as a direct exhortation to the Christians to whom he was writing. He entreats them, therefore, as long as it could be said “today,” or as long as life lasted, to take care lest they should harden their hearts as had been done in the temptation in the wilderness.

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