Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 10:32

But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Fight of Faith;   Persecution;   Thompson Chain Reference - Battle of Life;   Conflict, Spiritual;   Spiritual;   Warfare, Spiritual;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Testament;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Persecution;   Perseverance;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit;   Suffering;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Atonement;   Covenant;   Peace;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Baptism;   Hebrews, the Epistle to the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hebrews;   Illuminated;   Persecution in the Bible;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ethics;   Hebrews, Epistle to;   Hope;   Persecution;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Enlightenment ;   Games;   Hebrews Epistle to the;   Light and Darkness;   Metaphor;   Persecution;   Regeneration;   Suffering;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Illuminated;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Christ;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Affliction;   Baptism (Non-Immersionist View);   Conflict;   Endure;   Enlighten;   Former;   Games;   Hebrews, Epistle to the;   Illumination;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Job, Testament of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

But call to remembrance - It appears from this, and indeed from some parts of the Gospel history, that the first believers in Judea were greatly persecuted; our Lord's crucifixion, Stephen's martyrdom, the persecution that arose after the death of Stephen, Acts 8:1, Herod's persecution, Acts 12:1, in which James was killed, and the various persecutions of St. Paul, sufficiently show that this disposition was predominant among that bad people.

A great fight of afflictions - Πολλην αθλησιν παθηματων· A great combat or contention of sufferings. Here we have an allusion to the combats at the Grecian games, or to exhibitions of gladiators at the public spectacles; and an intimation how honorable it was to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to overcome through the blood of the Lamb, and their own testimony.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But call to remembrance the former days - It would seem from this, that at the time when the apostle wrote this Epistle they were suffering some severe trials, in which they were in great danger of apostatizing from their religion. It is also manifest that they had on some former occasion endured a similar trial, and had been enabled to bear it with a Christian spirit, and with resignation. The object of the apostle now is to remind them that they were sustained under those trials, and he would encourage them now to similar patience by the recollection of the grace then conferred on them. What was the nature of their former trials, or of what they were then experiencing, is not certainly known. It would seem probable, however, that the reference in both instances is to some form of persecution by their own countrymen. The meaning is, “that when we have been enabled to pass through trials once, we are to make the remembrance of the grace then bestowed on us a means of supporting and encouraging us in future trials.”

After ye were illuminated - After you became Christians, or were enlightened to see the truth. This phrase, referring here undoubtedly to the fact that they were Christians, may serve to explain the disputed phrase in Hebrews 6:4; see notes on that passage.

A great fight of afflictions - The language here seems to be taken from the Grecian games. The word “fight” means properly contention, combat, such as occurred in the public games. Here the idea is, that in the trials referred to, they had a great struggle; that is, a struggle to maintain their faith without wavering, or against those who would have led them to apostatize from their religion. Some of the circumstances attending this conflict are alluded to in the following verses.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were enlightened, ye endured a great conflict of suffering.

This verse refers to fidelity and endurance of the Hebrew Christians who passed through the tribulations that arose around the martyrdom of Stephen and the following persecutions. The uncertainty of scholars about the original addressees of this epistle makes the positive identification of the "conflict of sufferings" somewhat precarious; but, if it was not THAT persecution, it was another one of sufficient priority to the date of Hebrews to have allowed the development of a prevailing indifference that arose after it and which is so strongly treated by the author. Certainly, the words, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin" (Hebrews 12:4), as used by the author, do not rule out Stephen's martyrdom as being the time of the sufferings mentioned here; because "Ye" could have reference to the generation receiving Hebrews, rather than to a congregation that had no history of persecutions. Hebrews was addressed to the living and not to the dead; and whatever persecution was referred to, it was "a great conflict of suffering."

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/hebrews-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But call to remembrance the former days,.... The words may be considered either as a declaration of what they had done, and be read, "but ye do call to remembrance", &c. or as an exhortation to remember the days of their espousals, the times of their first conversion: and the apostle's design in this is, to mitigate the terror the preceding words might strike them with; and to aggravate the disgrace of turning back, when they had behaved so bravely in former times; and to encourage their faith and trust in God:

in which after ye were illuminated, by the Spirit of God, to see their impurity, impotence, and unrighteousness, and their lost and miserable state by nature; and to behold Christ and salvation by him; and to have some light into the doctrines of the Gospel; and some glimmering of the glories of another world. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it "baptized"; now such as are converted, and are brought to make a public profession of their faith, and submit to the ordinances of Christ, are, in common, immediately called to suffer reproach and persecution of one kind or another; so Christ, after his baptism, was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil: Satan is spiteful and malicious, and God suffers afflictions to befall his people to try their graces, and to inure them to troubles early, as follows;

ye endured a great fight of afflictions; meaning some violent persecution from their own countrymen, either at the death of Stephen, in which the apostle, being then unconverted; was concerned himself; or rather some other time of trouble, after the apostle was converted, to which he seems to have respect in 1 Thessalonians 2:14, these Hebrews, being enlisted as soldiers under Christ, the Captain of their salvation, were quickly engaged in a warfare, and were called forth to fight a fight of afflictions, and a very great one; and which they endured with patience, courage, and intrepidity.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/hebrews-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

11 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

(11) As he terrified the fallers away from God, so does he now comfort them that are constant and stand firm, setting before them the success of their former fights, so stirring them up to a sure hope of a full and ready victory.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/hebrews-10.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

As previously he has warned them by the awful end of apostates, so here he stirs them up by the remembrance of their own former faith, patience, and self-sacrificing love. So Revelation 2:3, Revelation 2:4.

call to remembrance — habitually: so the present tense means.

illuminated — “enlightened”: come to “the knowledge of the truth” (Hebrews 10:26) in connection with baptism (see on Hebrews 6:4). In spiritual baptism, Christ, who is “the Light,” is put on. “On the one hand, we are not to sever the sign and the grace signified where the sacrifice truly answers its designs; on the other, the glass is not to be mistaken for the liquor, nor the sheath for the sword” [Bengel].

fight of — that is, consisting of afflictions.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Call to remembrance (αναμιμνησκεστεanamimnēskesthe). Present middle imperative of αναμιμνησκωanamimnēskō as in 2 Corinthians 7:15 “remind yourselves.” The former days were some distance in the past (Hebrews 5:12), some years at any rate. It is a definite experience of people in a certain place. Jerusalem Christians had had experiences of this nature, but so had others.

After ye were enlightened (πωτιστεντεςphōtisthentes). First aorist passive participle of πωτιζωphōtizō in the same sense as in Hebrews 6:4 (regeneration) and like “the full knowledge of the truth” in Hebrews 10:26.

Conflict
(ατλησινathlēsin). Late word from ατλεωathleō to engage in a public contest in the games (2 Timothy 2:5), only here in the N.T. It occurs in the inscriptions. Cf. Hebrews 2:10 for the benefit of “sufferings” in training.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

After ye were illuminated ( φωτισθέντες )

See on Hebrews 6:4.

A great fight ( πολλὴν ἄθλησιν )

Ἄθλησις N.T.oolxx. See on ἀλθῆ strive 2 Timothy 2:5. See Introduction, on the allusions in the epistle to persecution.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/hebrews-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Enlightened — With the knowledge of God and of his truth.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/hebrews-10.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Illuminated; converted,--brought into the light of Christ's kingdom.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/hebrews-10.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Вспомните. Дабы воодушевить читателей и внушить окрыленность в делании, апостол приводит на память выказанные ими ранее образцы благочестия. Ибо стыдно, хорошо начав, ослабеть посредине, но еще постыднее повернуть вспять, уже пройдя значительную часть пути. Полезно вспомнить о ранее выдержанной брани, если мы верно и мужественно провели ее под руководством Христа. Не для того, чтобы найти повод для расслабленности, словно мы уже отслужили, но для того, чтобы лучше подготовиться к прохождению остающегося пути. Ибо Христос взял нас к Себе не для того, чтобы по истечении нескольких лет мы, словно отслужившие солдаты, попросили увольнения, но для того, чтобы мы до самого конца отрабатывали собственное жалование.

Далее, апостол усиливает поощрение, говоря, что евреи уже выказали выдающиеся подвиги в то время, когда были новичками. Тем более стыдно, если теперь после долгого обучения они все-таки покинут войско. Ведь причастие «просвещены» относится к тому времени, когда они впервые стали называть себя христианами. Апостол как бы говорит: как только вы приняли Христову веру, вам сразу же пришлось вступить в жестокую и трудную брань; теперь же сам опыт должен укреплять вас, внушая окрыленность. Но одновременно апостол учит, что уверовали они не своими силами, а по благодеянию Божию. Ибо просвещаются те, кто ранее находился в потемках, не имел глаз и не узрел бы, если бы извне не воссиял свет. Значит, всякое воспоминание о том, что мы сделали или выстрадали за Христа, должно служить нам стимулом к дальнейшему преуспеванию.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE BLESSING OF REMEMBRANCE

‘But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.’

Hebrews 10:32

Remember the circumstances under which the temptation to fall away assailed the Hebrews. Christianity was no longer a new thing; there were long-continued hardships from unbelieving countrymen. The Lord had not yet come, as He had foretold, for the punishment of His enemies. The perilous times He had spoken of were upon them. Many of His followers were offended, many turned back and betrayed their brethren, iniquity abounded, and the love of many waxed cold. This Epistle was a trumpet blast to waverers, appealing to their reason, affection, fear, conscience.

The memory of early Christian life should encourage us to steadfastness. The writer of this Epistle reminds them—

I. Of their early spiritual enlightenment.

II. Of what after their enlightenment they were able to do.

III. Of the hope which accompanied this.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/hebrews-10.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Ver. 32. But call to remembrance] q.d. You cannot utterly fall away, as those above mentioned; forasmuch as you have given good proof already of the reality of your graces.

After ye were illuminated] Till they had a sight of heaven they could not suffer; but no sooner out of the water of baptism, but they were presently in the fire of persecution.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/hebrews-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Hebrews 10:32. After ye were illuminated, The Hebrews, to whom this epistle was addressed, were Christian converts, long since illuminated, (ch. Hebrews 5:12, Hebrews 6:4.) had suffered great persecutions, and seem not yet to have been free from them. What were the particular persecutions hinted at, we are not positively told; but the words former days imply a series of troubles which they had met with, and most probably very many insults from private persons. The words a great fight, contest, or conflict of afflictions, ( αθλησιν, ) alludes to the athletic contests in the Grecian and Roman games, especially those of the gladiators, and gives us a high ideaof their courage and bravery. By this term, says Theophylact, he declared their courage and bravery; and doubtless, when he was encouraging them to hold out by their own example, it was veryproper for him to choose aword which carried with it praise and commendation.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/hebrews-10.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle here proceeds to a new argument to persuade Christians to perseverance drawn from the consideration of their former sufferings for christianity:

"Since ye were illuminated, that is, baptized into the Christian faith, ye endured courageously afflictions, a fight of afflictions, yea, a great fight of afflictions."

Learn hence, That the wisdom of God oft-times permits and suffers persons, at their first conversion, to fall into manifold trials and temptations: Carnal relations now first scoff, then frown, and at last cast off. The world hates them, marks them out for persecution, loads them with calumny and slander.

But observe, farther, The apostle directs them to call to remembrance their former sufferings: He doth not mean the remembrance of what was bitter and afflictive in their sufferings, but the cause for which they suffered, and the presence of God enjoyed by them in and under their sufferings: This would encourage, embolden, and strengthen unto duty:

Learn hence, That a wise management of former experience is a great direction and encouragement unto future obedience.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/hebrews-10.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

32.] But (in contrast to these fearful things which have been spoken of) call ever to mind ( ἀναμιμνήσκεσθε, stronger than the simple verb—call over in your minds, one by one: this meaning seems legitimate when a plural follows: and present, as implying a constant habit. The verb may be indicative, but is from the whole cast of the sentence, much more likely imperative) the former days (the accus. after ἀναμιμνήσκομαι is as good Greek as the gen.), in which when (first) enlightened (see on φωτίζω, note, ch. Hebrews 6:4), ye underwent (scil. with fortitude: which though not implied in the word, signifying mere endurance, yet often is in the context: cf. Xen. Hiero 7. 4 (Bl.), ὥστε ἐμοὶ μὲν εἰκότως δοκεῖτε ταῦτα ὑπομένειν, ἃ φέρετε ἐν τυραννίδι, ἐπείπερ τιμᾶσθε διαφερόντως τῶν ἄλλων ἀνθρώπων) much (‘multum magnumque:’ πολύς when used with words whose sense admits intensifying, strengthens, as well as repeats, the idea) contest ( ἄθλησις tells its own meaning, from ἆθλος, ἀθλέω, as ‘certamen,’ a struggle or contest: and in this sense it occurs in reff.) of sufferings (the gen. may be either subjective, implying that your contest consisted of sufferings; or objective, that it was waged with sufferings, as the foe to be contended against: the former perhaps is the more probable from what follows: cf. συνεπαθήσατε, Hebrews 10:34),

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/hebrews-10.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 2314

THE BENEFIT OF PAST EXPERIENCE

Hebrews 10:32. Call to remembrance the former days.

TO take a retrospect of our past lives, is the duty of every child of man. Without a frequent revision of the past, no man can repent, no man believe, no man be saved. We must be sensible of our guilt and helplessness, before we can ever come aright to Christ for mercy and grace; and such a consciousness of our need of him can proceed from nothing but self-knowledge, the fruit of much self-examination and of a diligent inquiry into our own state. But it is not in this general view that we are now to consider the subject before us. The words were addressed to those who “had been illuminated” with Divine truth, and had “endured a great fight of afflictions” in the service of their Divine Master. It is to such therefore that we propose chiefly, if not exclusively, to limit our attention, whilst we notice the exhortation,

I. As given to the Jewish converts—

They were subjected to cruel persecutions throughout the world: and they were in danger of yielding to intimidation, and of making shipwreck of their faith. To fortify their minds and encourage their hearts, he bids them “call to remembrance the former days.”

These days deserved remembrance—

[They had been days of heavy trial to all who had embraced the Christian faith. Every convert was an object of hatred and contempt both to Jews and Gentiles. No reproaches were too bitter to cast upon the followers of Christ, no injuries too heavy to inflict upon them. Their persons were assaulted, their property destroyed—their lives menaced, and in many instances sacrificed to royal edicts, to popular fury, or to legal form. The community of interest which all felt in the welfare of the whole body, greatly augmented the sufferings of every individual. Wherever one member suffered, all the members suffered with it.

Yet in the midst of all these afflictions, the believing Jews, as a body, had maintained their steadfastness, and held fast their profession. They had not only submitted to the loss of all things for the sake of Christ, but “had taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods;” “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Redeemer’s sake.”

To this measure of firmness they had attained by keeping their eye steadily fixed upon the heavenly state, where their portion was, and where an infinitely “better and more enduring substance” was treasured up for them. They had no doubt but their trials would be richly recompensed in the eternal world; and therefore they made light of all that they possessed below; “reckoning that the sufferings of this present time were not worthy to be compared with the glory that should be revealed in them [Note: Romans 8:18.].”

Such were their former days, immediately after the light of divine truth had shone into their hearts; and]

The recollection of them would be of singular utility to them at this time—

[From a review of their past experience, they would see, that, though the difficulties which they now had to sustain, or which they were daily expecting to encounter, were formidable, they were not new, nor insupportable, nor unprofitable. They were not new; since they were no other than what had come upon them from the beginning: and consequently were not to be regarded as “strange” and unlocked for [Note: 1 Peter 4:12.]: nor were they insupportable; for every convert had already borne them for a long period; and consequently might, with the help of divine grace, support them still: nor were they unprofitable; since the effect of them had been to drive the sufferers to prayer, and to bring down into their souls an increase both of grace and peace. In a word, the tribulations which they had already endured, “had wrought patience, and experience, and hope;” and therefore, instead of trembling at the prospect of future trials, it became every believer to hold fast the profession of his faith, and, together with that, the rejoicing of his hope firm unto the end.”]

What we have spoken sufficiently shews the scope of the Apostle’s advice as given to the Hebrews to whom he wrote; and having ascertained that, we are prepared to consider it,

II. As applicable to ourselves—

That there are many amongst ourselves, who, through the tender mercy of our God, “have been illuminated” with divine truth, we firmly believe: and to a certain extent the same consequences have followed, and do still follow, a profession of the Gospel in these latter times, as in the days of old. To all of you then who have been illuminated, we would offer the same advice as the Apostle did to the Hebrew converts, persuaded that it will be profitable,

1. For our humiliation—

[“Call to remembrance the former days,” when first ye received the knowledge of the truth, and see whether there was not much in your experience then which may justly operate for your humiliation now. You then saw and bewailed your lost estate both by nature and practice, and gladly fled for refuge to the Lord Jesus Christ, as to the hope set before you in the Gospel. Having obtained a view of him as your Redeemer and your all-prevailing Intercessor, you rejoiced in him with joy unspeakable, so that you seemed to be come as it were into a new world. Then the cares and pleasures of this life appeared to you as empty vanities, that were scarcely worth a thought: and then, whatever you were called to suffer, whether of loss or shame, for Christ’s sake, appeared to you rather a ground of joy than of sorrow, insomuch that “you took joyfully” the injuries that were inflicted on you, and rejoiced that you were counted worthy to sustain them for Jesus’ sake. Nothing intimidated you; nothing was suffered to retard your progress. With the world under your feet, and heaven in your eye, you went on cheerfully, and made your profiting daily to appear.

But now perhaps your love has grown cold; your delight in the word of God and prayer has abated; your exertions in the pursuit of heavenly things have languished; and the power of divine grace upon your souls has visibly declined. Now prudence has not merely regulated (for that it ought to do) your zeal, but has greatly abated, if not altogether superseded, it. Now the cares of this life have regained an ascendant over you: the frowns of the world, which once were disregarded, are become formidable in your eyes; and the fear of suffering loss in your worldly interests damps all your ardour. Now, instead of being altogether crucified to the world, and living only unto God, as in former days, you can scarcely be distinguished, except by an outward profession, from those who were never yet irradiated by the light of Gospel truth. Is this an uncommon case? Would to God it were! But what we see in the Church of Ephesus of old is yet visible, wherever the Gospel has been long preached. Of them the Lord Jesus says, “Thou has borne, and hast had patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen; and repent, and do the first works [Note: Revelation 2:3-5.].” So then say I to you: “Call to remembrance the former days:” remember what you once were, and what your former works: and let the view of your declension fill you with shame and sorrow and contrition. Be afraid and tremble, lest the Lord withdraw from you the light with which you have been illumined; and beg of him to return in mercy to your souls, and to “strengthen in you the things which remain, and are ready to die [Note: Revelation 3:2.].”]

2. For your encouragement—

[It may be that either outwardly from men, or inwardly from Satan, you are strongly tempted at this time, and need to have a word of consolation and encouragement spoken to your souls. If this be the case, “Call to remembrance the former days.” Trials have not for the first time come upon you now: you have in a greater or less degree experienced them from the time that ye were first illuminated. Who is it then that strengthened you to bear them at that time? Is he not still as able and as willing to help you as ever? Is not the grace of Christ as sufficient for you now as in former days? And does he not deserve as much at your hands now as he did formerly? If you rejoiced in doing and suffering for him years ago, is there not the same reason that you should do so now? If there was “a need that you should be in heaviness through manifold temptations” formerly [Note: 1 Peter 1:6.], may there not be the same occasion still? and if the “trial of your faith was precious to you heretofore, yea more precious than gold, because you knew it would be found to your praise and honour and glory, as well as to the praise and honour and glory of your Lord, at his appearing [Note: 1 Peter 1:7.],” should it not be alike precious now? If too an assured prospect of “a better and an enduring substance in heaven” once made all earthly things appear to you so light, that you could take joyfully the loss of all of them in the prospect of it, is it not of equal value now? or do you think that, when you shall have obtained the enjoyment of it, you will regret the sacrifices which you made with a view to it?” Then I say, “Continue to walk by the rule whereto ye have attained [Note: Philippians 3:16.];” and “look to yourselves that ye lose not the things which ye have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward [Note: 2 John, ver. 8.].”]

Let me improve the subject in a more particular address—

1. To those who have never yet been illuminated by the Gospel of Christ—

[How painful should the review of former days be to you! O! the seasons you have lost! the mercies you have abused! the guilt you have contracted! How differently have your lives been spent from what they would have been if you had been Christians indeed! You would have been fleeing from the wrath to come, and would have so made your light shine before men, as to “condemn the world” around you, even as Noah did when he built the ark: and you would have found in Christ such peace as passeth understanding, and such joy as should have infinitely overbalanced all that you could ever do or suffer for him. But of persecution for righteousness’ sake you know nothing; and still less of that high attainment of glorying in tribulation for the sake of Christ. Look back then to the days that are past, and be confounded before God because of your impiety: and pray that “the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened,” and that you may yet be “brought out of darkness into the marvellous light of his Gospel.” Be thankful to God that the light yet shines around you: and, “while ye have the light, be careful to walk in the light;” and “give glory to the Lord your God before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness. But, if ye will not hear this admonition, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore and run down day and night,” because of the awful judgments that await you [Note: Jeremiah 13:16-17.].]

2. To those who, though illuminated by the Gospel, are not walking in the enjoyment of the Divine presence—

[This may arise from temptation and spiritual bondage, or from sloth and carnality, and worldly-mindedness. If it have arisen from the former, God forbid that I should “break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax:” let me rather “hold up the hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees, and encourage the fearful heart.” Well I know that the soul of a righteous man may be bowed down with spiritual distress, and be so sore troubled under the hidings of God’s face, as to be deaf to the voice of consolation. Such was the state of David at one time [Note: Psalms 77:2-4.]; and the remedy to which he betook himself was precisely that which is recommended in my text. “I considered,” says he, “the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night [Note: Psalms 77:5-10.].” Then comparing his present painful experience with that which he had formerly enjoyed, he acknowledges, that all his present doubts and fears were the result of “his own infirmity.” And then, to prevent the return of any such distressing apprehensions, he adds, “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember thy wonders of old [Note: Psalms 77:11.].” Thus then do ye: call to remembrance the experience of former saints, and your own also at more favoured seasons: and then bear in mind that, though you change, God is the same, and that “with him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

But if, as in too many instances is the case, your darkness arise from a relaxation of your diligence, and an indulgence of worldly or carnal affections, I must “change my voice, for I stand in doubt of you;” and would have you also stand in doubt of yourselves, till it be clear that “Christ is formed in you” of a truth. If you are drawing back from God in secret, beware lest he leave you to yourselves to “go back to everlasting perdition.” To “have run well for a season,” will be of little avail, if you do not press forward in your heavenly course. The threatening denounced against backsliding Ephesus lies in full force against you; and you will do well to take heed to it. “I will come unto thee quickly,” says Christ, “and will remove thy candlestick, except thou repent.” Oh, return from all your backslidings with penitential sorrow and a lively faith; so shall your backslidings be healed; and “so iniquity shall not be your ruin!”]

3. To those who are walking steadfastly in their Christian course—

[Are you under trials? Every day brings you nearer to the termination of them: and your Lord and Saviour is just ready to set the crown of victory upon your head, and to put you into full possession of that better and enduring substance that awaits you. Look up to heaven and see the myriads that are now around the throne. “Whence came they? They all came out of great tribulation, and washed their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God [Note: Revelation 7:14-15.].” And therefore shall you soon join their company, and unite with them in songs of praise to God and to the Lamb for ever. Only “be faithful unto death, and God will give you a crown of life,” according to that sure word of promise, “To him that overcometh will I give to sit down with me upon my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father upon his throne.” “He is faithful who hath promised, who also will do it” in its appointed time.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Hebrews 10:32. φωτισθέντες] after ye were illumined, i.e. after ye had recognised Christ as the Saviour of men, and ranked yourselves among His confessors. Comp. Hebrews 6:4.

ἄθλησιν] a word of the later Greek style, in the N. T., however, a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, combines with παθημάτων into a single idea: contest of sufferings. Chrysostom: οὐχ ἁπλῶς εἶπεν ἄθλησιν ὑπεμείνατε, ἀλλὰ μετὰ προσθήκης τοῦ πολλήν. καὶ οὐκ εἶπε πειρασμούς, ἀλλὰ ἄθλησιν, ὅπερ ἐστὶν ἐγκωμίου ὄνομα καὶ ἐπαίνων μεγίστων.

ὑπομένειν] to sustain, here with the subsidiary notion of stedfastness and unweariedness.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Hebrews 10:32. ἀναμιμνήσκεσθε, remember) The Imperative. He subjoins consolation.— φωτισθέντες, being enlightened) i.e. immediately after φωτισμὸν, i.e. Christian baptism, ch. Hebrews 6:4. In baptism, Christ is put on: Christ is the light; therefore the light is put on in baptism. Enlightening denotes that further accession to the force and power of the Spirit, pre-existing for us from the Old Testament, which is gained from the vigour of the New, in the case of those who were baptized. This was the first entrance into Christianity: baptism was the means of salvation in the case of those who were properly fitted for it. I am of opinion, that these divine ordinances, even in theory, are not so highly esteemed as they ought to be. In the very baptism of Christ, His holy human nature was magnificently enlightened. He was previously the Son of God; and yet the power of the Divine testimony to His Sonship, at His baptism, long affected Him in a lively manner. But, as man consists of body and soul, so divine ordinances have this double relation. We must, therefore, make no separation [between the ordinances and the grace], nor [on the other hand] is the glass to be taken for the liquor which it contains, nor should the sheath be grasped instead of the sword.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

But call to remembrance the former days: But is not so much adversative as copulative, adding another direction for their persevering in Christianity, even the revolving in their minds, and bringing again to thought, what was past, carrying in it both the act and the end of it. It is a practical remembrance which bettereth them, while recollecting their own days, and the time that was past.

In which, after ye were illuminated; in which they were convinced of the truth of the gospel, and received it in the love of it, and externally professed it, by being baptized into Christ, and by it made members of his church, Hebrews 6:4, and testified the truth of their being Christ’s.

Ye endured a great fight of afflictions; by their sufferings for him with patience and divine fortitude, willingly, cheerfully, valiantly: Ye have borne, and overcome by bearing, preserving your integrity, so as your faith was immovable, and strengthened you to endure the many and most violent assaults of the devil and his instruments, both within and without the church; who thought to force them from the faith, by the many evils which they inflicted. If they were patient in the enduring these at the first, how much more now, after so long a continuance in it Romans 8:18 2 Corinthians 1:6-8 2 Timothy 1:8 1 Peter 5:9.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hebrews-10.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Вспомните Это слово означает здесь вернуться в мыслях к прошлому и что-то детально восстановить в памяти, а не просто вспомнить (ср. Деян. 5:41; 2Кор. 7:15).

просвещены См. пояснение к 6:4 (ср. «познание истины» в ст. 26).

великий подвиг Слово, употребленное здесь, нигде больше не встречается в Новом Завете. Это пример спортсмена, борющегося в трудном соревновании (ср. 2Тим. 2:5). После своего просвещения они пострадали (ст. 33), обиделись и начали отходить (см. пояснения к Мф. 13:20, 21).

(10:32-39) В этом разделе в противовес вышеупомянутому суровому предупреждению дается слово ободрения (ст. 19-31). Автор говорит, что прошлый опыт евреев должен стимулировать их, близость награды должна их укреплять, а страх не угодить Богу должен охранить их от возвращения к иудаизму.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/hebrews-10.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Call to remembrance; remember the grace of Christ, which sustained you in your former trials.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Hebrews 10:32. Call to remembrance (rather, call up and keep in remembrance) those former days in which, when first enlightened (as in chap. Hebrews 6:4), ye endured, without losing heart or hope (so the word implies), a great fight (a manifest struggle) of suffering, i.e consisting in suffering, not with suffering as your foe (Hebrews 10:34, where it is said that they suffered with those that were bound).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/hebrews-10.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

But call to mind the former days, &c. After having laid before them the severity of God's judgments, he comforts them with the hopes they may have of their eternal salvation, from what they had already suffered soon after they received the light of the gospel, and were illuminated by baptism. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

call to remembrance = keep ever in mind. Greek. anamimnesko. See 1 Corinthians 4:17.

after ye were = having been.

illuminated. Greek. Photizo. See Hebrews 6:4 and compare App-130.

endured. Greek. hupomeno. Same word in Hebrews 12:2, Hebrews 12:3, Hebrews 12:7.

fight. Greek. athlesis. Only here.

afflictions. Greek. pathema, as Romans 8:18.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/hebrews-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

As previously he warned them by the awful end of apostates, so here he stirs them up by the remembrance of their own faith, patience, and self-sacrificing love. So Revelation 2:3-4.

Call to remembrance - habitually: the present tense.

Illuminated - "enlightened:" come to "the (full) knowledge of the truth" (Hebrews 10:26), in connection with baptism (note, Hebrews 6:4). In spiritual baptism, Christ, "the Light," is put on. 'On the one hand, we are not to sever the sign and the grace, where the sacrament truly answers its design; on tho other, the glass is not to be mistaken for the liquor, nor the sheath for the sword' (Bengel).

Fight of - i:e., consisting of afflictions.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(32) In the last six verses the writer has enforced his exhortation by an appeal to the danger of falling away and the fearful consequences of unfaithfulness. From warning he now turns to encouragement, as in Hebrews 6; and here, as there, he thankfully recalls the earlier proofs which his readers had given of their Christian constancy and love. Let them call to mind and ever keep in remembrance what the grace of God had already enabled them to endure. (Comp. 2 John 1:8). As Theophylact has said, he bids them imitate, not others, but themselves.

Illuminated.—Better, enlightened. It is important to keep the word used in the parallel verse, Hebrews 6:4 (see Note).

Fight of afflictions.—Rather, conflict of sufferings; for the last word has in this Epistle (Hebrews 2:9-10) associations too sacred to be lost. The former word (akin to that used by St. Paul in 2 Timothy 2:5 of the contests in the public games) recalls the intense struggles of the contending athletes; it occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Comp. Philippians 1:27; Philippians 4:3; (Philippians 1:30; Colossians 1:29; Colossians 2:1; 1 Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 12:1.) This struggle they had manfully endured.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/hebrews-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
call
Galatians 3:3,4; Philippians 3:16; 2 John 1:8; Revelation 2:5; 3:3
after
6:4; Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6
ye endured
12:4; Acts 8:1-3; 9:1,2; Philippians 1:29,30; Colossians 2:1; 2 Timothy 2:3-13; 4:7,8
Reciprocal: Daniel 11:32 - shall be;  Acts 11:23 - and exhorted;  Ephesians 1:18 - eyes;  2 Thessalonians 1:5 - for;  2 Timothy 1:10 - and hath;  Hebrews 6:11 - unto;  Hebrews 11:25 - Choosing;  Hebrews 11:27 - endured;  James 1:12 - the man;  2 Peter 1:12 - I will not

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/hebrews-10.html.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.

Knowing the terrors of the Lord, the Apostle persuaded men, yet for love's sake he preferred beseeching them, and hence we find with what wisdom he mingles the most alarming warnings with the most affectionate recollections. We have a very striking example of this in the passage before us. A most awful description had been given of the doom of apostates. There were, perhaps, others approaching the brink of the precipice, and, as a nurse cherisheth her children, the Apostle recalls to their minds the trials they had gone through. He remembered the kindness of their youth, the love of their espousals, when after they were illuminated, when the Sun of Righteousness had arisen upon them with healing in his wings, they had endured a great fight of afflictions; they had braved persecution, and had not been moved by their afflictions.

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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/hebrews-10.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

32.Call to remembrance—Our author now inspires them to well doing by their own past noble example.

Illuminated—By the gospel of Christ shining into your hearts.

Fight—A palestric term; an athletic combat or series of combats. A struggle with, or consisting of, afflictions.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/hebrews-10.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Hebrews 10:32. As in the parallel passage in chap. 6, the writer at Hebrews 10:9 suddenly turns from the presentation of the terrifying aspect of apostasy to make appeal to more generous motives, so here he now encourages them to perseverance by reminding them of their praiseworthy past. As Vaughan remarks, the thought is that of Galatians 3:3. .’ “But recall the former days, in which after being enlightened ye endured much wrestling with sufferings”. , “remind yourselves,” as in 2 Corinthians 7:15. See Wetstein’s examples, where the genitive not the accusative follows the verb, and M. Aurelius, Hebrews 10:31. . [as in Thucyd., vi. 9 .] days separated from the present by some considerable interval, as is implied in Hebrews 5:12. They are further described as as in Hebrews 6:4; equivalent to “receiving the knowledge of the truth,” Hebrews 10:26. It was the new light in Christ, shed upon their relation to God and on their prospects, which enabled them to endure much wrestling or conflict with sufferings. in the next generation came to mean “martyrdom,” as in Mart. of S. Ignatius, chap. 4. [For the genitive cf. “certamina divitiarum,” Hor. Epp., i. 5 8.] What these sufferings were is described in two clauses, they were partly in their own persons, partly in their sympathy and voluntary sharing in the suffering of others, , ’ For the distributive formula, “partly,” ’ “partly,” see abundant examples from the classics in Wetstein. See also Plutarch’s Them., Hebrews 10:4. It may be rendered “as well by,” “as by”. , “made a spectacle,” [ , Theophyl., cf.1 Corinthians 4:9], literally true of the Christians who were expose to wild beasts in the amphitheatre. See Renan’s L’Antéchrist, pp. 162 ff., “A la barbarie des supplices on ajouta la dérision”. But here it was not by lions and leopards and wild bulls they were attacked, but , “reproaches and distresses,” “opprobriis et tribulationibus” (Vulg.). is frequent in LXX, and several times in the phrase . In this Epistle it occurs again in Hebrews 11:26 and Hebrews 13:13, and cf.1 Peter 4:14. Some who have not directly suffered persecution in these forms suffered by sympathy and by identifying themselves with those who were experiencing such usage, . Cf.Philippians 4:14. Farrar renders well, “who lived in this condition of things”. In what sense they became is immediately explained; they sympathised with those who were imprisoned and welcomed the violent seizure of their possessions. , as always, must here be rendered “For indeed,” “for in point of fact,” proving by more definite instances that they had become partakers with the persecuted. They had felt for the imprisoned, as was possibly alluded to in Hebrews 6:10, and as they are in Hebrews 13:3 exhorted still to do. Cf.Matthew 25:36, which probably formed a large factor in the production of that care for the persecuted which characterised the early Church. They had also suffered the loss of their goods. , the violent and unjust seizure, as in Matthew 23:25, Luke 11:39. occurs in Lucian and Artemidorus. See Stephanus. That which enables them to take joyfully the loss of their possessions is their consciousness that they have a possession which is better and which cannot be taken away. [for ]. If the true reading is then the meaning is easy “knowing that you have for yourselves”. If we read , this may mean, as Davidson, Westcott and others suppose, “knowing that you have yourselves a better possession”. But this seems not very congruous with the writer’s usual style. It is more likely that the writer uses the emphatic “you yourselves” in contrast to those who had robbed them and now possessed their goods. So von Soden. Or it may mean “ye yourselves” in contrast to the possession itself of which they have been deprived, ye yourselves however stripped of all earthly goods.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/hebrews-10.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

32. Remember. The Letter suddenly turns from God’s vengeance, to appeal to their good works in the past. Compare Galatians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:15. After they had converted to Christ, they had suffered many things, yet stood strong! [There were many persecutions in Judea, such as Acts 8:1; Acts 12:1.]

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/hebrews-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

32.But call to remembrance, etc. In order to stimulate them, and to rouse their alacrity to go forward, he reminds them of the evidences of piety which they had previously manifested; for it is a shameful thing to begin well, and to faint in the middle of our course, and still more shameful to retrograde after having made great progress. The remembrance then of past warfare, if it had been carried on faithfully and diligently under the banner of Christ, is at length useful to us, not as a pretext for sloth, as though we had already served our time, but to render us more active in finishing the remaining part of our course. For Christ has not enlisted us on this condition, that we should after a few years ask for a discharge like soldiers who have served their time, but that we should pursue our warfare even to the end.

He further strengthens his exhortation by saying, that they had already performed great exploits at a time when they were as yet new recruits: the more shame then would it be to them, if now they fainted after having been long tried; for the word enlightened is to be limited to the time when they first enlisted under Christ, as though he had said, “As soon as ye were initiated into the faith of Christ, ye underwent hard and arduous contests; now practice ought to have rendered you stronger, so as to become more courageous.” He, however, at the same time reminds them, that it was through God’s favor that they believed, and not through their own strength; they were enlightened when immersed in darkness and without eyes to see, except light from above had shone upon them. Whenever then those things which we have done or suffered for Christ come to our minds, let them be to us so many goads to stir us on to higher attainments. (191)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:32". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.