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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 10:39

But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

Adam Clarke Commentary

But we are not of them who draw back - Ουκ εσμεν ὑποστολης - �αλλα πιστεως· "We are not the cowards, but the courageous." I have no doubt of this being the meaning of the apostle, and the form of speech requires such a translation; it occurs more than once in the New Testament. So, Galatians 3:7; : Οἱ εκ πιστεως, they who are of the faith, rather the faithful, the believers; Romans 3:26; : Ὁ εκ πιστεως, the believer; Romans 2:8; : Οἱ εξ εριθειας, the contentious; in all which places the learned reader will find that the form of speech is the same. We are not cowards who slink away, and notwithstanding meet destruction; but we are faithful, and have our souls saved alive. The words περιποιησις ψυχης signify the preservation of the life. See the note, Ephesians 1:14. He intimates that, notwithstanding the persecution was hot, yet they should escape with their lives.

  1. It is very remarkable, and I have more than once called the reader's attention to it, that not one Christian life was lost in the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Every Jew perished, or was taken captive; all those who had apostatized, and slunk away from Christianity, perished with them: all the genuine Christians escaped with their lives. This very important information, which casts light on many passages in the New Testament, and manifests the grace and providence of God in a very conspicuous way, is given both by Eusebius and Epiphanius. I shall adduce their words: "When the whole congregation of the Church in Jerusalem, according to an oracle given by revelation to the approved persons among them before the war, κατα τινα χρησμον τοις αυτοθι δοκιμοις δι 'αποκαλυψεως δοθεντα προ του πολεμου, μεταναστηναι της πολεως, και τινα της περαιας πολιν οικειν κεκελευσμενου, Πελλαν αυτην ονομαζουσιν, were commanded to depart from the city, and inhabit a certain city which they call Pella, beyond Jordan, to which, when all those who believed in Christ had removed from Jerusalem, and when the saints had totally abandoned the royal city which is the metropolis of the Jews; then the Divine vengeance seized them who had dealt so wickedly with Christ and his apostles, and utterly destroyed that wicked and abominable generation." Euseb. Hist. Eccles, l. iii. c. v. vol. i. p. 93. Edit. a Reading.
St. Epiphanius, in Haeres. Nazaren, c. 7, says: "The Christians who dwelt in Jerusalem, being forewarned by Christ of the approaching siege, removed to Pella."

The same, in his book De Ponderibus et Mensuris, says: "The disciples of Christ being warned by an angel, removed to Pella; and afterwards, when Adrian rebuilt Jerusalem, and called it after his own name, Aelia Colonia, they returned thither." As those places in Epiphanius are of considerable importance, I shall subjoin the original: Εκειθεν γαρ ἡ αρχη γεγονε μετα την απο των Ἱεροσολυμων μεταστασιν, παντων των μαθητων των εν Πελλῃ ῳκηκοτων, Χριστου φησαντος καταλειψαι τα Ἱεροσολυμα, και αναχωρησαι, επειδη ημελλε πασχειν πολιορκιαν . Epiph. adver. Haeres., l. i. c. 7, vol. i. p. 123. Edit. Par. 1622. The other place is as follows: Ἡνικα γαρ εμελλεν ἡ πολις ἁλισκεσθαι ὑπο των Ῥωμαιων, προεχρηματισθησαν ὑπο Αγγελου παντες οἱ μαθηται μεταστηναι απο της πολεως, μελλουσης αρδην απολλυσθαι. Οἱ τινες και μετανασται γενομενοι ῳκησαν εν Πελλῃ - περαν του Ιορδανου, ἡ τις εκ Δεκαπολεως λεγεται ειναι . Ibid. De Pon. et Mens., vol. ii. p. 171.

These are remarkable testimonies, and should be carefully preserved. Pella, it appears, was a city of Coelesyria, beyond Jordan, in the district of Decapolis. Thus it is evident that these Christians held fast their faith, preserved their shields, and continued to believe to the saving of their lives as well as to the saving of their souls. As the apostle gives several hints of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, it is likely that this is the true sense in which the words above are to be understood.

  • I have already said a little, from Hebrews 10:25, on the importance of social worship. Public worship is not of less consequence. Were it not for public, private worship would soon be at an end. To this, under God, the Church of Christ owes its being and its continuance. Where there is no public worship there is no religion. It is by this that God is acknowledged; and he is the universal Being; and by his bounty and providence all live; consequently, it is the duty of every intelligent creature publicly to acknowledge him, and offer him that worship which himself has prescribed in his word. The ancient Jews have some good maxims on this subject which may be seen in Schoettgen. I shall quote a few.
  • In Berachoth, fol. 8, it is written: "Rabbi Levi said, He who has a synagogue in his city, and does not go thither to pray, shall be esteemed a bad citizen," or a bad neighbor. And to this they apply the words of the prophet, Jeremiah 12:14; : Thus saith the Lord against all my evil neighbors - behold, I will pluck them out of their land.

    In Mechilta, fol. 48: "Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Jacob, said," speaking as from God, "If thou wilt come to my house, I will go to thy house; but if thou wilt not come to my house, I will not enter thy house. The place that my heart loveth, to that shall my feet go." We may safely add, that those who do not frequent the house of God can never expect his presence or blessing in their own.

      In Taanith, fol. 11, it is said that "to him who separates himself from the congregation shall two angels come, and lay their hands upon his head and say, This man, who separates himself from the congregation, shall not see the comfort which God grants to his afflicted Church." The wisest and best of men have always felt it their duty and their interest to worship God in public. As there is nothing more necessary, so there is nothing more reasonable; he who acknowledges God in all his ways may expect all his steps to be directed. The public worship of God is one grand line of distinction between the atheist and the believer. He who uses not public worship has either no God, or has no right notion of his being; and such a person, according to the rabbins, is a bad neighbor; it is dangerous to live near him, for neither he nor his can be under the protection of God. No man should be forced to attend a particular place of worship, but every man should be obliged to attend some place; and he who has any fear of God will not find it difficult to get a place to his mind.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    But we are not of them … - We who are true Christians do not belong to such a class. In this the apostle expresses the fullest conviction that none of those to whom he wrote would apostatize. The case which he had been describing was only a supposable case, not one which he believed would occur. He had only been stating what “must” happen if a sincere Christian should apostatize. But he did not mean to say that this “would” occur in regard to them. or in any case. He made a statement of a general principle under the divine administration, and he designed that this should be a means of keeping them in the path to life. What could be a more effectual means than the assurance that if a Christian should apostatize “he must inevitably perish forever?” See the sentiment in this verse illustrated at length in the notes on Hebrews 6:4-10.

    Remarks

    (1) It is a subject of rejoicing that we are brought under a more perfect system than the ancient people of God were. We have not merely a rude outline - a dim and shadowy sketch of religion, as they had. We are not now required to go before a bloody altar every day, and lead up a victim to be slain. We may come to the altar of God feeling that the great sacrifice has been made, and that the last drop of blood to make atonement has been shed. A pure, glorious, holy body was prepared for the Great Victim, and in that body he did the will of God and died for our sins; Hebrews 10:1-10.

    (2) like that Great Redeemer, let us do the will of God. It may lead us through sufferings, and we may he called to meet trials strongly resembling his. But the will of God is to be done alike in bearing trials, and in prayer and praise. “Obedience” is the great thing which he demands; which he has always sought. When his ancient people led up in faith, a lamb to the altar, still he preferred obedience to sacrifice; and when his Son came into the world to teach us how to live, and how to die, still the great thing was obedience. He came to illustrate the nature of perfect conformity to the will of God, and he did that by a most holy life, and by the most patient submission to all the trials appointed him in his purpose to make atonement for the sins of the world. Our model, alike in holy living and holy dying, is to be the Saviour; and like him we are required to exercise simple submission to the will of God; Hebrews 10:1-10.

    (3) the Redeemer looks calmly forward to the time when all his foes will be brought in submission to his feet; Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:13. He is at the right hand of God. His great work on earth is done. He is to suffer no more. He is exalted beyond the possibility of pain and sorrow, and he is seated now on high looking to the period when all his foes shall be subdued and he will be acknowledged as universal Lord.

    (4) the Christian has exalted advantages. He has access to the mercy-seat of God. He may enter by faith into the “Holiest” - the very heavens where God dwells. Christ, his great High Priest, has entered there; has sprinkled over the mercy-seat with his blood, and ever lives there to plead his cause. There is no privilege granted to people like that of a near and constant access to the mercy-seat. This is the privilege not of a few; and not to be enjoyed but once in a year, or at distant intervals, but which the most humble Christian possesses, and which may be enjoyed at all times, and in all places. There is not a Christian so obscure, so poor, so ignorant that he may not come and speak to God; and there is not a situation of poverty, want, or wo, where he may not make his wants known with the assurance that his prayers will be heard through faith in the great Redeemer; Hebrews 10:19-20.

    (5) when we come before God, let our hearts be pure; Hebrews 10:22. The body has been washed with pure water in baptism, emblematic of the purifying influences of the Holy Spirit. Let the conscience be also pure. Let us lay aside every unholy thought. Our worship will not be acceptable; our prayers will not be heard, if it is not so. “If we regard iniquity in our hearts the Lord will not hear us.” No matter though there be a great High Priest; no matter though he have offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and no matter though the throne of God be accessible to people, yet if there is in the heart the love of sin; if the conscience is not pure, our prayers will not be heard. Is this not one great reason why our worship is so barren and unprofitable?

    (6) it is the duty of Christians to exhort one another to mutual fidelity; Hebrews 10:24. We should so far regard the interests of each other, as to strive to promote our mutual advance in piety. The church is one. All true Christians are brethren. Each one has an interest in the spiritual welfare of every one who loves the Lord Jesus, and should strive to increase his spiritual joy and usefulness. A Christian brother often goes astray and needs kind admonition to reclaim him; or he becomes disheartened and needs encouragement to cheer him or his Christian way.

    (7) Christians should not neglect to assemble together for the worship of God; Hebrews 10:25. It is a duty which they owe to God to acknowledge him publicly, and their own growth in piety is essentially connected with public worship. It is impossible for a man to secure the advancement of religion in his soul who habitually neglects public worship, and religion will not flourish in any community where this duty is not performed. There are great benefits growing out of the worship of God, which can be secured in no other way. God has made us social beings, and he intends that the social principle shall be called into exercise in religion, as well as in other things. We have common wants, and it is proper to present them together before the mercy-seat. We have received common blessings in our creation, in the providence of God, and in redemption, and it is proper that we should assemble together and render united praise to our Maker for his goodness.

    Besides, in any community, the public worship of God does more to promote intelligence, order, peace, harmony, friendship, neatness of apparel, and purity and propriety of contact between neighbors, than anything else can, and for which nothing else can be a compensation. Every Christian, and every other man, therefore, is bound to lend his influence in thus keeping up the worship of God, and should always be in his place in the sanctuary. The particular thing in the exhortation of the apostle is, that this should be done “even in the face of persecution.” The early Christians felt so much the importance of this, that we are told they were accustomed to assemble at night. Forbidden to meet in public houses of worship, they met in caves, and even when threatened with death they continued to maintain the worship of God. It may be added, that so important is this, that it should be preserved even when the preaching of the gospel is not enjoyed. Let Christians assemble together. Let them pray and offer praise. Let them read the Word of God, and an appropriate sermon. Even this will exert an influence on them and on the community of incalculable importance, and will serve to keep the flame of piety burning on the altar of their own hearts, and in the community around them.

    (8) we may see the danger of indulging in any sin; Hebrews 10:26-27. None can tell to what it may lead. No matter how small and unimportant it may appear at the time, yet if indulged in it will prove that there is no true religion, and will lead on to those greater offences which make shipwreck of the Christian name, and ruin the soul. He that “wilfully” and deliberately sins “after he professes to have received the knowledge of the truth,” shows that his religion is but a name, and that he has never known any thing of its power.

    (9) we should guard with sacred vigilance against everything which might lead to apostasy; Hebrews 10:26-29. If a sincere Christian “should” apostatize from God, he could never be renewed and saved. There would remain no more sacrifice for sins; there is no other Saviour to be provided; there is no other Holy Spirit to be sent down to recover the apostate. Since, therefore; so fearful a punishment would follow apostasy from the true religion, we may see the guilt of everything which has a “tendency” to it. That guilt is to be measured by the fearful consequences which would ensue if it were followed out; and the Christian should, therefore, tremble when he is on the verge of committing any sin whose legitimate tendency would be such a result.

    (10) we may learn from the views presented in this chapter Hebrews 10:26, Hebrews 10:29, the error of those who suppose that a true Christian may fall away and be renewed again and saved. If there is any principle clearly settled in the New Testament, it is, that if a sincere Christian should apostatize, “he must perish.” There would be no possibility of renewing him. He would have tried the only religion which saves people, and it would in his case have failed; he would have applied to the only blood which purifies the soul, and it would have been found inefficacious; he would have been brought under the only influence which renews the soul, and that would not have been sufficient to save him. What hope could there be? What would then save him if these would not? To what would he apply to what Saviour, to what blood of atonement, to what renewing and sanctifying agent, if the gospel, and the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit had all been tried in vain? There are few errors in the community more directly at variance with the express teachings of the Bible than the belief that a Christian may fall away and he again renewed.

    (11) Christians, in their conflicts, their trials, and their temptations, should be strengthened by what is past; Hebrews 10:32-35. They should remember the days when they were afflicted and God sustained them, when they were persecuted and he brought them relief. It is proper also to remember for their own encouragement; now, the spirit of patience and submission which they were enabled to manifest in those times of trial, and the sacrifices which they were enabled to make. They may find in such things evidence that they are the children of God; and they should find in their past experience proof that he who has borne them through past trials, is able to keep them unto his everlasting kingdom.

    (12) we need patience - but it is only for a little time; Hebrews 10:36-39. Soon all our conflicts will be over. “He that shall come will come and will not tarry.” He will come to deliver his suffering people from all their trials. He will come to rescue the persecuted from the persecutor; the oppressed from the oppressor; the down-trodden from the tyrant; and the sorrowful and sad from their woes. The coming of the Saviour to each one of the afflicted is the signal of release from sorrow, and his advent at the end of the world will be proof that all the trials of the bleeding and persecuted church are at an end. The time too is short before he will appear. In each individual case it is to be but a brief period before he will come to relieve the sufferer from his woes, and in the case of the church at large the time is not far remote when the Great Deliverer shall appear to receive “the bride,” the church redeemed, to the “mansions” which he has gone to prepare.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-10.html. 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    Hebrews 10:39

    Draw back unto perdition

    Apostasy

    Apostates have martial law, they run away, but into hell-mouth, Runaways are to be received as enemies, and to be killed wherever they be found.
    (
    Jr. Trapp.)

    Looking back:

    Dr. Donne says that Lot’s wife looked back and God never gave her leave to look forward again. God hath set our eyes in our foreheads to look forward, not backward; not to be proud of that which we have done, but diligent in that which we are to do. (E. P. Thwing.)

    Way to heaven:

    “I know the way to heaven,” said little Minnie to little Johnny, who stood by her side, looking on a picture-book that Minnie had in her hand. “You do?” said little John. “Well, won’t you tell me how to get there?” “Oh, yes! I’ll tell you. Just commence going up, and keep on going up all the time, and you’ll get there. But, Johnny, you must not turn back.” (New Cyclopcedia of Illustrations.)

    Perdition--the state of the lost:

    Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Dante’s “Inferno,” Dore’s cartoons, the weird word-painting of the pulpit, dreadful fancy pictures of hell--all of this cannot make us understand what it is to be lost. It was not to purgatory or hell that Christ went, but it was into this world of ours that He came to seek and to save the lost. They were here. To be lost is to get away from where we belong. The lost sheep, the lost prodigal, were wanderers. They were not dead, they were not in hell; but they were lost. The soul does not belong to sin and the devil; it belongs to God. And if you want to know how lost the soul is, then learn how far it has got away from God. That is the thing to know. Heaven and hell are incidentals. If you take care to be saved from your sins, to be brought back to the image of God from which you have wandered, heaven and hell will take care of themselves. Now, if you would know how lost you are, put your life, with all its selfishness and littleness, beside the life of Jesus; your motives by His, your thoughts by His, your heart by His. Try and see how far you ]lave got away from the perfect image of the God-Man. He is the perfect specimen of man, of which the rest of us are ruins, it matters not how magnificent those ruins may be. He shows us a specimen of man who is not lost. The image of Christ will teach us more about the lost than Dore’s cartoons could ever do. (R. S. Barrett.)

    Believe to the saving of the soul

    Saving faith

    I. THE NATURE OF FAITH.

    1. Belief in another’s testimony. We go to places, and attend meetings; we write letters, and maintain intercourse with others; we transact business, and conduct our affairs; we sail for foreign ports; we do ten thousand things, trivial or important, simply on the testimony of others, because we believe in them and what they say.

    2. Belief in God’s testimony. His testimony is contained in the Scriptures. In them He reveals His nature, perfections, government and laws; His relations and designs towards us; judgment to come, and future states of being; things unseen and eternal. We accept the testimony--that it is from Him, and, consequently, that what it declares and unfolds, promises and threatens, is true and real. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.”

    3. Belief in God’s testimony concerning the Redeemer. He has testified that Jesus Christ is His eternal, only-begotten, well-beloved Son, one with Him in nature and operation; that “in the fulness of the time” He was born of a woman, became partaker of flesh and blood, and was made in our likeness,” &c. We believe the testimony concerning Jesus Christ, because He who testifies cannot deceive.

    4. Trust in Christ as our Saviour. Believing the testimony God has given us concerning His Son, concerning His Divine person and mediatorial office--that He came “to seek and to save the lost.” We cast ourselvesunreservedly and wholly on Him; we confidently give up ourselves to Him; we trust in Him.

    II. THE ORIGIN OF FAITH.

    1. It is of God. The Godhead is the fountain of all blessings, the primary cause of all gracious effects. We have neither the inclination nor the ability to believe unto salvation. The desire and strength must be granted. If we have a true apprehension of our demerit and exposure to perdition, and are disposed to flee to Christ: and if we have a full persuasion of His sufficiency to save, and are able to cast ourselves on Him, it is of Divine favour and operation.

    2. God produces faith by the Holy Spirit. Convicted, illumined and made willing by the power of the Holy Ghost, we realise our sinfulness, our awful danger; we see Christ in the beauty and excellency of His Divine person, and in the suitableness and sufficiency of His atoning work; and we surrender every other ground of hope, and rest altogether and only on Him for salvation.

    III. THE INSTRUMENT OR MEANS BE WHICH FAITH IS PRODUCED AND MAINTAINED. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

    IV. THE DEGREES OF FAITH. The rock on which saved sinners stand is equally stable to all, but the foothold of all is not equally firm. Faith may decline; how far it would be difficult to determine. Even the believer, in a time of desertion and darkness, may question his interest in Christ, and fear coming short of heaven. On the other hand, faith is sometimes strong.

    V. THE EFFECTS AND EVIDENCES OF FAITH.

    1. It imparts peace. The storm is changed into a calm. The dark night is past, and morning dawns. The fever, the agony, is over. And in proportion as faith is maintained, so is peace. If faith languish, and be temporarily interrupted, distress of soul returns; if it flourish, and be strong and vigorous, tranquillity continues.

    2. It produces holiness. “The operation of God,” its tendency is to godliness, A holy principle, it produces holy practice; good seed, it yields good fruit; a pure spring, pure streams flow from it; a latent power, it manifests itself in godly deeds.

    3. It purifies the heart. A believing sight of Christ crucified, imparted by the Holy Ghost, reveals the terrible evil of sin, and fills us with repugnance of it. Faith in vigorous exercise, we cannot but loathe sin. The heart purified, sanctified, “holiness to the Lord” shall be inscribed on all pertaining to us.

    4. In producing holiness, faith works by love. Believing in Jesus Christ, we are assimilated, though very imperfectly, to His human disposition and conduct. How attractive and effective are words and deeds of love I Faith and love are beautiful graces and potent factors.

    5. It overcomes the world. (Alex. McCreery.)

    How to own ourselves:

    The writer uses a somewhat uncommon word in this clause, which is not altogether adequately represented by the translation “saving.” Its true force will be apparent by comparing one or two of the fear instances in which it occurs in the New Testament. For example, it is twice employed in the Epistles to the Thessalonians; in one case being rendered, “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain” (or, more correctly, to the obtaining of) “salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”; and in another, “called to the obtaining of glory, through Jesus Christ.” It is employed twice besides, in two other places of Scripture, and in both of these it means “ possession.” So that, though substantially equivalent to the idea of salvation, there is a very beautiful shade of difference which is well worth noticing. The thought of the text is substantially this--those who believe win their souls; they acquire them for their possession. We talk colloquially about “people that cannot call their souls their own.” That is a very true description of all men who are not lords of themselves through faith in Jesus Christ. “They who believe to the gaining of their own souls” is the meaning of the writer here.

    I. First, then, IF WE LOSE OURSELVES WE WIN OURSELVES. All men admit in theory that a self-centred life is a blunder. Jesus Christ has all thoughtful men wholly with Him when He says, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life shall find it.” There is no such way of filling a soul with blessedness and of evolving new capacities as self-oblivion for some great cause, for some great love, for some great enthusiasm. Many a woman has found herself when she held her child in her arms, and in the self-oblivion which comes from maternal affections and cares has sprung into a loftier new life. But whilst all these counterpoises to the love of self are, in their measure, great and blessed, not one of them will so break the fetters from off a prisoned soul and let it out into the large place of glad self-oblivion as the course which our text enjoins when it says: If you wish to forget yourselves, to abandon and lose yourselves, fling yourselves into Christ’s arms, and by faith yield your whole being, will, trust, purposes, aims, everything--yield it all up to Him; and when you can say, “We are not our own,” then first will you belong to yourselves and have won your own souls. Nothing else is comparable to the talismanic power of trust in Jesus Christ. When thus we lose ourselves in Him we find ourselves, and find Him in ourselves. I believe that a life must either spin round on its own axis, self-moved, or else it must be drawn by the mass and weight and mystical attractiveness of the great central sun, and swept clean out of its own little path to become a satellite round Him. Then only will it move in music and beauty, and flash back the lustre of an unfading light. Self or God--one or other will be the centre of every human life. It is well to be touched with lofty enthusiasms; it is well to conquer self in the eager pursuit of some great thought or large subject of study; it is well to conquer self in the sweetness of domestic love; but through all these there may run a perverting and polluting reference to myself. Affection may become but a subtle prolongation of myself, and study and thought may likewise be tainted, and even in the enthusiasm for a great cause there may mingle much of self-regard; and on the whole there is nothing that will sweep out, and keep out, the seven devils of selfishness except to yield yourselves to God, drawn by His mercies, and say, “I am not my own; I am bought with a price.” Then, and only then, will you belong to yourselves.

    II. Secondly, IF WE WILL TAKE CHRIST FOR OUR LORD WE SHALL BE LORDS OF OUR OWN SOULS. I have said that self-surrender is self-possession. It is equally true that self-control is self-possession; and it is as true about this application about my text as it was about the former, that Christianity only says more emphatically what all moralists say, and supplies a more efficient means of accomplishing the end which they all recognise as good. For everybody knows that the man who is a slave to his own passions, lusts, or desire--that the man who is the sport of circumstance, and yields to every temptation that comes sweeping round him, as bamboos bend before every blast--is not his own master. He “dare not call his soul his own.” What do we mean by being self-possessed, except this, that we can so rule our more fluctuating and sensitive parts as that, notwithstanding appeals made to them by external circumstances, they do not necessarily yield to these. He possesses himself who, in the face of antagonism, can do what is right. Trust in Jesus Christ, and let Him be your Commander-in-Chief, and you have won your souls Let Him dominate them, and you can dominate them. If you will give your wills into His hands, He will give them back to you and make you able to subdue your passions and desires. What does some little rajah, on the edge of our great Indian Empire, do when troubled with rebels that he cannot subdue? He goes and makes himself a feudatory of the great central Power at Calcutta, and then down comes a regiment or two and makes very short work of the rebellion that the little kinglet could do nothing with. If you go to Christ and say to Him, “Dear Lord, take my crown from my head and lay it at Thy feet. Come Thou to help me to rule this anarchic realm of my own soul,” you will win yourself.

    III. Thirdly, IF WE HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST WE ACQUIRE A BETTER SELF. The thing that most thoughtful men and women feel after they have gone a little way into life is not so much that they want to possess themselves, as that they want to get rid of themselves--of all the failures and shame and disappointment and futility of their lives, and that desire may be accomplished. We cannot strip ourselves of ourselves by any effort. The bitter old past keeps living on, and leaves with us seeds of weakness and memories that sometimes corrupt, and always enfeeble; memories that seem to limit the possibilities of the future in a tragic fashion. Ah, we can get rid of ourselves; and, instead of continuing the poor, sin-laden, feeble creatures that we are. The old individuality will remain, but new tastes, new aspirations, aversions, hopes, and capacities to realise them, may all be ours. You can lose yourselves, in a very deep sense, if, trusting in Jesus Christ, you open the door of the heart to the influx of that new life which is His best gift. Faith wins a better self, and we may each experience, in all its blessedness, the paradox of the apostle when he said, “I live “ now, at last, in triumphant possession of this better life: “I live” now, I only existed before; “yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” And with Christ in me I first find myself.

    IV. Lastly, IF BY FAITH WE WIN OUR SOULS HERE, WE SAVE THEM FROM DESTRUCTION HEREAFTER. I have said that the word of my text is substantially equivalent to the more frequent and common expression, “salvation”; though with a shade of difference, which I have been trying to bring out. And this substantial equivalence is more obvious if you will note that the text is the second member of an antithesis, of which the first is, “we are not of them which draw back into perdition.” So, then, the writer sets up, as exact opposites of one another, these two ideas, perdition or destruction, on the one hand; and the saving or winning of the soul on the other. Therefore, whilst we must give due weight to the considerations which I have already been suggesting, we shall not grasp the whole of the writer’s meaning unless we admit also the thought of future. So, then, you cannot be said to have won your souls if you are only keeping them for destruction. And such destruction is clearly laid down here as the fate of those who turn away from Jesus Christ. Now it seems to me that no fair interpretation can eject from that word “perdition,” or “destruction,” an element of awe and terror. However you may interpret the ruin, it is ruin utter of which it speaks. Now, remember, the alternative applies to each of us. It is a case of “either--or” in regard to us all. If we have taken Christ for our Saviour, and, as I said, put the reins into His hands and given ourselves to Him by love and submission and confidence, then we own our souls, because we have given them to Him to keep, “and He is able to keep that which is committed to Him against that day.” But I am bound to tell you, in the plainest words I can command, that if you have not thus surrendered yourself to Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, His intercession, His quickening Spirit, then I know not where you find one foothold of hope that upon you there will not come down the overwhelming fate that is darkly portrayed in that one solemn word. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

    Saving faith:

    It is not the quantity of thy faith that shall save thee. A drop of water is as true water as the whole ocean. So a little faith is as true faith as the greatest. A child eight days old is as really a man as one of sixty years; a spark of fire is as true fire as a great flame; a sickly man is as true living as a well man. So it is not the measure of thy faith that saves thee--it is the blood that it grips to that saves thee; as the weak hand of a child that leads the spoon to the mouth, will feel as well as the strong arm of a man; for it is not the hand that feeds thee--albeit, it puts the meat into thy mouth, but it is the meat carried into the stomach that feeds thee. So if thou canst grip Christ ever so weakly, He will not let thee perish. (J. Welsh.)

    Gripped by the Lord

    A convert, at the Golden Lane Mission, in London, said: “I’m a corster and doin’ well, for I’ve got nearly a score o’ barters. Many a time I’ve had a lark at the meeting, and tried to upset ‘era. One day the Lord spoke to my ‘art, an’ it reeled ready to bust in me--an’ I couldn’t sleep until I got down on my knees an’ prayed for forgiveness. Since then I’ve had plenty o’ things tryin’ to pull me back from the Lord, but He’s got such a firm grip that I’m not afeerd.”

    What and how to believe:

    “Can you tell me,” said an unhappy sceptic to a happy old saint, “just what is the gospel you believe, and how you believe it?” She quietly replied, “God is satisfied with the work of His Son--that is the gospel I believe; and I am satisfied with it--that is how I believe it.” (J. H. Brooks, D. D.)


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    Bibliography
    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Hebrews 10:39". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/hebrews-10.html. 1905-1909. New York.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition,.... There is a drawing back which is not unto perdition; persons may be attended with much unbelief, may be very cold and indifferent to Gospel ordinances, may fall into great sins, and may greatly backslide, and yet be recovered, as David, Peter, and others: and there is a drawing back to perdition; when Christ is rejected as the alone Saviour; when he is not held to as the head; when false doctrines and damnable heresies are given into; and when men draw back, and never return, nor are they, nor can they be returned, and their apostasy is total, and final: but true believers do not, and cannot draw back in this sense; because they are held fast in the arms, and with the cords of everlasting love, are chosen of God unto salvation, are given unto Christ, and secured in him; they are redeemed and purchased by him; they are united to him, and built upon him; they are interested in his prayers and preparations, and are his jewels, and his portion; they are regenerated, sanctified, inhabited, and sealed by the Spirit of God, and have the promises and power of God, on their side.

    But of them that believe to the saving of the soul; or "of faith, to the salvation of the soul"; not of faith of miracles, nor of an historical faith; but of that faith, which is the faith of God's elect, is the gift of God, and the operation of his Spirit; by which a soul sees Christ, goes to him, lays holds on him, commits all to him, and expects all from him: this stands opposed to drawing back; for by faith a man lives, walks, and stands; and with this is connected the salvation of the soul, as opposed to perdition; not as though it is a cause of salvation, but as a means of God's appointing to receive the blessings of salvation, and which is entirely consistent with the grace of God; and since salvation and faith are inseparably connected together, so that he that has the one shall have the other, it follows, that true believers can never perish. The nature and excellency of this grace is largely treated of in the following chapter.


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    Bibliography
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/hebrews-10.html. 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    A Pauline elegant turning-off from denunciatory warnings to charitable hopes of his readers (Romans 8:12).

    saving of the soul — literally, “acquisition (or obtaining) of the soul.” The kindred Greek verb is applied to Christ‘s acquiring the Church as the purchase of His blood (Acts 20:28). If we acquire or obtain our soul‘s salvation, it is through Him who has obtained it for us by His bloodshedding. “The unbelieving man loses his soul: for not being God‘s, neither is he his own [compare Matthew 16:26, with Luke 9:25 ]: faith saves the soul by linking it to God” [Delitzsch in Alford].


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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.

    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    But we (ημεις δεhēmeis de). In contrast to renegades who do flicker and turn back from Christ.

    Of them that shrink back unto perdition (υποστολης εις απωλειανhupostolēs eis apōleian). Predicate genitive of υποστοληhupostolē as in Hebrews 12:11, from υποστελλωhupostellō with same sense here, stealthy retreat in Plutarch, dissimulation in Josephus. Here alone in the N.T.

    Unto the saving of the soul
    (εις περιποιησιν πσυχηςeis peripoiēsin psuchēs). Old word from περιποιεωperipoieō to reserve, to preserve (Luke 17:33) to purchase (Acts 20:28). So here preserving or saving one‘s life as in Plato, but possession in Ephesians 1:14, obtaining in 1 Thessalonians 4:9. Papyri have it in sense of preservation.


    Copyright Statement
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    Bibliography
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    But we are not of them who draw back ( ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐκ ἐσμὲν ὑποστολῆς )

    Lit. we are not of shrinking back. Ὑποστολὴ N.T.oolxx, oClass. Ἒιναι with genitive marks the quality or peculiarity of a person or thing. Comp. Hebrews 12:11 χαρᾶς εἶναι tobe of joy, joyful. We do not partake of drawing back, which is characteristic of recreants.

    Unto perdition ( εἰς ἀπώλειαν )

    Or destruction. Drawing back makes for and terminates in ( εἰς ) destruction.

    Of them that believe ( πίστεως )

    Rend. of faith. The phrase εἶναι πίστεως tobe of faith, N.T.oSaving ( περιποίησιν )

    See on 1 Thessalonians 5:9.


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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/hebrews-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    We are not of them who draw back to perdition — Like him mentioned Hebrews 10:38.

    But of them that believe — To the end, so as to attain eternal life.


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    Bibliography
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/hebrews-10.html. 1765.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    39.But we are not of them which draw back, etc. The Apostle made a free use of the Greek version, which was most suitable to the doctrine which he was discussing; and he now wisely applies it. He had before warned them, lest by forsaking the Church they should alienate themselves from the faith and the grace of Christ; he now teaches them that they had been called for this end, that they might not draw back. And he again sets faith and drawing back in opposition the one to the other, and also the preservation of the soul to its perdition.

    Now let it be noticed that this truth belongs also to us, for we, whom God has favored with the light of the Gospel, ought to acknowledge that we have been called in order that we may advance more and more in our obedience to God, and strive constantly to draw nearer to him. This is the real preservation of the soul, for by so doing we shall escape eternal perdition.


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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.

    William Newell's Commentary on Romans and Revelation

    But we are not of shrinking back (of those who do shrink back) unto perdition; but on the contrary (we are) those of faith unto the preservation of the soul (a preservation [or preserving] of the soul, of course, which has been purchased by the blood of Christ). Here we have the same stepping into the circle-shall we say?--of true believers, as in Chapter 6:9. There, it was "Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation"--though he had just spoken most solemnly of those who merely taste, and fall away. Here, we have in the "we" the same circle, and the same blessed consciousness of persevering in that living faith which in the preceding verse was the faith in which God's justified ones were living; the faith is viewed as that which operates to preserve the soul from that perdition unto which go those that shrink back from the path of faith.

    * Remember that in Rev. 21:8 "the fearful" head the list of all who go into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death; the fearful who shrank back from resting upon the work done by any other than themselves--by Another at the Cross.

    Once more we shall see them in Ch. 12:15 in the words, "Looking carefully lest there be any man (that is, any professed believer) that falleth short of the grace of God."

    Unto perdition--(eis apoleian) sets forth damnation, especially as the destination and condition of those who have left this world under judgment, as in Rev. 17:11 of the Antichrist: "He goeth into perdition;" and in 2 Thess. 2:3, same word concerning the same being. The wicked, in Rom. 9:22, are called "vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction." Judas is called "the son of perdition." Destruction (Gr., olethron), and perdition, are named together in 1 Tim. 6:9. Destruction, I suggest, indicated the ruin that accompanies their earthly overthrow: compare 1 Cor. 5:5, "the destruction of the flesh," even in the case of this man whose spirit was to be "saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

    Thus in Chapter 10 is prepared the way for those great examples of faith, living faith, set forth in the following chapter, "the Westminster Abbey of Scripture."


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    Newell, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". William Newell's Commentary on Romans, Hebrews and Revelation. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wnc/hebrews-10.html. 1938.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    Ver. 39. Who draw back unto] Apostates have martial law, they run away but into hell’s mouth. A worse condition they cannot likely choose onto themselves; for they are miserable by their own election, Jonah 2:8, and are wholly destined to utter destruction. Transfugas arboribus suspendunt, saith Tacitus of the old Germans; they hang up run-a-ways. And transfugas, ubicunque inventi fuerint, quasi testes interficere licet, saith the civil law. Run-a-ways are to be received as enemies, and to be killed wherever they be found.

    To the saving of the soul] Gr. εις πεοιποιησιν ψυχης, to the giving of the soul. A metaphor from merchants, who either get more or lose what they have; or else haply from gamesters, who keep a stake in store, however the world go with them.


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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/hebrews-10.html. 1865-1868.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    Observe here, 1. A twofold opposite state, namely them that draw back, and them that believe, that is, persevere in believing; we are not of them that draw back.

    Intimating, 1. That in the visible church there ever have been, are, and will be, a number of hypocrites, who, for fear of suffering in a time of persecution, will draw back.

    2. That it is every Christian's duty to evidence to his own conscience, and also to give evidence unto others, that he is not of this sort or number: We are not of them who draw back.

    Observe, 2. A twofold opposite event, perdition on the one hand and salvation on the other. The first of these is denied, the latter is affirmed, concerning these Hebrews: We are not of them that draw back into perdition: But of them that believe, to the saving of the soul.

    Where note, 1. The actual influence of apostacy on the one hand to destruction; nothing can free apostates from eternal ruin.

    Note, 2. The actual influence of faith on the other hand to the saving of the soul.

    Thence learn, That sincere faith will carry men through all difficulties, hazards, and troubles, unto the certain enjoyment of eternal blessedness. We are of them that do believe, unto the saving of the soul.


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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/hebrews-10.html. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    39.] Here again he returns from that which is threatening in appearance to that which is encouraging and reassuring. But we (emphatic; bringing with it, in its mention, all that we are as Christians and that God has made us: you and I, κλήσεως ἐπουρανίου μέτοχοι, ch. Hebrews 3:1) are not of backsliding (there is no ellipsis after ἐσμέν, as υἱοί, or τέκνα: the gen. of category is common enough: see Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 165, who gives many examples. ὑποστολή takes up ὑποστείληται above. The word is found in Josephus, in several places: Kypke quotes οὐδεμίαν ὑποστολὴν ποιοῦνται κακοηθείας, and λάθρα τὰ πολλὰ καὶ μεθʼ ὑποστολῆς ἐκακούργησε: but both his references, as well as those given by Bleek, are wrong. He also quotes from Plutarch, Moral. p. 501, ὅτε μάλιστα δεῖται ὑπομονῆς κ. σιωπῆς κ. ὑποστολῆς ὁ ἄνθρωπος) unto (as its result: so Romans 6:19 bis, εἰς τὴν ἀνομίαν, εἰς ἁγιασμόν) destruction (in St. Paul’s sense: see reff.: the verb ἀπόλλυμαι is equally foreign to this Epistle, only occurring in the citation, ch. Hebrews 1:11), but of faith unto (the) preservation of (the) soul (see on περιποίησις, note, 1 Thessalonians 5:9. But Delitzsch is right when he warns us against interpreting περιποίησιν ψυχῆς simply by περιπ. ζωῆς or σωτηρίας. “The soul ( ψυχή) is the subject of life and salvation. Faith saves the soul, by linking it to God, the living One. The unbelieving man loses his soul: for not being God’s, neither is he his own: all that his personality has in itself and round itself, is fallen under wrath and the powers of wrath”).


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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/hebrews-10.html. 1863-1878.

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

    Hebrews 10:39. The author expresses his confidence that the readers and himself belong not to the class of men who, because they draw back from Christianity out of cowardly misgiving, fall a prey to destruction, but rather to the class of those who do not grow weary in the Christian faith, and therefore attain to life. This expression of confidence is in its essence an admonition, and indeed a more urgent one than though the direct form of exhortation had been chosen.

    To ἐσμέν Grotius, Wolf, Carpzov, Heinrichs, and many others erroneously supplement τέκνα or υἱοί. For εἶναι, with the mere genitive, is a well-known genuinely Greek manner of expressing a relation of pertaining to a thing. See Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 165; Kühner, II. p. 167.

    εἰς ἀπώλειανεἰς περιποίησιν ζωῆς] Corroborative allusion to the result of the two opposite lines of action.

    ἀπώλεια is everlasting perdition, and περιποίησις ψυχῆς (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 : εἰς περιποίησιν σωτηρίας) gaining of the soul, i.e. everlasting life and everlasting blessedness. Wrongly Ebrard: of the bodily deliverance from the judgment impending over Jerusalem, is the discourse to be understood.

    ψυχῆς, moreover, belongs simply to περιποίησιν, not already, as Böhme and Hofmann will have it, to ἀπώλειαν, since only περιποί., not also ἀπώλ., stood in need of an addition.


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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    Hebrews 10:39. οὐκ ἐσμὲν, we are not) A polite expression, according to the style of Paul, Romans 8:12, note.— ὑποστολῆς) corresponds to ὑποστείληται, Hebrews 10:38.— εἰς ἀπώλειαν, unto destruction) They perish, who do not approve their souls unto GOD.— εἰς περιποίησιν ψυχῆς, unto the saving of the soul) It corresponds to, shall live, Hebrews 10:38.

    —————


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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-10.html. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    The conclusion is a hopeful assertion of their condition, or a sweet intimation of what they ought to be, even like himself; and so the apostle removes all jealousy of his reflecting on them, as Hebrews 6:9.

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; the adversative, but, is an exception of them to whom he writes from the apostate state, and so joins himself with them, hoping they were such de facto as he was, and as they ought to be de jure; and so intimates their duty, and that of all Christians: We are not sons of defection, persons withdrawing and backsliding from Christ, his gospel, or duties; apostates from the truth, whose end is destruction, an utter separation from all good, life, and glory, and full subjection of body and soul to eternal torments in hell, by the righteous sentence of God, Matthew 10:28: who are sons of defection, are sons of perdition, John 17:12 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

    But of them that believe to the saving of the soul; sons of faith, true and sincere believers, cleaving to Christ and his body, rooted in his faith, and persevering in it to the end, Ephesians 3:17 Colossians 2:7: which faith acquiring, purchasing, or obtaining, according to the gospel covenant, the soul for salvation, and glory for the soul, John 3:15,16,36 5:40 2 Thessalonians 2:14. Faith realizing, applying, and keeping fast the price which Christ himself paid to God for the purchasing of these for them on their souls.


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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hebrews-10.html. 1685.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    We; true Christians.

    To the saving of the soul; Job 17:9; John 4:13-14; John 10:28-29; 1 Peter 1:2-9. The assurance God has given that he will keep his people in the floods of tribulation, however high they may rise, and in the fires of affliction, however fiercely they may burn, is suited to inspire strong and living confidence in him, and firm, energetic, persevering devotion to his service.


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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

    39. οὐκ ἐσμὲν ὑποστολῆς κ.τ.λ. “But we are not of defection unto perdition, but of faith unto gaining of the soul.” (The genitives are genitives which imply a property, as in 1 Corinthians 14:33, οὐ γάρ ἐστιν ἀκαταστασίας ὁ θεός.) “Faith,” says Delitzsch, “saves the soul by linking it to God … The unbelieving man loses his soul; for not being God’s neither is he his own.” He does not possess himself. The word περιποίησις is also found in Ephesians 1:14. In these words the writer shews that in his awful warnings against apostasy he is only putting a hypothetical case. “His readers,” he says, “though some of them may have gone towards the verge, have not yet passed over the fatal line.” The word Faith is here introduced with the writer’s usual skill to prepare for the next great section of the Epistle.


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    "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/hebrews-10.html. 1896.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

    REFLECTIONS

    PRECIOUS Lord Jesus! how blessedly hast thou manifested in thy Person, blood-shedding, and righteousness, that thou art the end of the Law for righteousness, to everyone that believeth; and that the law was but a shadow of good things to come, which never could, neither ever was designed to make the corners thereunto perfect. Oh! for that sweet voice, Lo! I come! to be heard daily, hourly, in my soul, by the ear of faith, until I see thee as thou art, and dwell with thee forever. Come, Lord, in thy Spirit, in thine ordinances, thy means of grace, and open my soul to receive thee. Come, Lord, continually in the love-visits of thy mercy, until thou shalt come in the glory of thy Majesty, to take me home to thyself, that I may dwell with thee forever! Praised be God the Holy Ghost for the many blessed things contained in this delightful Chapter. Yes! Lord! through thy grace enabling us, we have boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus. And under thy leadings and influences, thy people, are hereby distinguished, from those awful characters, in this Christ-despising generation, who tread under-foot the Son of God, by denying his Godhead, the efficacy of his atoning blood, the blood of the Covenant; and do despite unto the Spirit of grace. Lord! comfort thy poor little ones, in the faith, in giving them to see, their adoption-character, and that they are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.


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    Bibliography
    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/hebrews-10.html. 1828.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    39. But, etc.—See note on Hebrews 6:9.

    Saving of the soul—The Greek word may signify either soul or life. It signifies here, truly, soul; yet so as to include the fact, that for these Hebrews the saving of the soul was exemplified and made visible in the rescue of their lives from the doom of the city. For here, as in the entire next chapter, faith and its rewards are exhibited with a doubleness, as implying a heavenly and invisible salvation within the earthly and visible.


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    Bibliography
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/hebrews-10.html. 1874-1909.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘But we are not of those who shrink back to perdition, but of those who have faith to the saving of the soul.’

    The section is finally summed up in these words. It is a declaration of confidence in his readers. He is sure that like himself, they will not shrink back to destruction, for they have that faith in God and in Christ which results in the saving of the soul. Note the contrasts of ‘shrinking back’ with positive ‘faith’, and of ‘destruction’ with ‘salvation’. Positive response to Christ results in salvation, a final shrinking back from Him in destruction. For He is God’s provision for the salvation of men, as the whole of his letter has openly declared.


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    Bibliography
    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/hebrews-10.html. 2013.

    Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

    The writer assumed hopefully that his readers, along with himself, would not apostatize. "Destruction" (or ruin) could refer either to eternal damnation in hell or to temporal punishment. In view of what has preceded, the latter alternative is probably in view (cf. Matthew 26:8; Mark 14:4; Acts 25:16). The writer did not want his readers to be the objects of God"s discipline. [Note: See Dillow, pp336-37.]

    "I personally believe that "waste" is the best translation for this word ["destruction"] in Hebrews 10:39. A believer who does not walk by faith goes back into the old ways and wastes his life." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:317.]

    Likewise the positive alternative set forth at the end of this verse is not a reference to conversion. It refers to the preservation of the faithful believer until he receives his full reward (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). The "preserving of the soul" is equivalent to "saving the life" (cf. James 5:20). [Note: Moffatt, p158.]

    "This meaning agrees well with the exposition of Hebrews 10:32-39. The readers were to live by faith in the midst of difficult times. The result of obedience to the Word of God would be a life-preserving walk instead of temporal discipline, the loss of physical life." [Note: Oberholtzer, 145:418.]

    This is the most direct and severe of all the warnings in Hebrews. In view of the Son"s priestly ministry ( Hebrews 5:1 to Hebrews 10:18), apostasy is a sin that will draw terrible consequences for the believer. It will not result in the loss of eternal salvation but the loss of some eternal reward.

    "The nature of the writer"s response to the men and women he addressed confirms the specifically pastoral character of the parenesis, in which he closely identifies himself with his audience. The severity with which he writes of apostasy and of the destructive lifestyle of those who have deserted the house church expresses anguish and compassionate concern that Christians should not be subverted by a form of worldliness that would separate them from the life and truth they have received from Christ and from one another." [Note: Lane, Hebrews 9-13 , p311.]


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    Bibliography
    Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/hebrews-10.html. 2012.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Hebrews 10:39. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition (destruction, Romans 9:22; Philippians 1:28; Philippians 3:19, etc.), but of them that believe. ‘We’—the writer again includes himself with them as true believers, though subject to the same law as here is applied to his own case (‘I keep my body under, lest, having preached the Gospel to others, I should be myself rejected’). ‘That draw back’—‘that believe’—each expression describes a quality or character which originates in apostasy or faith respectively. We are not of the character that drawing back produces; we are of the character that faith produces.—Unto the saving of the soul. This last phrase is very striking—the gaining of possession of the soul. As the backslider loses his soul,—gets, instead of eternal life, never-ending death, which yet is not annihilation,—so the man of faith wins back his soul from impending perdition, gains a possession that is truly his. The man who is not God’s is not even his own; his entire personality is the slave and the property of another.


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    Bibliography
    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/hebrews-10.html. 1879-90.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    ===============================

    [BIBLIOGRAPHY]

    Non sumus substractionis filii, Greek: ouk esmen upostoles, subaudi Greek: uioi.

    ====================


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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-10.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    them who draw back = the drawing back. Greek. hupostole. Only here.

    unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

    perdition. Greek. apoleia. See John 17:12.

    them that believe = of faith, Hebrews 10:38.

    saving. Greek. peripoiesis. See Ephesians 1:14.

    soul. App-110.


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    Bibliography
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/hebrews-10.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    A Pauline elegant turning-off from denunciatory warnings to charitable hopes (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

    Saving of the soul , [ peripoieesin (Greek #4047)] - 'acquisition (or obtaining) of the soul.' The kindred verb is applied to Christ's acquiring the Church as the purchase of his blood (Acts 20:28). If we acquire our soul's salvation, it is through Him who has obtained it for us by His bloodshedding. 'The unbeliever loses his soul; for not being God's, neither is he his own (cf. Matthew 16:26 with Luke 9:25): faith saves the soul by linking it to God' (Delitzsch in Alford).


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    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

    The Bible Study New Testament

    We are not. "We Jewish Christians are not going to turn back and be destroyed by God! We live by faith and are saved!!!"


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    Bibliography
    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/hebrews-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (39) Of them who draw back.—Literally, But we are not of drawing (or shrinking) back unto perdition, but of faith unto the gaining of the soul. On the last words (which are nearly identical with those of Luke 17:33, though deeper in meaning) see the Note on Hebrews 10:34. The exhortation thus closes with words of encouragement and hope.


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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/hebrews-10.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
    we are
    6:6-9; 1 Samuel 15:11; Psalms 44:18; Proverbs 1:32; 14:14; Luke 11:26; 1 John 5:16; Jude 1:12,13
    unto
    26; John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Peter 3:7; Revelation 17:8,11
    but
    11:1; Mark 16:16; John 3:15,16; 5:24; 6:40; 20:31; Acts 16:30,31; Romans 10:9,10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:12-14; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:5

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/hebrews-10.html.

    Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

    Hebrews 10:39

    "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of those who believe to the saving of the soul." Hebrews 10:39

    The Scriptures have brought certain marks not only to test, but also to comfort God"s people. But in order to keep them tremblingly alive to the fear of being deceived; in order to set up an effectual beacon lest their vessel should run upon the rocks, the blessed Spirit has revealed such passages as we find in the sixth and tenth chapters of the Hebrews. They seem set up by the Spirit of God as a lighthouse at the entrance of a harbor. Is it not so naturally? Some shoal or sand-bank often lies near the entrance of a port, which the mariner has to guard against. How is he guarded? A light-house is erected on or near the spot, which warns him of the shoal. Now I look on the sixth and tenth chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews as two light-houses standing near the entrance of the harbor of eternal safety. And their language Isaiah , "Beware of this shoal! Take care of that sand-bank! There are gifts without grace; there is profession without possession; there is form without power; there is a name to live while the soul is dead."

    The shoal naturally often lies at the very entrance of a harbor—and as the ship makes for the port, the sandbank lies in her very course; but when the harbor is neared, the friendly beacon not only warns her of the shoal, but also points out the safe passage into the haven. And so spiritually, from these two chapters many of God"s people have seen what shoals lie in the way, and have, perhaps, before they were warned off, come near enough to see the shipwrecked vessels. The gallant barks that sailed from the same port with themselves they have seen wrecked on the rocks, the freight lost, and the dead bodies and broken fragments floating on the waves.

    But these never looked for the lighthouse, nor saw the bank; they were intoxicated, or fast asleep; they were sure of going to heaven; and on they went, reckless and thoughtless, until the vessel struck on the shoal, and every hand on board perished. These dreadful warnings and solemn admonitions seem to me so written that they may scrape, so to speak, as nearly as possible the quick of a man"s flesh. And they appear couched in language of purposed ambiguity that they may be trying passages; no, the very beauty and efficacy of them, and the real good to be wrought by them, is in their ambiguity, so that the people of God may take a more solemn warning by them, and may cry unto the Lord more earnestly that they may not be deceived.

    Then it is not the poor, desponding children of God who are tried by these passages, that have reason to fear them; their being thus tried shows that their conscience is tender in God"s fear, and that they are "the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and bringing forth herbs fit for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God;" and that they are not that "which bears thorns and briers, which is rejected, and is near unto cursing, whose end is to be burned." And thus, these very fears and suspicions, by which many of God"s people are exercised, causing strong cries unto the Lord, that he would teach, guide, and lead them, are so many blessed marks that they are not graceless persons, but partakers of the grace of God, and at the same time prove, "that he who has begun a good work in them" will carry it on, and "will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," and bring them into the eternal enjoyment of God, that they may see him for themselves, and not another.


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    Bibliography
    Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/hebrews-10.html.

    Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

    But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    This sufficiently shows that the supplement, any Prayer of Manasseh , in the former verse, is unnecessary.

    "The just shall live by faith: but if," says the Apostle, "he draw back, my soul shall have pleasure no in him. But we are not of those that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe," &c. He was "confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," Philippians 1:6. Faith is the gift of God, and the gifts and calling of God are without repentance: He does not forsake the work of His hands. 1 Samuel 12:22. The Apostle's words, however, do not imply that none of those whom he addresses should draw back, but he expresses his confidence in them as formerly, Hebrews 6. He speaks of all believers, "They are not of those who draw back unto perdition: but of them that believe to the saving of the soul; literally, "But of faith to the salvation of the soul." There are, no doubt, apostates who promised fair; but man only looks on the outward appearance, God searcheth the heart; and when the heart is right with God and we, under a habitual sense of weakness have fled to Christ, and are living by faith in Jesus, our path shall be as the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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    Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:39". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/hebrews-10.html. 1835.

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