Introduction

  1. Text: Heb. 10:23.
  2. In our day, the trend is toward continual change rather than constant loyalty — toward keeping our options open rather than making binding commitments — yet the gospel requires commitment of the highest order. Cf. Lk. 9:57-62.
  3. Obedience without commitment is not really obedience. Cf. Mt. 6:24; 12:30.
    1. Consider the serious attitude toward obedience reflected in Gal. 2:20.
    2. To waffle or waver in our obedience is to lose the benefit of having obeyed the gospel in the first place – Gal. 1:6; 3:1. Cf. Heb. 3:5,6,12-14; 10:23,35,36; etc.
    3. We are urged to “count the cost” of discipleship to the Lord – Lk. 14:28.
  4. When we obey the gospel, seeking the remission of our sins, each step must be backed up with genuine commitment.

I. Faith

  1. Saving faith is more than believing — it involves a commitment to what we believe – Jas. 2:14,19.
  2. When we say that someone has been “unfaithful” to the gospel, we don’t mean that he has ceased to “believe” that which he previously had “faith” in — we mean that he has violated his previous pledge to live consistently with what he believed.
    1. “If we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13).
    2. Our “faith” involves a pledge, a promise, a commitment.
      1. In 1 Tim. 5:11,12, certain widows are described as incurring “condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.”
      2. Cf. “because they have been untrue to their first faith” (Lamsa), “because they have set aside their previous pledge” (NASV), “because they have broken their former promise” (Conybeare).
    3. “Infidelity” literally means “unbelief” — but at the practical level it means a “breaking of faith,” a betrayal of trust, a going back on one’s commitment to what he believes.
  3. To go back on the commitment of our faith is a most serious thing – 2 Pt. 2:20-22.

II. Repentance

  1. Genuine repentance involves a commitment to change our ways – Ac. 26:20.
    1. “Repent” — commit to change.
    2. “Turn to God” — make the change.
    3. “Performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” — maintain the commitment in practice.
  2. Repentance is more than a mood, more even than the emotional “feeling” of guilt, sorrow, or remorse for our sins. Even when the sorrow is “godly sorrow,” the state of mind is only that which leads to repentance – 2 Cor. 7:10.
  3. Repentance is a change of the will which leads to a change of conduct. It is a “turning” – Rev. 2:4,5. Cf. Ezek. 18:23.
  4. To be worth anything, our “turning” to God must be resolute – Deut. 30:10. Cf. Joel 2:12.
  5. Apologies are useless if they are not backed up by a commitment to change – Mt. 3:7,8.

III. Confession

  1. Honest confession involves a commitment to be true to Christ – 1 Tim. 6:12-14.
  2. When we confess Christ, we make a pledge of faithfulness to that which we acknowledge as our belief.
    1. Confession is not merely an intellectual or emotional acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord, but a commitment of the will to accept His lordship – Col. 2:6.
    2. This commitment is made publicly — we place ourselves on record that we intend to be true to Christ.
    3. Our confession is a public promise of faithfulness, somewhat analogous to the marriage vow.
  3. A “martyr” is a “witness” who is willing to die rather than renounce his testimony and be unfaithful to what he has confessed. Cf. Antipas, the Lord’s “faithful witness” in Rev. 2:13.
  4. Paul spoke of “the submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 9:13).
  5. We must “hold fast” our confession – Heb. 4:14; 10:23.

IV. Baptism

  1. Scriptural baptism involves a commitment to walk in newness of life – Rom. 6:3,4.
  2. In the New Testament, the “meaning” of baptism is two-fold: it is a burial to the old life — and a resurrection to the new! Understanding the second part is no less important than understanding that baptism is for the remission of sins.
  3. A scriptural understanding of baptism looks both backward (remission of sins) and forward (walk in newness of life).
  4. The high “infant mortality rate” among those baptized may indicate that we haven’t been teaching the “whole truth” about baptism — we may have stressed the remission of past sins more than the commitment to a new life.
  5. Without a true commitment of the heart, baptism is an empty act.

Conclusion

  1. To be “converted” means to turn to God with commitment — to break with the past decisively. Cf. Ac. 3:19.
  2. Indeed, God asks us to commit ourselves to Him entirely – 2 Cor. 8:5; 1 Pt. 4:19.
  3. It is “foolish” to hear the truth from God and not make any commitment to it – Mt. 7:24-27.
  4. How “committed” is your obedience to God?
  5. How “resolved” are you to follow the Savior?

Gary Henry – WordPoints.com

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