Jesus, our Great High Priest, has provided the full and final atonement for sin, having shed His blood to effectively cleanse His people from every transgression (Heb. 7:1–10:18). Therefore, our only logical response is to draw near to Him in faith, which arises from the new, sanctified hearts that the Holy Spirit gives us in regeneration (10:19–22). Running away from Jesus is out of the question. This is an inward act, of course, for it is an act of the mind, will, and heart toward God through Christ. Yet, this inward act has a corresponding outward manifestation, as we see in today’s passage.
As we read in Hebrews 10:23, the effectual work of Jesus means that we must also “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” This consists in nothing less than a verbal profession of trust in Christ before the watching world and a public commitment to what He has revealed. As Matthew Henry comments, we are “to hold fast the profession of our faith, to embrace all the truths and ways of the gospel, to get fast hold of them, and to keep that hold against all temptation and opposition.” We dare not deny the lordship of Jesus before others, for He is Lord not only of the attitudes of our hearts but also of what we do and say in the world (Matt. 10:32–33). Here the author of Hebrews simply echoes the wider biblical truth that authentic faith always bears public fruit, including a confession of faith and good works done out of love for God and neighbor. John Calvin comments, “[God] requires also profession or confession, for it is not true faith except it shows itself before men.”
Sometimes it is difficult to hold fast to our confession of hope, our firm commitment to Jesus and belief that He will make all things new. Public commitment to Christ does not always make things go well for us. This was certainly true for the original audience of Hebrews, which was persecuted for its public commitment to Jesus. They needed a reminder that their suffering would not be the final word, so the author encourages faithfulness to Christ by reminding his readers that God is faithful to His people (Heb. 10:23). Because God cannot fail to keep His promises of eternal glory, suffering for Christ is always worth it in the end. Henry writes: “[God] is a faithful God, true to his word; there is no falseness nor fickleness with him, and there should be none with us. His faithfulness should excite and encourage us to be faithful, and we must depend more upon his promises to us than upon our promises to him.”