New International Version
13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Be encouraging to one another each day as if each day was today so that each of you won’t become hardened to God
Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise)
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The superior worth and dignity of Christ above Moses is shown. (1-6) The Hebrews are warned of the sin and danger of unbelief. (7-13) And of necessity of faith in Christ, and of stedfastly following him. (14-19)
Commentary on Hebrews 3:1-6
(Read Hebrews 3:1-6)
Christ is to be considered as the Apostle of our profession, the Messenger sent by God to men, the great Revealer of that faith which we profess to hold, and of that hope which we profess to have. As Christ, the Messiah, anointed for the office both of Apostle and High Priest. As Jesus, our Saviour, our Healer, the great Physician of souls. Consider him thus. Consider what he is in himself, what he is to us, and what he will be to us hereafter and for ever. Close and serious thoughts of Christ bring us to know more of him. The Jews had a high opinion of the faithfulness of Moses, yet his faithfulness was but a type of Christ’s. Christ was the Master of this house, of his church, his people, as well as their Maker. Moses was a faithful servant; Christ, as the eternal Son of God, is rightful Owner and Sovereign Ruler of the Church. There must not only be setting out well in the ways of Christ, but stedfastness and perseverance therein to the end. Every meditation on his person and his salvation, will suggest more wisdom, new motives to love, confidence, and obedience.
Commentary on Hebrews 3:7-13
(Read Hebrews 3:7-13)
Days of temptation are often days of provocation. But to provoke God, when he is letting us see that we entirely depend and live upon him, is a provocation indeed. The hardening of the heart is the spring of all other sins. The sins of others, especially of our relations, should be warnings to us. All sin, especially sin committed by God’s professing, privileged people, not only provokes God, but it grieves him. God is loth to destroy any in, or for their sin; he waits long to be gracious to them. But sin, long persisted in, will make God’s wrath discover itself in destroying the impenitent; there is no resting under the wrath of God. “Take heed:” all who would get safe to heaven must look about them; if once we allow ourselves to distrust God, we may soon desert him. Let those that think they stand, take heed lest they fall. Since to-morrow is not ours, we must make the best improvement of this day. And there are none, even the strongest of the flock, who do not need help of other Christians. Neither are there any so low and despised, but the care of their standing in the faith, and of their safety, belongs to all. Sin has so many ways and colours, that we need more eyes than ours own. Sin appears fair, but is vile; it appears pleasant, but is destructive; it promises much, but performs nothing. The deceitfulness of sin hardens the soul; one sin allowed makes way for another; and every act of sin confirms the habit. Let every one beware of sin.
Commentary on Hebrews 3:14-19
(Read Hebrews 3:14-19)
The saints’ privilege is, they are made partakers of Christ, that is, of the Spirit, the nature, graces, righteousness, and life of Christ; they are interested in all Christ is, in all he has done, or will do. The same spirit with which Christians set out in the ways of God, they should maintain unto the end. Perseverance in faith is the best evidence of the sincerity of our faith. Hearing the word often is a means of salvation, yet, if not hearkened to, it will expose more to the Divine wrath. The happiness of being partakers of Christ and his complete salvation, and the fear of God’s wrath and eternal misery, should stir us up to persevere in the life of obedient faith. Let us beware of trusting to outward privileges or professions, and pray to be numbered with the true believers who enter heaven, when all others fail because of unbelief. As our obedience follows according to the power of our faith, so our sins and want of care are according to the prevailing of unbelief in us.
What does Hebrews 3:13 mean?
This passage is a warning to Christian believers not to allow stubbornness, sin, or a lack of faith to rob them of God’s promised blessings. The nation of Israel suffered when it failed to “hold fast,” and spent forty years wandering in the desert. So too can a Christian suffer when they lack trust and faith in God.
One key to avoiding this pitfall is the influence of other Christian believers. One of the great benefits of healthy church relationships is loving correction. Having a meaningful, personal relationship with other Christians means “watching each other’s back.” This means warning our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are being pulled away into sin and helping them to resist temptation and error. The author’s urgency is highlighted by using the phrase “as long as it is called ‘today.'” This, in more modern terms, could be stated as “do it while you still can.”
The New Testament often explains that sin is deceptive, destructive, and deadly (2 Timothy 3:13; Titus 3:3). It can also create a spiritual callous, making us less sensitive to our own sin (1 Timothy 4:2). Fellow Christians should love each other enough to “exhort,” meaning “encourage, uplift, or challenge” each other when it comes to living a righteous life.
Hebrews 3:7–14 uses the example of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness (Numbers 13—14) as a warning. This is directed at Christians who fail to ”hold fast” their faith in God during persecution. Israel was saved from Egypt, as believers are saved from eternal death through salvation. Israel was offered the Promised Land, as believers are promised victory through our spiritual inheritance. Israel lost faith and didn’t trust God against the ”giants” of Canaan, as believers can be tempted to lose faith in the face of persecution. The ancient Israelites were not sent back to Egypt, just as God does not revoke the salvation of Christian believers. However, both can expect hardship and a loss of fellowship if they fail to trust in God.
Hebrews chapter 3 uses a reference to Israel’s wandering in the desert from the story of the Exodus. In this incident, the nation of Israel came to the border of the Promised Land and then lost confidence in God. Rather than trusting Him, most of the people gave up hope. As a result, only a tiny remnant of the nation was allowed to enter into Canaan. This chapter explains that Jesus Christ is superior to Moses and all of Moses’ accomplishments. Christians, therefore, need to encourage each other to fully trust in God, in order to see fulfillment of His promises