Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebr. 12:2)
What does the expression “author and finisher of our faith” really mean? It means that there is no other name given under heaven whereby men can be saved (Acts 4:12). He is “the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End”. We can read “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” or “let’s fix our eyes on Jesus” in another translation. That is a beautiful comparison with the brazen serpent in the desert, where the Israelites walked up to the serpent and LOOKED UP TO IT. They were not forced to approach it and to behold it, but they used their own feet and their own free will to do it. What happens if we do NOT fix our eyes on Jesus? That would mean we have not fully abided in him, and then we will not bear fruit. This means we are risking our salvation. Let’s view the rest of the context in the same chapter. The verse before lists a few things we ought to do in our race towards the goal:
Hebr. 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us
“Let us lay aside—the sin”. What happens if we choose to NOT adhere to this command and refuse to lay aside our sin? Will we be saved anyway? No, we must have our eyes fixed on Jesus and endure to the end. Read more about the IF:s:
Hebr. 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him—7 IF ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But IF ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
“Despise not”? “IF ye endure”?? What happens if we do despise Him and his chastening, and why are there IF’s involved if salvation is a done deal? Clearly there are conditions that are required for us to keep. We must abide in Christ and we are warned if we don’t.
Hebr.12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, LEST that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
“Lest”? Another warning!
Hebr. 12:4 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled
“Lest” and “lest” again. We are warned that we must FOLLOW peace, and that we must have holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. We are too look diligently LEST any man fail of the GRACE of God, LEST any root of bitterness might spring up, etc. Sins would DEFILE us, and can defiled men see the Lord? No, we just read that holiness is required, and it does not say that we can hide behind the blood of Jesus and still be saved in our sins. We are not righteous unless we act righteously.
Hebr.12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For IF they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven
We are warned that we must not refuse him, for IF we do, and IF we turn away from him, we shall not escape. It’s all in our hands and God has made salvation possible for all of us.