Hebrews 3:14 (ESV) – For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Hebrews 3:14 is almost identical to 3:6. In both verses he says that we are Christians if we do not give up. The mark of faith is perseverance. The writer does not consider it redundant to say the same thing so soon after having said it once. We learn by repetition and repeating this particular thing is more than fleetingly important. It is absolutely crucial to the health of our souls.
Temptations do not go away just because in one situation we managed not to succumb to them. They come back again and again and again, tempting us to do the same thing. And we never get tired of their allurements. No one ever says when tempted to sin – “O you have no power over me at all anymore.” We find the same old sins as alluring and pleasant as we ever did. Yet we often complain when we are told the same thing more than once regarding holiness. “Why are you telling us this? Didn’t you say the same thing last week?” is sometimes heard by preachers of the Scriptures. But we need to be constantly hearing the same truths and encouragements and warnings repeatedly, simply because if we do not we will fall.
We need to pray every day about our walk with God. We need to read Scriptures we have read many times before. We need to be in constant contact with other believers to keep ourselves accountable. We need to hear it again, and again, and again. The old hymn caught the sentiment when it said “Tell me the old, old story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” We should be hungering to hear the Gospel over and over again.
When we encounter repeated phrases in a short space of time in a biblical text it should be a warning to us to pay particularly close attention. We should thank God that He has given us the record of His work in the Bible the way He did. He has told us often what He requires, how we need Christ, the importance of prayer and fellowship and corporate worship.
Read Kings and Chronicles and see some of the same events repeated with slightly different details. Read the four Gospel accounts and note that many times we are told the same things from the life of Christ especially the Passion Week events. Have a look at Ephesians 4-6 and Colossians 3-4 and II Peter and Jude. God is not redundant in His words. He did not make a mistake in inspiring different authors to say similar things.
If we are regular in our reading of the Bible we will encounter these things often and it should really make us glad that God remembers that we are dust and need to be constantly reminded to keep looking to the Saviour who has done it all and of whom we are so prone to take for granted.
So the writer to the Hebrew believers said the same thing twice in the space of a few verses. Take heed. The writer to the Hebrew believers wrote the same thing twice in the space of a few verses. Pay attention.