14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
we hold [hold fast]
Christians are not to lose the momentum of what they believed at the beginning of their trust and assurance. Holding on with confidence reveals the reality that they already came to share Christ (not what they will share). The word “hold” refers to maintaining or possessing their confidence that they had when they became Christians.
The idea of “hold” or hold fast is that Christians ground their confidence in what God has done for them. It is not something that they themselves have achieved. The word “hold” was used in secular Greek for that which formed the basis for owning anything. The idea here is not of perseverance, which would imply that if we hold on to our salvation we will be saved, and if not then we will not be saved.
the beginning of our confidence
The word “confidence” here is different than the word translated “confidence” in verse 6. “Confidence” here in verse 14 denotes assurance. This word means substance, giving the idea of that on which anything is based. It is our title-deed or the substance of what we believe (He 11:1). The idea is to believe in the truth and fact of something; it is the idea of what is foundational and firm—that is, a firm trust or assurance of something. “Confidence” carries an objective sense of a document that establishes a right.
The root idea of “confidence” is to stand under something as in a foundation (He 6:11). Assurance comes from realization that God’s revelation in Christ is true. “Confidence” has the ideas of trust, assurance, steadfastness.
steadfast to the end,
“Steadfast” follows “confidence.” Stability is necessary for a strong or mature Christian life. Stability serves as the ground for the firmness we are to demonstrate.
Stability in the Christian life rests on assurance.
Confidence in the Christian life is conditional. Continuing to hold our confidence as a partner of Christ is conditional. It is conditional on holding onto the assurance that we had at the beginning of our salvation. Steadfastness is based on assurance. We need to hold that conviction steadfast until we die. It is possible to lose rewards in the eternal state.
This verse does not teach that our salvation depends on holding our confidence steadfast to the end. The idea is that if we depart from God’s grace we will not have stability in the Christian life. Reversionism away from grace is rebellion against God’s way of life for us.