Mixed With Faith

“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).

Throughout the earlier chapters of this book, the author compares Christ and His finished work (which brings salvation by grace through faith) to Moses and the Old Testament legal code, and details the catastrophic results of unbelief. The Jewish people of the day had, of course, rejected this message of faith in Christ and reaped the consequences.

But, the gospel had been preached both to the Jew and the Gentile, as our text teaches, with great results among the Gentiles. Evidently the hearing of the preached word (logos) had been “mixed with faith” among the Gentiles, but not among most of the Jews.

The Greek word from which “mixed” is translated is only used twice in the New Testament, the other used to describe the necessary amalgamation of various members of the body in making up the whole. “But God hath tempered [same word] the body together” (I Corinthians 12:24).

Outside of the New Testament the word refers primarily to the process by which an animal utilizes food for nutritive purposes. Through the chewing in the mouth, digestion in the stomach, and absorption in the bowels, the food is not only thoroughly “mixed,” but to the mixture are added many bodily fluids and functions which extract nutrition from the food and apply it to bodily health and growth.

What an analogy! The message of the gospel can be acknowledged and agreed to, but unless the hearer mixes the hearing of truth with believing faith, integrating heart and head, praying over, meditating on, and incorporating into practice these vital truths, they will “not profit them.” Spiritual health and growth will not result. JDM

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