7b Whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
After instructing Christians to remember those who have the rule over them and have taught them God’s Word, the writer of Hebrews exhorted them to follow the faith of their faithful teachers. What could have been intended by the word “faith”?
Firstly, “faith” is the trust that one’s heart places in Christ and His Word. It is by such faith that we are saved. Ephesians 2:8 says, “by grace are ye saved through faith”. Secondly, “faith” can be a reference to the truths of God that we ought to believe. Thus, we are exhorted in Jude 1:3 to “contend for the faith”. Thirdly, “faith” also signifies fidelity or faithfulness. In Titus 2:10, the Greek word for “faith” (pisitis) is translated as “fidelity”. So the word “faith” here could encompass all of those Scriptural thoughts attached to it; it therefore indicates the leaders’ dependence upon and faithfulness unto God and His Word.
We are instructed to “follow” the faith and faithfulness of those godly men who have preached the Word of God unto us. The Greek word for “follow” (miméomai) literally means “imitate”. We ought to follow in the footsteps of faithful preachers who have taught God’s Word unto us. We must speak words of faith and perform deeds of faith as they have done.
We are also told to follow their faith, “considering the end of their conversation”. The word “consider” actually means “to look at again and again” or “to observe carefully”. The word “end” (ekbasis) means “a going out” or “an egress”; hence it refers to one’s going out from life or exiting from the world. It could be a reference to their death, when they are finally delivered from all their toil and suffering, which they have endured in living a life of faith and faithfulness.
We are here also reminded of how Paul has described his anticipation of the end of his life and ministry. He wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Paul made Timothy aware of the anticipated end of his journey on earth, that he might be encouraged to live faithfully and make full proof of his ministry (2 Timothy 4:5).