The willful sin of Hebrews 10

NEW COVENANT: We are Eternally Forgiven by Christ’s death and resurrection

Hebrews 10:14-17 “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds:”Their sins and lawless acts,I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”

  • In the New Covenant, believers are PERFECT and HOLY because of Christ’s final sacrifice on the Cross.
  • We are forgiven ALL sin (past, present, future sin) because Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again.
  • God remembered all our sins on the cross: That is why He will not remember our sins anymore because Jesus finished the work. Christ will not die again because there are no more sins left to be forgiven.

But what about the warning of Hebrews 10 ?

  • In the past, I used to be afraid as a Christian. I was trying desperately to sin less so that I would not lose salvation. This was because of passages like these below:
  • Hebrews 10:26-29 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
  • When we read the context, we will see that the “deliberate sin” is unbelief in Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews was written to the Jews who had heard the Gospel and were coming to faith in Christ. 
  • But they were double-minded about Christ because they were under the Old Covenant for 1500 years. This book was written to convince them that Jesus is superior to the Old Covenant. 
  • The epistle implores them to have faith in Christ and not reject His sacrifice.
  • If they went back to trusting in the works of the law (blood of animals, annual sacrifices, ten commandments, etc.) then they were rejecting the blood of Christ and insulting the Grace of God.
  • The willful/deliberate sin is deliberate and permanent rejection of Christ.
  • The same chapter specifies this sin of unbelief.
    • Hebrews 10:38-29 “ 38 “But my RIGHTEOUS one will live by FAITH. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But WE do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have FAITH and ARE SAVED.”
    • The writer says that the believer cannot lose salvation.
    • Other chapters talk of unbelief vs belief:
    • Hebrews 11:6 “6 And without FAITH it is impossible to please God….” (entire chapter about faith)
    • Hebrews 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of FAITH”
    • Hebrews 4:3  “Now we who have BELIEVED enter that rest,”
    • Hebrews 3:12 “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”
    • Hebrews 3:19 “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”
    • The unbeliever willfully sins by rejecting Christ and trusting in their works.
  • The warning is to the unbeliever who wilfully rejects Christ permanently (they did not have the Spirit).
  • Jesus said that many Jews would not be saved even after seeing Him and the Apostles because they never truly believed (Matt 7:21, Luke 13:22-27). The narrow gate is Christ and the broad road is unbelief (John 10:9). 
  • They saw Jesus for 3.5 years but they did not do the will of God of believing in Jesus (John 6:28-29). 
  • Jesus never knew them. They believed in false christs & prophets who deceived them (Matt 24:4) before Jerusalem was destroyed in AD66-AD136.
  • Most Jews rejected Christ but many Gentiles have believed for 2000 yrs (Matt 21:43-45, Romans 9:30-32)
  • The unbelievers were judged as enemies of God because they wilfully rejected the cross of Christ.
  • The believer is not an enemy of God, but we are His beloved children! 
  • (Romans 5: 10 “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! “)
  • Even if we stumble in faith, Jesus is faithful and restores us back to faith in Him.
    • 2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and HE WILL DO IT.”
  • Our salvation is guaranteed because Jesus lives forever to intercede for us in heaven.
  • Hebrews 7:24-25 “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

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