Grace For Your Day November 14, 2022
We have been in the Book of Hebrews since the month of February as a church. As we have studied it, we have discovered that there are five warning passages in it that are as follows:
- A warning against drifting away (Hebrews 2:1)
- A warning against hardening your heart (Hebrews 3:8)
- A warning against being dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11)
- A warning against sinning willfully (Hebrews 10:26)
- A warning against apostasizing like Esau (Hebrews 12:14-17) .
The reason the author gives so many warnings in this book is that, apparently, there were some in the church who were being tempted to leave the faith behind. They wanted to renounce Christianity in favour of Judaism so the writer reminds them that that is a mistake. Such a decision would only end in spiritual disaster for them, which is he explains in Hebrews 10:26-31:
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
This is a very chilling passage, but the key is found in the phrase “for if we go on sinning willfully” which does not refer to someone who sins occasionally by mistake. It refers to someone who sins repeatedly on purpose because they do not care. They understand the Gospel and they know what Christ has done for them but they reject it anyway in favor of something else.
Verse 29 says that such an act is like “trampling under foot the Son of God” or stepping on Jesus’ work. The same verse also says that it insults the Spirit of grace because they “regard as unclean the blood of the covenant.” This means that they treat Jesus’ blood as if it is no different from the blood of any normal person. Therefore, verses 30-31 says that the punishment for them is judgment. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
The point is that we should not be apathetic about the Gospel and all the wonderful things that we have learned in the Book of Hebrews. So far, this book has taught us that Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature” (1:3). It has taught us that He was also “made like His brethren in all things” (2:17) so that He could be a high priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses (4:15). It has also shown us that He is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners and exalted above the heavens” (7:26). He is the mediator of a new covenant (8:6). “He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle” (9:11). “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (10:14).
So the question is: If you have all of that, why would you reject it now? You cannot. You have no choice but to appreciate it and bow in wonder which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.
This Sunday, we will study the fourth of five warning passages in the Book of Hebrews. As you can tell just by surveying it, it is a very serious text that will lead to a serious discussion. However, if it makes you feel anxious, it does not need to because the chapter ends on a note of hope that I want to leave you with. Hebrews 10:39 says:
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
The reason the author places this at the close of the chapter is because he wanted to tell his audience that he did not believe that this warning applied to most of them. They were walking with the Lord and staying fervent in their faith and avoiding the terrible mistake of apostasy so they did not need to worry about it. I believe that the same thing could be said of us. The vast majority of the people in our church “are not of those who shrink back to destruction” so there is no need to approach this passage with alarm. We should do it with courage and hope but we still need to dig into it in order to learn all that we can. Please join us as we do so on Sunday morning at 9:30.
– Jeremy Cagle