Part 3 of 6
2- Hebrews 10:26-31
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. (Heb 10:26)
So, here we are again, in the book of Hebrews, and so often what people want to make an issue of sin, the book of Hebrews (and Bible) makes as an issue of belief. The religious will always opt to make the issue their performance (and yours) instead of trusting in Christ’s performance.
That’s why religious people love to use this passage to suggest that if you are saved (a Christian), but you keep on knowingly sinning, you might as well stick a fork in you, because you are done. Fried, cooked, and battered.
Well, let’s do a little self examination? How many of you who are Christians have ever deliberately sinned since you were saved? Hmmm… that would be all of us. And even if it were just once, what is the cut off number? Is it 1 deliberate sin, 3 deliberate sins, 5 or more, 10 or more and your out?
Other religious people love to use this passage to present a “balanced” view of God. He may be a God of Grace, but He is also a God of judgement. Meaning, He may love and extend mercy to you, but if you screw up too much or have a bad month in the performance department, you are going to see the judgement side of God. One moment you can be His child, the next He may orphan you, it all depends on how you behave. They make God into a conflicted entity, He loves you unconditionally, with conditions. In one hand He waves for you to come to Him, while with His other hand, He slaps you in the face.
Furthermore, many false interpretations like the ones I describe above are mixed with nuggets of truth. Yes, God does judge, but the interpretation is wrong. God does judge you, but not based on your performance, but based on His son’s performance on the cross, received through faith. See, it’s not an issues of your sin or actions, it’s an issue of your belief.
Besides, how could Hebrews 10:26-31 be an eternal warning against sinning for the Christian, when just a chapter early, the same writer says in Hebrews 9:26 that Christ appeared once for all “to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself?” So, is Jesus’ work on the cross a finished work or isn’t it? The good news is that Jesus is the once and final solution for sin. Because of Jesus, God chooses to remember our sins no more. There is no mixture, there is no balance. God is love and His Gospel is Grace. Did God go soft on sin, your sin? No way. His son Jesus took it all upon Himself. Nothing soft about the cross!
So what is Hebrews 10:26 all about?
Well, once again, as with Hebrews 6:4-6, this passage is addressing those who are unbelievers who refuse to believe in the Gospel of Grace. They have heard the truth, the Gospel of Grace, but they deliberately sin by their unbelief and rejection of Jesus. There is no other sacrifice for sin other than Jesus, He is the only solution. There is no other provision, no other Name under heaven.
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. (Heb 4:2)
Yet, I believe there is also a warning here in Hebrews 10:26-31 to believers who mix Law and Gospel.
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Heb 10:39)
Some people hear the Gospel of God’s grace and shrink back. They cannot completely believe it. “It’s too good to be true,” “I’d better cover my backside by doing some good works.” “God has done His part, but I had better do my part.”
That’s where things get sketchy and dangerous.
“You cannot cover yourself. This is idol-worship. You are elevating yourself to co-savior with Christ. You are insulting the Spirit of grace by trying to pay for what God has already given you. This is why sermons that put the emphasis on you and your performance are dangerous. Don’t buy into any message that purports to give you a list of keys or steps that will help you achieve/accomplish/appropriate what you already have. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and the sweat of men to take away sins and it is faithless to strive for what you already have (every good thing!).” – Paul Ellis
In these passages (Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:26-31), sin is not the variable, faith is.