Jeff

Hebrews 10:26: What kind of ‘sinning willfully’ leaves one without forgiveness before God?

JeffMany grow pale when reading Heb. 10:26 because they think their struggles with sin leave them in a place where not even Yeshua (Jesus) can atone for them. A closer look at the context of this passage and the letter to the Hebrews itself will help us get a better picture of the annual memorial of Yom haKippurim (Day of Atonement), Yeshua’s continuing role in it and the danger of acting as if His role as High Priest isn’t God’s intent.

The primary text of today’s talk is in Hebrews 10. When you have a very involved discussion in the Bible, to try to drop in the middle of it and taking meanings from it can be a precarious exercise. We must be careful when discerning God’s word to look at the context of a verse.

“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.” (Heb. 10:26–27)

Then what? If we struggle with sin, will God just leaving us banging on the door and saying, “I never knew you”? Let’s dig deeper. What kind of sin is this sin, for which there is no sacrifice?

Matthew records an account of Yeshua’s healing a demon-possessed man and then fending off accusations that this was done by the power of “Beelzebul,” or “Lord of the Flies,” i.e., Satan (Matt. 12:22–37). A key point is that the “unpardonable sin” of “speaking against” the Holy Spirit.

Have you committed the unpardonable sin? The word of the day is βλασφημία blasphemia (Strong’s lexicon No. G988). It’s a compound word of βλαχ blax (lazy, slothful, not attentive) and φήμη pheme (G5345, passing along a word, making a report or making a declaration). Together it’s slander, reproach, libel, injurious, etc. (Another derivation of the first part is βλάπτω blaptō, G984, to hurt, harm, injure.) It’s interesting that the first word is “every careless word.” Someone flapping their mouth in ignorance in a derogatory manner. 

The question in question is this: You can insult Yeshua all you want but if you question and slander where His power comes from, that is dangerous. 

How is the account in Matthew 12:22-37 connected to Hebrews 10? One of the crowning points of Hebrews, in addition to Hebrews 8, is Heb. 10:37-39. The writer of Hebrews warns us against forsaking the assembly of believers (Heb. 10:24-29). What does this mean? What are the consequences if we give up meeting with fellow believers?

There are three points of contention here (Heb. 10:29): 

  1. Trampling underfoot the Son of God. Hebrews 1 teaches there is no one like the Son of God. He is the clearest message to mankind. 
  2. Profaning the covenant, making it nothing special.
  3. Outrage against the Spirit of Grace.

The book of Hebrews was written in the A.D. 50s-60s, when the “handwriting was on the wall” for the Temple, which Rome destroyed along with Yerushalayim in A.D. 70. Some people foresaw that the Temple would be taken down again. God had left it desolate a few times before, and the author of Hebrews saw that it was going to come down again, and for the same reasons God had brought it down before: neglecting God’s testimony of how He wants to be respected (and approached).

The “sinning willfully” in Heb. 10:26 is rebellion against God, against God’s High Priest, Yeshua, the Spirit, Who makes this known. It is not kicking your dog, lying to your boss, driving above the speed limit or even major sins in the Torah.

Judgment starts in the house of God. The judgement is against those who would reject Yeshua as High Priest, those who would prefer the Aaronic priesthood, which was dying away because it’s directed place of operation, the Temple, was about to go away. When you read through Hebrews, it’s all about the trajectory of the heart toward God. Where is your heart? Are you going to go God’s way or go back to what is comfortable, even if saying where it’s comfortable will get your killed? 

It is not because of our great name that we are able to enter the Holy of Holies; it is not our deeds that enter in there. It is Yeshua’s great name that goes in for us. It is Yeshua’s deeds that go in before us. The record against us is wiped clean is gone and it is only because of that we can go before God with a clean conscience. 

We can fool ourselves but we can’t fool God. Our confidence comes when we understand that Yeshua took away our debt and it’s gone. 

Hebrews is written in the past tense. It’s already been done and taken care of. We don’t have to wait for Yeshua to present His sacrifice to the Father for us. It’s already been done. God is the one doing all the work to block the destroyer who comes against us. That is why we can have confidence in God. Otherwise, you live in fear. 

Which High Priest, which atonement system do you put your faith in? The original or the copy? The original High Priest is Yeshua; the copy is Aaron. 

The trajectory God wants us to live by is what we see in Revelation with the repeated phrase, “To the one who overcomes…” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). We go to our High Priest for grace, not because we are great but because He is great. We trust that Yeshua did His job perfectly and completely for us already. We don’t have to wait for His sacrifice. It’s already been done. We can’t be our own lamb, our own goat. 

God brought the wrath, but he also brought the safety. He brought the angel of death during the Exodus, but He also brought the lamb. God brought the Flood, but He also gave provision for the ark. 

How do you react to God’s mercy, do you accept it or not? Would you have predicted Saul’s turnaround from the arch persecutor to Paul, the ardent believer?

Speaker: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.


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