Page separation

A Warning Against Wilful Sin
Heb. 10:26-31


After the encouragement to draw near to God, be steadfast, and to consider one another, the Apostle Paul gives us a warning. Warning about what? Wilful sin, the sin of apostasy. This is the fourth warning written in this Epistle. I believe one of the main reason Paul wrote this Epistle is to prevent people from falling away or committing the sin of apostasy.

I. Sin willfully (Heb. 10:26-27)
A. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth. This is similar to the situation in Heb. 6:4 -6. Paul was speaking to those who had received the knowledge of the truth. Receiving the knowledge of the truth speaks of the definite act of hearing and understanding the gospel.
B. Again, just like in Heb. 6:4-6, they were enlightened or illuminated by a clear presentation of the gospel and its invitation to repent and believe. They may have even made a profession of faith in Christ and had part in the joyful fellowship with other Christians in worship and serving the Lord. However, they fall short, for they are like Judas, who didn’t really become a believer. The Lord saw the treachery and the hypocrisy in the heart of Judas. Even after witnessing all the miracles done by the Lord, and listening to all His teaching, he was not truly a believer, he was never converted. That’s the reason why Satan was able to enter into the heart of Judas. (Lk. 22:3, Jn. 13:2).
C. The word willfully comes from the Greek “hekousios” which means “voluntarily, willfully, willingly.” This is not sin that is committed ignorantly. It is intentional sin committed in rebellion. it is deliberate disobedience to the knowledge of the truth that has been received. The sin is rejecting our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
D. There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins… (Heb. 10:26-28)
The apostate is beyond salvation because he has rejected the only sacrifice that can cleanse him from sin. Those who rejects Christ can never be saved.
Paul speaks of fiery indignation. Fire is often associated with Divine judgment (Lev. 10:1-2; Num. 11:1-2; 16:35; Deut. 32:21-22). God’s judgment will devour the adversaries. Unbelievers are children of the devil (Jn. 8:44). So, they are God’s adversaries. An adversary is an enemy. It is a word used to describe Satan (1 Pet. 5:8). The final end of God’s enemies is the Lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14)
E. Note the term “if we”: Here, the term “if we” is not a typical conditional sentence. Paul grammatically identifies himself with the willfully sinning group, but this may be a literary technique similar to Heb. 2:3. Paul does not automatically identify him with the group spoken of in Heb. 10: 26-29. This same type of literary technique using the first person can be found in 1 Cor. 13:1-3. From this I can say that Paul doesn’t have real Christians in mind.

Illustration/Application: Apostasy
Cable television mogul Ted Turner criticized fundamentalist Christianity and said Jesus probably would “be sick at his stomach” over the way his ideas have been “twisted,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Turner made his remarks Friday evening at a banquet in Orlando, Fla., where he was given an award by the American Humanist Association for his work on behalf of the environment and world peace. Turner said he had a strict Christian upbringing and at one time considered becoming a missionary. “I was saved seven or eight times,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. But he said he became disenchanted with Christianity after his sister died, despite his prayers. Turner said the more he strayed from his faith, “the better I felt.”
Spokesman-Review, May 1, 1990

II. The Peril of Dishonouring Christ (Heb. 10:28-31)
A. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (Heb. 10:28) Paul points out that in the Old Testament there was no sacrifice for wilful sin. If a man rebelled and sinned, the penalty was certain death and without mercy. If in the Old Covenant the penalty is already very severe, how much more in the New Covenant.
B. An apostate from the New Covenant has hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.
When one sins wilfully, he is rebelling against the Trinity. Presumptuous sin is against the Father who gave His Son. It is against the Son who died in our place and against the Spirit who convicts us of sins, brings us to Christ, and empowers us to live a holy life.
The word sorer comes from the Greek “cheiron” and means “worse, more severe, more grievous.”
1. The word trodden under foot means to trample. One of the actions to show contempt for someone was “to lift up the foot” against or toward them (Ps. 41:9). To walk on top of someone or something was more extreme gesture (2 Kings 9:33, Isa. 14:19, Mic. 7:10, Zech. 10:5). Such action demonstrates complete rejection of Christ as Lord and Saviour.
2. To treat “the blood of the covenant” (which actually sanctifies believers) as though it were an “unholy” thing and to renounce its efficacy, is a very serious sin.
3. The word despite means insulting. Insulting the Spirit of grace who calls sinners to faith in Christ is a kind of spiritual rebellion that calls for a much worse punishment than the capital penalty during the OT times. Sin against the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness. (Mt. 12:32). Sinners beware!
C. Those who commit such sin will receive a much sorer punishment. The sorer punishment here is being thrown in the lake of fire. Actually, it is the worse punishment a sinner can get from a just God.
D. Jesus Christ is God’s way for us to be saved. Those who rejects Him, will be judged. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”

Illustration/Application: Earthquake
In a book entitled Down to Earth, John Lawrence tells the story of a city that dared God to show Himself and paid a terrible price. It seems that the city of Messina, Sicily, was home to many wicked, irreligious people. On December 25, 1908, a newspaper published in Messina printed a parody against God, daring Him to make Himself known by sending an earthquake. Three days later, on
December 28, the city and its surrounding district was devastated by a terrible quake that killed 84,000 people.                             Today in the Word, October, 1997, p. 25

III. What Happens when a true Christian sins?
A. Note: I added this portion to this message for the benefit of the new converts. They are self-explanatory.
1. Loses his fellowship with the Lord -1 Jn. 1:6-7
2. Loss of joy, misery because we are controlled by our sinful nature. Psalms 51:12
3. Divine discipline- Heb. 12:5-10.
4. Broken relationship and pain to those around us especially to our families. Gal. 5:15
5. Loss of testimony in the world and dishonour to the Lord. 1 Pet. 2:12
6. Increase discipline, if he continues to sin – Ps. 32:4, Heb. 12:6
7. Church discipline (Jimmy Swaggart and Jack Schaap cannot preach anymore) – 1 Cor. 5 1-5
8. Divine discipline to the point of physical death. This is sometimes called “sin unto death” 1 Cor. 11:30, 1 Jn. 5:16
9. Loss of rewards. 1 Cor. 3:12-15
B. The sin unto death is the physical death which occurs when a Christian refuses to repent under the chastening hand of God;
C. Christian, if you fall unto sin, repent whole heartedly, ask forgiveness from the Lord and avoid the near occasion of sin again. With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can still be victorious against sin.

Illustration/Application: Why Would Christians Choose to Sin?

Why would Christians choose to sin rather than choose what they know God wants them to do? Four answers are commonly given today.
1. Some would point to Rom. 8:16 and explain that Christians who wilfully sin have forgotten their true identity as “children of God.” While it is true that Christians can forget who they are and sin as a result, Christians can also be well aware of who they are and sin anyway.
2. Some say Christians choose to sin because they have lost sight of what God has done for them. 2 Pet. 1:9 indicates that Christians can be “blind or short-sighted, having forgotten [their] purification from [their] former sins.”
3. Some wisely state that Christians consciously choose to sin because they have forgotten that God will severely discipline disobedient believers.
4. Some have said that Christians who consciously sin have lost their focus on the future. These Christians have forgotten that God will reward in heaven only those who have lived faithfully for Him here on earth (1 Cor. 9:24). Christians who fail to keep eternity in mind often sin in the here and now.                  Why Christians Sin, J. Kirk Johnston, Discovery House, 1992, p. 31
Source: unknown

IV. Conclusion:
A believer who truly received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour in all sincerity and truth will never willingly want to practice sin again. He will never trample on the Son of God; he will never regard His shed blood as unholy or profane and will never insult the Holy Spirit.
The Bible plainly teaches that Christians do sin after they are saved. There is no sinless perfection in the Christian life in this present world.

Page separation