“For if we deliberately sin 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 about to consume the adversaries.
For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him. But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.”
Hebrews 10:26-27, 37-39 HCSB
This is a recurring theme in Hebrews. I think of it as a warning against “Fire Insurance” – meaning the thinking that OK, I believe in Jesus, I have called on His name. I am saved, so now I can just go right back and be like nothing has changed – NOT true! I am a child of God, I need to act like a son of God (not to be confused with THE Son of God, mind you). My take away is, am I deliberately sinning? Am I doing things and thinking – it’s OK – I am saved! I just have to ask for forgiveness. This isn’t to say that I can never sin again, but there is a big difference between doing something I know is wrong and continuing to do it because I think that I can just go to the bottomless well of God’s mercy and forgiveness and messing up, asking for (and receiving) forgiveness.
“And just as it is appointed for people to die once — and after this, judgment — so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
Hebrews 9:27-28 HCSB
We all only die once. If we know Jesus, that is only the beginning. If we don’t, it is the beginning of eternal torment!
“For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one. But finding fault with His people, He says: Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by their hands to lead them out of the land of Egypt. I disregarded them, says the Lord, because they did not continue in My covenant. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. And each person will not teach his fellow citizen, and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins. By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.”
Hebrews 8:7-13 HCSB
Several verses, but I couldn’t speak to what I understood from this without it. This is detailing out the Old Testament versus the New Testament – why there was a need for a new one, and also why the New Covenant is superior. The Lord saw fit to give a new covenant because His people rebelled against the old one. I am selfishly happy for this – because Jesus died for ALL our sins. Otherwise, would I have been a part of His forgiveness? Had He not seen a need to send His Son, the promise of salvation may have been missed by me. But He came and died for ALL. Perhaps first for His people, but then for ALL of us. Thank You Lord Jesus for Your mercy!!
The other thing that pops to me is that with the New Covenant, my sins are forgiven. FOREVER. He will NEVER hold my sins against me – they are as far as the East is to the West.
“For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do — first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son, who has been perfected forever.”
Hebrews 7:26-28 HCSB
This drives home the fact that Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself is the required blood sacrifice for our sins. Unlike High Priests, who are human and therefore sin, He did not need a sacrifice for Himself to be able to come before God the Father. We need that sacrifice, and He took it for us.
“For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because, to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt.”
Hebrews 6:4-6 HCSB
I am reading this and wondering if the idea that I have always held – that once you are saved, you are always saved, may not be true. I suppose someone who accepts Jesus, but then turns from His grace and repentance is essentially doing just this. They are recrucifying our Lord. He was already crucified for our sins – and we accept that when we repent and seek forgiveness. But to have this, and then turn from Him, is something that you cannot go back to. I wonder if I am reading this right? Or perhaps someone who has turned away and then seeks forgiveness again, and repents again, is Jesus not just going to forgive them again? His love knows no bounds, but the author of Hebrews uses the word “impossible.” I know I don’t have to worry about it my faith in the Lord Jesus is unwavering.
“We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature — for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.”
Hebrews 5:11-14 HCSB
There is a lot in here, mostly about spiritual maturity and the need for milk before we can grow. But two things jumped out at me. The first being that once we are mature, we can distinguish between good and evil. We know what to stay away from once we are spiritually mature. The way I see it, we do not make excuses.
The second thing that jumped out at me is that the author is clearly saying that we do not become mature, not because of the righteous will of God, but because we are lazy. We do not take the time to become grounded in the word!!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4:15 HCSB
I don’t know that I have ever questioned whether God understands my trials, though I probably have at some point. In reading this, I am reminded that this is just stupid. Jesus knows our trials, He certainly knows mine, and not because He is the Son of God, but because He went through the same things! He walked this earth just like me, only He did it without sinning. Ever.
“As it is said: Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? And who was He provoked with for 40 years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And who did He swear to that they would not enter His rest, if not those who disobeyed? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”
Hebrews 3:15-19 HCSB
The author of Hebrews is obviously speaking to the Hebrews, and so he is tying the acts and words from the Old Testament to what is needed today. I like this analogy because he points out that unbelief is what will separate is from God.
“For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.”
Hebrews 2:18 HCSB
Jesus, in becoming a mortal man who could experience physical pain and suffering, is able to speak to it. He knows the greatest pain and suffering man has been able to produce – death by crucifixion, but not only that, horrendous torture leading to that death. I am convinced that while many others were no doubt crucified, very few were beaten like Him prior. NOT to mention the humiliation He suffered.
“Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?”
Hebrews 1:14 HCSB
This is speaking of Angels, and I am in utter awe of the statement. This seems to imply that angels were sent to serve us – to minister to us! Of course this is the case AFTER Christ came – I see throughout the Old Testament that angels were most definitely above man. However, Jesus, because He became a man, and became our friend, has put us above them. At least that is what I read here. Amazing!!