Tag Archives: Hebrews 10:26

New Book – Forgiven.

Forgiven – How do I know?

I’ve just finished and published my fourth kindle book on Amazon called Forgiven – How do I know?

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Endorsement

Forgiven Book CoverPaul Noble is like a stick of rock …. There is a lot of talk about values today.

Values communicate what is important, they indicate what you stand for, what really matters, what is worthwhile and you really want more than anything else.

Each one of us has own set of values.  Values such as health, friendship, success, integrity, financial independence and loyalty. These values determine our direction, behaviour and provide the basis upon which we make our decisions. Our most important value is the one which is written though us.

In this sense, Paul is like a stick of rock… and the word embedded in every fibre of being is grace.  God’s unconditional acceptance and longing for a loving relationship with us is at the heart of Paul’s writing.  Discovering grace for himself, changed everything for him.

Now, Paul has become an advocate for this kind of grace: the grace which breaks down the walls we have erected and use them to build bridges to God. Paul’s message is one worth listening to; because those who understand the truth of God’s grace experiencing what it means to be free for themselves. May we all be sticks of rock with this word of grace written through our lives.

Rev Sean Blackman, Church Leader at Freedom, (Exec) AMBA MBA, PGDipTh, BD (Hons)

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A better sacrifice

Eternal Salvation

are all sins forgivenIn the last article I looked at how the offerings of the Law were a temporary fix so that God could continue relationship with mankind despite failure. Of course, this all awaited the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God and High Priest of God, who established a salvation that would last for ever and would never need to be repeated- awesome! A better sacrifice.

Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

Eternal redemption

Jesus therefore, was not only the sacrifice but the high priest making the offering and He obtained and bought for us  eternal (permanent) redemption (ransom) that never needed to be repeated!

Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

He took our sins away:

As a consequence, this superior sacrifice of Jesus took away sins; something the law could never do – only covering it. The blood of Jesus though, cleanses us perfectly from all sin. It’s like a powerful cleaning agent. It removes sin completely. It takes it away.

1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Incidentally, it’s interesting that part of the natural function of blood is to fight infection!

1 John 3:5 “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”

Romans 11:27 “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

He cleansed the conscience

In addition, the blood of Jesus not only takes away sins but as a consequence it purges the conscience and guilt of the sinner.

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

He changes You!

Even so, there was one another important change necessary, a change in the heart of the offerer that was promised centuries before:

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”

Consequently, the perfect sacrifice of Jesus didn’t just make the sinner holy for a short time (a year) – but for ever! Did you get that? You have been made perfect (in your spirit) for ever!

Hebrews 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 10:14 “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

God forgets sins

Just to make sure, God now chooses to forget your sin! Under the Old Covenant every sin was recorded. It was reckoned to your sin debit account. Under Grace the salvation that God offers is so complete that He no longer records your sins. They are no longer charged to your account!

Romans 4:8 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Even better than that, your sins never come into his mind; He never remembers your sins – ever!

Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

The remission of forgiveness is so complete that it’s as if you never sinned – God has no memory or consciousness of your sins!

No more offering required!

Hebrews 10: 17 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

And, just to underline all this amazing Good News, the verse above clearly says, that the remission or forgiveness is now so complete that –  no offering for sin is required ever again!

Why is this? Think about it. When Jesus died on the cross everybody’s sins from that point were future. If His blood only took away the past sins that had been committed, then a whole lot more blood is going to be needed, because without the shedding of blood there is nor remission or forgiveness!

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

This meant, that instead, of a lamb being sacrificed every year, Jesus had to be re-sacrificed every year for the last 2000 years because people are still sinning! However this is not the case because every sin that has been or will be has been expiated by his precious blood.

1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Sin is dealt with once for all

Therefore, Jesus has dealt with the whole issue of sin in God’s eyes for ever.

Hebrews 9:26 “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Are we all forgiven?

Maybe your saying though, does it mean that everybody is forgiven? Well technically yes, BUT… not everyone takes advantage of this amazing special offer:

Hebrews 9:27 “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

What if we reject Jesus?

Now, the bad news. If someone chooses to reject this sacrifice of Jesus then there is no hope – this is a sin against the Holy Spirit. This is what some of the Jews amongst the Jewish Christians were in danger of doing by rejecting Christianity and going back to the temple system of sacrifices,

Hebrews 10:26 “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins”

Hebrews 10:29 “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot 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?”

Read More:

Stop saying sorry!

To tithe or not?

The shadow of the law

Jesus and the mosaic law

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 Kindle book – Christ in You

Kindle book – Christ the End of Law

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Messing with holiness (part 1)

In this series of articles I’m going to mess with you holiness or sanctification theology – you’ve been warned!

Can unbelievers be sanctified?

holinessLet’s start with a bang. Did you know that it is possible for an unbeliever to be sanctified? Yes you heard me right! Here is the verse:

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

What is going on here? How can an unbeliever be sanctified? I believe the explanation is that  because one member of the family is saved the rest are treated by God as if they were already.

This doesn’t mean they are automatically saved however, only that they are now on a ‘fast track’ to salvation; the spotlight is on them! It’s like when Paul says to the jailor: “believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and your whole house”. This doesn’t mean that every member of the household is automatically enrolled into the book of life; just that the opportunity of salvation has increased because they are probably going to hear the Gospel and see its transforming power first-hand.

Hebrews 10:29

In addition, this helps explain an apparently ‘difficult’ scripture:

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot 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?” Hebrews 10:29

Consequently, now it’s clear that sanctification can apply to an unbeliever, this scripture becomes much clearer. The writer of the Hebrews is speaking to Jews (not Gentiles) who are meeting with Jewish believers. They are not saved and in fact are in danger of turning their back on Christianity and returning to Judaism. Therefore, they are described as sanctified for the same reasons as the previous example.

Conclusions?

Both these examples then illustrate an important point: sanctification does not mean sinlessness!

Ok then, so what does it mean? Simply put, sanctification means to be made holy, separated, different, special.  Holiness therefore has nothing to do with sinlessness even though it does have to do with purity and cleansing.

Leviticus 10:10 “And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”

Therefore, when God is described as holy its not referring to his sinlessness its referring to his uniqueness!  God is separate, different, perfect and incomparable!  That is why when man tries to replicate God in the form of an animal or human he is making God common and that’s called idolatry.

Romans 1:21 “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

In Exodus, Moses encounters this Holy God in the burning bush and he is told to take off his shoes because the ground is holy. Was the ground sinless? No, of course not, it was the presence of God who is unique, special that made it holy.

What does the Bible say is Holy?

Wrapping up, and just to further emphasise that holiness and sanctification do not mean sinlessness, it’s clear that many other things declared by the Bible as holy are not capable of sinning  because they are inanimate:

1. The Holy scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:5 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

2. Your food!  1 Timothy 4:5 “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

3. The Sabbath: Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

4. The Law: Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

5. Every Jewish first born male child : Luke 2:23 “As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;”

Implications?

What then,  if holiness is not sinlessness does it matter how we live? Surely we should be becoming more holy?  That is what we will discuss in the next article!

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Further reading:

Gardening and holiness

What is holiness?

True holiness

2 Corinthians 7:1

The dangers of the holiness movement

The law of liberty

The Bible impossible tales

What’s all this fuss about hyper-grace?

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Can you miss the grace of God?

archerIs it possible to miss the grace of God? Sadly, I believe you can. Certainly there was one man in the Bible who did: Esau the brother of Jacob – he missed the grace of God by a mile and the bitter conflict between the descendants of Jacob (Israel) and the descendants of Esau (the Arab nations), is a consequence of that failure that lasts even today.

Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it (the blessing) carefully with tears.”

Of course, we all come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but we don’t all have to come short of the grace of God because grace and truth has come to everyone on the planet through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”

In fact, the good news or Gospel is, that where sin abounds grace even more abounds  (Romans 5:20) –  so it’s not sin that’s going to cause you to miss the grace of God. It doesn’t matter therefore whether you are the worst or best of sinners –  there is plenty of grace available for you at all times.

The obvious question though is: so how is it possible to come short of the grace of God?

 Neglect, undervaluing, drifting away

The writer to the Hebrews says this: 3:1 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

Esau neglected his birthright, he treated it with contempt and didn’t value the blessing. His tears were not a change of heart and mind ( true repentance).  No, they were crocodile tears, tears of regret. It wasn’t repentance he sought but the blessing he had forfeited through his stupidity.

Likewise, if we ignore the Gospel and put off making a decision, saying to ourselves: “I’ll think about it tomorrow”, tomorrow could be too late!

Hebrews 2:1 “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it”  

If we deliberately ignore or reject the truth, then there is only fearful expectation of judgement because there is only one way to heaven and one saviour: Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:26 “For if we go on sinning willfully  after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”  … “How much more 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.”

So, is this verse saying that if you commit a sin on purpose after being saved that there is no more forgiveness?  Is it one strike and you are out? No, that would mean there is only enough grace for one sin only, which contradicts Romans 5:20!  In addition, sin by its very nature is an act of the will – if you don’t believe me watch a toddler!

No, when read in context of the authors argument, he is talking about the “sin of wilfulness”, the sin against the Holy Spirit: a wilful resistance against the overture of grace by the Holy Spirit. In other words,  knowing the truth but choosing not to believe (unbelief)!

Therefore, if you purposefully reject the only way of salvation through the Gospel, then there is no sacrifice or repentance left – you are without hope. You have hardened your heart and refused the only possible way of salvation,  burning your bridges and spitting in God’s face!

 You must come to God by faith alone

How do we receive this grace then? We receive it by faith or by simply believing.

Ephesians 2:8 “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of God”

All we have to do is understand and respond by faith. For example, if I receive a million pounds through the post but never bank that cheque, I fell short of becoming a millionaire.

Hebrews 4:1 “Therefore let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have good news preached to us, just as they also, but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard” For we have believed enter that rest.”

Therefore, you may hear the Gospel, recite the creeds, get baptised or even attend church but if you never respond to the Gospel by faith, you are not born again. You are not saved. Of course there is nothing wrong with good deeds and church going but that will not earn you favour with God. To enter God’s rest you have to stop working and simply receive by faith.

Hebrews 4:10 “For the one who has entered his rest has himself also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

Religion therefore, will always get you to work harder and harder to earn salvation. God though, says stop working and rest in the finished work of Jesus at the cross.

Religious effort and performance

Hebrews calls this works approach or mentality to salvation EVIL. Yes evil!

Hebrews 3:12 “Take care brethren, lest there should be in any one of you and evil (gr works filled) unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God”   .

Therefore, as soon as you introduce your our own self-efforts, law-keeping or self-righteousness to earn salvation, you have fallen away from the living God. In fact, God calls your self-righteousness filthy menstrual rags! You are making the grace of God of no-effect in your life.

“I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through law, then Christ died needlessly”.

The self-righteous man sees no need to repent or change his mind because after all he is right! In fact, he doesn’t really need God at all. God might as well be dead!

In Luke 18:11 Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee prays to himself listing all the tithing and fasting he’s doing – as if God should be impressed! The Publican on the other hand doesn’t even raise his eyes to heaven but says: “God be merciful to me a sinner”. He goes back home forgiven and justified.

 No fruit – Hebrews 6:4

Indeed even today,  there are many sincere and religious people in churches who are not born again and produce no fruit to God. They hear bible preaching every week, maybe even receive prayer and healing but still they are not saved because they are relying on their own self-righteousness.

Likewise, the writer to Hebrews is addressing religious people not pagans. These are those who have attended synagogue, know the scriptures, maybe even seen the miracles of Jesus and Paul in action and yet won’t embrace the Gospel, holding on to their traditions, the law of Moses and temple worship.

Hebrews 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the son of God and put him to open shame.

Therefore, this verse is not talking about believers losing their salvation forever because of sin in their lives. No, it’s speaking about those who have heard the message of grace and even experienced its benefits but have hardened their heart to make a deliberate choice not believe! Therefore, its impossible to renovate them to a change of mind because they have already made up their minds!

Hebrews 6:6 “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.”

In other words, these persons have heard, understood and even maybe experienced the truth Gospel but there is no fruit unto salvation because they have rejected the Gospel.

Hebrews 6:9 “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you and things that accompany salvation” .

In conclusion therefore, let us not be like Esau who missed the grace of God but let us take to heart the seriousness of the message of grace and respond by faith.

Hebrews 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away ( retreat) from him who warns from heaven”

Repentance – its not what you think

Can a believer lose their salvation?

Sinning wilfully

Escape to Reality on Hebrews 10:26

 

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Sinning Wilfully!

sinning wifullyHebrews 10:26

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received  the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more  sacrifice  for sins

Read out of context, and at face value, this verse apparently supports the view, that if we sin knowingly, purposefully, voluntarily or wilfully – that’s the end of a relationship with God and our salvation!

Sin is wilful!

The first obvious problem with this interpretation: it doesn’t make any sense – sin by its very nature is willful! Yes, you could sin accidently, say break the speed limit, but most sin is a decision. Watch your children, they choose to sin. A child doesn’t need much education to end up sinning wilfully! Adam couldn’t plead ignorance – he deliberately sinned by taking the fruit from Eve.

Reading in context

So what does it mean, why the confusion? There are two mistakes that are made when interpreting this verse.

1)   Firstly, people assume that the Epistle was written directly to them, when in fact it was written by a Jewish Apostle to his Jewish brothers: some born again Messianic Jews and others who maybe had heard and understood the Gospel and are even meeting with believers but are not yet true converts! The phrase “received the knowledge of the truth” is referring to these Jews.

2)   The second is not to read it in context. For example, at least read it in the context of chapter 10 where it is explaining why the sacrifices are now redundant because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus!

Hebrews 10:18 “Now where there is forgiveness of all these things, there is no longer any offering for sin”

The sin of rejecting the messiah

The willful sin therefore, is a deliberate choice to reject Jesus as Messiah even when the truth is known and even experienced. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit.

Stephen says to the Jews just before they stone him to death:

“You men who are stiff-necked an uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did”

This is a deliberate and wilful rejection of the truth!

One of the bystanders to that execution: the Apostle Paul however, describes the grace of God towards him in 1 Tim 1:13:

“a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” 

In other words, he didn’t reject Jesus wilfully.

Likewise in Hebrews 12:25 the warning is to unbelieving Jews:

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:”

There are other multiple examples in Hebrews which are warning the unbelieving Jews within the community who have heard the Gospel:

Hebrews 2:3 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation”

Hebrews 3:12 Take care brethren (Jewish believers and unbelievers) , lest there be in any one of you an evil (works filled) unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore let us fear lest, while a promise of entering his rest any of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us just as they also but the word they heard did not profit them because it was united by faith in those who heard.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience

Hebrews 6:4 “For in the case of those who have been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come and then fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the son of God and put him to open shame.

So what about us?

So do these scriptures apply to us today? Certainly. I believe that even in our churches today, there are many who call themselves Christians, who go to church, tithe, read their Bibles, sing in the choir and even know a bit of theology– yet are not saved and born again.

2 Cor 13:5 “ Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Can you miss the grace of God?

What do you do when you sin?

 

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