Hebrews 10:26

I get asked more questions on Hebrews 10:26 than any other verse in the Bible. Evidently, this is a verse that troubles many Christians:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. (Hebrews 10:26)

Whoa, that looks scary! Let’s take a quick survey. Please put your hand up if you have lived a sinless life since accepting Jesus as your Savior. Hmmm. I don’t see any hands. I have been saved for decades and – if I’m honest with you – I cannot say my performance has been flawless throughout that period. I’m pretty sure I sinned this one time back in 1987…

Ha! It’s easy for me to make jokes. I’ve been set free. I no longer mine at the pits of religion with condemnation. I’m drawing from the wells of salvation with joy!

The wrong way to interpret Hebrews 10:26

All jokes aside, Hebrews 10:26 is an oft-abused scripture. If you wanted to use this verse to scare people, there are a couple of angles you could take:

1. You could use this verse to present a “balanced” view of God, like this: “He is a God of grace and He is a God of judgment. He’s not some senile Santa in the sky. He’s a God of vengeance and a consuming fire. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

2. You could also use this verse to preach works: “You will be judged according to the light of your revelation and those who have received the knowledge of the truth will be held to the highest standard. It’s time for judgment to begin in the house of God. If you fall away it is impossible to be brought back to repentance!”

What is the problem with these messages? Listen to the first one you’re going to come away thinking that God is schizophrenic, at war with His own nature. He loves you, but He doesn’t. It’s unconditional love – with conditions. And if you listen to the second you will either end up a religious fraud or a nervous wreck. You may even wish that you had never heard the gospel because ignorance is bliss.

The tricky part with these false messages is that they are composed of true statements. Our God is a consuming fire. But the interpretation is all wrong. They are anti-cross and anti-Christ. Any message that tells you that God is double-minded or that the good news is bad news ought to be rejected. You know that, right? Good. So how do we read Hebrews 10:26?

Trampling the Son of God under foot

A key to unpackaging this scripture is to recall the audience. Hebrews was written for – surprise, surprise – Hebrews. It was for those who have grown up with the “elementary teachings” of the Old Covenant. In other words, the author writes for an informed audience. They know all about the law, sacrifices, and high priests. But what they may not appreciate is that the law was only a shadow of the good things to come. The law points to the true high priest Jesus and His eternally perfect sacrifice.

Hebrews was written to reveal Christ and His work so that we may “enter through the new and living way,” “go on to maturity,” and “draw near to God.” That last bit is the key. How do I know the two sermonettes above are carnal nonsense? Because neither will inspire you to draw near to God. Indeed, they will have the opposite effect.

Hebrews 10:26 describes those who have received the knowledge of the truth (i.e., they have heard the gospel) but they have rejected it. The writer compares those who reject grace with those who reject law:

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28-29)

This passage is not talking about Christians but those who, like Judas, have heard the truth and spurned it. Judas spent time in the company of the Lord. He not only heard the truth, he saw Grace and Truth in the flesh. But Judas rejected Jesus as Lord. He never saw Jesus as anything other than a rabbi. Calling Jesus “Rabbi” is a bit like calling the President “Mister,” only infinitely more so. It’s not just insulting, it’s unbelief.

Jesus came to give His life for Judas but Judas wasn’t interested. He preferred his own sinful life of greed and betrayal. I am sure Judas had many opportunities to repent (i.e., change his mind) and put his faith in Jesus, but he never did. He rejected the grace of God that could empower him to say no to sin.

Jesus died for Judas. What more could He do? There is nothing! There is no more sacrifice for sins other than the one Jesus provided. To reject Jesus as Lord is to trample the Son of God underfoot and treat the blood of the covenant as unholy.

How do you insult the Spirit of grace?

If I was to give you a free car out of the generosity of my heart, but you insisted on paying for it, I would be insulted. Similarly, we insult the Spirit of grace by trying to pay, with works and sacrifices, what God has freely given us. We may call it “proving our salvation” or “appropriating what God has given” but it is unbelief. It is like saying, “I don’t believe Jesus has done it all. I need to finish what He started.”

The wrong way to read Hebrews is to think that God is judging us on our performance. Over and over again Hebrews tells us that it is Jesus and His performance that matters. It is His sacrifice that made us holy, indeed, perfect forever (Heb 10:10-14). How can we interpret Hebrews 10:26 as a warning against sin when Hebrews 9:26 says that Christ appeared once for all “to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself”? Is His a finished work or isn’t it? If it is, then sin is no longer the problem. Where there is remission of sins, “there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” (Heb 10:18). The good news is that the Son of God is the once and final solution for sin. Because of Jesus, both God the Father and God the Holy Spirit choose to remember our sins no more (see Heb 8:12, 10:17).

The warning of Hebrews

In a forthcoming post I will look at Hebrews 6:4-6, which is another passage that bothers some. But the punch-line is the same. The main warning of Hebrews is not in regard to sin but unbelief:

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. (Heb 3:19)

The Hebrews of Moses’ day never entered God’s rest because they hardened their hearts to His voice. In the New Testament era, many Jews were doing exactly the same thing. They received the knowledge of truth, they heard the gospel of grace, but they rejected it. They may not have said so in so many words, but by their actions they revealed their distrust.

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)

The author of Hebrews writes to stir up faith. Without it we cannot please God. With it we can come boldly to the throne of grace.

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 good news of God’s grace and shrink back. They cannot believe it. “It’s too good to be true,” they say. “I’d better cover myself by doing works.” Do you see the danger? 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!).

According to Hebrews there are only two kinds of people; those who don’t enter because of their unbelief and those who believe and are saved. Sin is not the variable; faith is. Where does faith come from? Jesus! He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2).

Fix your eyes on Him.


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115 Comments on Hebrews 10:26

  1. “Yeah but in the new testament they talk about not allowing a root of bitterness to spring up that there is no immoral person like Esau that how he could find no room for repentance even though he sought for it with tears.”
    Yes, this is a NT warning. I guess the question really becomes: How do you know when you have reached that point that Esau reached? Remember, these passages are warnings. They don’t specify *when* something like this could happen. Is it after one sin? one act of unbelief? a lifetime of rejecting grace? or rejecting grace long enough to be hardened past feeling (as the enemies of Jesus and the apostles’ enemies in the book of Acts–check that out for some vicious, unbending unbelief).

    Peter fell away; in fact, so did the other disciples. Christ foretold that. But they were restored. Taking the overall Scripture into account, it would seem to me that there are varying degrees of falling away. It is up to God to judge us, to decide when someone has reached that point. For those who are concerned about this and agonize over it, don’t judge yourself but rather let God judge you. Trying to judge yourself on this is like lifting a weight that is too heavy for you; your introspection will be endless. You’ll always be unsure whether you’ve reached that point or not. Look to Christ hanging on the cross for YOUR sins and remember His gracious words, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37) and the words of the Psalmist: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

    Note in Hebrews 6 how the writer, just before giving his warning beginning in v. 4, says, “And this we will do, if God permits. 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened … it is impossible …” He was referring to their teaching the Hebrew Christians so that they would progress beyond the basics. Note that it’s not impossible for God to renew them to repentance; otherwise, the statement “if God permits” makes no sense at all. Nothing is impossible for God.

    • Great word there, truly! But, “don’t judge yourself but rather let God judge you” is just the opposite of the scripture. As we are to judge ourselves., so that we ‘keep ourselves’ from being judged! 1 Corinthians 11:31,32.
      Again, 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not ‘your own selves’, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?”
      These are things we do, along with Mortification, (Killing dead) of our members. What members? The very same Jesus spoke of in, Matthew 5:29 “And if your right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell.” All these sins mentioned here in Colossians 3:5, have to do with lust, and lust of the eye is one of the three enemies of man in this world, 1 John 2:6. These are instructions to born again believers!
      I like the great Mathew Henry’s take on it; “The apostle exhorts the Colossians to the mortification of sin, the great hindrance to seeking the things which are above. Since it is our duty to set our affections upon heavenly things, it is our duty to mortify our members which are upon the earth, and which naturally incline us to the things of the world: “Mortify them, that is, subdue the vicious habits of mind which prevailed in your Gentile state. Kill them, suppress them,…”
      No, this is all part of the “good fight of faith” 1 Timothy 6:12 ,”Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,…” Paul exclaimed, 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
      This relates to Rev. 3:5, about ‘he that overcomes’(prevails). “Nothing is impossible for God” true, as Philippians 4:13, “we can ‘do’ all things through Christ who strengthens us”. “Do” then, these things!

  2. The only reason Esau could not find repentance was that he had sold or forsaken his birth right, my advice to you Steven is to start claiming and believing what is yours, in doing this you have already repented, your shortcomings do not intimidate God or even factor into things, what will factor in is your acceptance of what is yours.This may sound stupid but I assure you the foolishness of God is the wisdom of men so be wise.

  3. Paul you previously said in this post;;
    “I don’t believe God disciplines us with death. How could we learn from that? And if he were punishing us, then he is unjust for punishing the same sin twice. All sin was condemned on the cross.”
    Sure, but according to the scriptures we are to purge sin from among ourselves ,as a body. 1 Corinthians 5:4,5. Here is “destruction of the flesh”, death if need be (1 Corinthians 11:30). Matthew Henry say’s; “…authority they had of delivering a scandalous sinner into the power of Satan, to have bodily diseases inflicted, and to be tormented by him with bodily pains, which is the meaning of the destruction of the flesh. “
    Puts a whole new light on Romans 2:4 about the the goodness of God leading one to repentance! This is Gods way of looking at goodness, not ours. Again, 1 Corinthians 11:30,32, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are ‘chastened’ of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”

  4. Thanks for this. My children and I were trying to figure out what this verse meant. It was a little disturbing to say the least. The clarification was most needed!

  5. To receive knowledge of the truth is not the same thing as ACCEPTING it. And there are other times in the Bible that the word “sanctified” is used in a manner that does not declare that one is saved, but rather that for example one can be “sanctified” by being under the influence of the Gospel.
    I have to admit the Book of Hebrews is difficult. But I do know that in the entirety of the text two different groups of people are referred to, those who believe unto the saving of the soul, and those who shrink back unto perdition.

    • Have to ‘accept’ something before you can ‘Receive’ something, but the real deal is making it “Abide.” Stick, stay awhile, a long while.
      “…I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God ‘abides’ in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:14
      1 John 2:24, “ Let that therefore ‘abide’ in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain (abide) in you, you also ‘shall continue’ in the Son, and in the Father.” Its our ‘letting’ that seems to do it.
      How do we know for sure if we be, abiding? 1 John 2:10, ‘”He that love’s his brother abide’s in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” This is sanctification, of course, after all the accepting and receiving!

  6. Tom Howard,
    2 questions. 1) What does it mean to be IN Jesus? 2)How and Where did one get INTO Jesus? I think if you can see this TRUTH you will have a revelation to what Harold has been trying to show you.

    • 1).Mean’s “abiding in the doctrine of Christ” 2 John 1:9 2).How; It is our profession of faith which is our assurance, that we hold fast without wavering. Hebrews 10:22,23. Where; At the beginning, opposite to the end, wherein we are to ‘hold fast’ until. Hebrews 3:6

  7. Praise God for his mercies endureth forever!

  8. I am a Christian. And went astray and lived a lifestyle that is unholy and one God despises the most. Last year while still living that way after many red flags I ignored- I got really sick. To the point I thought I was dying and I turned back to God and repented. I no longer live that way anymore. But I feel guilty. Still. I feel like an apostate because I willfully sinned and didn’t change. I spit in Jesus’ face. I’m sicker now and totally live in panic and fear. No peace. I don’t hear God or feel him. Am I casted off? Did God allow my sickness as a last effort to get my attention? I’m so miserable and terrified. Please help if you can.

    • Here’s the word of the Lord to you: “God loves you MUCH MORE than you can know or imagine. He loves you because he is your Father and you are his child. Receive it!”

    • Stac; Psalm 119:67, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” This is David, Greatest King of all Israel. He noted , as did you, that he had “affliction”, after he went astray. But, he repented and kept Gods word!.
      Thats what you are saying. You got sick and ” I turned back to God and repented”. Thats all you can do. The rest is in Gods hand. 1 John 1:9. God is faithful and just, and will forgive. THere is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not in the flesh but in the Spirit. So, now that you have repented (obeyed the Spirit) and no longer walk in that displeasing way of the flesh, be advised, you are not to feel that condemnation which is, no doubt, from the devil (Reve. 12:10b). Trust His word, you are forgiven by His faithfulness. Now, you keep faithful and keep Gods word, as David did!

    • The problem is not with God it is with you, God is seeking you, but you are unable to show yourself.Some lie in your past has led you to believe your sin is specially bad, I would remind you of what Jesus had to endure for me and you, or for better words by me and you. As I have said God is reaching out to you , as Paul has said you remain his child and I know that it grieves his spirit to see you in this place you find yourself.

  9. You write so much about grace – and that’s awesome – but why do you use a translation that is so full of errors and religious interpretation?
    You quote Heb 10:39, “who believe and are saved” – while word by word it would mean : “but of those believing to a preserving of soul.”. Regardless what 99% Christians believe ‘SOUL’ in the Bible never means an afterlife experience as it simply means ‘LIFE’ so there is no possibility this verse can pertain to anything but an earthly experience! Using the word “saved” is an interpretation, while NIV is supposed to be just a translation. There is only one, separate word for “saved” and it’s not there at all!
    Please show me one instance of a verse where SOUL (either Greek psyche or Hebrew nephesh) beyond doubt means about something happening after we die, and I’ll make a custom website named, “100 Reasons Why E2R is the Best Website in the World”.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I use the NIV because it’s the translation most read by E2R readers (ie: it’s the most popular English translation in the world). The NIV is also for good for readers who don’t speak English as a first language, as I learned from ten years preaching in Hong Kong. Yes, it has flaws, as I have written about here, but so does every other translation.

      You raise an interesting point about the meaning of the word preservation in Heb 10:39. In context, it means the opposite of destruction (“we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed”) where the word for destroyed (apōleia) means utter destruction, perhaps the second death. However, if you are not satisfied that the “preservation of the soul from destruction” means something that happens after we die, I can suggest several other verses that link God’s salvation with our souls (eg: Mark 8:38, Matt 10:28, Luke 9:56, 1 Pet 1:9). “Anyone who loves their life (psuchē) will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Joh 12:25, NIV).

      Let me know when that website is up! 😉

  10. BJ the Sinner in need of a Savior // March 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    Asked God into my life as a child. Struggled with assurance of salvation, and was finally beginning to feel assurance when I fell into sin too deeply and too long. And I even remember thinking at the time, “I can always ask God to forgive me.” But what a mess I made of my life! For the past probably 30+ years I have lived with daily guilt, shame, and self-loathing for the things I have done. And even though I cried out for forgiveness, I have found it so hard to believe that God’s grace did indeed cover my willfull sin. Now I have discovered Paul Ellis and his words of hope. Can a bad sinner like I was receive such abundant grace and a life eternal?

    • Verse 30 of this passage alludes to God’s judging HIS people. Note that if you are of HIS people then you are NOT going to Hell! Previous to this it mentions the adversaries who are consumed with fire. God’s people and the adversaries are those who are lost and those who are saved.

    • You used this translation to prove that, “This passage is not talking about Christians ,,,” “…How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb 10:29)

      Yet, this passage is talking about Christians! If you look at most all other translations, it use’s 4 past tense, not 3. “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who ‘has’ trampled underfoot the Son of God, and ‘has’ profaned the blood of the covenant by which he ‘was’ sanctified, and ‘has’ outraged the Spirit of grace?”(ESV) Notice “was” sanctified! A done deal, A Christian.
      Again, (NASB), “How much 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?”
      Why would the Spirit be outraged and insulted by an unbeliever. The Spirit wouldn’t in such case. Its job is, John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”

      • And what were these former believers doing wrong?
        They turned back to the law, thus making themselves a sinner, Gal 2:18. This is the willful sin Heb 10:26 refers to.
        We must not mix works of the law, with grace, Rom 11:6. That is unbelief, which is the sin the world is convicted of, Rom 16:9.

      • So you are agreeing that Paul is wrong by his saying ,”This passage is not talking about Christians…” As you say, they are “former believers”! This is confusing, please, understand this, the writer is speaking about Christians!

      • Heb 6:4-6 explains further who these willful sinners are in Heb 10:26.

        Heb 6:4-6
        For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

        5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

        6 If they shall fall away (unbelief in Jesus by turning back to the law, Gal 2:18, Gal 5:4),
        to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame

  11. Could it be that Paul is speaking to BOTH believers and non-believers? Verse 30 tells us that God will judge HIS people.

    • Verse 30 is a quote from Deuteronomy 32. “His people” is a reference to the Jews or Hebrews to which the epistle is addressed. There is no avenging judgment for the believer for all our sins have been judged in Christ. More here and here.

      • Paul, I had thought as suggested by John Vernon McGee, that his passage was addressed to both Christians and non-Christians. The lost are devoured by the fire, while the reference to “His people” suggested that Paul was reminding the believers that they too would be judged, though as Christians.
        This has been the one passage in the entirety of the Bible I have struggled with now.
        I had wondered precisely who in the church was being addressed. I am aware that Paul said, “if WE”. However in v. 29 the term “sanctified” is used. The thought occurred to me that maybe this could be a reference to the “sow” that Peter had mentioned. The pig appeared to be sanctified but in reality was not.

    • I also see by verse 25, speaking “assembling of ourselves together,…exhorting one another,.. as you see the day (Christ return) approaching. Then the catch all, “For if ‘we’…”
      Sounds like he speaking of the church, and ‘we’ (believer’s) that comprise it! Call me crazy?

      • Yes, that’s speaking of the church. Only “brothers and sisters… have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.” But the “brothers and sisters” of v.19 are not the “enemies of God” of v.27.

  12. Paul, I just found this post from your scripture index. I thank you once again for taking the time to do that. It is a tremendous grace resource that, to my knowledge, does not exist anywhere else. I love that this is here whenever I need it.

    I’m late to the party but I’d like to weigh in. The thing that I tell myself when people use “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” as a weapon causing fear that VIRTUALLY EVERYONE is guilty of sinning willfully. So once again the works worldview makes it up to us to determine how much willful sin God will tolerate and how much he won’t. Grading on the curve once again. Try harder. If you are sweating and putting forth enough effort and fear you’ll probably be ok. Maybe. Hopefully.

    I recently listened a wonderful message from Joseph Prince called Understanding The Major Covenants Of The Bible. In the New Covenant we are supposed to be practicing the obedience of faith. Missing the mark today is when we don’t put our trust in the work of Jesus and put our trust in our self. Even if we happen to be moral most of the time. Sin is different in the new covenant compared to the old.

  13. Thank u v.much that’s very inspiring….it’s great to know when u become a child of God u can’t sin… But I need help with understanding Hebrews 6:4 where it says 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. is this the same as sinning against the holy spirit or does it show that whenever we ask for forgiveness it’s like we a recrucifying Jesus. Thank u

  14. I am scared this verse is for me. I think it quite clearly talks about continuing to sin after receiving the Holy Spirit.

    I have had a “psychosis” in which i saw everything I did wrong and I felt the full love of God. Afterwards i (and others) labelled this psychotic and I returned to my old life. I did sins that I now think are horrible. At that time i also felt they were wrong, but I did not fight against it hard enough. I had premarital sex, I used emergency anticonception (which I now believe is the same as abortion), I had contacts with people who did occult things (even with a satanist guy).

    Some weeks ago I again felt the love of God. I was suddenly healed. But later i refused the bread&wine in church because I felt my faith wasn’t strong enough yet and I first wanted all doubts in my mind wether Jesus was really the Son of God to be gone. I hoped my faith would grow stronger in the month to come and I could join with a strong faith. Now all went wrong. My conscience woke up. I am left with only feelings of guilt, fear and sadness over my sins. When I pray to God to show me if there is still hope of returning, I have terrible nightmares about chosing the wrong path.

    I believe fully in God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. I believe christians should live with a love of God and a love of their neigbour and should not do the things I did. I wish to do so and am very declined not to sin, but I can’t love anymore, because there is only fear in my heart.

    • No this verse does not mean continuing in sin and you are lost. That is merely a sad traditional interpretation.
      Lets look at the verse it says sin willfully right? In the OT symbol sacrifices there were different ones for sin. Guess which one was for willful sin? The Lamb! Jesus is the Lamb of God. That is why there is no more sacrifice left for sin. It’s not that you out sinned the sacrifice but that Jesus blood is that powerful to cover forever all of our willful and accidental sins. If salvation was based on how good we not sin then it would not be a gift and it would not have needed for Jesus to die for our sins. Look around this site there are many scripture based articles that will lift you up and show you that no sin is greater than Jesus.

  15. This verse is coming up a lot lately. Content is the key to understanding. The Jewish believers were wanting insurance that they were forgiven and were not trusting in the finished work of the cross, and this was also the false apostasy. The warning goes out if Moses and the law could judge your sin, how much more not believing the gospel of Grace? See Galatians 1:3-9. The Jews were going back to temple sacrifice. Choose which way you live, in the finished work of the cross, or your own way. We will all die with academic nature sin in our life, but thanks be to Jesus , we are perfect in Him, through the gospel, it is the power u to salvation, quit trusting in your own filthy rag righteousness.

  16. Nilesh from india goa // August 11, 2015 at 5:41 am // Reply

    I am blessed now there is no fear but now i can say i am saved through faith in jesus christ i e grace not by the works of the law.

  17. I am stuck, can you help? It seems like in verse 26 where the writer uses the word “we” meaning he as a Christian is including himself. After receiving the knowledge of the truth sound like someone who is not saved. But in verse 29 it says: and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, meaning where Jesus was sanctified right? because some other version says: wherewith they were sanctified. This would have to be incorrect.

    • Hi Mike, if you look in the comments above, you will see a similar question was asked by Nate on July 5, 2013. I think my response to Nate will answer your question.

  18. I haven’t seen anyone talk about the Book of Revelation…..and repentance…not addressing losing salvation here, but just the call by God to His people to repent.

    Rev 2:4
    “You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. ”

    1. Written to the Church of Ephesus (I assume God means believers…)
    2. God says to “consider” (think about) how far you’ve fallen. Fallen from where? Apparently fallen from a good place to a bad place.
    3. “repent and do the things you did at first” Would God ever call an unbeliever to “do the things you did at first” ? Of course not. He appears to be telling believers to “repent” and “do what you used to do which was right, because what you’re doing now is wrong”

    To me Revelation appears to be confirmation that God calls believers to repent…..

  19. My question is, how can we say Christians :
    1. are not confronted by God with their sin so as to lead them to confess and repent from that sin
    2. are not to continually confess and repent their sins daily
    It appears clear in Revelation that this is exactly how God interacts with and deals with Christians, his sons and daughters. Thoughts appreciated.

  20. Thanks for the reply. I see in your link on confession :

    “Biblical confession is agreeing with God. It’s verbalizing faith in His goodness and acknowledging your dependence upon Him (Rom. 10:9–10). It’s saying, “God, I believe You are faithful and true and will do all that You promised.”

    I don’t believe this fully encompasses the confession or repentance God wants from us. “A broken and contrite heart you will by no means despise” “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”.

    Unfortunately the theology I’m seeing here falls short of calling people to humility before God when it comes to their sin. That humility is a “sorrow” that comes from sin, that would cause one to say “I’m sorry” to God for sinning. A prayer that simply says “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin I’ve committed, Amen.” seems to fall short of the Biblical call to humility in our sin. I cannot imagine someone looking at porn, cheating on their wife, killing another human, and then saying “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin, Amen.” Can you?

    • Would you mind putting comments about confession under the post on confession and keeping this thread for comments on Heb 10:26. Thanks.

    • How many times have you asked God for forgiveness for looking at porn? Has that mindset ever really helped you stop looking at it? Read Paul’s post again and try the biblical way.

      • Yes.

      • By the way, I love the presumption you make that this sort of prayer DOES NOT have affect on anyone’s life as if by your personal experience or some people’s posts on a blog somehow proves this. Condescending tone of yours speaks a lot about your heart. You follow Paul, I’ll follow Jesus. Deal?

      • I apologize for being condescending. Truly. I’m really not a follower of Paul, other than the fact that I agree with most of what he says and God seems to be leading me in the same way that he is teaching. The reason I know that asking God for forgiveness doesn’t work to eliminate sin (apart from evidence in my life) is because it is contrary to scripture. This doctrine comes from 1 John, which actually is written to unbelievers. Why doesn’t the apostle Paul mention it in any of his epistles if it is so important? Why does God say he doesn’t impute sin to us any more or that we shouldn’t have a consciousness of sin? It really doesn’t make sense. There are hundreds of sins that you haven’t confessed. Are you really out of fellowship with God because of your forgetfulness? No. God says that your sins and lawless deeds he will remember no more. Again, I’m sorry for being critical.

      • Bob, you say you are not a follower of Paul! Well, Paul said, “Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. Doesn’t it seem he is saying, if you follow me, you are following Jesus?
        I follow Paul, as he was the one who received the gospel revelation. Galatians 1:11,12.
        You say, “…asking God for forgiveness doesn’t work to eliminate sin…” Well tell that to Jesus,, where in Revelation 2:5,16, 21,22 He tells the Church’s to “repent” so as to “overcome” Revelation 2:7,11,17,26.

      • Hi Tom, I meant not a follower of Paul as in Paul Ellis, as opposed to Jesus (I was responding to a specific comment). Which doesn’t mean that I don’t think Paul Ellis is a great guy. He has written dozens of things that have blessed me. Thanks, Paul.

        To repent is different from asking forgiveness. Repent only means change your mind. I do that all the time. When I really screw up I tell God that I repent of what I just did, turn away from it and hope to not do it again. But I don’t ask forgiveness anymore. I believe all my sins have been remitted. And the more I agree with God as to my Jesus-alone-righteousness the more victory I have.

      • Sorry, I first thought that’s not good to not follow Paul, yet now I see just which Paul you were referring too! lol
        But as far as not asking God to forgive us of our sin’s, if we sin (1 John 2:1), truly they have already been forgiven! I agree totally and again sorry I confused “asking forgiveness” and “repentance”, But must admit that, though we need not ask forgiveness, we must repent. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary Page 525, say’s it is more than just change of mind, “In the NT the subject has reference to repentance from sin, and this change of mind involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God.” This is what repent means . Nothing, as they say, to sneeze at, as Revelation 2 and 2 Corinthians 12:21 reveal.

      • I would argue that Mr Vines has stepped beyond the bounds of defining words and has added his own exposition, since virtually every instance of repentance in the new covenant is qualified by the New Testament writers as turning to God. Peter: “Repent, then, and turn to God” (Act 3:19). Paul: “I preached that they should repent and turn to God” (Act 26:20). Jesus: “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). See also Rev 2:5. (2 Cor 12:21 is an exception that proves the rule, since Paul has spent chapters affirming the Corinthians’ identity in Christ.)

        Turning from sin is old covenant repentance; turning to God is the new. Big difference. The Pharisees turned from sin without turning to God, but you can’t turn to God without turning from sin. Defining repentance – or anything we do – in terms of sin is to confuse the covenants. We are to be Son-focused, not sin-focused. More here.

    • Stephen- You said ” I cannot imagine someone looking at porn, cheating on their wife, killing another human, and then saying “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin, Amen.”
      Thing is I know someone who was delivered from porn addiction after learning about grace, our position in Christ and all the things that this website teaches. It was not until he knew that he was fully secure and that Jesus was the final sacrifice that he found deliverance freedom. I was delivered from a pretty big anger problem too.

      • Hey Colleen,
        I believe it, I definitely do. The truth that is encountered when you are someone who does not grasp God’s grace, and then come to grasp it is life changing.

        I also know someone who had this addiction, got counseling, put safeguards in place in the home, and from what he has said and what I can see in his life, he is changed.

        This theology digresses from commonly held beliefs about confession, repentance, forgiveness, etc unnecessarily. Like all theologies that go awry, like Calvinism, there is a core of truth there, but it becomes confused when it tries to overcome areas of the Christian life it never needed to overcome.

        Unfortunately this theology seems to miss the mark when it comes to a humble, sorrowful confession of sin to a God who loves us whether we sin or not. That’s where I take issue with it. Again to the man who commits murder, or looks at porn, or cheats on his wife, or kills the neighbors dog for barking too loud, you really think the appropriate response from this Christian is “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin, Amen.” That is sufficient communication with the one who was despised, beaten and murdered on the cross for that sin?

      • True sorrow from the heart needs no words for God knows the heart. A person who has been made a new creation and indwelt with the Holy Spirit is going to respond inwardly the way God desires simply because it is their new-nature, once they come to their senses that is. Is it belittling the gift to move on, put your sin in your past under Jesus blood and live inwardly grateful that the sacrifice was given? Does God really feel better if we are sorry, beat ourselves up and/or grovel around a bit over how rotten we are?

  21. Hey Bob,
    Thanks man, appreciate the apology, forgiven my friend, no big deal. About some statements in your post :

    ” The reason I know that asking God for forgiveness doesn’t work to eliminate sin (apart from evidence in my life) is because it is contrary to scripture.”

    I think it’s impossible to know what causes one man to stop struggling with a given sin, other than to say we know that person started living by the Spirit and not gratifying the desires of the sinful nature in that area of their life. For us to assume it has to do with the fact that they, with a humble heart towards God, ask for forgiveness, is not a fair thing to say.

    “Why does God say he doesn’t impute sin to us any more or that we shouldn’t have a consciousness of sin?”

    What verse are you referring to where God says we should not be conscious of sin? God calls Christians to rid themselves of very specific sinful behavior, in the New Testament. You have to be conscious of your sin to get rid of it.

    “There are hundreds of sins that you haven’t confessed. Are you really out of fellowship with God because of your forgetfulness?”

    I’ve confessed to God both known and unknown sins, using the example of David. So forgetfulness doesn’t come into play. As far as “out of fellowship” with God for sin, I guess that depends on what you mean by fellowship in that statement. I will say that there is a grieving that takes place inside me when I sin that I attribute to the Holy Spirit which lives in me grieving, for this sinfulness does not work joy in me as one who follows Jesus, it works sorrow because of that grieving of the Spirit. So that “grieving the Spirit” is what some might refer to as “out of fellowship”. Can light have fellowship with darkness? If my deeds as a Christian are in a moment darkness, can the Spirit inside me have fellowship with that?

    • Thanks for replying, Stephen, and for being a good guy. I’m referring to Hebrews 10:1-3 which contrasts the old and the new covenants. It says that the worshippers (us), ONCE purified, would have no more consciousness of sins. I truly believe that the current church’s propensity for self examination does not do anyone any good. Yes, sin is incompatible with the believer and I don’t like when I do it. But God has put his laws in my heart now and the best way for me to work those out in my life is for me to count on my righteousness rather than asking for forgiveness. Because every sin has already been forgiven. I now strive to look at myself in Christ exactly the same way – whether I have a great day serving God or have really blown it. This confession of righteousness, which is basically agreeing with God, has completely changed my walk. And caused me to sin less.

  22. Thanks Colleen for the reply.

    “True sorrow from the heart needs no words for God knows the heart.”
    Is this Biblical?

    “A person who has been made a new creation and indwelt with the Holy Spirit is going to respond inwardly the way God desires simply because it is their new-nature, once they come to their senses that is”

    Is that statement true? Because what we are discussing is a disagreement between believers about how to confess sin. So unless both sides are correct, then one is wrong, and if one is wrong, the one who is wrong is not responding the way God desires, although they do have the Holy Spirit.

    ” Is it belittling the gift to move on, put your sin in your past under Jesus blood and live inwardly grateful that the sacrifice was given? ”

    I’m not sure where that word belittling is coming from, but I used an extreme example of sin that I do not think you can simply “move on” from, unless the offending person performs some sort of Jedi mind trick on themselves and convinces themselves that the offense is not hideous in God’s sight, and should not produce Godly sorrow in them. If your husband cheats on you, and he is a Christian, do you think he can simply “move on” from that? Without a broken and contrite heart before God he will be tormented by that sin until he dies. But by your first statement in the post I know you believe in Godly sorrow.

    “Does God really feel better if we are sorry, beat ourselves up and/or grovel around a bit over how rotten we are?”

    I don’t think “God feeling better”, has anything to do with this. It is a matter of having some humility and Godly sorrow for offending Him by our sin. It does not necessitate beating ourselves up, or groveling, or considering ourselves rotten. None of that is necessary to have a humble and contrite heart before God for your sin.

    If we have no sorrow for our sin, we are not sorry that we did sin.

    • Ok to keep things short and in line with the site rules I am going to number the topics instead of copying them out.
      1) Yes it is biblical. God sees the heart does He not? Outward sorrow would only be of benefit for other people who do not always need to know our spiritual business. If the sorrow or sense of wrongness is inside a person isn’t that enough for the one who sees the heart?
      2) Anything other than what I wrote is such a foreign concept to me I do not think I can answer you briefly or coherently.
      3) I used the word belittling as that was the sense I had picked up from your comments. I did not think that grasping the forgiveness through Christ was treating the sin or the forgiveness poorly. Yes you do simply move one from large, or small, sins. Emotional reactions do not increase or lessen the degree of turning to God or of the forgiveness received. The alternative is to wallow in self condemnation or slide back into them, both are very unbiblical.
      4) No one is going to ask for forgiveness unless they have known they have done wrong. Humility is just, that realizing that you were not right and then submitting to or turning to the correct way. Again not an emotional display just a correct attitude about the importance of self.
      I do believe we have been misunderstanding each other a little. I initially thought you were speaking of someone who had ceased a sin and offered that prayer you wrote which is why I answered the way I did. Am I correct in assuming that you meant someone who was using that prayer as a blanket to continue on in a sin they have no intention of ceasing?

    • Stephen, please note that I do not normally publish comments that exceed E2R’s 250 word limit. Thanks.

    • Stephen- It seems there is still a lot of confusion going on. The best way I can help is to ask you to look up the terms gospel, confession and repentance here on this site. I pretty much agree with everything I have seen Paul Ellis write so any answers or explanations I could give would be a less helpful rehash of what he has written here. The truth sets free, error binds or at least keeps us bogged down. Like I said I have seen nothing but true long lasting freedom from sin bondage going about things the way I have tried to explain in my comments and the way Paul teaches things here.

  23. @ Bob : I think we probably agree more than we disagree on this subject. I think at the end of the idea I appreciate the focus on grace.

    What concerns me in the realm of this theology is the lack of discussion (not by you just in general in this theology) of sincere contrite sorrow over sin. If the lost sinner comes to God with a humble and contrite heart over their sin, how can we think a Christian should not? I am not talking about ‘asking for forgiveness’, I’m talking about your having sorrow for sin, if you have no sorrow for it, you’re not sorry for it. I don’t mean making it the “focus” even, I’m just talking about making sure you feel sorry for your sin.

    • Hi Stephen, I do think we are mostly in agreement and it is good to talk about these things. I understand completely where you are coming from. But I disagree with you on the sorrow point. We as believers should be walking in the Spirit, with God writing his laws on our heart. We shouldn’t be satisfied to have any persistent sin in our life; I’m sure we all agree on that. When we sin the devil immediately brings accusation and condemnation. And sorrow. I want to reject all those things because Jesus took all our sin, shame, sorrow and guilt. I do however understand that sin can not make me happy and I want to consistently remind myself of that. The think about Grace is that it is excessive and completely unmerited. The religious part in all of us wants to help pay for our sins in some small way. We can’t allow this. We can always better ourselves a little by effort. But the more we soak in God’s crazy, one-sided love for us the more it will transform us. When we screw up this is the time to really see what we believe.

  24. @ Colleen : My long response post to yours didn’t make it here as it was too long but main points :
    1. emotions are not bad, God gave them to us. To feel sorrow for sin is right
    2. “just moving on” from abusing children, cheating in your wife, acting on homosexual predispositions, is just not reality. Some have sinned in such a way against God that is causes great sorrow, not forever, not to the point of derailing their entire life and faith, but it causes true sorrow and causes them to have a humble and contrite heart towards God.

    @ Paul Ellis :
    Paul, you may have an article on this, but just am interested, could you interject into this what you feel would be an appropriate response by a Christian who really messes up, and by that I mean not just a momentary evil thought, or split second poor judgement, but someone who falls into a temptation and gets caught up in it for a while, ie. cheating on their wife. How does that person appropriately communicate with God from that place…what should they feel or what should their heart position be?

    • I have never said that emotions are bad but not everyone reacts emotionally with the same intensity or the same way to the same event/circumstances/sin.
      About #2- My family members porn addiction was the largest sin I have had to deal with other than my own raging anger problem. Once he internalized the truth of grace and forever forgiven the bad stuff just dropped away. He simply moved on with his life. He did not get sucked into a vortex of self loathing, obsession over sorrow or anything like that. A person who is doing that has not fully grasped how God sees his sin. Self condemnation when one is forgiven is unbiblical. The humility/contrition I am hearing from you is not the biblical kind but human traditional kind where one must feel wretched that they sinned and now must suffer emotionally for it to prove to God that their turning from that sin is sincere. You are a forgiven fully restored son, like the prodigal son was, act like it, accept the Father’s acceptance of you, join into the life celebration that He has given you. The past is in the past, fully under the blood. Stop moping around fussing over it thinking those feelings are the biblical contrition and humility. There is no sin in living the life in freedom that Jesus died to give you! Study the prodigal son story along with the older brother part and apply it to everything that has you bothered on this topic. Freedom is yours if you will let go self and accept it.

      • Well said, Colleen. True deliverance only comes when one receives 100%. The prodigal son story is huge; every aspect of it. What God has shown me lately is that The Father is not politically or religiously correct. Yes, he did plead with the older brother to come in to the party. But he did not cancel or scale back the party to spare his other son’s feelings. There’s music and dancing for this guy?? Grace is unfair and often offensive.

  25. “If you’re willfully living in sin, Hebrews 10:26″ The law was meant to show us out sin Romans 3:20,5:20, Gal 2:16-21 etc. Rom 3:20″Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Sins power is the law 1 corinthians 15:56. Sin uses the law to try and condemn us Romans 7:8 “8But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, worked in me all manner of covetousness. For without the law sin was dead”

    Will fully living in sin, is only possible by trying to obey the Law again. Hebrew 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? Get rid of sin consciousness, and live in the Spirit. Dead works: Trying to do good through the flesh. Trying to preform good deeds, from the grave, is dead works. Jesus will get all the Glory. Praise Jesus, He is faithful to finish the work He started

    Paul, Bless You and Your Grace Inspiring topics that feed the Spirit

    Thanks for sharing Your precious revelations

  26. It seems like the underlying argument here is whether holiness is a requirement of us as Christians. Since it is Jesus Christ that shed his blood for us let’s look at his thoughts on holiness. Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. That right there tells us Jesus says holiness is a very serious thing. Yes we have grace if we stumble but the point is to take action toward holiness. Everyday growing in your relationship with your Father God and walking more like Jesus. Just because we say a sinners prayer doesn’t mean we go around doing whatever we feel like without consequences. Steven bless you brother. I recommend you watch the video by Todd White called your created value! It’s awesome!

    • To ask whether holiness is a requirement is like asking whether health is a requirement. It’s an absurd question. Wouldn’t you rather be healthy than sick, whole than broken?

  27. I have struggled in this area for years!…

  28. What if you know the truth and have trusted in Jesus to save you but later don’t believe he can forgive some of your worse sins. You are in unbelief. Can you later trust in Jesus again or is it too late. I am assuming unbelief is the unforgivable sin?

    • Jesus died for all your sins. Once you have come to Him your entire life in under the blood.(Hebrews 9:24-26) Last time I check you can’t wash it off. The only sin that cannot be forgiven is rejecting Jesus in the first place as you are turning away from the only solution for your sins.
      Your personal doubt as to the fullness of His blood offering applied to your sins does not change the fact of your forgiveness. It is only your perception that is flawed.

      • So the unforgivable sin is unbelief but not all unbelief. It is initial unbelief or rejecting the gospel. But what if later they believe? So it isn’t unbelief or rejecting the gospel? Then it must be final complete unbelief? Not unbelief. But I’m not sure… What if one act of rejection of the gospel after knowing the truth is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is unforgivable ?

  29. One of the Premise here is that, Man, in his nature, always commit sin or sinful actions (but originally, we are not). And instead of having victory over this nature, the doctrine here is to save or excuse this sinful nature BY making Grace/Jesus’s works validate this sinful nature together with its punishment. In effect, sin/sinful actions DOES NOT make you go to an eternal punishment or receive the wrath or a painful discipline. It is summed up by “DO NOT MIND IT”.

    But grace is power! it teaches us to SAY NO to Ungodliness. God desires to examine ourselves…, do not subject your members to sin… endure… be diligent… work OUT (not for) your salvation… Not by ourselves but by Jesus Christ. we must remain faithful until the end. These acts are not for our salvation because salvation (providing the key/provisional) is about Jesus Christ, but it is about our faithfulness. It becomes Legalism, which this doctrine fear (or labeling it to eradicate “living in holiness” as our part) when it is about salvation but it is about our faithfulness.

    HOLD TIGHT every time. If you feel tired, exhausted of remaining faithful, it means that you are doing it by yourself, you still have that sinful nature and will make you find an excuse to validate this sinful nature… but if you feel relax and victory in remaining faithful, You are a real christian, you know and feel that Jesus is in You because He is the cause of your being relax and victorious life.

    What if you sin this minute then die, are you not saved? no, its just you weren’t faithful that minute. will you go to heaven or hell? If you have a passive relax heart and mind that tells that “DO NOT MIND IT, Its done, delete it”, then you are going to hell… but if you have a faithful heart that knows sin/committing is disgusting and must be avoided through calling Jesus (e.g. SUBMIT to God, resist the devil), then he will go to heaven and is ETERNALLY SECURED.

    • “If you have a passive relax heart and mind that tells that “DO NOT MIND IT, Its done, delete it”, then you are going to hell…”

      That’s gotta suck. An eternity in hell because this one time you had a “passive relax heart”.

      In reality: you didn’t earn it and you can’t keep or lose it. God doesn’t impute sin to you. It’s been handled.

    • momzilla76 // March 1, 2016 at 9:40 am // Reply

      We are not saved via faithfulness we are saved through faith. Faith is trust. Faithfulness is behavior. Faith inspire behavior but behavior does not save. It is a trick to keep people in bondage to fear to try and make the faith of salvation faithfulness on our part. Our faith is to be upon Jesus and Jesus alone. Stupid thoughts when we sin have NO effect upon our final destination. It all depends upon whom we are looking to deal with our sin.

  30. I believe what God is trying to communicate to born again regenerate believers is that there is in fact a line in which if crossed, a believer would forfeit their salvation. Now the problem is the writer doesn’t give an indication to when a believer would cross the line- that judgment is reserved for the Lord. But interestingly enough, the writer also wraps up this exhortation by concluding it’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God; this piece of information leads me to believe that the christain who exceeded this line would very well know because now they are in the hands of an angry God, not a merciful one. God is exceedingly merciful, but his character on that particular person would have shifted.

    God won’t take away his gift of eternal life… but your actions can forfeit it.

    • But how does your viewpoint fit in with all that came before in Hebrews staring in chapter 9? Especially considering how intense the language used that describes the utter finality and all effectiveness of Jesus sacrifice in specifically 9:24-26 & 10:10-18.

  31. Well let’s consider the book of hebrews talks a lot about the sacrifice of Christ. It was also written to hebrews who were struggling with the temptation to return to Judaism. It would make sense then that this warning regarding sin and the atonement process would fit somewhere in this general area. Why the writer chose 10:29 that I don’t know.

    Now the hebrews 10:29 says if we sin diliberately after receiving a knowledge of the truth there is no longer any sacrifice that remains.

    1) that’s pretty straightforward.
    2) it was more or less probably referring to the sin of returning to Judaism because that’s what the Hebrew christain struggled with in that day. I don’t believe it’s wise though to assume that warning would apply only to that scenario. For example: if God sets a hebrew believer free from the law and they return to the law, that’s sinning diliberately. And if Christ wasn’t enough to convince that believer then how can there be another sacrafice- there’s nothing greater than Jesus. Likewise, today, if God sets a young man or woman free from pornography and they return to it, that’s deliberately sinning- If Jesus wasn’t enough to keep the believe nothing will work.

    Now to receive something means to take it in not just hear it so that portion affirms that most likely Paul is referring to born again christains.

    no one knows the exact conditions that need to be met in order that this verse might go into affect, only God does. That’s why I would encourage you not to even toy with sin if you know the truth.

    When Jesus set the adulteress free, he said that he didn’t condemn her. But equally important he says to go and sin no more. He set that woman free right then and there. So at that moment she knew the truth. If she were to return to it, this verse would probably apply. Now we don’t know how many times or the exact criteria that would have needed to been met. But I would feel confident to say if she gave over to temptation from time to time she would have been okay, but not to wilfully give in. The bible says no temptation has over taken us. So if we aren’t overtaken during temptation, there’s almost no excuse when we just willingly sin.

    This is going to step on some toes but it’s truth.

    • Doug…my take sinning willfully is actually rejecting Christ as the Son of God. Really the only “sin”. After they(Hebrews of the day) heard or even witnessed all the things that occurred, how could they? Not necessarily returning to the Law. If that were the case imagine how many modern Christians/Believers would be guilty of willful sin?

      And as far as the word used as “sin” in the scriptures, in the New Covenant, a huge percentage of the time the term sin is a Noun vs being used as a Verb. Noun being used to describe non belief.

      But that’s just my opinion.

    • Harold Van de Wiel // September 19, 2016 at 12:14 am // Reply

      Heb 10:26 willful sin is to turn back to the law for self-righteousness, which is unbelief in Jesus. In Christ (Gal 2:20, Col 3;3) we cannot be charged with sin (Rom 8:33, 1John 3:9, 1Pet 4:1, 1Pet 4:18). But once we reject God’s grace and turn back works of the law, then that is willful sin.

      What Felix says is correct. Unbelief in Jesus is the sin the world is convicted of (John 16:9). Thus turning back to the law is unbelief/willful sin.

      Note how Hebrews 6:1-6 confirms Heb 10:26-29.
      Heb 6:1-6
      For IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, IF THEY FALL AWAY (unbelief) to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

    • I think you meant verse 26. But Hebrews 10:29 explains that very well. It defines the willful sin as walking over Jesus, counting covenant blood as unholy and doing so regardless of grace. Now taking all that Hebrews says about Jesus sacrifice the only logical conclusion is partially found in Hebrews 10:26 about no other sacrifice remaining. The Hebrews were being sorely tempted to go back to the whole Law and temple system. Basically if you think you need a lamb because you sinned intentionally and are in fear of God because of that sin how much more fearful should you really be for stomping on Jesus sacrifice and rejecting it? The point isn’t willful sin as tradition says it but that of rejecting Jesus sacrifice as not enough.

  32. I hate to say this brazenly but you’re both wrong. There is some truth throughout your body but your concept is slightly off.

    Harold: wilful sin encompasses more than what you mentioned. All unrighteousness is sin. The writer didn’t say there is no more sacrafice if we turn back to the law. He said if we wilfully sin. God wants us to recognize that any and all sin is not good. Unbelief is also sin. God says no temptation has overcome us; but we need to believe that. Some of us believe a lie over truth. We continue to sin because we actually believe we have to.

    Colleen: isn’t any kind of wilful sin rejecting Jesus? Whether it’s adultery, pornography, or returning to Judaism.

    The woman caught in adultery for example: had she went out and hooked up again with a married man, would that not be rejecting Jesus? He just got done telling her go and sin no more.

    God wants us to know that intentional sin will not be tolerated. It just so happens that when hebrews was written that the diliberately sin most affecting christains in that day was idolizing Judaism.

    The author also cross references numbers 15:30. I think he did that so we get even a clearer picture of what he’s trying to convey.

    Now obviously we all wilfully sin so there’s a red flag there. But there are conditions that have to be met in order that one may fall under such judgment. GOD takes a few things under consideration: our revelation of Jesus; how much of the spirit we have tasted; our motivation behind our sin. And I’m sure much much more. The spirit can instantly judge our actions.

    I don’t say this to alarm anyone especially new coverts because we all wilfully sin- but each wilful sin is judged and God may determine that we’ve had enough revelation and wisdom not to but our persistence has led Him to cut us off.

    • Harold Van de Wiel // September 19, 2016 at 9:05 pm // Reply

      True, unrighteousness is sin (1John 5:17). Sin is also defined as transgression of the law (1John 3:4). Unbelief in Jesus is sin (John 16:9). Can Christians be charged with the sin of unrighteousness? No, because our faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:5).

      Can Christians be charged with transgression of the law? No, because we are not under the jurisdiction of the law (Rom 8:2, Rom 10:4, Gal 5:18, 1Tim 1:9). Remember that whatever the law says, it says to those under it, Rom 3:19… As long as we continue to believe on Jesus (which is God’s will, John 6:40, and our works, John 6:29), then we cannot be charged with the sin of transgressing the law of righteousness, or the sin of unrighteousness…

      To say that a believer “sins” is to say that there is sin in Christ. But remember that there is NO SIN IN CHRIST (1John 3:5). Thus we see in Heb 10:26 “willful sin” is when a true believer (AS DESCRIBED IN HEB 6 BELOW) rejects Christ’s sacrifice for sin by turning back to the law for righteousness by works (which is unbelief in Jesus)…

    • Rejecting Jesus is knowingly rejecting Him as God, savior, final sacrifice, etc. When I know what I am doing is wrong and sin I am not rejecting Jesus I am just being foolish and selfish.
      The lamb in the OT shadow types was for intentional sin, a scapegoat was for the accidental ones. This debate is what happens when a verse or small passage gets focused upon outside of it’s full context. The talk of Jesus sacrifice begins back in chapter 9 and leads up to this debated section. By beginning back there we are deluged with descriptions of the finality of Jesus one time blood offering, twice we are told that we have been made holy, we are also told that God forgets all our sin and that all of this gives us the ability to cleanly enter into the holiest of holies. Then the debated passage starts. It must be read in light of all that came before without creating a contradiction.

  33. I guess we will have to disagree:》 too bad we don’t have a perfect commentary on every verse in the bible.

    Colleen: there were no sacrifices for wilful sin in the OT. The only lamb sacrifice im aware of was when God gave abraham a lamb to sacrifice instead of Isaac.

  34. I’m who I am in Christ Jesus, His righteousness because I believe He is the propitiation for my sin, the atonement for all past, present & future sin & by the Spirit of grace via faith in Him, I’m redeemed, regenerated, righteous, quickened to live 4 Him by the help of the Holy Ghost who is my teacher, guide, etc & seal of my new status in Christ. If we sin wilfully we shld do 1John 1:9 wilfully to & receive 4gvness. Bless U all.

  35. I asked this months ago and never got an answer….

  36. Thomas Benankanba // July 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm // Reply

    Thanks sir, man of God, I love your revelational knowledge.

  37. JOHNSON KING // July 20, 2017 at 9:20 am // Reply

    Really this post is what Jesus says in the Bible, that the words I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life, this post has brought me back from death to life.

  38. Thank you Paul, this is truly a relief. I would love for you to please explain two more passages….they are scary ones and I have not heard any grace preacher explain them. Please forgive me if you have answered or explained them already, and therefore if you have, please direct me to a previous post…

  39. Hi Paul, hope you are ok.. i have a question about Luke 6:46.. It says ” And why do you call me ” Lord Lord and do not the things which i say?” Does this mean perfect obedience is expected from us or people who call Jesus Lord?? I ask because im not perfect.. i tried to look up the meaning and someone said.. if you call Jesus Lord, you must commit or be willing to obey.. im not saying disobedience is ok… but im asking in case someone fails to obey yet they call Him Lord.. maybe i dont understand the context. Please help me understand this verse

    • Hi Sara, I am OK, thanks. I hope you are okay too, but I see you are a bit troubled by this verse. Your comment has inspired me to write an article which I will post here in a few weeks. I believe it will help you. But rest assured God does not demand perfect rule-keeping obedience from you. To obey Jesus is to trust Jesus. It’s ceasing from our dead works and resting in his finished work. In the meantime, this older article may help.

  40. Justin Magritzer // April 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm // Reply

    I’m afraid that I am lost because I rejected Christ a few months after i had accepted him as my savior….. please help me!

  41. This is indeed the glorious gospel
    welldone Sir
    remain blessed

  42. I have trouble reconciling this passage with the Good Shepherd Jesus says He is. He shall lose none, yet this passage implies seemingly that it is or may be possible. Blasphemy of the Spirit is referred to here.

    • Did you read the article?

      • Yes and it was quite good. But how do we know for sure that the term “sanctified” as used in this passage describes a mere professor, and not a genuine Christian? I know that a person can be “sanctified” outwardly, but is this the same for sure? I am thinking it is possible Paul says “we” in reference to the fact that he also is a Jew, urging his Jewish kindred to not reject Christ even though he himself had of course accepted Him.

      • Hebrews 10:29 speaks of the severe punishment coming to the one who tramples the Son of God under foot and treats as unholy “the blood of the covenant that sanctified him.” Does the word sanctified imply we are talking about holy Christians who have left the path? Is the writer saying there are some who are sanctified saints who will one day be incinerated in “the raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (verse 27). Not at all. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

        The blood of the covenant that sanctifies is Christ’s blood. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant much as Moses was mediator of the old. When Moses took the blood and confirmed the old covenant (Ex 24:6-8) he did it on behalf of the whole camp – including those who would subsequently reject the covenant be cut off. Similarly, when Jesus made a covenant with the Father, he did it on behalf of the whole world – including those who would subsequently reject the gift of the covenant through unbelief and be cut off.

        “But Paul, are you saying an unbeliever can be considered sanctified?” In the sense that Jesus our high priest represented all of us when he cut the covenant, then yes. Because of Jesus, God is no longer recording our sins against us. Because of Jesus, God no longer treats us as unholy sinners deserving of judgment.

        The unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. (1 Cor. 7:14).

        Jesus is the faithful husband who sanctified us. It’s a done deal. Yet the unbelieving wife still needs to receive the gift that has been given. Similarly, we need to receive the sanctification that Christ has provided. This is why Jesus speaks of those “who have been sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18). Our faith does not make us holy; Jesus does. But faith is the means by which we receive his sanctification.

        It is God’s will that you should be sanctified. (1 Thess. 4:3)

        The point of Hebrews 10 is that there is one, and only, sacrifice that sanctifies the unclean, and that’s the blood of Jesus that was shed at Calvary. Believe it and be holy.

      • Hey thanks for the response. I think it is starting to make more sense now. Christ is the Good Shepherd who will not lose any. God bless you Brother Paul!

  43. But why does it say those that were sanctified that’s what confuses me?

    • Hi Steven, I have answered this question above. (See my response to Nate on July 5, 2013.) Short version: The author is referring to the sanctifying work of Jesus and Jesus died for all. An Old Testament shadow illustrates this New Testament reality. When Moses confirmed the covenant (Ex 24:6-8) he did it on behalf of the whole camp, including those who would subsequently reject the covenant and be cut off. Similarly, when Jesus made a covenant with the Father, he did it on behalf of the whole world, including those who would reject the covenant through unbelief and cut themselves off.

      Some say that this passage is referring to apostate Christians. I strongly disagree. The sacrifice of Jesus was for all, as is implied in Heb 9:26, 10:10, 12. Whether you receive it or not, the work of forgiving and sanctifying you was accomplished at the cross. Of course it won’t benefit you unless you receive it by faith – as Hebrews makes clear elsewhere – but the point of Heb 10 is that there is no Plan B. There is one, and only, sacrifice that sanctifies the unclean.

    • John W Reed // August 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm // Reply

      Hi Steven I am not sure I follow you. However, the good news of Grace is that once you receive God’s free gift than you are forever saved and eternally secure. It’s good news!

    • He is speaking to Christians here, those that have been “sanctified”. Proof? Further along he speaks of; “Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, say’s the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” “Judge his people”(1 Corinthians 11:31,32), those already sanctified!
      This is the same vein in which Paul speaks about avenge (vengeance);
      “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” 1 Thessalonians 4:6. Specifically stating a warning to believers, a warning of judgment, of vengeance.
      Paul judged a believer (1 Corinthians 5:3) through this very thing saying, in the name and power of Jesus, “deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved.”
      Indicating just how far the Father will go to save the spirit of those,who have received this free gift of salvation (sanctified), Thats a “good Shepard”.

  44. This is an old post but so good and took so much anxiety away ! Thank you ! I’ve been reading it wrong this whole time !

  45. Thank you so much for this post!!
    I was really struggling with He read 10:26-on.

    As I read through my heart exploded and and I cried uncontrollably.

    Thank you.

  46. I’m a little confused here. So it’s not really saying “if we SIN willfully” but it really means “if you continue to make improper sacrifices for sin” then there’s no sacrifice that remains for sin. Am I hearing you right? I’m not seeing where a condemnation for improper sacrifices is mentioned….maybe you can clear that up for me. What I’m getting from your interpretation is that WE CAN CONTINUE TO SIN and not have a fearful expectation of judgment but if the Jews practice improper sacrificing then they have no way to repent. It’s sounds like to me you have equated improper sacrifices as the same thing as sin.

    Also….since this book is to the Jews….shouldn’t everyone who is a gentile just rip this one out of the bible? What I’m finding in todays culture is a “grace” that is powerless….. a grace that only “covers” our sins when really it’s a grace that empowers us to live above our sins… When will he make a way of escape?……not just sometimes…… EVERY TIME.
    If you believe right you’ll live right.

    • I think the problem is that the context is really important. So much right before this is about Jesus being the perfect sacrifice. The willful sin is not any naughty thing you might have in mind; the willful sin is the rejection of the perfect sacrifice: Jesus. Just look at verse 29, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Jesus is the real saving sacrifice. The sacrifices of the temple are mere placeholders, signs of faithfulness, until that day. If you reject the real sacrifice, you have nothing because the old system of sacrifices could never save you. That’s his point. He is showing people who have been introduced to Jesus that if they reject Him, they have nothing. The old sacrifices never could save you.

      As far as being sinless. In theory, if you walk in the spirit, you will not sin. However, consider this: Sin is not just the things you do, The root of sin is much deeper than that and harder to root out. It takes time. You certainly should be moving in that direction. However, if you are focusing your efforts on trying not to sin, that is probably part of the problem. You are pulling weeds without getting the roots. Consider rather, where you are being selfish; where you have not yielded your heart to God. Yield those areas to Him and you should see improvement.

      • “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” In my opinion living without sin(verb) is pretty tough in this world. I think the Law of Moses demonstrated that very well. And then reiterated by Jesus at the sermon on the mount. Sin in the lives of the believer has been dealth with at the Cross. I’m not quite sure where I stand on the non believer however. Although I think it’s been dealt with also the individual does has a responsibility here.
        And no I’m not suggesting we can keep on sinning! 😉

    • The only proper sacrifice for sin was Jesus, the slain lamb of God, as “.. he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5. Thus we that abide in him sin not (do not practice sin). Those who sin (practice sin) “have not seen him neither known him”, as sacrifice. 1 John 3:6. So, it really is, as you say, “a grace that empowers us (those who see and know him) to live above our sins”, as being in him (in whom is no sin) we then have “an example, that you should follow his steps: Who did no sin” 1 Peter 2:21.

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