HEBREWS 10:26-39  


 

HEBREWS 10:26-39
This passage is often proffered as a text to disprove salvation
security. It has a "bite" only because people fail to understand two things.
1. They fail to understand all the POSITIVE salvation passages
that declare the nature and permanence of our salvation.
See Topic: Salvation Security http://biblefragrances.com/pages/docss.html#anchor887268

2. And they fail to understand the difference between the believer's POSITIONAL relationship with God which is located IN HEAVEN
(which is characterized by righteous perfection - called justification), and his TEMPORAL or experiential life here on earth (which is plagued by the world, the sin nature and the devil).

 3. And they fail to understand that -
(1) there is an ETERNAL forgiveness of the penalty for sin that is a "point of time" acquisition at the moment that a person
 trusts in Christ. And
(2) there is a temporal forgiveness of sin that is needed
because of acts of personal sin after salvation.

The exhortation in Hebrews 10:22-25 is motivational.
It is exhorting the believer to LIVE a certain way
BASED ON THE FACT that we are in a spiritual relationship
with God (verses 14-20).
IN other words, SINCE you have relationship with God,
LIVE LIKE IT. Since you have positional righteousness
in union with Christ, desire to live out that righteousness
in your Christian experience.

However, the FACT of the exhortation, assumes the possibility
of failure to - draw near, verse 22 - hold fast, verse 23 - consider,
verse 24.

These failures constitute SINNING WILLFULLY (v. 26) and indicate a stubbornness that refuses to live the Christian life the way God has instructed. In such cases, there is no way that these people can have fellowship with God; that is, there is no way that they will be experiencing the TEMPORAL forgiveness that the sacrifice of Jesus accomplished on the cross. And of course,
that also means that they will not be experiencing the quality
of life which is characterized by peace and inner happiness.

1 John 1:7 tells us that if we walk in the light, we have
FELLOWSHIP with God (that is, with one another -
we with Him and He with us), and the blood of Jesus
(the SACRIFICE of paying for sins) keeps on cleansing us
from all sin. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for ALL sins
(past and future) accomplished a total forgiveness from the
PENALTY of sin, which is spiritual death and consignment to the
lake of fire (Rom. 6:23a).
Thus, ONCE AND FOR ALL, the one who trusts in Jesus is placed
into a positional (spiritual) RELATIONSHIP with God, which is called having everlasting life. That relationship is based on the redemption that was given to him at the moment of faith in Christ (Eph. 1:7; Romans 5:8-11).
Everything about the believer's salvation is SECURE because
it is based on the work, the word and the character of God,
and He who promised is faithful.

However, the believer who remains here on earth will commit sin throughout his life (1 John 2:1), which breaks FELLOWSHIP
with God, but does not affect relationship. Accordingly,
the provision for restoration to fellowship and forgiveness
of these sins from an EXPERIENTIAL perspective is provided by God
BASED ON the fact that Jesus has already died for those sins.

That is why the believer is told to confess our sins to God the Father,
so that He can forgive us those sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This is available to the believer because Jesus is the SATISFACTION for our sins through His sacrifice on the cross (1 John 2:1-2a).
We don't trust in Jesus as Savior ALL OVER AGAIN;
we are not born again AGAIN, but we come to God as our spiritual Father and confess our sins to Him.
The unbeliever, on the other hand, does NOT come to God as a FATHER, but as a Creator and as a God.
It is not until a person trusts in Jesus, that he becomes
a child of God and God becomes his Father.
The bible does not teach a universal fatherhood of God
and universal brotherhood of man.

When we walk in the light, then we are walking under the umbrella
of Christ's satisfactory payment for our sins. They are all cleansed and forgiven and we are walking in fellowship with God and enjoying the benefits of living as He wants us to live (1 John 1:7). When we do not walk in the light, which is what Heb. 10:26 is talking about (sinning willfully), then there is NO OTHER WAY that we can adjust to God's justice and be in fellowship with Him. There remains NO LONGER a sacrifice for sins. The PROVISION is still there, but if we ignore it,
then it does not benefit us and we live in the frustration
and misery of walking in darkness - AND - under the hand of
God's family discipline, for "whom the Lord LOVES, he disciplines" (Heb.12:6.

Thus, at verse 10:27, there DOES remain - "a certain terrifying expectation of JUDGMENT and the fiery ZEAL (not fire)
which will consume the adversaries."
1. In the bible, fire is consistently a symbol for Divine justice.
2. Judgment is ALSO divine discipline on God's children. 1 Cor. 11:32.
3. An adversary is one who is not serving God.
Believers can ALSO not serve God. See James 4:4,
where we learn that the BELIEVER who makes himself
a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
See subject: divine discipline http://biblefragrances.com/pages/docsd.html#anchor314527

Verse 28, the "dying" here refers to physical death and has
nothing to do with salvation. But it DOES have to do with DISCIPLINE. Under the topic, divine discipline, we learn about the sin unto death, which is when God takes the believer's physical life because
it is useless to God for that believer to remain on the earth in a nonfunctional capacity.

Verse 29 indicates that the believer who rebels against God will come under even more severe judgment. The activities mentioned here further describe how rebellious this believer is as he -
1. tramples underfoot the Son of God: by such unfaithful living, the believer actually disdains the person of Jesus.
 
2. regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant: by staying out of fellowship, he relegates the sacrificial spiritual death of
Christ for sin as worthless and associates Christ with an
unclean animal rather than with a sheep.
Notice that it is the blood BY WHICH HE WAS SANCTIFIED. This indicates that the person in view is indeed a believer and has been made positionally holy by the work of Christ on the cross. See Topic: Sanctification
 http://biblefragrances.com/pages/docss.html#anchor3900138

3. Insulted the Spirit of grace: Grace is what God provides without strings attached. The Spirit ministers to us and convicts the believer when he is out of fellowship.
To reject that pleading from the Spirit is to insult him.

Verses 30-31 refers to divine discipline. Notice,
"The Lord will judge HIS people." This is talking about BELIEVERS.
It is talking about those who are God's people.
Yes, in an Old Testament context, that would be the people of Israel, who are in the NATIONAL family of God,
but as applied to the New Testament and to the church,
it refers only to those who are in the spiritual family of God. It is terrifying to fall into the hands of God when you are on the negative side of justice.
1. The unbeliever is on the negative side of justice,
and at death will go into torments to await the lake of fire.
2. The believer can also live on the negative side of justice,
and in such cases will come under the discipline of a loving father,
but still be in the family.

Verses 32-34 reviews the past historical success of these
believers.
This cannot apply to unbelievers, so we know for sure
that these people addressed ARE BELIEVERS, members of God's spiritual family. The issue of course in this discussion, is whether
they can somehow STOP being a member of God's spiritual family.

Verse 35 refers to the great reward of two things.
1. The blessing in time - here on earth by experiencing
the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability.
2. The blessing in eternity at the justice seat of Christ,
when rewards will be assigned or denied based on
Christian faithfulness. See Topic: Judgment seat of Christ http://biblefragrances.com/pages/docsj.html#anchor472140

Verse 36, to receive THE PROMISE, refers back to verse 6:12,
the promiseS (plural) and again has in view the abundant life
that is to be experienced here on earth based on consistent
fellowship with God.

Verses 37-38 makes application to the possible return of Jesus in the lifetime of these believers.
1. If he shrinks back refers to living out of fellowship with God.
2. take no pleasure in him refers to Christ's attitude of
 disfavor toward the rebellious believer.
3. The result of such a condition will be the believer's initial shame
when Jesus comes back (1 John 2:28).

Verse 39, this is a statement of faithfulness by the writer (using an editorial "we") and the optimism expressed
toward the readers that they share in that faithfulness.
1. But we are not of (the) shrinking back: we are not as those who
are being stubborn and rebellious against their Lord.
2. unto destruction: This refers to the ultimate in divine discipline
which is the removal from this life through
physical death (the sin unto death).
3. But are of faith: consistent application of bible truth to maintain sinless consistency and fellowship with God. As illustrated in Hebrews chapter 11. Chapter 11 is talking about LIVING faith in the Christian
life - NOT saving faith.
4. unto the preserving of the soul. The word for, preserving, is the noun, peripoiāsis, and refers to the possession and
 experiential benefits of that possession.
In other words, when the believer endures and remains
faithful to Christian values, then the full potential of his soul is realized as he experiences the peace and joy of the abundant life. The idea of preservation is only secondary since it is faithfulness that "preserves" the proper function of the soul
and blessings for the soul in time.

RECAP AND MORE DETAIL
Hebrews 10:26, For if we go on sinning willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

In verse 25, he just got done mentioning a grievous sin on the part of MANY Christians.
“Not forsaking our own assembling together,
AS THE HABIT OF SOME IS -
that is - to forsake Christian associations and fellowship.

It is THIS sin that constitutes NOT living the Christian life
 properly in this context.
Their failure to “assemble” is for various reasons - but basically, because they have got caught up in the distractions
of life and chose not to FIND time to associate and assemble
with the church.

Verse 26, for if we go on sinning willfully:
This refers to choosing a life style that de-emphasizes the public assembly  worship in the local church, and in so doing,
he loses his focus on Christ and begins to retrogress
(backslide) to ever increasing levels  - to finally reach the place
(in many cases) where they no longer remember their cleansing
from sin at salvation (2 Pet. 1:9).
In such a case, they have no where else to go - nothing else to which they can appeal.
“for there is no creature hidden from His sight,
but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him,
with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13)

And we must “do” with Him according to HIS terms, not our own.
When we reject His resources and His standards (continuing in sin)
we cannot avail ourselves of His spiritual provisions for living here
on earth, which are based on the ONE sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Instead, we reap the misery and frustration of a “child of God” 
who has been “grounded” (or worse) for disobedience.

The sacrifice for sins involves two things:
1. It involves the payment for the “penalty” for sin which is spiritual death.
  This embraces ALL sins - past and future.
  It is utilized by faith in Christ which places us into union with Christ -
  So that - IN HIM, we have redemption through His blood,
   the forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 1:7).

2. It also involves the spiritual effects of sin in our life.
   A. At the moment of trust in Christ, the spiritual effects
      of our sins upon our earthly life are totally reversed.
   B. We are no longer enemies of God; no longer “doing” sin.
      Everything that we had EVER done in life is FORGIVEN
      and we are placed into fellowship with Him.
   C. This is available to the believer BECAUSE Christ paid
      for all sins on the cross.

   D. This is what John is talking about at 1 John 1:7,
     (1. if we walk in the light: ie, abide in Him by using His
      word to govern our soul through the filling/control of
      the Spirit.
     (2. We have fellowship with one another (that is, us with
      God and God with us).
     (3. This is the experience of “enjoying” life with God
      because we are operating on the same wave length as
      God is on. We are letting HIS LIGHT govern our soul.
      If we do NOT walk in the light we do not have fellowship
      with Him.
     (4. AND the blood of Jesus His Son, continually cleanses
      us from all sin. This is the basis for fellowship.
      If we do a personal sin - then our fellowship is broken.
     (5. But BECAUSE Christ paid for ALL sins and specifically
      this personal sin we just did, we are able to get back
      into fellowship by “acknowledging” the sin to Him.
      1 John 1:9.
     (6. When we “confess” (acknowledge, agree with God about it)
      our sin, He is-
      FAITHFUL:  faithful to do the same thing every time
           on the same basis.
      JUST: His character of justice is satisfied because
         the sin has ALREADY been paid for. It does not need
         to be paid for again.

      TO FORGIVE: us our sins and cleanse us from all
         unrighteousness. That is, to restore us to fellowship.

     (7. Many times we will forget a sin that was committed
      and yet still be removed from fellowship with God.
      However, very soon one or more additional sins will
      occur, and when these are confessed, the "unknown"
      sins will also be forgiven -
      "cleanse from ALL unrighteousness."

Now - if we sin (get out of fellowship) and “remain” that way;
persisting in our spiritual rebellion
(like the carnal believers at 1 Cor. 3:1-3),
we are WILLFULLY remaining in opposition to Him.

In such a case, “there remains no more sacrifice for sins.”
What Jesus did on the cross for my personal sins (in time)
does me NO GOOD because I am NOT appealing to the cross.
I am staying out of fellowship. Therefore, there is nothing that
can be done about it. I cannot be placed back into fellowship
with Him because I am “ignoring” the ONLY sacrifice that can
restore me to fellowship.

Verse 27, But a certain terrifying expectation of judgment
 (krisis) and a fiery zeal,
which will consume the adversaries.

JUDGMENT is divine discipline.
We must not look at the word judgment and over-react,
thinking it ONLY comes to the unbeliever.
The Greek word, krisis is simply an expression
of divine justice.
Justice can be expressed toward the unbeliever:
in time, and in eternity.
Justice can be expressed to the BELIEVER after this life,
at the reward seat of Christ when our works are JUDGED.
1 Cor. 3:10-15
See Topic: Reward seat of Christ

AND in time when we come under DISCIPLINE - 1 Cor. 11:31-32,
But if we evaluated (diakrin
ō) ourselves rightly,
we should not be judged (krin
ō)).
But when we are judged (krin
ō),
we are disciplined (paideuō) by the Lord in order that
we may not be condemned (katakrinō) in association with the world.
See Topic: Discipline on the believer

Verse 28, Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses
dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses:

This is “physical death” which was the “temporal” punishment for the violation of certain Mosaic regulations. It is a discipline on GOD’S PEOPLE because they had violated His laws.

Verse 29a, How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve . .

GREATER discipline because of a greater violation.
In the example, the violation is one of the Mosaic regulations.
Here, the violation is “spitting on” the sacrifice of Christ.
For that is what we do ANYTIME we do ANY sin - -
But then, especially, when we fail to confess it -
We “walk all over” Jesus and the blood of the covenant
(sacrifice of Jesus)
BY WHICH HE WAS SANCTIFIED: Aorist passive indicative.
(sanctified in the past as a completed work of God back at that time.)

Verse 29b, 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?

Verse 30, For we know him who said, Vengeance is mine,
I will repay. And again,
The Lord shall JUDGE (krin
ō) HIS PEOPLE.

1. Vengeance is simply the expression of God’s justice
toward those who are violating His righteousness.
Vengeance is in God’s hands - not man’s.
2. God will judge HIS PEOPLE. Who?  His people.
The subject is HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS PEOPLE - not unbelievers.
And “judge” = discipline (1 Cor. 11:31-32)

Verse 31, It is a terrifying thing
(phoberos - fearful,terrible)
thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

It certainly IS! That is just the point. Discipline is NOT FUN!
1 Cor. 11:30, “for this cause, many are weak and sick and dead.”

Heb. 12:6, calls it “scourging” - that is to whip someone.
Verse 11, “all discipline seems not to be joyful but sorrowful”

APPEAL TO THE PAST:

Verse 32-35 "But call to remembrance the former days,
when after being enlightened, you endued a great conflict
of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharer with
those who were so treated. for you showed sympathy to the
 prisoners, and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property,
knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,
which has a great reward."

In other words, don't stop living the way you were
when you were first saved.
What reward? The promise of verse 36.

Verse 36, for you have need of endurance,
so that when you have done the will of God,
you may receive the promise.

And what is the promise? At Heb. 6:12, it occurs in the plural - promises.
What promises are these?
Those blessings which the believer is able to experience
BECAUSE he is doing the will of God here on earth -
ie, living LIKE a saint and a child of God.
The very blessings Peter discusses at 1 Pet. 3:9-12
(which is quoted from Psalm 34:12-13).
Blessings of A GOOD LIFE here on earth.
Heb. 6:13-16 - example - what was promised to Abe -
which he experienced WHILE IN THIS LIFE - verse 15.

Exhortation in view of the expectancy for Christ’s return.

Verse 37  For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come and will not delay.
As in verse 25, "as you see the day drawing near."

The early church lived in expectation of the Lord's coming.
That coming would be portended  by certain events of a specific
 nature. The instruction here speaks of an urgency for public
assembly worship in view of the progress of historical events
 that would suggest a soon arrival of THE DAY.
If indeed, the believers of that time, or of any subsequent generation, were to find themselves living in the right historical context, then
they are here instructed to be extra diligent in meeting
together for normal worship and study. This does not lessen
the importance of such worship activity at other times in history, but simply gives greater emphasis in view of the HABIT of believers to neglect and de-emphasize public assembly worship.

Here, the idea of "a little while" is expectation
according to the timing of God.
It is not imminence, but expectation in a tribulation context,
 which could materialize at anytime as the church age progresses.
 This is the message of Paul at
2Thes. 1:5-10.
The persecution the believers were facing could possibly
escalate into THE tribulation.


Verse 38 but my righteous one SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;
and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.

God does not have pleasure in the one who does not abide IN FELLOWSHIP.
Any expression of sin is TOO MUCH and displeases God (grieves the Holy Spirit).
Rom. 14:17-18 indicates that if we are not living in
 righteousness, peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit, that we are NOT pleasing God.

Verse 39a, But we are not of those who shrink back (hupostolā) to destruction (apoleia).

The word means “destruction” and it refers to the “physical” death mentioned in verse 28, “dies without mercy.”
It is the destruction of the body - not the destruction of the soul.
It is divine discipline to the max - which is what should be avoided
at all costs. It is called the sin unto death at 1 John 5:16,
"there is a sin unto death."
1 Cor. 11:30, “for this cause, many are weak and sick and DEAD.”
See topic: sin unto death

While you are still on earth, there is opportunity to
fulfill your priesthood, but once you die (and go to heaven)
your opportunity is over and you are “stuck” with what you have already done or not done as may be the case.
It also speaks of "ruinination" of one’s life through backsliding.

Verse 39b, but of those who have faith to the preserving OF THE SOUL.
The word "saving" in the KJV is - peripoiāsis - and means to possess, protect, preserve. It does not mean saving.

It refers to the “preservation” of the soul-function of peace,
 joy and stability which comes through “obedience” -
ie, living the Christian way of life the way it should be lived.
It refers to possessing and maintaining the quality of life mentioned
at 1 Peter 3:8-12.

The translation in the KJV of “believe” is wrong - because it is NOT a verb, but a noun. The NASB reads, “but OF those who have faith.”
Literally, it should read, “but of faith.”
What KIND of faith is in view? Not “saving” faith, but “living” faith.
That is what the writer NOW focuses on in the next chapter when he writes, “Now FAITH is the assurance of things held confident, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1).
And he continues by showing us the many believers of the Old Testament
and how they “lived” out their faith -
“for by it (faith) men of old gained a testimony” (Heb. 11:2).
These avoided discipline for most of there life.
Some received discipline at various times.
Even Moses received discipline of “death” because of his
ONE act of failure, but he did not lose his salvation.

The point to all this is that one can either “live by faith”
(V. 10:38)
and reap the wonderful benefits of spiritual blessings
here on earth - or one can fail to “grow up” in the faith
and retrogress (backslide) to various degrees and experience instead, great misery and sorrow and pain here on earth -
and in heaven, loss of reward.

And that is why AFTER giving us the believer’s “hall of fame”
in chapter 11, he moves on to the subject of divine discipline
in chapter 12:4-13.
Summarized at v. 12:13,
1. “And make straight paths for your feet: turn your life around
2. So that the limb which is lame: your LIFE which is
crippled from being out of fellowship.
3. and NOT be put out of joint: maximum divine discipline -
Put out of commission; removed from this life as a failure and casualty of war.

It must be said at this point that not even a "life-style" of sin
will lose one's salvation.
1. The believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit: Eph. 1.13-14
   Nothing can break that seal. not even us.
2. Nothing can take us out of the hand of the Father- John 10.29
   and that includes the believer's life style.
3. The believer is guarded by the power of God (through faith)
   for a salvation "ready" to be revealed at the last day. 1 Pet.1.3-5
4. Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God which is in
   Christ Jesus. Rom. 8.38-39   "nor any other created thing"
   certainly includes the believer - regardless of his life style.

 
RECORD OF A DISCUSSION

CT> Sinning willingly is also described trodding under foot Jesus and
CT> counting Jesus' Blood unholy. Not a simple sin, but a
rejection of Jesus and despising Jesus. Somewhat more complex.

As serious a matter as this is - it does not constitute loss of
salvation. The context deals with discipline on the believer who
rebels against God - like the Corinthians did. It is not talking
about getting and losing salvation.
the intensity of the language, "fury of fire" etc, communicates
the seriousness of sin and the intensity of God's disciplinary action.
Such as at Heb. 12.6 - whom the Lord loves He disciplines
   and "scourges" every son whom He receives.
(scourges communicates the intensity of discipline on the child)
and 1 Cor. 11.30, where we find 3 stages of discipline -
the final one being "sleep" ie, physical death.

Heb. 10.27 - the quote from the OT communicates the physical
judgment on God's enemies - in the context of Is. 26.
Heb. 10.28 - the example from the OT is in ref. to a
"physical death" judgment - is it not?
Heb. 10.29 - how much more the child of God who
"leaves his first love" and despises the grace of God
in saving Him.

Thus the point, God will discipline (judge) His people -
Heb. 10.30
And it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of God. v. 31 -

But this is a context for a believer being disciplined by God.
Indeed, according to 1 Cor. 11:31-32 - discipline from God is
identified as being judged by Him.

So then - discipline is not fun (Heb. 12:11) but it is designed
to get the erring child back on the right path of bringing
honor and glory to God here on this earth.

And if after, many sessions of discipline from God, the believer
continues to rebel - God will remove him from this life and
the place of privileged ambassadorship here on earth and recall
him to heaven in shame and disgrace with minimal reward if any
(1 Cor. 3:15); "yet he himself will be saved"

CT>It compares the severity of the punishment to one
CT>who dies "without mercy" under Moses' law

   And what was the ultimate punishment but physical death -
the issue is temporal judgment on "God's people" who violate His
standards.
Example: The Sabbath violator was to be executed.
Do you think that Sabbath violation which was supposed to
result in physical death, would also result in loss of salvation?

CT>and says the punishment under the new covenant
CT>will be even more severe. As it says in the passage,
CT>The Lord will judge His people.

Of course He will judge His people. Then as now.
I just believe that that judgment in the context of one
who is a member of the family of God, is divine discipline.

CT>I will not presume to take out of the hands of the Lord His
CT>ability to judge His people, including me.

No one has suggested taking away from God His sovereign
prerogatives - it is simply attempt to define those prerogatives.
God has condemned all unbelievers to the lake of fire.
The believer has been "saved" from that lake by the life of
Christ.
God's "judgment" on the believer is now limited to the
prerogative of divine discipline to elicit righteous behavior
here on earth in order to fulfill the
responsibility of ambassadorship for Christ.

CT>The phrase "without mercy" in
CT>this passage is interesting to me,

The term "without mercy" simply communicates the absolute
standard for "physical" judgment on one who violated the law.
It means that God will not compromise in that area.
It is not a salvation issue. It deals with a "social" judgment
that God expected the leadership of the nation to carry out.

CT>for, if compared to the new
CT>testament believer as shown, they die "without mercy"
and "more severely" as the passage says.

Again, the principle is that God does not compromise.
His standards are meant to be observed.
The more severe idea is because now since we are living in a
"spiritual" kingdom instead of a theocratic nation (Israel),
the standards are "higher". Now it is not "just" overt violations
of the Mosaic law that are judged, it is specific "spiritual"
violations in reference to the presence of the Messiah dwelling
spiritually among His people.
It is saying that the standard for "physical" death as punishment
is now more rigid since we have the reality of Christ's work and
life and death and resurrection as the code of life.
But the issue is "still" God disciplining His people.
 

 
 

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