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
2. And they fail to understand the difference between the believer's
POSITIONAL relationship with God which is located IN HEAVEN
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,
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
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
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,
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
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
When we walk in the light, then we are walking under the umbrella
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"
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
friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
See subject: divine discipline
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
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
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
Verses 32-34 reviews the past historical success of these
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
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
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
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
stubborn and rebellious against their Lord.
2. unto destruction: This refers to the ultimate in divine discipline
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
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
“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
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
from sin at salvation (2 Pet. 1:9).
In such a case, they have no where else to go - nothing else to which they
“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)
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
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,
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
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
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
word to govern our soul through the filling/control of
(2. We have fellowship with one another (that is, us
God and God with us).
(3. This is the experience of “enjoying” life with God
because we are operating on the same wave
God is on. We are letting HIS LIGHT govern our soul.
If we do NOT walk in the light
we do not have fellowship
the blood of Jesus His Son, continually cleanses
us from all sin. This is the basis for
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
into fellowship by “acknowledging” the sin to Him.
1 John 1:9.
(6. When we “confess” (acknowledge, agree with God
our sin, He is-
FAITHFUL: faithful to do the same thing every time
on the same basis.
His character of justice is satisfied because
the sin has ALREADY been paid for. It does
to be paid for again.
TO FORGIVE: us our sins and
cleanse us from all
unrighteousness. That is, to restore us to
(7. Many times we will forget a sin that was committed
and yet still be removed from fellowship with
However, very soon one or more additional sins will
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;
our spiritual rebellion
(like the carnal believers at 1 Cor. 3:1-3),
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
Verse 27, But a certain terrifying expectation of judgment
(krisis) and a
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
in time when we come under DISCIPLINE - 1 Cor.
But if we evaluated (diakrinō)
we should not be judged (krinō)).
But when we are judged (krinō),
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
unclean the blood of the covenant,
by which he was sanctified,
insulted THE SPIRIT OF GRACE?
Verse 30, For we know him who said, Vengeance is mine,
I will repay. And
The Lord shall JUDGE (krinō)
1. Vengeance is simply the expression of God’s justice
toward those who are violating His righteousness.
Vengeance is in God’s hands - not
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)
fall into the hands of the living God.
It certainly IS! That is just the point. Discipline is NOT FUN!
“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
In other words, don't stop living the way you were
when you were first
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
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."
early church lived in expectation of the Lord's coming.
That coming would be
by certain events of a specific
nature. The instruction here
speaks of an urgency for public
assembly worship in view of the progress of
that would suggest a soon arrival
of THE DAY.
the believers of that time, or of any subsequent generation, were to
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
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
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
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
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
costs. It is called the sin unto death at 1 John 5:16,
"there is a sin unto
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
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
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,
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
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
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
Even Moses received discipline of “death” because of his
act of failure, but he did not lose his salvation.
The point to all this is that one can either “live by faith”
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.
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
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.