Sunday, November 20, 2016

Properly Understanding Hebrews 10:26-27

Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  (27)  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

What does this passage mean? We must look to the message of the writer of Hebrews to properly understand. We make a grave mistake when we simply look at the grammar to understand the interpretation and message of scripture. We must always look at historical and grammatical context. We must always get into the mind of the writer and the reader, because void of its intended audience’s expectation and understanding, a passage could literally mean anything based on the connotation of meaning in the current reader’s definition of the words. There is no place that this is more glaring than in Hebrews 10:26.  

I can assure you, based upon careful examination of historical and grammatical context it DOES NOT mean what so many have suggested. Some have believed, that deliberate sinning is the process of committing sins on purpose repeatedly. This could not be farther from the truth in this case. The author was not speaking in terms of individual sins. The writer of Hebrews has established a specific meaning for sin in Hebrews 3:7 through 4:11. I would strongly suggest that you read this passage in several versions. I would especially suggest using the NIV and the NLT as well as the KJV and any other version you have grown to trust.

The above passage was used by the writer of Hebrews to explain to his intended audience the concept of the Sabbath and that it is a picture, type, metaphor for what the writer calls the “Sabbath Rest.” To the writer of Hebrews, the Sabbath represented a rest provided by God. To the Old Covenant Jews, it was the promise/promised land, but to the New Covenant believer, it was the redemption brought by Jesus, who is the fulfilled Sabbath and Promised Land of rest. So then, the writer of Hebrews defines sin in a very narrow way for his purpose. The writer of Hebrews defines sin and makes it synonymous with UNBELIEF. You can find this specifically in Hebrews 3:12 & 16-19. I am going to posit the latter under this paragraph so that you can see it for yourself. I am quoting the NIV, but I suggest that you read it in the KJV or whatever version you trust for yourself.

Hebrews 3:12 & 16-19 NIV  See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God…..   (16)  Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?  (17)  And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?  (18)  And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed?  (19)  So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Again, read the whole passage from 3:7 through 4:11 but for brevity, I have shown you the passage above. The writer in the above passage equates three terms, sin, disobedience, and unbelief. The bottom line is this. If you look at the historical context, the Hebrew Christians were in danger of rejecting Jesus and going back to Judaism as it was before the advent of the Messiah. They were being persecuted by unbelieving Jews. According to chapter 10, they had had their possessions taken from them, and were being persecuted on all sides, and it was from other Jews, their own countrymen who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. It is in this context, that the writer of Hebrews states in Hebrews 10:26, that if one WILLFULLY UNBELIEVES there remains no sacrifice for unbelief because Jesus is the only one. This is why he tells them in Hebrews 10:35 to not throw away their confidence because it has a great reward. Hebrews 10:26 relates directly to the Sabbath Rest.

The Sabbath Rest is simply believing that Jesus paid it all. It is believing that one is made righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus. That is why I so pity those who have complicated faith in Christ; those who have tied salvation to law obedience. There is an entirely different dynamic at work in the New Covenant, and still, Sunday after Sunday, preachers who are ignorant to the real gospel, and to the real operation of the New Covenant and transformation continue to prattle on and on with a mixture of law and grace, of Old Covenant and New Covenant that stifles the life of the saint.

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