Hebrews 10:11–29 (NKJV)
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”
17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22 Let’s draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let’s hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let’s consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’s Law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
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?
The most common interpretation of this text, which usually arises as an objection to the security of salvation, is that if genuine believers continue to sin willfully and if they repeatedly indulge in sin, they can lose their salvation. They can expect only the final judgment and punishment. However, this passage deals with the same issue discussed in Hebrews 6:1–9. The context here is the contrast between the repeated Old Testament sacrifices that never took away sins (see Verse 11) and the ONE sacrifice of Christ, for all sins, of all time (see Verses 12 and 14). Verse 18 indicates that:
In Verses 19–25, Paul tells the Jews what to do, considering the new way of atonement. Then in Verse 26, which begins with the word “FOR,” the “knowledge of the truth” he is referring to is precisely what he had already told them: there is only one sacrifice for sin. This is the truth. “Sinning willfully” does not refer to intentional sinful deeds that would cause believers to lose their salvation and expect God’s terrifying judgment. It is instead referring to the willful sin of unbelief in the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus. This is the one sin the Holy Spirit is now also trying to convince the world of, according to John 16: the sin of not believing in Jesus and rejecting the God-approved payment for sins. In other words, Paul says something like this: “My fellow Hebrew brothers, I keep telling you there are no more repeated sacrifices of animals for sins, but only one sacrifice of Jesus. This is the truth. But if you continue sinning willfully by not believing this truth and going back to the Law, there no longer remains a sacrifice for your sins, and you remain unsaved under God’s wrath.” Then, he continues in verses 28 and 29, saying that whenever somebody didn’t obey the Law of Moses and put it aside, that person died without mercy. How much more severe will be the punishment of those who put aside the Law of Christ, trample underfoot the Son of God, and regard as unclean and common (gr. Koinon = common) the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and so insult the spirit of grace? That is the willful sin Paul is talking about here.
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