Christianity 201

June 4, 2016

More on the Sin/Repentance Cycle

Today we continue our two-day visit to Steve Fuller’s Living by Faith blog. There is a link to part one in his text below if you missed it yesterday. Or, you can also check out the 14-min video post on The Danger of Continuing in Known Sin. To read this one at the blog, see comments others have posted, or link to the blog’s forums, click the title below.

Can I Deliberately Keep Sinning and Still Be Forgiven? (Part Two)

Lavish Grace

In my last post I described the lavish grace that’s ours in Christ — grace which forgives, justifies, frees, adopts, and keeps us persevering in faith until the end.

But then I raised the question — does this grace mean someone can deliberately keep sinning and be forgiven?

And I showed how Hebrews 10:26 answers that question —

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.

Two Crucial Phrases

Don’t miss those words “go on” and “deliberate.”  The author is not saying that if you entertained a lustful thought yesterday, then you cannot be forgiven.  Not at all.

If you respond to that lust by turning to Christ, confessing your sin, and trusting Him to forgive you, help you, and satisfy you — then you are not “going on sinning deliberately.”  And you can be assured that you are forgiven.

But if you respond to that lust by anticipating the next lust, planning the next lust — then unless something changes you are “going on sinning deliberately.”

And — unless something changes — you will not be forgiven and you will face God’s judgment.

So — Is This You?

People are different.  Some have tender consciences, and can think every sin means God won’t forgive them.

Others have hard consciences, and are certain God will forgive them even if they go on sinning deliberately.

This passage is directed towards those with hard consciences.  So is this you?

Is there some clear biblical command which you are knowingly and willfully disobeying?  Consider — are you going on deliberately in —

  • Sexual sin?
  • Lying to someone?
  • Not forgiving someone?
  • Loving money more than Jesus?
  • Racism?

Remember — we are talking about “going on” in sin “deliberately.”  So are you going on in some sin without confession, without repentance, without crying out to Jesus for help?

If so — then unless something changes “there no longer remains a sacrifice” for your sins  (Heb 10:26).

Tenderizing Tough Consciences

God had the author of Hebrews write this warning because He loves you.  He wants you to pay heed to this warning so you will not face His judgment.

And to tenderize your tough conscience, God gives three pictures of what you are doing when you go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth.

These three pictures are given in v.29 —

How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

First Picture

… the one who has spurned [literally: trampled upon, stomped on] the Son of God …

God the Son is the radiance of the Father’s glory, and the exact representation of His nature.  The Father loves His Son passionately, exuberantly, joyfully.

But — to save us from our sin, God the Father nailed His own Son to the Cross, had Him suffer on the Cross, punished Him on the Cross.  The only reason we can be forgiven is because God the Father was willing to punish His own Son for our sins.  Oh, we should thank the Father, and honor the Son!

But if we respond to this by going on sinning deliberately, then we are spurning — trampling upon, stomping upon — the Son of God.  Imaging pulling the Son of God down from the Cross, throwing Him on the ground, and stomping on Him.

You don’t want to do that.

Second Picture

… and has profaned the blood of the covenant…

As the Son of God died, He shed His own blood for us.  His blood is the blood of the covenant, which frees us from sin’s power progressively now — and completely in heaven.

There’s nothing as ugly as sin, as hateful as sin, as dangerous as sin.  And it’s glorious news that the blood of the covenant frees us from sin.  Oh, we should love the blood of the covenant!

But if we respond to this by going on deliberately in sin, continuing knowingly in sin, then we are profaning the blood of the covenant — spitting on it, desecrating it, mocking it.

You don’t want to do that.

Third Picture

and has outraged the Spirit of grace …

Because of the blood of the covenant, the Father gives us the Spirit of grace — the precious Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit loves the Son who has died on the Cross and poured out the blood of the covenant.  And the Spirit’s passion is to glorify Jesus, honor Jesus, magnify Jesus.

He does this by revealing to us the glory of Jesus, pouring into our hearts the love of Jesus, and strengthening our faith in Jesus.  Oh, we should love the Spirit of grace!

But if we go on sinning willfully — trampling underfoot the Son of God and profaning the blood of the covenant — then we outrage the Spirit of grace.  The Holy Spirit becomes furious — angry — outraged.

You don’t want to do that.

Take This Seriously

So if you are going on sinning deliberately, please take those pictures seriously.  You have been —

  • trampling underfoot the Son of God
  • profaning the blood of the covenant
  • outraging the Spirit of grace

And that’s why — if nothing changes — you will face God’s judgment forever.

But It Doesn’t Have To End There

Let’s say you have been going on sinning deliberately.  You’ve trampled underfoot the Son of God, profaned the blood of the Covenant, and outraged the Spirit of grace.

So what if right now you fall on your knees before Jesus Christ and say “I’m sorry.  Help me.  Forgive me.  Change me.”  What will happen?

The One you’ve trampled underfoot will love you — forgive you — embrace you.

The blood of the covenant you’ve profaned will wash you — change you — free you.

The Spirit you’ve outraged will comfort you — strengthen you — fill you.

So turn to Him now.

 

 

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