• Chris Steele

If We Sin Willfully

Chris' Corner -- Sunday, December 13, 2020


When Christians abandon their faith, and return to their old patterns of sin or false religion, they walk away from the only spiritual remedy for their sins. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the one and only means by which one can be forgiven and cancel the condemnation that was upon us because of those sins.

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 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?” (Hebrews 10:26-29).

Years ago, a young man visiting in our worship, came to the front during the invitation. He was clearly shaken and remorseful over sins he had committed. “I willfully sinned,” he said. “I knew it was a sin before I did it, but I did it anyway.” He went on to say, “I wish I could be forgiven, but according to Hebrews 10: 26, 27, I cannot.”

I explained to him how the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice is forgiveness before and after baptism. Forgiveness and remission of sin is available initially for all past sins following repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38; 22:16). After baptism, the same blood is available to forgive Christians who have fallen into the snare of sin again. The key is repentance and confession of sin. The young man was showing signs of remorse over his sin, and wanting to be forgiven. I told him to repent and confess his sins and he could be forgiven.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7–9).

If we read the context of Hebrews 10 again, it speaks of willful sin, rejecting the Law of Moses, and the consequences that follow. The implication for those on this side of the cross, is the rejection of Christ. If we reject Jesus Christ and His will for us, we reject His blood sacrifice. Nothing else is available that can ensure forgiveness.

As I think about this passage for myself, I can’t help but think of my own human frailty and deficiency of will power. Maybe you do as well? To think that my sins put Jesus on the cross. My sins caused His death. I never want to be guilty of trampling the Son of God underfoot, and counting the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified a common thing, and insulting the Spirit of grace.

We cannot take sin lightly. We never should think we can continue in sin, that grace may abound. Paul said, “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:1-2).

We can take great comfort in the assurance that our Savior will forgive us each time we repent.

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