TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Hebrews 10:26-27 (ESV) “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
I’m presently reading Eric Metaxas’ latest book, “Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World.”
In a section that I read yesterday, he noted that God is viewed very differently in our current culture than in Luther’s. Today, God is seen as overwhelmingly gracious and loving but little attention at all is spent reflecting on His holiness, justice, and wrath. In Luther’s day, it was just the opposite. God was to be feared and dreaded and little attention was given to His love, grace, and mercy.
Both of these views are flawed. Both of them are ditches on either side of the road that we need to avoid. To understand God more accurately, we need to hold them both in balance.
So, what’s up with God’s holiness and wrath? Should there be a seriousness in our Christian life that we are currently missing? And if so, what would help us to develop it?
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)
Simply stated, these verses say that if we claim to be saved but then have an attitude that allows us to persistently go on sinning willfully, then we have misunderstood what it means to be saved and have rejected the one things that actually could save us.
You see, Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection provides us with the potential to overcome sin and the grave. It is made effectual in us when we receive it by faith.
But, it’s not simply a mindless prayer that supposedly gets us a ticket to Heaven so we can get back to satisfying our sinful desires, presuming upon God’s grace. No!
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
Friend, when we get saved, it changes everything about us. Our ‘old self’ dies and we are born again (John 3:1-21). Old things pass away and all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). In a moment, we are changed and our desires for sin are undermined.
Before we are saved, we sin because we have to. While we certainly exercised restraint, sinning was something we did because it was our very nature. Yet, after we are saved, our “want to” is dealt a mortal wound. The Holy Spirit within us convicts us when we sin (John 16:8) and we find within us a desire to run the other way – to pursue holiness (1 Peter 1:15-16).
So, there is no room whatsoever for a belief that says that we can get saved and then continue in willful, persistent sin. If this is our experience, then we are illustrating that the saving work of Christ has never actually happened in our heart. We are not saved and are still on the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Have you been saved, my friend? If your answer is ‘yes,’ then my next question is: “Has it changed your life? Is your desire to sin going down as your desire for Christlikeness is going up?” If you answer ‘no,’ then you need to do some seriously reflection on where you stand before God. You don’t want to think you are headed for Heaven when you are headed for Hell.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5)