Lesson 36

The Epistle to the Hebrews

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, 10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. 10:28 A man who disregards Moses' law dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 10:30 For we know him who said, "Vengeance belongs to me," says the Lord, "I will repay." Again, "The Lord will judge his people." 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Today's Lesson   

The Epistle to the Hebrews follows its established pattern. The last two lessons have contained some of the most beautiful promises of the letter. Today's Scripture follows them with a stern warning. The argument concerning the superiority of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has come to an end. The sacrifice of Christ is superior to the sacrifices of the Law of Moses because the sacrifice of Christ is able to perfect all those that will be saved. God placed such value on the One who was offered that he was willing to forgive the sin of the whole world based on that one sacrifice.


Having established the sufficiency of the sacrifice, the author concluded that now we can boldly enter the presence of God. We can draw near to the Father because God has promised to forgive our sins and remember our trespasses no more. God is faithful. What He has promised He will do.


But, because the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has accomplished so much, because the Father has valued the offering of the Son to such an extravagant degree, no human dare deny what Christ has accomplished. If God accepts this one offering, we are lost if we reject it. A man who broke the Law of Moses was put to death for many of its infractions. Yet, the new covenant of grace that was inaugurated at the death of Christ is superior to the Law. How much greater the punishment will be for the man who rejects the sacrifice of the blood of God's anointed Lamb.


But, what does it mean to "sin willfully" or to "trodden under foot the Son of God?" What this author refers to by these words can be best understood by how he has used them previously. In the third chapter, an example from the history of Israel was used as an example of those that sinned. The whole generation of Israel did not believe God's promise when they first came to the promise land. God refused to allow them to enter His rest because they had sinned against Him. They had sinned willfully because they had not believed God. "3:17 With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn't it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 3:18 To whom did he swear that they wouldn't enter into his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 3:19 We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief."


In the same way, the Son of God is "trodden under foot" when the promises of God that are based on His sacrifice are not believed. God has promised; all that place their trust in the finished work of Christ will be saved. All who refuse to believe that His sacrifice is sufficient for their salvation continue to sin willfully. The gospel of Christ has been proclaimed. To continue to deny the promises of God is to sin in the same fashion that those Israelites did so long ago.


God is holy. Man is fallen and powerless to save himself. For this reason God sent His own Son to die as a sin offering for them. But, if man continues to reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there is only the judgment. What do you believe? Was the death of Jesus Christ so precious to God that by the one sacrifice all of your sins can be forgiven? Will you live your life with the belief that in Christ you are forgiven and accepted?


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