WILLFUL SIN? Scripture makes a difference between willful and unintentional sins. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that all Christians (I don’t like to use terms like “all” or “none”) have sinned since they were born again. Perhaps you told a lie, concealed something, maybe even put yourself in a bad situation and fell into sexual immorality. There is provision for these things! “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”I John 2:1 NKJV
We can get misled, depressed, discouraged, angry, bitter, offended, or just our brokenness from a past life of sin and allow these things to entice us to sin. For the heart that responds to the Holy Spirit and repents; He is faithful to forgive. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. He is our advocate and mediator and He lives to continually make intercession for us.
Growing and maturing in Christ can be very painful. We grow from a newborn into a crawler, to a toddler, to a preschooler, to an elementary kid, to a teenager, and then into adulthood. It’s a process of growing and learning to become like Jesus. We discipline our flesh and grow in His grace and mercy. He is long-suffering. As much as He is long-suffering with us, we should be with ourselves and others. Our Christian growth is a process. He is faithful and desires to show mercy over judgment. I tell people, look at your growth in increments- like you would measure a child’s growth on your wall at home.
You should be more mature in Christ from year to year. This means more fruit of the Spirit and less works of the flesh. The things you did when you were an infant, you should not be doing as a 10 year old. Unintentional sin can and will be forgiven. I have done much in my past 27 years in Christ- I have lied, hid things, been unkind, said curse words, had thoughts of greed, jealousy and hatred and the list goes on. I lived in the world for 22 years, it took awhile for me to remove impure thoughts and actions. But the Holy Spirit has always convicted me and so I repent. He is kind to help us grow.
The more of God’s Word you get in you, the less you will sin. The more you discipline your flesh, the less you will sin. The more you pray, the less you will sin. This should be the mark of the Christian: walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We do not celebrate, tolerate or make excuses when we sin. We own it. Repent. And get up and keep walking toward the prize. We do not embrace it.
There is willful sin, “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.” Hebrews 10:26-27 These Hebrew believers understood the OT sacrificial system. They knew all about animal sacrifice, once a year for the remission of sins. The Israelites began to treat the animal sacrifices as common- they could continue to sin because the next year another lamb would be slaughtered and they would be forgiven. The writer of Hebrews tells them that if you treat Christ’s blood as a “common thing”, that Old Covenant sacrificial lamb, willfully sinning because you know that you will be forgiven the next year; you trample on His precious blood.
There is no more sacrifice for sin. You trample on the Son of God and insult the Spirit of grace. Enter the false love and lascivious grace gospels. Preachers telling you that you can continue to willfully sin and still inherit eternal life. False teachers telling you that you are under grace. You can continue to sin for nothing can separate you. False teachers redefine what sin is. A Christian’s life should be marked by holiness and righteousness; not sin. I also think it’s pertinent to tell you that v.25 “do not forsake the gathering of the brethren” is directly linked to “for if we continue to sin willfully”. The gathering here is specific to the public and corporate gathering, (not just you and a few friends having Bible study) as this word in the Greek is in contrast to the “synagogue”- the Jewish public gathering.
There’s a direct link between habitually missing corporate services and willfully sinning. Whether the writer means to say it is sin to not corporately gather or not corporately gathering leads to deception, which leads to sin. Either way, it’s willful sin. The writer of Hebrews in several places warns readers about the dangers of continual willful sin: if you continue to disobey the Word of God and live in your sin, you will reach a point where there is no more sacrifice for sin; but only judgment. Paul also has similar warnings for other churches, Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Cor 6:9-10. Where is this line? I do not know; but why even get close?#runyourrace
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