When we think of the things that keep us from the good life God has for us, it’s usually us. It may be about our thoughts, habits, actions, and inactions. Hebrews 10:26-27 is often misunderstood. We need to understand the concept of grace before we go anywhere else in this series. In this verse, the author is speaking to Hebrew people, who lived their life under law and obtained their justification through the law. This was a big struggle for the early church.
“If we deliberately keep on sinning”—let’s look at that part first. Is there any sin that’s not willful? We are created by God as a Spirit, which has no desire to sin, but our flesh has a great desire to sin. In the middle is the will. If we feed our will with the Word, then the Spirit can convince the will. The flesh has arguments that feel and sound good, so we have to make the Spirit strong. If sin is willful, there’s no hope for any of us. The point of this is that sin is no longer cleared up by sacrifices any more. This is treating Christ’s sacrifice as insignificant. Remember that just sinning without caring expecting to be forgiven later in a way closes our access to grace. Romans 3:23 talks about falling short (which implies we tried). Grace is there to bridge the when we desire to do right but willfully (sometimes VERY willfully) sin regardless.
When we live in condemnation we live in fearful expectation of judgment. Conviction helps us become better. Condemnation tries to beat us down. We get dealt certain things in life, but grace says that hand is not ours. Our reaction needs to be that we don’t deserve it (even if it’s a consequence of our own actions) because we have a new nature from the Spirit of God. We have to exercise in this grace and refuse to accept. Romans 10:23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” In Romans 5:5, the word “hope” is the Greek word elpis, which means to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation of good; joyful and constant expectation of salvation. This sounds like the opposite of fearful expectation of judgment.
Fear is the natural response when trouble comes our way. Fear is based on circumstantial evidence. CSI proves that circumstantial evidence does not hold up in court. Sometimes we do have natural consequences for mistakes we’ve had. Often, God’s mercy keeps us from getting the consequences of our sin. Eventually, if we keep making the same mistake, mercy runs out. Grace NEVER runs out.
Romans 8:16 and John 15:15 emphasize our status as friends, children and heirs of God instead of servants or employees. The word “friend” in the passage is best of all friends, such as maid of honor or best man in your wedding. A servant or employee can be fired, but family/children can’t be fired. That is eternal. The only thing we’re required in a parent/child relationship is the desire to understand. The child is not responsible for understanding. The parent is responsible to teach them to understand. God never uses the tools of the enemy to get our attention. He is always speaking to us. We have to simply have the desire to hear.
We always say we need to learn how to hear from God. In the parent/child relationship, does the child have to learn how to hear Mom’s voice? It has nothing to do with their behavior; they know Mom’s voice without working at it. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see us but Jesus. The blood of Jesus washed our sin away. He will never turn His back on us. He did that with Jesus only for a moment when all our sin was upon Him. When we seek to follow God because we love Him rather than to try to earn His love, grace fills the gap between our desire and our ability. We insult the Spirit of grace and everything Jesus did, if we still try to make it on our own.
In Romans 5:20-21, the word “abound” in the scripture is two different Greek words. The one referring to sin means increase, exist in abundance. The one referring to grace means to abound beyond measure, overflow, to enjoy abundantly. There is never sin there is not enough grace for if the heart is right. Remember the feeding of the 5000 when everyone took as much as they wanted, and then the supply stopped. Grace always exceeds the need. Grace has already paid our debt. This is important because you’re never comfortable around someone to whom you’re in debt. In Matthew 7 and Luke 11, “knock” actually means to beat on the door. We need to be able to boldly go before God.
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