Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we
have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins… Just think how much worse the punishment will be for
those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26,29-31 (NLT)
I confess. Sometimes I read scripture like today’s and pass it by because I don’t understand (or don’t agree). But Paul’s words disturbed me. Doesn’t Jesus forgive all sin? Are we covered even if ‘we deliberately continue sinning’? Why would God take revenge on His own people?
I’m confused and disturbed.
This is when a study Bible is really helpful.
Paul wrote this letter to the Hebrews – Jewish Christians who were reverting to traditional Jewish customs. They believed Jesus was the Son of God and had accepted His ultimate sacrifice for sin, but still thought Temple sacrifices were necessary. They didn’t completely trust that Jesus’ blood was sufficient, but were maintaining a backup plan.
Phew! God doesn’t take revenge on those who continue sinning after salvation because we all do that! Paul was admonishing their comfort in old habits and thereby encouraging their trust in the new covenant of forgiveness through Jesus.
It’s easy to misunderstand scripture taken out of context. Bible study is important, especially because Paul often uses reproach to affirm the exact opposite behavior.
Do you dig deeper when you hear scripture that doesn’t align
with your understanding of God? Do you turn to a spiritual friend/mentor? Do you participate in small group discussion?
#SeedsOfScripture #BibleStudy #misunderstand