Thursday: A Great Danger
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In the book of Hebrews, Paul not only focuses on the theological understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, he also explains some of its practical implications.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

At several places he shows what happens if someone ignores this sacrifice.

Read Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-31. About what is Paul warning us? What kinds of attitudes does he describe?

In the book of Hebrews, Paul demonstrates how magnificent God’s salvation is, how God has revealed Himself, and what He has done and is doing for the believers. However, there is at least one main problematic issue that Paul had to address. It is the danger that Christ’s sacrifice could gradually be taken for granted. He describes such a danger as “drifting away” from the goal (Heb. 2:1). The imagery behind Paul’s words is that of a ship that is veering off course and does not reach the port of destination. The main task is to stay on course.

Some of those who reject God do so deliberately, which means that their life after receiving the gospel is virtually the same as it was before they received it. Those people do not, in fact, have any efficacious sacrifice for their sins (Heb. 10:26-31). However, it seems that not many believers would forthrightly reject Christ’s sacrifice or even think about such a thing. Still, Paul sounds a warning. The real danger of disregard and neglect is that it is often a subtle and very gradual process. The transition can be unnoticeable. Slowly the work of Christ is not appreciated enough, similar to Esau’s failure to appreciate his birthright anymore (Heb. 12:15-17). Christ’s sacrifice should never become so familiar that we regard it as commonplace.

Paul does not want to make his readers fearful; nevertheless, he needs to show them the consequences of veering away from God. He does not want such as thing to happen. On the positive side, he encourages them vividly to “hold fast” all the good things of salvation (Heb. 3:6, 14; 10:23) and to fix their eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2).

What about yourself? Have you simply become “used to” the amazing truth about the Cross? Why is this such a terrible thing to do? How can we protect ourselves from the danger that Paul warns about here?

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Thursday: A Great Danger — 9 Comments

  1. The message from the book of Hebrews 6:4-6 & 10:26-31 is not to make us fearful nor scared, but to make us aware and remind us that substitution of our sins with faultlessness has taken place and therefore our need to be without fault. To he who will not harken to this, will then be on danger of the anger of God; wanting to sacrife Christ again!

    Like(7)
  2. If we resist the spirit of God and provoke him to depart,we may not be able to know the length that satan will lead us. Paul is reminding us and encouraging us to focus on God's law and we be able to recognize salvation.

    Like(12)
  3. When I was a young Christian, I believed that by following Christ, life wouldn't have as many challenges, choices would be plain, and reaching out to others would be natural.

    As an older Christian, I realize that things are often taken for granted when it's all smooth sailing. Trouble, even little troubles have a way of drawing me towards God. That's not to say that problems are the only thing that keep me close to Christ. In good times, praising and thanking Him, sharing His Word can also be extraordinary experiences.

    This is where I thank the Lord for life challenges, because they help keep His strength and my weakness in perspective. Taking for granted the blood of Christ leads to legalism, self absorption, attempts at self imposed "righteousness", and other spiritual sicknesses, none of which have a place in eternity.

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  4. Taking for granted the death of Christ is if we stopped "working out our salvation, Phi. 2: 12" after we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior. Our lesson this week presented very clearly the salvation that was carried by the death of Christ.

    When I was High School I was asked by a Protestant classmate who believed in "Once Saved Always Saved" teaching the question, Are you saved? I answered him immediately "Not Yet". My classmate answered me back and said, "You better leave your church if you don't believe you are already saved because there is no salvation in your church". Salvation to me then was related to heaven. I cannot answer I am saved not until I reach heaven because heaven is the home of the saved.

    I have not forgotten that statement from my classmate and always asked myself, Was I wrong with my understanding of salvation? Until I found out later that both of us were correct. We are talking of the same word salvation but we were referring to different meanings. I was talking of sanctification and glorification and he was referring to justification.

    Justification saved us only from the penalty of sin. If we loss hold of Jesus Christ, justification cannot translate us all the way to heaven. We have to have always the One who died in our lives so that our salvation will be complete because only through Him that our sanctification will be made possible.

    Like(7)
    • A pastor shared with me a concept of salvation that I believe is Biblical in regard to assurance of salvation. We have been saved, we are being saved and we will be saved.
      Once accepted we have been saved from the penalty of sin by Christ's death (past tense) which is justification. (This is the assurance John wants us to have, 1 John 5:13.)
      We are being saved from the power of sin to control us and push us to sin (present continuous tense) which is sanctification. (This is the power of the divine nature which we can partake of, spoken of in 2 Peter 1:4.)
      We will be saved from the presence of sin (our sinful nature which we are born with) when Christ comes again (future tense) which is glorification (1 Corinthians 15:39-57, 2 Thessalonians 1:10.)
      EGW said, "man… should never dare to say, "I am saved." ". (See R&H June 17, 1890, The Truth as It is in Jesus.) How is this reconciled with 1 John 5:13 which says "that ye may know that ye have eternal life," ? Understanding that there are 3 types of salvation helps reconcile these two statements. John is saying that if we are in Christ, we can die today with the assurance of salvation (saved from the penalty of sin). EGW is saying that in this life, we are never saved from the presence of a sinful nature and have the potential of falling away from Christ and being lost.

      Like(9)
  5. Sanctification, glorification, justification, expiation, propitiation. When are we going to leave all of that latin confusion behind?

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    • If we are saved by grace through the ' faith of Christ' what significant part does our ' choice' play? If we are all of the same nature 'dead in trespasses and sins' it must be if one persons chooses salvation then every other person will make that same choice. And if one person rejects salvation then every other person will do the same.

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    • The work of Christ in our lives:

      Sanctification -- set apart for a holy purpose -- set apart to live with Christ and walk with him on the paths of righteousness.

      Justification -- forgiven and accredited with Christ's righteousness -- standing before God "just as if we had never sinned".

      Glorification -- when this corruptible puts on incorruption and this mortal puts on immortality at the second coming when the saved meet Christ in the air to live with him forever.

      Expiation -- emphasizes the removal of guilt through a payment of the penalty. Through Christ's death on the cross for our sins we are reconciled allowing God to freely forgive our transgressions without diminishing His justice and His law.

      Propitiation -- an action to make peace or repair a breach between two parties— in the biblical case it refers to Jesus' who took responsibility for our "treason" against Himself and God the Father. He took the penalty of death for our treason (sins) upon Himself, and offers to clothe us with His righteousness. Thus diverting the "wrath" against sin directed at us, onto Himself.

      Like(1)

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