Sinning Fear

Hebrews 10:26–11:1, 1 Corinthians 10:1–14 (read online ⧉)

When we read verse 26 many people will become consumed by fear. There are a lot of people who were taught (and are being taught) that if you confess your sins (usually at church) then commit one immediately after, and then die, it’s as if the confession never existed. That is an incredibly hard place to live. There have been many Christians who have been worn down by this belief and it is breaking, for it is not what the author of Hebrews intended.

The concept of deliberately sinning is something that needs careful unpacking, and it is (in many respects) far beyond today’s al to dig into it. When we look at it with John Wesley’s understanding of sin (Sin is a willful transgression of a revealed and known law of God.) it not only helps, it ties in much better. The reality is that we will sin. However, it’s whether it is a style, or not. We can always try to convince ourselves that we are not making it a style. That is likely a tell that we are indeed living a style of sin. What helps us to not continue walking down the slippery slope (for it is one), is the expectation of judgment and fury.

This is where a real balancing has to occur. We don’t want to live in a of fear, nor should we. Yet, we need to be aware that without Christ we are in that danger of judgment and fury. In other words, we ought to seek to not sin not because we fear, but out of thankfulness and gratitude that we do not have to fear.

On the other hand, self-justification is what the author of Hebrews wants us to avoid. The Christian understands (or should) that Christ died on the cross, and any temptations we have ought to be tempered by the thought of crucifying . While this sounds severe and even brutal, this is what keeps us from losing our way. When we stop being horrified at crucifying Christ, then are we a Christian any longer? As the writer continues, he recalls to his readers/hearers that they have al suffered and persevered through abuse and persecutions. The author is telling them that by continuing in sinful behavior they are spitting on their own s. As the writer reminds us, it is faith that leads us through temptations and even our sins. We are ever reliant upon the and mercy of God!

Of course, what constitutes sin is always ed in these situations. That’s pretty human. Paul reminds us that the Israelites all ate the same food and drank the same water as Moses. A portion died as a result of their behavior. Special food or drink didn’t save them (Communion as a means of is something different). They were drawn and tempted into old patterns, just as we are today.

1) What is your initial to 1 Corinthians 10:13? How do you think it applies to our passage in Hebrews?

2) Are you fearful of the consequence of your sin? Why or why not? If so, how do you move beyond the fear?

3) Do you really trust that a way out is provided (1 Corinthians 10:13)?

Action: Write out a prayer to God using 1 Corinthians 10:13 as a starting point; perhaps a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.