For if we are willfully sinning after receiving the full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice concerning sins, (plural) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and zealous fire being about to consume the adversaries.
If anyone did not regard the Law of Moses, that one dies without pities on the word of two or three witnesses.
How much worse punishment do you think will be thought worthy to receive, the one trampling the Son of God, and having counted common the blood of the covenant in which he was sanctified, and having insulted the Spirit of grace?
For we know Him who has said, “Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Key words: “His people.” The willful sin spoken of in this scripture was the sin of not counting the blood of Christ sufficient to purge the iniquities of men (read the whole chapter). These things were written to His people, and as such, warned of the coming judgement seat of Christ. There is a consuming fire before the judgement seat of Christ which tries the works of His own people; the substance of which works is determined according to how fast we hold to the gospel. Precious works are wrought in light of precious blood.
For no one is able to lay any other foundation beside the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ. And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, the work of each will be revealed; for the Day will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each, what sort it is. If the work of anyone which he built remains, he will receive a reward.If the work of anyone shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15
The bible speaks so sternly regarding the loss of heavenly reward that carnal minds mistake these warnings for the very loss of eternal life.
The most destructive root sin for the child of God to become entangled in is unbelief in the sufficiency of Christ; and it is a state of heart often adopted somewhat unwittingly. It is by letting slip this word of Christ, in which we first believed, that we leave ourselves without participating in the heavenly calling (Heb 1-3). The most primal sin which man finds himself needing to die to is the self-made religion of his heart: this was the sin of our first parents, and it was the same by which they sought to cover themselves before God. But until a man reckons in accordance with the Word that the matter is indeed finished by Christ, the Spirit of Christ cannot yet even get started with that man. What foolish man, though acknowledging that he could not at first save himself, now supposes that he can keep himself? But we keep ourselves in the love of God by faith. For truly we are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation for which we have been given the deposit of His guarantee; the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time: “to wit, the redemption of our bodies.” For when we first believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, by whom we now may also walk – if indeed we fall not into condemnation through unbelief in the verity of this gospel.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be delivered by His life.
It is the immutibility of our reconciliation by the blood of Christ which ensures the possibility of our present deliverance from every evil and our present participation in the heavenly calling. It is not by the feeble grip of our own hands that we are held in the Father’s hand. For if the legitimacy of our faith were determined by our present measure of sincerity, we should all perish because of our waverings in faith; but truly the sincerity of our faith is measured according to its placement in the gift of Christ who has authored and now wills to finish the work. Therefore let faith spread its roots and branches only into HIS works, that it shall be free and able to bear the present fruit of His Spirit unquenched.
Truly, truly, I say to you, the one not entering through the door into the sheepfold, but going up by another way, that one is a thief and a robber.
Not once does the bible say anything to the effect of “Repent of your sins” (plural) in order to be or remain saved. It does however say over and over again that one must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved – that is the basis of all true repentance. Once it was of course said to unbelievers, “Repent of this your sin“ (singular) in speaking to the Jews, who in their hearts were keeping Christ nailed to the cross. By being called to repent, they were being admonished to turn from their unbelief unto trust in Him! Also, the coupling of “Repent and believe” speaks of a repentance from unbelief unto belief. According to its scriptural usage, the definition of repentance as it relates to eternal life is a change of heart to trust in Christ for His salvation. That begins and is sealed in the repentance from sin (singular), which is faith unto justification; whereas believers are then commanded to continue in the same faith unto a life of repentance from their sins (plural) so that they may bear fruit in keeping with repentance. This includes the confession of sins unto God as a matter of cleansing and maintaining fellowship with Him for those who are already seated in the heavenlies in Christ.
When we object that this sounds far too easy and leaves too much room for the flesh, we are only revealing how hard indeed it is for the natural man to accept the things of the Spirit of God, and how quickly we as his children still stray into pride because of what our ears have heard from many teachers. Truly it is such a gospel that is sn affront to the flesh; and this reaction is only proof of it. We are only proving by the man-made religion of our hardened hearts that few indeed both find and continue by this narrow way of the grace of Christ Jesus.
Let us repent and come back to it again, that we may again bear good fruit before God.
For it is impossible for those being once enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, and becoming sharers of the Holy Spirit, and tasting the good Word of God, and the works of power of a coming age, then falling away (from grace, see Gal 5:4), it is impossible for them again to renew to repentance (not to salvation, but to repentance), since they are crucifying again TO themselves the Son of God, and putting Him to open shame.
(For the earth drinking in the rain often coming upon it, and producing plants fit for those for whom it is also worked, receives blessing from God; but bearing thorns and thistles, it is deemed unfit and near a curse, of which the end is for burning.)
But, loved ones, even if we indeed speak so, we have been persuaded better things concerning you, even holding fast salvation.
The kindness of God in Christ which leads men to repentance is the same kindness which keeps His children walking in it. It is the assurance of there being no condemnation in Christ Jesus which revives His children unto a walk after His Spirit. If only we held fast to the gospel today, we would at last find the Holy Ghost pleased and willing to burn away our dross before the last day.
The saved man who lives by the weakness of his flesh and the saved man who lives by the strength of his flesh both recieve the same lack of inheritance in the kingdom of God. For the works of the flesh, which to the apostle Paul were “obvious,” include sins both licensious and religious (Gal 5:19-21). The fruit which God is looking for is that begotten of His Spirit. If we got out of His way, we just might start bearing it.
But I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkennesses, wild parties, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is not a law. But the ones belonging to Christ crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not become glory seeking ones, provoking one another, envying one another.