Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
There, I said it. Well, Paul said it. If there was a single blog I would want to have written before I died, this one would fall into that category. Pay close attention.
After a bible study last night where we discussed some interesting questions, I was challenged by my brother, Mark, to take the standards and definitions I had given to Christianity and tighten them up according to biblical standards. “We’ve lost what it means to be a Christian” he stated. And, after a good discussion of batting around various topics, I 100% agree with him.
In order to begin this topic, we must first ask ourselves whether or not we believe in the validity of the Bible. This argument, friends, does not come from the questioning of its historical accuracy or validity, as such has been proven, quite well, by articles and archeological findings such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The question relies on whether or not we believe the Bible to truly be the inspired, true, correct, and accurate word for God. Should the answer be “yes” to this question, please continue on. Should the answer be “no” please find your way to Revelife, as their doctrine is much more suitable for those who prefer diluted truth.
If we believe the words of Paul to be correct, being inspired and directed from the Hand of God, then we must pay very close attention to what he says. We must believe the validity and gravity of what he is saying. This is an example of a “therefore” sentence in the Bible; a call to action, commanding us to make some form of move or change in our ways.
A popular example of this is the ever-famous “Therefore, there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” This is often used as a ‘get out of jail free card’ to those who claim to be Christians. “Well, God’s grace is stronger than my sin, so I can’t be tied down by it anymore!” Beloved, finish the verse. Read just a few more verses and I can assure you that your mind will change.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
My heart is heavy because I have seen many take the strong power of grace and forgiveness, and used it as a free pass to allow their continuation of habitual sins. “I’m a Christian, so all of my sins – past, present, and future – are covered by grace.” In the scriptures, we are told to REPENT – a word that means “turn away” – from our sins; never to turn back! Instead, we have simply apologized for these sins that condemned us to death, and have only returned to our sinful lifestyles with a renewed sense of boldness that the only consequences we will have to pay will be a simply apology for being weak in our will.
Beloved, turn from your sin. Does your sin grieve you, or do you simply feel bad for a short moment when you fall into it?
I will conclude with the very words of Christ, as he addressed the way we are to live our lives. Christ was very quick to point out that His mission and purpose on earth was not to get rid of the law, but to fulfill it and bring those under it to a new, higher standard in their walk.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
These, my friends, are not easy words to read. However, if we take seriously what claim to believe, we must model our lives after the commandments which Christ ordered us to live by. We do not get a second chance at life.
Run the race with endurance. Run to win.