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Walking the Narrow Path

Enjoy some great music courtesy of John Mark McMillan while you read.  Song is titled ‘Sins are Stones’ off his album ‘Economy’.
26 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. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. 28 For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 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.  – Hebrews 10:26-29

Growing up, I was always a perfectionist and always trying to please everyone around me.  I really hate to disappoint people and I definitely don’t like feeling like a failure at anything.  So naturally, I’ve had a very difficult time in my life when it comes to sin and the repetitiveness of it.   I think there are many times when I asked God much like Paul did to ‘take this thorn from my side’.  It has taken me much later in life though to realize what God’s response meant and why that sin is a constant reminder that I’m an imperfect being made by a perfect creator, one whose grace is sufficient in my weakness.

Reading this passage from Hebrews this morning really struck me straight to the heart.  This isn’t the same, easy forgiveness story that we’ve all heard all our lives to try and make ourselves feel better about the way we are living.  In this passage, Paul is very direct and clear about what it means to deliberately sin after gaining knowledge of Jesus.  There is no “Oh well I’m saved so God will forgive me” type thing that we hear in this passage.  He says by deliberately sinning, we are trampling on the Son of God, and we are treating his covenant and sacrifice for our lives as nothing important or worthy.  We are insulting His Spirit and even worse, we are making a mockery of His name to those around us who see us continually sin yet make it just on time for church Sunday morning.  Paul insinuates that this type of action, claiming to know Jesus yet defying his word deliberately, is punishable worse than those who rejected God from the beginning.  Does Christianity sound like a “safety net” program to you?

We are all creatures of sin.  We were born into it through our fathers dating back to Adam.  We can’t living perfect lives and we will sin from time to time inevitably and unconsciously.  The difference is, we should not do so knowing that it is wrong yet continuing anyway with an excuse of grace.

15 Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.  – Romans 6:15-16

So it’s our decision to make.  There will be no excuses of ignorance.  We have His word and His Spirit with us to learn everything we need to know about God and how he expects us to live our lives.  The only way to combat these types of misconceptions and deception is to be filled with the knowledge of His word.  A 30 minute sermon on Sunday morning that we make 3 out of 4 Sundays a month isn’t going to cut it.  Neither is attending Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night services every week.  His word must be a regular and daily part of our lives, study, and conversations so that it consumes us.  May we always seek for God’s Spirit to convict us in our lives so that He may point out our flaws and we can correct them so that we can be living the way God calls us to.

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