Hebrews 10:1, "For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect."
10:10, "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
10:14, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified."
10:28-31, "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is mine, 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.
In our first scripture, Hebrews 10:1, we see that the law has power to make nothing perfect. This is in contrast to the blood of Jesus, which does have power to make perfect. In Hebrews 10:10 we see that all of us who are in Christ have been sanctified by the offering of Jesus Christ once for all. Therefore if you have not been sanctified you are not in Christ. In Hebrews 10:14 we see that He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. The NKJV translation of this, saying that He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified is unfortiunate because if you read it apart from its context you will come to the wrong conclusion. The context says we have been sanctified. The NKJV grants perfection to those who are being sanctified. Now granted, 2 Corinthians 3:18 does seem to make a case for gradual sanctification, but I contend that when true sanctification comes it will be total and complete. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely: and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blamelesss at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5:23) Therefore I say to you that the OKJV is more accurate by saying, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified."
If therefore our sanctification is complete and we are perfected forever, we will no longer be under bondage to sin, even as 1 John 3:5-9 also says (esp. v. 9).
Consider that the very next passage in our text warns us against sinning willfully against the Lord, and that if we do so there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. This is heavy in one interpretation and less heavy in another.
In one interpretation of this, the sacrifice for sins being spoken of is animal sacrifices, since in context, the author of Hebrews speaks of how animal sacrifices were done away with when Jesus died on the Cross. This allows for the sacrifice of Jesus to remain for us even if we do sin willfully against God.
The second interpretation is heavier, which says that because the sacrifice of Jesus is mentioned as a sacrifice and as an offering in and of itself, therefore not even the sacrifice of Jesus remains for you if you sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth. This is backed up by the second verse in the passage, which says, "(there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." This seems to me to be saying that once you sin willfully, if you know the truth, there is no sacrifice for sins left (not even the sacrifice of Jesus) because all that is left is a certain fearful expectation of judgment.
However, I believe that it is spoken of in this way so that those who read will understand the severity of willful sin. If it is not severe (and it is), then the sacrifice of Jesus avails even if we continue in willfil sin, because the only sacrifice that has been done away is the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament.
I want to take the middle ground and say that if a person repents and stops practicing willful sin, the sacrifice of Jesus will again avail for him as it did before. Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20, and Romans 11:23 seem to substantiate this. The moment you practice willful sin against the Lord, therefore, you are not then in His grace but have come out from under it.
It is His word that makes us fit for heaven. At the judgment or at our death God is not going to suddenly change the character of our soul so that we will be fit for heaven. Granted, He will change our bodies so that we will have glorified bodies, but He is only going to do this for those who have resisted temptation in this life. The crown of life is not a literal crown that will be put on our head among other crowns, but it represents the life that you have in Christ. James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
Therefore I say to you that if you want to have life, resist temptation.
1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins ad to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Therefore if you have truly confessed your sins why are you not cleansed from the practice of sin? 1 John 3:5-9 states clearly that those who are born of God cannot sin because they are abiding in Christ. Therefore if you abide in Christ you will not sin. It is very black and white, and it is complicated by people who want to make an excuse for their sin. "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3) When Eve was deceived she was tempted into sin. Keep it simple, at black and white, and you will not be deceived as she was. The wages of sin is death.
Be praying against willful sin in the visible body of Christ.
Phileo and Agape in Christ Jesus,