Warning About Deliberate Sin

Bible Book: Hebrews  10 : 19-31
Subject: Sin
Series: Code Yellow

One of the things which was drilled into me when I was in the “Primary” department in Sunday school (remember that department?) was that I was a sinner. In fact, we all were taught weekly that because of our sin nature we sinned daily, hourly, every minute, and for some, every second. Whether it was meant this way or not, I don’t know, but my personal perception was that I had no choice in the matter, because I was such a bad person, I just couldn’t help myself. And to reinforce this concept we had “Geraldine” (Flip Wilson’s alter ego) giving out the message, “The devil made me do it.” While the sketches may have been funny, the concept was deadly. As an aside, it would seem to appear that what is popular on the screen in one generation is popular in society for the next.

Today, I understand that the teaching or thinking which says we sin and don’t know it or can’t control it is not entirely accurate. Truth is, we know when we sin, particularly if we are a born-again, spirit-filled Child of God. We know because every time we are tempted to sin, the Holy Spirit has our back, becomes our conscious, and attempts to get us to “yield not.”

Do you remember what Romans 13:14 ended with this morning? The HCSB says, “Make no plans to satisfy the flesh” while the KJV translates it this way, “Make no provision for the flesh.” I wonder if we realize that when we make provisions or plans to satisfy those corrupt yearning of our corrupt nature that we walk opposed to God. And to walk opposed to God carries bad consequences. Do you realize that those plans are plans for deliberate, premeditated, & intentional sin? It is one thing to “slip and fall” into sin, but it is another thing to plan on it and even to enjoy it.

Let’s look and our text and glean 4 thoughts will help us avoid this mistake.

I. The Reality of Deliberate Sin

I have discovered an unusual truth; God rarely waste anything. He does not waste time, energy, power, or words. If God chooses to address a subject in His Holy Word, it is safe to assume there is a reason for it. So when He uses the word “deliberate” or “willful” sin in verse 26, He is saying, “Houston, we have a problem.” Because of this truth, another truth surfaces as we seem to see 2 classifications of sin. But it’s not classes like we think. Rather, it seems that sin is classified as Intentional or unintentional, deliberate or accidental, or planned or unplanned. It is that deliberate or intentional sin which we consider here.

Psalms 78 and 106 are two extended chapters which chronicle the Hebrews exodus, the goodness of God toward them, and their propensity to willfully and deliberately sin by rebellion. But we don’t have to look in the Bible to find deliberate sin. Quite likely, we can look back over the last week and think of a time we had a choice, & chose sin.

It could be that nasty little habit we cannot seem to break, that foul language which constantly leaks out, or a gossiping tongue which we make no effort to control. And it is not a onetime event; the text hints that this is a repetitive action. It is habitual. Truth is, quite likely every person here has at least one sin which, we have rationalized out, that God understands. It’s just the way we are put together. That is a dangerous belief. However, if this is the way you are put together? You might want to let Jesus come into your heart and rebuild it. That is what He is good at doing.

Candidly, deliberate is something we all can, if honest, relate to.

II. The Risk in Deliberate Sin

Even though we can relate to it by admitting we have done it, we need to clearly understand the tremendous risk we face. We know that certain behavior invokes risk. For instance, if you choose to become a window washer on a skyscraper, you have a higher risk of getting killed on the job than say, a CPA. We know that Football player is more at risk than say a Computer tech. We know that people who are sexual immoral have a greater chance of picking up a life-long disease than the person who chooses to remain pure until marriage and then be faithful. Every action, vocation, and behavior carries with it a risk factor.

Look with me at the last part of verse 26 and verse 27 and see what it says about a life of deliberate, habitual, and intentional sin. (READ) What a statement! Exactly what does this mean? I’m not sure I can tell you EVERYTHING it means, so let’s just consider a few connecting points.

Think about it this way, when it comes to unintentional sin, we are taught in the Old Testament that the priest makes an atonement sacrifice and grace is given. Turn to Numbers 15 (READ 27-29). To sin without intentionality and/or make an error in judgment meant there was a way for your to gain forgiveness. You had to present a sacrifice to the priest as a sin offering and the priest had to present it before God. In those days, it was the blood of a female goat or lamb, today; it is the blood of Jesus. But even when it was the blood of a goat, God would not allow purposeful, intentional, or deliberate sin to be forgiven. In fact, let’s read verse 30. The word defiantly is pretty interesting. We think of it as being stubborn and that’s pretty good, but the Hebrew word carries with it the connotation of deceit and betrayal. Other translations use the words presumptuously, brazenly, high handed, and intentionally, while the most descriptive seems to be the “pride of his heart.” Let’s finish verse 30, “he is to be cut off from his people. His guilt remains on him.” There is no more clear principle than this; to sin deliberately is to absolve you of receiving any forgiveness. Don’t like that? I didn’t write it, I just read it. If we believe what the Bible says, this principle will change our lives.

Why do I say this? Because if we have a deep belief in our heart that the God we serve is the one true God, that He is righteous & holy, & that He is as good as His word, then we will not want to take this risk. Because (vs 31) “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”

Of all the truths which I feel that I have not communicated well as a preacher, it is that God’s wrath matches His love. Just as much as He loves you and me, He hates sin and will unleash His wrath on those who are not covered by the blood of Jesus.

Additionally, for believers who have committed and not repented of sin, the judgment seat of Christ will not be the “pie in the sky, by and by.” We are accountable for every sin we commit.

III. The Resistance to Deliberate Sin

So if we (all of us) have this propensity to sin, even knowing better, how do we resist it? Let’s back up in our text and read verses 23-25. At this point, we are not talking about the “full-stop” to deliberate sin, rather we are looking at how to “Yield not to temptation” in a practical way. I’ll offer you three thoughts;

Let us hold fast to our confession of hope. Two things are important; first, it doesn’t say we have to hold on to our salvation, because salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians), rather we are told to hang on to our confession of hope. So what is that “hope?” Could it be the “blessed hope” or the “glorious hope” which we look forward to with confidence? Could it be that this is the assurance of the 2nd coming? He who promised is faithful. Jesus said, “If I go away, I will come back to get you.” Don’t doubt it. This type of hope keeps life in focus and gives us the courage to resist even the greatest temptation.

Let us be concerned for one another – This speaks to our need of one another. The big word today is accountability. Dr. Temple taught us well this concept. When we know we have to answer to someone else for our actions, we will make sure our actions measure up. Every person needs someone whom they can say, “I have this weakness. Sometimes I even make plans for it HOPING I won’t do it and I need your help.” To not be concerned about others is to not have put on Christ. We’re not talking about being a busybody, there are some whom we should never attempt to help because we do not have the relationship to do so. Whatever we do would be counterproductive. In the family relationship of believers, we do our best to promote love. Goodness, this fruit of the spirit seems to permeate every message. Why is that? Because Jesus said, “They’ll know us by our love.” In our concern we promote love & good works.

Let us be faithful to family gatherings- Know what’s so funny to me? People will not make Sunday Night or Wednesday night a priority in their schedule and when they are challenged about it, it is not pretty.

They’re response is, quite honestly, what my response is to some things. There is not one schedule contained in the words of scripture. Before electricity and motor cars were discovered or invented, there were no Sunday evening services because the distance we travels in a few minutes today took a few hours back then. So this is not a pitch for or against Sunday or Wednesday services. But the truth is plain. Whenever the church agrees to gather, the entire church should gather. At the Brooklyn tabernacle they have 3 services on Sunday and their week night prayer meeting is on Tuesday. Our friend, Kevin Hamm at FBC Gardendale, has 3 morning services and then meets for worship on Wednesday evening. Other things go on for Sunday evenings. The list goes on and on. In Acts they agreed to meet daily. Quite likely, they got together every day after their vocation was completed. As a result of spending so much time together, they shared possession, problems, and prayers. That gave them a help to not being pulled back to the old life.

IV. The Remedy for Deliberate Sin

The way this writer puts this is very interesting. Let’s begin in verse 19 and work through 22. In the word “brothers” we see our family connection. The boldness to enter the sanctuary would have been a huge deal for the readers because they were, quite likely, still coming to terms with the tearing of the veil. But now through the blood of Jesus we can boldly approach the throne. As a part of the born-again, blood washed band we can enter because He, Jesus, has become our “Great High Priest” over the House of God.

We make sure we know Jesus in a personal way.

Next, “Let us draw near.” What is it that we need to draw near to? I’ll suggest to you that it is the “throne,” well not just the throne but the one who sits on the throne. We can only do this with a true heart, full assurance, hearts sprinkled clear, and bodies washed in the pure water.

So I ask, “What is a true heart?” It can only be the heart that God has changed. To be changed, the heart had to come to the place that it admitted it needed to change. It had no hope without Christ.

Deliberate sin is serious in the life of a believer. It speaks of a sin which may not be forgiven and certainly one that tramples on the grace of God. Let’s search out our lives and see what sin we are keeping close.