“Advent Journey Day XII)”
“Flee Deliberate Sins!”(Heb.10:26-31).
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God…”
We quickly agree that “ignorance is no excuse before the law,” but the judgment and verdict passed on an offense committed in ignorance cannot be the same as that of a deliberate offense, though the magnitude of the offense should be the same.
The Scriptures differentiate between deliberate and unintentional sin. Contrary to the quote above, Hebrews already states that Christ “is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.”(5:2).
Sometimes we stray like lost sheep, though we have not forgotten God’s commands; in which case when we plead with him to seek us out(Ps. 119:176), he does so with compassion.
Mosaic law mentions four examples of unintentional sins: a priest may sin unintentionally, the whole community may sin unintentionally, a leader can sin unintentionally and an individual can sin unintentionally. Even so, sacrifices were to be made to atone for such unintentional sins(Lev. 4:1ff; Cf. Num. 22-29).
This is in contrast to the person who sins defiantly. Such a person must be completely cut off for he has blasphemed the LORD, despised the LORD’S word and broken his commands(Num. 15:30-31).
New trends in religious freedom according to the Scriptures is grievous “apostasy,” or “sinning “deliberately.” Apostasy is the challenge of Christ and his central teachings by someone who was formerly a follower of Christ.
This does not mean that those who remain with Christ are exonerated from deliberate sin.
The moment we know what Scriptures requires of us but do the contrary, we sin deliberately.
Dear friend, few more days and the 2023 lunar calendar will be archived. It is time to take an overall annual stock of life and see if (y)our deliberate sin outweigh the unintentional ones. Whichever way the scale weighs, there is need to make a U-turn before the LORD judges his people. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit guide my thoughts, words and actions daily away from presumptuous sin. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.