BibleAsk Team

What does it mean to sin willfully (Hebrews 10:26)?

Sin Willfully (Hebrews 10:26)

According to Hebrews 10:26, to sin willfully means to continue to sin willfully, as the form of the Greek verb indicates. The reference here is not to a one act of sin committed in the full knowledge of their evil character, but to the attitude of mind that prevails when an individual intentionally refuses God’s way, and rejects the Holy Spirit. This is deliberate, continual, rebellious sin. It is a considered reversal of the initial decision to receive salvation in Jesus and to submit one’s heart and life to Him. It is thought of decision to forsake the Lord.

Christ, in Matthew 12:31, spoke of the unpardonable sin. He referred to a group of Pharisees that had credited the power of the Holy Spirit (v. 28) to the devil (v. 24) fully knowing that their charge was not true. It was this intentional rejection of light that was leading them, step by step, toward “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.” It is important to note that the statement made by the Pharisees came as the climax of a continual process of rejecting increasingly clear evidence of divinity of Jesus, a process that had begun with the birth of Jesus but which became more tense as His ministry continued.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, or the unpardonable sin, consists of progressive resistance to truth that culminates in a final and unchangeable decision against it, intentionally made in the full knowledge that by so doing one is choosing to go after his own path in life in opposition to God’s will.

Troubled Conscience

A person troubled with a haunting fear that he has committed the “unpardonable sin,” thereby has clear evidence that he has not committed that sin. A person whose conscience troubles him may solve the problem and heal the tension in one of two ways: He may submit to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, and respond to the convictions of the Holy Spirit by correcting the wrongs with God and man, or he may harden his conscience and erase its painful convictions by silencing the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

Hardened Conscience

The person who takes the latter course cannot repent, because his conscience has been forever made insensitive, and he does not want to repent. He has willfully placed his soul beyond the reach of God’s grace. His persistent corruption of the power of choice results in the loss of the power to differentiate between good and evil. Evil finally appears to be good, and good appears to be evil (Micah 3:2). “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Therefore the Lord admonishes His children, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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