What does it mean to sin willfully?

Author: BibleAsk Team

“Sin Willfully”

The Bible says, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). According to this verse, to sin willfully means to continue to sin intentionally, as the form of the Greek verb indicates. The reference here is not to single acts of sin committed in the full knowledge of their wicked nature, but to the attitude of heart that prevails when a person freely refuses salvation, and rejects the Holy Spirit.

This is deliberate, continual, defiant sin. It is regarded as a reversal of the previous decision to accept salvation in Christ and to yield one’s heart and life to Him. It is premeditated choice to leave the Lord, which leads to the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:31, 32). It is a continuing state of rebellion against the Lord.

All sinners are in a state of rebellion against God (Romans 8:7). But, as Paul explained, before sinners have received the knowledge of the truth, God winks at their ignorance (Acts 17:30). Before the light of truth comes into men’s hearts, God does not hold them responsible for the evil that prevails there (John 15:22; Luke 23:34; 1 Timothy 1:13). For He loves sinners, and has sent His Son to save them (John 1:4, 5, 9–12; 3:16; Matthew 9:13).

The “truth” about the love of God the Father for sinners is revealed in the plan of salvation and the gift of His Son. But when light comes and men choose darkness instead, they stand judged before God (John 3:19), and “there remaineth no more sacrifice for [their] sins” (Hebrews 10:26; James 4:17).

The Mosaic law prescribed death—not sacrifice—for confirmed apostates. Such were Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1–5), and Korah, Dathan, Abiram and the 250 men associated with them (Numbers 16:1–35). For those that sin willfully, sacrifices would have been unacceptable by God, for sacrifices were of value only to the repentant souls. As for those that don’t sin willfully, the Lord meets them with open arms to heal, restore and save. “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

Categories Law

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