Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 04 Who’s Trampling Who???
“Having therefore, brethren,
boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way,
which he hath consecrated
through the veil,
that is to say,
…22 Let us draw near
with a true heart
in full assurance
having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed
with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith
(for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love
and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another:
and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching…
….29 Of how much sorer punishment,
shall he be thought worthy,
who hath trodden under foot
the Son of God,
and hath counted the blood of the covenant,
wherewith he was sanctified,
an unholy thing,
and hath done despite
unto the Spirit of grace?” Portions of Hebrews 10:19-29
My heart is burdened for a world going to “hell in a hand-basket”, and a church that seems to be caving to the culture, rather than calling believers to live, what C. S. Lewis called, lives of “piety”; a reverence for God, and a devout fulfillment of (what a person sees as) an obligation of love to his/her religious beliefs (Our Lord Jesus and His Word!). In other words, a complete devotion to being right with God, doing right before God and man, and making an impact on the world, whether they realize it or not! (For the world is waiting for the Righteous to live Righteously—to be salt and light to draw the lost to a faithful Redeemer!). Yet we live in a time when many who claim the name of Jesus live their lives in complete disregard to the Lord whose name they claim; who spend their time, energy, resources and efforts living it up, drinking it up, lusting it up, shacking up, lying it up, mocking and ridiculing those who continue to hold up the standard of holy living! Now, I understand that Jesus has given us freedom to exercise our beliefs and convictions as we see fit; but when what many seem to ‘see fit’ is in direct conflict to The Word of God, it’s time to take a stand with grace, firmness and love—but we must take a stand!
The author of Hebrews strongly reminds us that our lives are to be ordered in holiness because a “Holy” price has been paid for our salvation, “by the blood of Jesus”! And earlier in the book, he also tells us that we can have confidence in our access to Him, the One whose blood bought our salvation—our heavenly intercessor (See Hebrews 7:25)!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest,
that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God,
let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest
which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points
tempted like as we are,
yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly
unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help
in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
I love this passage, and I run to it often, yet today I see so many run to other things; they don’t practice spiritual boldness and confidence in the One they profess to love, but arrogantly use His name for their own purposes, to excuse their sin, or saying that “Jesus will forgive me”! And that is true, but while God’s love is totally unconditional, His forgiveness is not!
“If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins,
he is faithful
to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10
Here we find that Jesus can, will and does forgive those who face their own personal sin and failure—AS SIN! He also says that when we continue to claim that our choices are not sin, we “deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”…“his word is not in us”! But John so graciously holds out the scepter of hope—if we will but “confess our sins”, Jesus will faithfully, willingly, lovingly respond to our humble confrontation of our own sin for “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins”—but praise God HE doesn’t stop there; HE goes on to tell us that not only will He extend his forgiveness to the repentant, but HE will also, “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”—He will help us to overcome our selfish, worldly, and holiness-defeating (my own new word!) choices and actions! Hallelujah! Praise God—Jesus will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness”! Did you get that—”from all unrighteousness”—Jesus wants to cleanse us from all our SIN and failures! John is talking to believers! That’s you/me, we who follow HIM, we who belong to HIM!
But don’t miss that last phrase, for John also warns us that those who continually claim the name of Jesus and live like the devil may have a different problem:
“If we say that we have not sinned,
we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us”!
If we have Jesus we do have “The Word” in us in the form of Jesus’ Holy Spirit, who transforms God’s own (genuine believers) into the image of Jesus! Paul addresses this issue most clearly!
“But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit,
if so be that the Spirit of God
dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
he is none of his.” Romans 8:9
And back to Hebrews, we also see that “saying so, doesn’t make it so”!
“But if ye be without chastisement,
whereof all are partakers,
then are ye bastards,
and not sons.” Hebrews 12:8
When we belong to Jesus and we sin, HE, through the power of The Holy Spirit, will discipline us, correcting, convicting, and bringing us to repentance and restoration. Or there is another option for those who truly belong to Jesus yet refuse to be restored to usefulness and holiness; it’s a seldom mentioned statement, but it is as true as any other scripture.
“If any man see his brother sin a sin
which is not unto death,
he shall ask,
and he shall give him life
for them that sin not unto death.
There is a sin unto death:
I do not say that he shall pray for it.
17 All unrighteousness is sin:
and there is a sin not unto death.” 1 John 5:16-17
It’s as if Jesus is saying to a believer who just won’t learn, if you won’t learn down there, I’ll just bring you home for some remedial classes (and I use this as example not as an assumption on scripture, but remember that GOD is the judge of ‘time limits’, so to speak, not us!). But there is more that we need to consider, in regard to my phrase about “saying so doesn’t make it so”; Paul mentions it in passing in 1 Corinthians 15, and I think it worth our consideration. Is your faith real or vain? What commentary does your/my life make about our faith? Only you/I can really answer that question, but it’s a question that we all need to ask ourselves; for there is a day coming when Jesus will require an answer!
I declare unto you the gospel
which I preached unto you,
which also ye have received,
and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved,
if ye keep in memory
what I preached unto you,
unless ye have believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
Jesus makes it clear, not only for those who claim His name, yet walk in the devil’s way, but also to those who live an imitation Christian life!
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:20-23
Jesus didn’t stop there; He went on to use an example that we often disregard and write-off as a children’s song; but Jesus gives us a clear line of delineation—what foundation you choose to build your house (life) upon is important! There are two options, and while the houses may look alike on the outside (or not), it will become evident when the storms come (and they will come, for HE said they ‘would’ come, not ‘if’ they come!).
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them,
I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house
upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell not:
for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolish man,
which built his house
upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell:
and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
What we “DO” is all dependent on Jesus, for each believer, every child of God! That’s a fact! It’s all about HIM not me!
“I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me,
and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me
ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. Amen!
And to bring things together, let’s go back to Paul, who reminds us that we can ‘judge’ ourselves by God’s standard and stay on the “narrow” way, or we can excuse, cover-up, justify and lie about our life-choices, and God will judge! The choice is yours, but choose wisely, there is a test!
“For if we would judge ourselves,
we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged,
we are chastened
of the Lord,
that we should not be condemned
with the world.” 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
(And just FYI, this passage is referring to believers living in an unworthy manner, receiving God’s judgment on their sin, not their souls.). I pray that God will convict our hearts and help each of us recognize our sin, repent, be forgiven and restored to the full use to our “vine” and see HIM bring much fruit out of our lives. May we live as “iron sharpeneth iron” toward each other, not as rotten apples spreading corruption to everyone and everything we touch! I would simply like to go back to our title today; are you trampling under-foot the blood of Jesus; the prayers and tears of a loved one who is still praying for you; the efforts of a friend who has called you to truth as you walk down that “broad” way to destruction; the call of The Holy Spirit on your heart? Remember, Jesus gave His all for you/me, and if you go to Hell it will be over all these who have tried to stop you; and if you are a rebellious believer, the same is true for you—remember there is a “sin unto death” for the believer, not hell but a shortened opportunity to serve our LORD JESUS!!!
I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in
and will sup
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Amen and Amen!!!