This morning, Evie and I continued our reading (okay, just my reading – she was asleep with me) in Ezekiel. But for a change, I decided to read something from the New Testament, too – and randomly decided on Hebrews 10.
It speaks about the sufficiency of God’s one sacrifice (Jesus) made for all, and how we have full assurance of faith because of this sufficiency to completely forgive our sins.
There are two warnings given – one to non Christians (v 26-31):
“If we deliberately keep on sinning (that is, continue in unbelief) 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.
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
And one to Christians (v. 35-39):
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
I think, in fact, even the first warning is also appropriate for us as Christians. The genuineness of our faith is proven by our devotion and perseverance in the faith. Not that our actions ‘earn’ our salvation, obviously – rather, the former follows the latter; just as good works flow from a thankful heart, and so prove, or show, the true state of our faith.
How do we know if we’re really saved? Well, we’re known by our fruit (of the Spirit, Galatians 5), our love for one another (John 13:35) and the manifestation of our utmost love for God (praise, prayer, worship, reading scripture).
This should forever spur us nearer to God in affection and awe, resulting in acts of worship and good deeds; lest we be of those who ‘shrink back’, or have a shallow/superficial faith.
Those were my thoughts from this morning’s quiet time – what has God been teaching you today/this week? Let me know in a comment below!
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”