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Hebrews 10:26-39

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 21, 2018


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Video:  Samson Trailer

Servant School

A week from Thursday starts a new session of our Servant School.

Besides the currently ongoing study through the book of Judges (we’ll be looking at Samson that next week), there are two other choices:

Seeking Allah / Finding Jesus
This class not only examines the claims of Islam, but it gives an excellent defense for Christianity.
Only one spot left.  If you sign up and it’s already full, you’ll be put on a waiting list in case someone drops out.
Both classes require you to signup online – use either the website or the App.


The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers.

The author expects the readers to be well acquainted with Levitical worship and sacrifice.

He will constantly quote the Old Testament in a way that expects that the reader understands what he’s talking about.

We also know that these believers were encountering very strong persecution.

Times were so bad that some were beginning to wonder if they shouldn’t quit following Jesus.

We will see three elements woven throughout this letter to the Hebrews.

1. Both Testaments

Even though the Old Testament has become “obsolete” (Heb. 8:13), the entire book of Hebrews is built upon the clear foundation of the Old Testament.
(Hebrews 8:13 NKJV) In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
You aren’t going to understand Hebrews, or even the New Testament correctly unless you learn the Old Testament.

2. Jesus is superior

He’s superior to angels, Moses, and the Torah.
He’s superior to the Levitical priests and their sacrifices.

3. Don’t quit

The ultimate goal of the book is to encourage those who are struggling with difficult times, and help them to endure.

In making these points, the author has painstakingly taken us through all sorts of Old Testament prophecies and passages that point to the coming Messiah and what His ministry would be all about.

He’s reminded us that the Old Testament was just a shadow of the things to come, but that Jesus and Heaven are the reality.

He’s proven that Jesus is the only, the best High Priest.

He’s proven that the sacrifice of Jesus is the best sacrifice, the only one that actually takes away sins and cleanses our conscience.

We are now in a section where the author has been pointing out the implications of the truth about Jesus.

Last week Caleb took us through a passage that told us that if these things are true about Jesus, then:

We can draw near to God.
We should cling tight to what we believe about Jesus.
We need to encourage each other.

Today we look at the serious side of the implications of the truth about Jesus.

Hebrews has had several serious “warning” passages, and we’re about to dive into another.

10:26-31 Don’t Walk Away

:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

willfully hekousios – intentionally, willingly, deliberately

voluntarily, willingly, of one’s own accord

we sinhamartano – to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, be mistaken; to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honour, to do or go wrong; to wander from the law of God, violate God’s law, sin

Present active participle

receivedlambano – to take; to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain, to get back

Aorist active infinitive

knowledgeepignosis – precise and correct knowledge; used in the NT of the knowledge of things ethical and divine

truthaletheia – truth

no longer ouketi – no longer, no more, no further

remainsapoleipo – to leave, to leave behind; to desert or forsake

Present passive indicative

sacrificethusia – a sacrifice, victim

:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

fearfulphoberos – inspiring fear, terrible, formidable; affected with fear, timid

expectationekdoche – the act or manner of receiving from; reception; expectation, waiting

judgmentkrisis – a separating, sundering, separation; judgment; sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment

fierypur – fire

indignationzelos – excitement of mind, ardor, fervor of spirit; zeal, ardor in embracing, pursuing, defending anything; the fierceness of indignation, punitive zeal

devouresthio – to eat; metaph. to devour, consume

adversarieshupenantios – opposite to; set over against: meeting one another; opposed to, contrary to, an adversary

:26 there no longer remains a sacrifice


Nowhere else to go

Note:  These verses can give you the idea that if you should ever sin after having become a Christian, that you are going to go to hell.  Slow down and think about the context.
Even in the Old Testament, when it comes to salvation, the issue has always been about faith.
We’ll see this at the end of our passage.
We’ll see it reiterated over and over again in Hebrews 11 – the hall of fame of Old Testament saints.  OLD TESTAMENT.  They all had “faith”.
The Old Testament sacrifices had a measure of cleansing and forgiveness that came only when a person had faith.

The blood of goats and bulls didn’t do anything by themselves.

It’s trust in God, looking forward to God’s provision through the one day future ultimate sacrifice that actually brought cleansing.

So the Jewish believer who has made that transition from trusting the “shadow” of the Old Testament sacrificial system, to trusting the REAL sacrifice – Jesus – the Lamb of God – the Great High Priest …
and then that person decides it’s too hard to be a Christian and turns their back on Jesus … that person isn’t going to find any more cleansing from their sins because they’ve rejected the true sacrifice.
Everything else is just shadows.
If you choose to walk away from your faith in Jesus Christ, then you will put yourself into the category of the “adversaries” of Jesus.
You are either for Jesus or against Jesus.
There’s no middle ground.

:28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

rejectedatheteo (“away” + “to place”) – to do away with, to set aside, disregard; to thwart the efficacy of anything, nullify, make void, frustrate; to reject, to refuse, to slight

mercyoiktirmos – compassion, pity, mercy; bowels in which compassion resides, a heart of compassion; emotions, longings, manifestations of pity

:28 the testimony of two or three witnesses

The writer is drawing from the what the Law said about itself:

(Deuteronomy 17:6 NKJV) Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

If you did something under the Law of Moses that invoked the death penalty, it only took two or three witnesses, and you would be put to death.  Without any mercy.

In context, it was talking about those who had done something that deserved the death penalty.  Doing something worthy of death is being called “despising the law” or “setting aside the law”.  The person has made a decision that they don’t care to do what the Law required.

:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

do you supposedokeo – to be of opinion, think, suppose

be thought worthyaxioo – to think meet, fit, right; to judge worthy, deem, deserving

punishmenttimoria – a rendering help; assistance; vengeance, punishment, penalty

trampled … underfoot katapateo – to tread down, trample under foot, to trample on; metaph. to treat with rudeness and insult; to spurn, treat with insulting neglect

common koinos – common; common i.e. ordinary, belonging to generality; by the Jews, unhallowed, profane, Levitically unclean

countedhegeomai – to lead; to consider, deem, account, think

he was sanctifiedhagiazo – to render or acknowledge, or to be venerable or hallow; to separate from profane things and dedicate to God; to purify

aorist passive indicative

Spirit of grace – the Holy Spirit is working to bring people into God’s grace, but sometimes people step all over God’s grace.

insulted enubrizo (“in” + “treat shamefully”, “proudfully”) – to insult

If there was a harsh penalty for breaking the Law of Moses, which was just the “shadow” of things to come, how much worse would it be if you found yourself an enemy of the “real” thing, of Jesus Christ?

If you’ve rejected Jesus then you’ve …

:29 trampled the Son of God underfoot

This isn’t talking about you as a believer committing a sin and finding yourself without forgiveness.

This is talking about the person who has walked away from Jesus Christ and no longer considers themselves a Christian.

They have counted…

:29 the blood of the covenant …a common thing

common koinos – common; unholy, profane

The language of the New Testament is in a form of Greek called koine Greek.  It was “common” Greek, or “street” Greek.
It was a simplified version of the more ancient classical Greek, developed by Alexander the Great, intended to be an easier form of the language, so the whole world would learn it and his empire would be more unified.
When the New Testament was written, it was written in a language that the whole world knew.

Here’s another definition of the person who has walked away.

Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, gave up His life, His blood, to pay for our sins.
That is something awesome and amazing.
When a person walks away from Jesus, they no longer consider the blood of Jesus as anything special.

:29 by which he was sanctified

The individual who turns their back on Jesus was one who was “sanctified” by the blood of the covenant.

I hate to say it, but here’s another hint that it may be possible for a person who was once “saved”, or “sanctified”, to get so far away from God that they turn their back on them and lose their salvation.

As I’ve said before, I don’t think this happens with one rebellious act.
I don’t think the person who is struggling with guilt over their sin has done this.
It’s the person that has gotten so far that they no longer care, and would even “spit” on Jesus, that is in grave trouble.

:29 insulted the Spirit of grace

The Holy Spirit is the One who pointed us to Jesus, brought conviction of sin, and pointed out the truth of God’s grace to us.

When a person turns their back on Jesus, they insult the Holy Spirit.

:30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

vengeanceekdikesis – a revenging, vengeance, punishment

repayantapodidomi – in a good sense, to repay, requite; in a bad sense, penalty and vengeance

:30 Vengeance is Mine

These are quotes from Deut. 32:35,36

(Deuteronomy 32:35 NKJV) Vengeance is Mine, and recompense…
(Deuteronomy 32:36 NKJV) “For the Lord will judge His people

:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

fearfulphoberos – inspiring fear, terrible, formidable; affected with fear, timid

fall intoempipto – to fall into; to fall among robbers; fall into one’s power

Aorist active infinitive

livingzao – to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life

:31 It is a fearful thing


Fear God

Let me say that it’s only “fearful” to fall into God’s hands if we’ve been running from Him.
As much as we want to focus on the love and mercy of God,
He is also a God of justice.
God’s justice isn’t based on whether He’s in a good mood or not.
His justice is based on what’s right and what’s wrong.
There’s something in all of us that recognizes the need for justice.

You go to the grocery store, and after having purchased your groceries you make your way out to the parking lot.

There you find your car has been broken into and vandalized.

Or worse yet, it’s been stolen.

There is something inside of you that recognizes that this wasn’t right, isn’t there?

There’s a part of you that wishes the wrong would be made right, isn’t there?

That’s justice.

Video:  Trunk Monkey Theft Retrieval System

Something in us cheers when the thief gets justice.

Where we struggle when it comes to justice has to do with when we have to face justice. What … me?
We tend to think our sins aren’t too bad.
Yet the Bible says our sins deserve death, separation from God (Rom. 6:23)
And the fact is that unless something is done to take care of our sins, we will face justice.
Jesus said,
(Matthew 10:28 NKJV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

That’s the warning for those who are running from God.

Yet for those who aren’t running but have turned to God and found forgiveness and a new life, there’s nothing to fear.
We have found that the most powerful being in the universe has always been in love with us and wants us to turn around and follow Him.

(2 Corinthians 5:20–21 NLT) —20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

God doesn’t hate you.  He’s done everything possible to make things right.

10:32-39 Endurance

:32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:

recallanamimnesko (“again” + “remember”) – to call to remembrance, to remind, to admonish; to remember, to remember and weigh well and consider

great struggleathlesis (“athletic”) – to contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial

you endured hupomeno (“under” + “remain”) – to remain; to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee; to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ; to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments

Aorist active indicative

This is the verb form of one of the words often translated “patience” (hupomone).

sufferingspathema – that which one suffers or has suffered; an enduring, undergoing, suffering

:32 after you were illuminated

illuminatedphotizo – to give light, to shine; to enlighten, to bring to light, spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge

He’s talking about back when they were first “saved”.

He’s talking to believers.
This is the same word used in
(Hebrews 6:4–6 NKJV) —4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

Some like to argue that this doesn’t mean these are people who are saved and lose their salvation.

Yet in chapter 10 it’s talking about the readers.  They are saved.

:33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated;

:32 you endured a great struggle with sufferings

He’s trying to get these believers to remember back to the early days of their faith and the hard times they went through.

great struggleathlesis (“athletic”) – to contest, to combat, to strive, struggle, hard trial

:33 you were made a spectacle

made a spectacle theatrizo (“theater”) – to bring upon the stage

It’s as if they had been put on a stage for everyone to watch as they went through their persecution.

:33 you became companions

became companions koinonos – a partner, associate, comrade, sharer

This is based on the root word koinos earlier (common), like “Koine Greek”
The word koinonia is also related.  It’s translated “communion” or “fellowship”.

They had something in common with all the others that were going through difficult times just like they were.


A special fellowship

When you endure persecution for your faith, you become a member of a unique group, a special “fellowship”.
Jesus said,
(Matthew 5:10–12 NKJV) —10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
One member of that “fellowship” was the apostle Paul.
(Philippians 3:8–11 NKJV) —8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Peter also hints at this “fellowship”
(1 Peter 4:12–13 NKJV) —12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

The word “partake” is the verb form koinoneo

In the early church, there came a time during the reign of Nero, that Christians were persecuted in the “theater”, in the Coliseum. They called it “the games”. Some were beheaded, others made a spectacle with wild animals.
Video:  Paul the Apostle – Games Tomorrow
We’re not talking about just going through difficulty, but going through difficulty because of your faith.
We don’t face this kind of persecution in America.  But other places do.
Recently, Pastor Andrew Brunson was released from prison in Turkey. He had been imprisoned for two years.
There is a way to face persecution.  Get your eyes off the pain and put them back on Jesus.

reproachesoneidismos – a reproach; such as Christ suffered, for the cause of God, from his enemies

tribulationsthlipsis – a pressing, pressing together, pressure; metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

These people had something in common with others who had been persecuted.

were so treatedanastrepho – to turn upside down, overturn; to turn back; to turn hither and thither, to turn one’s self about, sojourn dwell in a place; metaph. to conduct one’s self, behave one’s self, live

:34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

Whoever the author is, these people had once shown compassion to him as he suffered.

you had compassion sumpatheo (“sympathetic”) – to be affected with the same feeling as another, to sympathise with; to feel for, have compassion on

the plundering harpage – the act of plundering, robbery; plunder spoil

goods huparchonta – possessions, goods, wealth, property

joyfullychara – joy, gladness

acceptedprosdechomai – to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self

possession huparxis – possessions, goods, wealth, property; a form of the word translated “goods”.

enduringmeno – to remain, abide

:34 you have a better and an enduring possession

Two words here are related.

Their “goods” had been plundered.
Yet they had a better, lasting “possession” in heaven.
It’s all about your “stuff”.

These persecuted believers knew what it was like to have people take their possessions.

Yet they had a better possession, one that can’t be taken away, in heaven.

Jesus said,

(Matthew 6:19–21 NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

cast … away apoballo – to throw off, cast away.  “Don’t throw away …”

confidence parrhesia – freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech; free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance

reward misthapodosia (“hire” + “to pay back”) – payment of wages due, recompense

There is a great payoff for being able to trust the Lord and come boldly before Him.

:35 do not cast away your confidence

The word translated “confidence” (parrhesia) is the same word translated “boldness” back in:

(Hebrews 10:19 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

Our “confidence” to come into His presence in prayer is something we have gained because of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The author is exhorting his readers not to throw away this amazing connection they have with God.
There is “great reward” from having an intimate connection with God.

I can’t help but wonder if some of us haven’t yet discovered the incredible treasure we have at our disposal – the ability to connect with God in prayer.

Video:  War Room – Miss Clara’s Closet
Do you realize the power and blessing God has for you in prayer?

:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

:36 For you have need of endurance

endurance hupomone (“under” + “remain”) – steadfastness, perseverance, endurance;

It’s the quality of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials and sufferings

We saw back in vs. 32 that they’ve already endured some persecution.

God isn’t asking them to do anything they haven’t already done.
They just need to keep enduring.
We’ll see the key to enduring is faith.

needchreia – necessity, need; duty, business

:36 after you have done the will of God

the willthelema – what one wishes or has determined shall be done; will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

We’ve been praying each week that God would:

(Hebrews 13:21 NKJV) make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight…

Here our author is saying that we need to keep enduring and doing God’s will so…

:36 you may receive the promise

you may receivekomizo – to care for, to get back; receive back

What’s the promise?

He’s coming back.  He’s coming back to change the world. 
He’s coming back to judge the rebellious and reward His faithful ones.

Our author then quotes from Isaiah 26:20, and then Habakkuk 2:3-4 …

:37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

tarrychronizo – to linger, delay, tarry

The phrase “yet a little while” is the only part of Isaiah 26:20.

:38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

The rest of the quote comes from:

(Habakkuk 2:3–4 NKJV) —3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. 4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

Our author’s version sounds a little off from our English version, but some of it is because he’s quoting from the Greek Septuagint version, and part of it is because he swaps the two phrases of verse 4.

The quote points out the choice we have.

Believe or draw back.

:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

:39 draw back … believe

If you draw away from God you will end up in hell (perdition).

If you have faith (believe), your soul will be saved (heaven).

The writer is telling his reader that he doesn’t see them as faithless, but as faithful.

who draw backhupostole – the timidity of one stealthily retreating

perditionapoleia – destroying, utter destruction; a perishing, ruin, destruction; the destruction which consists of eternal misery in hell

those who believe pistis – faith; conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

You might translate this, “we are not of them that draw back leading to hell, but those of faith, ending up with the saving of their soul”

the savingperipoiesis – a preserving, a preservation; an obtaining

soulpsuche – breath; the soul

It all hinges on this quote from Hab. 2:4, the key part being…

:38 the just shall live by faith

justdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws

faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief

shall livezao – to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead); to enjoy real life. 

The verb is a future indicative.

draws backhupostello – to draw back, let down, lower; to withdraw: of a timid person; to withdraw one’s self, i.e. to be timid, to cover, shrink

has no pleasureeudokeo – it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, to be favorably inclined towards one


Trust Jesus

Our author gives two choices from Habakkuk.
It’s either “drawing back” or “faith”.
Sometimes we have the wrong idea of what Habakkuk means when he says “the just shall live by faith”.
We think that it means that a good person is one who always takes those blind leaps of faith.  Like…
Video:  Indiana Jones – Leap of Faith

I’m not saying that there aren’t times we will be asked to take a “leap of faith”, but that’s not what this passage is about.

The text reads a little more like this:
“But the righteous, out of his faith, will definitely live”

In other words, eternal “life” comes from “faith”.

Jesus put it this way:

(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The words “believe and “faith” are forms of the same word in Greek.

Our “faith” isn’t a blind leap.

We are trusting in a proven historical fact – that Jesus Christ came, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day.

His resurrection proved His deity.

His death paid for our sins.

I’m going to give you a chance in a moment to find this “life” by putting your trust in Jesus.


Recap:  The people are going through tough times.  They need to endure.  And the key to enduring is faith.  So, just what is “faith”?

That my friends is where we pick up next week.