“For if we SIN wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26-30 KJV)
In Hebrews 10:1 we see the writer emphasize the point that the animal sacrifices performed under the Old Covenant NEVER took away sins but only covered their sins for a time period of one year. Each year, this had to happen again to cover another year of sins and so on. It was not a perfect sacrifice for their sins. It was just a temporary covering until the Messiah would come and be the final sacrifice for sins.
“For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” (Hebrews 10:1 KJV)
In context, and throughout the book of Hebrews, the writer is addressing the Hebrew believers IN CHRIST and also unbelievers who were pressuring them. This is not talking about sins we commit as believers after Salvation. It is talking about the sin of unbelief in Christ’s atonement. In fact, if you look at Ephesians or Galatians or other books of Paul in the Bible, it lists all different types of sins. However, here in the book of Hebrews, in fact looking in all 10 chapters, there is only ONE sin that is mentioned and is the focus of attention and that sin is the sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, crucified, died and risen as the only atonement for our numerous sins during our lifetime. The writer of Hebrews is basically pleading with the Jewish people to put their trust in Salvation in Christ and not their own self righteous good deeds, works or religious rituals. In context, Hebrews 10, is about not going back to Jewish Law of Moses and trying to make it a requirement of their justification and Salvation. And that under the Law they can only expect the judgement and wrath of God.
The writer continues , in verse 10-14, to show the Jewish people the contrast between the Old Covenant, with continuous sacrifices needed to COVER SINS, and the New Covenant through the FINAL SACRIFICE for our sins through Jesus Christ crucified; paying for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS: But this man, after he had offered ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOR EVER, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For BY ONE OFFERING he hath PERFECTED FOR EVER them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14 KJV)
This passage makes me shout in my heart ever time I read it! What great love and GRACE has God bestowed on us! And then the writer goes on to make this claim of truth,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE. Now where remission of these is, there is NO MORE OFFERING FOR SIN.” (Hebrews 10:16-18 KJV)
So Hebrews verse 1 to 18 are all saying that Jesus paid the FULL PRICE for the sins of the whole world, just as John reads in 1 John 2:2. Those who BELIEVE on Christ are saved and have eternal life; heaven bound. Our sins cannot prevent that! Only unbelief on Christ will prevent that.
Those who tell others, that based on Hebrews 10:26, that a believer can lose Salvation are conveniently omitting all the other verses in Hebrews 10 and making verse 26 mean something opposite to what it actually means! You can see here just how important reading verses in proper context is!
This passage in verse 26 reads , “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” and that is what throws people off on the true understanding of this Scripture when taken out of the context of the entire book of Hebrews.Reading this verse alone and ignoring all the other verses in Hebrews 26 will cause GREAT CONFUSION and turn what it really means into a lie!
The writer of Hebrews (I believe it is Paul by the way it is written, but we do not really know who wrote Hebrews) is writing to both believers and non believers who are Jewish. Remember that it was hard for believers at the time Hebrews was written. The Jewish believers on Christ’s final atonement for sin had family and friends entrenched in the tradition of Law of Moses following. These believers were being persecuted and had great pressure to go back to following the Law and relying on animal sacrifices to cover their sins. All verse 26 and 27 are meaning is that going back to animal sacrifices and deeds of the Law to remain justified with God is like rejecting the great sacrifice Christ did for us on that cross. If we do not rely on Christ alone in faith for our Salvation but we go back to doing good deeds and religious rituals to keep ourselves saved… there remains no more sacrifice for sins because there is only ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, and that was Jesus Christ on that cross when He took our sin debt and eradicated it forever!
Verse 31 warns the Jewish people to accept Christ based on faith alone without self righteous deeds and religious rituals to keep you saved. It is GOD who keeps you saved!! Do not mix Salvation and justification with our life long process of sanctification by the renewing of our mind by the Word of God. And that…
To the unbelievers in Christ;s final once for all sacrifice for the sins of the world, that is the unbelieving Jews, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31 KJV)
The writer then tells the believers, “But WE ARE NOT of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:39 KJV)
That is the truth of the Gospel of the Grace of God Through Jesus Christ! And it is the BEST NEWS ever for all of us – if we believe on Christ alone for our justification.