Sermon preached by Joshua Dykes on December 5th, 2021
Good Morning! I am so happy to be back here with you in Grayling. The weather has been rough these past few days, maybe not for you guys, but for a southerner like me, it has surely been rough! Nonetheless, I am thankful to God that I was able to make it up here safely and that I am able to bring you another message from God’s Word.
This morning, our lesson is entitled “Trampling God’s Only Son.” Our primary text for this morning will be in Hebrews the tenth chapter. If you are willing, please turn with me to Hebrews 10:26-31. Please read along with me.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Before we dive into this study, I want to ask a very important question. And I want you to answer this question within yourself, because I want us to do a little self-reflection before we think about this passage: “Have you ever sinned after having accepted the gospel?” Again, in case you misheard or weren’t listening – “Have you ever sinned after having accepted the gospel?”
I know that I have certainly sinned after obeying the gospel, and I am sure that I am not alone here this morning. Now I have another question for you: “Have you ever deliberately or willfully sinned against God?” Again, “Have you ever deliberately or willfully sinned against God?” Unfortunately, I am sad to admit that I have at some points in my life, deliberately and willfully sinned against God. And I am sure that many of you here this morning have the same answer.
For me personally, this has always been a hard passage to swallow. Knowing that I have deliberately or willfully sinned after having obeyed the gospel, is there any hope left for me? What does it mean for one to go on sinning deliberately? Just so there is no confusion, it does not mean that if you have knowledge of a sin you committed or are about to commit, that you no longer have a chance of making it to heaven. Otherwise, why would Paul have written about his struggle with sin in Romans 7? This morning, when we talk about going on sinning deliberately, I want us to think about a continual lifestyle of sin with a refusal or lack of effort to change.
Last time I spoke here, I preached on Ahab and Elijah and the differences between the two. They both meet face to face in 1 Kings 18, and if you remember, Ahab accuses Elijah of being a troubler of Israel. Elijah points out to Ahab that he wasn’t the true troubler of Israel, but rather Ahab was because he had forsaken the commandments of God and followed the Baals. Though there was no King of Israel more wicked than Ahab, there are examples all throughout the Old Testament of individuals intentionally forsaking God’s commandments. In Nahum 1:7-11, the prophet offers a poetic rebuke of those who plot evil against God.
“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him. But with an overpowering flood He will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue His enemies into darkness. What do you plot against the LORD? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time. For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried. From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD, a worthless counselor.”
The “wicked counselor” referenced in this passage is the King of Assyria, a foe to the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. This was a king so wicked, that he is described as plotting evil against the Lord! Now, in regards to deliberate sin, wouldn’t that be the same thing? If sin is what offends God, and you offend Him deliberately, the author of Hebrews tells us that a sacrifice for sins no longer remains, but rather judgement and fire. Now in a minute, we are going to talk about this sacrifice for sins, and how serious it is to not be covered by this sacrifice; but for the time being, let us look at verse 29.
“Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.”
One thing we need to understand about the God of the Bible is that the “God of the OT” and the “God of the NT” are the exact same God and have the exact same nature. The world will say that the Old Testament was written by a God who was angry, and that the New Testament was written by a God who was loving and graceful and “tolerant.” After all, under the Old Law, one could be executed for committing an adulterous act or working on the Sabbath day. Doesn’t that seem like a harsh punishment given today’s standards for prisoners and transgressors of the law? The author of Hebrews is using the example of the harshness of the Old Law, not to show how graceful the New Covenant is, but to show how much more harsh and binding it is! Read verse 29 with me.
“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”
Most of our time this morning will be spent looking at this one particular verse, because in this verse is an entire sermon in and of itself. If one plotted evil against God in the Old Law, and they were to endure physical death, how much worse is the punishment for one who plotted evil against God under the new superior covenant. In Hebrews 8:6, scripture states, “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.” Because the new covenant was made on better promises, it is a better covenant.
What is a covenant? And what promises make this covenant superior? If we go to Jeremiah, and look at his prophecy concerning a new covenant, we can see what the promises of the New Covenant were. Look with me, if you will, at Jeremiah 31, I will read verses 31-34.
“Behold, the days are coming declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took the by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
In this passage, Jeremiah brings word that the Lord is establishing a new covenant. ANd in this passage, the prophet states what makes this covenant superior. In verse 34, “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” The new covenant was superior because it brought every single person on this planet who was willing to receive it into a right relationship with God! You did not have to be a person of the physical Israel or Judah to be under this covenant, because you were automatically put into the Spiritual Israel (Galatians 6:16) – the Church – once you accepted the covenant. And this covenant not only added you to a nation, but would also lead to the forgiveness of your sins and iniquity.
The thing is, this covenant wasn’t put into effect immediately after Jeremiah made this prophecy. There had to be a means by which this prophecy would come into effect. In John 3:16-18, the means by which mankind could enter into a new covenant with God is stated loud and clear by the one who is about to enact the covenant.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
In John 3:16, Jesus Christ states that He would be the one to save mankind from his sins! When we go back to Hebrews 10, our text for this morning, we see that it was the Son of God that put into place this new covenant! Yet, when we sin against Him, we are the ones that trample the Son of God. We are the ones that profane the blood of the covenant! Yes, it took blood from He Himself in order to make us right with God. We trample the Only Son of God, that God had planned from the very beginning to send to this world.
We trample over Jesus. We profane the blood of Jesus. Then, we outrage the Spirit of grace. How evil, how vile, how deprived must we be in order to outrage a graceful Spirit?
“For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, “The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
I don’t know about you, but I read that and I just feel hopeless. God sent His only Son to redeem us and bring into effect a better covenant, having to die so that we can have eternal hope. Yet, we trample and profane Him, and now we have to face the judgement. If I have trampled God’s only Son and profaned His blood, I am sure that I have a guilty verdict heading my way. And we already read what the consequences of sin were under the Old Testament, but the consequences under the new are eternal – John writes in Revelation that it is a “lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). If I finished the sermon right here, I am sure that many of us would not be able to sleep tonight.
But let us keep reading. Verses 32-36 in Hebrews 10.
“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.”
I get excited almost anytime in scripture I see the word “but” or “yet” after reading some bad news. The writer urges the Hebrews to recall the former days. When we go on the wrong path, having sinned against God, we need to recall our conversion. Think of the joy that you felt after you were baptized into Christ, dying to self and to the world. We need to put on the mindset of the brand-new man, and we need to strive to keep that mindset if we want to remove sin from our lives.
The next thing we need to do is to keep our confidence and endurance. We do this by remembering that Jesus Christ is our King! He became our King from the moment we entered into His covenant – the covenant made by His own blood.
Lastly, we need to do what God asks of us in the covenant, by doing His will. Verse 36 tells us that if we do the will of God, that is do the things in scripture we are told to do, then we recieve the promise of eternal life.
This morning, I ask you this final question, “Are you doing the things you need to do to make yourself right with God?” “Are you at least making the effort to overcome your sins and struggles.” Or, “Are you going to keep trampling underfoot the Son of God?” It is up to you to make the decision what you are going to do. Maybe you have not yet entered into a covenant relationship with God. As we have studied this morning, without Jesus Christ, there is no hope. You can receive Christ and His covenant by being baptized into water. Then, you are to live your life a new person. This morning, if you have any need, any need at all, please come as we stand and sing.