Saturday, January 3, 2009

Forgiveness

Hebrews 10:26-29
(26) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. (28) He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, 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?



Taking into consideration what most people purpose to do at the start of a new year, I did not want to just write about ‘my New Year’s resolution’. So, I decided I would do a study on “The Spirit of Grace”. And this time, this is not a blog entry I intend to record as results or findings of my studying. This entry is intended as a message for all of the Human Family.

The passage above, from Hebrews is almost complicated by the word, “willfully”. I think there are a lot of people who feel that sin is intentional because there are a lot of sins that are actions. And therefore, should be preventable.

Here, in Hebrews 10:26, the Koinean Greek word from which we translate to “willfully” is
ἑκουσίως [ekousios (hekousiose)]-Spontaneously, voluntarily.


Hekousios seems to suggest that there are sins that can be prevented by virtue of using the word ‘voluntarily’ in the definition. The other word used to define hekousios, ‘spontaneously’ helps to clarify the sin having been committed with no regard to consequence. May I suggest this ‘willful’ sinning means that we are aware of the nature of our preventable actions? However, we choose to place our priorities according to our desires. This is what makes “willfully” a spontaneous act. We act according to our fleshly desire and intend to overlook the consequences.

Hebrews 10:26 says that we already possess the “knowledge of the truth”. So, yes. In that case, if we act in a ‘flip’ manner; as if we arrive at our moment of lust, or what ever the sinful catalyst be, knowing at the forefront of our conscience we are about to act for self, to the neglect of relationship(s) with man and God, then we sin with no further offer of forgiveness.

However, let’s look at another type of ‘sin’ for which I’m sure there is a ‘theological’ term for, but it has long escaped me (maybe one of the readers will remind me?).

This is the sin for which Jesus Cries out to the Father,

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)”.

Jesus understood this sin emanated of the zeal held for the Law. In fact, you may be correct if you think as I do. My thoughts: “The crucifixion of Jesus was instigated by the Law”. The Jews felt they were encouraging the crucifixion of a blasphemer. The Jews felt they were defending the Jewish National Religion of Judaism.

So, for lack of better words, let’s just call this a ‘sin of obsession’. Here, we can apply Jesus’ instructions, as He answered Peter;
"I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (in reference to being asked how many times one should forgive a brother who sins against the offended). Matthew 18:22.


There are sins which are committed for lack of spiritual maturity. That is why the person may be “voluntarily” committing the sin. But, it is not a ‘flip’ “spontaneity”. The less mature in Christ would not have grown to patience, peace, long suffering and the like.

I don’t consider myself a person who is not easily forgiving. Nor, do I consider myself a person who has acheived 'spiritual maturity'. (Who measures the ceiling on that standard?)

This study can be expounded on at length with many more word studies and scripture passages. It does not need to be. My effort was to consider what ‘new start’ to encourage myself and others to for this new year. With the current political climate, historically long irreconcilable differences between nations and the everyday mishaps on the road (which is one of the pet-peeves I have about other drivers) I confessed, “the world needs more forgiveness”.

13 comments:

satire and theology said...

'There are sins which are committed for lack of spiritual maturity. That is why the person may be “voluntarily” committing the sin. But, it is not a ‘flip’ “spontaneity”. The less mature in Christ would not have grown to patience, peace, long suffering and the like.'

Jeff also did a recent post on forgiveness.

I would agree that some sins are committed by a lack of spiritual maturity. Although we are legally justified as in Romans 1, 4, and Galatians 2, we are sanctified for holiness over time as in Hebrews 2: 11, and 10: 14.

It can be concluded the sanctification/holiness process will eliminate certain sins from certain believers at times.

Cheers, Jim.

Russ

jeleasure said...

Thanks Russ,
I probably should have taken the time to write of the requirement to forgive, as well.
We are legally justified. There is so much more to say concerning the judgement that awaits even the legally justified who are taking God's Grace for granted. However, it is our responsibility and deed in Christ as a reflection of the Father's forgiveness to forgive and allow God to be the avenger of sin.

satire and theology said...

'There is so much more to say concerning the judgment that awaits even the legally justified who are taking God's Grace for granted.'

I have discussed judgment for believers at many points, including in my latest.

Russ:)

Vicki said...

Dearest,
Tonight I am thinking about the seventy and seven times we have forgiven our dog, Wyatt, for escaping our electric fence and our physical fence, which he has torn an agressive incision into and into the dirt. As I write this, you are outside in the night repairing the damage and trying yet another method of constraint. We are both thankful to have him back, and yet we are upset with him.
There is a type of inosence and drive, but yet he knows this is wrong. Often he looks up at the house to see if we are looking. Yes, he's a dog, and I just had to write about this.
As far as human forgiveness for the maturing Christian, it depends. If someone sins with the intent of being forgiven later when the fun of the sin is spent, perhaps forgiveness is not forthcoming.
Mature believers can sin. Look at David, about 50, who murdered a man to have Bathseba. When Nathan confronted him, he cried and had a broken heart. Psalm 51 reflects his true sense of repentance. There must be sorrow because of the action and a sincere desire to change behaviour.
As long as there is mortal life, there is hope, but only with true repentance and belief that the blood of Jesus covers our sins. Hallelujah! This is the best news.

jeleasure said...

Thanks Hun,
You know we have to forgive our Wyatt Dog. And, we need to pray that he becomes saved and sanctified. Even if he does not understand, a sanctimonious dog would be a joy.
You are right when we must consider the consequences for those who say "God will forgive me" and they continue on their way. However, for the offended to not forgive, holds the judgement God has reserved for Himself to administer on those who are guilty. So, it does not help us to have an unforgiving spirit; even when we clearly see the offense against us and the taking for granted of God's Grace.

Jody said...

Nice to see you back in the blogsphere!! Happy New Year

Gigi said...

Tonight I'm just popping in to say "hello..." I will be back (when I'm not so exhausted) to contemplate your post and cull from it the wisdom you always share.

jeleasure said...

Hi Jody,
Hope you had a nice holiday season. Thanks for sharing scriptural thoughts from this last year.
Jim

jeleasure said...

Hi Gigi,
Ha! I hope to be wise, myself. But, thanks for the complement. I mostly share what I find in studying a certain topic or scripture passage. I guess if I do this enough, I find wisdom as well.
Jim

Tamela's Place said...

Hello Jim,

When our children were teenagers they had us figured out. They knew that when they disobeyed and then asked for forgiveness we of course would give that to them.. You have heard the ol saying that it is easier to get forgiveness than permission haven't you? We became wise to to our childrens ideas on this and we began to show them in the scriptures that they were willfully sinning and our grace and mercy would soon run out.
I guess you could say that we put the fear of God in them cause they began straightening up somewhat after that LOL!


Have a great week jim :)

Andrew Clarke said...

On the subject of Grace and forgiveness, what really strikes me is reading the Old Testament instructions for coming into the Presence of God. It was necessary to go through an elaborate ritual which included the priests anointing themselves with oil, and much great ceremony. Since the New Covenant has come, we can simply approach God when we make time. It is something I have to remember, what a privilege it is, to go straight to God on the spur of the moment. As you say by 'journalling for growth', as we live in the Spirit we learn more and more if we keep seeking God and it can become more and more astounding.

jeleasure said...

Hi Tamela,
I have heard of this saying. People are funny like that. Most are easily forgiving against a tresspass if there is true repentance.
Thanks for commenting. I'll be looking for a new post from you.
Jim

jeleasure said...

Andrew,
It is such a pleasure to have your comments. You make a good point in having said,

"we can simply approach God when we make time".

This is the ultimate forgiveness.

I think a lot of people easily allow for themselves to forgive if there is true repentance.

There is much that can be said for The Spirit of Grace. I know my short post does not do much to scratch the surface. Thank you for your patience in that regard. I have added your blog address to my side bar in order to keep track of your post. I have enjoyed the reading.

Jim