How Does ‘Willful Sinning’ Threaten My Salvation?

Desiring God | 2/19/2018 | John Piper
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Christians struggle with sin because we, in this life, are still sinners. The presence of sin in us will not be eradicated until that glorious day when we see Jesus face to face. What a day that will be! But until then, we fight sin by faith, and we can experience assurance inside the fight. But we also believe there are forms of “willful sin” that evidence a heart that has not been saved. Which leads to today’s question from Josh.

“Hello, Pastor John! My question is regarding some of those hard verses in the book of Hebrews — specifically Hebrews 10:26–29. The writer seems to be speaking about the ability to lose salvation by engaging in ‘willful sin,’ as it has been called. My question: What is the opposite of a ‘willful sin’? Is it an accidental sin? Or something else? It seems to me that, due to the presence of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, all sin done by the believer is done willfully. Is there something I am not seeing within these verses?”

Josh - Hebrews - People - Impression - Person

Josh is right. Hebrews 10 and Hebrews 6 often give people the impression that a person possesses the fullness of salvation and then loses it. These texts can even look that way, but there are clues that this is not what the author of Hebrews wants to communicate.

Josh’s question is twofold:

Verses - Salvation

1. Do these verses teach that we can lose our salvation?

2. What does Hebrews 10:26 mean by referring to “sinning deliberately” or “willingly,” since in one sense all sin is an act of the will and thus deliberate?

Verse - Knowledge - Truth - Sacrifice - Sins

The key verse that he’s referring to goes like this: “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). In other words, we’re beyond salvation.

Now,...
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