09/07/2007

Sermon Danger of Apostasy


Hebrews 10:26 There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins

The Danger of Apostasy
To many a disconsolate soul, overwhelmed with guilt and awful apprehensions of divine displeasure these words have been like a message of death: they have from hence concluded that their case was desperate and that they were for ever excluded from hope of salvation. And some indeed, in the early ages, thought themselves warranted, from this and similar passages, to exclude forever from their communion those who had fallen into any open sin since their baptism, whatever proofs they might afterwards give of true repentance. But all this is going beyond what is written. The design of the apostle is to warn the Hebrews, and to warn us, of the danger of apostasy; but not to exclude the penitent from hope. “If we sin wilfully says he, 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.”
In order to understand the passage, let us notice the following particulars
1. The apostle is not here speaking of the common infirmities which may attend the godly, but of wilful transgressions, or, as David calls them, ‘presumptuous sins’.
2. Neither are sins of ignorance intended but such as are against light and strong conviction.
3. The text speaks not of sins in general, though knowingly and presumptuously committed, but of some sin in particular and such as excludes from the hope of salvation.
Let us now proceed with the subject that evidently contains the following propositions

I. The death of Christ was a real and proper sacrifice for sin
II. The death of Christ is the only sacrifice for sin
III. Those who reject the death of Christ are left without hope

Inferences
1. If Christ became a sacrifice, this will account for the treatment he met with both from the hands of God and man. He suffered the desert of sin, because was charged with it as our surety; and being such, he submitted to that pain and ignominy which was due to sinners. The slaying of the sacrifice under the law prefigured the violent death of the Saviour and the burning it upon the altar set forth those impressions of divine wrath which he experienced in the garden and on the cross. “Thus it was written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and thus he became “an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” Lk 24:46, Eph 5:2.
2. If the death of Christ be the only sacrifice for sins, let us not only hold fast this doctrine, but actually build upon it as the foundation of all our hopes and comfort. Trusting in anything short of this will prove presumption and en in eternal destruction. Nothing but this can support us in our dying moments or avail us when we stand before the bar of God.
3. As the passage which we have now considered speaks terror to those who either never embraced the doctrine of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, or who have shamefully apostatised from it, so it speaks terror to them only. Such indeed are running a dreadful risk of unpardoned guilt and divine displeasure, and it behoves them to take warning. There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. No, nothing remains to them but “a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries!”
Those who are the enemies of Christ are the greatest enemies to their own souls, and however awful their apprehensions may be, the terrors of a future state will far exceed them, and they will find it a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! But let those who put their trust in Christ crucified, and who know no other hope, rejoice and be exceeding glad; for he is able to keep that which they commit unto him until that day.

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