Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, we don’t become immune to sin. Yes, we are delivered from our bondage to sin so we will become slaves of God and of his righteousness. And we are delivered from the power and control of sin and of Satan which once had power over our lives. But we are not impervious to sin.
We can still be tempted to sin, and we can still give in to sin. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need most of the New Testament with all its instructions and warnings to us about sin and what we need to do about it, as followers of Jesus, and regarding what we need to put out of our lives and what we need to put into our lives, etc.
Obviously, from reading this and from reading Revelation 2 to 3, it is possible for true believers in Jesus Christ to fall back into sin and need to be brought back to repentance and renewed walks of faith in Jesus Christ. And this is because our salvation is a process. Included in that process is us daily dying with Christ to sin and following him in obedience.
And so the counsel here is that we need to exhort (entreat, admonish, encourage) one another every day so that none of us may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We all are to be doing this! This is not a job just for pastors. Every part of the body of Christ is to work together for the building up of the body to maturity in Christ (Ephesians 4).
And this is where the church is presently suffering, because not many people are doing this, and if you are doing this, you may be regarded by other Christians as weird, crazy, self-righteous, hyper-religious, and/or legalistic, etc. For, today’s philosophy is that we are to “stay in your own lane,” and not confront anyone with sin for you might offend them.
Many Christians today are not much different than the people of the world and so their conversations with each other revolve around the stuff of this world, mainly, and not around the things of God. So, not many of them are exhorting one another daily so that they aren’t hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And so the church is on a massive spiritual decline.
Hebrews 3:14-15 ESV
“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,
“’Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’”
Faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time event in our lives. Faith in Jesus is always present tense. It is something we must exercise every day in the power of God’s Spirit. For faith involves following our Lord Jesus in obedience and daily dying to sin and to self. And it involves holding on to our faith, to the truth of the gospel, firm and steadfast to the very end.
We must walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, and we must walk in the light as Jesus is in the light, and we must walk in holiness and purity of devotion to our Lord and in obedience to his commands, etc. as part of our believing faith which is necessary for our salvation from sin and eternal life with God.
For, if we don’t, but we are walking according to the flesh, in sin, making sin our practice, then we will die in our sins and we will not inherit eternal life with God no matter what we profess with our lips. For, the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Hebrews 3:16-19 ESV
“For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”
God regards disobedience as unbelief. He always has, and he always will. For we are slaves of the one we obey. If sin, it ends in death, but if obedience, it leads to righteousness and to sanctification and it ends in eternal life with God. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness (in sin), we are liars who do not live by the truth (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
If we say we know God/Jesus, but we do not obey his commands (New Covenant), then we are liars. The truth is not in us. For, to know God and to love him is to obey him. If we choose to not obey him, as a matter of practice, then we don’t know him and we don’t love him. So, again, practicing disobedience is regarded as unbelief (1 Jn 2:3-6; Jn 14:21-24).
And this is why it is so critical that we exhort one another every day because sin is so deceitful, as are the lies of Satan, and many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are being led astray by wolves in sheep’s clothing who are convincing them that they can believe in Jesus and not obey him, and not submit to him, and not leave their lives of sin behind them.
So, follow Jesus with your life. Walk in obedience to his commands. And be an encourager, one who exhorts and who encourages (urges) obedience, faithfulness, honesty, integrity, purity, morality, and uprightness. Teach the truth of the gospel and not the diluted gospel message which is so popular today. You may be hated for it, but you may save lives for eternity.
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
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