Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Using Strong’s Concordance:
Wilfully <1596> ‘hekousios’ from the same as <1595> ‘hekousion’ - willingly;
Translated in the King James Version - wilfully 1 time, willingly 1 time.
1) voluntarily, willingly, of one’s own accord
1a) to sin wilfully as opposed to sins committed inconsiderately, and from ignorance or from weakness
The other place that the word is used is:
1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly <1596>; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
Is your name removed from the book of life if you sin after baptism?
It is not possible for us to live a sinless life after baptism, so the answer is NO.
Paul explains his experience for our benefit:
Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
The mercy of God is unrestricted for those who have a genuine desire to live by the commandments of Christ. This is seen from Jesus’ reply to Peter.
Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
It is God’s willingness to forgive sin that makes it possible to serve him.
Psalms 130:4 But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
Psalms 103:11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
It is the nature and Glory of God:
Exodus 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty...
In context it must be understood that the guilty are those who make no effort to live by God’s commandments.
Is it sin that we are not sorry for or unrepented of?
If there is no contrition for sin and we do not ask for forgiveness then we can’t expect it to be forgiven. We must however make provision for the sins that we commit in ignorance and recognise that when we ask God to ‘forgive us our sins’ these are included.
Christ tells us that the only unforgiveable sin is that of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
We are unlikely to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit today.
In Christ we have a high priest and an advocate at the right hand of God.
Hebrews 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
John explains our situation with some clarity:
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
When we believe the gospel and are baptised into Christ we do not change into a person who cannot sin. We begin a process of changing the way that we think and live naturally into the way that Christ thought and lived.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We begin as babies in Christ and must grow by reading, understanding and applying the word of God in our lives.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
We begin with belief (faith) in Christ and must build upon it in our lives.
2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If we want God to forgive our sins then we must, in turn, forgive those that sin against us. This is written in the ‘Lord’s prayer’:
Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us...
The ‘Lord’s prayer’ recognises that we will continue to sin despite our best intentions.
God knows our hearts and what our true intentions are. We cannot deceive him.
Or is it apostasy after baptism? I was taught it was apostasy and that there was no more sacrifice because there was no longer belief in Him that saves.
Wilful sin is not a single transgression. It is when we turn away from the commandments of Christ and go back to living self-centred lives.
If we no longer believe that forgiveness of sins is available in Christ; it follows that there can be no forgiveness.
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
If we are live presumptuous and self-willed lives we will not find forgiveness.
Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
In the end we will reap what we sow.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
While we have life we have the opportunity to repent and return to Christ as the lost sheep or the prodigal son.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
For this reason Ecclesiastes 9:4 is true:
Ecclesiastes 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
The promise to those who take hold of the New Covenant in Christ and make a conscious and deliberate effort to live by his commandments is that their sins will not be remembered. Christ is the one offering to cover all our sins, whether they are committed before or after we put on Christ.
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
We will be judged ultimately not on the sinlessness of our lives but on how we have shown the love of God to others.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
We shall be saved not by the sinlessness of our lives, but by a faith in Christ that is expressed in practical ways.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
A life in Christ should not have the negative focus of the avoidance of all sin (which is not possible), but the positive focus of actively showing the love of God to others.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,