We understand that this admonition, like that in Hebrews vi. 4-6, was addressed to the saints, which were recognized by the inspired writer of the epistle, as “Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” As he had told them in chapter sixth, that if they should fall away, it would be impossible to renew them again to repentance, according to the manner of the Levitical priesthood, seeing that such a renewal would require Christ to be again sacrificed, so he tells them again in this text, “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” When the priest under the law made atonement for the children of Israel, and the Israelites again sinned, there remained farther sacrifices for their sins; the sacrifice was to be repeated continually; but Christ has made one offering for sin, and but one, and there remains no more. But to the professed disciple of Christ, who has sinned willfully, after that he has received a knowledge of the truth, there remains a certain looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour - what, the saints? No, the saints can never be devoured, for Christ has by one offering perfected them forever, and he has given his word for it, “They shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand.” What then shall be devoured by the “judgment and fiery indignation,” which the willful offender is fearfully looking for? “The adversaries.” The adversaries of the cause of God and truth shall truly be devoured; but says the apostle, “We are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.” And again, in the close of this chapter, he says, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” If a professed disciple of Christ, willfully transgresses the laws of the kingdom, is it strange that he should fear that he is only an adversary? and even if he is not, he feels afraid that he is, and looks for that judgment which awaits the adversaries.
This whole subject is an admonition to the saints. Moses’ law could not be transgressed by an Israelite with impunity. The offender died without mercy, for the law of Moses knew no mercy for its transgressors. But as Moses was but a servant, and Christ is a Son over his own house, the offender who hath dishonored Christ, trodden underfoot the Son of God, by despising his law, counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace, he hath committed far greater offense, and is worthy of a sorer punishment, and if judged by the law of Moses, would be subjected to a sorer punishment. But he is, if a christian, under law to Christ, and a copy of that law is written in his heart, and it reads thus, notwithstanding the offender’s deserts, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.” It is certain, however, that he will visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes, and they shall know that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
May we listen to the admonition of our subject, and may God grant us grace whereby we may serve him acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.
Middletown, N. Y.
Nov. 1, 1855
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 258 – 259