My appreciation for the sufficient work of Christ on the cross has grown since we have been studying Leviticus. One of the tasks of the Mosaic Law was to help to reveal sin (Romans 7:7). No matter how hard one would try, it could never be good enough (Galatians 3:10). Thankfully, Christ “wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us…He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Through the victory that is found only in Christ, we can know that there is “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1), for we have been “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1), being brought to a “newness of life” (Romans 6:4), when we were baptized into Christ. Jesus did all this because of our sin problem. So then, if one is in Christ, how should we see sin?
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil
heart of unbelief in departing from the living God…
Our confidence in Christ and our appreciation for His sufficient, redemptive work are not intended to lull one into a false sense of security. The writer of Hebrews cautions his readers, exhorting them to “beware”; that is, to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing. That “thing” we are to pay close attention to is our heart, which is the center of our intelligence. It is the place where we reason and make decisions. Such advice is not without merit, for Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9) The heart of a Christian can move from belief, to unbelief. How though? How can someone move from hope in Christ to such disbelief?
…but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,”
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
Sin is deceitful! It offers everything and only causes bondage. Paul exhorted the Christians in Ephesus to “put off…the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). We all are familiar with Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” That “way of death” is what happens when we believe less in God and what He says, and more on what we want, which results in “departing from the living God.”
So, out of appreciation for what God has done for us through Christ’s completed work on the cross, let us be purposed in our efforts not to be ensnared once again to sins deceitfulness. And as the text reveals, we need to be encouraging one another often in our journey homeward. Lord, we are thankful for the confidence we can have through Christ. May His love for us inspire us to seek You and Your will daily, to the glory of Your name.