Many believers in Jesus understand the word “worship” as a church service.
Many churches call their service a “worship service.”
Their services consist of several different elements by which they worship God.
These elements may include…
...“praise and worship” - worshiping God by singing songs,
“tithing” - worshiping God by giving 10% of their income,
“serving” - worshiping God by joining a ministry team,
“praying” - worshiping God by having a time of prayer,
“confessing” - admitting their sins to God and acknowledging their need for forgiveness,
Many people are anchored in guilt, shame, condemnation, and fear because of past sins and regrets.
The feel distant from God.
Deep in their soul they hurt.
They are frustrated with themselves for what they did.
They tell no one.
Silently they suffer.
They've tried to escape or numb their pain in many different ways...
Yet the pain remains.
There are two other ways people try to escape or numb the pain of their past...
...by participating in church activities (commitment, serving, attending, joining, etc.
The writer of Hebrews encourages his Jewish audience to “hold on to grace” (Hebrews 12:28), meaning to take possession of the new covenant of grace by letting go of the old covenant of law.
The reason he encourages them to do so is because they were at a crossroad of faith.
Would they seek to achieve God’s acceptance, forgiveness, holiness (pure before God), and righteousness (clean before God) by following (holding on to) the rules, rituals, and regulations of the old covenant of law?
Or would they receive, through faith in Jesus, God’s acceptance, forgiveness, holiness, and righteousness freely provided for them in the new covenant of grace?
Since many Hebrew people rejected the new covenant of grace, including many of the priests, the priests continued the daily and yearly sacrifices of animals for the sins of the people (Hebrews 10:11).
The work of the priests under the old covenant was never finished.
They stood day after day and year after year sacrificing animals to cover their own sins and the sins of the people.
They could never rest (Hebrews 10:11).
There was always another animal to be sacrificed to cover their own sins and the sins of others (Hebrews 5:1-3).
Hebrews 6:1 says that if we are to mature in our faith, we must leave behind repentance.
This is in conflict with much of what is taught today by many Bible teachers.
Many believers are taught they need to daily focus on repentance, meaning confessing of sin so they can be forgiven by God, remain holy before God, and so they will not be "out of fellowship with God".
By repentance, they are taught they need to turn from a certain sin and not commit that sin again.
This constant focus on sin keeps believers immature and in bondage to sin because they continually focus on sin and live in fear of being unholy before God and out of fellowship with God.
Several of the common verses pastors use to convince people they can lose their salvation are found in Hebrews 6:4-6.
These verses say,
“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Hebrews 12:1 says,
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles."
Hebrews 11 contains a list of Jewish people from the Old Testament who lived by faith.
They are the great cloud of witnesses that “we” (the Jewish-Hebrew people) were surrounded by, serving as an example to them of those who lived by faith.
The reason Hebrews 11 exists, the chapter on faith, was to prove to the Jewish people that living by faith was not a foreign way of life for Jewish people.
The writer of the book of Hebrews writes about insulting the Spirit of grace.
Hebrews 10:29 says:
"How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"
What does it mean to insult the Spirit of grace?
Who insults the Spirit of grace?
To find the answers to these questions, we must understand the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 10:26-27 says:
“If we willfully keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”
These verses are some of the most taken-out-of-context verses in the Bible.
Most Bible teachers and Pastors teach these verses to mean that if a Christian purposefully continues to live a life of immorality after coming to faith in Jesus then this person is an enemy of God and will be consumed in the raging fire of judgment, therefore losing one's salvation.
Hebrews 10:25 says, “...not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.”
This verse is quoted quite often in the churches to exhort people to attend church consistently.
But is this what this verse is talking about?
Let’s understand this verse in the context of Hebrews.
The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish people who were on the verge of willfully rejecting the new covenant (NC) of grace.
In rejecting the NC, as we learn in Hebrews, they were making a decision to continue to practice the requirements of the old covenant (OC) of law.