Today’s passage is from the NASB because it is the translation that is the most careful with Greek verb tenses. In a passage like this, that is important. Greek verb tenses can indicate continuous action or just a snapshot. In Hebrews 10:26, the writer uses a verb tense that means ongoing activity. It is not one willful sin that is terrifying (though may God grant us to tremble at even one), but ongoing sin. The NASB communicates this accurately.
Hebrews 10:26-31: For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Purpose of this Exercise
“Works,” as a word, has become almost a cuss word in many Evangelical circles. Affirming constantly that we are to be careful to maintain good works, as Titus is told to do (3:8), is frowned upon. Doing so requires constant reminders that we are not saved by works.
This is not what we find in Scripture. The apostles don’t apologize for exhorting us to good works. They don’t apologize for warning us, and they certainly don’t stop to remind us that we are saved apart from works.
We are at 26 passages so far. I’m shooting for 180, six months worth.
Somehow, it seems to me, that 180 calls to good works, without apology and without reminders of our salvation by faith alone, should be sufficient to motivate us to follow those examples.