Here's Something We Can't Do, Even with God's Help!
By Jamey Escamilla • March 25, 2021
When I was in school, I played junior varsity football.
I loved playing and hanging out with the team.
Some of the most fun times in school was going out of town to play a game against a rival team.
Riding on the bus with the team, telling dirty jokes, eating smashed sandwiches from the school.
But towards the end of my football season, I started to have a big problem with it.
I didn’t get to play that much.
And you know why? Because I wasn’t that good in football.
So, the coaches started using me and others as “training people”.
After school, the coaches would train the “real” team, and we would be used as “training dummies”.
If they were training the first-up offense team, they would throw a bunch of us dummies on the defense team so they could have someone to be up against.
We’d have to put on those stinky yellow vests that never got washed and get hit by the star team!
Worse than that, I didn’t get to play as much on game day. I’d stand on the side with the others.
So, you guessed it – I quit my sophomore year in high school.
Why continue staying after school and going to practice if I’m not going to play?
And I realized that the coaches were probably not going to focus on me anymore.
They already found the star team. Even if I got better, would they notice?
One kid even stood up to the coaches and told them in front of everyone:
“I’m quitting. Nothing I do is good enough for ya’ll.”
You might disagree, but I really do think high school football is like this. Sad but true.
There’s kind of no chance at getting better because:
The coaches are probably not going to take the time to make you better
You’re only a kid, so you’re probably not going to be disciplined enough to make yourself better
The coaches might not ever notice your improvement, even if you did get better
Power Rangers comes on after school, which makes it harder to want to stay after school and get better
I’m not saying all this to be negative, but to bring out a truth:
Sometimes in life, there is nothing we can do to achieve something we want.
You might not be able to run that marathon, because you have a health issue.
You will not be able to become an astronaut if you’re 5 feet tall, because you have to be at least 5.17 feet tall.
You might not be able to get that girl or boy you’ve liked for a long time, because they just might not be in to you.
Hollywood tells us that if you’re funny and brave and nice, you will definitely get the girl.
But if the girl just doesn’t think you’re cute or doesn’t like your personality, she’s probably not going to give you a chance.
But hey, if that happens, move on. There’s someone out there for you!
The point is that doing everything you can will not always work out for you.
Even though we’re told in life that we can do anything we want and be anything we want, that’s not true.
I’m telling you, you’ll be a lot happier when you accept this truth!
I know what you’re thinking:
“Jamey, all things are possible with God!”
Ya. But there’s one thing that’s not possible for you to do with God:
Earn your acceptance with God by your holy living and good works.
Just like wanting to get better at high school football, there is nothing you can do to achieve this.
As you know, Christ died so that we can be forgiven of our sin.
He did this because no amount of good works could make us right with God.
For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law...
No matter what, because of our fallen state, not amount of effort can earn our salvation.
So, God Himself brought salvation to us by dying on the cross.
This is grace.
If we believe in the Son of God, we are made right in His eyes.
But what if we sin?
Do we become separated from God?
Now, really think about what you believe, and let’s ask this question next:
If we DO become separated from God when we sin, isn’t that salvation by works?
You know, this is a VERY common belief among many Christians today.
But I think it’s time we stop believing it.
I’d like to show you one reason from scripture why we shouldn’t believe this anymore.
Probably the number one scripture used to teach this is this one:
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
The scripture says that “if we sin wilfully” after receiving the truth (being saved), there is judgment.
So, some Christians argue that if we continually do acts of sin after getting saved, we will lose our salvation.
The problem is that we get that interpretation of the scripture only after doing a quick surface read of it, interpreting it incorrectly, then using it to fit our narrative that sin separates us from God.
People instinctively interpret “deliberately keep on sinning” as doing bigger, more obvious sins, such as fornication, drugs and alcohol, and other things that a Christian shouldn’t do.
So, people today use this scripture to say that if we go to bars willfully, drink willfully, cuss willfully, and do ungodly things willfully, we will lose our salvation.
But is that what the writer had in mind?
Let’s try asking this question: What “sin” did the writer have in mind in this scripture?
The theme of the entire book of Hebrews is about encouraging these Hebrew Christians to not go back into Judaism and leave the Christian faith.
During this time, the early church was persecuted by the Jews.
The Jewish people would come in and try to get the Christians to revert back to Judaism.
Sometimes, they would even kill Christians.
So, you can see many places throughout Hebrews where the writer is urging them to keep believing in Christ and running the race.
If they drew back and left the faith, they would be in danger of “judgment and fiery indignation”.
So, it’s more logical to believe that this is what he was saying:
“If you willfully go back into unbelief and leave the faith, there is no more sacrifice that can save you.”
The “sin” he’s talking about here is the sin of unbelief.
This is also made clear in the remainder of the chapter when he tells us what this “sinning wilfully” is:
trampling the Son of God
regarding the blood of Jesus as “profane”
insulting the Spirit of grace
throwing away your “confidence”
Now, once you see that this scripture is referring to unbelief, the rest of the Bible makes sense.
“THAT’S why he said that He’s not counting our sins against us!
THAT’S why he said that “if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.
THAT’S why he said that there is nothing that can take us out of the hand of God.
THAT’S why when the Corinthians indulged in prostitutes, Paul didn’t tell them that they were now separated from God, but he reminded them that they are still temples where God lives!
THAT’S why the Bible says that our salvation is eternal!”
Why? Because sin has been defeated on the cross, and it cannot strip us of our identity in God.
It’s true that when you do indulge in sin, you’ll experience death in your life.
We reap the consequences of our actions in this life.
God doesn’t want us to do immoral acts that hurt ourselves and others.
But doing them doesn’t separate us from God’s love.
As a matter of fact, when you know how much you’re loved, you will NOT want to do those things!
Therefore, it’s more logical that “sinning willfully” in this scripture doesn’t have anything to do with all kinds of various acts of sin that we can think of.
So, we can’t use it to teach people that if they go to the bar, they’re now separated from God.
No “acts” we do can separate us from God.
Just like no “acts” we did brought us into God.
It’s only because of Jesus!
This is why it’s important to correctly interpret the Bible.
If we don’t, we’ll get all kinds of unbiblical beliefs that don’t represent Jesus.
If you’d like to understand Hebrews 10:26-27 even more, I’d suggest to read the whole chapter.
You’ll notice a trend: “stay a believer in Christ, and don’t draw back and leave the faith. If you do, it won’t go well with you.”
If you’ve sinned, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re separated from God.
Let that be your motivation to not sin and enjoy your identity in God!