What is the sin that easily entangle us? Hebrews 12:1

Dear friends, many quote that Hebrews 12 talks about sin that entangles us and as such the Father disciplines us. I am sorry it is wrong, it says “the sin” and it is not sin. This sin that easily entangles us is the same sin in Hebrews 10:26. It is the sin of thinking Jesus’ blood is not enough to satisfy God of your sins past, present & future. It is called the sin of unbelief. That is why he asks us to continue to look at Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

This what John MacArthur (who is not a Radical Grace believer) said:

“Most conservative commentaries would be in general agreement with John MacArthur’s interpretation of the sin

Obviously all sin is a hindrance to Christian living, and the reference here may be to sin in general. But use of the definite article (the sin) seems to indicate a particular sin. And if there is one particular sin that hinders the race of faith it is unbelief, doubting God. Doubting and living in faith contradict each other. Unbelief entangles the Christian’s feet so that he cannot run. It wraps itself around us so that we trip and stumble every time we try to move for the Lord, if we try at all. It easily entangles us. When we allow sin in our lives, especially unbelief, it is quite easy for Satan to keep us from running. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press or Logos) (Bolding added)”

I chose MacArthur (despite I have disagreed with his writings before, amongst many other commentators) because I do not want to be accused of being bias (partly also because he is loved by many who argue otherwise.)

As such the context in which God disciplines us is not due to our misbehavior but when we fall back on our works or that we go back to sinning in Hebrews 10:26. The sin there talks about treating Jesus’ blood as common. More importantly, I will give reasons why I believe the sin refers to unbelief.

Many believers interpret that as being sinning in conduct.

That is not correct. If so, then there is no more forgiveness for you. Secondly, everyone sins willfully. As such sinning willfully must be interpreted as something you return to “after you have received knowledge of the truth”. What then is the knowledge of the truth. This knowledge is what is stated in Hebrews 9 and 10. The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. That is why it has to be offered again and again. Thus it can never take away sin although the law demands it. It could never take away the guilt of the believer. That is why the priest do it STANDING year after year and day after day. This ministry became a ministry that reminded you of your sins. As such it could never take away guilt.

On the other hand, when Jesus offered his blood, he did it once and for all and SAT down. Your sins are not only cleansed, they are taken away once and for all. Once and FOR ALL time. Hence this is how our guilt is taken away. Because we know our sins have been totally taken away and we have forgiveness of sins forever! This is a ministry that “remember your sins no more”.

Hence, the blood of Jesus is not common like that of the blood of bulls and goats. As such, when we say that his blood is not sufficient we commit this sin mentioned in Hebrews 10:26, thinking that while Jesus is the author of our faith but we have to perfect our salvation. That is how this sin easily entangles us. Thus, in Hebrews 12:1 the sin causes us to lose sight that HE IS the author and perfecter of our faith. NOT US.

As such God disciplines us not by holding back his presence when we sin but rather disciplines us by helping us to focus on the finished work of Christ. The unpleasantness there does not talk about sufferings and sicknesses. The unpleasantness talks about crucifying the former way you live your life in self righteousness.

As such there is no such thing as “parental forgiveness” as some has suggested, when you say that the minute you sin you tarnish the relationship with your God and that you need to confess your sins again and again, you are actually doing what the Jews do; offering the same sacrifice again and again. To do so is to “sin willfully”. This is the sin that so easily entangles us. It is the believe that we need to do something to restore a relationship that can never be broken. It is the sin of unbelief and it is self righteousness in a very subtle and deceptive form.



  2. The sin that is so easily besetting us is that of not believing in the blood cleansing us and entering into our rest, his rest, but going back to the error thinking that behavioral things are the issue. That’s very good and very interesting. Very important.

    Since we only have two laws in Christ, love God, love neighbor, all sins have to be harming of God or our neighbor. So how is God harmed if we go back to behavior codes and legalisms?

    In the view that you are showing here, the harm we do God is to count his full works as needing more, needing our help, we lower the glory of Jesus and try to add more on to it. We in that sense condemn Jesus’ works as failure. We harm him by not believing it is enough. We give glory to the name that is almost above all names?

    Failing to notice that sin against man and against God was never a failure of behavior, or behavior codes, but was a state of condemnation that came from direct harm (one time was all it took) to the rights of God and men helps a lot. There was no preponderance of bad vs good actions involved. We are either being condemned for one sin and therefore as though you did all sins, and then being fallen from grace- or- it was one act of believing and repentance gaining a status of just as the remedy.

    We never stood or fell by behavior, and we don’t now stand or fall by behavior. If we harm man we get restitution with him and God is faithful to cleanse our hearts from the motives of such crimes. We renter practical states of love and fulfilling all just law out of love.

    There was never a list of bad behaviors, and there was never a list of good behaviors. It is simply our just standing as innocent men that counts as a foundation to live in love upon..

    Thinking less of the gift and making it by works of the law or codes of behavior is- in this time- the sin of unbelief. We stand in the status in the sight of God and in that heavenly court as just. When we are allowing any voice to condemn us is to believe a lie and to lower the weight, glory and value of the truth, and his verdict over us as innocent and just, we simply (un)believe to a reduced state and therefore that is harm of Jesus and his reputation. I makes his blood and his sacrifice not enough, and lowers him in our estimation. It is anti-glorifying to him. We must fight against condemnation in order to give Jesus proper glory and weight.

    When we as his bride lower our own view of him and of ourselves as his redeemed, our unbelief harms him as well. No one wants his bride walking around dejected and failed. We must find, understand and stand in our right place as sons. We must measure ourselves like Jesus measures us or we will measure unjustly and then having measured to ourselves a wrong measure, it will be measured to us again.

    Refusing to repent from false measure of ourselves and seeing ourselves as lowly and sinful, robs God of our standing that he gave us, he gave us the blood of his son to release justice for us to walk in.

    Who we are is righteous sons, and that is what God paid for. We must not let liars, even our hearts, tell us we are falling short of the glory of God.

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