For those of you who are new, these series of articles are dedicated to refuting the teaching that a believer can lose its salvation. I am using a reference of 70 ways a believer can fall away from a blogger who name himself smashing idols.
(His full article is here: http://smashingidols7.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/70-ways-a-believer-can-fall-away/
Also you can follow the refutes of his 70 ways here by just click to this link:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/tag/70-ways-to-lose-your-salvation/)
Here is myth 53.
Myth 53. be wearied and faint in your minds. Heb 12:3
Does Jesus really retract your salvation when you become weary and faint?
Check this out!
The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
What then is Hebrews 12:3 about?
Let’s look at the context. I will highlight certain words so that you may see what is going on.
12 Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
Ok let’s ask some important questions.
a) Who are these “witnesses”?
There are the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. These people are actually not the “heroes” of faith. If you look at the long list of people, you would note:
(i) Moses ran away in cowardice after he killed a man;
(ii) Abraham did not immediately went away to a far away land. He stayed near Ur until his father died;
(iii) Also he did not endure till the end in faith but went into Hagar for Ishmael;
(iv) Isaac blessed Jacob by mistake; and
(v) Noah got drunk after he became “the inheritor of righteousness”.
Now before you crucify me for tainting your loved heroes, hear me out. I am saying these people’s faith is far from perfect. Hence what are they witnessing to? Notice the writer is referring to Hebrews 10.
“15 And also the Holy Spirit adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]. For having said,
16 This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),
17 He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.”
See they and the Holy Spirit is this great cloud of witnesses. They are given the witness to the fact that it is not their “perfect” faith nor even even works that saved them. The context here is the blood of Jesus saved them. Jesus remember their sins no more.
b) What is this encumbrance and sin that entangles us so easily?
It is the law actually. It is the sin of treating the blood of Jesus as an unholy thing. It is how the Jews can sin deliberately. It is treating the blood of Jesus the same with bulls and goats. The blood of bulls and goats forgives sins on an annual basis and is a reminder of sins. The blood of Jesus cleanses ONCE and then for all time. The blood of bulls of bulls and goats is demanded of by the law. It is sprinkled with the law.
10 For since the Law has merely a rude outline (foreshadowing) of the good things to come—instead of fully expressing those things—it can never by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year make perfect those who approach [its altars].
2 For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had [a]once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin.
3 But [as it is] these sacrifices annually bring a fresh remembrance of sins [to be atoned for],
4 Because the blood of bulls and goats is powerless to take sins away.
See Hebrews 9
19 For when every command of the Law had been read out by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of slain calves and goats, together with water and scarlet wool and with a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkled both the Book (the roll of the Law and covenant) itself and all the people,
20 Saying these words: This is the blood that seals and ratifies the agreement (the testament, the covenant) which God commanded [me to deliver to] you.
21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the [sacred] vesselsand appliances used in [divine] worship.
See why the blood of bulls and goats actually condemn you rather than clear your conscience?
So if you think by constantly asking for forgiveness again and again (when you already have it ONCE and FOR ALL TIME) you are actually treating the blood of Jesus as common blood or unholy blood. That is the sin the writer in Hebrews 12 is talking about. It is simply this. Unbelief in Jesus and belief in the Law.
That is what easily entangles them and weigh them down. The Laws and its rituals and trying to keep the 10 commandments: That is the encumbrance the writer is talking about.
Hence, the writer is asking his audience to look at Jesus. He is the Leader and FINISHER of your faith. Not you. God looks to HIS obedience NOT YOURS. Here’s a shocker. He looks to Jesus’ faith not yours.
I love what Pastor Prince said last Sunday. Your job is not to look at your faith. Your job is to look at Jesus and God will see your faith! So what is the writer actually saying?
He is addressing Jewish believers who were persecuted by their fellow Jews. Seducing them to go back to the Law. He makes a very important point here, you must note the truth, you are already righteous by the finish work of Jesus Christ ALONE, don’t mix it with the law.
c) What is the “the appointed course of the race”?
You see the writer exalts us to “run the good race”. Running the good race has to do with keeping the Gospel pure from the Law. The Galatians were “running the good race”, then the Law believing Jews told them to circumcise themselves and to observe the Law. Paul said to them:
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
2 Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage, avail) to you [[a]for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him].
3 I once more protest and testify to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation and bound to practice the whole of the Law and its ordinances.
4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).
5 For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our [b]conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.
6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
7 You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?”
d) So what causes this “you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds”?
It is simply this, the persecution of the Jews to return to works righteousness. To work for righteousness. To work for forgivenss. To work to impress God.
e) Why look unto Jesus then?
Didn’t I tell you?
Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament (MOUNCE)
28 Come to me, all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will refresh you.
Jesus will refresh you when you “grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds”.