Q. I’m concerned that I have “sinned willfully” and therefore can never be forgiven. Let me explain, I committed a sin, I knew it was sin when I committed it, but I went ahead and sinned anyway. According to Hebrews 10:26 I am lost. Is this correct?
Have you ever heard someone pray for forgiveness from sins of “omission and commission” ?
There is a difference in the way you are looking at the word “willfully” in this text, and the English word deliberately. I believe that people can indeed sin ignorantly, that is, sin and not realize it, or sin in a moment of weakness, but most sin is deliberate, or “willful.” That, however is not what the Hebrew writer is discussing.
To answer this question we must look at the context of the Statement:
19* ¶ Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
20* by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21* and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
22* let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23* Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
24* and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
25* not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26* For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27* but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
28* Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29* 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?
We must always remember the context of a statement. The Hebrew writer is writing to Jewish Christians who were falling into apostasy by returning to a practice of Judaism. By their lives and their actions they were “trampling under foot the Son of God.” This is not a description of ignorant sin, or sin as a result of a moment of weakness, or even willful sin, but this is a reference to apostasy, or “falling-away.” When you have completely fallen away from Christ it is impossible for the blood of the covenant to have it’s cleansing effect.