Monday, July 1, 2019 -
On Friday (June 28), I wrote in-depth about the word koinonia. If you haven’t read that post, it is a prerequisite for today. For today I was reading in Hebrews, and specifically, in the tenth chapter, we find a perfect example of what I was speaking about. In verses 19 and 20, we read that it is the blood of Jesus that provides this koinonia with our Father in heaven. Christ, Himself is our Great Priest under the New Covenant.
It is He Who has cleansed us of our evil conscience and washed us clean with His blood. And so, when Christ cleanses our heart we can draw near to Him in the full assurance of faith (verse 22). We know with full assurance that God is faithful, and so we must be faithful, so “let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering”.
This is in spite of great suffering, being made “a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations” and accepting “joyfully the seizure of your property” (verses 32-34)! Because of this koinonia that overtakes us, we naturally become a blessing to others, considering “how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 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” (verses 24-25). This, too, is koinonia.
But with this comes a warning. For when one accepts Christ’s blood for the redemption of his sin he is truly washed clean (v. 22), and the pattern of sin once evident in our life must begin to change. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (v. 26). In other words, our hearts truly must change. We cannot merely hear and believe what is the truth about Christ’s redemption. Satan himself knows the veracity of God’s master plan for salvation now. Salvation comes from the change of our heart, and not merely head knowledge! Once one knows the truth and continues to reflect Christ’s cleansing of his heart through the power of His shed blood, the judgment of God becomes terrifying. This is the whole point of verses 26-31. In humility we must recognize our sinful nature, repent, and accept Christ’s blood as atonement for our sin, bringing us into koinonia with the Father, Who has provided His Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) in power to overcome sin and our sinful nature, which brings us into koinonia with fellow believers. If we know all of this, yet refuse to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit to change our sinful nature (the act of sanctification or transformation we read about so much in Paul’s writings), God’s judgment becomes that much more severe.
Here in prison, I encounter many men like this. There are those who claim to be born again, and they know the truth, yet they have no koinonia with the Father or other believers. They reject this and actually run from in for various and obvious reasons. These people, I believe, have the head knowledge, but have refused to allow Christ to become the Lord of the heart or the Holy Spirit to enter and purify their heart in a supernatural way.
Others hear the truth, are genuine in their repentance and plead with God to remove their sinful nature. And he does, little by little, but it becomes very evident. They recognize their inadequacy to overcome their sinful nature in and of themselves and throw themselves at the mercy of their heavenly Father, in true koinonia. They “hold fast the confession of their hope without wavering”. It is all very clear. Do you know the truth yet have refused to allow God to rule on the throne of your heart, transforming you into His child? It is not too late. Repent of your sinful nature today, ask Christ to come into your heart and transform you through the power of the Holy Spirit, and believe that He will. And He promises to do just that!