Who is this Jamin guy anyway?
I am the husband of one and the father of nine. I was created to sing, to worship, to encourage, and to be steady. I am the Owner & Executive Director of Trinity Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary Arts Center in Eastern Tennessee, and the President of Trinity Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization focused on funding arts education and performance. I've been involved with four music projects in my life -- Hot Pink Turtle, Spin Radio, Stand Like Stone, and of course, Jamin Rathbun.

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box_bible bible

I've always liked (maybe liked isn't the right word) Hebrews 10. It begins by explaining how Jesus' sacrifice has replaced the old sacrifices that the Law required -- a great message of hope. Then it transitions into encouragement for us to respond to that atonement and forgiveness...

Hebrews 10:22-24
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I love the language used in that passage. "For He who promised is faithful." I love the call here to spur one another toward love and good deeds, to meet together, and to encourage one another.

Then, after that bright introduction, full of hope, forgiveness, and encouragement -- the passage turns from bright and encouraging to dark and threatening. There's no smooth transition or reason for the change -- just right from "encourage one another" to...

Hebrews 10:26-31
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Yikes. Fearful expectation. Raging fire. No mercy. Punishement. Vengenace. Judgement. Dread. How's that to sober things a bit. = )

The message? Jesus has freed us from the Law. He, through his sacrifice, has paid the price for our sin but -- that doesn't mean you can just go on sinning! If you do, you are "trampling the Son of God", "rejecting the blood sacrifice of Christ", and "insulting the Spirit of grace" -- and for that... There will be judgement, handed out by the Living God.

How does this apply to consistent, repetative sin in our lives? (maybe sexual) How does it apply to a lifestyle of sin? (maybe homosexuality or addiction) This seems to clearly indict us for continuing to knowingly sin. I know... It's a difficult message that causes me to evaluate where my heart is and if I am responding like Romans 6 says...

Romans 6:13-14
Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

The message? Sin is serious and our response should be "as those who have been brought from death to life." Has that been our response or -- have we taken our sin and His sacrifice too lightly?

Finally, the chapter transitions again, with an encouragement to recapture your initial fire, to stand your ground, and to persevere...

Hebrews 10:32-39
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

I'm reminded of another passage...

Philippians 2:12-13
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

God doesn't expect perfection. God expects repentance. There's no set of rules you can follow. There are no words, prayers, deeds, beads, saints, or sacrifices that will merit the forgiveness He offers. God wants your heart and that can't be faked...

Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Help us Father to seek you and to know you, and to do your will.

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