The author of the book of Hebrews is so grieved by the possibility of even true believers falling away from the joys of their salvation through Christ alone, he continues exhorting them against having hard hearts to the free gift of God’s grace through faith in Christ. The truth is we are so easily beguiled by legalists, even today, that this warning and exhortation is still relevant. In verses 12-15 he repeats the warning with even stronger emphasis. He writes, “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’”

I know it sounds too good to be true, but salvation by grace through faith alone is the promise of Christ. Unbelieving hearts are “evil” because if Christ’s righteousness is dismissed we only have our own works of righteousness to trust in and they are as “filthy rags” to God (Isaiah 64:6). We have deserted the rest that comes with Christ and have reverted to living under the confines of the law which continually condemns us of our sinfulness. Even true believers can do that as we see again in the beginning phrase which addresses his readers as “brothers.” Sin is the most deceitful thing! It convinces us of our worthlessness and abandons us to our own resources which are totally inadequate. But Jesus filled the bill and meets our needs.

Regular, daily, exhortation is needed by us all because it’s our lot in life to want to fall back into the religion of self-justification. We grew up with the idea of sowing and reaping and we know that it’s too good to be true that we sowed sin but Jesus reaped the consequences for us on the Cross. I need to try harder! I need to do more! I need, I need, I need! Unfortunately most pulpits continue to exhort people to try harder instead of exhorting people to stand firm and hold on strong to the truth that my needs have been met in Christ. The Lord is my shepherd. He is the great shepherd and “I do not want.” The full sufficiency of Christ is at stake. His person and work on the cross is enough to set the record straight with God or it isn’t.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It still is!