Will the sins we commit after salvation be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ? In Part 1 and Part 2 we gave six truths that demonstrate God judges sin in the realm of man’s soul but does not judge sin in the realm of man’s spirit. We discover one more truth in this final article.
Truth #7: The blood of Christ continues to cleanse us when we are walking in the light
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:6-9
What does it mean to walk in the light? According to v. 6, it is the opposite of walking in darkness. To walk in darkness is to sin, to walk in the flesh. In fact, God gives an example of walking in darkness in 1 John 2:11 — hating your Christian brother. Walking in the light, then, is not sinning, for it is walking in the Spirit.
Consider the powerful truth of v. 7. When we are walking in the light, not sinning, the blood of Christ is continually cleansing us from all sin. That being the case, what does this suggest when we are walking in darkness? The blood of Christ is not continually cleansing us from sin. How can this be for a blood-bought saint? It is obviously speaking on the soul plane. On the spirit plane, you are completely righteous. The blood of Christ has cleansed you completely, and you are eternally secure. But the soul plane is up to you and affects rewards at the Judgment Seat.
On that note, let us turn our attention again to the passage in Hebrews where we began.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27
In the context of the truths presented above, this verse becomes clear. Here is what God is saying to you. If you persist in willful, fleshly, carnal sin; if you draw back from living by faith and live for yourself, then there remains no more sacrifice for sins. This has nothing to do with justification. It is all about progressive sanctification.
Notice what happens for those who have no more sacrifice for sins. God judges, perhaps here and now, but certainly then. The fiery testing furnace at Christ’s Bema will devour their soul, just as it did the body and soul of those who died under the Mosaic law without mercy. The judgment will be even greater for New Testament saints.
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29
Christians that continue in willful sin will be punished — yes, punished! —for essentially trampling Christ under foot. They have discounted the blood of Christ and insulted the Holy Spirit, and for that they will be punished more severely than the Old Testament Israelites who defied the Mosaic law.
How do we know this is addressed to the saints? Verse 26 specifically says they received the knowledge of the truth, and knowledge in this verse is not merely the Greek word gnosis, or basic knowledge. It’s epignosis — full, experiential knowledge. This implies saving knowledge. This person has been saved, justified, and positionally sanctified (per v.29).
The writer to the Hebrews is admonishing the saints to live uprightly, to persevere in their Christian walk — not persevere unto salvation, but persevere unto reward. Interestingly, the writer is speaking on two planes in this chapter. On the spirit plane, back in v. 10, he reminds that they have been positionally sanctified because of Christ’s sacrifice – once for all.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
He says it again in v. 14:
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14
Then in v.17, quoting from Jeremiah 31, he shares with them the blessing of the New Covenant.
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:17
How can he say this in v. 17, and then make a seemingly contradictory statement in v. 26?
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, Hebrews 10:26
The key is understanding that in v. 17 he is speaking of justification in the spirit of man. But in v. 26 he is making application to progressive sanctification in the soul of man — two entirely different planes of man’s being. The writer transitions from justification to sanctification, starting in v.19 and continuing through v.21, then he starts making application in vs. 22ff:
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25
By the time the writer reaches v. 25, it is clear that he has transitioned to the matter of sanctification.
Here’s the point of the book of Hebrews and this chapter in particular. Since you have been declared righteous and sanctified positionally, draw upon the provision God has given you, and be sanctified progressively, experientially in your soul. If you do not persevere in progressive sanctification but live in willful, persistent, fleshly sins, then the blood of Christ will not continually cleanse your soul. Instead, God will judge you – maybe now, but certainly at His Judgment bar, and you could lose your soul (Matt. 16:24-28).
Thus we can conclude, based on Scripture, that unconfessed sins will be judged by Jesus at the Judgment Seat.