By: Admin Pastor Manny
Apostasy is a grave sin done by a person who intentionally falls away from his or her true faith. We, Catholics, recognize that there are two types of people who can commit such a mortal sin. They can be false professors of faith who never genuinely believed in Jesus or they can be people who received grace from God through sacraments and belief, but later rejected the fullness of truth. The problem is that Protestants who hold to a Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible are totally against our view. What they believed is that once a person is saved, it is impossible for that person to fall away from grace. If we examine this belief even without the use of the Scriptures, it’s inconsistent because they have to stick to a radical view that a person who committed grave sins like apostasy was never saved in the first place, and that person did not believe in the first place. This has been their excuse since Calvin came on the scene. Let me present one.
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite to the Spirit of grace?
Before I explain this verse, let me just say what they believed when it comes to Soteriology. What they believe is that a person can only be justified once, and that person will then enter the process of sanctification. Remember the word sanctification. SO, if someone is now sanctified, then it is impossible for that person to fall away from grace because that person is already saved. The problem is that Hebrews 10:29 clearly destroy their position. Let me just repeat the important phrase.
and has counted the blood of the covenant, with which HE was SANCTIFIED.
Who is the “he” who was sanctified? If we will look at the context of this verse, the person being described is a person who committed an apostasy and it’s explicitly clear that the pronoun “he” refers to the apostate. The “he” refers to the person who was once sanctified, but he fell away from grace. There are some Protestants who tried to escape this reality, and James White, a professional anti-Catholic, said during his debate against Trent Horn that the “he” refers back to Jesus Christ. His primary reason why he said that is because Jesus fulfils what the high priests were doing during the Day of Atonement. What the high priests were doing was that they were offering the lamb not just to other people, but they also offered it to themselves so that their sins would be forgiven. And after he presented his case, he went back to his anti-Catholic tactic of blaming the Church and the Early Church Fathers for “ABUSING” the book of Hebrews.
Trent Horn responded well by saying that it’s odd for James White to hold a minority view simply because Jesus Christ is perfect, and that He had no sins. Why would Jesus be sanctified if He had no sins? In fact, if we will use other parallel verses, we can see that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses or sanctifies the people who had grace.
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?C