Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:29—NIV)

The word "insult" from our text is often translated in the KJV as "spite", "despite", or "reproach". The Greek word is enhubridzo, from which we get the English word "hubris". Its original meaning was a transport of passion, violent anger intent on injury with a flavor of insolence, to treat shamefully.

The word is expressive of disdainful treatment of another whom we consider, for whatever reason, to be inferior to ourselves. It is insulting, maligning, and harmful. It is behavior ranging from a mild insult, purposely crafted to annoy, to a full-blown, disdainful, disregard filled with intentional harm.

From where would such a grudge arise? Romans 1:30 employs the term as Paul unfolds the effect of abandoning God and thus being God-abandoned. Man is subject to this evil because of his sin nature. For this reason it is a word which often arises in the context of shameful treatment of believers by lost and evil worldlings Such texts as 2 Corinthians 12:10, Acts 14:5, and 1 Timothy 1:13 serve to illustrate this point.

Surprisingly, the term is not used of a true believer’s behavior. Apparently the freedom from the tyranny of sin given to the believer at salvation releases him from the dictatorial control of these "transports of evil passion".

Our Hebrews text is the one place where someone claiming to be a believer is described as acting out of spite. If the professed believer willfully sins he is treating the work of God through the Savior as commonplace and is condescendingly insulting the Holy Spirit. Any true believer should be ashamed to commit willful sin.

Transports of evil working passion control the perpetrator of the evil. If we claim to be saved and yet allow evil grudges to rule through spiteful acts then we are rejecting the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where flesh leads the Spirit of God does not. Believers are never to act out of spite. Root out grudges and plant a healthy crop of obedience to the Lord.