Friday, September 23, 2011

By a Single Offering He has Perfected for all Time

“By a single offering he has perfected for all time” (Hebrews 10:14)

Have you ever sat there stunned after reading some truth in the Scriptures that blows your mind? There are so many realities in the Bible that should cause us to meditate for days upon days, weeks upon weeks, months upon months…our entire life. We are talking about the words from our eternal Creator who reigns over all so the awe and wonder should never cease. We should continually be stunned by what he tells us in his Word.

The first stunning thing is he has revealed his Word to us through the work of the Holy Spirit illumining our hearts and minds to know our Creator. Once he has illumined our hearts and minds the truths that pour out from the pages of God’s Word should overwhelm us. We have been reconciled to God (Col. 1:21). We have been saved from eternal death (Romans 6:23). We have been given eternal life (John 17:3). We have had our sins cancelled (Col. 2:13-14). Sin no longer has dominion over us (Romans 6:14). We have become slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). We have become children of God and heirs of Christ (Romans 8:15-17). We no longer have any condemnation (Romans 8:1). These and so many more promises are in God’s Word. Sinners, like me and you, have these promises when we place our trust in Christ. This is simply amazing. These are truths that in turn produce a love for the Savior because nothing can compare to his love for us in the gospel. His promises are eternal realities that produce a greater love for him because we see more and more his love for us.

Just the other day I had some struggles and temptations that were beating me up while I was at work and that night I really felt defeated. The next morning I got up to read Romans 6 before I started my day of work. That day there was temptation but my mind was focused on Christ and by his grace I fought against those temptations. Victory. But as I sat at my desk near the end of the day I had to remind myself of some truth. I had to tell myself, “I am no more accepted before God today than I was yesterday.” Another truth from Scripture had been given to me that helped me kill any sort of legalism at the moment: I cannot improve on perfection. This was so freeing. In Christ, God the Father already sees us as he sees his Son. Perfect. How? “By a single offering he has perfected for all time.” Who? “Those who are being sanctified.” Christian, did you hear what he said? Because of Christ’s atoning work on the cross he has perfected us for all time. This truth humbles us because we have to acknowledge we have nothing to add to perfection. It also breaks the power of legalism when we realize we can do nothing to earn God’s favor. But this freedom should never be an excuse to sin. Sinning because you are forgiven is not a love for Christ. Being forgiven in Christ is the motivation and the power to pursue holiness. Being like Jesus is our aim. Yet we still live in this body of death. But the Father sees us even now clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

So I’ll ask again: Have you ever sat there stunned after reading some truth in the Scriptures that blows your mind? Perfection for sinners because of Christ! Let it sink in…mind blowing. This is a reality because of Christ’s substitutionary atonement. Theologians call this the “great exchange”: Christ takes upon himself the Father’s wrath for our sin and in turn we receive the perfect righteousness of Christ. I cannot comprehend it but I believe it’s true because God said it. “By a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” What a promise! What a Savior!

Grace upon grace,

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