|"O wretched man that I am..." Romans 7:24 (Artist unknown)|
TO CHEW ON: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
In today's reading we see Jesus offering Himself as a sacrifice.
The writer here is talking to people who know the code of laws and sacrifices God gave to Israel through Moses. He attempts to convince his audience of the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice over the animal sacrificial system. He begins by stating this (animal sacrifice) system is imperfect because consciousness of sin dictates we have to keep making sacrifices indefinitely (“And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” - Hebrews 10:11).
But Jesus’ sacrifice is different. His one sacrifice, where He offers His perfect life as the payment for our sin, means the need for all the animal sacrifices is forever satisfied. He has made our peace with God (Hebrews 10:12).
However, that doesn’t mean we’re perfect or the consciousness of our sin is lessened. Rather, it is the settled fact of our relationship with God – even as we are still in process – “we are being sanctified.”
[Sanctified = hagiazo: to hallow, set apart, dedicate, consecrate, make holy.
“In the Old Testament things, places and ceremonies were named hagiazo. In the NT the word describes the manifestation of life produced by the indwelling Holy Spirit” Word Wealth – New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1463.]
What does all this mean for you and me, here and now? Here’s how I understand it.
1. By accepting Jesus’ death as applying to me, I can live guilt-free in relation to God.
2. But this doesn’t give me license to do whatever I like – to sin as much as I want because in the next instant I can say “sorry” and be assured everything is okay between God and me again.
3. Rather, my right relationship with God shows itself in my lifestyle. I am set apart (by His Spirit in me) to live a life that is hagiazo.
I ask myself, does my life show this? Are His laws and ways being written on my heart and my mind. Am I continuing in the process of “being sanctified”?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for the sacrifice of Your life for me. Holy Spirit, please set me apart for Your purposes. Write Your laws on my heart and mind. Amen.
MORE: Oswald Chambers’ insights on this passage
"We trample the blood of the Son of God under foot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only explanation of the forgiveness of God and of the unfathomable depth of His forgetting is the Death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the outcome of our personal realization of the Atonement which He has worked out for us…..
"It does not matter who or what we are, there is absolute reinstatement into God by the death of Jesus Christ and by no other way, not because Jesus Christ pleads, but because He died. It is not earned, but accepted" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest - Read, December 8 reading.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.