Forgiven Once and Forever (part 2)

Forgiven Once and Forever (part 2)

Hebrews 9:11-12 says “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  (emphasis mine)  We often accept the washing of the blood of the Lamb for all of our sins up until the day we accepted Christ –  but the Bible does not say His sacrifice was time stamped only good until the time of our salvation . . . it says Jesus provided for us “eternal redemption!”  A misunderstanding here can lead us to believe that we have to “take care of” our own sins after our salvation.  Many well-meaning believers allow this misunderstanding to make them sin conscious – always considering and pondering any potential sin.

Yet, the writer of Hebrews continues by saying our conscience should be purged of any remembrance of sin!  “ how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9: 14, emphasis mine, see also Heb. 10:2)

Jesus “is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”  (Heb. 9:15, emphasis mine) Once again, we have received an ETERNAL inheritance!  An ETERNAL cleansing!

If Christ’s sacrifice had been like the sacrifices in the Old Testament, then Jesus would have had to suffer often – since the foundation of the World – continually making sacrifice for our various sins over the years.  But Christ’s sacrifice was not like that!  He offered Himself up for us ONCE and FOR ALL!  “not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.”  (Heb. 9:25-28a, emphasizes mine)

Paul contrasts the Old Covenant and the New Covenant in Heb. 10:1-2 “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.” (emphasis mine)  Paul states that the Old Covenant could not make the sinner perfect because he is wanting to contrast that reality with the New Covenant which depends on the sacrifice of Christ – not bulls and goats – and thereby does make those who approach perfect!  “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”  (Heb. 10:14, emphasis mine)

How can this be – that we are “perfected forever,” yet also are “being sanctified?”  Simple – we are a made up of spirit, soul, and body.  We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.  On the day that we asked Jesus to come into our life, our spirit man which was dead and dark.  At the very moment we believed on Jesus, God took our dead spirit man out of us and breathed into us His Spirit and we became born again (Jn. 3:3).  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God . . .” (2 Cor. 5:17-18a, emphasis mine)  These verses from 2 Corinthians are referring to your spirit man – you were born again by the Spirit of God.  Nevertheless, our soul was not born again – and neither was your body. If you were tall or short, fat or skinny before your salvation – you still were the same shape or size right after your salvation.   If you had anger problems before your salvation, though your salvation has some measure of immediate impact on those emotional problems, there is still a process to working those things out.  The rest of your walk with God is about just that – being transformed – becoming more and more Christlike.  (See Rom. 12:2 “be not conformed to this World, but be transformed.”  How?  “by the renewing of your mind.”)  Our mind is part of our soul.  The soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions.  By reading and submitting to God’s Word, our soul is part of an ongoing, transformational process.  That is why we can at one time be “perfected forever” and “being sanctified.”  Our spirit is now perfect, our soul is being perfected.


~ This blog post is an excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore.  Hear the whole sermon, Forgiven Once and Forever, from Agathos Church. Columbus, Ohio


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