Agonizomai: Heb 10: 14-18 - Christ - The ONLY Real and the Final Offering

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Heb 10: 14-18 - Christ - The ONLY Real and the Final Offering

Heb 10 - 14-18 - Christ - The ONLY Real and the Final Offering

Heb 10:14-18 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Here we find a perfect example of the way both the present and the "not now" aspects of God’s kingdom exist simultaneously. "By a single (once in time) offering He has perfected (past tense) those who are being sanctified (present ongoing tense)." The only possible bridge to this apparent contradiction is faith in the finished work of Christ bearing fruit in the life of the saint. What was done once in the past by Another is appropriated by faith throughout the life of a believer. But it was already accomplished. In Christ we were reconciled eternally to God. Our faith does not reconcile us. More faith will not reconcile us more. Faith can be turned into a work very easily by going down that road. Our faith is itself the gift of God whereby the finished work of Christ and His gifts to each of us for all of us are appropriated, as He purposed from all eternity to do for us.

If this was a merely mental or intellectual exercise it would indeed devolve into a sort of gritting of the teeth and a works-based "believing" by which we saved ourselves by laying hold of God. But we are to lay hold of that for which we were laid hold of. He grabbed us so that we might cling to Him. He is always the source of every good and positive movement of our souls. And the point here in verse 15 is to show that true believers are not left to the machinations of their own fallen minds. The Holy Spirit has been given to them as a witness of the Truth.

We who believe are not left alone, for we have another Comforter. Faith does not bring the Comforter – but rather, the Comforter brings faith, by testifying to Jesus through the Word. The Spirit is life to us. The Spirit is so identified with the Son that it is also said that he that has the Son has life. This is because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The Holy Spirit is given for the express purpose of testifying of Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ was given for the express purpose of testifying of the Father through absolute union with His will. The Oneness of the Persons of the Godhead permeates all things - wherein we see one end, one will, one God manifested in three Persons with differing functions, all serving that same end.


The finished work of Christ is attested to for the believer, as well as in him. We have the witness in ourselves that we belong to Him. But this witness is not simply a feeling, nor even an experience; it is given by means of the scripture attesting to Christ. Both Word and Spirit combine to give assurance to the saint. His sheep hear His voice because they are His sheep. If the Hebrews had continued in the Word and laboured over the deeper things of Christ then they would have had that assurance that would keep them from sliding into apostasy.

Do we see how the wavering are ones to be restored? By the preaching of Christ! By the gospel! Not by reason alone, or by argument or sophistry. They are reinvigorated simply by the restatement of the first principles of the good news. And we see that here. It is the New Covenant in the blood of Christ by which God undertakes to reconcile sinners to Himself, while they are still lost. He does this, the writer reminds the Hebrews, by giving them (unsolicited, unbidden and unsought for) a new heart with which they are reconciled to Him, so that they may desire what He wills. And He, for His Own Name’s sake, remembers their sins no more.

There is nothing that can be added this. There is no offering on man’s part, large or small, that can either increase or bring about this forgiveness. It is total and eternal. What God does He does perfectly and immutably. What God decrees is as good as done the moment the eternal mind is set upon it. For the Hebrews it means the end of the sacrificial system altogether. For Gentile believers of the 21st century it means that we must cease from trying to appease God, and we are free to try to please Him, the Spirit helping.



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