(Article for publication week of 12-12- AD 2102)
"For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). If you are a believer in Christ this text says you are perfect. Of course we know that this perfection is not in ourselves, but in Christ Alone and His saving work. No one has reached a place where they can honestly say they are perfect in and of themselves. I John 1:10 plainly says, "if we say that we have not sinned. we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." Our Lord taught us to always pray "forgive us our sins" (Luke 11:4). Believers are perfect judicially before God because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them, though they are far from perfect in their own right.
It is by "one offering" that God's people are perfected- that is the offering of our Lord Jesus Christ made "once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). That is the only offering that ever has, or ever will make a sinner right before God. All the blood of the ceremonial offerings of animals under the Old Testament never took away anybody's sins (Hebrews (10:4), or perfected anyone. The Old Testament offerings pointed to the True Lamb of God Who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29), but they never took away sins themselves. All those offerings were necessary because God had commanded them to teach believers and point them to the coming Saviour, but God never appointed any offering except that of His Son to perfect us (I Peter 1:18). Any pretended "offering" by any man today will not take away your sins. The offerings you give to the church will not take away sin. (Although God loves a cheerful giver and we are commanded to support the Cause of Christ as we are enabled by the Lord.) Note well our text says by ONE offering Christ perfected those who are sanctified. That is as clear as the nose on your face if you will just believe what it says! Christ accomplished the Great Atonement by a singular act. The Bible plainly says that salvation is all of the Lord (Jonah 2:9), it is in no sense a joint effort between God and man.
Now, notice who it is that has been perfected by the one offering made by Christ. Our text says it is those who are "sanctified." Lord willing, we shall have a series of articles on sanctification as soon as we finish with justification, but for now I want you to see that God sanctified His elect people in eternity. Ephesians 1:4 sweetly informs us that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be "HOLY and without blame before Him." "Without blame" refers to our justification, and "holy" refers to our sanctification. At the appropriate time, when we write on sanctification we shall , with the help of the Lord show you how that sanctification is positional, experimental, practical and progressive, but I want you to see today that our text is talking about positional sanctification. God chose His elect in Christ, before the foundation of the world and set them apart for His Own holy use. God sanctified His people in this sense from all eternity. By an eternal, and unalterable decree, God ordained the salvation of His Church. He gave His Son an innumerable (for man) number of folk as His bride. In this eternal decree, God set this vast host apart for His holy use. He chose them in Christ to finally be actually holy (II Thessalonians 2:13), but there was this setting apart by His Sovereign decree even before they had an existence in themselves. These sanctified ones are the ones that Christ has perfected forever by His one offering.
Next I want to point out that Christ made this offering to His Father. In chapter nine, verse fourteen of this same epistle we read, that Christ "offered Himself without spot to God." Christ did not offer Himself to men, nor to angels, not to devils, but He offered Himself to God. In other words, the death of Christ was a sacrificial offering to God the Father as a satisfaction for sin. And God has accepted this offering as the only payment that ever will have to be made to redeem us from our sins.
Finally, note well that Christ has perfected His people FOREVER. By His one and only offering, Christ secured eternal redemption for us. Dear readers, "forever" means just what it says! This text declares the eternal security and final perseverance of everyone for whom Christ died. Since we are perfected forever, it is impossible that any who are in Christ can ever fall away finally and be lost.
Perfected forever! What a grand and glorious gospel!