CONSIDER JESUS OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Swindoll's Chart, Interesting Pictorial Chart of Hebrews, Another Chart
Borrow Ryrie Study Bible
Amplified: For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: For by one offering and for all time he perfectly gave us that cleansing we need to enter into the presence of God. (Westminster Press)
NLT: For by that one offering he perfected forever all those whom he is making holy. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For by virtue of that one offering he has perfected for all time every one whom he makes holy. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: for by one offering He has brought to completion forever those who are set apart for God and His service.
Young's Literal: for by one offering he hath perfected to the end those sanctified;
FOR BY ONE OFFERING HE HAS PERFECTED FOR ALL TIME: mia gar prosphora teteleioken (3SRAI) eis to dienekes:
- He 10:1; 7:19,25; 9:10,14
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
For (1063) (gar) is "a marker of cause or reason between events, though in some context this association may be remote or tenuous" (Louw-Nida). Stated another way "for" is a term of explanation which should always cause one to pause and ponder (interrogate) the passage. You will be amazed how much truth a humble, prayerful, Spirit dependent attitude will allow to discern as you simply observe the text! In the present context, "for" explains or amplifies why Jesus is waiting (Heb 10:13-note) and not daily offering sacrifices like the earthly priests (Heb 10:11, 12-note). The explanation is that His one sacrifice sufficed for all time!
Spurgeon - Those for whom Christ has died were perfected by His death. It does not mean that He made them perfect in character, so that they are no longer sinners, but that He made those for whom He died perfectly free from the guilt of sin. When Christ took their sins upon Himself, sin remained no longer upon them, for it could not be in two places at one and the same time. If it was on Christ, it was not upon them. They were acquitted at the bar of God when Christ was, on their behalf, “counted with the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). When Jesus suffered the penalty due to His people’s sins to the last jot and tittle, then their sins ceased to be, and the covenant was fulfilled: “I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember” (Jer 31:34). There was a clean sweep made of sin. He has “put an end to the transgression and sealed up sin” (Dan 9:24), and that for all His people. They need no other washing, no further purging, as far as pardon of sin and acceptance with God in the matter of justification are concerned, for they are all perfected by His sacrifice.
ATTAINMENT OF THE GOAL
R C H Lenski writes that… A simple explanatory clause is added: “For by means of a single sacrifice he has brought to completion in perpetuity those being sanctified.” This (for) connects with all that has been said regarding the teleiosis (completion, reaching of the goal) which the whole Jewish system lacked and could never achieve, but which Christ’s single sacrifice did achieve at one stroke. To see to what extent the writer uses the idea of completeness, of reaching the telos or goal, follow this verb (teleioo) as it runs through this epistle in Hebrews 2:10; 5:9; 7:19, 28; 10:14; 11:40; 12:23; then the three nouns in Hebrews 6:1 ("maturity" = teleiotes); Hebrews 7:11 ("perfection" = teleiosis); Hebrews 12:2 ("Perfecter" = teleiosis), and the comparative adjective in Hebrews 9:11 ("perfect" = teleios). It is God Who sets the goal; this goal is our complete restoration. All that is contained in the law-testament (covenant of law) that was given through Moses is preliminary to (and preparation for) that goal, (and) could (never) be any more. Christ brings completely to the goal yet is Himself made complete by suffering in order to do this ("made perfect" = teleioo in Hebrews 5:9). His complete sacrifice attains the goal. By His sacrifice we become complete, are at the goal which God set for us. This is one of the golden threads that is woven into the wonderful pattern of this Epistle. It combines with all the others. (The Interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews and of the Epistle of James) (Bolding added - All comments in parentheses added)
Steven Cole makes the point that…
The totality of our forgiveness is illustrated by the contrast between the unfinished, repetitive ministry of the Old Testament priests and the finished, sufficient sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 10:11-14).
Hebrews 10:11 portrays the priest, who stood daily “offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” You can feel a sense of futility in these words! But Hebrews 10:12 contrasts the “one sacrifice for sins for all time” that Jesus offered, after which He “sat down at the right hand of God.” The standing of the priests indicates unfinished work that is never done (there were no chairs in the sanctuary). The sitting of Jesus indicates that His work of sacrifice is finished, and that He has been exalted to the place of supreme honor.
The author could have ended the quote (from Ps 110:1) after the reference to Jesus’ sitting at God’s right hand, but he adds (Hebrews 10:13), “waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.” He may have done this for two reasons.
First, he didn’t want his readers to grow discouraged because of the Cross, as if it represented a defeat for God. Perhaps their unbelieving Jewish friends were taunting them for their belief in a crucified Messiah. If Jesus is really Lord, then why do His people suffer persecution and martyrdom? The author says, “Just wait! The day is coming when Jesus’ enemies will all become His footstool, just as Psalm 110 predicts.”
Second, the author may be giving a subtle warning to his readers. If they abandoned the faith and went back to Judaism, they would be placing themselves on the losing side in history. They would be making themselves enemies of Jesus, and that’s not where you want to be, because Jesus’ enemies are headed for certain defeat and judgment.
In Hebrews 10:14, the author again repeats the effect of Jesus’ one offering: “He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (literal translation). This verse brings together two vital truths.
First, the position of believers before God is that they are perfect. God has forgiven all of their sins through Christ’s sacrifice, and He has imputed Christ’s perfect righteousness to them. These great facts are the basis of our standing before God.
Second, the practice of believers is that they are being sanctified. They are growing in holiness in thought, word, and deed. The position is granted instantly at the moment of saving faith. The practice is worked out over a lifetime of growth in obedience. If there is no growth in holiness, there is reason to question whether the person has been perfected in his position through faith in Christ. (Hebrews 10:1-18 Total Forgiveness)
One (mia) - Is placed first in the Greek text for emphasis.
Offering (4376) (phosphora from prós = toward, before + phero = bring) literally means to bring before. Phosphora is used in the Septuagint (LXX = Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) for the sacrifice offered on the altar. Prosphora clearly was part of the vocabulary of priestly worship and in the NT it was used of Christ’s sacrificial offering (Eph 5:2-note ; Heb10:10-note of His body).
Phosphora - 9x in 9v (not surprisingly is used most often in Hebrews) - Acts 21:26; 24:17; Ro 15:16; Eph 5:2; Heb 10:5, 8, 10, 14, 18
Wuest - The word “perfected” is the translation of teleioo which means “to bring to a state of completion.” Here, the completeness of the state of salvation of the believer is in view. Everything essential to the salvation of the individual is included in the gift of salvation which the sinner receives by faith in Messiah’s sacrifice. The words “for ever” here are to be construed with “perfected.” It is a permanent state of completeness in salvation to which reference is made. The words “them that are sanctified” are descriptive of the believer. He is one set apart for God. (Hebrews Commentary online)
Gromacki - Through the cross Christ “perfected” every believer. The verb (teteleiōken) focuses on the event of regeneration and the permanent standing of spiritual completeness which resulted from conversion.9 Each believer has positional perfection in Christ, although he must advance toward maturity in his daily practice. Before God the believer is as perfect today as he will be in eternity future. God supplied in the death of Christ all that men need to have a perfect position before Him. (Stand Bold in Grace)
Spurgeon - The glory of the text is that we are perfected forever—not for tomorrow and then allowed to fall from grace; not for the next twenty years and then turned out of the covenant. The blood of Christ has been sprinkled on us; and, therefore, our standing before God is the standing of perfection. And we are always perfect, always fit to come to the throne of God, whatever our doubts, whatever our sins. I do not say this of our character. We come before God in our station (position in Christ) not in our character; and, therefore, we may come as perfect people at all times. (Amen!)
Perfected (5048) (teleioo [word study] related to teleios [word study] from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal, consummate soundness, idea of being whole) means to accomplish or bring to an end or to the intended goal (telos). It means to be complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness or in good working order. It does not mean simply to terminate something but to carry it out to the full finish which is picked up in the translation "perfected". Teleioo signifies the attainment of consummate soundness and includes the idea of being made whole. Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of one fully initiated into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this epistle.
The perfect tense in Hebrews 10:14 speaks of the permanence of this perfection. In other words this describes past tense salvation (justification). Believers are forever "perfect" in Christ (our position).
In Hebrews 12:2 (note) Jesus is designated as "the Author and Perfecter of faith" where Perfecter is teleiotes, the Completer, the Accomplisher, the One Who has reached the goal so as to win the prize so to speak. Jesus is the one Who has brought faith to its perfect conclusion. TDNT adds that teleiotes signifies that "Jesus gives faith its perfect basis by His high-priestly work and thus completes it. At the same time, he exercises complete faith as demonstrated by his passion."
Wuest has this note on the NT word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) - Teleios the adjective, and teleioo the verb. The adjective is used in the papyri, of heirs being of age, of women who have attained maturity, of full-grown cocks, of acacia trees in good condition, of a complete lampstand, of something in good working order or condition. To summarize; the meaning of the adjective includes the ideas of full-growth, maturity, workability, soundness, and completeness. The verb refers to the act of bringing the person or thing to any one of the aforementioned conditions. When applied to a Christian, the word refers to one that is spiritually mature, complete, well-rounded in his Christian character.
Richards commenting on the word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) writes that
These words emphasize wholeness and completeness. In the biological sense they mean "mature," or "full grown": the person, animal, or plant achieved the potential inherent in its nature. The perfect is the thing or person that is complete, in which nothing that belongs to its essence has been left out. It is perfect because every potential it possesses has been realized. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Teleioo is used 9 times of 24 total NT uses in Hebrews, often in the sense of to make perfect or fully cleanse from sin in contrast to ceremonial (Levitical) cleansing. The writer is emphasizing the importance of perfection… (which should cause any Jew who is contemplating the worth of Christ and the New Covenant to realize his utter hopelessness to every attain perfection under the Old Covenant).
Hebrews 2:10 (note) For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings (What sufferings? Certainly one would consider His temptation by Satan in the barren wilderness [see Mt 4:1-11, Lk 4:1, 2, 3ff, Mk 1:12, 13] and Gethsemane [Mt 26:36,44, Lk 22:39,44][in agony He was praying very fervently]). (Comment: This does not imply any moral imperfection in the Lord Jesus, but speaks of the consummation of the human experience of suffering the death of the Cross, through which He must pass if He is to become the Author or Captain of our salvation.)
Hebrews 5:9 (note) And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
Hebrews 7:19 (note) (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Comment: This means to carry through completely, to make complete, to finish, bring to an end. The old covenant could bring nothing to conclusion. The Mosaic economy could reveal sin but it could never remove sin, and so it had to be removed. It gave no security. It gave no peace. A man never had a clean conscience.)
Hebrews 10:1 (note) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. (Contrast with Jesus in Hebrews 5:9 above. The idea in Hebrews 10:1 is that the ceremonial law could not actually save the believer. Its work was always short of completeness.)
Wuest "Here, the completeness of the state of salvation of the believer is in view. Everything essential to the salvation of the individual is included in the gift of salvation which the sinner receives by faith in Messiah’s sacrifice. The words “for ever” here are to be construed with “perfected.” It is a permanent state of completeness in salvation to which reference is made. The words “them that are sanctified” are descriptive of the believer. He is one set apart for God) (Hebrews Commentary online)
Hebrews 12:23 (note) (But you have come… ) 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
In sum the fundamental idea of teleioo is the bringing of a person or thing to the goal fixed by God. John MacArthur reiterates the practical implications writing that…
The new sacrifice (Ed: Referring to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross) was effective because it gives believers eternal perfection. Again, it must be emphasized that perfection is eternal salvation. To make perfected here mean “spiritually matured” would not be consistent with the context. The death of Jesus Christ removes sin forever for those who belong to Him. We are totally secure in our Savior. We need cleansing when we fall into sin, but we need never fear God’s judgment on us because of our sin. As far as Christ’s sacrifice is concerned, we have already been sanctified and perfected—which is why He had to sacrifice Himself only once (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
It is interesting and doubtless no mere coincidence that in the Septuagint (LXX) teleioo is translated numerous times as consecrated or consecration, especially speaking of consecration of the priests (compare Jesus our "great High Priest") (Ex 29:9, 29, 33, 35 Lev 4:5; 8:33; 16:32; 21:10; Nu 3:3). The LXX translators gave the verb teleioo a special sense of consecration to priestly service and this official concept stands behind the writer's use in this passage in Hebrews 5:9 (note). It signifies that Jesus has been fully equipped to come before God in priestly action.
All time (1336) (dienekes from dia = through + phéro = carry, bear) means carried through. It is used in the Greek idiomatic phrase "eis to dienekes" which means unlimited duration of time with particular focus upon the future, and therefore means always, forever, forever and ever, eternally, continually.
Under the LAW, the OLD COVENANT, it was MANY offerings, daily, time after time, year after year.
All time - unlimited duration of time = w particular focus upon the future; always, forever, forever and ever, eternally
Spurgeon - In the sanctuary there were persons who did nothing else but wait upon the Lord. These were consecrated to their offices, for God chose the tribe of Levi, and out of the tribe of Levi he chose the house of Aaron. These persons were chosen, and then they were prepared. They underwent certain ceremonies, and washings, and so they were made ceremonially holy. These priests were therefore sanctified persons, because they were set apart, dedicated, and reserved to the special service of the Lord God. Now that is just what you and I are, and what we ought to be. We are sanctified persons; that is to say, we are chosen by God to be the peculiar vessels that He will use in pouring out His mercy, and to be the special priests whom He shall employ in His divine worship in this world.
Devotional on Hebrews 10:14 - In Progress or Completed?
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14
It’s satisfying to finish a job. Each month, for instance, one of my job responsibilities gets moved from one category to another, from “In Progress” to “Completed.” I love clicking that “Completed” button. But last month when I clicked it, I thought, If only I could overcome rough spots in my faith so easily! It can seem like the Christian life is always in progress, never completed.
Then I remembered Hebrews 10:14. It describes how Christ’s sacrifice redeems us totally. So in one important sense, that “completed button” has been pressed for us. Jesus’s death did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves: He made us acceptable in God’s eyes when we place our faith in Him. It is finished, as Jesus Himself said (John 19:30). Paradoxically, even though His sacrifice is complete and total, we spend the rest of our lives living into that spiritual reality—“being made holy,” as Hebrews’ author writes.
The fact that Jesus has finished something that’s still being worked out in our lives is hard to understand. When I’m struggling spiritually, it’s encouraging to remember that Jesus’s sacrifice for me—and for you—is complete . . . even if our living it out in this life is still a work in progress. Nothing can stop His intended end from being achieved eventually: being transformed into His likeness (see 2 Corinthians 3:18, compare Phil 1:6, 1 Thes 5:24). By Adam Holz
THOSE WHO ARE SANCTIFIED: tous hagiazomenous (PPPMPA):
- He 2:11; 6:13,14; 13:12; Acts 20:32; 26:13; Ro 15:16; 1Cor 1:2; Eph 5:26; Jude 1:1
- Hebrews 10 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries
THE BELIEVER'S PROGRESSIVE
GROWTH IN HOLINESS
Whereas perfected describes every believer's eternal position before the Holy God, sanctified describes the daily practice which assures fellowship and communion with Him.
Those who are sanctified - This could be paraphrased as "those who are continually being sanctified, set apart or made holy" (see more discussion below). The NIV translation is more accurate in this passage than the NASB. "By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (NIV)
As John Piper points out "the translation, "those who are sanctified," at the end of the verse, could also look in English as if the sanctifying is also complete. They "are (now, already) sanctified." But that is not what the tense in the original Greek means. It is the present tense and signifies an ongoing process. (Sermon)
Sanctified (37) (hagiazo [word study] form hagios [word study] = set apart ones in turn from a = privative + ge = the earth ~ because everything offered or consecrated to God was separated from all earthly use) means to set apart (or be set apart), to make holy, to consecrate (as of things set apart for sacred purposes).
Hagiazo - 29x in 26v - NAS -- hallowed(2), keep holy(1), sanctified(16), sanctifies(2), sanctify(7).
Mt 6:9; 23:17, 19; Lk. 11:2; Jn. 10:36; 17:17, 19; Acts 20:32; 26:18; Rom. 15:16; 1 Co. 1:2; 6:11; 7:14; Eph. 5:26; 1Th 5:23; 1 Tim. 4:5; 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 2:11; 9:13; 10:10, 14, 29; 13:12; 1 Pet. 3:15; Jude 1:1; Rev. 22:11
A sanctified person is one set apart from ordinary (profane, common, "vulgar" [originally meant "common"]) use to be God’s own possession, for His use, and enjoyment (cp 1Co 6:19, 20). The opposite of sanctification is profanation (the act of making profane - treating with abuse, irreverence and/or contempt).
Without going into great detail, it should be noted that there are four types of sanctification in Scripture: pre-conversion sanctification, positional sanctification (our initial salvation experience when we were justified by faith in Christ, representing a one time setting apart, eg Acts 26:18), practical sanctification (where believers live day by day, thus representing an ongoing event until the next stage of our salvation, cp 1Co 1:18), and perfect sanctification (or glorification, when we see Jesus we will be like Him, 1 John 3:2, 3). (See also Three Tenses of Salvation). As you read Hebrews sanctification is used several times and the context should help determine which meaning is in view but sometimes only knowing the verb tense will aid this distinction.
Hagiazo means to render or acknowledge to be venerable or to hallow. It means to separate from things profane and dedicate to God, to consecrate and so render them inviolable. It means to purify or cleanse, either externally as in the Levitical system or to purify by expiation so that one is free from the guilt of sin. In general, Christians are called "holy ones" indicating that they are those who have been freed from the impurity of wickedness, having been brought near to God by grace through faith. This latter meaning is seen in Acts were Luke records Jesus' charge to Paul to go to the Gentiles…
to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified (describes the initial setting apart at the time of salvation) by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:18)
Hagiazo is in the present tense, passive voice which signifies that believers are "works in progress" so to speak. We are all involved in the process of being continually sanctified. This process will not cease until the day we see Jesus face to face and are then glorified forever. The passive voice signifies that the process is being carried out by an outside force acting upon and in believers. The outside force (Who is at the same time the indwelling source - 1Cor 3:16, 1Cor 6:19-note) is the Spirit of Christ, Who is making us holy by exertion of His power, not as a result of our own power. (Cp Jesus in Hebrews 2:11-note]) This process is referred to as Practical sanctification is a day by day (moment by moment) growth in holiness of believers who are in Christ positionally (positional sanctification - see 1Th 4:3-note) In summary, Hebrews 10:14 describes a process whereas Hebrews 10:10-note describes our position in Christ.
We are continually being brought to the full purpose (telos = goal) for which we were created (Christlikeness) and while we are now in process, one day we will be like Him for we shall see Him face to face (1Jn 3:2-note). Lord, hasten the day. Amen! While the Spirit is continually sanctifying us, that truth does not give us license to live any way we please. Nor does it mean that we simply "let go and let God" as some falsely teach. In a somewhat mysterious way (at least to me) we as believers still have a responsibility to work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Php 2:12-note), even while the Spirit indwelling us gives us the desire and the power to "work out our salvation! (See Php 2:13NLT-note) This "mysterious" process of growth in holiness, in greater and greater degrees of Christlikeness or of progressive sanctification (these are synonymous phrases) is what I like to refer to as "Sacred Synergism" (adapted from Jerry Bridges' book I highly recommend entitled The Bookends of the Christian Life).
Spurgeon - You must beware of misunderstanding that word (sanctified - made holy) as though it meant those who are made perfectly holy in character. The word implies an inward work of grace, but it means a great deal more. The passage should be read “He has perfected for all time those who are being made holy,” for it is in the present (tense) in the Greek. The text is not to be made to say that those who are perfectly sanctified are perfected—that would be a commonplace, self-evident truth—but the Great High Priest perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Now, sanctification means, primarily, the setting apart of a people by God to be holy to Himself. Election is sanctification virtually; all God’s people were sanctified—set apart and made holy to the Lord—in the eternal purpose and sovereign decree before the earth was. Christ has by His death perfected all who were sanctified or set apart in election.
John Piper explains that… What this means is that you can know that you stand perfect in the eyes of your heavenly Father if you are moving away from your present imperfection toward more and more holiness by faith in his future grace. Let me say that again, because it is full of encouragement for imperfect sinners like us, and full of motivation for holiness. This verse means that you can have assurance that you stand perfected and completed in the eyes of your heavenly Father not because you are perfect now, but precisely because you are not perfect now but are "being sanctified", "being made holy", that, by faith in God's promises, you are moving away from your lingering imperfection toward more and more holiness. (See Hebrews 10:32, 33, 34, 35; 11:24, 25, 26 etc. for examples of how faith in future grace sanctifies, cp 1Peter 1:13-note) (John Piper's entire message "Perfected for All Time by a Single Offering")
KJV Bible Commentary notes that here in Hebrews 10 where we see the verb sanctify (here and Hebrews 10:10) used twice the writer is describing…
the twofold nature of salvation (see Three Tenses of Salvation). The believer possesses a positional, judicial standing of righteousness and, second, a remaining need for practical, progressive holiness. Three factors within this verse make perfected absolute, suggesting the eternal security of the believer. The word itself (Greek teleioo from telos = goal) involves completion, the bringing of something to its end. Second, the use of the Greek perfect tense (have been sanctified -- He 10:10-note) suggests that the perfection has been accomplished and its effects are continuing. Third, the modifier, forever, expresses security for the believer.
The need, however, of a progressive sanctification is expressed by the word sanctified. The use of the present participle implies the thought of a sanctification that is continuing, rather than completed. There is an initial, or positional, sanctification involved in regeneration (1Cor 1:2; 6:1). Equally, there is a progressive sanctification by which the Holy Spirit continually maintains and strengthens the holiness imparted in regeneration (Ro 6:19-note; 2Cor 7:1-note; 1Th 4:3-note). Finally, there exists for the people of God an ultimate or completed sanctification whereby we will be freed from even the very presence of sin within our lives (1Th 5:23-note). Even though the believer’s sanctification is still in progress, yet because of Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice, he stands eternally secure and perfect because of Christ’s righteousness (2Cor 5:21). (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary: Nelson) (Bolding added)
Oswald Chambers writes on The Impartial Power of God
We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the result of our personal realization of the atonement by the Cross of Christ, which He has provided for us. "… Christ Jesus … became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption … " ( 1Co 1:30 ). Once we realize that Christ has become all this for us, the limitless joy of God begins in us. And wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is still in effect.
No matter who or what we are, God restores us to right standing with Himself only by means of the death of Jesus Christ. God does this, not because Jesus pleads with Him to do so but because He died. It cannot be earned, just accepted. All the pleading for salvation which deliberately ignores the Cross of Christ is useless. It is knocking at a door other than the one which Jesus has already opened. We protest by saying, "But I don’t want to come that way. It is too humiliating to be received as a sinner." God’s response, through Peter, is, "… there is no other name … by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). What at first appears to be heartlessness on God’s part is actually the true expression of His heart. There is unlimited entrance His way. "In Him we have redemption through His blood … " ( Ephesians 1:7-note). To identify with the death of Jesus Christ means that we must die to everything that was never a part of Him.
God is just in saving bad people only as He makes them good. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement by the Cross of Christ is the propitiation God uses to make unholy people holy. (My Utmost for His Highest)
THIS verse is in reality the conclusion of the doctrinal part of the Epistle. The four following verses are simply the citation of the words of the new covenant to confirm its teaching with the witness of the Holy Spirit. The writer having, in the context, expounded the nature of Christ's sacrifice, as showing what the way into the Holiest is, sums up his proof of its worth and efficacy in the words: By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. We find here five of the most important words that occur in the Epistle.
Sanctified. That looks back to the great purpose of Christ's coming, as we had it in Hebrews 2. Sanctified is cleansed from sin, taken out of the sphere and power of the world and sin, and brought to live in the sphere and power of God's holiness in the Holiest of All. It looks back, too, to Hebrews 2:10: In which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ.
He hath perfected them that are sanctified. It not only says that He has finished and completed for them all they need. The word points back to what was said of His own being made perfect. All He became was for us. In His one sacrifice He was not only perfected Himself, but He perfected us; He took us into the fellowship of His own perfectness, implanted His own perfect life in us, and gave His perfected human nature to us what we were to put on, and to live in.
For ever. He hath perfected us once for all and for ever. His perfection is ours; our whole life is prepared for us, to be received out of His hand.
By sacrifice. The death, the blood, the sacrifice of Christ, is the power by which we have been alike sanctified and perfected. It is the way which He opened up, in which He leads us with Himself into what He is and does as the One who is perfected for evermore, and the Holiest of All.
By one sacrifice. One because there is none other needed, either by others or Himself; one divine, and therefore sufficient and for ever.
The chief thought of the passage is: He hath for ever perfected them that are being sanctified. The words in Hebrews 10:10, In which will we have been sanctified, speak of our sanctification as an accomplished fact: we are saints, holy in Christ, in virtue of our real union with Him, and His holy life planted in the centre of our being. Here we are spoken of as being sanctified. There is a process by which our new life in Christ has to master and to perfect holiness through our whole outer being. But the progressive sanctification has its rest and its assurance in the ONCE and FOR EVER of Christ's work. He hath perfected for ever them that are being sanctified.
In Hebrews 9:9-10. I we read that the sacrifices could never, as touching the conscience, make the worshipper perfect, never make perfect them that draw nigh, so that they have no more conscience of sins. Our conscience is that which defines what our consciousness of ourselves before God should be: Christ makes the worshipper perfect, as touching the conscience, so that there is no more conscience of sins. He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. At the close of the chapter on Christ's priesthood we read of Himself (Hebrews 7:28): He is a High Priest, a Son, perfected for evermore. Here at the close of the unfolding of His work, it is said of His saints: He hath perfected them for ever. The perfection in both cases is one and the same. The sanctification and the perfection of the believer are prepared as a new nature in Christ,, to be appropriated in the daily life of faith. To know this is the secret of power.
And wherein His perfection consists we know too. (See in Hebrews 2:10 and 5:9.) A Leader in the way of glory, God made Him perfect through suffering; perfected in Him that humility and meekness and patience which mark Him as the Lamb, which are what God asks of man, and are man's only fitness for dwelling with God. Having offered up prayer, and having been heard for His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by what He suffered, and was made perfect. His godly fear, His waiting on God in the absolute surrender of His will, His submitting to learn obedience, His spirit of self-sacrifice, even unto death,--it was by this that as man He was perfected, it was in this He perfected human nature, and perfected His people too. In His death He accomplished a threefold work. He perfected Himself, His own human nature and character. He perfected our redemption, perfectly putting away sin from the place it had in heaven (Hebrews 9:23), and in our hearts. He perfected us, taking us up into His own perfection, and making us partakers of that perfect human nature, which in suffering and obedience, in the body prepared for Him, and the will of God done in it, He had wrought out for us. Christ Himself is our perfection; in Him it is complete; abiding in Him continually is perfection.
Let us press on to perfection, was the call with which we were led into the higher-life teaching of the Epistle. Here is our goal. Christ, by one offering, hath perfected us for ever. We know Him as the Priest for ever, the Minister of the new sanctuary, and the Mediator of the new covenant, who by His blood entered into the Holiest; there He lives for ever, in the power of an endless life, to impart to us and maintain within us His perfect life. It is the walk in this path of perfection, which as our Leader He opened up in doing the will of God, which is the new and living way into the Holiest.
1. The work of Christ is a perfect and perfected work. Everything is finished and complete for ever. And we have just by faith to behold and enter in, and seek and rejoice, and receive out of His fulness grace for grace. Let every difficulty you feel in understanding or claiming the different blessings set before you, or in connecting them, find its solution in the one thought--Christ has perfected us for ever; trust Him, cling to Him, He will do all.
2. One sacrifice for ever. We perfected for ever. And HE who did It all, HE for ever seated on the throne. Our blessed Priest-King, He lives to make it all ours. In the power of an endless life, in which He offered Himself unto God, In which He entered the Holiest, He now lives to give and be in our hearts all He hath accomplished. What more can we need? Wherefore, holy brethren! partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus. (Andrew Murray. The Holiest of All)