Hebrews 10:8-10 Commentary

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The Epistle
to the Hebrews

Hebrews 1-10:18
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Superior Person
of Christ
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Superior Priest
in Christ
Hebrews 4:14-10:18
Superior Life
In Christ
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Heb 4:14-7:28
Heb 8:1-13
Heb 9:1-10:18



ca. 64-68AD

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(See also MacArthur's Introduction to Hebrews)

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Hebrews 10:8 After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law), (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: anoteron legon (PAPMSN) oti Thusias kai prosphoras kai olokautomata kai peri amartias ouk ethelesas (2SAAI) oude eudokesas, (2SAAI) aitines kata nomon prospherontai, (3PPPI)

Amplified: When He said just before, You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings—all of which are offered according to the Law— (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: At the beginning of this passage he says: “You did not desire sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt-offerings and sin-offerings and you took no pleasure in them,” and it is such offerings as these that the law prescribes. (Westminster Press)

NLT: Christ said, "You did not want animal sacrifices or grain offerings or animals burned on the altar or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them" (though they are required by the law of Moses). (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: After saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin you did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are made according to the Law), (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: Above, when saying, Sacrifice and offering and whole burnt offerings also for sin you did not desire nor even have pleasure in, which were of such a nature as those being offered according to law,

Young's Literal: saying above -- 'Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt-offerings, and concerning sin-offering Thou didst not will, nor delight in,' -- which according to the law are offered--

AFTER SAYING ABOVE SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN THOU HAST NOT DESIRED NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE IN THEM WHICH ARE OFFERED ACCORDING TO THE LAW: anoteron legon (PAPMSN) hoti thusias kai prosphoras kai holokautomata : peri hamartias ouk ethelesas (2SAAI) oude eudokesas (2SAAI) aitines kata nomon prospherontai,(3PPPI):

After saying above - In Hebrews 10:8-9 the writer again quotes from Ps 40:6, 7, 8, but this time in a condensed form.

Wuest - “Above” refers back to Heb 10:5. The writer shows the incompetence of animal sacrifices to satisfy the will of God, and the setting aside of the same in order that room might be made for that Sacrifice which will permanently satisfy His holy requirements. When Messiah offers Himself as the sacrifice, God takes away the First Testament and brings in the second or the New Testament. And this is the argument of the Book of Hebrews. (Hebrews Commentary online)

Saying (3004) (lego) means to speak or talk, with an apparent focus upon content of what is said. Present tense indicates continually saying which would refer to the enduring character of any and all of God's Word (Mt 24:35, Mk 13:31, Lk 21:33)

Above (511) (anoteros) is the comparative of ano (above) and can mean above or preceding as in this verse (a higher place in the written column) or higher, better or more honorable place at the table as in the only other NT use (Lk 14:10). Anoteros is first in the Greek sentence for emphasis.

Albert Barnes writes that…

Saying above, when he said. That is, the Messiah. The word "above" refers here to the former part of he quotation. That is, "having in the former part of what was quoted said that God did not require sacrifices, in the latter part he says that he came to do the will of God in the place of them." Sacrifice and offering and burnt, offerings, etc. These words are not all used in the Psalm from which the apostle quotes, but the idea is, that the specification there included all kinds of offerings. The apostle dwells upon it because it was important to show that the same remark applied to all the sacrifices which could be offered by man. When the Redeemer made the observation about the inefficacy of sacrifices, he meant that there was none of them which would be sufficient to take away sin.

Sacrifices and offerings - Earle remarks that "These words may carelessly be thought of as synonymous. But they are not. The first, prosphora, literally means "something brought to." It aptly describes an "offering," which was "brought to" the altar. It might be composed of meal or oil, or even be a drink offering. On the other hand, "sacrifice" is thusia… Christ was both. It takes all the offerings of the OT—described in detail in the early chapters of Leviticus—to typify the many-sided work of Christ in His redemption of humanity." (Word Meanings in the New Testament)

Sacrifices (2378) (thusia/thysia from thuo/thyo = to slay, sacrifice or kill a sacrificial victim; to bring a religious offering to a deity) refers literally to animal sacrifices that were slain and offered on the altar.

Homer (about nine centuries before Christ) used thusia to describe the "smoke or burnt offering." Later the sense of thusia was broadened to mean the actual slaying of a sacrifice. According to Pindar, thusia was the very ritual of sacrifice, the religious service in which a sacrifice was brought.

NIDNTT notes that in classic Greek usage the verb form thuo (which has been in use since Homer some 9 centuries prior to Christ)…

has in secular Gk. the basic meaning of to sacrifice, though originally in connexion with the smoke-offering it meant to smoke, and in particular, in the active form, to offer a smoking or a burnt sacrifice (Homer, Il. 9, 219; Xen., Cyr. 8, 7, 3). Because sacrificial animals or portions of animals-and human beings also-were burnt, thyo also assumed the meaning to slaughter for cultic ends (Hdt., 1, 216; Eur., Iph. Taur. 621). The noun thysia (since Pindar) signifies the ritual of sacrifice as well as the sacrificial animal or any other similar sacrificial gift (Hdt., 4, 60; Thuc., 8, 70). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan - excellent resource for in depth word studies)

Thusia is used figuratively in the NT. Thusia refers to the death of Christ as an offering of Himself to God (Ep 5:2-note). Thusia is used to refer to the volitional choice of a believer to make a consecration or surrender of one's whole life unto God (Ro 12:1-note). thusia refers to the believer's offering of praise and good deeds (He 13:16-note) to God, an offering that is acceptable to God only through Jesus, only on the basis of His shed blood (He 13:15-note). Peter concurs saying we are "to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1Pe 2:5-note)

Someone once said that "Sacrifice is the ecstasy of giving the best we have to the one we love the most."

Detzler notes that…

In the Septuagint Greek Old Testament, this word (thusia) was used to describe the Jewish sacrificial system. It also characterized the action of bringing a sacrifice. In fact, most of the major characters in the Old Testament brought sacrifices. Among them were: Noah (Ge 8:20), Abraham (Ge 12:6), Isaac (Ge 26:25), Jacob (Ge 33:20), Moses (Ex. 17:15), Elijah (1Ki 18:31), and David (2Sa 24:18)…

The words (thusia/thuo - Thuo = 14x in 13v - Mt 22:4; Mk 14:12; Lk 15:23, 27, 30; 22:7; Jn 10:10; Ac 10:13; 11:7; 14:13, 18; 1Co 5:7; 10:20) pertaining to sacrifice occur about 40 times in the Greek New Testament. Jesus gave basic teaching about the priority of sacrifice. In the Sermon on the Mount He warned against bringing a sacrifice when there is sin in one's life (Mt 5:23, 24). Later on He chided some Pharisees, because they substituted sacrifices for mercy (He 9:13; 12:7). When sacrifices were turned into commerce and exploited for personal gain, Jesus struck out literally and expelled the animal salesmen from the temple (Jn 21:12-17). Nevertheless, the earthly parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, brought a sacrifice at the time of Jesus' temple dedication (Lk 2:24). Their sacrifice was sincere.

In the Book of Acts, the church moved away from the Jewish sacrificial system. The early Christians realized that Jesus Christ had brought the only perfect Sacrifice, Himself.

It was the perversion of the old sacrifices, the offering to a golden calf, that Stephen condemned in his last sermon (Ac 7:41). The Apostle Paul fulfilled his vow and brought a sacrifice when he returned to Jerusalem at the end of his missionary journeys (Ac 21:26).

The Epistles emphasize the perfection of Christ's sacrifice, and the effectiveness of His death on our behalf. The theme is sounded in Romans, where Paul proclaimed that the sacrificed Saviour made us right with God (Ro 3:23-note, Ro 3:24-note, Ro 3:25-note).

It is in Hebrews, however, that this theme is fully developed. The priesthood of Christ is built on the idea of His atoning sacrifice (He 2:17-note). Part of the priestly task was sacrifice, which was exemplified perfectly in Christ (He 5:1-9). Not only did Christ present Himself as a sacrifice, but His sacrifice was once for all (He 7:27-note). Animal sacrifices could never cleanse one's conscience, but Christ's sacrifice could (He 9:9-14). On the basis of His sacrifice, Christ now exercises an intercessory ministry on our behalf (He 10:11, 12-note).

Because Christ sacrificed Himself on our behalf, Christians are also told to make sacrifices. They should present their bodies as living sacrifices to God (Ro 12:1-2). Their daily lives of separation from sin are an imitation, though a pale one, of the sacrifice of Christ (Ep 5:2-note). When Christians financially support the ministry, they also bring sacrifices to the Lord (Php 4:18-note). In fact, all Christians are priests designated to bring spiritual sacrifices to the Lord (1Pe 2:5-note, 1Pe 2:9-note).

Because of the deep significance attached to the sacrifice of Christ, the New Testament is strong in condemning sacrifices to idols. At the Jerusalem Council all of the apostolic leaders agreed to denounce sacrifices to idols (Acts 15:29). Paul insisted that idols were no gods at all; in fact they were nothing but bits of wood or stone (1Co 8:1, 4, 7).

Since Christ has been sacrificed, all other religious sacrifices are out of date. The only acceptable sacrifice is the sacrifice of worship and service which dedicated believers bring to their Lord. (NT Words)

Thusia - 28x in the NT -

Matthew 9:13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Comment: This verse is an excellent "commentary" on Hebrews 10:8 - God took no delight in sacrifices as such if they were not the product of a proper attitude. The same comment would apply to the next two uses of thusia below.

Matthew 12:7 "But if you had known what this means, 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,' you would not have condemned the innocent.


Luke 2:24 (Context Jesus' parents offering sacrifice - Lk 2:22, 23) and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS."

Luke 13:1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

MacArthur comments: Evidently, some worshipers from Galilee were condemned by Rome—perhaps because they were seditious zealots (see Mt 10:4)—and were sought out and killed in the temple by Roman authorities while in the process of offering a sacrifice. Such a killing would have been the grossest sort of blasphemy. Incidents like this inflamed the Jews’ hatred of Rome and finally led to rebellion, and the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word)

Acts 7:41 "At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 "But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?

Comment: From the outset when Israel was solemnly given the law, they rebelled against the Giver and only Living God and willfully turned to worthless and lifeless idols.

Romans 12:1-note Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

John Sutherland Bonnell - "Take that gift God has entrusted to you, and use it in the service of Christ and your fellowmen. He will make it glow and shine like the very stars of heaven."

John Benton - Sacrifice is the giving up of something we genuinely value in order to express our devotion to God.

Jim Elliot - He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

C T Studd - If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.

Amy Carmichael poetically pictures the living and holy sacrifice of Romans 12:1 in her famous poem…

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire.
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me thy fuel, Flame of God.

1 Corinthians 10:18 Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar?

Ephesians 5:2-note and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Philippians 2:17-note But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Vine comments that thusia: "here stands for the victim, not for the act of sacrificing. While in one aspect the believers were the sacrifice, as being consecrated to God, each being “a living sacrifice,” and that by reason of their faith, yet in Paul’s view here they were the offerers, their faith was the sacrifice, and Paul was the libation." (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)

R. G. LeTourneau (read his bio!) (1888-1969) was a man who typifies "the sacrifice" of his faith. Having become a multi-millionaire from the invention and production of earth-moving machinery he used his machinery and money to build roads in Latin America to open the jungle for missionary advance. He founded a Christian university in LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas (one of my disciples opens each morning's class with the sola Scriptura devotional of the day - Daily Light indicating LeTourneau U. has not drifted from its Christian moorings!). LeTourneau's legacy included building large Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches at Lima. Though LeTourneau made millions, he gave nine-tenths of it to the Lord's work (so much for the "tithe"!), setting a high standard for the sacrifice of faith! As F B Meyer once said (and as proven truth in LeTourneau's life and continuing legacy) "God will be our compensation for every sacrifice we have made."

The famous orphanage founder and man of prayer George Mueller said that "Self-denial is not so much an impoverishment as a postponement: we make a sacrifice of present good for the sake of a future and greater good."

Philippians 4:18-note But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Hebrews 5:1-note For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;

Hebrews 7:27-note who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 8:3-note For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.

Hebrews 9:9-note which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,

Hebrews 9:23-note Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:26-note Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

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 which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

Hebrews 10:5-note Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

Hebrews 10:8-note After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law),

Hebrews 10:11-note Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

Hebrews 10:12-note but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,

Hebrews 10:26-note For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

Hebrews 11:4-note By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

Hebrews 13:15-note Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Comment: Webster defines sacrifice as the act of offering to a deity something precious! Here thusia is used metaphorically to describe their volitional offering of their words.

1 Peter 2:5-note you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Thusia - 295x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) (Often rendered offering in NAS) -

Gen 4:3, 5; 31:54; 46:1; Ex 10:25; 12:27; 18:12; 24:5; 29:34, 41f; 30:9; 32:6; Lev 1:9, 13, 17; 2:1ff, 13ff; 3:1, 3, 6, 9; 4:10, 26, 31, 35; 5:13; 6:14f, 20f, 23; 7:9ff, 15ff, 20f, 29, 32, 34, 37; 9:4, 17f; 10:12, 14; 14:10, 20f, 31; 17:5, 7f; 19:5; 21:6, 21; 22:21, 29; 23:13, 16, 18f, 37; 26:31; Num 4:16; 5:15, 18, 25f; 6:15, 17f; 7:13, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 61, 65, 67, 71, 73, 77, 79, 83, 87f; 8:8; 10:10; 15:3ff, 8f, 24; 16:15; 23:3, 15; 25:2; 28:5, 8f, 13, 20, 26, 28, 31; 29:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18f, 21f, 24f, 27f, 30f, 33f, 37ff; Deut 12:27; 27:7; 32:38; 33:19; Josh 8:30; 22:23, 26ff; Judg 6:18; 13:19, 23; 1Sa 1:21, 24; 2:17, 19, 29; 3:14; 6:15; 9:12f; 10:8; 11:15; 15:22; 16:3, 5; 20:6, 29; 26:19; 2Sa 14:17; 1 Kgs 8:62ff; 12:27; 18:29; 2 Kgs 3:20; 10:19, 21; 16:13, 15; 1 Chr 9:31; 21:23; 23:29; 29:21; 2 Chr 7:1, 5, 12; 29:31; 30:22; 31:2; 33:16; Ezra 7:17; 9:4f; Neh 10:33; Job 1:5; 20:6; Ps 4:5; 20:3; 27:6; 40:6; 50:5, 8, 14, 23; 51:16f, 19; 96:8; 106:28; 107:22; 116:17; 141:2; Prov 7:14; 15:8; 16:7; 21:3, 27; Eccl 5:1; Isa 1:11; 19:21; 34:6; 43:23f; 56:7; 57:6f; 65:4; 66:20; Jer 6:20; 7:21f; 14:12; 17:26; 46:10; Ezek 39:17, 19; 42:13; 44:11, 15, 29; 45:15, 17, 24; 46:5; Dan 2:46; 4:1; 8:11ff; 9:21, 25; 11:31; 12:11; Hos 3:4; 6:6; 8:13; 9:4; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14; Amos 4:4; 5:22, 25; Jonah 1:16; Zeph 1:7f; 3:10; Zech 9:1; Mal 1:8, 10f, 13; 2:12f; 3:3f

Offerings (4376) (phosphora from pros = toward, before + phero = to bring or bear) literally is "a bringing before" and thus describes the act of offering or a bringing to and metonymically to that which is offered (a gift, a present).

The major Scriptural use of prosphora is found in Hebrews 10 (5x) and thus it behooves one to study these passages in context to derive a good sense of the meaning of the word.

Phosphora - 9x in 9v - offering(6), offerings(2), sacrifice(1).

Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.

Acts 24:17 "Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings;

Romans 15:16-note to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:2-note and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Hebrews 10:5-note Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

Hebrews 10:8-note After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law),

Hebrews 10:10-note By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14-note For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

Hebrews 10:18-note Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Prosphora - 4x in the Septuagint - 1Ki 7:34; Ps 39:7; Da 3:38; 4:37

Whole burnt offerings (3646) (holokautoma) refers to a victim the whole (and not like other victims only a part) of which is burned (Latin holocaustum). This word is used in the Septuagint The Septuagint Ex 30:20; Lev 5:12; 23:8,25,21).

Sin (266) (hamartia [word study] literally conveys the sense of missing the mark as when hunting with a bow and arrow (in Homer some hundred times of a warrior hurling his spear but missing his foe). Later hamartia came to mean missing or falling short of any goal, standard, or purpose. Ryrie adds that "this is not only a negative idea but includes the positive idea of hitting some wrong mark."

(Not = absolute negation) Desired (2309) (thelo) means first resolved, determined, or purposed, then to desire or wish and as here in Hebrews to take delight or have pleasure (cp Col 2:18, Mt 9:13, 12:7 [Lxx of Ho 6:6], Lxx Ps 112:1, 147:10, Ezek 18:32).

Have you taken pleasure (2106) (eudokeo [word study] from eu = well, good + dokeo = to think) means literally to think well of and so to be well pleased, to take pleasure or delight in (This is the meaning of eudokeo in this passage albeit in a negative sense). The idea is to find satisfaction in something or someone or to view with approval. To delight means to take great pleasure, to give keen enjoyment, to provide a high degree of gratification, something God did not do with the sacrifices and offerings (for reasons discussed elsewhere).

Wiersbe explains this easily confused statement… This does not suggest that the old sacrifices were wrong, or that sincere worshipers received no benefit from obeying God's Law. It only means that God had no delight in sacrifices as such, apart from the obedient hearts of the worshipers. No amount of sacrifices could substitute for obedience (1Sa 15:22, Ps. 51:16, 17; Is 1:11, 19; Je 6:19, 20; Ho 6:6; Am 5:20, 21). (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor)

Spurgeon - If we had to render to God something by which we should be accepted, we should be always in jeopardy. But now, since we are accepted “in the beloved” (Eph 1:6-note), we are safe beyond all hazard. Had we to find that with which we should appear before the Most High God, we might still be asking, “Shall I approach him with burnt offerings, with bull calves a year old? Will Yahweh be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriads of rivers of oil?” (Micah 6:6-7-note) nor did you delight in An end was made of the types and shadows of the ceremonial law, that the real substance might be introduced by Christ. Never imagine that the old Jewish ceremonial law is to drag on its existence and to be intermingled with the Christian dispensation. No! As the shadows of the night vanish when the sun arises, as the lamps in the street are put out when daylight returns, so was it with all the types and shadows of the ancient law when the great Antitype appeared.

Simon J. Kistemaker helps us understand God's displeasure at the sacrifices which were according to the Law by taking us…

back to the beginning of human history recorded in Genesis. God looked with favor on the offering that Abel brought him, but with disfavor on Cain's offering. Why was Abel's offering—"fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock"—acceptable, and the offering of Cain—"some of the fruits of the soil"—unacceptable (Ge 4:3, 4, 5)? The writer of Hebrews answers by saying,

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings (He 11:4-note).

The author of Hebrews asserts not that God has an aversion to offerings presented to him, but that sacrifices offered without faith and obedience are an abomination (Is 1:11, 12, 13, 14-note; Amos 5:21, 22). Through Hosea God says to Israel,

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings" (Ho 6:6). (Baker New Testament Commentary – Exposition of Thessalonians, the Pastorals, and Hebrews) (Bolding added)

Offered (4374) (prosphero from prós = to, toward + phéro = bring) means to carry or bring something into the presence of someone usually implying a transfer of something to that person carry to. It refers to an offering, whether of gifts, prayers, or sacrifices.

According to the Law - The writer describes God's displeasure over sacrifices but adds that they are according to the Law, just in case his Jewish audience might think he is referring to sacrifices such as the pagans who did not know God offered to dumb idols who are no gods. No, the writer is referring to the very sacrifices God Himself had ordained in the OT.

William Gurnall echoed the thoughts of the writer of Hebrews 10:8 when he said… Sacrifice without obedience is sacrilege.

Stedman notes that… That none of his readers should miss this important point the writer takes pains to indicate clearly, in Hebrews 10:8, 9, 10, the meaning of the quote from Psalm 40. He acknowledges that though God authorized the animal sacrifices of the past, He did not delight in them. Then he stresses the fact that Christ deliberately set Himself to do the will of the Father, though He knew it would lead to pain and separation. Intimations of Gethsemane are certainly present in these words, though it was on the Cross that they were fully carried out. Here the writer also declares that the death of Jesus, by fulfilling the will of the Father, completely replaces the provision of animal deaths which had provided some degree of forgiveness before. Finally, he announces the only possible conclusion: it is by the fulfillment of the will of God in the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ (note the double name, only here in Hebrews) that we (all believers) have been made holy. The Greek expression for made holy indicates action with a lasting effect. We have been made holy by the death of Jesus, and we remain holy even though we struggle with daily weakness and sin. This should be borne in mind when we come to the statement in He 12:14 (see note), “without holiness no one will see the Lord.” It is a holiness obtained by faith, not by self-righteous effort, and it is not lost by momentary failure. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” (Ro 8:1-note). (Hebrews 10:1-39 Let Us Go On!)

Hebrews 10:9 then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: tote eireken, (3SRAI) Idou (5628) eko (1SPAI) tou poiesai (AAN) to thelema sou. anairei (3SPAI) to proton ina to deuteron stese; (3SAAS)

Amplified: He then went on to say, Behold, [here] I am, coming to do Your will. Thus He does away with and annuls the first (former) order [as a means of expiating sin] so that He might inaugurate and establish the second (latter) order. [Ps. 40:6-8.](Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: Then he went on to say: “Behold, I come to do your will.” He abolishes the kind of offering referred to in the first quotation in order to establish the kind of offering referred to in the second. (Westminster Press)

NLT: Then he added, "Look, I have come to do your will." He cancels the first covenant in order to establish the second.(NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Christ then says, "Behold, I have come to do your will, O God." That means he is dispensing with the old order of sacrifices, and establishing a new order of obedience to the will of God, (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: then He said, Behold, I come to do your will. He takes away the first [testament] in order that He may establish the second [testament],

Young's Literal: then he said, 'Lo, I come to do, O God, Thy will;' he doth take away the first that the second he may establish;

THEN HE SAID, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO THY WILL HE TAKES AWAY THE FIRST IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH THE SECOND: tote eireken (3SRAI): idou heko (1SPAI) tou poiesai (AAN) to thelema sou anairei (3SPAI) to proton hina to deuteron stese (3SAAS):

Behold - This is a clarion call attention to something external or exterior to oneself; usually used at the beginning of a clause. Spurgeon says "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation."

Spurgeon - He came cheerfully among the sons of men. You who are sent of Christ must always go gladly to your service; never look as if you were driven to the field like oxen that do not love the plough. God does not delight in a slavish spirit. If we serve Christ because of the yoke of duty, we shall serve badly. But when our service is our pleasure, when we thank God that to us is this grace given that we should “proclaim the good news of the fathomless riches of Christ to the Gentiles” (Eph 3:8), then we shall labor wisely, zealously, and acceptably.

Will (2307)(thelema from thelo = to will with the "-ma" suffix indicating the result of the will = "a thing willed") generally speaks of the result of what one has decided. One sees this root word in the feminine name "Thelma." In its most basic form, thelema refers to a wish, a strong desire, and the willing of some event. (Note: See also the discussion of the preceding word boule for comments relating to thelema).

Zodhiates says that thelema is the…

Will, not to be conceived as a demand, but as an expression or inclination of pleasure towards that which is liked, that which pleases and creates joy. When it denotes God's will, it signifies His gracious disposition toward something. Used to designate what God Himself does of His own good pleasure. (Zodhiates, S. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. AMG)

Thelema has both an objective meaning (“what one wishes to happen” or what is willed) and a subjective connotation (“the act of willing or desiring”). The word conveys the idea of desire, even a heart’s desire, for the word primarily expresses emotion instead of volition. Thus God’s will is not so much God’s intention, as it is His heart’s desire.

Thelema - 62x in 58v -

Mt 6:10; 7:21; 12:50; 18:14; 21:31; 26:42; Mark 3:35; Luke 12:47; 22:42; 23:25; Jn 1:13; 4:34; 5:30; 6:38, 39, 40; 7:17; 9:31; Acts 13:22; 21:14; 22:14; Ro 1:10-note; Ro 2:18-note; Ro 12:2-note; Ro 15:32-note; 1Cor 1:1; 7:37; 16:12; 2Cor 1:1; 8:5; Gal 1:4; Ep 1:1-note, Ep 1:5-note, Ep 1:9-note, Ep 1:11-note; Ep 2:3-note; Ep 5:17-note; Ep 6:6-note; Col 1:1-note, Col 1:9-note; Col 4:12-note; 1Th 4:3-note; 1Th 5:18-note; 2Ti 1:1-note; 2Ti 2:26-note; He 10:7-note, He 10:9-note, He 10:10-note, He 10:36-note; He 13:21-note; 1Pe 2:15-note; 1Pe 3:17-note; 1Pe 4:2-note, 1Pe 4:19-note; 2Pe 1:21-note; 1Jn 2:17; 5:14; Rev 4:11-note. NAS = desire(1), desires(1), will(57).

Takes away (337) (anaireo from aná = an emphatic or up + haireo = to take) means literally to take up or lift up or away. Figuratively, it means to take away violently and so to put to death, kill, slay, murder. In this verse anaireo means to do away with or remove the validation of something, specifically the first covenant or old covenant. The idea is to invalidate it, the process of invalidation implying making something powerless or unacceptable by declaration of its logical or moral or legal unsoundness.

Anaireo - 24x in 23v - do away(1), executed(1), kill(4), killed(2), put… to death(8), put to death(3), slain(1), slay(3), slaying(1), slew(1), takes away(1), took… away(1).

Matt 2:16; Luke 22:2; 23:32; Acts 2:23; 5:33, 36; 7:21, 28; 9:23f, 29; 10:39; 12:2; 13:28; 16:27; 22:20; 23:15, 21, 27; 25:3; 26:10; 2 Thess 2:8; Heb 10:9

Phil Newton comments…

Having done the Father's will, "He takes away the first [that is, the old covenant with all of its sacrificial system and inadequacies] in order to establish the second." Through the righteousness of Christ and His death on our behalf, the old covenant was overturned! The word for "take away," was used in Classical Greek to refer to a law or government or custom that was abolished or repealed or destroyed. The strength of the word must have been startling to the audience receiving this epistle. They knew precisely what the writer meant: it is over. The old covenant has no more demand over your life. The sacrificial system offers you nothing. The rituals and ceremonies are no longer valid or needed. You are free from the tyranny of the old covenant that constantly exposed your weakness but gave you nothing to change the heart.

But the good news is that not only did Christ through obedience to the will of the Father overturn the old covenant, but also established the new covenant: "in order to establish the second."

The first covenant had to be removed so that the new covenant mediated through Jesus Christ might be established.


All who cling to the hope or even fear that obeying the law or following a ritual will put you into a right relationship with God must see that this old covenant is removed. But you are not left hanging with no hope; instead you have a better hope, a sure one (He 3:6-note, He 6:11-note, He 6:19-note, He 7:19-note, He 10:23-note) in what Christ has done. Jesus Christ established with finality the new covenant. The language of the text expresses this beautifully. A literal rendering would be,

'He removes and forever removes the first
in order that the second might be established with finality'

(the use of present tense for "takes away" and aorist for "establish" makes this clear). Hebrews 10:1-18 What Can Wash Away My Sins? (1) Hebrews 10:1-18 What Can Wash Away My Sins? (2)

First (4413) (protos) is used in this context to refer to the first in time and/or first in a series. Sometimes protos implies superior, but in this context that is clearly not the meaning.

Establish (2476) (histemi) means to stand and here to make firm, to fix and so to establish.

Second (1308) (deuteros) refers to the second in time or order and in context refers to the second or new covenant. The second is elsewhere described as the better covenant for it accomplishes for sinners what the first could never accomplish but only point us toward -- the need for a Savior.

What is the first? He is referring to the first covenant, not the Abrahamic but the Mosaic. As Paul taught in Romans, believers are now no longer under the Law but have been made to die to the Law and thus are released from the Law…

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law (how?) through the body of Christ, (why?) that you might be joined to another, to Him Who was raised from the dead, (what is to be the result?) that we might bear fruit for God. (Why did we need to die to the Law?) 5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. 6 (What is the contrast of our life now compared with life under the Law?) But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. (See notes Romans 7:4; 7:5; 7:6)

This truth about the believer's new relationship with the Law does not mean we are lawless because in fact in the New Covenant the Law is actually written upon our hearts Jeremiah prophesying of this new covenant writing that…

But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:34; quoted He 8:10-note - See note)

The Old (First) Covenant was in a sense a covenant dealing with shadows, the substance of which was fulfilled in Christ in the New Covenant. The first was thus like a 2,000 year "picture book" and we all know how children love to look at picture books when first learning!

Spurgeon - He takes away the type because the great Antitype has come. He abolishes the offering of bullocks, and goats, and lambs, because He has come whom they all foreshadowed. There is a first in order that there may be a second. The first has to be taken away when it has fulfilled its design in order that then we may enter upon the second. Some lower good precedes the higher. When the lower good has educated us for the higher, then it is removed and the greater blessing fills its place.

From F B Meyer, Our Daily Homily… He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.

The meaning of this is clear. In the old covenant the stress was laid on the outward rite; but in the new covenant, for burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin are substituted first the entire devotion and consecration of the blessed Lord to his Father’s will; and next, ours in Him.

It is very noticeable that by the offering of the cross, in which the Savior’s yielded will culminated, we are said to have been sanctified, consecrated, or set apart once for all (Hebrews 10:10). The thought there is, evidently, that our Savior’s death has implicated us for evermore; and that his Church, whom He represented in that supreme act, is for ever pledged to be dead unto the world and sin.

But still later we learn that He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Hebrews 10:14). The change of tense surely indicates that what was accomplished for us in the purpose of God when Jesus died, must be accomplished in us by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Every time, therefore, our will is brought into more perfect union with that of God, a further step is taken towards that glorious elevation which Jesus made ours in the death of the cross.

And if you would have an incentive to this, remember how Jesus promised that all who would do the will of God should be reckoned members of the holy family (Matthew 12:46–50). Are you a member of that family? You may be, and sit only on the outer circle, for the constituent members are always altering their position towards the central Christ; now advancing towards the inner heart, now receding. Oh, see to it that you are not only within the holy circle of the will of God, but that you are near the golden centre where Jesus is seated. (Meyer, F. B. Our Daily Homily)

Hebrews 10:8, 9, 10

Andrew Murray

ON the word, A body didst thou prepare for Me, as the expression of God's claim, there follows now in the Psalm that other on the surrender to that claim--Lo, I am come to do Thy will In this, the doing of God's will, we have the destiny of the creature, the blessedness of heaven, the inmost secret of redemption. In this consists the worth of Christ's sacrifice, and this alone is the reason why His blood prevails. The path He opened up to God, the path He walked in and we walk in, to enter the Holiest, is--I am come to do Thy will It is through God's will alone we enter in to God Himself. The central blessing, Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, gives us, when He gives us Himself, is a heart in which the will of God lives.

We have more than once spoken of the two aspects of Christ's death--substitution with the atonement it wrought, and fellowship with the conformity it brings. The two are inseparably connected. As long as we look to the substitution simply as an act accomplished outside of us, without seeking to know its inner nature and meaning, the fellowship and conformity of Christ's death will be an impossibility. But as we enter into the real meaning of the death for us and in our stead, to that which constituted its divine life and power, we shall find that death and the life out of death becomes ours in truth, laying hold of us, and bringing us into the true life-fellowship with our blessed Leader and Forerunner; we shall see and experience that what was to Him the way into the Holiest will be to us the only but the certain, the living way thither.

Lo, I am come to do Thy will, O God. "He humbled Himself, and became obedient--therefore God hath highly exalted Him." Because God is the all-perfect fountain of life and goodness and blessing, there can be no life or goodness or blessing but in His will. The whole evil and ruin of sin is that man turned from God's will to do his own. The redemption of Christ had no reason, no object, and no possibility of success, except in restoring man to do God's will. It was for this Jesus died. He gave up His own will; He gave His life, rather than do His own will. It was this that gave value to His bearing our sins, with their curse and consequences, to His tasting death for every man. It was this that gave such infinite worth to His blood. It was this that made Him a real propitiation for the sins of the world. And it is this we are made partakers of--first, as an obedience for the sake of which we are made righteous; but, further also, in the fellowship of the very spirit of the death and the life in which He entered the presence of God. I come to do Thy will, is the way into the Holiest, for Him and for us.

By which will we have been sanctified. By which will as willed by God, as done and fulfilled by Christ in His one offering, as accepted by us in faith. When we accept Christ, the will of God wrought out in Christ on our behalf, is accepted by us too; it becomes the power that rules in our life by the Holy Spirit. In which will, not as a dead past transaction, or as the mere performance of a certain work to be done, but as a living eternal reality restoring man into God's will in living power, this it is in which we have the new and living way to God.

In which will we have been sanctified. Sanctification in this Epistle is a word of larger meaning than what is meant by that title in ordinary Church doctrine. It includes all that is implied in bringing us into living fellowship with God. He is the Holy One. His life is His holiness. The inner sanctuary to which we enter in, is the Holiness of Holinesses. In Hebrews 2. we read: Both He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one. Our sanctification is rooted in our oneness with Jesus. In the which will we are sanctified, delivered from the power of sin and this evil world, brought into fellowship with the Holy One, and fitted for entering the Holiest of All.

In the which will we have been sanctified through the offer. Lug of the body of Jesus Christ. His offering has such power, because it was the doing of the will of God, the entering into the will of God, and through it into the holiness of God, into the very Holiest of All. And now, as no one but Christ had power of Himself to say, go, I am come to do Thy will, so no one can speak thus, or live thus, but because the divine nature of Christ is truly born and formed within him, and is become the life of his life and the spirit of his Spirit. It is thus that His priesthood manifests His power to bring us nigh to God.

Fellow-Christian! hast thou learnt to believe and to regard thyself as sanctified in the will of God as done by Jesus, admitted to the fellowship of the Holy One? Is not this possibly the reason that thou hast not yet entered the rest of God within the veil, because thou hast never, in accepting Christ, accepted that which really constitutes Him the Christ? He is the Christ who came to do the will of God--this constitutes Him a Saviour. Oh, come and believe that this is what He did for thee and on thy behalf, that thou mightest be able to do it too. The new and living way into the Holiest, which Jesus as Leader and Forerunner hath opened up, is the way of a body prepared for me by God, a body offered to Him, and a life given to do His will. As I say with Jesus, I am come to do Thy will, I have no other object in life, for this alone I live, I shall with Him abide in God's presence.

1. The only way to God is through the will of God. A truth so simple and self-evident! and yet so deep and spiritual that but few fully apprehend it. Yes, this is the way, the only way, the new and living way into the Holiest which Jesus opened up. Let us follow Him, our Leader and Forerunner, walking in His footsteps, in the will of God.

2. Be not afraid to say--Yes, O my God, here am I, absolutely given up in everything to the will of God; by Thy grace and Holy Spirit, to make every part of my being a doing of the will of God! So help me, God!

3. For the penitent convert it is enough to know the beginning of the doctrine of Christ, His obedience has atoned and makes me righteous. The believer who seeks to grow and become conformed to the image of the Son, seeks and finds more. The obedience that gave the sacrifice its power in heaven, exercises that power in his heart. The adorable Substitute becomes the beloved Leader and Brother, the High Priest in the power of the heavenly life, bringing us near to God by leading us and keeping us in His will.  -- Andrew Murray. The Holiest of All

Hebrews 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: en o thelemati egiasmenoi (RPPMPN) esmen (1PPAI) dia tes prosphoras tou somatos Iesou CHristou ephapax

Amplified: And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: It is by this way of “the will” that we have been purified through the once and for all offering of the body of Christ. (Westminster Press)

NLT: And what God wants is for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all time. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: and in that will we have been made holy by the single unique offering of the body of Christ. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: by means of which will [God’s will that His Son should be the sacrifice for sin] we stand permanently set apart for God and His service through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Young's Literal: in the which will we are having been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once,

BY THIS WILL WE HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED THROUGH THE OFFERING OF THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST ONCE FOR ALL: en o thelemati hegiasmenoi (RPPMPN) dia tes prosphoras tou somatos Iesou Christou ephapax:


Spurgeon on will - It is an eternal will. We have no vacillating deity, no fickle God. He wills changes, but He never changes His will. “But he is alone, and who can dissuade him? And whatever he desires, Indeed, he does it” (Job 23:13). The will of God is invincible as well as eternal. We are told in Eph 1:11 that He works all things according to the counsel of His will. “There is not one who can hold back His hand, or ask Him, ‘What are you doing?’ ” (Dan 4:35) The good pleasure of His will is never defeated; there cannot be such a thing as a vanquished God. “’My plan shall stand,’ and ‘I will accomplish all my wishes’ ” (Isa 46:10). In fact, the will of God is the motive force of all things. “For he himself spoke and it came to pass. He himself commanded and it stood firm” (Psa 33:9). His word is omnipotent because His will is at the back of it and it puts force into it.

Wuest - The word “will” refers here to the will of God which Messiah came to do. The will of God which the First Testament sacrifices could not accomplish was the sanctification of men. This was accomplished through the sacrifice of Messiah. (Hebrews Commentary online)

Will (2307) (thelema from thelo = to will, the ending -ma signifying the result of something, in this case of God willing) in this case is God’s gracious disposition towards God hating sinners! His will is reflected in His electing and predestining sinners unto adoption as sons, not as a result of any merit in us nor as a result of anything outside of God Himself. This will in sanctifying us is a reflection of His own pure goodness, originating wholly in the freedom of His own thoughts and loving counsel. It is what God Himself does of His own good pleasure.

We have been sanctified (37) (hagiazo [word study] from hagios = holy, set apart) conveys the idea of setting someone apart, in this case God's Spirit setting the sinner apart from the world, the flesh and the devil and unto God, to be His possession and His willing vessel. The perfect tense speaks of a past completed action (which took place at the moment of our salvation) with permanent or lasting effect (we are forever set apart). As an aside, the permanence of this tense undergirds the NT teaching that the believer once saved is eternally secure (but of course one must be absolutely certain that their salvation is genuine an important issue addressed by Peter - see note 2 Peter 1:10; 1:11). Hagiazo in the perfect tense also speaks of what is often referred to as past tense salvation, a one time event, at which time the sinner is justified the moment they exercise faith in Christ. They will never need to be justified again. Their position in Christ is forever righteous and forever secure.

Wuest - The Greek word “to sanctify,” hagiazo, means “to set apart for God.” Here the work of sanctification refers to the placing of the believing sinner into the status of a saved person, with all the accompanying blessings and enablements which that act includes. The words “we have been sanctified” are in the Greek text a perfect participle and a finite verb, showing in the strongest way the permanent and continuous state of salvation into which the believer is brought and in which he lives. (Hebrews Commentary online)

In sum, in this verse the writer is describing positional sanctification or past tense salvation (see study of Three Tenses of Salvation). However past tense salvation indubitably leads to present tense salvation or progressive sanctification which the writer describes in Hebrews 10:14 (see note there) where he again uses the verb hagiazo, albeit this use being in the present tense which speaks of one's practice and not their position. In contrast to past tense salvation, present tense salvation is an ongoing process of daily being conformed to the image of God's Son. This process will continue for the rest of our lives.

Spurgeon - We have passed over from death to life. We have escaped from under the dominion of law into the kingdom of grace. We have come from under the curse, and we dwell in the region of blessing. We have believed on Him who justifies the ungodly, and our faith is counted for righteousness. There is now no condemnation to us, for we are in Christ Jesus our Lord, and do not life according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. It was the will of God the Father, but it was carried out by the divine Son when He came into the world. A body was prepared for Him, and into that body, in a mysterious manner that we will not attempt even to conceive of, He entered, and there He was the incarnate God. This incarnate God, by offering His own blood, by laying down His own life, by bearing in His own body the curse, and in His own spirit enduring the wrath, was able to effect the purpose of the everlasting Father in the purging of His people, in the setting of His chosen apart, and making them henceforth holy unto the Lord (Zech 14:21). “It is finished” (John 19:30). Does the divine law require for our acceptance perfect submission to the will of the Lord? He has rendered it. Does it ask complete obedience to its precepts? He has presented the same. Does the fulfilled will of the Lord call for abject suffering, a sweat of blood, pangs unknown, and death itself? Christ has presented it all, whatever that “all” may be. Just as, when God created, His word effected all His will, so when God redeemed His blessed and incarnate Word has done all His will. In every point, as God looked on each day’s work and said “It is good,” so, as He looks upon each part of the work of His dear Son, He can say of it, “It is good.” The Father joins in the verdict of His Son that it is finished; all the will of God for the sanctification of His people is accomplished.

Wuest on once for all - The words “once for all” are to be taken with “the offering of the body of Jesus Christ,” not here with the act of sanctifying, although verse 14 speaks of the latter fact. The context here is contrasting the many offerings under the Levitical system with the once for all offering of our Lord. (Hebrews Commentary online)

THOUGHT Philip Bliss (who died at the young age of 38) was meditating one day on Hebrews 10:10+ and after he finished was led to compose his famous hymn  ONCE FOR ALL. Of course the fact that we have been eternally sanctified (set apart, made positionally holy) in Christ and are free in Him does not mean we can now live lawless lives (aka antinomianism), but that our salvation in Christ is fully sufficient and precludes the need to legalistically keep the Law in a vain attempt to add to the finished work of Christ (cf Jn 19:30+). The Law is now internal, having been written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10+) and the indwelling Spirit daily provides us with the power to obey the law of love (Gal 5:14) out of love, not legalism (cf Ro 8:13+). The lost man thinks that freedom is the right to do anything he desires in order to please himself, but true freedom in the New Covenant with Christ is the power to do what we should, doing so to please our Father in Heaven! Indeed, oh, happy condition!

Free from the law—oh, happy condition!
Jesus hath bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Christ hath redeemed us once for all.

 Once for all—oh, sinner, receive it;
Once for all—oh, doubter, believe it;
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall,
  Christ hath redeemed us once for all.

2 There on the cross your burden upbearing,
Thorns on His brow your Savior is wearing;
Never again your sin need appall,
You have been pardoned once for all.

3 Now we are free—there’s no condemnation;
Jesus provides a perfect salvation:
“Come unto Me,” oh, hear His sweet call,
Come, and He saves us once for all.

4 Children of God—oh, glorious calling,
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call,
Blessed salvation once for all.

F B Meyer (The "Once" of a Purged Conscience) on the word "once"…

THERE is a word here which recurs, like a note on an organ beneath the tumult of majestic sound. Five times, at least, it rolls forth its thunder, pealing through all ages, echoing through all worlds, announcing the finality of an accomplished redemption to the whole universe of God "ONCE!" And there is another phrase which we must couple with it, spoken by the parched lips of the dying Saviour, yet with a loud voice, as though it were the cry of a conqueror: "When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, he said, 'It is finished'; and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." It is very seldom that man can look back on a finished life-work. The chisel drops from the paralyzed hand ere the statue is complete; the chilling fingers refuse to guide the pen along another line, though the book is so nearly done; the statesman must leave his plans and far-reaching schemes to be completed by another, perhaps his rival. But as from his cross Jesus Christ our Lord looked upon the work of redemption which he had undertaken, and in connection with which he had suffered even to the hiding of his Father's face, he could not discover one stitch, or stone, or particle deficient. For untold myriads for thee and me and all there was done that which never needed to be done again, but stood as an accomplished fact forevermore…

THE "ONCE" OF A FULFILLED PURPOSE - (Heb. 10:10). Space forbids our lingering longer. In our next chapter we may show how completely the purpose of God has been realized in Jesus, and, therefore, that there is no necessity for a repetition of his sacrificial work. The will or purpose of God for man's redemption asks for nothing more than that which is given it in the life and death of our Saviour. Nothing more is required for the glory of God, for the accomplishment of the divine counsels, or for the perfect deliverance and sanctification of those who believe.

Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother, believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall;
Christ has redeemed us, once for all

One Sacrifice - Journalist Jill Neimark wrote an article titled "Shaman in Chicago" about her very unconventional uncle. A well-educated, prosperous commodities trader, he has become a high priest in the Ifa religion, which practices animal sacrifice as its highest act of worship. Formerly an atheist, he is now a convinced believer in a divine energy that he insists cannot be experienced in traditional religion.

Neimark thinks her uncle is an extreme example of those millions of questing Americans who crave a firsthand experience with dynamic supernaturalism. As one of Neimark's friends put it, "We want to dial God direct; we don't want to go through the operator." Or as Neimark says, we're "beating our own path to God."

We who know the truth, power, and joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ can be grateful for these truths: (1) There is no need for any further sacrifice, because Jesus offered Himself as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sin (Heb. 10:10). (2) There is no need for any other mediator between God and us, because Jesus, who is our mediator (1Ti 2:5), guarantees direct access to God. (3) There is no need to beat our own way to God, because Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn. 14:6). --V C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The cross of Christ is all we need
To take our sins away;
He is our perfect sacrifice--
The life, the truth, the way. --Sper

Salvation is achieved by Christ's atonement,
not by our attainment.