In today’s passage Paul continues on in his discussion of how the new covenant, which is found in the single sacrifice of Christ, is greater than the old covenant that required daily sacrifice of animals. The following verse from this treatise stood out to me.
Hebrews 10:14 ESV
“For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
For those of you who believe we can lose our salvation, what do you do with this verse? Is the writer of Hebrews being hyperbolic to the point of being misleading? He says one offering “has perfected for all time”. Is that accurate or does Christ’s one offering only save us for as long as we choose to obey? Doesn’t that kind of give us power over our own salvation? Isn’t that somewhat like what the Pharisees did in their efforts to earn redemption? Why would we be unable to earn redemption but then be able to maintain redemption?
That is all really just a side note to what really stood out to me here. This sentence says that we have been perfected even though we are being perfected. That kind of thing is always hard for us temporal human beings to comprehend. How can something have already been accomplished which is currently taking place?
Guys, God knows the end before it begins. Our perfection rests solely in His hands. Do you think you can thwart the will of God? If you have truly submitted your life to Christ your sanctification is so certain that, from God’s view, it is already accomplished. Oh, you’ve got to go through the process; you’ve got to pass through the trials and tribulations yet to come, but the outcome is not in doubt. You are perfected even as you are being perfected. It’s a done deal. Fight it all you want but the end is already established.
While you are sanctified, you are being sanctified, so you can chose to be sanctified the hard way or the harder way. I went to a Chinese restaurant a couple of days ago with my daughter. At the end of our meal she opened my fortune cookie and read it to me. It said “good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the tree”. I told her that this was an analogy for maturing in Christ. Being perfected in Christ is accomplished through the struggles God allows us to face and overcome; the greater the struggle, the greater the growth. I will have my struggles as I mature in Christ, and it is the struggling that will cause the maturing. I can obediently walk the bumpy road toward perfection, or I can disobediently keep running in to the ditch only to be hauled out and set on my way again, but one way or another I will eventually get where God is taking me.
Brothers, faith is based not on the unknown but on the known. God’s Word is a record of how He has actively worked throughout history in the lives of men to accomplish His will. We see time and again God keeps His promises; this we know. Now we have the history God has written in our own lives and here too we see that God has kept His promises; this we know. Now friend, do you think your stumbles and struggles will keep your perfection from taking place when God has said it is already finished?
Know that God has perfected you even as you are being perfected. When you feel low and unworthy, remember that you are unworthy, and yet God chose to save you anyway. When you feel like giving up, that you can’t be the man God re-created you to be, remember that it is already accomplished. Neither your salvation nor your perfection stand on your ability or worthiness; they stand alone on Christ our solid rock. He is able and He is worthy. His will be done!