Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Cause for Assurance (church bulletin cover)

What should we do when someone divinely inspired to write the Word of God writes, "Now this is the point..."? Sit up and take notice, for it's a wonderful thing when God makes Himself so clear. I think of such statements as heavenly handles we can grab onto when trying to understand what God wants to tell us.

In Hebrews 8:1, after seven chapters of rich and sometimes dense doctrine, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews says, "Now the point in what we are saying is this..." And then he writes that we have a High Priest who has taken His seat in heaven at the right hand of God. The writer's explanation of this main point continues through to chapter 10 where he then amplifies this picture of Christ being seated in heaven. And as I read chapter 10, I feel such great assurance before God that any striving to please God seems to drain from my soul!

Hebrews 10:12 and 14 says, "But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God... For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." One sacrifice -- one offering -- and then He sat down. Job done. Mission accomplished. An echo of "It is finished!" (John 19:30).

This is why the writer then goes on to remind us of what Jeremiah prophesied would one day be the case: "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more" (Hebrews 10:17). And that means that "where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin" (Hebrews 10:18). Why not? Because one sacrifice -- one offering -- accomplished it all! The sacrifice of the One seated in heaven as our Great High Priest!

This means there is nothing I can do to earn it by my own sacrifices. In fact, when I attempt to add my sacrifices to Christ's, I have "insulted the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29)! All I'm meant to do is to appreciate what Christ has done and receive the forgiveness He provides. What assurance of love and acceptance! That is why we're encouraged to "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean" (Hebrews 10:22)! God welcomes us with open arms, for "He who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).

That is the point in what God wants to say to each of us.

© 2009 by Ken Peters

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