Sunday, June 24, 2007

Made Perfect Forever

I'll post a few extracts from talks I preached at the Reading University Christian Union Summer Houseparty. This from the first session :
Here. At Hebrews 10v14. Here's the biggest thing to remember! Everything else will be application. And that application is vast. Get this: 10v14 :

by one sacrifice he has made perfect for all time those who are being made holy.

Chew on that. Compare with the old. One sacrifice. That makes people perfect. Forever. Gaze into the mirror of scripture and see how the world really is. See what Jesus has done. Who is made perfect? "those who are being made holy" That is those on a trajectory towards God's ways. Not those who work but those who live by faith in the high priest Jesus - as we'll see in chapter 11.

This is total confidence that you are made perfect by Jesus blood. Notice the tense - "made perfect". That means already done and see how long it lasts? "forever" ! What does it mean to be made perfect? The Holy Spirit tells us again - v15. The Spirit again speaks Jeremiah 31. And today as you hear the Holy Spirit do not harden your heart. What has happened? v16 - the law is written on your heart. For some of us the declaration in 10v14 is something you've never grasped before. It's news.

If so let me urge you to believe it. Believe it. God will write it on your heart! Imprinted for eternity. And what's more, v17, sins and lawless acts remembered no more. Why not? Because of Jesus' one sacrifice. Ask God to invigorate your heart with that.

You see, the new is better than, 8v5 - the patterns, 9v23 - the copies, 10v1 - the shadows. The old reminded. The new is much more excellent. In the new you are made perfect. Forgiven :
Forgiven.
Not by divine-amnesia
But by the shedding of Jesus' blood once.
Jesus blood never fails us.
It turns aside the wrath we deserve.
Jesus blood never fails us.
It cleanses us from our sin.
Jesus blood never fails us.
By it you - are - made perfect.
No more need for sacrifice. No need to establish yourself before God. Jesus has granted you 100% perfection. That is already done. Paul would say we've been counted righteous in Christ. This writer says : made perfect by Jesus' blood. Our prayer is simple : 'upward i look and see him there, who made an end of all my sin' We are made perfect forever by Jesus' one sacrifice. Martin Luther puts it very well : "God smiles on you in Christ"

He has no anger towards you. Ever. In Christ. He smiles on you. Not because of you, but because of Jesus' blood. Revel in his superiority! Look at the superiority of Jesus in his one sacrifice to make us perfect. Stand in awe of his magnificent new covenant in his blood. To cleanse. To change our hearts.

His one sacrifice puts everything else in the shade. In fact everything else was just the shade, the shadow cast as the blazing sun of Jesus' one sacrifice was cast back through time from Calvary. He has made you perfect. What a Saviour!

This isn't sin-indifference. This isn't divine amnesia. This is the glory of the cross as God sees you soaked in the blood of calvary. Look to the cross to see your forgiveness secured. Look to the cross to see God's promises secured.

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