We are going to read into Hebrews 10, but before, let’s have a word of prayer:
Lord, thank You for another opportunity and privilege to study about You. Even in these last verses, the doctrinal section of Hebrews, Lord, to know that Your love for us is an action word – You don’t just say it, You do it. Because you have done it, we can be set free, purified, be made right with you, and enter your Holy presence because of what the Lord, Jesus Christ, fully and finally completed on behalf of His children. We praise You for that, Lord. We ask You to continually help us to understand even more about the great sacrifice You have accomplished on our behalf, and we will give You the praise, the glory, and the honor for all that is due Your name. Thank you, Lord. I pray this, in Christ name, Amen.
In Hebrews 10, this is the last section of doctrine, at least of formal doctrine, on this whole topic of The Old and New Covenant before he gets to the practical. He took ten chapters to then tell you what you ought to do, so don’t ever think that doctrine is not important. Doctrine lays the foundation on why we do what we do, and the motives we have behind what we do. When we are doing something, we will not be doing for anyone else than the Lord. If we do it for Him, then He must get the credit and we won’t have to look for accolades, pats on the back, or any reward. Though you may get that, and those things are fine in their place, but doctrine, nonetheless, always is the foundation on why we do what we do and who we do it for, which is our Lord.
In approaching this passage, we have already been occupied with some of the great shadows of the Old Testament like the law and priestly sacrifices. Remember, the law was the shadow of good things to come, and we have seen all of them fulfilled in Christ. You can never have a shadow without a substance, and our Lord Jesus is that great substance, which down through the ages has cast His shadow. You see the true and detailed picture of the sacrifice that God would provide is Jesus Christ. Everything in the Old Testament pointed to Him, and even while Jesus was walking with those on the road to Emmaus, after His resurrection, He proclaimed directly to those walking with Him. He says in Luke 24:25-27
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26“Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Basically, the Lord is saying all of it is about Him, and all of it focuses on Him. Jesus is the substance of all the types and shadows in Scripture. He is the substance and reality, so to cling to a shadow or a type in its incompleteness, not to the substance to which it points, is to miss Christ. As a result, many people missed Christ because they didn’t go all the way, nor did they understand the full Revelation of God on where it was all pointing to. Remember, these shadows and types were not able to perfect the worshipper.
There is seen the necessity of fresh victims, fresh blood shedding year by year, and the reason being that it was given by God. Hebrews 10:3-4:
But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
This whole sacrificial system was just to remind people they are sinners. In fact, when we use the law in evangelism, isn’t that what the law does? The moral aspect of the law reminds us, even now, that we are sinners. It reminds the unsaved person that they are sinners, and that they have broken God’s standard and are responsible for every word, thought, or deed that they would commit. This is something that the law and its whole system of sacrifice reminds the one who comes to worship that they are not purified, that they are still in their sins, that their sins separate them from God, and that they could never get farther than the next sacrifice. They could never get farther than the day of atonement, which brings them to the next big event in the system. Therefore, animal sacrifices could only cover sin, and it did not remove it or make one perfect before God. Meaning, a far different and vastly superior sacrifice is needed to take care of the sins of men and women.
When we come to a passage like this in Scripture, he begins to quote from Psalm 40 and the Septuagint, which is finished in 270 BC and it is a section where the writer of Hebrews often quotes. Psalm 40:6-9:
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. 7Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.” 9I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, you know.
Really, this passage of Scripture is referring to Christ. This is what Christ would be and what He would do. Christ would satisfy the Father when it came to the one and final offering for sin. Up to that point, the Father was not satisfied, and He didn’t desire it anymore. Matter of fact, if often slipped into a ritualistic religion in serving God by reputation, habit, and with no heart, real passion, or desire to do God’s will. The Lord was sickened by this, and He is still sickened by religiosity and hypocrisy. God, the Father, delighted in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ becomes the perfect man, the perfect servant of God, the perfect, unblemished sacrifice, and He becomes perfect in obedience. It was not just the death of Christ that was important, but it was the life of Christ.
Remember, Christ lived His life perfectly before God and did all the will of God. Therefore, Jesus Christ was the only, perfectly righteous man who ever lived, and these two things are very important for us or else we could not get saved if Jesus Christ did not do God’s will perfectly. We know that the one grand and supreme act of obedience was the Cross of Calvary. Philippians 2:6-8:
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
There is the extent of the obedience of Jesus Christ that pleased the Father completely, especially since He obeyed to the point of death. We see the agony of Christ’s humanistic in the Garden of Gethsemane where He was agonizing in prayer. As the Bible says in the Gospels, He was sweating great drops of blood. Even Christ prayed, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” Don’t forget, Christ was going to bare the sins of every human being that would be one of His children. On that cross, sins are innumerable, and it’s unimaginable what Christ did on the cross – to the extent He went on the cross and what He paid for eternally. He did an eternal death. Personally, I don’t understand that, nor can I wrap my mind around that, but I know that if He did that, the grace of God must be awesome.
Now, there are consequences because of what Chris did. Philippians 2:9-11:
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In this passage, under the earth refers to hell. Those in hell are going to bow their knees to Christ. They are going to say, “You are Lord,” but it’s too late. The reality is true. Jesus Christ is an awesome personage in the Word of God. The Father is pleased with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross because it was the only effective, sufficient, complete, and final sacrifice for the sin of humanity, and it accomplished God’s intended goal.
Three great truths are accomplished by the Lord, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:2:
Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Therefore, purged, sanctified, and perfected forever by God. For this to happen, for us to be brought into a position where we are purged, sanctified, and perfected, the Son’s sacrifice would have to be final and for all time. It would have to be a sacrifice that topped all sacrifices and one that could never be competed with or repeated. For Christ’s sacrifice to be final, four essential things need to take place.
First, for Christ’s sacrifice to be final, all priestly work need to be finished for all time. That all the sacrificial system needed to be brought to end. Hebrews 10:11:
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
If you notice, he is not talking about the high priest, but the everyday priest, the one who goes to the tabernacle every day to offer all the sacrifices from morning to evening for the sins of the people. The people keep sinning, so the sacrifices are constant. Therefore, repetitious sacrifices are a wearying routine. Personally, I like to work out, but I hate the treadmill since it feels like you’re going nowhere. It really takes a lot of motivation to get on a treadmill, especially since you’re going and going for a half hour. However, it’s a routine, and these sacrificial routines would be like a treadmill. It keeps going and going, and it never accomplishes the intended goal. After that happens for a while, you begin to think something else must happen here.
The constant sacrifice left the worshippers conscious still guilty, conscious of their sin, and alienated from God. This type of priestly service could never remove sins. This theme is repeated throughout Hebrews because he is driving home his point, that the law was weak, useless, and unable to make anything perfect. Hebrews 7:19:
(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.
The priest was weak, imperfect, sinful themselves, they had to offer sacrifices for their own sin, and then they died, which was probably from exhaustion. Then, the sacrificial system couldn’t make anyone perfect. Bottom line, the law, the priesthood, and the sacrificial system could not give a person continual access to God and make one right before God.
Now, you looked at the finality of Christ’s sacrifice. Hebrews 10:12:
but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
In other words, the priest’s stand, and no Levitical priest ever sat down. Whether they were the regular daily priest or the high priest, they never sat down. In fact, there was no place to sit. The earthly tabernacle had no chairs or a place to rest. For this reason, the Levitical priest were required to stand, that their work was never done or complete. That’s what God’s intention was, and that is the picture it ought to give you. If there was never a one-time sacrifice for sin, we would be in trouble, and we would still have the sacrificial system if you wanted to be made right with God. However, Christ’s sits. He bore all the sins of His people, in a single cosmic sacrifice, and He sits down. Therefore, He is done, and there is nothing else that must be done to save one who comes to Christ.
To think you can come to the Lord with some good works, or come to God and negotiate with Him about something you have to offer, is not biblical. Rather, that is something we make up as humans, and we think that we can negotiate with God. Somehow, we think that God is going to accept our good works. However, this passage of Scripture gives us a sense that Christ did it all. When He finished, He sat down. By faith, we can believe in Jesus Christ and be saved by His one time, for all sacrifice, and be made perfect, sanctified, and purified before God. Christ sitting down indicates the need for further sacrifice has ended since His sacrifice was final.
Second, for Christ’s sacrifice to be final, all of God’s enemies will need to be subjugated to Him for all time. Hebrews 10:13:
waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.
Today, He rules with the Father in heaven until all His enemies are under His feet, so He is waiting, right now, at the right hand of the father in an exalted place of honor. He is waiting for the consummation of all things, for all things to be restored, which includes subduing every hostile force in the universe that is against Him and us. He takes care of it all, but it had to be by the death of Christ.
By the death of Christ, He not only saves people, but He defeats the enemy, or Satan. Satan thinks that in the sacrifice of Christ, he won, but Jesus Christ got up three days later. He defeated death and He rose from the grave, and Satan, now is freaking out because he lost. All of Christ’s enemies are everybody, throughout the centuries, that have rejected Him. We didn’t know it, but we started out as enemies of God. However, when we came to Christ, we realized we were, and now we are friends of Christ.
In Scripture, the anti-Christ and false prophet are enemies of God, but the culprit is the devil. The devil is the major enemy of God, and the Lord is going to put him under His feet. This whole picture of his enemies be made a footstool is really a picture of kings, standing with one foot on the neck of a vanquished foe. As kings did centuries ago, to show total victory over their enemies, the king would stand, in front of everybody, on the neck of their enemy, the other king, and says, “I’ve won.”
By His atoning death, Christ defeats Satan and death, our enemy. Hebrews 2:14:
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Therefore, the power of Satan has been rendered by God in operative to prevent someone from being saved and to take your salvation away from you, that Christ has made an atonement for sin, satisfying to God, and the fear of dying has long plagued humanity. However, Christ has settled that problem by His own death and resurrection. Satan’s power of death has been annulled for those who are united to Christ, in His representative death. Also, Satan’s authority to condemn and punish the forgiven sinner has been void. Satan is the greatest one who wants to come against you and accuse you of sin, but God has already judged, condemned, and punished all our sins in Christ. When Satan comes against you, you must understand that he cannot do that because of the death of Christ.
Another passage of Scripture says judgement is upon the world, and the ruler of this world is cast out. Colossians 2:13-15:
When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Even to defeat the enemy of Satan, Christ had to die to vanquish and remove his ability to keep people in bondage through fear and death. Satan still does this, but it’s when you become a Christian, you feel free from that. The fear of death is connected to the sinner’s guilty conscious since the sinner doesn’t know what’s next. If there is a God, he will hold us responsible for a lot of stuff, especially stuff you don’t remember doing. However, the stuff you do remember produces guilt, and Satan uses that to make people afraid of death. Many times, in making them afraid, he never gives them the answer of what happens after death, or how they could be rescued from death. Instead, Satan keeps them in darkness and blindness, so the guilty conscious senses that God’s wrath and punishment is deserved.
Now, there is a healthy guilt, which brings someone to understand the truth, but there is also a guilt that Satan brings where he doesn’t want you to know the truth. Satan only wants you to feel guilty, fearful, and so whittled with torment in your conscious that you are in chains and crippled. However, for him to come against the believer, who knows the Lord, Jesus Christ, and try to condemn you and make you guilty in areas where you are already forgiven, he cannot do. However, you must know the truth, and remind him that Jesus Christ died in your place, and remind him of passages of Scripture such as Hebrews 9:14:
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
For Christ’s sacrifice to be final, all God’s enemies need to be subjugated to Him for all time. Christ reigns over all His enemies, indicating that the days of the kingdom of darkness are short lived and in line for final collapse. This hasn’t happened yet, and that’s why Satan is still manipulated, spinning his webs, coming against the King of Glory, attacking the saints, attacking the church, keeping the world in blindness, and keeping people at bay so they cannot know the truth nor the light of the gospel. Because of the Cross, his days are numbered, and he’s done.
If we’re in Christ, we’re on the victorious side, behind the King, who has His foot on the neck of Satan, who really wasn’t a real enemy to God anyway. However, Satan wants you to think that he is that powerful. For most of the time, he doesn’t want you to know who he is. Today, we are, like Greg says, so comfortable. We have so much materialism and so many things in the United States, so Satan has got you. You’re comfortable and nice, so you don’t need anything, and we must watch out and be careful about that.
Remember, when His enemies become a footstool for His feet, then when His work is complete, and Jesus comes back. When He does that, He will deliver the kingdom to the Father. Thus, God will be all and all. 1 Corinthians 15:26-28:
The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Jesus Christ is going to take it all, and offer it back to the father. The father has given the gift of His children to Jesus Christ. Then, Christ takes it all and gives it back to the father. This is when God’s plan is all finished.
Third, for Christ’s sacrifice to be final, all worshippers must be set apart and perfected for all times. One, perfect sacrifice, the offering of Himself, the unblemished lamb being offered before God, not offering a sacrifice for His own sin, but offering a sacrifice for our sin. Unlike any other priest before Him, Christ was sinless and in perfect obedience. The only way we can be saved is by the perfect obedient life of Christ.
We have double imputation, where God accounts something to your account. Christ takes His righteousness and puts it on our account; then, He transfers your sin to the cross. Therefore, He cancels that sin on the cross, and becomes double imputation – your sin goes to Him and His righteousness goes to you. When the Father looks down upon you, when you trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, He does not see your sin. Rather, He sees you clean and purified with the righteousness of Christ on your account. Clean and purified by His death, and the righteousness of Christ on your account because of His perfect life. God does this to make a people that’s clean and pure to come into His presence, so that He can have eternal fellowship with us. Titus 2:14:
who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
The Lord is doing this for Himself. He takes a people for Himself, and dying in the place of those people that He takes for himself. He makes us, who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, as His own possession, His treasure, and His precious ones. While we are left here on this earth, we would be zealous of good deeds. Meaning, once the Spirit of God is in us, we want to do right and please God. We cannot do right unless the Spirit of God lives in us, unless we have been purified, and unless we have the righteousness of Christ imputed into our account. Only after we trust in Christ, can we be zealous for good deeds. Christians are zealous to do what is right, and zealous to do what honor, please, and give delight to God. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, you able to become a possession of God, and to become to God His own people.
We are citizens of heaven and a child of the King of kings, and that is awesome. To know these things is so incredibly awesome. Christ perfected and set apart those who believe, indicating that His sacrifice was powerful enough to remove sin, not cover sin. The Old Testament, Yom Kippur, means to cover, and that’s not the word here. Rather, it is to purge, to remove completely the stain, and to make clean. That’s what God does to us. The sacrifice was powerful enough to remove the sin and the guilt that goes with the sin. Therefore, making us clean, purified, and able to go into the presence of God, and no other sacrifice was able to do what Christ did. So, Christ pleases the father by accomplishing the goal to take a people for Himself, purify them, and bring them into His kingdom.
Last, for Christ’s sacrifice to be final, all promises, and provisions of the New Covenant must be fulfilled. Everyone under the New Covenant will have the permanent, indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Ezekiel 36:27:
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, 16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”
At this point, the writer of Hebrews is saying, “Listen, here is something that the Holy Spirit testifies to us.” Therefore, Everybody, who becomes a believer, has the Spirit of God permanently indwelled in them. Secondly, everyone in the New Covenant, will have a new heart, and a third thing, everyone in the New Covenant will have the law inside their heart, and God will write His law in your mind, on the thinking part of you. The Holy Spirit of God will give believers the capacity to know God’s righteousness and live in holiness, zealous for good deeds – to know what pleases and honors God. Then, New Covenant people obey God willingly. They know how they are obeying, they love His word, and know what His mind is since they have been given the ability, desire, and power to obey.
Once a person professes Christ, becomes a believer, and the Spirit of God is in you, God is changing you from the inside out, and He is giving you the desire to obey and follow him like you have never had before. This is real conversion. Therefore, real conversion is not just profession of faith, but following Christ. Not because you must follow, because some religious system tells you to follow, nor because mom, dad, or some you like says to follow, but because you want to follow since you know who you are following. You know what He has done for you, and you follow with a gracious and grateful heart.
Christ set aside the Old Covenant to establish the New Covenant, indicating that true worshippers can finally experience the peace of God since they have peace with God. Then, come before God with a guilt free conscious. Only the Lord can do that, and it’s only because Christ’s sacrifice was final.
In conclusion, in this passage of Scripture, Hebrews 10, which ends the doctrinal section of Hebrews, the one-time sacrifice of Jesus Christ causes God the Father to forget our sins and transgressions. Not just to cover them, but to purge them from your account forever. Hebrews 10:18:
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
You have just ended, right there in that passage, a ten-chapter, sermon series on the final sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That is what the writer of Hebrews has done. What enables God to forget? Literally, God forgets. How can God forget? God can only forget unless He purges His own mind of remembrance of our sin. His intention is to purge His own mind of any remembrance of your sin. That’s an awesome thought. It is only because of the full, final expiation of the all-time sacrifice for all sins of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the gracious forgiveness of God is not limited pardon, but when God forgives a person, He draws the mark through every single sin, which is every single sin the sinner has committed or will commit. However many or however monstrous their sins may have been, the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, they are forever blotted out – they are all gone. When God pardons the sins of His children, there is not even one left, not even a half of one. When God forgives there is never punishment afterward. He is taking the full punishment for it, and there is never punishment afterwards. God chastises us, spanks us to get in line as a father would discipline his child, but not as a judge who sends you to prison or hell.
By one sacrifice, there is full remission of all sin that ever was against or will be against the believer. There is no believer who shall be condemned about their sin on the day of judgement. On the day of judgment, it will not be about sin for God’s children. It will be about their works, and what they have done for the Lord. It will be about if they have been zealous for good deeds and serving God. If you receive this grace, the free grace of God, there are privileges that follow understanding such grace.
First, to have peace of conscious. There is nothing to condemn you anymore to have access to God. There is nothing to prevent from enjoying God’s presence anymore. There is no fear of hell, and there is nothing, any longer, that can send you there. Christ has been punished in your place. Therefore, justice cannot touch you any longer.
Then, it’s the expectation of heaven. Sudden death is sudden glory. Heaven is an open door, and it is home for the believer. Hence, all of this because of the final sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If you have not received God’s grace, you are still in your sins, unpurified, still trying to offer God dead works, and still under God’s condemnation. What are you doing? Just come to Christ. Christ will answer all the questions you have, and even questions you didn’t know you had. He solves issues and problems where you don’t even know where to go with your thoughts, and He answers them. By looking at the Scripture, and finding out the mind of God, He has set us free.
Therefore, my admonition to you is to accept God’s invitation, and come and call upon the Lord, Jesus Christ, to be save if you are not saved. If you are saved, take this great gift that God has given you, and to live for God as a person who is known to be zealous of good work. In this world, we need Christians who are zealous for God, and unashamed of the name of Christ, what Christ has done for them, to go and tell anyone, in any place, or anywhere, and unashamed to live a holy life. In addition, to be unashamed to not go to places you used to go or unashamed not to say or converse about things you used to converse about. This will get the attention of the world.
So, I pray this morning that these very things would direct your heart and your life to be an offering that is pleasing to God, so that you may know the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God in your life. Also, that God may continue to transform your mind, in which the Spirit of God dwells, to make you more and more like Him. Let’s pray:
Lord, I thank You this morning. Again, for the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the things and the details contained within the Gospel, that help me understand it better, that help us to be set free from wrong thinking concerning it. To help us, Lord, to know that Satan is up to no good with the children of God, and that we know when he comes against us, and we know the truth enough to tell him, “Christ has defeated you, has died in my place, and there is no longer condemnation to those in Christ.” I pray, Lord, that you may continue to free us up, so we can think in a way that honors you. To live in a way that pleases you, so that even our very thoughts may be pleasing in your sight. O, Lord, set us apart as your people of your own possession and own children. I pray, Lord, you would continue to work on us, and continue to set us apart until the day you take us home. Until the day, Lord, that we are in your presence, let us be faithful to live with you with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, and all our strength. I pray this, in Christ name. Amen.