Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at The Finality of The Cross P29 (10-12-21)
Are You as Perfect As Jesus Christ?
If you were asked, “Are you as perfect as Jesus Christ?”, what would be your answer? Are you in Christ? Are you in Him? If you say “yes” to that, what would your answer be, according to the word of God? Have you understood the New Covenant of God’s grace? So let us look at some passages of scriptures so we can come to a conclusion. What did God say?
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Do we believe what God said, or are we like Adam in the garden of Eden, who did not believe what God said. “I know God said to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but I say it is good for me.” What happened to Adam? He sinned and he died, just as God had said would happen.
So many times people form doctrines from what they read but out of context of the complete picture of the New Covenant, which Christ Jesus ushered in after His death. It would be like trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together. Each piece dangling out there by itself does not give you a clear picture. But when each of the pieces are connected together, and all the interlocking pieces are put in their proper place, you now can see the complete picture of whatever the intended picture is.
So too with this New Covenant. Jesus finished the jigsaw puzzle of life for us. Doctrines of forgiveness, of salvation, and all the other doctrines we have, are often not understood out of the framework of the New Covenant. A person not understanding the New Covenant can come to wrong conclusions concerning forgiveness, and will say that you can obtain forgiveness by what you do, whether by a confessional booth or by an altar call. In essence, your mindset is still in the Old Covenant, of what the Jews did by sacrificing a bull and a goat, over and over again.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
So when we read Hebrews 10:14, that by one sacrifice He made you forever perfect in the sight of God, all of those whom He has set apart, the sanctified ones. So, instead of letting that information dangle out in space some place, you have to put a “therefore” to it. That is what faith is all about. The “therefore”, then is this. Am I going to achieve perfection by my efforts, or did God have to make me perfect?
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood – and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood – why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
What do we read about in Hebrews 7:11-12 about this Levitical priesthood system of law, of sacrificing bulls and goats? What question was asked? How do you answer that question? What life Jesus live when He lived that no other man could live? He lived a perfect life. How? By love, by who He is, God in the flesh, where love is the fulfilment of the love, and love is what we read about in Ephesians 13, which no man can do but God alone. Then, what did Jesus accomplish for us by dying on a cross? What were we under before the New Testament was put into effect? The law. What was the condition of the law? That we be perfect as God is perfect. That we be holy as God is holy. And, if we fail at just one point of the law, as James says in James 2:10, we are guilty of breaking all of the law, and according to Romans 6:23, the wages of sin is death. That system is an impossible system for man to pull off. So what had to be changed for man to have any hope at all for the kind of life God wanted to give us, called eternal life? Could we ever make ourselves holy and perfect by obedience to the law? No. So who had to make us perfect? God Himself by what He alone could do and did for us.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law, perfection, which we could never do, and He met the demands of the law, which is death for sin for us. He became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. Did we ever have any righteousness of our own? No. So whose righteousness will we have to have in order to be righteous in the sight of God? The only one who is righteous, who is perfectly holy, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. So, if Christ remained dead, could we ever receive God’s righteousness? No. God was raised from the dead, so that we could also be raised to new life. Whose life do we have when we are raised? Certainly not our own, which is subject to death because of sin. Yes, our mortal bodies are going to die but we will one day be raised to have a new immortal body. But also, if we are in Him, our human spirit is joined with the Holy Spirit of God in new spiritual birth. The righteousness of God has to be imputed to us. There has to be an exchanged life.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
God through Christ took away my sin so that in Him, in His resurrected life, I too can be raised to new life by identification with Him, in what He alone did for me. Since He is raised, He lives forever to intercede for me. Having taken away the cause of my death, by becoming sin for me when He shed His blood on a cross, and having risen from the dead, He solved the problem of my death, which is an offer of new life, His life in me to be received by faith. His eternal life was placed in me. Since He is always alive living in me, He will never leave me nor forsake me. If you are in Christ, in Him you have redemption. In Him you have forgiveness of sin. In Him, by that one offering you have been made perfect in the sight of God. God comes up and says to you, “child of God, I have made you perfect in my sight through identification with the one who is perfect.”
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
What is the purpose of all this? Why is the law inadequate? It is because it cannot make perfect those of us who want to draw near to God. We cannot be made perfect by what we do. Someone outside myself would have to make me perfect and so also for you. And that is what God did through His Son Jesus Christ when we identify with Him in His resurrection just as He identified with us in our death.
What is being talked about in Hebrews 7:11-12? Perfection cannot be gained. You can never be found perfect in the sight of God by what you are doing.
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect)
In Romans 7, Paul said same thing. The law is holy, perfect and good, but when it flows through me, it kills me.
11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
I cannot obtain perfection in the sight of God by obedience to the law because the things I want to do I do not do and the things I do not want to do I do anyway. There is a conflict between what I know is right. I know the law is holy and good, but when it flows through me it kills me.
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21] 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life [in my mind] actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Jesus Christ ushered in a New Covenant of grace after His death and by means of His resurrection. We draw near to God because He did the work of reconciliation for us by paying the price of death for sin for us. There is nothing to keep us now from going to God. We love because He first loved us. We have come to know the love God has for us. His love is what leads us to a change of mind, of coming to know God through what He has done for us in Christ Jesus.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”[a]
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
He provided that new hope in which we can now stand. In Christ, having received His new life by faith, we have a guarantee of eternal life. Who is the guarantor? Jesus Christ. How does He guarantee eternal life for us? He died, was buried and rose again. His death solved the problem of sin that caused our death, and took it away forever from the eyes of God never to be seen again. That means should we sin again we will not die. That was the change in the law. His resurrected life solved the problem of death. And being God, an eternal being, He always lives. So He can always live to intercede for me. And I enter into that new life by faith. I rest from my works just as Jesus did from His.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
Did He rest from His work? Yes. He died, was raised and then ascended back to heaven where He sat down at the right hand of God. The chair was a prohibited piece of furniture in the temple. Absolutely prohibited. Why? Because the priest’s work was never done, as we read in Hebrews 10:11.
How then can you rest from your own works? By entering God’s rest. You cannot rest from your own works unless you enter God’s rest, just as God did from His. When it says that Jesus, by that one offering He made perfect forever in the sight of God, it says that after that work was done, what did He do? He sat down at the right hand of God the Father. Why did He sit down? His work was over. That is talking about your forgiveness. After He completed His work on the cross, He sat down at the right hand of the Father.
12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are sanctified.