google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Highlights in Hebrews 24
Highlights in Hebrews
Highlights in Hebrews
(with Roger Kirby)
Part 24 - Hebrews 10:10–14
We are holy!

“… we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

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. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

The dominant word here is ‘holy’, appearing twice. That is difficult because ‘holy’ is one of those words which tends to mean something rather different in our everyday usage from what it means in scripture. Holiness in common usage tends to mean something like being ‘so heavenly minded as to be no earthly use’! That is far away from scripture usage.

‘Holy’ is the prime attribute of God. He is pure; he is perfect love; he is true justice; he is different from everything else; he is wholly other and above and beyond all else. When the word ‘holy’ is applied to somebody or something on the earth it means they, or it. are so close to God that some of that holiness has ‘rubbed off’ onto them.

We need to put together what our writer says here with what Paul says in Romans 12:1-2. To take what Paul says first he is interested in the practical effects of being holy. He says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

There is no beginning suggestion there, or anywhere else in scripture, that holiness requires withdrawal from every day life. It might be easier if it did! But it doesn’t. We have to live in the world but not in the way of the world. We have to have a different mindset, a different worldview, a different focus of all our endeavours. A different Lord.. We have to please God; we have to let as much of the holiness of God rub off on us as we can. That can only happen if we live in close proximity to him as much as possible. Or, to put it another way, we are to walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit.

That is Paul’s emphasis. But what about our writer here? He is more concerned with how this can possibly have happened. It is all because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is the positive aspect of what Jesus achieved. We probably, rightly, think more of the negative, of what he did as securing forgiveness of sin for us, sin past, present and future. Positively he set us on a way, a pathway, which we are to walk with the Spirit. He has perfected us! Perfected us in the sense that we cannot, could not, be any more acceptable to the Lord of All than we are through Jesus. We have reached an end a completion of our lives and characters. Wow!

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