Posted by Pastoral Musings on 2nd July 2012
The Eternal Sufficiency Of Jesus’ Death For Our Sins
“Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein: which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having a high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:8–25)
When we consider the eternal security of the believer we must always consider it in relationship to Christ. It is not the person who believes in anything that is secure, but it is the person who believes in Jesus Christ who is eternally secure. This is especially true when we think about the fact that our security is based upon what Christ has done on our behalf: He was the sacrifice for our sins. Our eternal security is based upon the fact that the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins is of eternal worth.
Our text tells us that Jesus died once for all, in contrast to the Old Testament sacrifices being offered every day. Why is this so? It is so because Jesus’ death was all that was necessary to satisfy God and give us eternal life. Notice that we are told that God did not desire sacrifices and offerings, but had prepared Jesus to come, do the will of God, and take away our sins. Jesus’ death was sufficient to satisfy God, and after he died for our sins He ascended to Heaven and will remain there until He comes in glory to subdue His enemies. As we are told these things, we are also told that when sins are forgiven there is no need for another sacrifice for sins. This simply means that the sacrifice of Christ for our sins was all that was needed; our sins are forgiven, God is satisfied, and there is no need to add to that perfect sacrifice that was forever good enough for God and for us.
Our text also tells us that God is faithful, so we can have confidence in His promises. What does this mean? There are three important things we need to see about the faithfulness of God and His promises to us in Christ: 1) All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. 2) God’s faithfulness is seen in that He is faithful to His righteous demands in Christ’s death for our sins. 3) God is faithful to forgive our sins because Jesus died for our sins.
All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. Every promise that was made to God’s people pointed to Christ. Jesus spoke to the Jews and told them, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) What Jesus meant was that they did search the Scriptures, because they thought that they would find certain rules to live by that would give them eternal life. Instead of searching for rules, however, they should have recognized that the promises and prophecies of the Scriptures pointed to Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises of God. Paul told the Galatians (Galatians 3:16) that Jesus is the seed which was promised not only to the woman (See Genesis 3:15), but also to Abraham (See Genesis 12:1-3;15:1-6;22:18). Paul also told the Corinthians that God faithfully fulfilled His promises in Christ, saying, “But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:18–22) Note that God not only has fulfilled His promises in Christ, but has given us His Spirit in our hearts to assure us that there are more promises yet to be fulfilled in Him (See Ephesians 1:13-14). God’s faithfulness in Christ assures us of eternal life, because it assures us that God keeps all of His promises, including the promise to raise us up at the last day (See John 6:40-44).
God is faithful to Himself in satisfying the demands of His righteousness in Jesus’ death for our sins. Paul told the Romans that we are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24–26) God forgives our sins, but His righteousness demands satisfaction. Sin must be punished. Paul tells us that Jesus’ death for our sins demonstrates how that God can righteously forgive our sins. He does so by punishing our sins in Jesus. That is how God is both just and justifies those who believe in Jesus. As Jesus walked this earth He faithfully fulfilled the law. Having satisfied God by living a perfectly sinless life, Jesus died, not for His own sins, but for ours. God punished Jesus for our sins. He became sin for us (2Corinthians 5:21). Isaiah stated that God was pleased with Jesus’ death: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; For he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10–11) Not only was the Father pleased to punish Jesus for us, but He is satisfied to accept His offering on our behalf. God was pleased with what Jesus did, because He faithfully upheld the law and secured the forgiveness of sins for all who believe Jesus.
Because Jesus died for our sins God is faithful to forgive our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Not only does God forgive our sins in Christ, but never will the believer commit a sin that will not be forgiven, but the blood of Jesus daily cleanses us from sin (See 1John 1:7) so that we will need never fear. Jesus promised that “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Jesus’ one sacrifice for sins was forever. Never will our sins be brought up again. Never will they be remembered again by God. Never will God cast us away. We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), so we do not stand before God in our own merit, but in the merits of Jesus who died for our sins.
Because of Jesus’ eternally sufficient sacrifice and offering of Himself to God we can have boldness and assurance.Those who reject the eternal security of the believer do so in part because they do not understand the great truth of the sufficiency of Jesus’ death for our sins. The reality is that in Jesus Christ we have eternal life. Jesus was sent and given by the Father that we might have eternal life (See John 3:16-17). Every believer can be assured that their salvation is eternally secure in Christ because Christ’s offering is eternally acceptable and pleasing to God.