Summary: Christ sanctifies us through His finished work on the Cross. Jesus transforms our lives positionally at the moment we receive Him, and practically as we learn to walk in Him by faith.
Christ our sanctifier
Don’t you just wish you could start all over? Several months ago I was having a great deal of difficulty with my home computer. It was slow and sluggish and would often freeze right in the middle of some important work. Now I don’t know much about computers, but I did know of something on my Windows XP called “system restore.”
This wonderful little device would allow me to go back to a date in the past, before the computer started having glitches and restore the computer to its condition at that time. This worked OK for awhile, but one of the bad things was that I couldn’t completely get rid of viruses or bugs in the system. Little pieces of computer sin would stay attached and even when I restored the system, problems would carry over. I didn’t need a clean-up job. I needed a complete make-over.
So in stepped my computer savior, Bruce Lingenfelter. First, we totally removed everything from my computer. And then Bruce reinstalled the windows programs from the very beginning. It was like having a brand new computer all over again before the bugs.
Wouldn’t it be great if that could happen in our lives? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all the sins of our past would not just be covered over or cleansed from our system, but if our whole system could be completely restored as if there had never been a bug in the first place. Wouldn’t it be great if we could be totally born again, as a new creation? No memory of any sin we have committed even existing anywhere?
Well, I want to talk about this very thing today. My main point this morning is this:
Jesus is able to completely sanctify those He has saved!
We have been studying diligently this year from the book of Hebrews. In it we have discovered that Jesus is
- the greatest messenger of God
- the greatest builder of God’s house
- the greatest answer for man’s need
- the greatest priest who has made the ultimate sacrifice of His own blood for the removal of sins
Mixed in with this celebration of Jesus we have also been challenged with several warnings:
- Pay attention to Jesus – don’t drift away (chapter 2)
- Keep your heart soft towards the Lord (chapter 3)
- Approach His throne of grace with confidence because He loves you, He wants to save and sanctify you, and give you rest (chapter 4)
- Leave behind the old pattern of works for a life of faith (chapter 6)
Turn with me now to Chapter 10
10:1 Notice the contrast between a shadow and the reality. A shadow is a pale outline of something else. We can get the basic idea of an object from the shadow, but many of the details are dark and unclear. A shadow directs you to the object that is real. Once you see the real object, the picture becomes crystal clear.
The law with all of it’s instructions about washings and sacrifices was a shadow. It wasn’t the real thing. It was meant only to teach and instruct, never to answer the question raised. The law taught us that mankind is inherently sinful and incapable of fulfilling the holiness and righteousness required by God. Access to God was denied. We could not fellowship with a holy and righteous King. We could only hope that one day our sins would be completely removed from us.
The law as a shadow reminded those who worshipped under its system year after year and day after day that they were never going to attain the holiness of God through self-effort. It could never make perfect those who followed it.
To be perfect means to be complete, to be as originally intended or designed. It carries the idea of fullness. Man at one time lived in the Garden of Eden and knew nothing of sin, but once sin entered the picture man could never be perfect again. Sin would always be there, crouching at the door, destroying the purity of man, and filling our hearts with guilt. No matter how hard we tried, sin was always there, and we felt guilty.
10:2-4 The repetition of the animal sacrifices only accentuated the problem. It was designed by God to show to mankind the horror of sin. Some accounts say that over 100,000 lambs would be sacrificed in Jerusalem during the Day of Atonement. The sounds of animals crying out, the smell of the burning flesh on the coals, and the blood that ran so think through special channels out of the city that it turned the brook of Kidron red from the blood. It was a horrible site.
As a boy I lived a block away from a pig slaughterhouse. Almost every day the trucks would arrive with the pigs. They would scream as they were ushered through channels into the butcher pens. I remember playing around that slaughterhouse when it was closed and everything was covered with the remnants of dried blood.