The Precious Permanence of Christ’s Atonement

He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:27, emphasis added)

He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. (Hebrews 9:12, emphasis added)

For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26, emphasis added)

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10, emphasis added)

“Once for all.” These three simple words perfectly impart the precious permanence of Christ’s immense work on the cross.

No more temporary offerings, sacrifices, or blood needs to be offered up on our behalf because of the supreme, permanent act of love displayed by Jesus Christ. The days of repeatedly atoning for our sins ceased when Christ, the Lamb of God (John 1:29), offered Himself up as a “propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). This one single, perfect sacrifice removed the necessity for a priest to offer a sacrifice for the sins of Himself, as well as the people he led (Hebrews 7:27). For Christ submitted Himself as a sacrifice for His people, namely, you and I, so that we might be able to live fully and freely in the confidence of Christ’s work, that sin no longer has a daily constraint on our lives.

We need not have any hesitancy to believe we can live without guilt, shame, or fear anymore. Rather, be unshakably certain that your sins are atoned for by the blood of Christ and that they will never be used to condemn you! (Romans 8:1). Too often our former sins can creep back into our minds and produce these insecurities that do nothing but hinder our souls from treasuring Christ. Memories can be a beautiful vessel for recollecting experiences in which God has uniquely acted in our lives, thus resulting in adoration of God. On the other hand, due to our sinful nature we can also use memories as an avenue for recollecting experiences where the only fruit that comes is remorse. This is the area where Satan is ready to pounce. If we allow remorse and self-condemnation to settle in for a while and disrupt our heart’s focus from Christ, then Satan will surely seize the opportunity for aggressive expansion of those feelings.

This is Satan’s hope, namely, that we would forget the “once for all” moment Christ accomplished so that he might have a chance to whisper, “This sin will torment you forever.” Satan wishes for you to believe that you must make up for your sins or else God will not love you or care for you. Yet, be assured that sin does not have any such dominion over you if you are in Christ. None! Don’t second-guess your redemption, Christian. We have a permanent promise of hope through Christ that says our eternal redemption has been secured (Hebrews 9:12). God is abundantly clear in His word that Christ’s penal substitutionary act was successful in removing sin’s power for all time. Romans chapter six alone, for example, explicitly articulates the idea that the power of sin was eliminated:

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-11)

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Romans 6:22)

The atonement of Christ, the beautiful, bloody, sacrificial slaughter of the Son, appointed by the Father (Acts 2:23), is all we need to know, whole-heartedly, that our sins are forever washed away and that we are free to live in the light of God. Without the “once for all” work of Christ we would not have the opportunity to see God in His beauty and enjoy Him fully forever; we would still be working tirelessly and apprehensively to create temporary restoration between us and God. But revel in this wondrous truth: that we have irreversible, indestructible, and incessant harmony between us and God all because of Christ’s single, sacrificial offering.

Let us then join with Paul and joyfully praise God for His, “glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

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