“Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” Hebrews 10:2-4
"And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins...For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:11, 14
One of my deep convictions after more than 40 years of being a spiritual leader is that most believers in Jesus are living below the fullness of the privileges of the New Covenant that Jesus inaugurated though His first coming. As a result, we default to a system of Christian "legalism" in our basic approach to relating to God and life and how we view and "manage" our obvious imperfections. This simply will not do!
Those who know me well would confirm that I would never promote sinning against God or people. Sin is destructive...and it is also boring, stupid and unsatisfying! But like so many things in the genuine spiritual life, there is great irony embedded in the heart of the truth of the "radical middle" solutions of God's wisdom.
The fact is that Jesus "took away sin" by His one time great sacrifice on the cross and then put an exclamation mark on this reality by rising from the dead. When we are born from above by the power of His Spirit, we have a basic miraculous shift in our identity. We were sinners saved by grace but we are now transformed into saints who have been...and are being...saved by grace. Our present struggle with our "flesh" is no longer a battle with a "sinful nature" but a graceful journey as beloved children of Our Father who bring our disordered human faculties into alignment with the Trinity to progressively live in the power of the Spirit.
And here is the irony. The more we celebrate and magnify our new identity in Christ (Rather than identifying ourselves as "wretched sinners"...as many theological systems would have us do through a kind of false humility.) the more God's grace will flow into our souls. This new posture empowers us to squarely face any vestiges of past sinful fallout in our lives and relationships and lifts us up to live into the daylight of the New Covenant. We become much more conscious of our new nature, new heart and new spirit than of our past sinful identity and our present weaknesses that are still in the process of coming under the dominion of the Holy Spirit.
A VOICE OF HOPE
Michael Sullivant's Blog
I am a child of God, husband, father, grandfather, spiritual father, author, speaker and hope coach.