Once And For All

Amazing Grace

Romans 6:10-12
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Emphasis added).

Hebrews 7:26-27
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (Emphasis added).

The phrase ‘once and for all’ should settle things about the grace of God as it is contrasted with our efforts to earn favor and acceptance with God. What Jesus did at the cross, He did once and for all. In God’s eyes there is nothing more to do but believe and receive. Anything that comes after this in our Christian lives is fruit of an already established relationship. If we reckon that there is more to do in making us acceptable in our approach to God, then we negate the ‘once and for all’ sacrifice at the cross. When Jesus died for us, we died to sin and came alive to God at the same time. All that we need to do now is to ‘see’ this truth, and apply it to our lives. For some this is ‘too good to be true’ (where is that in the Bible) and they slip into some sort of blend between Law and Grace, not fully enjoying the benefits of either.

Right believing leads to right behavior. If your heart is in tune with God’s heart as revealed in his Word, then your actions will line up. Your behavior – what you do – will be the fruit of an ongoing relationship with Jesus (John 15) and not the product of a set of religious rules you follow or even some set of vain attempts to reach up to God with your own efforts or works.

Jesus, as our High Priest of the New Covenant of grace, offered Himself once and for all, unlike the priests (and High Priest) of the Old Testament who year after year repeatedly slaughtered the sacrificial animals. It was a continual and unending process that served a type of the great ‘once and for all’ sacrifice of God’s own Son’s blood as The Lamb of God.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul comments that we are now reconciled to God through Jesus blood on the cross. We are now holy, blameless and above reproach, not by what we have done are doing or ever will do in the future (our sacrifices), but by what He has already done! The focus ought to shift off our efforts to His effort.

Colossians 1:19-23
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight– 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard,

Our ‘response to His ability’ (responsibility) is to continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast in the glorious good news that the price for our redemption has already been paid. There is nothing more to do! If we add anything to what He has done, we negate what He has done. In effect we take matters back into our hands and exclude His grace, putting us back into the realm of ‘works’ and the law which condemns us.

Holiness is something God imputes to us as His gift. He attaches no blame to us at all, and steers way from all reproach (disgrace, defamation or disparagement for sin). When we are grounded in this liberating truth, and not moved from this hope of the Gospel, no devil can lie to us about our walk with the Lord, accusing us that we are not good enough or not living up to God’s standards. We are secure in Christ, and He has met God’s righteous standards on our behalf. We now serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear ‘because we have grace’.

Hebrews 12:28
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

God’s kingdom in us is unshakeable, and when we keep our eyes on Jesus and His finished work, we have all that we need to live a life of holiness. We serve God by His enabling grace, and by grace alone.

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