“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:14
The Book of Hebrews constantly shows us that the work of Christ as our sin offering to God was a work done but once. This emphasis is made throughout the Book to teach us forcibly that the sacrifice of Christ was an effectual sacrifice - that our Lord Jesus Christ has by his one great sacrifice as our Substitute accomplished everything he intended to accomplish by his death. Look what this Book tells us Christ accomplished by his one offering.
By his one offering, the Lord Jesus Christ has purged our sins (1:1-3; 7:26-27).
By his one offering, the Lord Jesus Christ has obtained eternal redemption for us (9:12, 26-28).
By his one offering, the Lord Jesus Christ has perfected all God’s elect (10:12-14).
Look at this text in its context. The Son of God, by his one offering for sin, has perfected forever them that are sanctified. What does that statement mean in this context?
In the ninth chapter the Apostle spoke to us about the tabernacle, the candlestick, the table, the showbread, the sanctuary, the golden censor, the ark of the covenant overlaid with gold and the pot of manna. In other words, he has been talking to us about priests and priestly things.
Holy Things And Holy Men
All these things were sanctified things, -- holy things. However, though they were sanctified, holy things, they needed to be made perfect. They had to be sprinkled with blood to be made perfect. Granted, those things were only ceremonially sanctified and ceremonially perfected. But the ceremonies were designed of God to show us something. They were intended to teach us what sanctification is in a very practical way.
There were certain golden vessels used in the sanctuary, which were never used for anything else but the service of God. They were set apart, made holy, and kept strictly as vessels of the sanctuary for service of the Lord God. They were sanctified things.
There were also specific, chosen men who did nothing else but wait upon the Lord. They were consecrated to their offices. God chose the tribe of Levi, and out of the tribe of Levi he chose the house of Aaron. These men were chosen, and then they were prepared by divine order for their work. They underwent specific, divinely ordained ceremonies and washings, and were thereby made ceremonially holy. These priests were ceremonially sanctified. That is to say, they were set apart, dedicated and reserved to the special service of the Lord God.
Set Apart For God
That is just what you and I (if we are believers) are, and what we ought to be. If we are God’s, we are sanctified men and women. We are chosen by God to be the peculiar vessels he will use in performing his work, in pouring out his mercy to his people (Eph, 3:8; 2 Cor. 4:7). We are the people God has chosen and sanctified, by whom he is served, by whom he does good to chosen sinners in this world.
No man had the right to use the things of the sanctuary for himself. If he did so, he did it to his own destruction. — Ask Belshazzar. He took the cups, the golden candlesticks, and so forth, and used them in his debauchery and pleasure. When he did, he was swept away in God’s wrath. The handwriting on the wall foretold his doom.
So it is with us. We are not to be used (or to use ourselves) for anything but for God. We are a people set-apart; we are vessels of the Lord’s house. We are not for the devil’s use, the world’s use, or our own use. We have been made, chosen, and set apart for our Master’s use!
That is what is meant in this text by “sanctified.” We are sanctified people, set apart for God’s use, consecrated to God, just as the vessels, the cups, the candlesticks, the tables, and the altars of the sanctuary were sanctified unto God and set apart for his service.
We are priests, sanctified to God, not because of any personal holiness in ourselves. Some of those priests were downright scoundrels; but they were priests nonetheless. Hebrews 10 does not deal with the matter of our character. — Hebrews 10 is talking about our position in the sight of God. We are not perfect in character. — We are only perfect in position.
We who are God’s are sanctified, sanctified to offer spiritual sacrifices unto God through Christ (1 Pet. 2:5). We have no right to do anything else but serve God. Christ has made us kings and priests unto God, a royal priesthood, a people whose whole and only purpose in life is his service!