ONCE AND FOR ALL FORGIVENESS



I’ve met people who think that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sins applies only to the sins that they commit up to the point that they accept him as their Lord and Savior. If they sin after they get saved, they think those sins aren't covered. In fact, for some people they delay baptism as late as possible, until the lusts of their youth have passed, thinking they would be less likely to give in to temptation afterwards. There are so many problems with this kind of thinking. It implies that salvation is a gift when you receive it, but then you have to earn it afterwards, by being good enough. This way of thinking also limits the definition of sin to things such as drinking and dancing and sex, when in reality sin is far uglier. This shallow thinking also minimizes the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. It says that Christ alone is not enough to save me—I can only save myself by being good.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a once and for all sacrifice. “Our high priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time.” (Hebrews 10:12)

When Christ died on the cross, he paid the price for all your sins — past present and future. When we all commit some kind of sin later on today that sin is already covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. The same goes for the sins you will commit tomorrow and next week and next year. His once and for all sacrifice paid the price for all your sins. The inevitable comeback question is, "Does this mean I can sin all I want because I know that God has already forgiven me?" Well that theoretical loophole might work if sin wasn't quite so insidious. You can't sin without hurting yourself and hurting others and creating distance between you and God. That's all there is to it. There's no such thing as "getting away with sin." When we play with it, it's going to cause damage that it can't help but cause. That's what sin does. God offers us once and for all forgiveness, not so that we can sin with abandon, but so that we can learn to abandon sin. The writer of Hebrews says in chapter ten and verse ten; “For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” And then goes on to say in verse 14; “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” Jesus offers you once and for all forgiveness. The guilt that you struggle with, the shame, the pain, the regret — he says, “I'll cover all of it. You don't have to carry that weight anymore. I've paid the price once and for all. Now you can begin the process of learning to be holy.” Once and for all means you’ve been forgiven once and for all. With victory of sin you now have a reason to hope and a reason to truly live for Jesus.

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