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Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background. Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background.

Daily Devotional | Once for All

The instructions on most shampoo bottles tell users to “wash, rinse, repeat.” Sometimes called the shampoo algorithm, these words (especially the third) have probably earned more money for the makers of hair products than anything else their marketing departments have written!

The author of Hebrews may seem to harp on the fact that sacrifices of the Law were repeated. But this is an essential point in the author’s argument for the superiority of Christ. The offerings of the Levitical priesthood were (by necessity!) a daily occurrence. The fact that they had to be made “again and again” was proof that those sacrifices could “never take away sins” (v. 11).

But Jesus’ priesthood is different. Instead of being sacrificed repeatedly, He “offered for all time one sacrifice for sins” and then “sat down at the right hand of God” (v. 12). Jesus’ work is final. Two facts signal the permanence of Jesus’ offering. One is that Jesus is now at rest, waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool (v. 13). The other is the effect of His sacrifice upon those who believe. By one sacrifice, Jesus “has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (v. 14). Although we continue to grow in holiness, our obedience adds nothing to what Christ has already done. He has provided a perfect righteousness that cannot be improved upon.

Those who have been given Christ’s righteousness learn to practice this righteousness. This work of the Holy Spirit, also known as sanctification, brings the perfection Jesus has given to us as a gift into our daily experience. God puts His Law in our hearts and writes it on our minds (v. 16). But sanctification always begins with forgiveness and justification through Christ. Where there has been forgiveness, there is no longer any need for sacrifice (vv. 17–18).

Go Deeper

What is sanctification? How does it begin? How have you experienced sanctification in your life?

Pray with Us: Perfect and holy? That’s not us, Lord! But Hebrews says Your sacrifice has made us “perfect forever” and we “are being made holy.” Help us believe the reality of Your salvation and live in the power of Your Spirit.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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