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July 20, 2020 The Genuine Thing - Pastor Perry Windecker

“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.


The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: ‘This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’


Then he adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’”

(Hebrews 10:10-17 NIV).


Reflection


Growing up I lived in a family that did all right, but we were by no means well off. Mom was frugal with the budget and we got by. One of the frugal things she did was buy things on sale and not usually from the top shelf (where they keep the expensive things). One of these items she would buy like this was syrup for our pancakes. We could not really afford the good stuff, so she bought the cheaper every day brands made with corn syrup and artificial flavoring, and this was all right. None of us kids would have known the difference any way, we live in New Mexico. Not a lot of maple trees there. It was good and sweet, and we were just as happy with our pancakes, especially when she would make them into blobs and have us guess which animal they looked like.


However, when I grew up and joined the Navy I lived for a time in Maine and New Hampshire. They have a lot of maple trees there, and no one there would ever dream of using artificial flavored maple syrup. If it did not start with a spigot in a maple tree draining out the sap, it was not the genuine thing. Now I can’t go back. I know what the real genuine maple taste like and I just can’t use the substitute anymore.


In many ways this is similar to what the writer of Hebrews is speaking of in these passages. What the imitators, the temple priests, were unable to perfect, again and again, Jesus perfected once and once for all in His willing sacrifice of His body.


But there is even more in these passages that we need to understand. Not only did Jesus’ sacrifice for all to be saved, but His perfect sacrifice also “has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Yes, you read this correct. His sacrifice has perfected us as it is making us holy.[1] Holiness.


In this New Covenant the Holy Spirit is working inside of us writing God’s laws on our hearts and in our minds. God’s very will is in us working and transforming and perfecting and sanctifying us.[2] He does not stop there, He also cleanses us of our sin and lawless act to be remembered no more.


Through His sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us we are being cleansed, perfected, and made holy, to become Christ-like. Remember the Scripture, “for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”[3] This is how, through His willing sacrifice on our behalf and the Spirit working in us to change us back into the original human God intended us to be.


Now we know the genuine thing, Jesus! We can’t go back.


Are you letting the Spirit work in you to change and heal you and making you holy?

Are you letting the Spirit work inside of ALL of you or are you holding back some areas of your life? What is it that you have to give God total control over today?

[1] Kevin L. Anderson, Hebrews: A Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition, ed. Alex Varughese, Roger Hahn, and George Lyons, New Beacon Bible Commentary (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013), 265. [2] Ibid, 265. [3] 1 Peter 1:16 (NRSV)

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