Berlin Immanuel Church members gathered for Wednesday service on January 18, continuing in the study of the book of Hebrews. The main passage was in Hebrews 10:1-18, which brings the first, theological, part of the letter to a conclusion that just as were justified perfectly though the sacrifice of Christ, we are also being sanctified by the same sacrifice (vs 14). It was made clear that the works of the law are unable to take away the sin and guilt, and cleanse our conscience. The law was given not that we could never be justified by obeying the law, but as a reminder of our sinfulness (vs3, 8) and our complete dependence on God’s mercy and grace for righteousness. It is Christ who is the reality of righteousness, the one who came to do God’s will, the priest who gave the perfect sacrifice once for all, to whom the works of the law were pointing as a shadow of the good things that were coming.
And so just as Simon Peter in Luke 5:8, when we look at Christ, we deeply realize our sinfulness and unworthiness, and how insufficient are our endlessly repeated sacrifices. The sacrifice of Christ, however, is sufficient not only to take away our sins, but to make us holy. As long as we look at Christ, as long as he is our goal – not a good life, not happiness, peace or love, but Christ himself – we are being sanctified and made holy, transformed into his likeness. And even though our present reality is different and we are far from perfect holiness, that future perfection was already secured on the cross. The live we now live is that so he must increase and I must decrease (John 3:30). He died for us so that we should not longer live for ourselves but for him (2 Cor 5:15), and become holy because he is holy (1 Peter 1:13-19).