November 15, 2009

Saints Triumphant Through Christ's One Sacrifice - Nov 15, 2009

Due to ongoing issues with our website, the audio version of the sermon is still unavailable. We apologize for this inconvenience.


After today there is only one Sunday before Advent begins, and with it, the new church year. Today is called “Saints Triumphant” Sunday. So what does that mean, “Saints Triumphant”?

The word “saint” just means “holy one”. In the Bible the word “saint” is synonymous for “Christian” or “followers of Jesus”. If you believe in your heart that Jesus died to take away all your sins, you are one of His “holy ones”, one of His “saints”.

Through FAITH in Christ we have been given HIS victory over sin, death and the devil. We are “Saints TRIUMPHANT”.


May God’s love for you rest on your hearts. And may the undeserved mercy of Christ fill you with peace. Amen.

The 1996 Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta, Georgia. During those Olympic games a sprinter named Michael Johnson broke the world record for the 400 meter dash and captured the gold medal for the United States.

Johnson was so confident that he was going to win the gold medal, that he stepped out onto the track wearing shiny GOLDEN SHOES. Imagine the confidence he must have felt to be that bold.

When it comes to the race against sin, death and the devil, we are even MORE confident that Michael Johnson. When he put on those golden shoes, he was saying, “I’m ready for this race. I’m going to win it.”

But because of Jesus was say more. We say, “I’m not just ready for this race. Because of Jesus, I’ve ALREADY won it. My sins are forgiven, I own eternal life and Satan can’t touch me, so long as I’m in Christ.”

Our sermon reading for today emphasizes this fact: We are “Saints Triumphant Through Christ’s One Sacrifice”.

Turn to Hebrews 10, verse 11. The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were Jewish by birth. They must have lived near Jerusalem before 72 AD when it was destroyed and the Temple sacrifices put to an end.

Much of Hebrews is dedicated to showing how Jesus is better than any Israelite priest and better than any Old Testament sacrifice because He is the fulfillment of them. He is the Savior that the whole Old Testament was pointing to.

Hebrews 10:11-18 (NIV)

11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “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.”
17Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Before we get into this, we have to understand one thing. None of this is going to make any sense, or matter at all unless we believe that we are sinful, and sin deserves eternal separation from God.

God has standards. He says, There are things I want you to do and things I don’t want you to do. If we violate His standards, that’s sin. And sin disqualifies us from heaven.

We have to understand this first of all. We have to understand that only someone who is perfect, someone that has NEVER sinned could ever stroll up to the gates of heaven and say, Open up, I want to hang out with God for the rest of eternity because I’m pure just like Him. If you can’t say that then you need a Savior. You need someone to take your sin away. To put you in the winner’s circle. To make payment for you.

Jesus is the Savior that God sent. He suffered the punishment of ever one of your sins. For every one of my sins. For every one of our children’s sins. For every one of our neighbor’s sins. All of it. He suffered for them and died in their place. He was raised to life on the first Easter Sunday, so that everyone would know that God the Father accepted His sacrifice.

That’s what this whole section of Hebrews is all about. The writer wants us to know and believe, it’s done. Our sins have been forgiven.

To bring this truth home to us the writer to the Hebrews uses three pictures. Three illustrations. The first one, “Jesus Sits Because the Work is Done”.

Verse 11.

“11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:11-12 NIV).

This is talking about the Priests who served in God’s Temple before it was destroyed. God had commanded that all sorts of sacrifices be offered at the Temple. They sacrificed birds, goats, rams, bulls, lambs. They offered grain offerings, burnt offerings, sin offerings, fellowship offerings, thank offerings.

But none of these actually removed sins from a person’s record. These sacrifices pointed forward to the ONE sacrifice that God was going to provide when Jesus, His own Son, died on the cross. That is the only sacrifice that removes sin.

Obviously, the priests in the Temple were very busy. They had to oversee the butcher of animals for sacrifice. They had to throw away certain parts, perform ceremonial washings, prepare the offerings for the altar in very specific ways. They had to make sure everything was offered in the way God had said to offer it. You can read about all the God given rules and regulations for these sacrifices in Leviticus 1-7. All this made the priests very busy guys. They were always on their feet.

But Jesus is described very differently. Jesus sits.

Do you have a favorite chair at home? Maybe a big cushy La-Z-Boy recliner. Maybe a favorite spot on the couch? Well, when do you sit down in your favorite chair? When the work is done, right?

That’s Jesus right here. One of the reasons Jesus sits down at the right hand of God is so we know that His work is done. The sacrifice necessary to redeem sinners has been completed.

I like to say that the whole Old Testament was like the previews, Jesus was Blockbuster movie. The priests and all their sacrifices were the hype, Jesus was the actual sprinter that ran the race and won it. And what do you do when you’ve won the race? You take a victory lap and then you sit down and relax. The time of preparation is done. The time of performance is over. The time to enjoy your victory has come.

We are “Saints Triumphant Through Christ’s One Sacrifice”. The second illustration that drives this home is found in verse 13-14.

“13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:13-14 NIV).

That part translated, “he has made perfect forever” is the Greek word, “Tel-eye-ah-oh”. It means to complete something. To bring it to it’s end. To bring it to the goal. You could also translate by one sacrifice He has “brought us to the goal”.

Jesus is saying, Through my Sacrifice I have put you onto the top of the podium. I have placed you in the winner’s circle. You are already there, the victory is yours.

It says that he had made perfect those who ARE BEING MADE HOLY, because the Holy Spirit didn’t leave us when He brought us to trust in Christ. He stayed. He is continually weeding out our old sinful attitudes habits. He is continually re-planting the seeds of godly behavior. He’s preparing us for life in heaven. Life with the Holy God. But through faith in Christ, heaven already belongs to us. The victory over sin is ours because Jesus’ one sacrifice covers over our every sin.

To use another picture from the sporting world. It’s like Jesus has hit the ninth inning grand slam. The walk-off home run that wins the game. We were gonna lose, but Jesus stepped up to the plate and crushed that ball out of the stadium. And now we get to run the bases for Him.

The victory is already won. Nobody can take that homerun away. He hit that homerun on the cross when He suffered and died for every single one of our sins.

We’ve already been brought to the goal.

Okay. We’re saints triumphant because Jesus SAT down. His work of salvation is finished.

We’re saints triumphant because by His one sacrifice we’ve been placed in the WINNER’S CIRCLE.

Now for the last illustrations. Verse 17-18.

“17Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin” (Hebrews 10:17-18 NIV).

Where these have been forgiven there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

The word translated “forgiven” is the Greek “off-feh-sis”. It can also be translated, “released”, “pardoned”. Basically what it means is that your obligation to pay a debt is no longer there. You’re free. You’ve gone to pay off a bill and found that someone has already paid it. You couldn’t pay it if you wanted to, the debt is already gone.

God says, I’m not going to remember your sins anymore. But God doesn’t say this because He’s forgetful. He’s not going to remember OUR SINS because He’s gonna remember JESUS’ SACRIFICE IN OUR PLACE.

This totally strips the Devil of all his power. Any sin that Satan accuse the saints of, God’s response is, Well yeah, but my Son suffered for that sin. He died as the Sacrifice for that sin.”

If you take ONE THING away from this sermon, let it be this. There is no more payment to be made for sin. Jesus has paid off your debt already. He did it on the cross of Calvary, and the receipt is in the empty Tomb of our resurrected Savior.

We are “Saints Triumphant Through Christ’s One Sacrifice”.

The first image. Jesus SAT down because His work of saving sinners was done.

The second image. Jesus’ one sacrifice in your place puts you in the WINNER’S CIRCLE.

The third image. There’s no more debt to be paid. It’s gone.

This is freedom. Turn to John 8, verse 31. This freedom for sin and sin’s punishment is what Jesus was talking about when He said…

“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32 NIV).

Our every sin. Every dark and wrong thing that we’ve ever said, or done or even thought, has been washed away by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice.

We’re free. Free from fear, to live a life of joy. Free from slavery to sin, to serve God. Free to forgive others, as we have been forgiven.

We are “Saints Triumphant Through Christ’s One Sacrifice”.


No comments:

Post a Comment