“For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins…
“When [Christ] said, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will.’ He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
“And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:1-4,8-14,19-23
It seems inconsistent that a work can be coincidentally completed and ongoing, but in God’s economy, His word is yes and amen. The fact that Jesus has finished with our sin penalty once for all is the very foundation for our ongoing sanctification. It elucidates the joy before us and is the power that motivates us to persevere. When we know the war was finished at Calvary, the ultimate victory won, we can confidently follow our Captain and sing as victors in fiery battle. When we know He understands every strategy against us, and that we go not forth alone against the daily foe, we can boldly take the next step into the unseen. When dissension rages, doubts erupt, and the world quakes, we can stand fast because He’s our present help and shield. His once and forever is the foundation of our ongoing. (Psalm 18:1-3; 46:1-3; 2 Corinthians 1:20)
Oh Christian, why do we faint when the going is tough? Let us not lose heart, but hold fast our hope! We have been sanctified, and are being sanctified! Jesus has seized the joy before Him and holds it for us! He has lifted our burden, we can run unfettered! He has finished, we can persevere! He is faithful, we need not fear! He upholds us, we cannot fall! (Psalm 55:22; 68:19; John 19:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Hebrews 12:1-2)
Father, when the daily is fraught with trial, keep my eyes on the prize. Finish in me what You have finished in heaven, to Your glory. (Philippians 3:14)