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Read Introduction to Hebrews

 

8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Hebrews now explains Psalm 40:6-8 quoted in verses 5-7. There is a stark contrast between the old and the new.

10:8

Previously saying,

This refers to what was just said in verses 5 and 6. Animal sacrifices could not ultimately pay for sin; they only illustrated how Christ the Messiah would do it.

Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin

These words repeat what was said in verses 5-7. Old Testament sacrifices were not adequate to take away the sin issue.

You did not desire,

It was not God’s purpose to pay for sins by Levitical sacrifices.

nor had pleasure in them

This is the second time God indicated that He had no pleasure in Old Testament sacrifices (He 10:6).

(which are offered according to the law),

Old Testament sacrifices were prescribed according to the Mosaic law.

19:9

then He [Christ with David’s words] said,

Hebrews again picks up Psalm 40.

Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.”

Jesus came to fulfill the Father’s will, which was to establish the New Covenant.

He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

The “first” here is the Old Covenant and the “second” is the New Covenant. Israel’s sacrifices could not ultimately pay for sin; they only illustrated the One who would. The old sacrificial system was rendered ineffective by Christ’s ultimate and final sacrifice. The New Covenant established what the first could not.

10:10

By that will

The “will” here is the will of God which Christ fulfilled on earth as a human sacrifice for sin. This is the “will” found in the quotation.

we have been sanctified [set apart]

The sanctification here is not progressive sanctification but the justification of the believer once for all. The word “sanctified” indicates that this action took place at one point in the past and continues until the present (perfect tense). Believers have a continuous state of salvation. It is an accomplished fact and not something yet to be done; it is a permanent sacrifice. The one point is Christ on the cross. It is something that God did, not us (passive voice).

The Greek here is very strong (periphrastic perfect passive participle) making it emphatic.

through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ

It is the “body” of Christ that was offered. God took His human life to give us eternal life.

once for all.

Christ’s work on the cross was permanent. Those who believe that Christ died for them have a permanent state of sanctification or salvation. His sacrifice was final (He 7:27; 9:12).

PRINCIPLE:

The believer has been positionally set apart unto God once for all.

APPLICATION:

The Bible talks of at least two kinds of sanctification: (1) the complete setting apart of the believer unto God forever and (2) the progressive sanctification by the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Our verses speak of the believer’s position before God as perfect forever. He is permanently declared holy; he holds permanent salvation that lasts forever.

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