He Has Perfected…

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” – Heb 9:11-12

My friends, what is being described here when the scriptures say that Jesus secured ‘an eternal redemption’?

What is being secured if the atonement is given for all men without distinction?

Is the possibility of an eternal redemption the thing that is being described here as secured?

How can this ‘redemption’ be spoken of as secured if Christ’s death didn’t actually save anyone?

“11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Heb 10:11-14

Whose ‘sins’ did Christ make a ‘single sacrifice’ for? Who has been ‘perfected for all time’?

If in verse 12 scripture says ‘a single sacrifice for sins’, and in verse 14 it says ‘by a single offering He has perfected’, on what basis does the ‘offering’ in verse 12 differ from the ‘offering’ in verse 14? That is, if Christ made a general atonement for all of mankind equally, than the ‘offering for sins’ in verse 12 must be defined as the ‘sacrifice for sins’ for all of mankind. But in verse 14, the ‘offering’ there is described as having perfecting power, which would make this ‘offering’ different from the offering in verse 12. On what basis in the text can we make this jump in interpreting the ‘offering’ of verse 12 completely different than the ‘offering’ in verse 14?

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22 Comments on “He Has Perfected…”

  1. Mike Cheek Says:

    A partial reply would be based on considering the broader context of Hebrews. The high priest entered once a year into the Holy of Holies, representing all Israel (not part of Israel). When the high priest laid his hands on the scapegoat, he laid “all the sins of the sons of Israel” on the goat. Atonement was made for all the sins of the sons of Israel, yet presumably not all the sons of Israel were saved.

    Likewise, Jesus is the true High Priest who is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. Like the high priest he represents all the people (he tasted death for every man). Atonement has now been made once and for all, perfectly, and no longer needs to be repeated. Yet, just like with the high priest of old, although all were represented, not all were saved.

    In the Atonement of Jesus, reconciliation and forgiveness has now been accomplished. All are forgiven, but not all accept this forgiveness. We may preach to anyone “you are forgiven, therefore repent!” (As Paul says in Romans 2, the Lord’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance, 2:4) In the proclamation of forgiveness, God’ initiative is maintained. He summons us to respond to his initiative. And respond we must, either positive or negative. In saying I forgive you, there is also the word of judgment.

    The example is like being out in the cold, while inside the house is hearth and love. The master of the house proclaims to us “I forgive you for what you’ve done to me, come inside to my fellowship” We might respond with joy, with repentance, as the prodigal son did, and entering in, sit down to all the benefits of fellowship therein. But some on hearing these words of kindness and forgiveness, are offended, and indeed hardened. I don’t need no stinking forgiveness. I resent your sanctimonious stance, and implication that I have been in the wrong all along. I’d rather be d**d than sit down at table with you. And so we remain outside, in the cold, with the wolves. And thus, by not being in relation with the Father, there are consequences for our sins.

    When God says I forgive you, then even our unforgiveness is “covered” under that original statement. Since his forgiveness is unconditional, it remains unchanged, unaffected by whatever our response may be. Thus it is a complete and final statement.

    But yes, there is a response on our part. Jesus, our elder brother, has made the perfect Response. Thus our little response is caught up in his perfect Amen to God’ judgment. But that little response is part of God’s economy, and thus does not detract from his sovereignty or intitiative. This is how I would answer.

  2. Nathan White Says:

    Mike said: A partial reply would be based on considering the broader context of Hebrews. The high priest entered once a year into the Holy of Holies, representing all Israel (not part of Israel).

    Amen to that. We see this in Christ’s sacrifice as well, as He paid for the sins of the new Israel, the Israel of God, all of the members of the New Covenant in Christ.

    However, in this post, more specifically, I hope the reader will focus on the direct answers I posed, and thus deal with the correct answers in the context. I believe this chapter is at the heart of the biblical view on the atonement.

    SDG

  3. David Hewitt Says:

    Nathan:

    Short, sweet, and to the point. I’ll have to link to it. 😀

    SDG,
    dbh

  4. serrevin Says:

    “We may preach to anyone “you are forgiven, therefore repent!”

    jesus said “anyone who does not believe in the son is condemned already” the scriptures tell us that God is angry with the wicked “every day” therefore I don’t know if the above presentation is closely biblical.

    I used to give a similar analogy about being in the cold when you’re offered a nice warm bed inside the house IF ONLY you’d choose. but I don’t think that analogy deals with the atonement as much as it does irresistable grace (of course one leads to the other) those in hell are facing the wrath of God for eternity for all the sins they’ve ever committed. what propitiation was made for those people? if christ was their propitiation, then what sin is being punished in hell? we can’t say “unbelief” because that in itself is a sin. what redemption was “secured” for those folks in hell under the wrath of God? that’s the question that needs to be answered for those of us who believe in a non-particular redemption.

  5. David Ponter Says:

    G’day Nathan,

    I noticed that this line of thought was not taken up in exchange between you and Tony from the other day. I did think to reply then given Tony’s silence. I later thought not to.

    You have tabled it again, so I might if I may. Once again, I post here understanding with no problem at all, should you guys want me to stop, I will. I wont get bent out of shape if asked to not interact on your forum.

    But having said that, you ask this question:

    Nathan: How can this ‘redemption’ be spoken of as secured if Christ’s death didn’t actually save anyone?

    David says: because you have picked up on only one side of Scriptures doctrine of redemption. At this point, your argument, is in danger of just talking past any opponent. Here is what I mean: there are two ways to establish an argument. One is simply declarative. It does not seek to convert so much, but to declare and assert. In this mode, the assumptions of the proponent are assumed and unchallenged. The declaration speaks to those who have already bought into the proponents controlling assumptions.

    The other mode is polemic. But here the proponent of one side must seek to sustain an argument from the opponents premises, or from common ground. You posit the rhetorically driven question here ‘how can this redemption spoken off not actually save anyone?’ My paraphrase. That only has teeth on your assumptions. On someone else’s assumptions, 2 Pet 2:1 may be an effective counter. On someone else’s assumptions, Heb 10:26 and 10:29 would be an effective counter. For your part, you then have to blunt the force of these verses. But I would say that such blunting comes at the cost of the prima facie meaning of those texts.

    So with that behind us, you then posit the main argument.

    I have not checked out all the Greek on this, but here is the NIV. I’ve included verse 1.

    10:1-3: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming– not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

    10:11: 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. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    David says: I agree the verse is complex. But one should be careful in rushing to conclusions.

    Nathan: Whose ‘sins’ did Christ make a ’single sacrifice’ for? Who has been ‘perfected for all time’?

    Nathan: If in verse 12 scripture says ‘a single sacrifice for sins’, and in verse 14 it says ‘by a single offering He has perfected’, on what basis does the ‘offering’ in verse 12 differ from the ‘offering’ in verse 14?

    David Says: Here is the problem: the it does not say at all, that the offering perfects “all” those for whom the offering was made. You have modified the premise and subject. Rather, it says, this one offering, for the people, perfects all those being sanctified. That is, from v1, all those who draw near. Do you see what you have done?

    David: who are the ones being sanctified? All the elect, who even yet do not exist? Is this some elective/decretive type of sanctification, some sort of positional sanctification (normally taken as equivalent to Justification) or is the sanctification that comes about because of the application of the bood, as in verse 22?

    Nathan: That is, if Christ made a general atonement for all of mankind equally, than the ‘offering for sins’ in verse 12 must be defined as the ‘sacrifice for sins’ for all of mankind.

    David says: Actually I don’t see why anyone should be committed to that. Scripture often speaks of Christ bearing our sins, and he means Paul specifically. I don’t need to extend the our to all mankind. Your opponent could simply say that here, in this chapter, the writer speaks to the body of the elect, perhaps, as one does not need every verse to speak to all mankind. There are others within the body of Hebrews that seems to make that connection, eg Heb 2:9-14.

    NIV: 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying, “I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.” 13 And again, “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again, “BEHOLD, I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.” 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil…

    David: From Anthanasius onwards, even in Calvin I believe, the assumption has been that here is a reference to man as man, all men. Its not that Christ merely partook of same flesh and blood as his elected brethren. The writer seems to speak of our universal commonality, vis our basic corporeal humanity.

    Nathan: But in verse 14, the ‘offering’ there is described as having perfecting power, which would make this ‘offering’ different from the offering in verse 12. On what basis in the text can we make this jump in interpreting the ‘offering’ of verse 12 completely different than the ‘offering’ in verse 14?

    David: I guess I would fist challenge your assumption that v14 is saying that the offering, in and of itself has some sort of efficacy. That needs to be thought through. Many have imagined that the expiation has its own internal self-actualising ability or self-applying ability. But here the sense is most probably that by this one offering, the ones who draw near are being perfect. Which makes for good sense. The one offering could be for sin (if we take this as as all sin) which sanctifies all those who draw near.

    David: As to the other comment, no one need posit numerically distinct offerings. I don’t see how one need see the offerings as different at all.

    David: But the critical thing is, as I see it, you have converted the terms of reference within the passage, the ones who draw near, who are being sanctified, converting that into something like this: “for all whom the offering was made.”

    Make sense? And if I have misunderstood the nature of your argument, I apologise.

    David: Can you give me a response that challenges my thoughts either from our shared common ground of Scripture or from something within my assumptions?

    Thanks
    David

  6. David Ponter Says:

    My answer may not be as clear as I would I have liked. I think I am more tackling your unstated assumptions rather than what was expressed. Thus my answer may or may not help. Sorry about that. I am trying to target this idea that the offering has in inherent perfective efficacy that sanctifies all those for whom it was made. From this then its normally argued that the offering has to be limited to only those finally perfected. And so indefinite terms are limited, by a theological necessity, to the elect, etc.

    Sorry about that, I should never go public before my normal coffee meds.

    David

  7. Mike Cheek Says:

    David,

    By all means get your coffee meds! At least … I think so … However, will more caffeine in your bloodstream increase or decrease the length of your posts? 🙂

  8. David Ponter Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Actually I think they look longer than they really are cos I include so much of the quoted material.

    I thought later how I should have expressed myself. The ones being perfected are a smaller group than the ones for whom the offering is made, they are a subset.

    This builds upon your point about the offering in the OT being made for the nation, but that not all were saved.

    Thats pithy hey? 🙂 The problem I see in Nathan is that he seems to be converting “the ones being perfected” into something like this “the ones for whom the offering was made.” And then he seems to be locating all the efficacy in the expiatory offering itself, and not in the effectual application by the HS.

    Does that make sense?

    There are a lot of assumptions in the type of argument Nathan is adducing that can be unpacked. I was trying to get to some of them and in the process got myself tied up.

    Ps, 1 Jn 2:2 isa also clear, as the verse refers to the expiatory offering as a sacrifice, which regards not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world. But thats another topic.

    Bye,
    David

  9. Nathan White Says:

    David,

    First off, I didn’t ask these questions only for those to run off to 1 Jn 2:2, 2 Peter 2:1, etc. I left the post very short so we could discuss this passage alone.

    Secondly, maybe I missed it, but you didn’t address what kind of ‘redemption’ was ‘secured’, or what that statement means in your view of a general, non-specific atonement that doesn’t actually save anyone.

    Lastly, I will address your summary statement, and leave the rest of your comments alone. As you yourself said, most of your comments were because you got side-tracked on my ‘assumptions’ rather than dealing with the text itself.

    You said: The ones being perfected are a smaller group than the ones for whom the offering is made, they are a subset.

    As I pointed out in the post, verse 12 uses the same wording of ‘offered a single sacrifice’ as verse 14 in ‘a single offering’. Thus, you would have to exegetically show that the offering of both verses, v12 and v14, refer to either a subset or the entirety. That is, you can’t separate them. They are both refering to the same ‘offering’. Taking this in the context of the entire chapter, any sound observer can see that perfected and sanctified are not terms that refer to those who will spend eternity under God’s wrath. Thus, since there are those who are not perfected and sanctified, then they had no ‘single sacrifice for sins’ or ‘single offering’ made on their behalf. Let the readers decide.

    You said: The problem I see in Nathan is that he seems to be converting “the ones being perfected” into something like this “the ones for whom the offering was made.”

    Again, see verses 1-13, taking special note of verse 12. Verses 11 and 12, crucial verses that discuss Christ’s role as High Priest, it is said that Christ paid for sins, and cannot be separated from verse 14.

    You said: And then he seems to be locating all the efficacy in the expiatory offering itself, and not in the effectual application by the HS.

    I hope you don’t expect that such a short post would cover the entire doctrine of redemption accomplished and applied, do you? Why make this comment as if I am purposely not covering all of the bases? I am the one who asked what ‘secured’ and ‘perfected’ mean, and this kind of reply does nothing to answer those questions. So, who is perfected? What does perfected mean? Who is secured? What does secured mean? Is everyone secured? Is everyone perfected (in light of verse 12 and 14)?

  10. David Ponter Says:

    G’day Nathan,

    Let me try again. My brain is less fogged up from lack of coffee.

    So here is the text:

    10:11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Heb 10:11-14

    David: I’ll skip some of the questions.

    Nathan: Whose ‘sins’ did Christ make a ’single sacrifice’ for? Who has been ‘perfected for all time’?

    Lets assume it’s the sin of the people (Heb 9:28). Or lets assume its the sins of all mankind. Lets assume the subjects of the perfection are the ones who _are_ _being_ _sanctified_, who draw near to God; which is what the text says.

    10:1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.

    It is those who “are being sanctified”. His one offering perfects for all time, those who are being sanctified.

    10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

    David: note the reference to washing, cleansing etc.

    Nathan: If in verse 12 scripture says ‘a single sacrifice for sins’, and in verse 14 it says ‘by a single offering He has perfected’, on what basis does the ‘offering’ in verse 12 differ from the ‘offering’ in verse 14?
    That is, if Christ made a general atonement for all of mankind equally, than the ‘offering for sins’ in verse 12 must be defined as the ‘sacrifice for sins’ for all of mankind. But in verse 14, the ‘offering’ there is described as having perfecting power, which would make this ‘offering’ different from the offering in verse 12. On what basis in the text can we make this jump in interpreting the ‘offering’ of verse 12 completely different than the ‘offering’ in verse 14?

    David: Now I have to say here the logic of your argument is not that clear. In verse 12 it is not a separate offering for sin, but it speaks of the offering as to sacrifice made. Verse 14 speaks of that one offering applied to those who are being made holy.

    Let me now break down the propositions within that paragraph:

    Nathan:That is, if Christ made a general atonement for all of mankind equally, than the ‘offering for sins’ in verse 12 must be defined as the ‘sacrifice for sins’ for all of mankind.

    David says: Why should I be committed to that? But lets assume that the reference to sin is a reference to the sin of the race, of mankind.

    Nathan:
    But in verse 14, the ‘offering’ there is described as having perfecting power, which would make this ‘offering’ different from the offering in verse 12.

    David: And there it is. You say the offering has perfecting power. Thats ambuguity, Nathan. I say the offering itself does not have any self-actualising efficacy within itself. The offerings in the OT had two parts. There was the shedding of the blood, the taking of the life of the victim. But then there was the application of the blood of the victim upon the altar. Leviticus speaks of the atonement being made when the blood is applied. The efficacy was not in the shedding of the blood, but in the application of the blood. The writer in Hebrews picks up these them, based on Moses, when he writes:

    10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

    Nathan continues:
    On what basis in the text can we make this jump in interpreting the ‘offering’ of verse 12 completely different than the ‘offering’ in verse 14?

    David says, its not. Its not a different offering at all, it’s the same offering, in 14 its that same offering applied. This is what I was trying to say to you.

    So it exactly what Mike said to you, the offering was made for the nation, Day of Atonement, for the whole nation. But the application of the offering was limited to the faithful, to those who looked to the offering in faith. Scope out Lev 16, as its pretty clear on this. What I see you doing is trying to locate the redemptive efficacy of the offering, solely in the sacrifical aspect of the shedding of the victim’s blood.

    Is that any clearer?

    David

  11. David Ponter Says:

    Now I will answer the questions:

    Nathan: My friends, what is being described here when the scriptures say that Jesus secured ‘an eternal redemption’?

    David: I would say in 9:12 eternal redemption means the redemption applied to those who come, those who draw near:

    9: 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    David: that looks straightforward to me.

    Nathan: What is being secured if the atonement is given for all men without distinction?

    David: Clarify for me what you mean ‘atonement given’ and ‘for all men without distinction’? Like, do you really mean all or some for the second there?

    Nathan: Is the possibility of an eternal redemption the thing that is being described here as secured?

    David: Secured by decree and promise, but here secured by infallible application by the HS (see above).

    Nathan: How can this ‘redemption’ be spoken of as secured if Christ’s death didn’t actually save anyone?

    David: if the redemption in Heb 9 is the securing of salvation of those who have had their conscience cleansed, then that is limited to the penitent elect. But if the redemption is spoken of in broader terms, of the price of the ransom made, and possession acquired, then 2 Pet 2:1 surely applies. If the question is broader still, something like, how can it be, given that here Heb 9/10 speaks of an eternal redemption or a sacrificial offering for sin which infallibly perfects [those being sanctified] how can there be a redemption that does not effect this perfection, if that is your question, then Heb 10: 26 and 29, along with 2 Pet 2:1 applies; as with 1 Jn 2:2.

    I hope that clarifies, and asks of you the better clarify questions from me.

    David

  12. David Ponter Says:

    Now to the last. I am trying to keep these as short and pithy as possible.

    Nathan: First off, I didn’t ask these questions only for those to run off to 1 Jn 2:2, 2 Peter 2:1, etc. I left the post very short so we could discuss this passage alone.

    David: okay. I posited them as counter-factuals to your apparent assumption that the sacrificial offering itself carries in itself some inherent self-actualising causality or sin-forgiving, wrath-removing efficacy, all by itself.

    Nathan: Secondly, maybe I missed it, but you didn’t address what kind of ‘redemption’ was ’secured’, or what that statement means in your view of a general, non-specific atonement that doesn’t actually save anyone.

    David: let me remove the confusion. I don’t hold to a non-specific atonement. I hold to a very specific atonement, that has two specific spheres or aspects. The specific universal, in that its an expiation for all sin, all sin known by God and by Christ. There is no lack of specification here in the mind of the Son or that of the Father.

    And its an expiation specifically for the sin and sins of the elect. Please remember that I hold to the Lombard construction. Now to the question. I was not clear as to what kind of redemption was secured. I focused mostly in what I see in your argument that any redemption must be definition be efficacious: it must perfect all and any for whom it was made, in and of itself. It was to that, that I focused on responding to by citing the verses I cited.

    Nathan: Lastly, I will address your summary statement, and leave the rest of your comments alone. As you yourself said, most of your comments were because you got side-tracked on my ‘assumptions’ rather than dealing with the text itself.

    David: Well I am not sure my focus was that off. I think I didnt link them properly. But as that may be….

    Nathan: You said: The ones being perfected are a smaller group than the ones for whom the offering is made, they are a subset.

    As I pointed out in the post, verse 12 uses the same wording of ‘offered a single sacrifice’ as verse 14 in ‘a single offering’. Thus, you would have to exegetically show that the offering of both verses, v12 and v14, refer to either a subset or the entirety. That is, you can’t separate them. They are both refering to the same ‘offering’. Taking this in the context of the entire chapter, any sound observer can see that perfected and sanctified are not terms that refer to those who will spend eternity under God’s wrath. Thus, since there are those who are not perfected and sanctified, then they had no ’single sacrifice for sins’ or ’single offering’ made on their behalf. Let the readers decide.

    David: I see the same problem.
    Heb 10:12: But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God

    David: Hebrews is building upon the parallelism of the OT priest, who would shed the blood of the victim, then enter the temple and apply the blood to the altar (see chapter 9). Christ, when offered the sacrifice of his own body, outside the temple, entered into the heavenly temple, and sat down. I keep thinking thats what you are confusing here

    Now to this verse:
    10:14: because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

    David: Now the writer compares the sanctification of Christ, to that of Moses. By this one offering, made outside of the temple, the one sitting down in the true temple, effects by it the means of cleansing and perfection those who are drawing near to God, those who are being sanctified in the present. This one single offering, in past space and time, eternally perfects all those “being sanctified.” Note the tense.

    Nathan: You said: The problem I see in Nathan is that he seems to be converting “the ones being perfected” into something like this “the ones for whom the offering was made.”
    Again, see verses 1-13, taking special note of verse 12. Verses 11 and 12, crucial verses that discuss Christ’s role as High Priest, it is said that Christ paid for sins, and cannot be separated from verse 14.

    David: Nathan, by now it should be a lot clearer what I say you are doing, and doing wrongly. I agree he paid for sin(s), but the application of that is conditioned and limited to those who draw near to God, to those who are being sanctified, those who have their consciences cleansed by the Spirit. Verse 14 is about the particular application of the one and same general offering for sin (whatever sin is there, the sins of the people or sin(s) of all mankind).

    David: I suspect you may not be getting what I was trying to say, or what Mike was saying too.

    Nathan: You said: And then he seems to be locating all the efficacy in the expiatory offering itself, and not in the effectual application by the HS.

    Nathan: I hope you don’t expect that such a short post would cover the entire doctrine of redemption accomplished and applied, do you? Why make this comment as if I am purposely not covering all of the bases? I am the one who asked what ’secured’ and ‘perfected’ mean, and this kind of reply does nothing to answer those questions. So,1] who is perfected? 2] What does perfected mean? 3] Who is secured? 4] What does secured mean? 5]Is everyone secured? 6]Is everyone perfected (in light of verse 12 and 14)?

    David: Well if I write posts too long folk complain. 😉

  13. David Ponter Says:

    But sure. I understand. I am trying to focus in on some of your assumptions as I see them.

    By “secured” I assume you mean above “redemption secured” which I interpret from you as what I call ‘expiation applied.’

    Lets tackle this last battery of questions. 1) The believers are perfected. 2) I settle for the simplest for our purposes: means make complete. 3-4) Who are secured, and what is secured? Ill try this in case this answers your question here. The expiation secures a twofold result. A) it provides a sufficient satisfaction for all sin(s). B) And to those being effectually drawn by the HS, those who are drawing near to God, and to those who are being perfected. 5) No, only the penitent, and here I assume I’ve understood Qs3-4 correctly. 6) only the penitent.

    I do hope this makes it clearer for you. If this does not, I am not sure what to say next.

    I am sure you will think about what I am saying.

    Thanks and take care,
    David

  14. David Ponter Says:

    Nathan: the ‘offering’ there is described as having perfecting power…

    David: I probably should leave this alone. But I cant help think how much this is the problem.

    10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,

    Note the Greek as ouketi, no longer, an adverb of time. It implies that there was a sacrifice for their sins, but now there is no longer a sacrifice for their sins.

    10:29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    David: thats why I am trying to get the focus upon the fact that the offering as sacrifice does not necessarily eternally perfect all for whom the offering was made.

    I think this refutes the major premise Nathan seems to be relying on

    Anyway…

    Take care,
    David

  15. Andrew Says:

    David,

    I was wondering- in light of the fact that you say you do hold to particular redemption- what Scriptural basis do you have for this belief?

  16. David Ponter Says:

    G’day Andrew,

    Sure,

    Such verses as Eph 5:25, Acts 20:28, Jn 10:15-16, etc.

    And as Dabney says, by way of inference:
    The irrefragable grounds on which we prove that the redemption is particular are these: From the doctrines of unconditional election, and the covenant of grace. (The argument is one, for the covenant of grace is but one aspect of election.) The Scriptures tell us that those who are to be saved in Christ are a number definitely elected and given to him from eternity to be redeemed by his mediation. How can anything be plainer from this than that there was a purpose in God’s expiation, as to them, other than that it was as to the rest of mankind? (See the Scriptures regarding the immutability of God’s purposes—Isa. 46:10; 2 Tim. 2:19.) Dabney, The Five Points of Calvinism.

    Dabney lays this out in more detail in his Lectures, p., 521ff. under “real proofs of Calvinistic Theory”. Dabney, (as with C Hodge, and Shedd) never sought to prove particular redemption by way of trying to prove a category negation.

    Hope that helps,
    David

  17. David Ponter Says:

    I am about to scoot home. I thought I may try this. But first, I am not trying to unfairly misrepresent Nathan, or be obtuse by seemingly miss the import of his argument.

    I was thinking again and it seems to me that his argument can be reduced to its simplest form.

    Nathan believes that v14 proves that the expiatory sacrificial offering, in and of itself, infallibly secures perfection for anyone whom it is made. I think that sums up all what he thinks in entailed. That is how I am reading you, but correct me if I am wrong.

    And so:

    If the ‘sin’ of verse 12 is the sin of the whole human race, then it would follow, if the above is true, then this would entail that the whole human race must be infallibly perfected by this one single offering. But we know that is not possible, so the ‘sin’ of verse 12 cannot respect the totality of the sin of the race, but more like the sin of the elect.

    It’s a little reductio as I read it. Is that a fair non-strict syllogistic summary of your argument Nathan?

    But my problem is that the major premise is 1) unproven, and indeed, 2) a misread of biblical sacrificial theology, and 3) disproven by the counter-factual verses I adduced. 1) is unproven and false because it conflates the order set out in the verse range (first offering as to sacrifice made for sin, and _then_ application of the blood which perfects those ‘being perfected’ and who are ‘drawing near’, and only those). No where does it say that the expiation perfects all, simply considered, for whom it was made. All that I have posted before I think sustains 2 and 3 there.

    Does any of that help explain where I am coming from, Nathan, in response to your challenge?

    Thanks
    David


  18. Though there has been some communication over the fact that Jesus is being depicted as the ultimate High Priest in this section of Hebrews, what I think is being overlooked is the nature of what Christ accomplished in His sacrifice as the Great High Priest. IOW, the blood offered by Jesus actually, in the context of this passage, is said to effectuate the New Covenant. Given the nature of the New Covenant, namely, that the God’s Laws would be written on the hearts and minds of His people and their sins remembered no more (see Hebrews 10:16), the work of Christ in this regard must be on behalf of a specifically intended people- the same people referred to in verses such as Eph 5:25, Acts 20:28,and Jn 10:15-16

  19. David Ponter Says:

    G’day Andrew,

    From what you say, there is not a lot I have a problem with. I mean, it says nothing that challenges my position. But a question if you dont mind. What do you mean ‘the blood’ “effectuates” the NC?

    I suspect that there may be some issue of causality here. Is the expiation an immediate efficient causal agent? or the material cause, or grounds by which something is enabled to be effected? Stuff like that.

    I probably may need to get my Aristotelian causal taxonomy set out (perhaps a project for the morrow). Eg., we have material causes, instrumental causes, efficient causes, etc.

    Take care,
    David


  20. David,

    “From what you say, there is not a lot I have a problem with. I mean, it says nothing that challenges my position.”

    Honestly, it’s not my goal to challenge your position. I rejoice in the Lord if we do have a great deal of harmony in what we’re saying. One of my concerns, however, is that if we are in substantial agreement that any debate over the details does not obscure that fact.

    re: Aristotle- I’m not a big fan. As Luther wrote in thesis 50 of his disputation against scholastic theology, “Briefly, the whole Aristotle is to theology as darkness is to light– this in opposition to the scholastics.” However, in as much as the Reformed Protestant tradition has used Aritotelian causal taxonomy, it is my understanding that the perfect work of Christ would be the instrumental cause:

    Formal cause: God’s necessary, authoritative, sufficient, and clear self-revelation in Scripture alone

    Efficient cause: God’s grace alone, which grace is necessary as sin has made all men radically corrupt- unwilling and unable to seek God in His holiness; which grace is unconditional- not due to any forseen action or volition initiated by the sinner, but due to God’s good pleasure for the magnification of His glory; which grace is particular- bestowed upon certain individuals foreknown by the Father from eternity; which grace is effectual in that God’s gracious intention of reconciling elect individuals to Himself will certainly not be frustrated; which grace is preserving, in that the grace by which God grants salvation cannot be forsaken or lost once it has done its regenerating work in the life of the elect sinner.

    Material cause: Our faith alone- an understanding the content of the Gospel, an assent to the truth of the Gospel, and a wholehearted trust in the Christ of the Gospel- which faith is a gift from God.

    Instrumental cause: The work of Christ alone on our behalf: Christ being fully God and fully Man- identified with us in all ways except for sin- the perfect Mediator between God and Man; our Prophet, Priest, and King.

    Final cause: The glory of God alone, who is our Sovereign Creator/Sustainer, Holy Lawgiver, and Merciful Redeemer.

    SDG,
    -Andrew

  21. David Ponter Says:

    G’day Andrew,

    You nailed it. I could not have stated the taxonomy better.

    Thanks for the conversation. Both of you guys were very cordial. We can agree to disagree on some things, without–as we say in Oz–to spit bullets at each other.

    Thanks and take care,
    David

  22. Azaelia Says:

    This isn’t relevant to the conversation….but im searching through cyberspace trying to track down Serrevin….Vin, if you read this, shoot me an email.. aza.elia@yahoo.com


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