Hebrews 13:9-13 (KJV)
9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
An established heart is the result of sanctification.
Justification is to be made Holy by nature (‘Just-as-if’I had never...). Sanctification is what it means to be made Holy.
The author of Hebrews says, “Be not carried away with divers and strange doctrines...” There are divers and strange teachings on sanctification that have very little or nothing to do with Jesus or the workings of the Gospel.
It is a common understanding that sanctification is an experience that takes place beyond salvation; an experience subsequent to trusting in Christ.
I believe that there are experiences and encounters with the Holy Ghost to be known and enjoyed after we trust Christ (speaking in other tounges is a good example of this). However, I see those experiences as a manifestation of what is already inside of you.
For example, how can Christ be in you and you not be Holy?
The Old Testament patriarchs would have been overwhelmed with and would never have been able to comprehend the idea of God in man. Wherever Jehovah dwelt was considered to be Holy by nature of habitation. Solomon cried out, “...will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have built?” The patriarchs of old would most definitely agree that should the God that the heaven of heavens cannot contain indwell you you’d be Holy indeed. So Holy you are!
It is common to believe that you are either made Holy by an experience after trusting Christ or that you are made Holy by what you do.
Are you Holy?
I am trying to be.
How are you trying?
By doing what the Bible says, I read the Bible, I study, I pray, I set my focus on the Lord, I give up those things that are sinful and I endeavor to honor the Lord.
Let it forever for settled that reading the Bible, studying, praying, and a distain for sin are both beautiful hallmarks of a Christian and identifiable characteristics of a Christian lifestyle. I desire and practice all the above. However, these hallmarks are the fruit of holiness and NOT the pursuit of holiness.
Holiness for some tends to be a lifestyle of confessing sin and committing to God that you are going to do better. Trying harder is a vicious cycle with no reward. It’s a dead end street at best.
Verse 9 says, “...For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.”
These “meats” are a reference to how the sacrificial animals were killed outside the camp and their blood was brought to the alter inside the camp for atonement. The people were then allowed to eat the sacrificial meat. The author here is saying that you and I have the potential to change our mind on holiness. We can receive sanctification by grace or by the old legalistic approach (funny thing is that unless you were born ethnically as a Jew the law never applied to you anyhow).
In other words verse 9 is saying that your heart can be strengthened by grace or you can venture down the road of being Holy by what you do. This road however never has an arrived destination point.
Look at verse 9 one more time. Notice that is says, “...it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein (emphasis on ‘occupied’).”
A pre-occupation with holiness is not what God intended for you. It is a common practice to become so occupied with holiness that you only know what you don’t believe in and therefore have taken your focus from what you do believe in. For example many times when I ask a brother or sister what they believe in they tell me what they don’t believe in. The hallmark of many Christians is what they don’t do. This is a backwards Gospel! Where is Jesus in all this?
Verse 10 says, “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” Christ is our alter. He is both the sacrifice and the alter. Christ is our everything. Our justification and our sanctification. You are Holy by nature of habitation.
Look at verse 12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”
When were you sanctified?
At the death of His Son
How were you sanctified?
With His own blood.
Who was sanctified?
_________________ (not going to answer that one for you)
-Pastor Shawn Annis