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  • Chad Werkhoven

Hebrews 9:24-28 - Once For All

Of all the things you have to worry about, going to Purgatory isn't one of them!


Hebrews 9:24–28 (NIV)

24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 6: The Difference Between Canonical and Apocryphal Books

We distinguish between these holy books

and the apocryphal ones,

which are the third and fourth books of Esdras;

the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Jesus Sirach, Baruch;

what was added to the Story of Esther;

the Song of the Three Children in the Furnace;

the Story of Susannah;

the Story of Bell and the Dragon;

the Prayer of Manasseh;

and the two books of Maccabees.

The church may certainly read these books

and learn from them

as far as they agree with the canonical books.

But they do not have such power and virtue

that one could confirm

from their testimony

any point of faith or of the Christian religion.

Much less can they detract

from the authority

of the other holy books.



One of the key themes in the New Testament is that we fight an ongoing, daily battle with sin. The Bible tells us that our old sinful nature (who we often refer to here as Sarx, which is the Greek word for flesh) is waging war against us. You might successfully kill off sin today, but Sarx will snap back to life and will come gunning for you again tomorrow.

Since every day we keep stacking up more and more sin, it would seem to make sense that every day Christ has more and more to pay for. After all, the Hebrew priests way back in the days of the temple had to continually make sacrifices because the people continually sinned.

But Hebrews here reminds us that in His atonement, Jesus "appeared for us in God's presence (v24)," where He paid for sin in full, all at once. "He has appeared once for all... to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself (v26)."

Because your sin has been fully atoned (paid) for, you are now completely justified before God. Although your daily battle with sin will continue, and you do need to continue to confess and repent from your ongoing sin, be assured that your justification has been fully paid for by Christ and can never be reduced no matter how much you sin.

Dig Deeper

We saw earlier this week how the apocryphal books of 1 & 2 Maccabees give tremendous insight into the first century Jewish culture that Jesus lived in. They tell of the depraved wickedness of the pagan forces that came to occupy Israel and they also tell of the marginally successful revolt against them led by Judas Maccabeus (nicknamed "The Hammer").

After one bloody battle, when the fallen Hebrew soldiers were gathered, they were found to be wearing some idolatrous jewelry. 2 Maccabees 12 describes what happened next:

42 ...The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of the sin of those who had fallen. 43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. 44 For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. 45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.

It's apocryphal passages like this one that the Roman Catholic Church bases its doctrine of purgatory, where the dead supposedly go to have their final sins purged before entering glory. But this sort of teaching directly contradicts the once-for-all payment Jesus already made for sin that we just read about in Hebrews!

So at the end of the week, we've learned that the Apocrypha is very useful as an appendix to the Bible, helping fill in historical and cultural gaps, but yet it can not be used authoritatively to set Christian doctrine.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who sent His only begotten Son to become a once and for all payment for our sin;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that your sin is fully paid for by Christ, and pray for the strength to grow more and more sanctified in your thoughts, words and deeds;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Acts 19


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