For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Heb 10:14
To be made perfect forever — what a wonderful thought! But what does it mean?
The Greek word for “perfect” is “teleióō” and can be translated as “complete.” How did Jesus’ sacrifice make us complete? I found one clue as I finished reading the book of Ezekiel. It closes with this phrase: And the name of the city from that time on will be: the Lord is there.” Ez 48:35
The Lord is there. That is God has wanted from the beginning of time — to be there with us, to dwell with man. And that is just what the writer of Hebrews goes on to say in Hebrews 10, quoting a prophesy:
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
God said he would put his law in our hearts and minds. That is, his Spirit would dwell within us. And that is just what happened on the day of Pentecost. Peter said in Acts 2 that those who are baptized receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
When we have God dwelling in us, we, in a sense, are perfect and complete, God has finished the work in us that He was planning through all time to do. He has set us up to win in the very best way. We have everything we need.
What does this all mean to me?
It means I am perfect because I BELONG. I am HIS, and He is mine. I am his daughter, and his family is my family. His home is my home.
- “He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” II Cor 1:21-22
- The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15
“Belonging is primal, fundamental to our sense of happiness and well-being.”according to an article on CNN’s web site about findings based on studies done by Stanford assistant professor Gregory Walton. Walton’s conclusion from his research is, “Isolation, loneliness and low social status can harm a person’s subjective sense of well-being, as well as his or her intellectual achievement, immune function and health.”
That is certainly true for me. If you asked me what one of the most detrimental things was in my childhood, I would say it was the feeling that I didn’t belong. No matter how hard I tried to be a part of the popular group, I always knew I was on the fringes, there was something about me that didn’t fit in. And that affected me profoundly. I felt that I was broken somehow. I had much less self confidence. And thus I did not attempt to achieve as much at times in my life
To me, belonging means not only that I am God’s child and He dwells with me, but that I am totally in the place I was meant to be. I can walk each day the path I was destined to walk. The thing I fear most is failure. I want more than anything to be productive, and the only way to do this is to be in sync with God’s will. Doing things my way will lead me in circles. Doing things according to God’s perfect plan will always lead to the best outcome.
For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. I Peter 2:25
We were designed to be in a relationship with God. It is where we will thrive. It reminds me of the story of the movie, “Hugo,” about an automaton that wouldn’t work, and a key that seemed to have no use. One the characters of the story found that the key could be inserted in the automaton, and when it it was, everything worked in a wonderful way.
Just as these parts were made to function together, we were created to function with God. When God puts the key of his Holy Spirit in our heart, we live as we were designed to live.
(Coming next — Complete II: Perfect Because I am Rich)