Hebrews 7: 26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he DID THIS ONCE FOR ALL WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF.
A W Pink–The description given of Him as “High Priest” in Hebrews 7:26 has no reason whatever if it does not treat of what He was here upon earth. Understanding it to describe one of Christ’s perfections while He was here in the world, it is full of significance.
George Smeaton declare, “Hebrews 7:26, 27 show Christ on earth, as both Priest and Sacrifice. The ‘such’ of verse 26 refers not back to verses 1-25, but to verse 27, The qualifications described, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, are descriptive of what He was here on earth when brought into contact with sin and sinners”.
Once upon a time, in once place, there was not only a death but a ritual legal death given by God the Son. No other death is the effectual sacrifice to God. Romans 6: 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all time
AW Pink— “Made higher than the heavens” in Hebrews 7:26. Who was? The first part of the verse tells us:–our “High Priest”! Note also that the last clause of verse 27, “this He did once, when He offered up Himself”. In what specific character is Christ there viewed? Why, as “High Priest”. As we are told in Hebrews 2:17, “He was a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (Greek) for the sins of the people”, and as Romans 3:25 plainly declares, He made propitiation AT THE CROSS. So again, in Hebrews 4:14 we read, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens”.
HE DID NOT ENTER HEAVEN TO BECOME A PRIEST. Christ was “Priest” when He “passed into the heavens”.
Pink–There is no excuse whatever for a mistake at this point, and our only reason for laboring it is that many who have boasted so loudly of their orthodoxy have systematically denied it. That Christ’s sacrifice was a priestly one is clear from Ephesians 5:2, “Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”: not only as a “sacrifice” but as “an offering”, and none offered to God the sacrifices of Israel save the priests.
Pink–That Christ did NOT become Priest after He entered into heaven is also unequivocally established by Hebrews 9:11, 12, “But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED eternal redemption for us”.
Pink–Therefore we say that they who teach Christ became priest after His ascension are unconsciously or consciously, ignorantly or maliciously, corrupting the Truth of God and denying one of the most cardinal articles of our holy faith.
Romans 3:25–”Christ Jesus, whom God put forth as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith…”
Andrew Fuller, an enemy of the gospel (Reply to Philanthropos, Complete Works,II, p 499) comments: “There would be no propriety in saying of Christ that He is set forth to be an expiatory sacrifice THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, because He was a sacrifice for sin prior to the consideration of our believing in Him. The text does not express what Christ WAS as laying down His life , but what He IS in consequence of it.”
Though Andrew Fuller affirmed a particular atonement in a certain sense– in that the atonement will procure faith for only the elect–he is not willing to say that Christ was only the propitiation for the elect alone. Instead of telling the plain truth, that Christ either already died for a sinner or already did not, Andrew Fuller wanted to say that Christ died for all sinners in some sense. The Marrow people say it this way—Christ is dead for you. But Christ is not dead. Christ died only the one time. Christ certainly does not go back and die again if you choose to accept him! Christ is not “timelessly dying”.
Andrew Fuller denied that Christ in the past propitiated the Tri-une God for the sins of any specific person. Rather, Andrew Fuller promoted the lie that Christ died to make an offer of propitiation to every sinner. According to Andrew Fuller, this is the nature and design and intent of what Christ did, that there could be propitiation now if the Holy Spirit were to cause a sinner to accept the offer of propitiation and thus join themselves to Christ through faith .
Andrew Fuller asserted an universal conditional sufficiency in Christ’s death for all sinners. It is a sneaky and subtle doctrine, but Andrew Fuller was a sneaky and subtle man, much like John Wesley.
What did Andrew Fuller accomplish by shifting from what Christ DID ONE TIME back then over there to who Christ Is and what He can do here and now if the Spirit helps a sinner to take up the offer?
Andrew Fuller changed the meaning of the propitiatory death of Christ. With the Arminians, Andrew Fuller makes the propitiation to be dependent on the sinner having faith. The sneaky part is that, with the Calvinists, Andrew Fuller also makes the having faith part be dependent on what God (now?) procures by means of Christ’s death.
Andrew Fuller ends up putting the emphasis on sovereignty as opposed to justice. God is sovereign now to procure faith for sinners with Christ’s death. The idea that God has already been justly propitiated for a sinner (or not) is no longer in the picture. Andrew Fuller opposed the gospel of God being justified in justifying the ungodly. Fuller set aside justice in the name of grace.
Two comments. First, even though those who follow Andrew Fuller claim that the only way to be consistent in teaching a definite propitiation (what Christ WAS as laying down his life) is to teach an eternal justification, where the elect only subjectively find out that they were always justified, I do not (and Abraham Booth did not) teach that any unbeliever is justified.
All the justified elect are people who believe the gospel. Belief in the gospel is an immediate consequence (not a condition) of God’s imputation of the righteousness of Christ’s death to the elect. “Through faith” in Romans 3:25 does not mean “conditioned on faith”. Faith for the elect is what justice demands AFTER righteousness is imputed to them. Faith as a gift to the elect is Christ’s right because of what Christ WAS AND DID.
So I can and do say to any unbeliever, unless you believe the gospel, you are not yet justified. But I also say to those unbelievers: your believing is not something you can or will do unless Christ died for you, and you will never know if Christ did until you believe the gospel.
Andrew Fuller was teaching that God is governmentally sovereign and therefore God can do whatever God wants to do now with what Christ did then. If so, why did Christ die that one time ? To make something possible? So that propitiation “might” happen?
To ask such questions leads to another question. If God’s sovereignty makes justice unnecessary in His government, why did Christ need to die at all? If the meaning was only to be assigned later, is that meaning a matter of justice or only arbitrary?