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But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

- Hebrews 10:12,14

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having ob tained eternal redemption for us.

- Hebrews 9:12

Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people's: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.

- Hebrews 7:27


How do the active and passive obedience of Christ, as the second Adam, fully restore that which the first Adam lost?

Why is the one type of Christ's obedience termed "active" and the other "passive"?

Christ's Sacrificing Work As Priest

As Priest, Christ sacrificed (offered) for His people. The Old Testament priest offered animals as types or pictures of the fulfill ing "sacrifice" to come. God's justice required full payment. The same human nature which sinned had to pay the full price for its sin -namely, death. Jesus Christ gave Himself, His entire human nature, to pay the death penalty for His Church. Christ was both priest and sacrifice.

The Old Testament high priests entered the Holy of Holies once a year with blood from their animal sacrifices. This procedure could not save, but it was a picture of Christ, the great High Priest, who was prophesied. The high priest had to repeat this sacrifice yearly. Christ, however, entered into the "Holy of Holies" - into God's presence - with His own blood sacrifice. Being human, He gave His soul and body to death. Being divine, He bore God's full wrath against sin and secured an infinite and eternal value for His work. Christ's one offering fully and eternally paid for all the sins of His Church.

Christ's perfect satisfaction for all true believers fulfilled God's law completely. He did more than pay for the penalty of the law -death; He also earned the reward for perfectly obeying the law - eternal life. The first is termed Christ's passive obedience, and the second, His active obedience. These types of obedience are displayed in the chart below:


Types of Obedience

Relation to God's Law

Resulting Benefits for His Church

1. Passive Obedience

Christ bore the full punishment of God's wrath for sin; He paid the death penalty for His Church -the penalty for a broken law

Deliverance from eternal death - hell

2. Active Obedience

Christ lived a perfectly sinless life, therefore earning eternal life for His Church -the reward for keeping the law

A right to eternal life - heaven

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