Haircut!

This week's Coffee Stain is actually a "flash from the past." Most of you haven't seen it though.

"Haircut!" The word strikes fear in me. It probably stems from the fact that a fellow only has a 50/50 chance to look better after leaving the barbershop. (You'll look better if you were really ugly when you went in).

I remember dreading going back to school after a periodic shearing. I knew my friends would laugh at me (I must confess that I made a few wisecracks at their expense too. Hey, they looked funny).

At one time I even went to a barber nicknamed "Gappy." Guess why. He was cheap. One thing bothered me, though. After sitting for a long time watching great clumps of my hair fall to the floor, I cringed as the barber went back to work on evening things up.

When you are in that chair, every time the scissors snap shut it sounds the same, whether he's cutting off big clumps or two hairs.

You imagine yourself getting balder and balder. In the background you hear a ghostly sound of friends laughing while the barber goes, "snip" then "snip" then "snip". It feels like he is going, "slash, rip, slash, slash!" You think he's finished then he finds another place, "snip, snip." "Auugh! My hair!"

Will he never finish?

When Jesus died on the cross He did the job once for all. He paid the price for our salvation in full, not just partly. He didn't buy our eternal life on the installment plan, a snip here, a snip there. He doesn't make monthly payments on heaven, and neither do we. It is finished.

One sacrifice was all it took because that gift was so incredibly precious and expensive that nothing else tacked on to it could possibly add value.

Jesus died once for all. Some teach that his death was perpetual, and every time we take communion, we're taking part of one sacrifice that continues and continues and continues until He comes back, I suppose. In a sense, for them, He's still on the cross, still dying.

But Jesus did his job once for all. He died then He rose again. The price for eternal salvation has been paid. When we believe, we enter into what He has done for us and He saves us from eternal death.

Others try for salvation on the "150 hard-payments" plan. They can never quite believe that what Jesus did was enough so they're always adding their good works. "Snip, snip." Good works are wonderful and natural--from people who know the Lord and want to please Him. But unsure people who try to add their good deeds and their abstinence from certain things to what Jesus did in order to be right before God are just "snipping."

Others seek a certain spiritual feeling to believe they are saved. 'Snip, snip.” We know we're saved because his Word tells us if we repent of our sins and put our faith in Him, He will do it. He's not a liar. My feeling change. He never changes.

It's done! Enter into it by faith.

"because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" (Heb. 10:14, NIV).

Salvation is done, while sanctification, that process of being changed daily, more and more into His image, continues until the Lord comes. "...we have been made holy through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once for all." In a certain sense the culmination of our salvation is future when we arrive in heaven. But the act has already been done in our soul, once for all.

There is no sense here that the sacrifice is continuing, though it certainly has a continuing effectiveness in our lives. The entire idea of this passage is that it's something that the Lord has finished, and we can't add anything to it. We just accept it by faith and live our lives for Him in consequence.

Just put yourself in the hands of the Divine "Barber." You'll look better when you walk out of this "shop" than when you walked in. No snickers in heaven.

Guaranteed.