For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind…
I. EXPLAIN THE DOCTRINE OF DIVINE FORGIVENESS.
1. The object of Divine forgiveness, denoted by the following terms — "unrighteousness, sins, and iniquities."
2. Notice the manner in which the forgiveness of sins is here expressed, or the cause to which it is ascribed; and this is said to consist in the Lord's being "merciful" to our unrighteousness. Even our best services and most spiritual dispositions, fall so short of the Divine requirements, that they need much mercy to cover their defects; how much more our unrighteousness, sins, and iniquities.
(1) The mercy of God is the origin of our forgiveness, and it is according to His abundant mercy that He saves us.
(2) Divine grace extends to sin of every description and degree, and to all unrighteousness.
(3) This mercy is exercised in a way perfectly consistent with the claims of justice, and the rights of moral government. There is a meritorious as well as an efficient cause of forgiveness: the former is the complete satisfaction made for sin by the death of the Redeemer, the latter the free grace of God through Him.
3. Divine forgiveness is farther expressed, by "remembering our sins and iniquities no more." The pardon of sin is not only full and free, but final and irreversible.
(1) God does not remember our sins, so as to aggravate or mark them with severity; for if Thou, Lord, markest iniquity, who shall stand? On the contrary, if there be any extenuating circumstances, He kindly notices them. He knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are dust.
(2) He does not remember our sins, so as to suffer His wrath to kindle against them. Anger there may be and must be towards sin, but not against the penitent believer.
(3) He will not remember sin so as to punish for it, but will deal so mercifully with us, that it shall be as if He had utterly forgotten it. This is not a denial of His omniscience, but an expression of His unbounded goodness.
II. INQUIRE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS,
1. Those and those only who have a sorrowful remembrance of sin themselves. The more sin grieves us, the less likely it is to ruin us; and that sorrow for sin which follows upon the discoveries of pardoning mercy, is the best evidence of a renewed state.
2. Those who so repent of sin as not to allow themselves in any known evil; and to whom the remembrance of sin is so bitter, that it becomes their first wish to be delivered from it.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
WEB: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be their God, and they will be my people.