And where these have been forgiven, an offering for sin is no longer needed.
I. THAT THE SAVIOR'S SACRIFICE FOR SIN WAS PERFECT. This is implied in the text. It is stated more than once in the preceding argument. To prove it was one of the great objects of the doctrinal portion of this letter. It has already come under our notice in several of our homilies (see on Hebrews 7:26-28; Hebrews 9:11, 12; Hebrews 9:13, 14; Hebrews 10:5-10).
II. THAT THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN THROUGH THE SAVIOR'S SACRIFICE IS COMPLETE. This completeness is exhibited by the writer:
1. By comparing it with the partial putting away of sins obtained through the legal sacrifices. "Sacrifices which can never take away sins" (ver. 11). The word employed here signifies "to take clean away (cf. Acts 27:20), i.e. to put off like the garment which clings to the person, or the ring on the finger; as, for instance, the besetting sin of Hebrews 12:1, or the besetting infirmity of ver. 3. The sacred writer does not mean to say that sins were not forgiven to sacrificial worshippers under the Law; but that the legal sacrifices had no inward spiritual power to give peace to the conscience, or any assured sense of pardon, purity to the heart, or any really new beginning of spiritual life (Hebrews 9:9). With these in their subject-matter and their inadequacy, ever similar and oft-repeated sacrifices, he contrasts (ver. 12) the "one sacrifice for sins of Jesus Christ, which is no other than himself" (Delitzsch). And Alford, "The (legal) sacrifice might bring sense of partial forgiveness; but it could never denude the offerer of sinfulness - strip off and take away his guilt." But through the sacrifice of the Christ sin is really taken away. He who heartily believes in him is reconciled unto God, receives absolute and full forgiveness of sins, and is inspired by a new and holy affection, even supreme love to God. And this affection is the mightiest antagonist of sin. He who is inspired by it is not overcome of evil, but overcomes evil with good.
2. By the expressions which are used to set it forth. "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (see our remarks on Hebrews 8:12). Here is the greatest encouragement to sinners to seek forgiveness from God. "There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. With the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption." "Let the wicked forsake his way," etc. (Isaiah 55:7).
III. THAT THE SAVIOR'S SACRIFICE WILL NEVER BE REPEATED. "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." Being perfect in itself and in its efficacy, his sacrifice needs no repetition (see remarks on this in our homilies on Hebrews 7:26-28; Hebrews 9:27, 28; Hebrews 10:5-10). Learn the folly of looking for other and more effective means of salvation. The grandest and most convincing proof of the love that God hath to us has been given in the sacrifice of Christ. No greater sacrifice, no more constraining influence, is possible. Let us accept the perfect Sacrifice, and the all-sufficient Savior. - W.J.
I will put My laws into their hearts.
Homilist.Christianity in human life is better than Christianity in cold ink, because —
1. It contains the Divine things, the other only the symbols.
2. It is the end of culture, the other only the means.
3. It is self-obvious, the other requires explanation.
4. It is imperishable, the other temporary.
(Homilist.)I. IT IS THIS WHICH CONSTITUTES THE GLORY AND SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW COVENANT OF GRACE — NAMELY, THAT IT GIVES TO ALL WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PERFECT SALVATION. Our text tells us that in two points the old covenant was far behind the new: first, in the matter of sanctification the old covenant did not do what the new one accomplishes, for the new writes God's law upon our hearts and upon our minds, whereas the old covenant was only written out on tables of stone; and, secondly, the old covenant could not put away the guilt of sin, whereas the new covenant runs on this wise — "And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
II. The doctrine, then, is that THERE IS NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SIN, BECAUSE CHRIST SUPPLIES ALL THAT IS NEEDED.
III. Lastly, does not this doctrine ANSWER A QUESTION that has often been propounded to me, namely, HOW IT IS THAT THERE ARE SO MANY HEARTS WHICH CAN FIND NO PEACE? Some people are always learning, but never coming to the truth. They are good people in many senses, but they cannot be happy. They are always discontented. Now, what do you think is the reason? I am sure it is this, they will not agree that Christ shall be all in all to them.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
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