Monday, December 31, 2012

Living By Faith With Jesus Christ

1 The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, He said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer. 6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. 7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do Your will, O God— as is written about Me in the Scriptures.’” 8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were You pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then He (Jesus) said, “Look, I have come to do Your will.” He cancels the first Covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 11 Under the old Covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest (Jesus) offered Himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then He sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There He waits until His enemies are humbled and made a footstool under His feet. 14 For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For He says, 16 “This is the New Covenant I will make with My people on that day, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”  17 Then He says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” 18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. 19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By His death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.  23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. 26 Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. 27 There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. . . . 35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. 37 “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 38 And My righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” 39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved. Hebrews 10:1-27, 35-39 (NLT).

Jesus Christ was the final Sacrifice for the sins of the people (Hebrews 10:10).  In the Old Testament period, the priests and people would gather to offer sacrifices for their sins year after year.  However, these annual sacrifices never took away their sins, but only provided temporary relief.  These sacrifices were only a shadow of Jesus Christ’s ultimate sacrifice.

Still more, God desired the people’s wholehearted love, obedience and a right heart for Him as God and not just religious rituals and sacrifices (Hebrews 10:22). In fact, one of the central teachings of the Old Testament and the New Testament are not gifts and sacrifices, but wholehearted and genuine love, faith, and obedience for God (1 Samuel 15:22-23; Psalm 40:6-8; Psalm 51:16-19; Isaiah 1:11-15; Jeremiah 7:21-23; Hosea 6:6; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 9:13; and Matthew 22:34-40). Sacrifice and rituals are not unimportant.  However, genuine love, faith, devotion, and obedience to God are far better in God’s eyes than following empty, half-hearted rituals and rules (Hebrews 10:5-7).

Moreover, the people needed a permanent and greater sacrifice for forgiveness of their sins from within their hearts.  Jesus Christ offers to all people by faith that permanent and final forgiveness of sins. God sent Jesus Christ to offer His sinless body on the Cross as our final sacrifice for sin. Moreover, Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross did away with the sacrificial system contained in the ceremonial Old Testament law (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 10:16-18). However, Jesus Christ’s death did not eliminate God’s moral law (e.g., the Ten Commandments at Exodus 20:3-17; Deuteronomy 5:7-21).  Thus, God's new way to please Him is by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. When we genuinely and wholeheartedly confess our sins, Jesus permanently and forever removes our sins and cleans us from the inside of evil, sin, and wickedness (see also 1 John 1:9). Best of all, God remembers our sins no more.

Moreover, Jesus Christ sends His Holy Spirit to live within our hearts to help us obey God’s moral law and walk with Him in obedience and love (John 14 – 16). God wants everyone to wholeheartedly love Him and to obey His will. When we truly trust in Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, God’s Holy Spirit to help us walk with God and grow holy and righteous. If we stumble, Jesus Christ encourages us to confess our sins to God and God promises to continually forgive us (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4).

God through Jesus Christ offers everyone the free gift of eternal life and salvation so we can now concentrate on loving others and doing good work (Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 2:8-10). We are saved not by following the law or good deeds but by God’s grace. However, we are saved to do good works for God’s glory (Ephesians 2:8-10). 

No comments:

Post a Comment

God bless you! You are loved by God (Romans 5:5).