« FöregåendeFortsätt »
sins by faith in Christ Jesus, we cannot have a portion among them that are sanctified. But the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart of every pardoned sinner, and influences and actuates him to every good work.
The apostle thinks it needful to insist again and again in this Epistle on the sufficiency of the one offering of Christ to expiate sin; and contrasts with this one offering once made, the frequently repeated offerings of the Levitical dispensation, respecting which he observes, that every priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. The sacrifices under the law of Moses could never take away sins, a consciousness of guilt still rested upon the mind, notwithstanding the ceremonial uncleanness, which cut off the sinner from the congregation of the Lord, was removed, so that he could join again in the ordinances of the worship of God in His holy temple. But the sacrifice of Christ, trusted in by faith, removes guilt from the conscience, and reconciles the sinner to God, so that he regards the God of heaven as His reconciled Father, and comes into His presence as one of His children, to receive the promised blessings of His grace.
A proof is next given of the acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting
till His enemies be made His footstool. As He died for our sins, He rose again for our justification, and He is gone into heaven as our High Priest, who will present our prayers and praises before the throne, that they may be acceptable to God by Jesus Christ; and as our King, who has all power in heaven and earth,' and will order all things for the good of His church and people; and will subdue all His and their enemies; and hereafter will triumph over them all to their eternal confusion.
The apostle then shows in the text, that the offering of Christ having been accepted, of which His resurrection and ascension into heaven, and sitting at the right hand of God, afford full proof; those who are interested in it by faith, are made partakers of the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, and are perfected for ever; they are viewed as without spot in the Divine presence, being washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, so that it is their high privilege to walk with God as His beloved children, to live as in His sight, to have their conversation in heaven, and their affection set on things above. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. The offering of Christ having been accepted, no other sacrifice is needed for the
6 1 Peter ii, 5. 7 Matt. xxviii. 18. 81 Cor. vi. 11.
satisfaction of Divine justice; it is therefore the privilege of believers in Christ to draw nigh to God at all times, who hath made them accepted in His beloved Son.
Unexceptionable testimony is brought forward to prove this, that there might be no doubt respecting it, Whereof the Holy Ghost is a Witness to us. The Holy Ghost is a Witness by means of what is recorded on the subject in the Old Testament for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. For after that prediction in the Psalm, He had said before, or prophesied, in the book of Jeremiah, This is the covenant that I will make with them, After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.1 Here is another reference made in the inspired writings of the Old Testament to the Christian dispensation, in which the blessings of the new covenant are distinctly stated, that they consist in having the love of God in the heart; in the mind or understanding approving the things that are excellent; and in a conformity to the law of God being consequently manifested in the life and conduct. All this resulting from pardon of sin brought home to the conscience, through the
9 2 Peter i. 21.
10 Jeremiah xxxi. 33, 34
sacrifice of Christ, which alone is effectual for this purpose; this being God's appointed method for the expiation of the sins of mankind.
It is therefore declared, Now where remission of these is, there is no more sacrifice for sin requisite. When sin is pardoned, no further sacrifice is needed. This is a doctrine of vast importance, which demands our attentive consideration. For want of a right understanding of it, many humble and conscientious persons go on in a great degree of darkness and misery and want of consolation.
The apostle proceeds to show that the way is completely open for the believer in Christ, who trusts in His sacrifice for sin for his own forgiveness, to draw nigh to God; that every obstacle is removed which would prevent such persons from having access into the Divine presence; so that the penitent sinner or the humble believer may come boldly, with confidence of acceptance, and with liberty of speech, through the merits of his Saviour, to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. He says, Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, His flesh. Believers in Christ have access into the most holy place, into the most holy presence of the most holy Lord God Almighty, into heaven itself,
as it were; where their voice is heard, and their prayer comes up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven;" while they plead the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.12 This way of access to God is called a new way, in distinction from that of the ceremonial observances by which He was to be approached under the old testament dispensation; and a living, or perpetual way, which will always continue open as long as the church of God subsists upon earth; and is the only way to life everlasting. This way is consecrated, or set apart for our use, so that we may enter into the Divine presence at all times through Christ, when we plead His incarnation, sufferings, and death, for our acceptance. As the vail of the temple was rent in twain, when He expired upon the cross; and the holy of holies was exposed to the view of those who were then worshipping in the temple; so through Christ crucified heaven is opened to the view of His believing people, in consequence of which they are enabled to walk humbly with their God, and to rejoice in hope of obtaining His glory hereafter. And as Christ is gone into heaven as a High Priest over the house of God, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, and there ever liveth to make intercession for them
11 2 Chronicles xxx. 27.
12 John i. 29.