And the Holy Spirit testifies that this is so.” Hebrews 10:15
In Part I, I wrote of the Old Covenant, the Law of Moses,and the Atonement as being a shadow, not removing guilt. This part continues with that vein of thought. One of the problems with the liturgical churches verses the Evangelical one is the rituals of Worship. While many of the rites, and services of the older churches still resemble the Jewish customs, they are not solidly OT rites but New Testament concepts using the old ways to show continuation of the Covenant of God with His people. Hebrews 10:11-12 shows us the difference.
“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.” Hebrews 10:11 NLT.
The concept of once saved, always saved seems to condemn this as wasted offerings. But the reality is that the Communion offering that the historic Church offers is not this at all. This is because we do not offer the Old Covenant, but the New Covenant. The Eucharist is the continued offering of Christ. It is not a guilt offering as was the Old Covenant but a “Thanksgiving Offering.” And that makes all the difference in the World. When we remember the death of Christ for our sins it is with joy we receive His Grace. There is no guilt, that is still on the cross. The Eternal Atonement is Calvary, not on the altar of the church. The word Eucharist translates as “Thanksgiving” not Atonement.
“But our High Priest 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.” Hebrews 10:12 ESV
The Pastor, Priest, Minister is the representative of Christ in the presentation of the One Atonement. The Single Sacrifice. He does not offer up another sacrifice, but the same living sacrifice. Christ’s work has been done, but we celebrate it as a memorial and as the living offering with Thanksgiving. The work of Christ, His Perfect sacrifice is in contrast to the Jewish Priest in that it is final, it is complete and with acceptance from the Father. When we fully accept Christ’s Sacrifice, we are completed with God, made right to do the glorious will of God and to be in full service to Christ. This is why we offer the Thanksgiving.the cross of Christ is not a reminder of the death of one man,but the end of guilt, the end of sacrifices of bulls and goats. For what was impossible for man has been made true and permanent by God’sown Sacrifice. As Christ sits at the Right Hand, “waiting for his enemies to be humbled (Satan) and made a footstool under His feet.”
“for by that one offering He forever made perfect those are being holy.” Hebrews 10″14
“And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so.For He says:
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.”
Hebrews 10:16 ESV
The one thing that is missing in today’s Christians is God’s Perfect love being written on their hearts.Here we have the Perfect Atonement and the witness of the Holy Spirit and yet we still walk around living with sin in our back pocket. We have in our minds, not the will of God,but the desires of the
World. We still carry weapons to defend ourselves,we shut out homeless, the elderly and the immigrant at our borders and say to God, we have no faith in Your Will,Your Plan, Your Desire. God has made this New Covenant, and we ignore it. What good is the Atonement, if we squander it with not putting God’s Covenant on our hearts? What is our Faith if we are faithless to the Mind of God? David said that he came to do God’s will, and he was under the old covenant. We have the New Covenant of perfect atonement and yet we remain faith less. Are we shunning Christ by our reliance on the words of men over the will of God?
Here we have the perfect offering, to which the writer says,”Then He [the holy Spirit],
‘I will never again remember
their sins and lawlessness.’
And when sins have been forgiven,there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”
Many have used this verse to justify continued sin,saying God forgave all my sins, so I am not responsible for them, I am not held accountable. But this is rejection of the New Covenant, not conforming to God but to remain in the lawless state. If we have been made perfect,holy and forever forgiven, we then do we continue to dally with sin? It is because in our hearts and minds,we have not yet fully accepted the fullness of the Atonement. WE ARE WEAK! So while we celebrate the New Covenant, we still cling to the old guilt and the old shame. Our sins have been forgiven, let us rejoice and strive to lead sinless and blameless lives. So we can truly be the People God Made in HIS Image.
This is the end of Part II Part III will deal with the Superiority of Faith,the call to preserve each other though Christ