“1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Last week, we talked about the specific need for Jesus’ blood to wash away our sins. There is no way around this. The local New Testament church is charged with the protection and the proclamation of the Gospel. When the Gospel is tainted, then people go to Hell. Let me say that again, when the Gospel gets tainted, people go to Hell. There are myriads of people who sit in churches every week, and they are not saved. Further, there are people in a myriad of ‘Christian’ religions that are not saved. They do not trust in Jesus as Savior, and they rely on baptisms and rituals for their salvation.
What, then, is salvation? This is a very important question, and for the most part, many of us do not understand what it means. Yes, we know about trusting in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. There is a legal happening that occurs when we are saved. The passage we will explore today will help us, hopefully, to see this.
- The Yearly Sacrifice, Temporary Covering of Sin verse 3
We have forgotten the legal stance of God. He is the Righteous Judge.
Psalm 7:11-12 “God is a righteous judge and a God who feels indignation each day. If one does not repent, God will sharpen His sword; He has bent and strung His bow” (Berean Study Bible).
We often do not take this part of who God is very seriously. We love the grace part, the kindness part, and the mercy part. We love the giving God, the supplying God, and the nice God. But our God is a Righteous Judge first and foremost, and this is because of His Holiness. He is Perfect.
Leviticus 11: 44-45 “For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (NKJV).
God requires perfection and Holiness, separation from sin, for us to be in His presence. In the Old Testament and right up to the death of the sacrifice of Jesus, the sins of the people were temporarily covered by the yearly sacrifices. We know that people did get eternally saved; we can see that in the writing of Moses, King David, and others; just look at this verse from Psalm 32:1-2,
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit, there is no deceit” (NKJV).
In these verses, David lays out what happens when we are legally right with God. He covers our sins, and He removes our sins, and sin is no longer imputed, accrued, or attached to us in any way, shape, or form. We become perfect, Holy in Jesus. Paul, while writing Romans, puts it this way in Romans 5:1,
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (NKJV).
We are justified and declared righteous, and we no longer have sins imputed to us. There is nothing to separate us from fellowship with God. Then because of this justification, we are no longer condemned to suffer God’s judgment.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (NKJV).
- God’s Will to Permanently Cover our Sin, verse 9
The older I get, and the more I struggle with my flesh, the more real and precious the grace of God is to me, and the more merciful I find myself becoming to those around me. The mere fact that God had it in His will from before Creation to make a wretch like me His perfect son is mind-blowing. It is God’s will to make me perfect, and to do so, He sent His Son Jesus, who came of His own free will to die a gruesome death so sinful wretches like me can be the children of God.
1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (NKJV).
This wonderment should never get old. Every day that you awake, your first statement should be a statement of gratitude for God’s grace and kindness, that He, the Holy Judge of the Universe, should be mindful of a sinful, good-for-nothing wretch like me and that He should want me to be His, a part of His family. It is God’s will to save people.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
It is God’s will for all people who are alive to be saved, to have their sins removed forever, and to be declared justified and no longer be under His condemnation. This is why the Gospel needs to be pure and perfect; people’s eternal standing with God depends on hearing and responding to the truth. There is only one name whereby we must be saved; that name is Jesus.
Acts 4:11-12 “This Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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