Epistle to the Hebrews (10:15-16)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the HebrewsAnd 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. Then he says,I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”and when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.” Hebrews 10:15-18

Our author quotes from Jeremiah 31:33:

““But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.

I can testify that this verse has been fulfilled in my life. As I once shared in my testimony, I was seeking for the truth about God. I was going to church since I was a teenager and I was never really explained who Jesus was. I understood Jesus only as a sacrifice for sins or just “the Son of God”. I did not know Him as the exalted God.

I was ignorant about God and wanted to know who He was and one day I came across Isaiah 48:17 “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go”. Though this verse was addressed to Israel, I felt like I could rely on it and trusted that God would teach me who He was. I believe there are many Christians like me who discovered Jesus through the work of the Spirit without much human influence. As Hebrews 11:8 says, “And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord. ’For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.”

One major issue that was bothering my faith was the claim of Christians that Jesus was God. This did not make sense to me nor did the doctrine of the Trinity. I came across some verses like Matthew 24:36 and John 14:28 which when interpreted in a particular way suggested that Jesus was not God. In my mind I believed that the Father was God and that Jesus was just a sacrifice for sins. I believed that Jesus was just the Son of God and not actually God. I thought He was inferior or just nearly equal to God. How miserable I was when holding on to this belief in ignorance! As Hosea 4:6 says:  “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.”

There was a turmoil inside me.

I started to search for the truth about Christianity. How could I be sure that I was not living in an illusion and that the disciples did not concoct together stories in the bible? How could I be sure that I was not in a man-made religion and fooled? Why should Christianity be right and other beliefs wrong?

Many Christian scholars gave some biased answers to some problematic questions about Christianity. It seemed to me some Christian scholars had no brains for I could myself refute and challenge them. I was very skeptic and did not trust several Christian theologians because their arguments were biased. There are many fellows with doctorates who defend unscriptural teachings and blindly adhere to the traditions passed on to them. These people are supposed to bring clarity to the layman but they rather make obvious verses complex to understand and end up confusing churches. It is a sad truth that many pastors do not know the doctrines of the bible and blindly defend and teach what their denominations hold on to. Many Christians follow myths and all kinds of weird doctrines. They do not examine or question like the Bereans and it is no wonder that they find themselves stagnant in their faith if not shipwrecked. Ask them what Jesus did for them and they will give you a testimony dated years ago. Ask them who Jesus is and you will be surprised that they either do not really know Him or just have an intellectual knowledge of who He is. They have stereotype answers like “Jesus is my Savior” or “Jesus is Lord” without a deep conviction of what they are confessing.

Many church goers have a deformed understanding of who Jesus is and the aim of this epistle is to actually extol to the highest the Messiah, Jesus-Christ. This was the missing puzzle in my understanding of Christianity. If one can prove Jesus is not God, then he has also proved along that Christianity is a man-made religion which teaches a bunch of moral stuff. I therefore invite every skeptic to prove that Jesus is not God if Christianity is pebble for them to chew. I decided one day to put aside every preconceived idea I had about Christianity. I was even ready to leave Christianity and become an agnostic if I did not get plausible answers to my questions about who Jesus really was.

The divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity are central to the Christian faith and yet it is unbelievable that these are among the less taught doctrines. One of the eldest preachers of my country once said that we need not try to understand what the Trinity is because it cannot be explained. He said we just have to believe in it by faith. My left brain punched hard my right brain to reject this blind faith response. Why should I believe in something that could not be explained when this very thing is the pillar of the Christian faith? Contrarily to what I heard some ministers say, we can actually unambiguously and clearly explain what the Trinity is but it is the many why’s behind it that we cannot explain. As a sincere seeker of the truth, I was interested to know what the Trinity was but it did not matter to me why it was like that. I do understand what the solar system is but I find it useless to try to explain why it is set like that and not another way.

God took much patience to teach me His ways. Though not perfectly, but now I know Jesus better. There is no need to go through Moses to know God’s will. This is the glory of the new covenant. It’s such a grace to be personally taught by God. God is the initiator. He said :

I will put my instructions deep within them

I will write them on their hearts.

I will write them on their minds.

I will be their God, and they will be my people.

I will forgive their wickedness

I will never again remember their sins

I will make a new covenant.

These verses have so much to say. I would like to stress on that part where it says “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”and when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices”

Let us get this right that the past is gone and everything has become new (2 Cor 5:17). Remember that God no longer remembers your sins because He has forgiven them. God will never bring back again to you what He has forgiven. We humans often recall the past hurts someone did to us even if we said we forgave them. But not so with God. Many time people ask God over and over again to forgive them of the bad things they did in the past. These things haunt them and they say “I cannot forgive myself for what I did”. But of course we cannot forgive our sins, if we could then Jesus would not have come. Only God can forgive us and if He said He has forgiven us why do we refuse to believe He did it with all His heart? Why do we still go through mourning and penitence when the Word declares God has forgiven those who trusted in His Son? Jesus did it once for all and believe that you’re forgiven.

“And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord.

Christians need pastors and teachers to help them grow in their faith. But these people are not the ultimate source of God’s knowledge. The Holy Spirit is. The Spirit works in us reveal us the Son. Jesus said “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” John 15:26

So there is no such thing as a pope who has exclusive knowledge or anyone who should be considered a guru/mediator. There is only one mediator, Jesus Christ. No matter who you are and what you did, you form part of God’s will to know Him.

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim 2:5

Many can testify that the Holy Spirit, the Divine Teacher, did a mighty work in their lives. No one knew exactly how to answer the questions in my mind. The Holy Spirit did. The Word of God is really alive and powerful. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:12

When I came to know Jesus as God I wondered why no one exposed Jesus as God when I was younger. There is almost an abyss between those who believe that Jesus is God and those who do not. If some church goers do not believe Jesus is God, how do they worship Him then? Should not worship be given only to God? If you worship Jesus as a the little son of God and not as God then you will probably worship Him without the adoration He deserves. One who considers Jesus only as his savior or God’s son will definitely suffer in his prayer requests because He has no assurance that Jesus is able to answer Him. I was like doubting Thomas before studying the Epistle to the Hebrews. When I met with Jesus I cried out like Thomas “My Lord and my God!”  John 20:28

When I read that Epistle, I bowed down to my knees, wept and asked Jesus to forgive me for doubting He was God. How stupid I was to doubt! Today, if there is one thing that I am totally sure about, it is this belief that Jesus is God. On this my faith lies.

When I look back I just stand in awe at what the Holy Spirit has been teaching me. I do not deserve it. Who am I that God took so much patience to teach me who He was? Pastors and teachers can fail us but God will never will.

If you have questions about God and you’re sincere seeker of the truth, I invite you to ask God to reveal Himself to you. No matter how sinful you have been or unworthy you think you are, I invite you to talk to the God I am referring to.

As Isaiah 1:18 says:

Come now, and let us reason together,”Says the Lord,“Though your sins are like scarlet,They shall be as white as snow;Though they are red like crimson,They shall be as wool.”

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Posted April 6, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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