Hebrews 10* The insufficiency of sacrifices for taking away sin, Thenecessity and power of the sacrifice of Christ for that purpose.(1-18) An argument for holy boldness in the believer's access toGod through Jesus Christ, And for steadfastness in faith, andmutual love and duty. (19-25) The danger of apostacy. (26-31)The sufferings of believers, and encouragement to maintain theirholy profession. (32-39)1-10 The apostle having shown that the tabernacle, andordinances of the covenant of Sinai, were only emblems and typesof the gospel, concludes that the sacrifices the high priestsoffered continually, could not make the worshippers perfect,with respect to pardon, and the purifying of their consciences.But when "God manifested in the flesh," became the sacrifice,and his death upon the accursed tree the ransom, then theSufferer being of infinite worth, his free-will sufferings wereof infinite value. The atoning sacrifice must be one capable ofconsenting, and must of his own will place himself in thesinner's stead: Christ did so. The fountain of all that Christhas done for his people, is the sovereign will and grace of God.The righteousness brought in, and the sacrifice once offered byChrist, are of eternal power, and his salvation shall never bedone away. They are of power to make all the comers thereuntoperfect; they derive from the atoning blood, strength andmotives for obedience, and inward comfort. 11-18 Under the new covenant, or gospel dispensation, full andfinal pardon is to be had. This makes a vast difference betweenthe new covenant and the old one. Under the old, sacrifices mustbe often repeated, and after all, only pardon as to this worldwas to be obtained by them. Under the new, one Sacrifice isenough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, orbeing freed from punishment in the world to come. Well mightthis be called a new covenant. Let none suppose that humaninventions can avail those who put them in the place of thesacrifice of the Son of God. What then remains, but that we seekan interest in this Sacrifice by faith; and the seal of it toour souls, by the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience?So that by the law being written in our hearts, we may know thatwe are justified, and that God will no more remember our sins. 19-25 The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle,the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers hadan open way to the presence of God, it became them to use thisprivilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy suchprivileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that bloodwhich he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement ofinfinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearlyunderstood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, waswounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by acrucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and tothose who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw nearto God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at adistance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water,alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the useof water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conductshould be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and gracefrom their reconciled Father to their own souls, they wouldadorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believersare to consider how they can be of service to each other,especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous andabundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. Thecommunion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a meansof stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the comingof times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greaterdiligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day ofour death. 26-31 The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance,are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is atotal and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixedwill and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the onlySaviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; anddespise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, andthe words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives somenotorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in theirconsciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escapeit. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy?We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which theyhave despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only thejustice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call forvengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any soulswho sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any willbe refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing toaccept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will inno wise cast out. 32-39 Many and various afflictions united against the earlyChristians, and they had a great conflict. The Christian spiritis not a selfish spirit; it puts us upon pitying others,visiting them, helping them, and pleading for them. All thingshere are but shadows. The happiness of the saints in heaven willlast for ever; enemies can never take it away as earthly goods.This will make rich amends for all we may lose and suffer here.The greatest part of the saints' happiness, as yet, is inpromise. It is a trial of the patience of Christians, to becontent to live after their work is done, and to stay for theirreward till God's time to give it is come. He will soon come tothem at death, to end all their sufferings, and to give them acrown of life. The Christian's present conflict may be sharp,but will be soon over. God never is pleased with the formalprofession and outward duties and services of such as do notpersevere; but he beholds them with great displeasure. And thosewho have been kept faithful in great trails for the time past,have reason to hope for the same grace to help them still tolive by faith, till they receive the end of their faith andpatience, even the salvation of their souls. Living by faith,and dying in faith, our souls are safe for ever.
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