Hebrews 8

* The excellence of Christ's priesthood above that of Aaron is

shown. (1-6) The great excellence of the new covenant above the

former. (7-13)

1-6 The substance, or summary, of what had been declared was,

that Christians had such a High Priest as they needed. He took

upon himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave

himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of his people. We

must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to him,

but in and through Christ, depending upon his merits and

mediation; for we are accepted only in the Beloved. In all

obedience and worship, we should keep close to God's word, which

is the only and perfect standard. Christ is the substance and

end of the law of righteousness. But the covenant here referred

to, was that made with Israel as a nation, securing temporal

benefits to them. The promises of all spiritual blessings, and

of eternal life, revealed in the gospel, and made sure through

Christ, are of infinitely greater value. Let us bless God that

we have a High Priest that suits our helpless condition.
7-13 The superior excellence of the priesthood of Christ, above

that of Aaron, is shown from that covenant of grace, of which

Christ was Mediator. The law not only made all subject to it,

liable to be condemned for the guilt of sin, but also was unable

to remove that guilt, and clear the conscience from the sense

and terror of it. Whereas, by the blood of Christ, a full

remission of sins was provided, so that God would remember them

no more. God once wrote his laws to his people, now he will

write his laws in them; he will give them understanding to know

and to believe his laws; he will give them memories to retain

them; he will give them hearts to love them, courage to profess

them, and power to put them in practice. This is the foundation

of the covenant; and when this is laid, duty will be done

wisely, sincerely, readily, easily, resolutely, constantly, and

with comfort. A plentiful outpouring of the Spirit of God will

make the ministration of the gospel so effectual, that there

shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge

in persons of all sorts. Oh that this promise might be fulfilled

in our days, that the hand of God may be with his ministers so

that great numbers may believe, and be turned to the Lord! The

pardon of sin will always be found to accompany the true

knowledge of God. Notice the freeness of this pardon; its

fulness; its fixedness. This pardoning mercy is connected with

all other spiritual mercies: unpardoned sin hinders mercy, and

pulls down judgments; but the pardon of sin prevents judgment,

and opens a wide door to all spiritual blessings. Let us search

whether we are taught by the Holy Spirit to know Christ, so as

uprightly to love, fear, trust, and obey him. All worldly

vanities, outward privileges, or mere notions of religion, will

soon vanish away, and leave those who trust in them miserable

for ever.

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