Hebrews 10:11-18 Believers are forgiven to reign and to rule the earth with Christ
Christ’s sacrifice forever put to rest the incessant sacrifices and sin offerings that could never take away sins. Having understood the significance of Christ’s sacrifice, we are freed from fear as sin could no longer separate us from God. Therefore, being assured of our salvation, we ought to commit ourselves fully into evangelizing the earth with God’s truth and glory. Believers are forgiven to reign and to rule the earth with Christ.
11 Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,
Under the first covenant, individuals came to the tabernacle to make restitution for their sins. The priest made sin offerings daily on the people’s behalf transferring their sins to the tabernacle. There in the tabernacle the sins remained unpurged because animal sacrifices were considered imperfect in the eyes of God. Although the people were spared imminent punishment but they would still be called to account for their sins on the day of judgment.
God fully accepted Christ’s sin sacrifice for humanity because Christ was perfectly obedient to God and to the truth. As a result, the sins of humanity were completely purged once for all with no more debt to pay. God was pleased with Christ’s obedience and He resurrected Him and appointed Him as supreme Ruler of creation: sat down at the right hand of God.
13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
After Christ ascended to God’s right hand, He did not immediately execute judgment and absolute rule over the nations but waited until a designated time. Christ in His death and resurrection tied Himself with humanity binding His destiny with ours. Through His death, He shared our suffering and condemnation. Through His resurrection, we shared in His perfection: He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,” He then says,
Christ’s resurrection ushered in a new covenant: I will put My laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them. Believers of the new covenant will begin to live life from the inside out. By purging the consciousness of sin: hatred, fleshly pleasures, deceptions, anger and self-centered living, the Spirit fills our hearts with love, purity, truth, patience, and a desire to live a God-centered life. In the old covenant, the people struggled against the consciousness of sin; they faced a losing battle with their fleshly desires despite the knowledge of the Law. In the new covenant, Christ’s blood purged believers of their consciousness of sin filling them with the virtues of the Holy Spirit.
17 “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
In the new covenant, God’s relationship with believers took on a new chapter. An unbreakable bond was formed between God and the people. In the new covenant, no created thing, not even sin could break up God’s Fatherhood over His children. When God sees an imperfect people, He sees children that needed love and gracious discipline to help them grow. Because of this unbreakable relationship, believers need no longer feel threatened by their incessant mistakes and wrongdoings.
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
In the old covenant, men asked for forgiveness by bringing a sin offering and invoking the blood of the animal. In the new covenant, believers no longer ask to be purged of sin as there is no longer any offering for sin. However, believers still need to invoke Christ’s blood to purge their consciousness of sin in order to infuse the Law of God into their hearts. The records of sin held against us are purged and nailed to the cross. But our nature and conscience continues to be sanctified by the Spirit. Hebrews 9:14 says,
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
There is a difference between sin and a wrongdoing which arises from a bad attitude. Sin is what drives a wedge between men and God. Sin puts men in enmity with God and incurs His wrath and condemnation. Sin is manifested as a debt and a conscience that is bent on rebellion. When Christ’s body was sacrificed, the debt of sin is destroyed and the conscience is cleansed. Since there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, for those who acknowledge Christ as Lord, the sin that separates God and men is once for all eradicated and they are forever sealed by the Spirit as His children (see Ephesians 1:13). Whenever a believer commits an act that is opposed to the truth, it is not sin per se but rather a wrongdoing. In other words, for a believer who is faithful to God and repentant in all his ways, he can commit no sin. It is not sin that he commits because that act does not sever his relationship with God although it may incur God’s displeasure. It is more constructive if we refer to that as a wrongdoing arising from a bad attitude which needed correction.
When believers come to the place of full surrender, their guilt disappears. Many churchgoers continually ask God to forgive them every time they commit an act of wrongdoing. They fear that God may reject and punish them. One might immediately accord this to the lack of biblical knowledge pertaining to salvation. On closer examination, many of them have something to hide; something they have yet surrendered to God. Their guilt is caused by their incessant struggle against the rule of God. However, when they come to a place of full surrender, their guilt disappears. In acknowledging God as their Lord and Father, the Holy Spirit enters them giving them an inner awareness of their new identity as sons of God. From then on, their sins God will remember no more.
As believers share Christ’s identity, they also share in Christ’s mission. There are many churches that preach a prosperity kind of gospel. Some referred to themselves as hyper-grace churches. They peddle the ideology that the end of Christian life is to live off the goodness of the land and be blessed with material wealth. Jesus commissions every believer to fill the earth with the truth and the knowledge of God. Our work is not done until the earth is filled with the truth and the love of God. Habakkuk 2:14 say, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” After Jesus ascended to God’s right hand, He did not immediately execute absolute rule and judgment on the earth. He waited while His followers continue to propagate the truth of the gospel to every corner of the earth. While the battle for the souls of men and for justice rages on, God desires none to perish but all men to be saved. There will come a time when Christ will execute judgment on the wicked and the unrepentant: waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. Until then, all believers must do all to evangelize the earth by transforming communities with the truth of the Word.
- Are you always fearful of being punished by God? Be assured that God has removed the debt of sin held against us. Despite our frequent wrongdoings, God remains faithful as our gracious Father. Make a list of virtues that you wish to put on in the next few weeks. Share this list with your mentor and seek his help to grow in the virtues of Christ.
- Are you aware of God’s mission for your life? Our work is a means to provide for our family and to keep the economy growing. However, you are created with a divine purpose to bring the truth of God into your world. Discuss with your pastor how you could fulfill your mission in the context of the church.
Dear Lord, I thank you for removing the debt of sin from my account. I am at peace, as sin can no longer separate me from your presence. Even as you wait for the designated time to execute your rule over the earth, use me to preach the gospel of truth and salvation to the people around me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.