Law vs. New Covenant

  1. This chapter is a contrast between Old Testament practices of sacrifices by the High Priests and the new covenant practices of the New Testament where God sent Jesus as our savior and sacrifice for our sins, both willful and unwillful. 
    The Old Testament made a distinction between a sin committed in ignorance and one done “defiantly” (Num. 15:28,30). When an individual sinned without knowing it, God imputed guilt, but he prescribed an offering through which the sinner could receive forgiveness (Lev. 5:17–19). The Old Testament made no provision for supplying mercy to the willful sinner. 
    - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6,  at location 2494.
  2. The New Testament does not distinguish clearly between sins of ignorance and sins committed willfully. Hesitant, fearful sinners as well as stubborn, hard-headed sinners can find forgiveness in Jesus by repentance and faith. The promise that God “will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) is available for all who confess their sins.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6,  at location 2499.
  3. Hebrews 7:11-25: The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary Concordance as provided in The Sword Software program in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 7, vv. 11-25.
  4. Galatians 3:24- 25:  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
  5. Some Jewish opponents of Christianity may have suggested that Christian teaching was a departure from the promises that Israel anticipated. The Christian hope was a fulfillment of the promises God had earlier offered to Israel. What God had done through Christ was a necessary step for both Jews and Gentiles to make. The work of Christ was not a change from God's previously announced plans for Israel. It was the confirmation of the hope of blessing the nations which he had earlier given to Abraham (Gen. 22:17–18). The heirs of that promise were the writer and his readers, who experienced in the gospel the reality of the oath God swore to Abraham.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, v. 6:17 at location 2867.
  6. Psalm 119:17 - Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. We are not justified by the works of the law but by the righteousness of Christ. In the Old Testament emphasis, law came before life. The Old Testament dictum was, "This do, and thou shalt live." Doing aright would bring life (Luke 10:28; Romans 10:5). In the New Testament emphasis, life comes before law. The New Testament dictum is, "If you live you will do this." "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death... that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:2,4). 
    The psalmist entered into the good of that: living, he would obey God’s Word. The life must come first, and that life can come only from God’s bountiful dealings. That life is inherent in God’s Word. It is imparted to the soul in the new birth— "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Peter 1:23).  - From the John Phillips Commentary Series, Psalm 119:17-18.
  7. God thus created an entirely new priesthood with new provisions to meet the needs of struggling sinners (vv. 12–14). Jesus' priesthood was superior because God's oath established Jesus' priesthood on an immovable foundation, because Jesus' priesthood lasted forever, and because Jesus' character provided purity and perfection for his people. With a high priest like Jesus praying carefully for us, we can enjoy complete salvation and acceptance with God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7,  at location 3124.
  8. In Jesus God has provided struggling sinners better access to him than Old Testament believers ever had.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7,  at location 3156.
  9. The Old Testament methods of providing for God's people did not produce holiness in them.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, vv 11-14, at location 3260.
  10. The Levitical system provided a means for imperfect people to approach God, but it could not provide them victory over their sin. At best, it could only expose the sin (Heb. 10:3).   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 11, at location 3272.
  11. 7:13. Anticipating that someone would say, “Jesus can't be superior to Aaron because he did not come from a priestly tribe,” Hebrews designated Jesus as a priest even though no one who served as a priest had ever come from Jesus' tribe, the tribe of Judah. Jews would surely feel that the ministry of Christ could never take place at Jewish altars because he did not belong to a priestly tribe.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 13, at location 3284.
  12. 7:14. Revelation 5:5 designates Jesus as a descendant of the tribe of Judah. The narrative in Matthew 2:6 assumes the same fact. The descent of Jesus from Judah was an acknowledged part of tradition. The genealogies in Matthew and Luke provide support for this.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 14, at location 3292.
  13. The greatness of Jesus' priesthood appeared in at least two features. First, Jesus was an eternal High Priest (7:8,16,24). Because Jesus was eternal, he always lived to pray for his people. Second, Jesus' high priestly ministry was effective not merely for earthly ordinances but also for heavenly realities. Jesus entered into heaven itself and carried on his work for us in God's presence (Heb. 9:24).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 14, at location 3298.
  14. God's divine oath and Jesus' permanent priestly ministry and character provide a superior priesthood for believers today.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, vv 15-28, at location 3306.
  15. Second, it is assumed that in Melchizedek we have evidence for an earlier priestly order accommodating the ministry of Christ. The priesthood of Melchizedek foreshadowed the priestly ministry of Christ in a way that Aaron's successors never did. Psalm 110 provides clear evidence that God had planned for another priestly order which had no connection with the laws of Moses. The spiritual ineffectiveness and temporary nature of the Levitical priesthood made the initiation of another priestly order a necessity.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 15, at location 3311.
  16. The fact that Psalm 110:4 was an oath provided a foundation for permanent security of Christ's priesthood. No oath from God will ever be revoked. We find nowhere a greater evidence of security. Jesus became the priest mentioned in Psalm 110:4 because he was the person described in Psalm 110:1. Jesus' own use of the psalm indicated his belief that it spoke of him (see Matt. 22:41–46).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 17, at location 3332.
  17. Hebrews 7:18–19. Verse 18 shows the weakness of the Law, while verse 19 describes the new hope which Christ's priesthood provides. Verse 18 makes three statements about the Law and the priesthood connected with it: (1) weak, (2) useless, (3) annulled. The Law provided a standard by which a person could evaluate moral condition, but in its weakness it could not provide life and spiritual vigor to anyone. It was merely a diagnostic tool. It was useless because it could not provide a constant means of access to God. These two deficiencies made it necessary to set the Law aside.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 18, at location 3335.
  18. There is a change in the efficacy of the priesthood. The former was weak and unprofitable, made nothing perfect; the latter brought in a better hope, by which we draw near to God, 18, 19. The Levitical priesthood brought nothing to perfection: it could not justify men's persons from guilt; it could not sanctify them from inward pollution; it could not cleanse the consciences of the worshippers from dead works; all it could do was to lead them to the antitype. But the priesthood of Christ carries in it, and brings along with it, a better hope; it shows us the true foundation of all the hope we have towards God for pardon and salvation; it more clearly discovers the great objects of our hope; and so it tends to work in us a more strong and lively hope of acceptance with God. By this hope we are encouraged to draw nigh unto God, to enter into a covenant-union with him, to live a life of converse and communion with him. We may now draw near with a true heart, and with the full assurance of faith, having our minds sprinkled from an evil conscience. The former priesthood rather kept men at a distance, and under a spirit of bondage.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 7, vv. 18-19.
  19. This does not mean that the Law was annulled in that it no longer had any use. It served the function of revealing sin (Rom. 3:20), but it could not bring perfection. It could only demonstrate imperfection. It reminded sinners of their sin. The establishment of a new priesthood meant that the old Levitical priesthood no longer had divine authority. A new priesthood which could give power over sin had come into operation.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 17-18, at location 3340.
  20. An important difference between the Aaronic priests and the priestly order of Melchizedek was God's oath that established the priesthood of Melchizedek. The Levitical order which Aaronic priests followed was based on the Law, but it did not include an oath.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 20-21, at location 3351.
  21. There is a change in God's way of acting in this priesthood. He has taken an oath to Christ, which he never did to any of the order of Aaron. God never gave them any such assurance of their continuance, never engaged himself by oath or promise that theirs should be an everlasting priesthood, and therefore gave them no reason to expect the perpetuity of it, but rather to look upon it as a temporary law. But Christ was made a priest with the oath of God: The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, 21. Here God has upon oath declared the immutability, excellency, efficacy, and eternity, of the priesthood of Christ.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 7, vv. 21.
  22. The oath God offered guaranteed that Jesus would provide a better and more secure covenant for his people. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v 22, at location 3360.
  23. Jesus' character, his sacrifice, and the power of his resurrection pledge the strength of the new covenant. This is the first appearance of the term covenant in Hebrews. The word will play an important role in the discussions in coming chapters. The covenant was an arrangement by which God's purpose to save human beings became a reality. This new covenant depended on the saving work of Christ to accomplish its purpose. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 22, at location 3363.
  24. The word guarantee appears nowhere else in the New Testament. Outside the New Testament it carried the meaning of a pledge or security for bail. Jesus himself provided a guarantee that God had provided a better covenant with a better hope.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 22, at location 3366.
  25. Because Jesus was a better High Priest, this new covenant introduced a better hope. Jesus' life provided strength for turning weak people into spiritual champions (see chapter 11). His death provided a basis for the acceptance by God of sinners into his family.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, v. 22, at location 3371.
  26. Jesus holds his priesthood without change. Although Jesus has died, his priesthood has continued to function. Jesus' death was not his cessation of being. His resurrection allowed him to live forever. His permanence stands in contrast with the transience of other priests. With Jesus nothing has changed. He still holds his office of priesthood. For eternity he knows and helps his people. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, vv. 23-24, at location 3380.
  27.  There is a remarkable difference in the moral qualifications of the priests. Those who were of the order of Aaron were not only mortal men, but sinful men, who had their sinful as well as natural infirmities; they needed to offer up sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the people. But our high priest, who was consecrated by the word of the oath, needed only to offer up once for the people, never at all for himself; for he has not only an immutable consecration to his office, but an immutable sanctity in his person. He is such a high priest as became us, holy, harmless, and undefiled, &c., 26-28. Here observe, (1.) Our case, as sinners, needed a high priest to make satisfaction and intercession for us. (2.) No priest could be suitable or sufficient for our reconciliation to God but one who was perfectly righteous in his own person; he must be righteous in himself, or he could not be a propitiation for our sin, or our advocate with the Father. (3.) The Lord Jesus was exactly such a high priest as we wanted, for he has a personal holiness, absolutely perfect. Observe the description we have of the personal holiness of Christ expressed in various terms, all of which some learned divines consider as relating to his perfect purity. [1.] He is holy, perfectly free from all the habits or principles of sin, not having the least disposition to it in his nature; no sin dwells in him, though it does in the best of Christians, not the least sinful inclination [2.] He is harmless, perfectly free from all actual transgression, has done no violence, nor is there any deceit in his mouth, never did the least wrong to God or man. [3.] He is undefiled, he was never accessory to other men's sins. It is a difficult thing to keep ourselves pure, so as not to partake in the guilt of other men's sins, by contributing in some way towards them, or not doing what we ought to prevent them. Christ was undefiled; though he took upon him the guilt of our sins, yet he never involved himself in the fact and fault of them. [4.] He is separate from sinners, not only in his present state (having entered as our high priest into the holiest of all, into which nothing defiled can enter), but in his personal purity: he has no such union with sinners, either natural or federal, as can devolve upon him original sin. This comes upon us by virtue of our natural and federal union with the first Adam, we descending from him in the ordinary way. But Christ was, by his ineffable conception in the virgin, separate from sinners; though he took a true human nature, yet the miraculous way in which it was conceived set him upon a separate footing from all the rest of mankind. [5.] He is made higher than the heavens. Most expositors understand this concerning his state of exaltation in heaven, at the right hand of God, to perfect the design of his priesthood. But Dr. Goodwin thinks this may be very justly referred to the personal holiness of Christ, which is greater and more perfect than the holiness of the hosts of heaven, that is, the holy angels themselves, who, though they are free from sin, yet are not in themselves free from all possibility of sinning. And therefore we read, God putteth no trust in his holy ones, and he chargeth his angels with folly (Job iv. 18), that is, with weakness and peccability. They may be angels one hour and devils another, as many of them were; and that the holy angels shall not now fall does not proceed from an indefectibility of nature, but from the election of God; they are elect angels. It is very probable that this explanation of the words, made higher than the heavens, may be thought too much strained, and that it ought to be understood of the dignity of Christ's state, and not the perfect holiness of his person; and the rather because it is said he was made higher genomenos; but it is well known that this word is used in a neutral sense, as where it is said, genesthe ho Theos alethes--Let God be true. The other characters in the verse plainly belong to the personal perfection of Christ in holiness, as opposed to the sinful infirmities of the Levitical priests; and it seems congruous to think this must do so too, if it may be fairly taken in such a sense; and it appears yet more probable, since the validity and prevalency of Christ's priesthood in 27 are placed in the impartiality and disinterestedness of it. He needed not to offer up for himself: it was a disinterested mediation; he mediated for that mercy for others which he did not need for himself; had he needed it himself, he had been a party, and could not have been a Mediator--a criminal, and could not have been an advocate for sinners. Now, to render his mediation the more impartial and disinterested, it seems requisite not only that he had no present need of that favour for himself which he mediated for in behalf of others, but that he never could stand in need of it. Though he needed it not to-day, yet if he knew he might be in such circumstances as to need it to-morrow, or at any future time, he must have been thought to have had some eye upon his own interest, and therefore could not act with impartial regard and pure zeal for the honour of God on one hand, and tender pure compassion for poor sinners on the other. I pretend not here to follow the notes of our late excellent expositor, into whose labours we have entered, but have taken the liberty to vindicate this notion of the learned Dr. Goodwin from the exceptions that I know have been made to it; and I have the rather done it because, if it will hold good, it gives us further evidence how necessary it was that the Mediator should be God, since no mere creature is of himself possessed of that impeccability which will set him above all possible need of favour and mercy for himself.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 7, vv. 23-28.
  28. In Jesus God provided struggling sinners better access to him than Old Testament believers ever had.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, at location 3424.
  29. Purity, permanence, and predominance! These three features make Jesus a perfect representative for stumbling sinners. We need someone of spotless character and superior position to represent us before God with stability. Thank God. We have this in Jesus.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3427.
  30. God saw this problem and gave us an entirely new representative. He established Jesus in a new priestly order patterned after an Old Testament priest-king named Melchizedek. In serving as our High Priest, Christ brought with him to the position a prominence and power enabling him to do a superb job. He assumed a position of predominance. He was God's Son. Just as the Old Testament priest-king Melchizedek received honor and recognition from Abraham (7:4–10), Christ received honor and glory from God's angels (Heb. 1:6). Jesus' greatness qualified him to be a great representative for us before God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3433.
  31. Just as Melchizedek remained a priest forever, Jesus serves us as priest forever. He has assumed a permanent priesthood, and he will never require a replacement. His permanent priesthood allowed him to give us the complete salvation we desperately need (Heb. 7:25). His permanent priesthood allows him to present himself one time for the sins of his people. His single sacrifice permanently accomplishes the job of bringing us to God. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3440.
  32. We glory in Jesus' ability to heal people who are morally sick and make them righteous. In Jesus we have a Savior who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens(Heb. 7:26).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3446.
  33. We glory in Jesus' ability to heal people who are morally sick and make them righteous. In Jesus we have a Savior who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens(Heb. 7:26).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3446.
  34. Purity, permanence, predominance! These are the traits which we have in Jesus. This is the kind of high priest God gives us in Jesus. This is the kind of representative who can bring us into God's presence. This is the type of high priest who can produce other holy people.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Conclusion, at location 3448.
  35. In Jesus God has given us a great and powerful representative in his presence. The ministry of Old Testament priests did not produce godly people. Jesus' ministry for us is effective because it is permanent. Jesus' ministry for us is effective because Jesus has spotless character.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, Principals, at location 3452.
  36. We have in Christ a Savior and High Priest who can take imperfect people and lead them to holiness. Christ prays for us. He offers forgiveness when we come to him with confession and repentance. He is eternally available to offer his encouragement and support. We have in Jesus a priest who can take us in our imperfections and make us what we should be. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, IV. Life Application, at location 3503.
  37. Jesus possessed an indestructible life (v. 16). He had an unending priesthood. He continually represented his people before God. Jesus has presented to God a perfect sacrifice for sins (v. 27). He brought to God a pure, spotless character. We could have no better representative before God.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, A. Eternal Priesthood (v. 3), at location 3518.
  38. With Jesus as our representative, we have a secure salvation. Jesus' prayers guarantee our growth, development, and complete salvation (v. 25). In Jesus we have a perfect representative before God, who without interruption serves as our representative and helper.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, A. Eternal Priesthood (v. 3), at location 3521.
  39. These verses picture the Law as a weak and ineffective instrument. It could provide a standard for moral measurement, but it could not provide spiritual life to accomplish that standard. The Law could only draw attention to human imperfection.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, G. Function of the Law (vv. 18-19), at location 3577.
  40. Its purpose in God's plan of salvation was to make sinners conscious of their sin (Rom. 3:20). It could not make people righteous in God's sight, but listening to the Law could make sinners aware of their need. Those who understand their need and lostness will learn to turn to Christ for a solution (Gal. 3:22–24). A right understanding of the Law will prevent a person from trying to obtain right standing before God in any other way than by faith in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, G. Function of the Law (vv. 18-19), at location 3582.
  41. Jesus himself was the guarantee that God would honor that covenant. The greatness of Jesus' person, the purity of his character, the thoroughness of his sacrifice, the power of his resurrection, and the superiority of his priestly work provided solid assurance that God would completely save sinners. The old covenant had Moses to serve as a mediator (Gal. 3:19), but it had no one to guarantee a fulfillment for sinners. Jesus became that guarantee. The new covenant offered a better hope, and because of Jesus it had a better High Priest. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, H. Guarantee (v. 22), at location 3590.
  42. At Sinai the Israelites experienced an old covenant which aimed at redemption. This covenant did not make anything perfect (Heb. 7:19), and God inaugurated a new state of affairs (see Jer. 31:31–34). The new covenant (mentioned in Heb. 9:15) has now appeared in God's plan. It depended on Christ's saving work to carry out its promises. Because God based this new covenant on a better foundation, it would succeed where the old covenant had failed.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, I. Covenant (v. 22), at location 3599.
  43. “Covenant” (diatheke) emphasized that God was in absolute control of the agreement. God has established the terms, and human beings cannot bargain or argue with him. God's sovereignty, however, is not a careless exercise of power. God established the new covenant because he wanted a method of guaranteeing the full salvation of sinners. Only a covenant grounded in Christ can provide such a guarantee.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VI. Deeper Discoveries, I. Covenant (v. 22), at location 3603.
  44. Chapter 7 explains the typological meaning of Melchizedek's priesthood and shows how Christ has become our High Priest to bring us triumphantly into God's presence. Because Jesus exercises a constant ministry of prayer for us, we have hope, encouragement, and the assurance of reaching God.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 3627.
  45. The Necessity of a New Priesthood (7:11–14). Why did God's people require a new high priest? The Levitical priesthood could not bring the people to God (v. 11). This sad condition led God to establish Jesus as High Priest in a new order which could genuinely relate people to God (vv. 12–14).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 3631.
  46. Why was Jesus' priesthood for his people so important? God's oath to establish Jesus as a High Priest gave this office a stronger foundation (vv. 15–22). What God supported with an oath would become a reality. In Jesus we have a permanent priesthood, not one subject to change with the death of the priest (vv. 23–25). Finally, we have in Jesus a High Priest of superior character (vv. 26–28). Jesus is holy, blameless, pure, and set apart from sinners. With a high priest of this quality, believers have an unfailing supply of divine grace.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 3633.
  47. The Inability of the Law to Justify
    1. "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The just shall live by faith." (Galatians 2:16 and 3:11)"
    2. Our great initial need before God is to be justified, to have God Himself declare us not guilty, to have the Lord pronounce us righteous in His sight. At first glance this appears to be an impossible situation for man. God, our Judge, is holy by His nature. Man (because of sin) is unholy by nature. "But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6).
    3. The consequences of such ungodliness are inevitably universal and appropriately severe. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3:23 and 6:23a). The just sentence for all of humanity, in light of their sins against a pure, holy, and eternal God, is death (everlasting separation from God).
    4. The law of God offers no help and provides no hope of remedying this dire situation. People are "not justified by the works of the law." Trying one's best to measure up to the law never produces a verdict of not guilty. In all of history, Jesus was the only one who could be evaluated by God's law and receive a declaration of living righteously. Jesus was "in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). No other person could ever perform sufficiently before God's law to achieve a declaration of righteousness. "No one is justified by the law in the sight of God."
    5. Vows and pledges of personal improvement offer no hope. Asking others how to strive more earnestly provides no assistance. Only faith supplies the necessary remedy. "A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ." Trusting in our own best efforts leaves us guilty before God. Trusting in Christ's perfect work on the cross makes us justified before God. "The just shall live by faith."
    6. "O Lord, my God, I praise You for Your glorious grace poured out upon me in justification. By Your grace alone You have declared me righteous in Your sight. I was totally guilty before Your holy law. I had no excuses and no hope of rescuing myself. Your law rightly condemned me, and I never could have reversed that verdict by my own performance. I trusted in Your Son, and You pronounced me righteous before You. To You, my Lord, I give all honor, glory, adoration, and thanksgiving, through Christ Jesus, my Savior, Amen."   - From the DBD (Daily Bread) October 1st Module as provided in The Sword Software program 
  48. In Jesus we have a High Priest who has offered an effective sacrifice for sin. In contrast with the earthly priests Jesus demonstrated effective service and provided a better covenant or agreement with God. God instituted the new covenant because the old was ineffective. The new covenant promised a new nature to obey God's law, a new knowledge of God, and the forgiveness of sin. The ineffectiveness of the old covenant rendered it useless, fit only to decay and disappear.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, at location 3704.
  49. Through Jesus, God has established a new covenant which provides believers new power, new knowledge of God, and new assurance of sins forgiven. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8,  at location 3737.
  50. Christ has established a new agreement which promises inner power, personal knowledge, and forgiveness of sins.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, vv. 7-13, at location 3801.
  51. The failure of the first covenant at Sinai demanded the institution of a second covenant. This did not suggest that the Law itself had flaws, but that the experience of human beings under the Law was faulty. The Law had not met the needs of sinful human beings. The Law could reveal sin, but it could not remove it. It could not justify or save sinners. The problem was with the people who lacked the power to obey the Law (see Rom. 7:7–12). - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 7, at location 3803.
  52. The new covenant promises new moral power, personal knowledge, and forgiveness of sin. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 8, at location 3811.
  53. 10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel  after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my laws into their minds,  and  write them on their hearts,  and I will be their God,  and they shall be my people. - From the GLO Bible, ESV version, Hebrews 8, v. 10.
  54. 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And  what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.  - From the GLO Bible, ESV version, Hebrews 8, v. 12.
  55. What is here said of the old covenant, or rather of the old dispensation of the covenant of grace: of this it is said, 1. That it was made with the fathers of the Jewish nation at mount Sinai ( 9), and Moses was the Mediator of that covenant, when God took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt, which intimates the great affection, condescension, and tender care of God towards them. 2. That this covenant was not found faultless ( 7, 8); it was a dispensation of darkness and dread, tending to bondage, and only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; it was perfect in its kind, and fitted to answer its end, but very imperfect in comparison of the gospel. 3. That it was not sure or stedfast; for the Jews continued not in that covenant, and the Lord regarded them not, 9. They dealt ungratefully with their God, and cruelly with themselves, and fell under God's displeasure. God will regard those who remain in his covenant, but will reject those who cast away his yoke from them. 4. That it is decayed, grown old, and vanisheth away, 13. It is antiquated, canceled, out of date, of no more use in gospel times than candles are when the sun has risen. Some think the covenant of peculiarity did not quite decay till the destruction of Jerusalem, though it was forfeited at the death of Christ, and was made old, and was now to vanish and perish, and the Levitical priesthood vanished with it.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, vv. 9-13.
  56.  II. What is here said of the New-Testament dispensation, to prove the superior excellency of Christ's ministry. It is said,
    1. That it is a better covenant ( 6), a more clear and comfortable dispensation and discovery of the grace of God to sinners, bringing in holy light and liberty to the soul. It is without fault, well ordered in all things. It requires nothing but what it promises grace to perform. It accepts of godly sincerity, accounting it gospel perfection. Every transgression does not turn us out of covenant; all is put into a good and safe hand.
    2. That it is established upon better promises, more clear and express, more spiritual, more absolute. The promises of spiritual and eternal blessings are in this covenant positive and absolute; the promises of temporal blessings are with a wise and kind proviso, as far as shall be for God's glory and his people's good. This covenant contains in it promises of assistance and acceptance in duty, promises of progress and perseverance in grace and holiness, of bliss and glory in heaven, which were more obscurely shadowed forth by the promises of the land of Canaan, a type of heaven.
    3. It is a new covenant, even that new covenant that God long ago declared he would make with the house of Israel, that is, all the Israel of God; this was promised in Jer. xxxi. 31, 32, and accomplished in Christ. This will always be a new covenant, in which all who truly take hold of it shall be always found preserved by the power of God. It is God's covenant; his mercy, love, and grace moved for it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his Spirit brings souls into it, and builds them up in it.
    4. The articles of this covenant are very extraordinary, which are sealed between God and his people by baptism and the Lord's supper; whereby they bind themselves to their part, and God assures them he will do his part; and his is the main and principal part, on which his people depend for grace and strength to do theirs. Here,
      1. (1.) God articles with his people that he will put his laws into their minds and write them in their hearts, 10. He once wrote his laws to them, now he will write his laws in them; that is, he will give them understanding to know and to believe his law; he will give them memories to retain them; he will give them hearts to love them and consciences to recognize them; he will give them courage to profess them and power to put them in practice; the whole habit and frame of their souls shall be a table and transcript of the law of God. This is the foundation of the covenant; and, when this is laid, duty will be done wisely, sincerely, readily, easily, resolutely, constantly, and comfortably.
      2.       (2.) He articles with them to take them into a near and very honourable relation to himself. [1.] He will be to them a God; that is, he will be all that to them, and do all that for them, that God can be and do. Nothing more can be said in a thousand volumes than is comprehended in these few words: I will be a God to them. [2.] They shall be to him a people, to love, honour, observe, and obey him in all things; complying with his cautions, conforming to his commands, comporting with his providences, copying out his example, taking complacency in his favour. This those must do and will do who have God for their God; this they are bound to do as their part of the contract; this they shall do, for God will enable them to do it, as an evidence that he is their God and that they are his people; for it is God himself who first founds the relation, and then fills it up with grace suitable and sufficient, and helps them in their measure to fill it up with love and duty; so that God engages both for himself and them. 
      3.       (3.) He articles with them that they shall grow more and more acquainted with their God ( 11): They shall all know me from the least to the greatest, insomuch that there shall not be so much need of one neighbour teaching another the knowledge of God. Here observe, [1.] In the want of better instruction, one neighbour should be teaching another to know the Lord, as they have ability and opportunity for it. [2.] This private instruction shall not be so necessary under the New Testament as it was under the Old. The old dispensation was shadowy, dark, ritual, and less understood; their priests preached but seldom, and but a few at a time, and the Spirit of God was more sparingly given out. But under the new dispensation there shall be such abundance of public qualified preachers of the gospel, and dispensers of ordinances statedly in the solemn assemblies, and so great a flocking to them, as doves to their windows, and such a plentiful effusion of the Spirit of God to make the ministration of the gospel effectual, that there shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge in persons of all sorts, of each sex, and of all ages. O that this promise might be fulfilled in our days, that the hand of God may be with his ministers, that a great number may believe and be turned to the Lord!
      4.       (4.) God articles with them about the pardon of their sins, as what always accompanies the true knowledge of God ( 12): For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, &c. Observe, [1.] The freeness of this pardon. It does not result from merit in man, but from mercy in God; he pardons for his own name's sake. [2.] The fullness of this pardon; it extends to their unrighteousness, sins, and iniquities; to all kinds of sin, to sins highly aggravated. [3.] The fixedness of this pardon. It is so final and so fixed that God will remember their sins no more; he will not recall his pardon; he will not only forgive their sins, but forget them, treat them as if he had forgotten them. This pardoning mercy is connected with all other spiritual mercies. Unpardoned sin prevents mercy, and pulls down judgments; but the pardon of sin prevents judgment, and opens a wide door to all spiritual blessings; it is the effect of that mercy that is from everlasting, and the earnest of that mercy that shall be to everlasting. This is the excellency of the new dispensation, and these are the articles of it; and therefore we have no reason to repine, but great reason to rejoice that the former dispensation is antiquated and has vanished away.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, vv. 6-13.
  57. The word of hope was that God had promised a new covenant. It would not do to patch up the old covenant. God established an entirely new covenant with new benefits for his people.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 9, at location 3828. 
  58. Although Jeremiah had spoken of a covenant which had applied to ethnic Jews, this verse focuses on all of God's people, both Jews and Gentiles. This statement is in line with Paul's observations in Galatians 3:29 that all believers “are Abraham's seed.”  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 10, at location 3832. 
  59. Second, the covenant would be inward. God would write its content in the minds and hearts of his people. The old covenant could reveal the paths of good and evil, but it could not supply power to walk in righteousness. The power which enabled believers to follow these laws was none other than the power of the Holy Spirit, who frees believers from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2–3). The words mind and heart apply to the whole person. The entire life of the believer experienced the effects of the presence of God's laws.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 10, at location 3835. 
  60. Third, the new covenant would produce intimacy, creating a relationship in which Israel's God would become the God of his followers, and they would become his people.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 10, at location 3839. 
  61. 8:11. Fellowship with God would be direct and immediate. God would not appoint any privileged class of priests to teach others, but all would know him. All distinctions of rank and importance in the new community would disappear. The knowledge of God would be spread from the least of them to the greatest. The Holy Spirit, who teaches all things, will introduce all believers to a close walk with God (John 14:26). God would not confine the knowledge of him to a privileged few. All those under the new covenant would enjoy a walk of deep fellowship with God.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 10, at location 3843. 
  62. Hebrews 8:12. God had promised new power to fulfill his laws and a new closeness to know and understand him. His third promise offered forgiveness to sinners. A literal translation of verse 12 has God promising, “I will be merciful to their deeds of unrighteousness.” God had always been merciful. The new covenant gave more open expression to God's mercy.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 12, at location 3848. 
  63. The parallel statement that God would remember their sins no more reassured sinners that God's forgiveness was complete. God, unlike human beings, does not say, “I will forgive, but I will not forget.” God promises to forget our sins.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 12, at location 3851. 
  64. The ground of forgiveness was not human repentance but Jesus' sacrificial death. Only the death of Jesus could provide full assurance that God has wiped away sins and made believers righteous in his sight. God took the initiative to give sinners his grace and mercy. Because God really dealt with sins, the blessings of knowing him and serving him with power become possible.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 12, at location 3854. 
  65. The old covenant came, served the purpose of informing sinners of their need, grew old, and has died. It was viewed as already obsolete. The old covenant had done its job. It had pointed to, prepared the way for, and was now giving way to the new covenant. The new covenant offered such superior benefits to needy sinners that the old gave way to it. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 13, at location 3862. 
  66. The new covenant promised inward power, an intimate knowledge of God, and forgiveness of sin. Nothing in the past could equal the provisions of this new covenant. We who live today as believers can rejoice in God's lavish provisions for our spiritual needs.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 13, at location 3865. 
  67. Through Jesus God has established a new covenant which provides believers new power, new knowledge of God, and new assurance of sins forgiven.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 13, at location 3868. 
  68. The Old and New Covenant.
    A. D. 62.
          Hebrews 6:  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.   7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.   8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:   9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.   10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:   11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.   12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.   13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
  69. In this part of the chapter, the apostle illustrates and confirms the superior excellency of the priesthood of Christ above that of Aaron, from the excellency of that covenant, or that dispensation of the covenant of grace, of which Christ was the Mediator ( 6): his ministry is more excellent, by how much he is the Mediator of a better covenant. The body and soul too of all divinity (as some observe) consist very much in rightly distinguishing between the two covenants--the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; and between the two dispensations of the covenant of grace--that under the Old Testament and that under the New. Now observe,
    1.       I. What is here said of the old covenant, or rather of the old dispensation of the covenant of grace: of this it is said, 1. That it was made with the fathers of the Jewish nation at mount Sinai ( 9), and Moses was the Mediator of that covenant, when God took them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt, which intimates the great affection, condescension, and tender care of God towards them. 2. That this covenant was not found faultless ( 7, 8); it was a dispensation of darkness and dread, tending to bondage, and only a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ; it was perfect in its kind, and fitted to answer its end, but very imperfect in comparison of the gospel. 3. That it was not sure or stedfast; for the Jews continued not in that covenant, and the Lord regarded them not, 9. They dealt ungratefully with their God, and cruelly with themselves, and fell under God's displeasure. God will regard those who remain in his covenant, but will reject those who cast away his yoke from them. 4. That it is decayed, grown old, and vanisheth away, 13. It is antiquated, canceled, out of date, of no more use in gospel times than candles are when the sun has risen. Some think the covenant of peculiarity did not quite decay till the destruction of Jerusalem, though it was forfeited at the death of Christ, and was made old, and was now to vanish and perish, and the Levitical priesthood vanished with it.
    2.       II. What is here said of the New-Testament dispensation, to prove the superior excellency of Christ's ministry. It is said,
      1.       1. That it is a better covenant ( 6), a more clear and comfortable dispensation and discovery of the grace of God to sinners, bringing in holy light and liberty to the soul. It is without fault, well ordered in all things. It requires nothing but what it promises grace to perform. It accepts of godly sincerity, accounting it gospel perfection. Every transgression does not turn us out of covenant; all is put into a good and safe hand.
      2.       2. That it is established upon better promises, more clear and express, more spiritual, more absolute. The promises of spiritual and eternal blessings are in this covenant positive and absolute; the promises of temporal blessings are with a wise and kind proviso, as far as shall be for God's glory and his people's good. This covenant contains in it promises of assistance and acceptance in duty, promises of progress and perseverance in grace and holiness, of bliss and glory in heaven, which were more obscurely shadowed forth by the promises of the land of Canaan, a type of heaven.
      3.       3. It is a new covenant, even that new covenant that God long ago declared he would make with the house of Israel, that is, all the Israel of God; this was promised in Jer. xxxi. 31, 32, and accomplished in Christ. This will always be a new covenant, in which all who truly take hold of it shall be always found preserved by the power of God. It is God's covenant; his mercy, love, and grace moved for it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his wisdom devised it; his Son purchased it; his Spirit brings souls into it, and builds them up in it.
      4.       4. The articles of this covenant are very extraordinary, which are sealed between God and his people by baptism and the Lord's supper; whereby they bind themselves to their part, and God assures them he will do his part; and his is the main and principal part, on which his people depend for grace and strength to do theirs. Here,
        1.       (1.) God articles with his people that he will put his laws into their minds and write them in their hearts, 10. He once wrote his laws to them, now he will write his laws in them; that is, he will give them understanding to know and to believe his law; he will give them memories to retain them; he will give them hearts to love them and consciences to recognize them; he will give them courage to profess them and power to put them in practice; the whole habit and frame of their souls shall be a table and transcript of the law of God. This is the foundation of the covenant; and, when this is laid, duty will be done wisely, sincerely, readily, easily, resolutely, constantly, and comfortably.
        2.       (2.) He articles with them to take them into a near and very honourable relation to himself. [1.] He will be to them a God; that is, he will be all that to them, and do all that for them, that God can be and do. Nothing more can be said in a thousand volumes than is comprehended in these few words: I will be a God to them. [2.] They shall be to him a people, to love, honour, observe, and obey him in all things; complying with his cautions, conforming to his commands, comporting with his providences, copying out his example, taking complacency in his favour. This those must do and will do who have God for their God; this they are bound to do as their part of the contract; this they shall do, for God will enable them to do it, as an evidence that he is their God and that they are his people; for it is God himself who first founds the relation, and then fills it up with grace suitable and sufficient, and helps them in their measure to fill it up with love and duty; so that God engages both for himself and them.
        3.       (3.) He articles with them that they shall grow more and more acquainted with their God ( 11): They shall all know me from the least to the greatest, insomuch that there shall not be so much need of one neighbour teaching another the knowledge of God. Here observe, [1.] In the want of better instruction, one neighbour should be teaching another to know the Lord, as they have ability and opportunity for it. [2.] This private instruction shall not be so necessary under the New Testament as it was under the Old. The old dispensation was shadowy, dark, ritual, and less understood; their priests preached but seldom, and but a few at a time, and the Spirit of God was more sparingly given out. But under the new dispensation there shall be such abundance of public qualified preachers of the gospel, and dispensers of ordinances statedly in the solemn assemblies, and so great a flocking to them, as doves to their windows, and such a plentiful effusion of the Spirit of God to make the ministration of the gospel effectual, that there shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge in persons of all sorts, of each sex, and of all ages. O that this promise might be fulfilled in our days, that the hand of God may be with his ministers, that a great number may believe and be turned to the Lord!
        4.       (4.) God articles with them about the pardon of their sins, as what always accompanies the true knowledge of God ( 12): For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, &c. Observe, [1.] The freeness of this pardon. It does not result from merit in man, but from mercy in God; he pardons for his own name's sake. [2.] The fullness of this pardon; it extends to their unrighteousness, sins, and iniquities; to all kinds of sin, to sins highly aggravated. [3.] The fixedness of this pardon. It is so final and so fixed that God will remember their sins no more; he will not recall his pardon; he will not only forgive their sins, but forget them, treat them as if he had forgotten them. This pardoning mercy is connected with all other spiritual mercies. Unpardoned sin prevents mercy, and pulls down judgments; but the pardon of sin prevents judgment, and opens a wide door to all spiritual blessings; it is the effect of that mercy that is from everlasting, and the earnest of that mercy that shall be to everlasting. This is the excellency of the new dispensation, and these are the articles of it; and therefore we have no reason to repine, but great reason to rejoice that the former dispensation is antiquated and has vanished away.  - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, vv. 6-13.
  70. The Old Testament people of God experienced none of the benefits of this covenant—new power, new knowledge of God, and a new experience of forgiveness. Only the death of Christ provided these benefits for those who came under the protection of his shed blood.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 13, at location 3952. 
  71. D. Minds and Hearts (v. 10) Whenever the term mind is used alone, it refers to the understanding or intellect (Eph. 2:3). Whenever the term heart is used alone, it describes the will and the emotions (Rom. 2:15). Used together, the words denote the human personality as a unity. God has placed his laws on the intellect, emotions, and will of his people. This expression serves as a picture of the inward effect of the new covenant. This new covenant does not affect people superficially, but it reaches to the very core of their being. The new covenant affects all that we think, feel, and choose.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, v. 13, at location 3954. 
  72. Under the old covenant, the high priest could only atone for sins...committed in ignorance (Heb. 9:7; see also Num. 15:29-30).  No atonement was available for sins committed willfully.  The fact that the priest offered this sacifice annually showed that it never succeeded in completely removing sin.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, v. 7, at location 4084. 
  73. Jesus had given himself.  The blood of Jesus our High Priest was far more precious than the blood of animals.  He was a once for all offering that never needed repeating.  Christ's offering required no daily or even annual repetition.  A single offering was eternally effective. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, vv. 12, at location 4117. 
  74. Jesus secures forgiveness of sin.  On the basis of giving himself, Christ became a mediator of the new covenant and a ransom to free captives from their sin.  Christ's death was the price paid to liberate spiritual prisoners. In his death Christ removed the consequences of sin for those who trust him.  The real cleansing from sin against God did not come from sacrificing animals but from the sacrifice of Christ.  The purpose of the new covenant Jesus established was to provide an eternal inheritance for believers.  Because of Christ, sin no longer can bar believers from divine blessings.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 9, vv. 15, at location 4133. 
  75. That none of the gifts and sacrifices there offered could make the offerers perfect as pertaining to conscience ( 9); that is, they could not take away the desert, or defilement, or dominion, of sin; they could not deliver conscience from a dread of the wrath of God; they could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the doubts, of him who did the service. A man might run through them all in their several orders and frequent returns, and continue to do so all his days, and yet not find his conscience either pacified or purified by them; he might thereby be saved from corporal and temporal punishments that were threatened against the non-observers, but he could not be saved by them from sin or hell, as all those are who believe in Christ. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 9, v. 9.
  76. The gospel is here considered as a testament, the new and last will and testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is observable that the solemn transactions that pass between God and man are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament. A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties about things that are in their own power, or may be so, and this either with or without a mediator; this agreement takes effect at such time and in such manner as therein declared. A testament is a voluntary act and deed of a single person, duly executed and witnessed, bestowing legacies on such legatees as are described and characterized by the testator, and which can only take effect upon his death. Now observe, Christ is the Mediator of a New Testament ( 15); and he is so for several ends and purposes here mentioned. 1. To redeem persons from their transgressions committed against the law or first testament, which makes every transgression a forfeiture of liberty, and makes men debtors, and slaves or prisoners, who need to be redeemed. 2. To qualify all those that are effectually called to receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. These are the great legacies that Christ by his last will and testament has bequeathed to the truly characterized legatees. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 9, v. 15.
  77. Now it is very evident that the sacrifice of Christ is infinitely better than those of the law. 1. From the places in which the sacrifices under the law, and that under the gospel, were offered. Those under the law were the holy places made with hands, which are but figures of the true sanctuary, 24. Christ's sacrifice, though offered upon earth, was by himself carried up into heaven, and is there presented in a way of daily intercession; for he appears in the presence of God for us. He has gone to heaven, not only to enjoy the rest and receive the honour due to him, but to appear in the presence of God for us, to present our persons and our performances, to answer and rebuke our adversary and accuser, to secure our interest, to perfect all our affairs, and to prepare a place for us.   - From the Matthew Henry Commentary as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac  - in the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 9, v. 24.
  78. Old Testament sacrifices reminded of sin but did not remove it.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, II. Commentary - The Power of Christ's Permanent Sacrifice, A. The Permanence of Christ's Sacrifice (vv. 1-18)  I. Permanent in Contrast to Old Testament Sacrifices (vv. 1-4) verse 10:1 - at location 4411. 
  79. Hebrews 10:2: This verse highlights the imperfection of the Law by asking a question, If the Law made the worshipers perfect, the wouldn't offerings cease because worshipers would no longer have felt guilty for their sins? If the offerings had reached their goals, they would have stopped.  These sacrifices dealt only with infractions committed since the last offerings.  They left the root cause - sin - untouched.  Their repetition showed their inadequacy.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, II. Commentary - The Power of Christ's Permanent Sacrifice, A. The Permanence of Christ's Sacrifice (vv. 1-18)  I. Permanent in Contrast to Old Testament Sacrifices (vv. 1-4) verse 10:2 - at location 4428. 
  80. Hebrews 10:4: Why were animal sacrifices so ineffective  in removing sin?  Animal sacrifices could never remove sin because they were never intended to take away sin.  They were intended to foreshadow Jesus, who would later come to die to take away the sins of believers.  Only the death of the perfect God-man could take away sin.  The psalmist had grasped centuries earlier that "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise" (Ps. 51:17).  God accepted the perfect sacrifice of Christ because it represented a broken, contrite expression of his will.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, II. Commentary - The Power of Christ's Permanent Sacrifice, A. The Permanence of Christ's Sacrifice (vv. 1-18)  I. Permanent in Contrast to Old Testament Sacrifices (vv. 1-4) verse 10:2 - at location 4430. The work of the priest was ineffective, offering repetitious sacrifices could never take away sins.  By contrast, Christ's single offering effectively removed sins for all time.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, 3. Permanent Because It Secured Forgiveness (vv. 11-18) Verse 10:11, at location 4463. 
  81. Hebrews 10:18 - Christ's new covenant makes Old Testament sacrifices obsolete.  When God erases our sins, we no longer need a sin offering.  The entire sacrificial system is unnecessary.  The single offering of Christ has wiped out the need for the old sacrificial system and introduced a new era.  Christ himself fulfilled the message which God intended the sacrifices to proclaim.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10, 3. Permanent Because It Secured Forgiveness (vv. 11-18) Verse 10:18, at location 4497. 
  82. Those who returned to Judaism and abandoned Christ after having learned the truth of the gospel would find no forgiveness anywhere.  They would show they had never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10 IV Deeper Discoveries, H. Deliberate Sinning (v. 26)  at location 4742. 
  83. The sacrifice of Christ rendered animal sacrifices forever obsolete, but certain sacrifices still pleased God.  All who had experienced the benefits of Christ's perfect sacrifice should offer those sacrifices which pleased God.  CHristians are to offer the sacrifice of praise continually, to offer tangible gifts such as money to those in need, and to delight in fellowship with other believers. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 13, VI Deeper Discoveries, E. Non-Animal Sacrifices (vv. 15-16)  at location 5936. 
  84. The New and Living Way
    "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us. (Hebrews 10:19-20)"Here, life under the new covenant of grace is described as the "new and living way." This could be contrasted with the "old and dying way" of attempting to live under the old covenant of law. The "newness" of grace is not really a matter of time sequence, because the grace of God actually precedes the law in man's history with God. The "tree of life" in the garden of Eden was God's provision of grace for Adam and Eve. The promises of God to Abraham (given hundreds of years before the law) depended upon the faithful grace of God, not the legal performance of Abraham.
    1. The "newness" of grace is its everyday freshness and vitality. Day by day, by the grace of God, fresh measures of life are abundantly available to those who look to the Lord as their supply. This makes life with God fresh and new every day.
    2. Under the old covenant, only one person, the High Priest, could enter into the intimate presence of God in the Holy of Holies. Furthermore, this was only allowed one day a year. Such limited access would certainly "get old" in the hearts of all who hungered after the living God.
    3. Now, under the new covenant of grace, every believer in Jesus (our great High Priest) can confidently approach the Lord personally any moment of every day: "Having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus." Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which forgives all of our sins, we can speak to the Lord and enjoy His presence in our lives continually.
  85. We no longer sacrifice animals, because the Lamb of God has come. We no longer worship in a temple, because we ourselves are temples of God’s Holy Spirit. We no longer go to a priest, because Christ is our high priest, and we ourselves are a believing priesthood. We no longer look to material riches, because of the spiritual riches that are ours in Christ.  - From the Kindle Book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, at location 3582.
  86. More on God's Promises and God's Law -   - From the August 1 Daily Bread Devotion (,DBD) as provided in The Sword Software program for the Mac.
  87. "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions…Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:19, 21-22)"
  88. In our previous meditation, we saw that God implements His plan of salvation by making and fulfilling promises. His plan is not contingent upon man's ability to perform acceptably before His holy law. To put it another way, the law of God (given hundreds of years after the promises to Abraham) does not replace those promises.

    This raises a very important question: "What purpose then does the law serve?" If God's law did not cancel or rearrange His promises to Abraham, then why was it added? "It was added because of transgressions." God wanted people to know that they had a major problem: sin. Man's sin needed to be clearly defined. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). The extent of sin would never be fully known apart from the law. "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Romans 7:7). Also, God wanted everyone in this world to know that they were accountable to Him for their transgressions. Thus, the law convicts the sinfulness of man, that "all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).

    This raises another important question. "Is the law then against the promises of God?" The law does not replace God's promises, but does it work against His promises? "Certainly not!" The law of God and the promises of God simply have different purposes (just as it is with law and grace). The law of God reveals the holiness that is inherent to the very character of God. At the same time, it describes the holy life that God wants His people to live. "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" (Leviticus 19:2). The promises of God become the means by which man deals with his unholiness and accesses God's holiness. This is what true spiritual life is about: forgiveness of sin and a life of righteousness in Christ. This cannot come by law performance. "For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law." Rather, the promise of life is entered into only by faith. "But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."
  89. "O Holy Lord, I confess that in my own natural resources there is no innate holiness. I can find forgiveness of sin and true righteousness from You alone. Help me to understand the difference between Your law which convicts and Your promises which bring life, through Christ my Lord, Amen.”
  90. The righteous man is positively identified by his association with "the law of the LORD." The "law" is not to be limited to the Five Books of Moses or even to the OT as a whole. The Hebrew word torah ("law") signifies primarily instruction that comes from God (see the appendix to Ps 19: The Word of God). This is the distinctive difference between revelation and religion (J. Ellul, A Living Faith tr. Peter Heinegg [San Francisco: Harper &Row, 1983], pp. 111- 25). Revelation comes from God for the purpose of helping man to live in harmony with God's will, whereas religion is man's attempt to order his path and to explain the world around him. The godly in every age live in accordance with revelation. The contents of the revelation may vary, and Christians may dispute how the OT laws relate to the church today; but there should be an earnest search for and delight in doing the will of God as set forth in Jesus 'teaching (Matt 6: 10; 12: 50; 1 John 3: 11- 24; 5: 2- 3; see T. E. McComiskey, The Covenants of Promise. A Theology of the Old Testament Covenants [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985], pp. 66- 80). - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App.
  91. Psalm 119:77 - Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight.
    1. Our Master has passed his word to all his servants that he will be kind to them, and they may plead it with him. (2.) His own confidence and complacency in that promise: "Thy law is my delight; I hope in thy word and rejoice in that hope." Note, Those that delight in the law of God may depend upon the favour of God, for it shall certainly make them happy.  - From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible in commentary on Psalm 119:77.