The term that expresses this change is " sanctify" Hebrews ; Hebrews , 29 ; Hebrews Having a conscience defiled by sin, they felt debarred from free access to God so as to serve Him Hebrews , 14 ; Hebrews , 22 , and for the same reason of their defilement God could not permit Himself to be approached. This defilement of sin is purified away by sacrifice, the blood of which is the blood of the covenant Hebrews , 18 ; Hebrews ; Hebrews , and thus the people are sanctified for the service of God. As the end had in view and the covenant itself, which is the means towards it, are alike due to the grace of God Hebrews , the sacrifice which effects the sanctification of the people is no less an institution of His provision.
Though within the covenant, the people are not supposed to be sinless. They err and are out of the way; they are compassed with infirmity and labour under various "ignorances" Hebrews ; Hebrews ; Hebrews : comp.
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Such errors, though sins and transgressions Hebrews , and interruptions of the covenant relation, are not absolutely incompatible with its maintenance, provided they are taken away. A means of removing such sins of infirmity was provided in the sacrificial system. This is the meaning of this system.
It was appointed of God for removing sins committed within the covenant. The Epistle does not speculate how it is that men in covenant still continue to sin; it accepts the fact without referring it to any principle such as "the flesh" of St.
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Its distinction of sins of infirmity and "wilful" sins is unknown to the latter apostle, to whom all sins are deadly and infer the curse Galatians This is revolved in His mode of regarding the law as a commandment of works to be obeyed in order to justification. Any transgression of it is its breach in principle, and makes an end of all pretensions on man's part to be righteous before God.
The condition of the continuance of the covenant was the keeping of the law. But here a double defect manifested itself in the first covenant. On the one hand, the people abode not in it Hebrews , and on the other hand, its institutions could not remove the transgressions done under it Hebrews ; Hebrews In the new covenant God promises to write His law on the people's heart Hebrews , as on the other hand the death of Christ redeems the transgressions under the first covenant Hebrews , and God remembers them no more Hebrews Thus the first covenant failed, and God caused to arise upon the people the light of the promise of a new covenant.
The first covenant indeed was conscious of its own Imperfection; hence it gave forth fro,, within itself the promise of " another priest" Psalm ; Hebrews , of a "better sacrifice" Psalm ; Hebrews ; Hebrews , and even of a "new covenant" Jeremiah ; Hebrews The structure of the Tabernacle was a perpetual witness to the inability of its ministry to open the way for the worshippers into the presence of God, a witness borne by the Holy Ghost Hebrews And the very continual repetition of the sacrifices year by year was a constant remembrance of sin, and proclamation of their inefficacy to take it away Hebrews The Epistle is a detailed contrast between the two covenants showing that in all those points where the first failed the second realises the purpose of the covenant.
That which gives eternal validity or absoluteness to the new covenant is the person, the Son of God, who in all points carries it through — who reveals, mediates, and sustains it. As initiating the covenant through His blood Hebrews ; Hebrews , He is the mediator of a new covenant Hebrews ; and as sitting at the right hand of God, before His face, for ever, as high-priestly representative of the people, He is the surety of it Hebrews Again, the law had a shadow of the good things that were to come Hebrews , 9, Thus the first covenant lay, as a sphere of dim representations, between two regions filled with realities — heaven, the region of the true things themselves, on the one side, and the new covenant, realising the very image of the good things that were to come, on the other.
These two regions correspond to one another Hebrews Yet the first covenant having a shadow of the good things that were to come was in truth the introduction of the new covenant, though in a shadowy form.
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Hence the second covenant, though called new, is new only in a modified sense. The promises on which it was enacted are virtually nothing more than the promise truly to realise the great objects aimed at in the first covenant see Hebrews It contemplates the same end with the first, the bringing of men into the rest of God and the promised inheritance Hebrews ; Hebrews And it was made with the same persons as the first. These are the people Hebrews , the people of God Hebrews , comp. Hebrews , or, the seed of Abraham Hebrews It is by no means easy to understand what is said in the Epistle in regard to the relations of the two covenants.
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