God Judges and Forgives You

MEMORY SELECTION: “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” —Hebrews 8:12

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Hosea 4:1-3; 11:1-4, 8, 9

THE children of Israel were the favored people of God. They were given the Law and religious ceremonies to illustrate the arrangements whereby they and the rest of the family of man would, in due time, come under the terms of a new and better covenant. The 8th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews includes some of the promises in connection with that New Covenant arrangement.

Israel’s high priest typified our Lord, who is even now seated at the right hand of God. (vs. 1) Jesus was that “Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” (vs. 2) As the antitypical High Priest, Jesus offered his own life in sacrifice: “Wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”—vs. 3

It was of utmost importance that every detail of their religious order be kept. God gave explicit instructions to the Israelites concerning those things which would serve as illustrations of the better sacrifices—for those arrangements “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”—vs. 5

The Jews were unable to keep the Law Covenant. This was due to their inherited weaknesses from father Adam. Also, its mediator was Moses—who was unable to give them life under its terms. Paul explains, however, that the Christ (our Lord as Head, and the 144,000 members of his antitypical body) will mediate the New Covenant between God and men. This, he says (vs. 6), will consist of “the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” The Old Covenant had failed because Israel was unable to keep it (vs. 7); but “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.”—vs. 8

Never again will they be restricted to the terms of the Law which was given to them after they left Egypt. (vs. 9) The new agreement will be based on broader dimensions: “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.” (vs. 10) With the glorified Christ as Mediator and with the promise from God to write the law in the hearts of man, it will be made easier to live in accordance with the terms of that covenant arrangement. Everyone will assist one another to make progress when that kingdom is established.

Past sins will be forgotten, and man will stand before his Creator on the merits of his own progress toward righteousness. God says (vs. 12), “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” The old Law Covenant will never be revived, although the standards of righteousness will remain in the hearts of man forever. “Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”—vs. 13

We should note that the New Covenant is compared to the Old Covenant and is better because it is established on better promises. It has a better Mediator—Christ, who has made full satisfaction for the sins of the world and stands prepared to bring mankind back into harmony with God. Moses was able to offer only imperfect sacrifices and was otherwise unable to provide the blessings associated with the agreement.

The New Covenant will be brought into operation at the beginning of the Millennial Age. Then Christ’s kingdom will be established for a thousand years, and restitution blessings will be made available for the poor, groaning creation, who yet wait for the completion of the sacrifices of the consecrated members of the body. (Rom. 8:19) At the end of the Millennial Age the work of mediatorship will have been accomplished, and man will once again enjoy a relationship with God—even as Adam enjoyed before he transgressed the divine Law. At that time God will guarantee life to all who will continue to obey during the everlasting ages of eternity.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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