Daily Bible Nugget #411, Hebrews 10:11-12

The Nugget:

Heb 10:11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Heb 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, [ESV]

My Comment:

The Bible declares what appear to be two ways or paths to personal salvation.  The first way, displayed in the Old Testament at Genesis 15:6, teaches us that salvation is based upon our full faith in the promises of God, for Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.

The second way is found in Leviticus 18:5, a passage also quoted by Jesus Christ, a passage which states that anyone who obeys the Law of God will be saved.  The trouble is, no one has ever fully kept God’s law, except Jesus Christ, so that pathway is pretty well closed off.

These issues lie behind my continuing question and answer discussion in the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” which continued today when I  responded to another good question posed by a Muslim participant.

My Answer:

I must say, again, Faruq Kolodi, you have a real skill and talent in asking good questions when you ask:  “Is there no forgiveness and righteousness before the coming of Jesus?”
While forgiveness is certainly a topic found in the Bible before Jesus came (see Psalm 32:5), forgiveness is a forensic or legal term that is transcended by what is revealed in the New Testament, particularly in the original inspired Greek text and its grammar. In the book of Hebrews, the writer declares “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4); the writer also states “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11).
The writer continues by declaring, speaking of Jesus Christ, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
The book of Hebrews was written before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, because the writer speaks in the present tense of action that at the time of writing was still going on:  ministering and offering the same sacrifices. Those sacrifices for the individual and for the nation had to be repeated. But the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in His atonement for our sin was accomplished once for all time by His death on the cross. Three days later He arose from the dead. Christ is now seated at the right hand of God having fully accomplished His priestly-sacrificial atonement for our sins.
Interestingly, what Jesus Christ has accomplished goes much further than what was accomplished by the Old Testament sacrifices which were a kind of picture, called a “type,” of what the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would do. Jesus Christ does not merely forgive sin, but He removes sin, the meaning of the underlying Greek words used in this Hebrews passage.
An interesting statement that addresses your question is found in Acts 17:30, 31, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Act 17:31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
So, yes, there was faith and righteousness in Old Testament times. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). That faith principle was always in effect since at least the time of Abraham.  But now God commands everyone to place their faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, by repenting and turning from their own ways and opinions, and believing what He has revealed through Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6).  Forgiveness of sin and eternal life is available only through the way appointed by God, and that is through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and the atonement provided by Him.
This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Daily Bible Nuggets, Doctrinal Discussions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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