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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Clearing the Conscience of the Worshiper, #7
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15)
"To set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant."
At first thought we might interpolate the word "guilt" so the text reads: "To set them free from the guilt of the sins committed under the first covenant." This is the manner in which it would be read by many teachers today.
However, this change in the text does not fit the theme of the Book of Hebrews, which is that of pressing forward into the rest of God and bearing the fruit of righteousness. It is true that when we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are forgiven our sins. But this is only as we then live in obedience to the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and turn aside from our sinful nature. (Romans 8:4)
If we follow the Holy Spirit we will be set free from sin, not just from the guilt of sin but from the power of the sin itself.
Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26)
Ordinarily we would interpret this to mean Christ has appeared once for all to do away with the guilt of sin. But this is not what the text states. It is one matter to do away with the guilt of sin, but quite a different affair to do away with the sin itself.
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27,28)
Christ was sacrificed to take away the sins of many people. May we suggest the appearing mentioned above is not that of His second coming in the clouds of glory, but a prior coming in the Spirit to remove the sin of those who have been forgiven. This would follow the statements in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Matthew concerning the time of the end when the angels remove the tares from the Kingdom of God. First the sin is removed from the believers. Then the believers themselves are removed if they refuse to be separated from their sins.
It is my point of view that the program of removing the tares from the Kingdom of God has begun, and this is why we may be able to have a clearer understanding of the Book of Hebrews than was true previously.
To be continued.