Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 16
What has Christ done for sin? Contd.
(b) Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself is clearly a superior sacrifice to the animal sacrifices of the old covenant. Because Jesus was as stated in Heb 7:26, “holy” (i.e., without moral defect), “harmless” (i.e., blameless, innocent, untouched by evil), “undefiled” (i.e., pure), and “separate from sinners” (i.e, sinless), He was the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for sin—the just for the unjust.
The purpose of Jesus’ death was “to put away sin” (Heb 9:26; cf. 1 John 3:5), removing it entirely, not just covering over sin as did the blood of the old covenant animal sacrifices. The power of Jesus’ death makes possible the annulling of sin’s power, the removal of sin’s defilement, and complete forgiveness, reconciliation with God and sanctification of life (Heb 10:10, 15-17; see Lev 9:8). Moreover, Jesus’ death was the voluntary “sacrifice of himself” as the Son of God (Heb 1:3; 9:26; see Jn 10:17,18), infinitely superior to the involuntary sacrifice of an old covenant animal. Jesus’ sacrifice for sins was “once” (ephapax), signifying that it was both complete and permanently valid, with no need to ever be repeated. This decisive character of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin is a hallmark of the book of Hebrews (7:27; 9:12, 26,28; 10:10).
(c) The new covenant can be called the new covenant of the Spirit, for it is the Holy Spirit who ministers life and power to those who accept God’s covenant (2 Cor 3:1-6; see John 17:3).
(4) All who participate in the new covenant through Jesus Christ receive its blessings and salvation, as they persevere in faith and obedience (see Heb 3:6). The faithless are excluded from its blessings (see Heb 3:18).
(5) Hebrews reveals that the first covenant was imperfect and incomplete, a temporary provision by God, until such time that God’s perfect provision in His Son would be given (cf. Heb 8:6-7). The new covenant was thus not an afterthought in God’s mind that became necessary because of the failure of the first. Rather, the new covenant was always necessary and in God’s plan, even before earthly history (cf. Eph 1:4). With the coming of Jesus and the establishing of the new covenant, the old covenant became obsolete (Heb 8:13). This does not make the OT Scripture obsolete, however, only the old covenant that was based on the Mosaic Law and its sacrificial system. Much of the OT revelation points toward Christ (see article on Christ in the Old Testament) and, as God’s inspired Word, contains much invaluable revelation that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (see article on The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture).
What is Regeneration?
Regeneration: An Overview
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jn 3:3)
In John 3:1-8, Jesus discusses a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith: spiritual birth, or regeneration. Without the new birth, one cannot see the kingdom of God, and receive eternal life and salvation through Jesus Christ. The following are important facts concerning the new birth.
(1) Regeneration is a re-creating of spiritual life in the human heart (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23-24) by God the Holy Spirit (John 3:6; Tit 3:5). Through this process, eternal life from God Himself is imparted to the believer’s heart (John 3:16; 2 Pet 1:4; 1 John 5:11), and he or she becomes a child of God (John 1:12; Rom 8:16-17; Gal 3:26) and a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17; Col 3:9-10).
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