The message we hear from the Grace movement is that Jesus forgave past, present, and future sins by quoting this verse:
Hebrews 10 ““This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
But is that true? Let us read the rest of the passage and other parts of the epistle:
Hebrews 10 “26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment “
So the writer told believers that they could deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth.
In the context, the willful sin is unbelief.
So clearly, a believer could stop believing and be judged.
Also we see another warning here about sanctification/holiness because without it the believer would not be saved:
Hebrews 12 “14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.”
The sanctification/holiness is not “faith” in Jesus alone. But he is clearly writing about behavior/obedience to the commandments of God.
We see Paul warning believers here about the need for sanctification:
1 Thessalonians 4 “3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
Clearly, Paul warns believers to be sanctified by repenting from sins and that if they rejected God who gave them the Holy Spirit, then they would be judged.
You see then that the New Covenant has two parts:
– Forgiveness of past sins committed as an unbeliever under the law.
– Power to obey the law by overcoming present and future sins
Hebrews 9 “15 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.”
The sins committed under the old covenant were forgiven.
But the believer was commanded to stop sinning after they entered the new covenant so that they fulfilled the law.
The law was written in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Otherwise if they disobeyed then even the blood of Christ would not save them after they rejected the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 6 “7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
It is because the New Covenant has two commands:
– Believe in Jesus to be forgiven of past sins of the law
– Love one another to be perfect like Jesus in fulfilling the law.
1 John 3 “23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
The 1st commandment was to receive the Holy Spirit by grace through faith, and not works.
The 2nd commandment was to be obeyed after receiving the Holy Spirit. That is how they fulfilled the perfect law by loving others like Jesus – to be perfectly sinless and righteous by grace through faith.
If God gave a commandment, it was not optional.
Every commandment has a reward and punishment.
This is why Jesus would judge them according to works.
Romans 2 ” 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism…..16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”
Nobody could be saved by works in the flesh.
That is why they needed grace that forgave past sins and gave them the power to repent from present/future sins.
You see this is why Jesus came to fulfill the law and commanded them to also follow Him and fulfill the law to be saved.
Matthew 5 “17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. “
Romans 13 “8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
James 2 “8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”
The New Covenant was the forgiveness of sins under the law and then the power to obey the law.
You see how nobody is preaching the New Covenant today.
It is because the law does not exist today.
Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
The law ended in AD70 and Jesus never came back to judge the world. The Bible ended.
There is no sin today because the law does not exist.
Jesus removed the law and sin. The entire world is righteous.
Romans 4:15 “Where there is no law, there is no transgression”
God will never judge anyone.
God is unconditional love.