Message:  The past few chapters have contrasted the sacrifices made under the first covenant of the law, with the final ultimate sacrifice Jesus made under the new covenant. The author of Hebrews has shown us that while the system of the law provided a way for their sin debt to be paid for, it didn’t have the power to cleanse the heart from sin. Because the law was a rule keeping system with expensive consequences this system was effective at reducing blatant sin from being repeated often. Kind of like our laws of government. You can rack up some debt if you constantly get traffic tickets so people obey the laws to keep from getting a ticket. This by no means changes our heart or attitude towards the rules or even our government. In fact, we tend to resent the people who enforce those rules. This is what makes the new covenant so beautiful and different. With the debt of all of our sins paid for, past, present and future we don’t have to deal with the expense and the burden of paying for our sin like they did with the old covenant. Jesus paid for it already, but this is not a free pass to do whatever we want. The focus has now shifted to cleansing our hearts of sin. Not just abstaining from it. This is something that wasn’t possible in the old covenant because they were not filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to lead them into truth and cleanse their hearts. In previous chapters of Hebrews we read that repeating our sin was like sending Jesus back to the cross. Obviously that doesn’t happen physically and we know this, but in an unrepentant mindset of sin this is what we are doing when we don’t take seriously the expense that was paid for our sin. In Hebrews 10 the author takes this even further by saying that if we deliberately continue in our sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins. The author basically says, ‘you think the punishment for dying without mercy in the law of Moses was bad?- How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and insulted the Spirit of grace?’ He warns us that judgment will come. This is confusing because we talk about not judging people right? We don’t have the righteousness to judge each other but in his mercy God gave us all the opportunity to judge ourselves before the time of his judgment comes. If we don’t take the opportunity to judge ourselves while we are under his grace we are in danger because God said “Vengeance is mine. I will repay. The Lord will judge his people.” God’s grace paid for our sin, and that expensive gift comes with tremendous responsibility. When we accepted his sacrifice for our sin debt, we also traded in our “right” to rule our own lives. We are indebted to him and we belong to him. He is a good God with good plans for us but we cannot forget that he is serious about sin and he requires our obedience.

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