AN UNALTERABLE LAW Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
June 5, 2008
AN UNALTERABLE LAW Part 1
The scripture I am going to use today is Hebrews 9:19-22: “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law, almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”
For the text, I will use the last phrase: "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." -- Hebrews 9:22
Back when God required sacrifices from His people, blood could be seen throughout the Tabernacle. It was one of the main things in the Jewish religion; there was hardly a ceremony that was observed without it. You couldn’t enter into any part of the tabernacle, without seeing traces of the sprinkled blood. Sometimes there were bowls of blood thrown at the foot of the altar. The place must have looked like a shambles, and anyone who was glad to be there must have had great spiritual understanding and a lot of faith. The slaughter of animals was the method of worship, and the blood that fell on the floor, on the curtains, and on the robes of the priests, was always there.
When Paul says that almost all things were, “under the law, purged with blood,” he alludes to a few things that were not purged by blood. For example, garments worn by men were usually cleaned with water, and so was clothing and articles made of skins or goat's hair, while other things that were made of metal, were purified by fire. Nevertheless, Paul refers to a literal fact, when he says that almost all things, garments being the only exception, were purged, under the law, with blood. Then he states a general truth, that there was never any pardoning of sin, except by blood. There’s only one case of bloodless sacrifice that’s described in the Bible. The Trespass Offering is referred to in Leviticus 5:11. It permits in extreme cases of excessive poverty, for a bloodless offering. If a man was too poor to bring an offering from the flock, he was to bring two turtledoves or young pigeons; but if he was too poor even for that, he might offer the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering, and it was cast upon the fire. That’s the one solitary exception. In every other instance where sin had to be removed, blood must flow. Today, there are no exceptions that can be made for any man or woman, and there never will be, since "Without shedding of blood, there is no remission."
I am thankful that—
I. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS REMISSION OF SINS
That will be our first point—THERE IS SUCH A THING AS REMISSION OF SINS. It should be clear by now that "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." Blood has been shed, and we have hope. The word remission means the putting away of debts. Just as sin may be regarded as a debt owed to God, sins may be blotted out, canceled, and obliterated. Whatever the sin is, it will be forgiven, if the offender repents. Unrepented sin is unforgivable sin. But, someone said isn’t there "a sin which is unto death?"
I don’t know what it is because there are so many differing views among preachers that I’ve become confused about it. But I have been able to discover something about it. It seems clear, that the sin is unforgivable because the person never repented of it. What’s more, when God forgives a person for a sin he’s committed, a pardon is given in an instant; the moment that a sinner believes in Jesus he is forgiven and pardoned. The pardon of a sinner is granted at once, and it’s given you in such a way that you will never lose it. Once you’re forgiven, you will be forgiven for ever, and none of the consequences of sin will plague your life.
I will add just one more remark before we go on to the second point. When you’re forgiven, you can know it.
Ten thousand sins of the worst type can be taken away in only a moment, for he delights in giving mercy.
The Bible says, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, but had rather that he turn unto me and live."
I love what our text has shown me, that there is no remission, except with blood; but there is remission, for the blood has been shed.
The second point is close to the first:--
II. THOUGH THERE IS PARDON FROM SIN, IT IS NEVER WITHOUT BLOOD.
There’s no doubt about it; it is your duty to repent of your sin. If you have disobeyed God, you should be sorry for it. But let me say something you may never have heard before; that all the repentance in the world cannot blot out the smallest sin. If you had only one sinful thought cross your mind, and you would grieve over that thought for as long as you live, the stain of that sin could not be removed even by the agony it cost you. There is no atoning power in repentance. Without the blood-shedding, there is no remission.
There are some who say that reformation is all you need. They will tell you that all you have to do to be forgiven is to turn your life around and stop doing sinful things. I wish that was true, but the truth is—debts already owed are not paid for by our not getting further into debt, and past sins are not forgiven because of future good behavior. So sin is not diminished by reforming yourself. If you could change yourself (although I don’t think that’s possible) you couldn’t atone to God for the sins of the past. Then, what can we do?
There are those who think that their prayers will do something for them. But I am sorry to say, there is no amount of prayer that will blot out sin. All the prayers of all the Christians on earth, and, if the saints in heaven could all join in, all their prayers could not blot out the sin of a single evil word. Prayer by itself can never blot out the sin, without the blood. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission," no matter how much you pray.
Jesus Christ himself cannot save us, apart from his blood. And the holiness of Jesus can’t do it, and the life of Jesus can’t do it, and the death of Jesus can’t do it, only the blood of Jesus can do it; for "Without shedding of blood there is no remission."
We must see Christ upon the cross, or we never can be saved. "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." "We preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness." I’ll say it again because it’s so vitally important: "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission," not even with Christ himself. It’s the sacrifice that he has offered for us, that is the means of doing away with our sin--this, and nothing else. I’ll continue with that thought as we consider the third point: