The author of Hebrews has written much about the sacrifices (gifts) that Israel’s priests offered because of sin (evil deeds). But the purpose of sacrifice was not only to deal with sin. In fact, that was not even its main purpose.
The main purpose of sacrifice is to worship God. That is, to give honour to him. Christ is the perfect sacrifice for sin and no other sacrifice for sin is necessary or possible (Hebrews 10:14). We cannot bring another sacrifice for sin – but we must always worship God. Our duty to praise him will never end.
Everybody ought to worship God but in fact most people never do it. Christians worship God because they ‘confess his name’. In other words, they declare that they belong to God. He is their God, and they are his people. The result of this is a constant desire to worship God.
Christians do not, of course, offer animals as sacrifices, as Israel’s priests did. But Christians do offer their lives to serve God. Before God saved them, they were unholy. They were guilty of sin, and God would not accept an unholy gift. But now, because of Christ’s death, God has forgiven their sin. They have become his holy people; they belong to him (1 Peter 2:9). And because they are holy, their gifts please God (1 Peter 2:5).
Those gifts include their words, with which they praise God. And those gifts also include the good deeds and kind actions that they carry out to help other people (Hebrews 13:16). When Christians do such things, God is pleased.
Next part: Can our works please God? (Hebrews 13:16)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.