Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 8

How God forgives

Hebrews 8:12

Many people feel fear when they hear about Godís law. And they are right to be afraid. God has declared his standards for our lives. But God is perfect in every way. So it is clear that nobody can achieve those standards. Nobody is perfect. We are all guilty of many wrong things that are against Godís law (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10).

That might not matter if God was not powerful. But it is clear that God is very powerful. It is he who created heaven and earth. Hebrews 12:18-21 describes how God gave his law. And even Moses, Godís servant, was afraid.

Also, it would not matter if God was not our judge. Or, if there was no punishment for people who do wrong things. But the author of Hebrews warns us that punishment is certain (Hebrews 2:3; Hebrews 12:25).

But Godís desire is not to punish us; he wants to save us. That is why he sent his Son. And that is why Jesus died. He died in order to suffer our punishment. He suffered instead of us (Hebrews 2:9).

It was on the mountain called Sinai that God gave his law to Moses. And on the same mountain, God told Moses that he desires very much to forgive people. God forgives every kind of wrong and evil deed. He does not want to be angry; he wants to show his love (Exodus 34:6-7). He will punish guilty people. But really, he wants them to change their attitudes so that he can forgive them (Ezekiel 18:23).

Godís words in Exodus 34:6-7 impressed David very much, and he used them in his own prayers (Psalm 86:15; Psalm 145:8). It mattered very much to David to know that God had forgiven him. David knew about his own evil deeds. And he knew that only God could forgive him (Psalm 51:3-4).

Each person needs to know that God has forgiven him. We may not have done the wrong things that David did. But we have all done things that are against Godís law. And we all deserve his punishment.

But the wonderful news is that God can forgive us because of Jesus. We must confess our wrong deeds to God. And we must invite him into our lives. Hebrews 9:14 explains what Jesus did by his death for us. He makes our conscience right. Because of Jesusí death, God can forgive all our evil deeds, and so we can serve him.

Next part: The end of the temple in Jerusalem (Hebrews 8:13)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.