In Hebrews 10:15-18 the author refers again to the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah. Under that arrangement God would transform his people from the inside rather than force behavior by means of rewards and punishments through laws written on stone tablets.  In reciting this Old Testament passage, the author gives credit to the Holy Spirit as an additional witness to the Hebrews of Jesus’ legitimacy as seen in the prophetic passages of the Old Testament. Hebrews 10:15-18 says, “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.’ Then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

The Old Testament sacrificial system did not clear our consciences nor wipe our slate clean once and for all. It was a futile practice of a repetitive ritual that availed the participant nothing more than a temporary reprieve that had to be repeated daily, monthly and annually. But according to the Holy Spirit, the New Covenant, promised within the pages of the Old Covenant, would be one that removed our sins totally, even from God’s memory! What an exciting message for those living under the dirge of the law. Guzik says, “The forgiveness is so complete that God can say that He doesn’t even remember our sins in light of the new covenant! The Christian must endeavor to do with their sin exactly what God has done: forget about it. As well, this reminds us that the believer is in no way on probation. Before God, past sin has no bearing on God’s present dealing.”[1]

Many of us still struggle with the idea of being on probation with God. In Christ he has given us a second chance but is keeping his eye on us closely to make sure we don’t mess up again. He’s even referred to occasionally as “The God of the Second Chance.” Forget it! That’s what the old system regarding the blood of bulls and goats provided. That’s what my weekly confessions gave me, but that’s not what God gives me in Christ. Under the old system you can have as many chances as you want and you fail every one of them. Jesus brings the once and for all sacrifice to God on our behalf and God chooses to “remember our sins no more.” Sam Storms writes, “You and I certainly remember our sins and evil deeds, all too often! We can’t shake free from them. They nag at our hearts and haunt us and torment us and oppress our souls. There is a constant piercing of the conscience. And the only way to break free from that remembrance is to remind ourselves that God does not remember!” (See God does not remember our sins and lawless deeds because He chooses not to remember and hold them against us, not because He’s forgetful.

[1] David Guzik, Hebrews, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Santa Barbara, CA: David Guzik, 2013), Heb 10:11–18.