THE SUPERIORITY OF FAITH
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:14-
The Mosaic covenant which was delivered to the house of Israel from the flames and conflagration of Mt. Sinai could never do anything for the children of GOD but condemn them in their sin. This covenant was conditional in its nature and was never intended for any purpose other than to remind men of sin and thus serve as a contrast to that more perfect testament which was delivered in CHRIST. Because of its conditional nature and the innate sinfulness of men, it was of necessity temporary and its subjects ultimately cast away. “Because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” (Heb 8:9)
It was that Schoolmaster of which Paul speaks. “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” (Heb 10:1-
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Heb 10:4) That which is spiritual cannot be dealt with in a carnal fashion, nor can anything which is carnal minister spiritual life to dead sinners. This principle is at the heart of the LORD’s message to the Samaritan woman when HE said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-
If the law of Moses could have saved men then salvation would be by that law. “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (Gal 3:21) Man’s problem with sin is not external, therefore his sin cannot be cancelled by any carnal sacrifices or offerings. The outward sins of the flesh are but an indication of the principle of sin which is rooted in men by nature. These outward transgressions are trifling when compared to the far greater problem which is the natural man’s love and regard for them.
Any offering for sin which can “cancel” this sin must be applied therefore to the “conscience” as well as the satisfaction of the justice of a broken law, under which all men are made subject. “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” (Heb 7:19) It is only by the “gift of faith”, that a man can embrace this HOPE.
Under the “law” and embracing sin, a man can never be at peace with GOD. He is in that condition which Paul describes as, “alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works.” (Col 1:21) “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom 8:7) Thus in the mercy of GOD HE has revealed the giving of a “better covenant”, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Heb 8:10)
All of the righteousness by which the sons of GOD stand before HIM is that which is imputed to them by JESUS CHRIST. (see I Cor. 1:30) “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Eph 1:6) Therefore the standing of the elect with GOD has nothing at all to do with anything found in, foreseen, or produced by the sons of men. They were chosen “in CHRIST” and therein they stand forever, perfectly justified by HIM.
The scripture clearly tells us that the sons of GOD are “justified by faith” and not by the works of the flesh. This doctrine is often misconstrued to mean that GOD recognizes faith in those who believe and upon that basis HE justifies them. This is a perversion of the truth which on the one hand confirms the inability of man to be justified by his works but on the other reinforces the same concept by making the man’s “justification” conditional upon his action.
The “FAITH” which justifies the sons of GOD is CHRIST HIMSELF. HE is the FAITH of HIS elect. Because HE would be the SURETY of HIS elect who have transgressed HIS immutable law, HE has taken upon HIMSELF flesh and blood and suffered the just reward of their iniquity. In doing so HE has demonstrated HIS purpose to redeem them according to HIS own standard of justice (the soul that sinneth shall die) being both faithful to HIS own justice and their JUSTIFIER
Because HE is the TESTATOR (having died) and the EXECUTOR (because HE ever liveth)of HIS own will, it has pleased HIM to manifest the bestowal of HIS estate (which HE purchased with HIS own blood) upon HIS heirs in the fulfillment of that promise which is recorded in Jeremiah 31:33-
It is this “gift of faith”; wherein they are made to have a conscience void of offence, seeing HIM as that perfect fulfillment of all requirements to stand before the presence of GOD as those who are without sin. This could never occur with any of those offerings ordained by a carnal commandment. (see Heb.7:16)
1 Not all the blood of beasts On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace, Or wash away the stain.
2 But Christ, the heavenly Lamb, Takes all our sins away;
A sacrifice of nobler name And richer blood than they.
3 My faith would lay her hand On that dear head of thine;
While like a penitent I stand, And there confess my sin.
4 My soul looks back to see The burdens thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree, And hopes her guilt was there.
5 Believing, we rejoice To see the curse remove;
We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice, And sing his bleeding love.
#125 Gadsby’s Hymns by Isaac Watts
Thus they are manifested as the sons of GOD by faith in HIS blood. They count the blood of the covenant a HOLY THING, unlike those who follow HIM for a season, only to fall away, not having a conscience which is perfectly satisfied, but rather as those whose conscience is seared with a hot iron, despising the PERFECT OFFERING of CHRIST and going about to establish their own righteousness through the means of their religion or their supposed adherence and obedience to an external code of ethics of one sort or another. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” (Heb 10:23)