Mercy to Unrighteousness
Hebrews 8:10-12
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind…

I. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THIS GRACE IS COVENANTED. IS it I, will each of us inquire, whom God means to include in a promise so cheering, so all-sufficient?

II. THE CONDITION IN WHICH IT SUPPOSES THEM TO BE. Throughout this covenant no mention is made of anything in man but guilt and ruin. The promise in my text obviously assumes such to be his condition. Man is in himself all unrighteousness, as it is written, "there is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10). Sorely there is nothing more suited to respire hope in the breast of an awakened sinner than the consideration of this truth. My sins, such an one may say, are exceeding great; but, thanks be to God, He who best knows them speaks to me of mercy I But it is long, in general, before an awakened sinner, though again and again God discover to him the vanity of all attempts to bring any deservings of his own, can be persuaded to go quite without hope or plea of any kind but this — Lord, I am a sinner, and Thou art a free Saviour. We dare not believe that grace is indeed so free, so unbounded, to those who will go to God in Christ.

III. GOD'S ENGAGEMENTS RELATIVE TO THIS CONDITION. "I will be merciful... I will remember no more." In these words God promises the removal of all kinds and degrees of sin.

1. Freely. "I will be merciful." This is both the reason with God for blessing, and the method by which He works upon the souls of His people; winning them from their natural enmity and distrust of Himself, by the effectual revelation of His mercy to them.

2. Eternally. "I will remember no more." Guilt makes the soul of the sinner fearful; he is ever recurring to the memory of his past sins, and he fears God does the same. He has had some momentary glimpses of mercy; but when the present sense of it is gone, conscience is afraid again; he is ready to suspect God of yet harbouring some latent feeling of resentment; fears the reconciliation has been partial, and that wrath, so deeply deserved, is ready to break out afresh on fresh provocation. But oh, blessed be God, this is indeed the way of men; but His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. Those whom He forgives freely, He forgives entirely, forgives eternally.

(Francis Goode, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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:

WEB: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Law and Love in the New Covenant
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