The good news Jesus brought to this sin sick world is just that, an opportunity to completely clear the record. This opportunity did not exist under the Old Covenant, as each year in the sacrifices made on the day of atonement, there was a reminder of sin (Heb. 10:3). Those sacrifices could not ultimately remove the guilt of sin from the worshipper (Heb. 10:4, 11). There was forgiveness in the Old Covenant (Lev. 4:27-35; esp. 31, 35), but the actual removal of their guilt was not exacted by the blood of the animals sacrificed (Heb. 10:4), but by the blood of Jesus Christ. Galatians 4:4 says “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…” Furthermore, in Hebrews 9:15 the author says explicitly that “…He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant…”
These passages prove the forgiveness granted under the Old Covenant was based on the sacrifice of “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). Flowing from this truth is the joy we have in knowing, unlike the constant reminder they had in their repetitious animal sacrifices, He does not remember our sins and lawless deeds anymore (Jer. 31:34; Heb. 8:12; 10:18). This knowledge should have a profound impact on our Christian lives. The discouragement that comes from being constantly reminded of yesterday’s folly is removed. We are empowered and emboldened to serve the Lord with a clear conscience (Heb. 7:18-19; 9:9-14). Because we know He does not dwell on our past, we are able to approach Him to obtain the strength He alone can supply (Heb. 4:14-16; 7:19; 10:19-23).
To obtain this confidence, we must continually come to Him in just the way He prescribes. This is the biblical meaning of faith. The author clearly states it is only those who possess an obedient faith who have the assurance of this salvation (Heb. 5:9). This means when we read the statement “…unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:5), or “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19), we faithfully turn from our sins. Likewise, when we read the statement “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 10:32), we faithfully own His magnificent name in the presence of all. And again, when we read the statement “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38), or “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16), we faithfully stop waiting, arise and submit to this simple act of faith. Finally, when we read the statement “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12), or “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10), we faithfully press on in His service even in the face of death. If we have this kind of faith, He will never remind us of our failed yesterdays. Is your record cleared?