(Article for publication week of 10-24- AD 2012)
“Who (God the Son) being the brightness of His (God the Father‘s) glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself, purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
What can be done about your sins? This is the test of the worth of any religion, how does it teach us to deal with our sins? If your religion cannot tell you how your sins may be dealt with, it is worthless and vain.
The Bible tells us how a Christian’s sins are dealt with. They have been purged by the saving agency of Christ, and atoned for by His propitious death. Christ has made a full atonement for the believer’s sins, and they are no more charged to his account.
There is nothing else that can ever purge our sins, but the atoning death of Christ. A sinner could spend a million years in hell, and the fires of hell would never purge him from his sins. This is the reason that guilty sinners must spend eternity in hell, because their sins and the guilt incurred thereby cannot be taken away by the punishment of hell. A sinner could cry an ocean of tears of repentance, and that would not purge him from his sins. Indeed, a broken heart, and a contrite spirit are evidences of a gracious state, but sorrow for sin will not take away sin. None of the Old Testament animal sacrifices ever purged one sin. Those typical sacrifices only pointed men to the True Lamb of God who would purge His people’s sins. Rites and rituals can never purge our sins. But what none of these things could ever do, Christ accomplished by His death burial and resurrection. Christ is the only One and the only Way, and the only Agency that can ever purge you of your sins. This is the reason you must look to Him Alone for your salvation.
Now notice with me that the text this week says that Christ purged our sins “by Himself.” This was a work that only Christ could perform in the way that God’s Wisdom had ordained our salvation. According to God’s will and purpose it was only the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was both God and Man, Who could take care of our sin problem. Note well that our verse this week plainly declares the Deity of Christ. He was the very brightness of the Father’s Glory, and His express Image. He as God, who created all things, upholds all things by His sovereign power. This unique Person, the Eternal and Coequal Son of God was the only Person that God’s wisdom and purpose designed to be a sin bearer, and as One Who could purge our sins. This was a work that Christ did by Himself. Man’s efforts can contribute nothing to the work that has been accomplished by Christ. Our text says that Christ “purged” our sins (past tense). Nothing can be added to the work of Christ, and praise the Lord nothing can be taken away from it!
This is the way that God justifies a poor guilty, bankrupt sinner. He sent His Son to make a full atonement by His death, and thereby purge our sins. They’re all taken away! The believer’s sins are all taken away! Our text declares that Christ finished this work, for He has now sat down at His Father’s right hand. Christ has left nothing incomplete in this work. There is nothing for a sinner to do, but believe this glorious gospel and rejoice in Christ who has taken away our guilt by purging our sins. That will do to ride the river with.