Chapter 10:15-18 (ESV) - 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.
Question to consider: If all of our sins are forgiven, why do we still confess them?
The author is right in pointing out that the prophecy given to Jeremiah (along with all scripture) was from none other than the Holy Spirit. This is why we can stitch together 66 books from many different authors over the span of several thousand years and get a cohesive whole. It is true that there are issues related to scripture which have served to divide the church into several denominations, but honestly, if you compare scripture with scripture and consider the historical, textual, and biblical context of the passages you are studying, you will come up with a very consistent theology. The difficulty is when someone takes their desired doctrine to the text and tries to make it say what they want it to say. Maybe it’s influenced by political dogma or a desire to derive a personal application from the text, but generally when someone comes up with a “new” way of looking at a passage, chances are they will be the one in error. The key is to humble ourselves before God and ask Him to change us by His word, even when it hurts to do so.
The word “also” in “the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us” is saying that in addition to Christ’s declaration that He would do all that the Father wills instead of disobeying and having to offer sacrifices, we have the Holy Spirit speaking through Jeremiah saying that Christ’s faithfulness would usher in an everlasting covenant where no other offering for sin would be needed. Christ’s action paid the penalty for all of our sins whether past or future. This is why the earthly temple was destroyed. Without the need for animal sacrifices, we no longer needed the temple. In fact, anyone who says that the temple needs to be rebuilt doesn’t understand Hebrews chapter 6 which warned that going back to the sacrificial system would be like crucifying Jesus all over again.
We still confess our sins because we are still being made holy (sanctified) in our faith. Until we go home to be with Christ, and He has perfected our faith, we will still struggle with sin and want to confess it so that we may receive absolution and be reassured that we have been made right with God. It is healing for our souls according to James, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16)
Heavenly Father, we confess to you that we have sinned against you in our thoughts, words, and actions. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. We are truly sorry for our sins and desire to do better and grow closer to you. For the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us and renew us to that we may delight in doing what pleases you and bring honor to your name. Amen.