For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. ~ Hebrews 10:1-2
Quite simply, what these verses mean is that the old law system in particular, the days of atonement, could neither perfect man in the sight of God, nor cleanse his guilt ridden mind. In other words, the sin issue was left unfinished and man was tasked with the responsibility of keeping himself temporarily forgiven through partaking in the annual blood sacrifices. This system was not only temporary, but in the grand scheme of things, weak and unprofitable! For the law made nothing perfect; nor would it allow man to draw near to God. (Heb. 7:18-19) It was a system based on outward observance, ripe with symbolism, designed to point directly at the coming Messiah! Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) The One who would fulfill the law on man’s behalf, (Romans 8:4), and usher in a new and superior covenant based on better promises. (Heb. 8:6) In other words, the One who would provide the 100% eternal forgiveness of man; thus putting an end to the old system for good! (Heb. 10:10-14).
My friends, are you living in the substance of God’s forgiveness which is Christ Himself and His finished work? Or, are you merely existing in the shadow of a system? 1 John 1:9 was written to those that outright refused John’s testimony concerning Christ! In other words, the verse was written for and to non-believers! Brethren, if you are applying this verse to your life, you are placing yourself under the old system; and as a result, directly under law; essentially stepping back into the days of atonement and the temporary appeasement of God. We are New Testament, new covenant believers, and we are a forgiven people! And the highest honor we can give the Father is to offer up the praise of thanksgiving for the fact that we are eternally cleansed and forgiven! Amen!
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. ~ Heb. 10:19-23
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. ~ Heb. 4:9-11
George L. Miller
P.S. If you are having difficulty trying to understand these things, just ask the Father for guidance, and read Hebrews chapters 7 through 10. Please feel free to ask me or my wife any questions that you may have pertaining to this subject! And may we all learn that to rest is to grow in the perfect love of God our Father!