15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Jesus fulfilled all conditions necessary for being right with God (vv. 15–18). These verses introduce another biblical proof from Jeremiah. This is further evidence of the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. These verses enact the promise of the New Covenant. This action terminated the Mosaic Covenant.
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us;
The Holy Spirit was the author for the following quote from Jeremiah 31. The Bible always attributes inspiration of Scripture to the Holy Spirit.
for after He had said before,
Hebrews now quotes a portion of the New Covenant from Jeremiah 31:31–34.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,
The New Covenant was no afterthought with God. It has been a matter of prophecy since the days of Jeremiah. God makes the New Covenant with the church according to the words of the Holy Spirit in the previous verse. Since God launched the New Covenant, the Old Covenant is rendered obsolete.
says the Lord:
Verses 16 and 17 are a quote from Jeremiah 31:33, 34. Hebrews 8 quotes the entire citation, but this passage omits certain sections of the passage.
I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds
Redeeming grace finds its source in the revelation of the eternal counsel of God.
I will write them,”
The Holy Spirit will write the dynamics of the New Covenant on the hearts of New Testament believers.
then He adds,
God gives a word of assurance to believers.
“Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
The Greek has a double negative here, making an emphatic negative statement. God will never remember their sins or lawless deeds. He promised to forget the sins we committed. The sacrificial work of Christ was so sufficient that God will never bring up our sins to us again.
“Remember no more” does not mean that God has the capacity to forget but that He will not attribute the penalty for sin to the believer.
Now where there is remission of these,
This verse brings us to the climax of the contrast between Mosaic sacrifices and the final, full sacrifice of Christ. He fulfilled all the demands of the law by Himself.
there is no longer an offering for sin.
The New Covenant means there is no further need for any more sacrifice for sins. Sin always incurs a debt that requires redemption. Sin alienates us from God. Jesus met that problem for remitting the sins of the one who believes on Him; He permanently reconciled us to God.
Jesus sits permanently in the place of supreme power on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit bore testimony to the validity of the New Testament. The blood of Christ is superior to and takes precedence over animal sacrifices of the Old Testament. Since Christ sits in the place of supreme power, there is nothing further to be done on our behalf. There is an abiding efficacy of His work for us. We are joint heirs with Him for all eternity. The Old Covenant put people in bondage, but the New Covenant gives us liberty because we have the assurance that Christ did all that was necessary for our salvation. His work was perpetually effectual.
There is no need for the Christian to ask for forgiveness, because he already has it. We claim forgiveness for our daily sin because of what Christ did on the cross (1 Jn 1:9; 2:1).
Sin incurs debt to God. Only forgiveness can relieve us of that debt, making us no longer aliens to God. Jesus paid the debt of our sin by dying on the cross.
It is wrong to constantly remember the sins of our past, because God Himself has forgotten them. Why drag out the skeletons in the closet to review what they represent when they should be buried and done away with?