“He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.”

Hebrews 10:9

In this 10th chapter of Hebrews the Holy Spirit shows us the purpose of God in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He declares that the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the only sin-atoning High Priest there is. The whole chapter is a declaration of the fact that the Son of God has finished His work of redemption and has perfectly fulfilled all that portrayed Him and His work in the Old Testament. That is the doctrine of Hebrews 10.

      First, God gave Israel the law, the priesthood, the tabernacle, the sacrifices, and the services of that carnal age, by which they might know and worship Him in type and imagery until Christ came. Then Christ came to do the will of God, to do what those things could only portray and typify, to accomplish the redemption and salvation of God’s elect. Thus, He took away the first that he might establish the second (Hebrews 10:9-22).

      Our blessed Redeemer took away the old ceremonies, sacrifices, priesthood, and ordinances of carnal worship, when He came to do the will of God. While they lasted, those things were good. “The law is holy, and just, and good.” During that age of legal, ceremonial worship, those things were both useful and good. But when Christ came, He took them away. He took them away because they were no longer needed. The types served their purpose; but now Christ has come. Who needs a picture? The God-man Himself is here! The Savior is present with us.

Christ took those things away because the observance of those things now are forbidden. God destroyed the temple, the altar, the priesthood, the ark, the mercy-seat, every particle of law and the carnal worship of that age to keep us from returning to legality, and to keep us from ritualism and idolatry. The destruction of every particle of the Old Testament legal system is a declaration that redemption’s work is done! Christ has finished the work. If we still had those carnal implements of worship, they would only take our minds off of our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:10-23). When our Lord Jesus took away the types, He brought in and established something far better. He brought in real, perfect, complete, everlasting atonement (Daniel 9:24).

      He took away the first that He might establish the second; and this is far, far better. The first was good; but God saved the best until last. Once we have seen Christ, we do not miss Aaron. Once we have experienced the simplicity of the Gospel, we never pine for the complexity and bondage of the law. If ever a sinner enters into the holy place, he will not wish to re-hang the veil! No one who has experienced the liberty and freedom of grace will ever return to the bondage and terror of the law (Galatians 5:1-4).

      Here the Holy Spirit gives us both a word of assurance and a word of warning. — “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” The assurance is this. — Justice is satisfied! Redemption is accomplished! Sin is pardoned! But, be sure you hear the warning. We dare not seek to re-establish any ordinance of the law, lest we build again that which God has cast down. We dare not seek to establish any ordinance of worship which God has not established in His Word, lest we be guilty of idolatry. We dare not tolerate any notion that the second can fail. — “He shall not fail!” His blood shall not fail to atone! His righteousness shall not fail to satisfy! His intercession shall not fail to prevail! His grace shall not fail to save!









Don Fortner



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