God wrote the finished work in your heart.

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One of the most misunderstood teachings of the Christian church today is that God has written the Torah or the 10 commandments into our hearts. We point to Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts,  and I will write them on their minds.” It is pertinent to note that the person speaking these words is the Holy Spirit.

What we may not notice is that the writer of Hebrews misquotes Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lordlaw and write it on their hearts.”

I have always wondered why. In Hebrews God puts his laws (plural) in their hearts (not minds) and in Jeremiah God puts in his law (singular) in their minds (not hearts). I had always wondered if this is semantics.

If we try to understand Hebrews 10 you would note that Jesus is saying it was the law which demanded for sacrifices for sins and not God. This is what he says

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’”

You would note that he was quoting Psalm 40:

Psalm 40:6-8

New International Version (NIV)

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened[a]
    burnt offerings and sin offerings[b] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.[c]
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

Again you would note the difference in the Old Testament and the New. In the Old it speaks about having ears opened and in the New having a body prepared for Jesus. First let us look at the Old and see the meaning of having “ears opened” or more precisely having “ears pierced”.

Here is Psalm 40 in the Jewish New Testament:

Tehillim 40:6-8

Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

6 (7) Zevach and minchah Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou pierced [cf Psa 22:17]; olah (burnt offering) and chata’ah (sin offering) hast Thou not required.

7 (8) Then said I, Hinei, I come; in the megillat sefer it is written of me [cf MJ 10:5-7],

8 (9) I delight to do Thy will, O Elohai; yea, Thy torah is within my heart.

Exod 21:1-6 (ESV)

“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”

If, upon the year of Jubilee, the slave did not wish to be free, if his love for his Master and family was so great he refused his freedom, then he was to be taken to a door-post (probably that of his Master) and his ear bored through with an awl.  The bored ear symbolised his commitment to his Master (an ear ever open and devoted to his commands).  He made himself a slave for life, forever.

The ‘opened ear’,  as in Isa 50, is a signal of dependence, but ‘opened’ also means ‘digged’ or ‘bored’; as in Ex 21 where it is a symbol of devotion; an ear ever open to obey.   It spoke of one who rejoiced in God’ will, who had this will engraved on his heart.  For him sacrifice and service was never merely duty, but delight.  He did the things that pleased his father because he loved him.  His meat, that which nourished his being, was to do obey.  He would hear no will but the will of the One who sent him (Jn 6:38).  And he came voluntarily.  He entered voluntarily into bond-slavery and did so forfeiting complete freedom.  Being in the form of God he took the form of a bondslave for this was his father’s will.

The question is therefore: “What has all this got to do with ‘a body you prepared for me?’”. It is important that Jesus chose deliberately to be our bondslave. However, the manner he did this is to remain a man. Why a body?

We have spoken about Jesus having obeyed his Father in the capacity of the perfect man. Recently I wrote on this. I said “We have this idea that God would separate himself because your “sins” will defile him. Hence we think he moves away from you when you sin. The truth is this. Sin is afraid of God. It becomes totally annihilated when it comes in the presence of God. Adam proved that. Peter proved that. They could not stand the presence of God. 

Here lies the problem sin is in us. If God dwells in us fully we also will be totally annihilated. The good news in the Old Testament is this. God sees you and sin separately. Your sins can be “transferred” to a lamb or a goat. 

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. The way that is done is that all your sins are transferred into the Body of Jesus on the cross. That is why the Bible says this.

Hebrews 10:5
“When Christ came into the world, he said to God,

“Sacrifices and offerings
are not what you want,
but you have given me
my body”

My body. 

Paul further explains this by stating;

Romans 8:5
God set you free when he sent his own Son to be like us sinners and to be a sacrifice for our sin. God used Christ’s body to condemn sin.

Since God transferred all of your sins onto the body of Jesus and condemned sin, there is no condemnation for you anymore. Today God’s presence is constantly with you. He is resident in you through the Holy Spirit. He lives in you. Your sins have been taken away once and for all. 

Hebrews 10: 11-14
The priests do their work each day, and they keep on offering sacrifices that can never TAKE AWAY sins. But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. Now he is sitting at God’s right side, and he will stay there until his enemies are put under his power. By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.

That is why Jesus came in the form of the flesh, likeness of sinful flesh. God does not condemn you because God has ALREADY condemned sin in the body of Jesus.”

The issue then “if God had condemned sin in his body, why then does Jesus remain in his body?”  My answer is this: It is because the resurrection is for our justification. This means my sins are ALREADY ONCE AND FOR ALL CONDEMNED in the body of Jesus. The resurrection of that body goes to show that ALL MY SINS ARE ALREADY CONDEMNED. The fact that there is now a man who has a body who sits at the right hand of the Father speaks to all creation, my sins have absolutely been purified. (Hebrews 1:3). That is how he becomes my holiness, my righteousness and my redemptio (1 Corinthians 1:30)

Hence one must understand that your righteousness is not your obedience towards the Torah and the Law that is placed is your heart is not the Law of Moses. It is actually the leading of the Holy Spirit. If you note in Hebrews 10 a whole part of Jeremiah 31:3-4 is not quoted. “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.”

This is simply just replaced by “the Holy Spirit adds”. In others the words  ““No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord”” simply means the workings and the leading of the Holy Spirit. As such the Law that Jeremiah speaks about is not the same Laws the Spirit imprints in your hearts. The Law in Jeremiah is placed into the mind and written in the hearts. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.” The Laws in Hebrews 10 are placed in our hearts then written in our minds: “I will put my laws in their hearts,  and I will write them on their minds.”

Notice in Jeremiah it is Law (singular) and in Hebrews it is Laws (plural). It is placed in the mind then written in the heart in Jeremiah. In Hebrews it is placed in the heart and then written in our minds.

God did not put the Law of Moses into your mind (Jeremiah 33:13), he put the Laws of the Life and Spirit into your hearts. (Hebrews 10:16).

Hebrews 10:5 
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”[a]

See how it is quoted from 
Psalm 40:6-8
Living Bible (TLB)
6 It isn’t sacrifices and offerings that you really want from your people. Burnt animals bring no special joy to your heart. But you have accepted the offer of my lifelong service.[a] 7 Then I[b] said, “See, I have come, just as all the prophets foretold. 8 And I delight to do your will, my God, for your law is written upon MY heart!”

Notice Psalm 40 is written about Jesus. The Law of Moses was written on Jesus’ heart not your heart.

The laws of God which are written in your heart is not written into your hearts because of your obedience. The law stated in Psalm 40 is actually written in the heart of Jesus. He fulfilled the will of God on the cross. That law is the Law of Moses. The laws God placed into your heart is the finished work of Jesus. He sets aside (the law of Moses) and establishes the second (the finished work of Jesus) into your hearts.

Hebrews 10.
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The laws God writes in your heart now is “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus once and for all.” We are now led by the Spirit not by the law of Moses or the Law of Conscience.

 

It is in your hearts not because your mind condescends and understands the 10 commandments. It is in your heart because God changed your nature. God took your heart and changed it with Jesus’ heart. It is then you changed. Hence that is how it is thereafter written in your mind. In Jeremiah, the obedience is placed in your mind (behavior) and then written in your heart (nature), you try to change your nature through your behavior. In Hebrews the nature (heart) changes the behavior (the mind). 

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi, in regard to the actual difference between the verse in the Old Testament regarding “a body hast Thou prepared Me” This is how it is translated in the Septuagint Old Testament, and the Septuagint is the version the Apostle quotes from. Our Old Testament isn’t translated from the Septuagint, but from the Massoretic text which reads: “Mine ears hast Thou opened.” So, the Book of Hebrews AGREES with the Septuagint, but NOT with the Massoretic version. Thanks.

  2. Maggie Romero says:

    I wish you would do one of these teachings on the correction of God. Very controversial subject as some believe afflictions and persecutions are from God. Thanks — I appreciate the postings. M

  3. Maggie Romero says:

    A Million thanks for the finished work in your heart, specifically the part about the open ear! Maggie

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