Dr. John Hartmann

Proclaiming the Whole Counsel of God

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Jesus the Sin-Offering – Drawing Near to God

May 2nd, 2010 · No Comments

In this study Dr. Hartmann begins with 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, which deals with God’s work of reconciling the world to Himself through Christ and His Cross. Our teacher then deals with the enigmatic expression in 2 Corinthians 5:21, which states that the sinless Christ, in His death, became “sin” on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Throughout the Old Testament the Hebrew word chattat is translated primarily in one of two ways, depending on context: either as “sin” or “sin-offering”. A survey of several texts demonstrates how these two alternate translations appear throughout the Old Testament. Dr. Hartmann then discusses how the translators of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament much in use in the time the New Testament was written) translated the Hebrew chattat into Greek, sometimes using only the Greek word hamartia (normally translated “sin” in English) in contexts where the obvious meaning was “sin-offering”. This leads to a suggested translation of 2 Corinthians 5:21: God made Christ, Who knew no sin, a “sin-offering” on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Our study closes with some practical applications drawn out of an overview of Hebrews 10:1-25. Jesus’ death fulfills the Old Testament sin-offering and opens the way for us to draw near to God, the veil into the Most Holy Place having been rent in the sacrifice of His body on the Cross. Our teacher then deals with how to draw near to God, through Jesus’ Blood, which is spelled out in Hebrews 10:22: 1) with a sincere heart, 2) with full assurance of faith, 3) having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, 4) having our bodies washed with pure water.

On a practical level this study offers insight into Jesus being the sin-offering, laying a foundation for faith that His Blood truly removes sin for every repentant person who will come to God through Him.

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