Important clarification on Henry’s view
As I said to you in my last comment, there are some points of disagreement in your post in response to me that I would like to address. What you have done in your post in some way reflects the view to the ordinary reader that I have made unbiblical statements so I have highlighted these areas which I will then relate back to my original comment which you are responding to.
Here is the first point then:
Consequently, I can not agree with the comment, “Repentance and remission were thus obtained through ritual sacrifices, and of course it was God’s Grace to forgive Israel of their sins through the “mechanisms” of these practices”. Hebrews teaches that sacrifices were an annual reminder of sin. I don’t see a teaching in scripture that teaches remission of sins was accomplished through ritual sacrifices. Instead I see scripture teaching the opposite.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
It is through Christ only that there is remission of sin.
Let me ask you this: could Israel have obtained remission for sins without performing these ordinances which God had commanded them to do under the Covenant? My answer to that is NO! Not performing these ordinances as required by the Old Covenant would constitute rebellion to God and therefore sin! Have I not therefore qualified what I said in the above quote that repentance and remission were obtained through the “mechanisms” of these ordinances but that it was in fact God’s grace to forgive Israel of their sins? Maybe you misunderstood what I said but I most certainly did not state that the sacrifices took away sin in and of themselves BUT rather I stated categorically that it was through God’s Grace and that the sacrifices were just symbolic. By introducing Heb 10:4 into the equation though you changed the complexion of what I was trying to say. Or do you mean to imply that God did not forgive Israel when they performed the ordinances required on the Day of Atonement? Noting that these things merely foreshadowed that which was to be fulfilled in Chirst, which is why I said they were symbolic.
Anyway let’s look at the next point of disagreement:
Consequently I can not believe that the Spirit solely, “Under the Old Covenant therefore it was the Law (as opposed to the Spirit) that convicted man of sin”. For I see the Law working in the lives of people in both covenants.
Once again here you have given the impression that I have made an unbiblical statement. The case in point is that my emphasis was in the fact that under the Old Covenant it was the Law that convicted man of sin and not the Spirit. But you countered by saying that you see the Law working in the lives of people in both covenants. So what you have done here is to contradict something that I did not say. I never made reference to the fact that only the Spirit worked in the lives of people in the New Covenant. In fact if you had read my follow up comment to the first which you are responding to here you would have noted where I cited scripture to show that the righteousness of the Law was fulfilled in us in Christ. I am therefore not ignorant of the fact that the law works in us under the new covenant through Christ. This does not take away from the truth that it is the Spirit that convicts man of sin (since the law is now written upon our hearts). Though this was not the point I was making.
The last point of contention is as follows:
Consequently again, I can not solely believe the idea that, “Under this [Old] Covenant however, Jesus had not yet gone to Calvary”. The world saw it manifest this way and would conclude this, but we understand it to be done before the world began. The manifestation was accomplished around 33 AD just as Jesus said on the cross, but our Savior died for us before the world began.
Dave again here you appear to give the impression that I have made an unbiblical statement. The fact that Jesus was a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world DOES NOT conflict with the Biblical fact that at the time of the Old Covenant He had not yet gone to Calvary. Or do you mean to imply that He was slain at Calvary from the foundations of the world? For me to say that “Jesus had not yet gone to Calvary” or that “the manifestation at Calvary” had not been fulfilled at the time amounts to the same thing. As far as human history was concerned Calvary had not yet taken place. Moreover Israel was ignorant of the fact that Jesus was a Lamb slain from the foundations of the world. This was only revealed in the New Covenant.
I might be wrong here but to me it appears that you are saying that Israel possessed the revealed knowledge of Christ under the Old Covenant, which we now have in the New Covenant. Of course Israel did not already possess the revealed knowledge of Christ until it was given to them in the New. Hence when I treat the subject of the Old Covenant I speak in terms of their ignorance.