Thursday, December 17, 2015
How to Atone For Iniquity (Pr. 16:6)
Do you ever come across a verse, and you're not sure how it works? I've had plenty of those, and this verse is one of them:
6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
Proverbs 16 (logos.com)
When I read this, it almost seemed like it taught a works-salvation. It left me confused! I knew that man could not save himself. Certainly, I couldn't! All people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:22). There is no man on earth who continually does what is right and never sins (Ecc. 7:20). Yeshua Himself said that "there is no one good, except God alone." The Apostle Paul says, "Let God be found true, and every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4).
In seminary, I was introduced to the Hebrew phrase "lovingkindness and truth." It's made up from the words "chesed," meaning covenant love, loyalty, faithfulness, graciousness, godly action. The Hebrew word for "Truth" is "Emmet". Taken together, you have a name for God.
So how is truth applied to atone for sin? What is truth, if I might sound like Pilate? Scripture teaches Yhwh's Law is truth (Torah, Ps. 119:142). Yeshua said He was the truth (Jn. 14:6), and that Yah's word is truth (Jn. 17:14, 17). Y'shua is the word of God (Jn. 1:1-3) made flesh, that took up His Sukkah (feast of Sukkot ~ tabernacles/booths, Jn. 1:14) among us, perfectly fulfilling Torah (God's righteousness), not abolishing or nullifying it (Matt. 5:17-19) to become our propitiation, effectively atoning for our sins (Rom. 3:25).
That's how Prov. 16:6 works! Through Chesed and Emmet, Lovingkindness and Truth, iniquity is atoned for. It is the person of Y'shua haMashiach Himself.