Hebrews10:16-18 -----Doesn't this contradict the Sacrament of Penance?


Can someone explain what these verses, Hebrews10:16-18, mean?

16 And this is the testament which I will make unto them after those days, saith the Lord. I will give my laws in their hearts and on their minds will I write them: 17 And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. 18 Now, where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin.

Many protestants will say these verses just help support their belief that Christ died for all sins at once, forgiving all sins at once, and that all you have to do is believe in Him and your future sins are forgivin.

Doesn’t this contradict the Sacrament of Penance? What are these verses saying? You may have to read previous verses as well.


I notice the verses in question do not say how these things will be accomplished.

Why not via the sacrament of penance?



Firstly, the author of Hebrews is writing to the Jewish believers, talking to them about the sacrifices of the Law of Moses and the means that provided for the remission of sins. He is not addressing the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. It’s a long stretch to force these verses to say that he is.

Secondly, he says nothing about future sins at all. He is discussing the way sins used to be remitted under the Law of Moses, and how the way given in the Law of Moses is now superseded by the one sacrifice of Christ.

Thirdly, Christ established the sacrament of penance as a part of the New Covenant. It replaced the old system of offering individual sacrifices on the altars by Jewish priests, which is what he is also talking about.

Also, taking verses out of context to force them to say what they don’t is a grave sin, which, sadly, some of our Protestant friends seem unaware of.


Ask them to point to a sinless Protestant.


First, there is no verse that says you don’t have to repent of your future sins. All sins can be forgiven if you bring them to Christ with repentance. True repentance involves atonement. We apply the atoning power of the Cross when we exercise charitable acts (1 Pt 4:8). Only Christ’s sacrifice can atone for sins, so it is His suffering we effect in our works in Him that atones and is salvific (1 Pt 4:13).


If I believe in Santa Claus, will he bring me presents?

Of course not—because believing in a falsehood doesn’t make it so.

The Bible is rife with answers to the question, “How will we be saved?” Christ himself answered the question very differently, and the passage oft-quoted by OSAS advocates - “Believe in him who He sent” - implies rather more forceful activity on the part of the Christian than, say, the person who believes in Santa Claus.

Luke 6:46: Why do you call me Lord, Lord but do not do what I tell you to do?

If taking up our crosses involved simply believing Christ is Lord, the martyrs got an awfully raw deal, didn’t they?


No, keep reading. That same chapter has one of the most serious warnings against turning back to a life of sin, 10:26-29 destroys their argument. The phrase “no sacrifice for sin remains” in v 26 utterly destroys their claim that Christ pre-forgave them.

The key here is to recognize that Catholics and Protestants view the Atonement very differently, read this article for more information:

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