A PURE CONSCIENCE

A PURE CONSCIENCE

 

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Father God loves each and every one of us as dear children.  He wants us to come home.  The book of Hebrews is about the perfect and complete work of Christ to reconcile us to God the Father and open the way for us to go home to Him.  The work is so perfect and so complete that we do not need to, nor can we add anything to that work to establish ourselves as righteous enough to enter the Father’s presence.  Our Father in Heaven sent Jesus to bring us home.  To do so He had to shed His blood on our behalf.  The blood of Christ has purged us of our sins (offenses) where it is most important to us, our consciences.  To purge means to purify.  Faith in the finished work of Christ purifies our consciences.

Christ by Himself purged our sins.  He purified us of our offenses against Him.  Then He sat down at the right hand of His Father.  The work of redemption was complete and finished.  In regards to our generation, He did this before we committed those offenses.  Paul wrote to the Romans (5:8) and the Colossians (1:22) that while they were in their sins and enemies in their minds committing wicked deeds, Christ reconciled them by His death.  He paid the price for their sins while they hated Him.  He paid the price for our sins at the same time, despite the fact we had not been born yet.  He died for us regardless of whether we would love Him for it or even appreciate it.  This is the love of God.  He paid the price because He is just like His Father who loves us and longs for us as a father for his children.

2 Corinthians 6:18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

 The Door Is Open

 Jesus is the door that has swung open wide for all who would come home to Pappa (Abba Father, Romans 8:15).

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

 His death was necessary because all had sinned (Romans 3:23) and come short of the glory of God.  Though millions of animals had been slain to cover the sins of the Hebrews, all that blood could not do away with their sin, so the door was closed and impenetrable.  There was no way to the Father, though His heart yearned for them as it did for all mankind, then and now.

Hebrews 9:8, 9

8the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—

 The way into the Holy of Holies was closed because the blood of animals could not make anyone’s conscience clean enough to come into God’s presence.  But now all that has changed.  The blood of Christ has done away with our sins, thereby opening the way to Father God.

 Eternal Redemption

Hebrews 9:12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 10:19, 22

19Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

 Now everyone who accepts Christ as Savior can enter God’s presence and draw near; that is, come as close as they want with full assurance that they are welcome.  God has His desire met because His Son purchased us back to Him with His blood.  How precious is His blood!

Hebrews 9:13, 14

13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 The way is open and it will never again be closed to the believer.  How do I know?  His blood has purchased eternal redemption for us.  What does that mean?  Eternal is not defined only as from this moment forward into and endless future.  It means more than that.  Eternity includes the timeless dimension of God’s existence.  It is before time and crosses over past the end of time.

The Greek word, , is listed in Strong’s Greek dictionary as G166.

In Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon it appears as follows:

G166 

GK – 173 {  }

1)     without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be

2)     without beginning

3)     without end, never to cease, everlasting

Eternal redemption means we who believe in the One whom the Father sent are redeemed from all human sin before the first sin occurred in the heart of man until after the last sin that any person will ever commit.  We are redeemed from all sin by repenting from the only sin that keeps us from God.  What sin is that?  Not trusting His word (John 5:38).  Jesus is His Word (John 1:1).

Hebrews 9:24-28

24For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

 Our redemption is eternal.  Jesus never has to offer His blood again.  It was done once for all time; once for all sinners to be made saints (Hebrews 10:10).  I am not saying that believers do not sin anymore.  I am saying it is paid for.  Jesus never has to shed His blood again to pay for sin.  Any sin.  And you cannot pay for it either.  If you could, you would not need a Savior.

This is also consistent with eternal life in Christ.  In redemption our lives are now one with Him who is eternal (John 14:20; 17:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17)).

Colossians 3:3, 4

3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

 Purged Our Consciences

It’s important that we look back at Hebrews 1 verse 3 where we started.

Hebrews 1:3 . . . when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

1 Peter 2:24 (KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 Jesus accomplished by Himself what no worldly ruler, no religious figure nor any other human being has been able.  Jesus alone purged us of our sins.

Notice in the King James Version of Hebrews 9:14 below the phrase “purge your conscience.”  In the New King James it reads “cleanse your conscience.”  To purge means to cleanse or purify.

Hebrews 9:14 (KJV) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 It’s important to realize what He cleansed – our consciences.  The conscience is where we decide what is right and what is wrong.  We establish moral law for ourselves in our consciences.  Conscience means co-perception.  We perceive something to be right or wrong, good or evil in line with the morals we have been taught and agreed upon within ourselves.

Romans 2:15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them

 You can see the role of the conscience in Paul’s writings.  Notice that a law-based conscience accuses or excuses.  Paul’s conscience was linked to the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), so he could “tell the truth in Christ” and feel the witness of his conscience in agreement with the Holy Spirit.

Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,

 Our conscience judges or witnesses according to the moral law we live by.  Paul did not submit his behavior to another man’s conscience as far as his relationship with God.  But he did submit himself to another man’s conscience to avoid offending that man, if possible.

1 Corinthians 10:28, 29

28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?

 In addition, Paul said that he exercised himself to have a conscience void of offense (to not hold offense) toward God or any man.

Acts 24:16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”

 We may think we develop our moral code independently, but that thought would ignore the fact there are good and evil forces vying for our souls.  These forces are constantly suggesting ways of thinking in the environment around us and to us directly.  Ignorance of this fact leaves us vulnerable to evil suggestions without being aware.

A good (clear, pure) conscience has a single eye (Luke 11:34).  It sees and perceives with an eye of faith – because its perceptions are the same as the Holy Spirit.  A guilty conscience perceives according to the law and always finds itself condemned.  It is sin-conscious instead of Christ-conscious.  A believer who is sin-conscious never comes to rest in Christ.  He looks to Christ and sees his acceptance but then looks at the law and sees his failure.  James says that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).  There is never any rest for his soul.  A single eye looks at Christ alone.  Co-perceiving with the Holy Spirit judges self by faith in the finished work of Christ and the power of His blood to purify.

Hebrews 10:19, 22

19Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,

22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

1 Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

 By the blood of Christ our conscience is purified once for all.  By His resurrection from the dead we see that the way is open to come to the Father with a good conscience.  No fear of exposure of sin.  No fear of punishment.

There is one thing which can cause us to go off course and even suffer shipwreck.  That is to listen to the persuasions of the enemy to give up our faith in the finished work of Christ and turn again to the weak and beggarly elements of the law or carnal ordinances of man (Galatians 4:9).

1 Timothy 1:19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,

 Once we do that we can get bound up in dead works which profit us nothing.

Galatians 5:1-3

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

 Consciences Purged From Dead Works

Hebrews 9:14 (KJV) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Dead works are those that have no life in them, therefore are unable to impart life to those for whom they are done.  Religion teaches us dead works.  You can never do enough to defeat sin and be accepted. There’s always the sense of failure and guilt.  Like Hebrews 10:1-4 and verse 11 clearly explain.

Hebrews 10:1-4, 11, 12

1For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

11And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

What a contrast.  How much clearer could it be?  The ritual offering of the blood of any kind of animals has never and will never remove sin.  It only appeased God by the fact of trust.  He prescribed it for the time until His Son would come and by one sacrifice of life in His own blood release life to all who believe.  Then He sat down at the Father’s right hand inviting all who are now part of His body to now also sit with Him (Ephesians 2:6).

No more dead works.  You no longer have to perform the rituals or observe feasts which could not make those who came pure enough to meet God.  But there are always benefits, if only temporary and partial, in doing anything by faith that God prescribes.  In that time sin was not removed and they could not sit down in Christ.  Still there were benefits of the Old Covenant, which did not come without the blood of the covenant.  What were the benefits of the Old Covenant?  1. Their sins were covered over and their flesh was purified by the blood of animals so that they did not have to die for the sins of the past year.  2. In whatever ways they obeyed the law they were blessed.  That is they could prosper, be in health and prevail over their enemies (Deuteronomy 28).

Hebrews 9:18-22

 18Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Now we are sanctified (made holy) through the one offering of the body of Christ for all time.

Hebrews 10:8-10

8Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 Those Old Covenant sacrifices could not make their conscience pure nor make them holy to enter God’s presence.  The blood of animals did not give them eternal redemption or eternal life.  It only allowed them to live a while longer in their mortal flesh.  However, God used those sacrifices as good works of obedience to satisfy His holiness so He could be among them and guide them with His righteousness.  Then those works could not be classified as dead works because they ensured the extension of mortal life plus covenant benefits to those who trusted God in their observance.

But that was only for that time.  To do those things now is totally dead works.  That covenant is obsolete now and those works produce nothing but death to those who rely upon them.  Today we only need faith in the finished work of the spotless lamb, Jesus Christ.

Today living works are those done by the leading of the Holy Spirit Who lives within the spirit of each born again child of God.  The benefits of the New Covenant are ours by the one sacrifice of Christ and they are entered into as we follow Him.   He is the Good Shepherd of Psalm 23.  The Holy Spirit leads us to trust Christ in everything and teaches us by grace to put away sin and walk in the godliness that is ours in Christ.

Galatians 5:16, 18

1616 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Titus 2:11, 12 (NIV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

 Made Holy

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

 This is talking about something higher than behavior or performance.  The law and the sacrifices for sin could never make those who came holy and ready to enter God’s presence.

Hebrews 10:2, 3

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

 If those sacrifices had been effective the worshipers should have marveled that they no longer felt guilty.  Their sin-consciousness should have been replaced with a conscience pure and ready to meet God.  But this writer clearly understood that the blood of bulls and goats could not affect that.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Hebrews 10:8, 9

8Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), 9then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

 God was not able to have pleasure in those offerings because they could not give Him the desire of His heart.  He wants His children back.  He wants us to come to Him in confidence that we are welcome and He’s always happy to see us.  The blood of animals could never give Him this pleasure.  Those sacrifices only appeased God’s wrath toward sin until Christ would come and make one perfect sinless payment for all sin for all mankind.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 In the King James Version the word used for what has happened for us in the offering of Christ is that we were “sanctified.”  That literally means that the blood of Jesus has “made us holy.”  This one offering has made all who come holy for all time.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

 Not only are we made holy, we are perfected forever.  We are made perfectly fit to come to God at all times.  If we fail or if we do well Hebrews 4:16 applies at all times.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:15-22

15But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, 16“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

19Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

 If you listen to the enemy of your soul, he will remind you of failure and use guilt to put you under the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).  His aim is to remind you of offenses (yours, or those of others against you) and rob you of faith to get you to turn from God.  That is his plan.

Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;

 “An evil heart of unbelief” is synonymous with a wounded heart.  Instead of forgiving every offense we remain wounded by the sins of others and lose faith, which is our confidence in God’s goodness.

Hebrews 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

 Don’t ever let the enemy talk to you about the sins of others against you.  You cannot partake of Christ while you doubt His goodness.  The Holy Spirit may talk to you about the sin of others.  But He only does so in the context of your own weakness against sin without His help; your need of mercy and grace.  God’s purpose is to awaken mercy in your heart for the offender and to give you grace to forgive.  The enemy uses the sins of others to turn you from God’s mercy and grace.

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Turn to Jesus who suffered for the sins of all – yours and those who hurt you.  Forgive even as you are forgiven by God and His smile over you will never dim in the fog of your own unbelief.

I love the saying I heard recently.  “Unforgiveness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  You’re the one who suffers.  You suffer most from the loss of freedom in Christ.  God does not take it from you, you harden your heart to God’s mercy and goodness because He extends it, not only to you, – but to your enemies also.  When you sense the enemy focusing your eye on sin to harden your heart, remember the goodness of God in Christ and turn to Jesus.  Ask Him, “Jesus, what’s the truth I need to remember right now?”  Then forgive the offenses and stay there with Jesus while He comforts your heart for anything you may have lost.  Praise Him for His loving kindness.

Titus 2 verse 14 contains in one verse the facts of Christ’s finished work that are in view so far.  He gave His own life for us; He redeemed us, purified us and gave us hearts for good works.

Titus 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

 Summary – Christ Alone

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

Hebrews 10:2, 3, 10, 14, 17, 18, 21, 22

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

17then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

21and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

 The Blood of Christ, once for all, does away with sin and makes your conscience clean, making you perfect before God.

When the Hebrews sacrificed animals for their sin, notice their sins were covered (not cleansed away) but their flesh was considered cleansed by the blood of innocent animals.  The people did nothing.  They performed no work nor any duty.  The priests performed the sacrifices.  The blood cleansed their flesh.

So it is with the blood of Christ.  He is our High Priest now.  As our High Priest His blood cleanses away our sin forever.  And His blood cleanses our consciences, not only from sin, but from guilt and dead works.  We know that we don’t work for our salvation by being good, or by winning enough souls, or praying hard, or reading our Bibles a lot.  These are all good things.  God wants us to pray and study His word and be prepared to give an answer to every person who asks about the hope within us.  But these things do not make us holy.  The blood of Jesus washes away our sin and makes us perfectly presentable to God.  Nothing else.  It is not Jesus plus your good works.  It is only faith in His finished work of redemption.

Hebrews 12:14  . . . . holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

 By His blood we are holy now.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

 Because of Christ alone we can see the Lord.

Hebrews 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Everything Christ suffered was so that we could

DRAW NEAR TO GOD.

Order of Aaron

(Old Covenant)

Hebrews 7:11

High Priest from among men – Hebrews 5:1

 

 

Earthly tabernacle made with hands – Hebrews 8:5 and 9:24

 

Offered sacrifices once every year – Hebrews 9:7

 

The blood of bulls and goats could not cleanse or perfect the conscience – Hebrews 9:9 and 10:1

 

The Holy of Holies remained closed to the people – Hebrews 9:7, 8

 

 

The law of sin and death remains in place – Romans 6:16

 

The law continues to empower sin in those who are governed by it –              1 Corinthians 15:56

 

Sin is their master – Romans 6:17

 

 

There is a constant reminder of sin – Hebrews 10:3

 

Having no hope – Ephesians 2:12

Order of Melchizidek

(New Covenant)

Hebrews 5:10

High Priest forever, the Son of God – Hebrews 6:20 and 4:14

 

True tabernacle not made with hands – Hebrews 9:11 and 9:24

 

Offered one sacrifice for all time – Hebrews 10:10

 

His own blood cleansed the conscience and made it pure – Hebrews 9:12, 14 and 10:14

 

Jesus sat down at the right hand of God and we can come boldly to the throne – Hebrews 10:12, 19, 22

 

 

The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free – Romans 8:2

 

Grace empowers believers to rule over and say “No” to sin. – Romans 5:17, 6:14, Titus 2:11, 12 (NIV)

 

Led by the Spirit, Christ is their Lord – 1 Corinthians 12:3

 

God Himself no longer remembers our sins – Hebrews 10:17

 

Fullness of joy in His presence – Psalm 16:11

 

 

 

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