Sometimes you have to go back to the original scripture to get a new perspective on the meaning of a verse. In the King James translation of 1769, which corresponds closely to the original Greek Bible, verse 14 reads as follows: … 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?
Language changes over time and today some of these words are fairly unfamiliar to us.
Let’s take out the middle part (who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God). This part says the Holy Spirit led Jesus to sacrifice Himself, who was without any sin at all.
What remains is: … how much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. This teaches us the following.
Firstly, we realise again that the blood of Jesus eliminates the penalty for the dead works that we did. Dead works aren’t only works that lead to our death, but the works themselves kill. When we are selfish, we kill others. When we belittle others, we kill their dreams. When we steal time or money from others, their budgets and profits are killed.
And our conscious bothers us about this. We know it leads to our death and that we’ll end up in hell. And we feel bad and it drains our energy. Fortunately, we know this is not the end. Jesus’ blood flowed and now we no longer have to answer for our dead works.
And the second realisation is this. When the handbrake on our conscious has been released, you can no longer continue living as you did before. No, now we live like people carrying no burden. How stupid we are to listen to the devil when he tries to remind us of our old life? How foolish we are to live like people carrying a heavy burden, when the burden has been taken away on the cross.
No, we must live like redeemed people. People who are no longer chained up by their conscious and can live freely, light and saved to fully serve our living God. What a privilege! We are much more privileged than those who are still dragging their dead deeds with them, weighing so heavily on their conscious.
Part of the different, new, free, penalty-free life indeed is to show this life to the world out there. There are many, many people out there who don’t even know about this unbelievable privilege. Many still carry a heavy burden. Many are still caught up in their dead deeds. Many are still governed by their conscious. And that is completely unnecessary!
Jesus’ blood was more than enough to free you from your conscious. Jesus’ blood was also enough for your friends and family. For those who work for you and the strangers who stumble past you now and then.
Go and live that in the world and show them what it means to be really free!
What does your conscious look like?
What do your deeds look like?
How are you living out there?
Jesus, thank you for my clean conscious. I know it’s not because of something that I did, but because of Your blood that flowed. Thank you that I no longer have to drag the heavy penalty for my dead deeds along with me. Please help me to show others what a free life for the living God looks like. Amen.