Sometimes you have to go back to the original scripture to gain a new perspective on the meaning of a verse. In the 1769 King James translation, which corresponds closely to the original Greek Bible, verse 14 reads as follows: … how much more will the blood of Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The language changes over time and today some of these words are quite unknown to us.
Let’s take out the middle part (who by the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God). This part says that the Holy Spirit led Jesus to sacrifice himself, who had no sin.
What remains is: …how much more the blood of Christ will cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. This teaches us the following.
First, we realize again that the blood of Jesus removes the penalty for the dead works we have done. Dead works are not only works that lead us to death, but the works themselves kill. When we are selfish, we kill others. When we believe in others, we kill their dreams. When we steal time or money from others, their budgets and profits die.
And our conscience bothers us for this. We know that it leads to death and that we will end up in hell. And we feel bad and it drains us of energy. Fortunately, we know that this is not the end. The blood of Jesus flowed and now we no longer have to answer for our dead works.
And the second realization is this. When the handbrake of our conscience is released, we can no longer continue living as before. No, now we live as people without burden. How stupid are we to listen to the devil when he tries to remind us of our former life? How foolish we are to live like people who carry a heavy load, when the load has been lifted at the cross!
No, we must live as redeemed. People who are no longer chained by their conscience and can live free, light and safe to fully serve our living God. What a privilege! We are far more privileged than those who still carry their dead deeds with them, weighing heavily on their consciences.
Part of life different, new, free and without sorrow is to show this life to the outside world. There are many, many people out there who don’t even know about this incredible privilege. Many still carry a heavy load. Many are still stuck in their dead deeds. Many are still governed by their conscience. And that is completely unnecessary!
The blood of Jesus was more than enough to free you from your conscience. The blood of Jesus was also enough for your friends and family. For those who work for you and the strangers you bump into from time to time.
Go and experience that in the world and show them what it means to be truly free!
How is your conscience?
How are your works?
How are you living out there?
Jesus, thank you for my clear conscience. I know it is not because of something I did, but because of Your blood that flowed. Thank you because I no longer have to drag with me the heavy sorrow of my dead deeds. Please help me show others what a free life looks like to the living God. Amen.