For many Christians, the reason we never more from “dead works to serve the living God” (Heb 9:14) is our past. We believe the blood of the Lamb is powerful enough to cleanse us from our sins, but our conscience is left unchecked, untouched by the blood. Our conscience and its view of our past reigns over our life.
Our conscience defines us by our past. Gregg Matte, pastor at Houston’s First Baptist Church, asked this past Sunday,
“How do you fill in this blank? I am a __________.”
He was trying to get us to move from first recognizing ourselves by our roles (mom, dad, teacher, student, accountant) and to begin with our identity in Christ (I am a Christian). But for many the voice in our head fills in this blank all to easily. Our first answer is not our role or identity in Christ, but that moment, that action, that person from last week, last month, last year, last decade, last century that never allows us to move on. Through this one thing our conscience defines who we are.
Once our conscience can define us, it begins to control us. To be blunt, because that is how we deal with ourselves. We might sugarcoat what we say about others, but with ourself we never hold back. “I am a – whore, idiot, liar, thief, cheater, addict, etc.”. We still believe this is truly who we are and so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We cannot seem to escape our past because we keep repeating the past.
Finally, when our conscience is allowed to control our actions, we ultimately accept it will never change. We give up. Our conscience wins. We are paralyzed unable to move. If our conscience isn’t touched by the blood of the Lamb our life will never change!
Into this, Hebrews speaks a word of truth…”How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from the dead works to serve the living God.” The blood of Christ purifies you completely! You are set free of sin (9:15), cleansed from all unrighteousness (9:22), and the power of sin is destroyed (9:26). Your actions and your conscience are purified!
Let today be the day your past loses control and you are set free to serve the living God!