How the Blood of Christ Cleanses the Conscience [Part 2]

By — July 28, 2017

Are you ready for some good news?

The sacrifice of Christ is not only sufficient to forgive your sins; it is also sufficient to cleanse your conscience.

Today’s Text: “For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:13–14, ESV)

The idea of the “conscience” is deep and mysterious. Scripture doesn’t seem to equate the conscience with the soul, the heart or the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The English word bears similarity to the Greek word used in Hebrews. Both literally mean, “knowing with” as in joint knowledge. It perhaps means knowing what is right along with God who, of course, is the measure of all that is right. [1]

But the conscience is not an utterly reliable guide. It’s part of our fallen nature. As such, the conscience needs to be purified, according to Hebrews 9. Accepting salvation in Christ means more than forgiveness of sin; it means healing from the ravages of sin. The effect of sin runs deep into the conscience, telling us that we are stained. But, when we accept Christ’s atoning work, the guilty stain is washed away. The conscience remembers the wrongdoing. The conscience remembers the flaw of character. Thus, we must allow the blood of Jesus to not only convince our minds that we are forgiven and adopted, but we also must allow the blood of Jesus to wash the conscience so that we have no nagging suspicion that we are unqualified to be in the presence of God.

Watchman Nee put it well: “A single offense on the conscience may suppress and suspend the normal function of intuition in communing with God, for as soon as a believer is conscious of sin his spirit gathers all its powers to eliminate that particular sin and leaves no more strength to ascend heavenward.”[2]

To live in Christ is to live with an utterly cleansed conscience toward God. You can be absolutely sure that there is no impediment to your enjoyment of the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit because the blood of Jesus has washed your conscience clean. And that’s the Gospel!


[1] For further study of the Biblical idea of “conscience,” see Acts 23:1; 24:16; 1 Cor. 8:7; 1 Ti 1:5, 19; 3:8; 4:2; 2 Ti 1:3; Titus 1:15; Heb. 9:14; 10:22; 13:18; 1 Pet 3:16, 21.

[2] Watchman Nee, Journeying Towards the Spiritual Man, p. 111.

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