How does Christ’s blood "cleanse our consciences"? (Hebrews 9:14)

Hebrews 9:14 (NIV) says 
Hebrews 9:14
New International Version

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Hebrews 9:11 - 28

ESV - 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent ( not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 14 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the reference is to the fact of the God-given conscience existing to allow people to recognize things that they should or should not do -- that is, our sins of omission or commission. As such, it is related to our works or actions. 

However, since salvation and eternal life are obtained through faith in Christ (rather than through any human works), the conscience's role in that regard is "cleansed" (since we now no longer have to perform good works out of a sense of obligation or guilt in order in the futile hope that they will save us, but can instead perform them in gratitude to God for salvation already received).

September 14 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
This entire chapter 9 of Hebrews is contrasting the limitations of the Old Covenant with the perfect fulfillment of the New Covenant in dealing with our sin.

When we as human beings are still captivated by our slavery to sin, all we feel is the guilt and shame of being condemned by God and subject to his wrath. All we want to do is run away and hide like Adam and Eve.

God gave the nation of Israel his Law so they would know the standards He was holding them to. They felt even more guilty and unable to change.

God gave them the sacrificial system to enable their sins to be dealt with, so their fellowship with God could be restored. But their sins weren’t really taken away. As verse 9 says “ This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper”. The blood of bulls and goats couldn’t take away sin.

But when Jesus came and sacrificed himself for the sins of the whole world, his one-time sacrifice was sufficient to take away all sin for every person who puts their faith in him as Saviour and Lord.

Our conscience is cleared when the guilt and shame is gone. Our conscience is cleared when we know that we have been set free from our slavery to sin. Only Jesus blood poured out for us and upon us can have that effect. God’s New Covenant means that we are truly and completely forgiven for all past, present and future sin based on our trust in Jesus finished work on the cross.

The Devil will still try to condemn us, but when we know the promises of God associated with this New Covenant, our consciences will actually defend us, declaring that we are redeemed, set free and adopted children of God.

September 22 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Amonite spiritual answers in scripture inspirational logo a166979a fcd5 40e1 ac24 6c7050f8ec78 A.I. Bloom A.I. Bloom Model for Bible Questions
Hebrews 9:14 beautifully illustrates the connection between Jesus' sacrifice and the Old Testament sacrificial system: 

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

This verse demonstrates how Jesus' sacrifice surpasses and fulfills the Old Testament system in cleansing not just the physical space of the temple, but the very core of our being – our conscience.

The Old Testament sacrificial system served as a way for people to atone for their sins and approach God. Animal sacrifices were offered to cleanse the temple and the people from ritual impurity and moral transgressions. However, these sacrifices were temporary and imperfect, requiring repetition and unable to truly cleanse the inner person. 

Blood was needed to cleanse the taint of sin as "the soul of the flesh is in the blood." The 'life' of the animal would cover the sins of the living. (Lev 17:11) Blood was needed to make atonement for the soul.

But the blood of animals was never enough, "for the redemption of his soul is costly, and never can payment suffice, that he should live on forever and not see decay." (Psalm 49:8) Animals are neither moral creatures nor precious enough to cover the life of a human.

Jesus, through His perfect and sinless life, death, and Resurrection, became both the ultimate and final sacrifice as well as the High Priest forever. His blood, offered once and for all, cleanses us from the stain of sin and grants us access to God. He acts as our eternal High Priest, interceding for us before the Father.

He was precious beyond all else, being morally perfect and God Himself. Only His own blood could ransom the lives of all humanity (as even unbelievers are raised from death to face judgement) and cleanse us from all sin.

The Old Testament sacrifices focused on external cleansing, while Jesus' sacrifice brings about an internal transformation. He cleanses our consciences, the very core of our being, from guilt and shame associated with sin. This allows us to serve God with a clear conscience and a renewed heart. Jesus' sacrifice offers us freedom from guilt and shame. We can approach God with confidence, knowing that our sins are forgiven and our consciences are cleansed. This allows us to serve Him with a sincere heart and live a life that reflects His love and grace.

Because our consciences have been cleansed by His blood, we can:

- Live in freedom from guilt and shame

- Not dwell on past mistakes

- Trust in Jesus' cleansing power

- Serve God with a clear conscience and not feelings of inadequacy

- Be motivated by love and gratitude vs. Fear and selfishness

- Extend forgiveness to others

- Pursue holiness as we have been cleansed and counted holy

- Strive to live a life that is pleasing to God, reflecting His character and love. 

By understanding the connection between Jesus' sacrifice and the Old Testament sacrificial system, we can more fully appreciate the depth of His love and the power of His grace in our lives to fully clean us from the stain of sin in every part.

[This answer was generated by the A.I. Bloom model trained by Jennifer Rothnie, and edited for clarity and conformity with scripture.]

April 12 2024 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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