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? (Hebrews 9:14).
The dead works mentioned in Hebrews 9:14 is not a reference to such things as helping the poor, taking care of the elderly, showing brotherly kindness, etc. These are good works and demonstrations of godliness. The “dead works,” contextually speaking, refers to those things which pertain to the old system (the tabernacle/temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifices) which had been made obsolete at the time of the writing of the book of Hebrews.
Because of persecution, the temptation was present to abandon the true faith in Christ and revert back to Judaism which was now a dead religion. Though once ordained by God to serve the purpose of foreshadowing Christ, that system of worship under the Old Testament had now given way to a new and better covenant, a covenant established by the blood of Jesus.
Through the Blood of Jesus sin has been completely dealt with and there is no longer any need for those things which had no power to take away sin. Those “carnal ordinances” such as the levitical priesthood and animal sacrifices with the sanctuary and everything that pertained to them have no value in purifying the conscience before God. They were only a shadow for a set time until Christ came and brought eternal redemption through His blood.
Jesus our Great High Priest in the Heavens is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High and through His blood we are liberated to serve the Living God without any those restrictions which were imposed on those who were under the first Testament.
Those “carnal ordinances” which were imposed on them were a constant reminder that sin had not been dealt with and that the way into the holy presence of God had not yet been manifested. Therefore there was no boldness to enter God’s presence with a pure conscience through those things which are now dead works because that covenant has been fulfilled and it’s rites have been made obsolete.
Through the Blood of Jesus Christ we are cleansed from such “dead works” so that we may now serve the Living God, in the Spirit of Christ, with a pure conscience.
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 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? (Hebrews 9:1-14).
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