Intro: One comedy routine by Jerry Seinfeld is a bit in which he is poking fun at laundry detergent commercials. He's particularly amazed that in one commercial for Tide, the commercial boasts that Tide is so powerful, it can remove even the toughest of bloodstains - to which Jerry Seinfeld responds, "Hey, if you've got bloodstains on your clothes, laundry detergent isn't your biggest problem".
1. What we discovered about our High Priest
2. What He delights in Doing
3. What problem do we have in following Christ.
4. How Does Jesus Deal with our Problem
5. What Does this mean for our Worship and Works
6. What this Does for our Conscience.
7. How then should we walk and work as Christians.
1. OUR HIGH PRIEST IS A MINISTER – TO GOD FIRST, THEN TO MAN
2. HE DELIGHTS IN BRINGING US INTO THE MAJESTY
His delight is to bring man into the Majesty. As we will see, God’s desire has always been to dwell among men in righteous fellowship. While He cannot do that until this world is finally redeemed and transformed, Jesus makes it possible for us to dwell with God in righteous fellowship. Jesus Christ brings us into the presence of the majesty. He doesn’t just bless us like the olf Priest did. He places God in us! In the Majesty, we enjoy God’s concern and blessing. All because of our Minister. His ministry is founded upon better promises and a better covenant.
Hebrews 9 is better understood when you start with vs 13 & 14.
The practical effect of Christ’s ministry is given in these words, “to purify your conscience from dead works”. The problem that is faced in this passage, therefore, is how to handle a guilty conscience.
3. WHAT IS OUR PROBLEM
1. “That still, small voice that makes you feel smaller still.”
2. “It is that which feels bad when everything else feels good.”
3. Conscience is that internal voice that sits in judgment over our will.
How Important is our Conscience?
Conscience is described in the NT as Good, Clear, Evil or Seared.
Pure Heart & Sincere Faith is anchored by a Good conscience (1 Tim 1:5)
Your conscience can shipwreck your faith (1 Tim 1:19)
Faith flows from a clear conscience (1 Tim 3:9)
Seared conscience produces liars (1 Tim 4:2)
Clear conscience is foundation of honorable behavior (Heb 13:18)
Good conscience is the best defense against slander (1 Peter 3:16)
Our conscience bears witness with our heart when we transgress God’s moral law (Rom 2:15)
Our consciences can sense the truth of a minister (2 Cor 4:2)
Pure conscience is power in prayer (2 Tim 1:3)
Someone with a good conscience sees the good. An evil conscience produces unbelief and agnosticism (Titus 1:15)
A Conscience can’t be cleared by gifts or sacrifices or good works (Heb 9:9)
Only the blood of Jesus can clean us of an evil conscience (Heb 10:22)
Clearly God designed our conscience to be much more than what we normally think it is. I believe that our conscience is key to our mental health, our depression, even some conditions such as bi-polar and other psychoses.
Conscience can be mistaken, or as I like to say, “conditioned”; it is not a safe guide by itself. The Bible makes that clear, describing the conscience as “seared” and “evil.”
But conscience also gives approval whenever we fulfill whatever standard we have, right or wrong. And conscience acts both before and after the fact – it can either prod or punish.
4. HOW DOES JESUS DEAL WITH OUR PROBLEM
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 9:14
The problem with the Hebrews is not wrongdoing, but dead works. They know how to confess their sins. That aspect of a troubled conscience can easily be taken care of by Christians as they accept the forgiving grace of God. But the problem here is a conscience plagued with guilt over good left undone – not sins of commission, but sins of omission. They have launched a program of intensive religious activity, which may range from bead counting and candle burning to serving on committees, passing our tracts, and teaching Sunday school classes.