If the blood of goats and bulls … 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
The uncomfortable truth is that by nature we are slaves to sin. We serve ourselves, we glory in our folly, and none of us seek after God (Romans 3:11). But there is hope: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us … made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). And when we are united with Christ by faith, “we have redemption through his blood” (1:7).
Our redemption was secured at the highest cost: the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. John Murray, the Scottish theologian of old, noted, “Christ did not come to put men in a redeemable position but to redeem to himself a people.”
The redemption which God the Father has planned, the Son has procured, and the Spirit has applied encompasses all the wonder of a life changed. It is in this eternal redemption that our consciences are purified “from dead works.” That is, we are cleansed from our sinful actions, including those of religious self-reliance, which lead to death.
The “blood of Christ” frees us from our slavery to sin to make us slaves all over again—only now we are gladly and joyfully bound to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Master and our Guide. Jesus did not go to the extent of redeeming us from all ungodliness so that we could just run around and please ourselves. He did not redeem us so that we might treat Him with scant regard. No, He ransomed our lives in order that we might serve the living God!
What a privilege it is to serve God and to pursue the good works which He has prepared for those who are in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). What joy should fill our souls as we marvel at His redeeming love: that from all of eternity, the triune God entered into a covenant of redemption and planned to secure a people that belong exclusively to Him and who are called to serve and honor Him in all they do.
Perhaps today you are stuck in patterns of unhelpful introspection. Maybe you have been neglecting the fact that you have been redeemed at great cost in order that you might be sanctified in His service. Consider Christ and all He has done for you. Remember that He has enabled you to do what He calls you to do: to live a life of glad obedience.
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