No more Conscience of Sins
The Christian knows that Christ has entered in once for all into the Holy of Holies, having found an eternal redemption. There He appears before the face of God for us, not in order that He should offer Himself often, since He would then have been obliged to suffer often, which could not be, but now once in the consummation of the ages He has been manifested for the putting away of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (see Heb. 9; 24-26)
Great a truth as this is, there is more. The Holy Spirit follows it up by declaring its revealed effect - in stark contrast with those under the shadows of the Law. The sacrifices of the Law were offered continuously year by year, unable as they were to perfect those who approached. If they had been able to perfect, “would they not indeed have ceased being offered, on account of the worshippers once purged having no longer any conscience of sins?”, (Heb. 10: 2). How different for the Christian! What the Law could not do, Christ’s work has done: so perfect is the cleansing of the worshippers that they have no longer any conscience of sins!
Do you believe this truth my reader? It is revealed as the consequence of Christ’s work not only for some, but for all who believe. Do you believe it for your own soul? It is of the utmost importance that you should receive it as God’s mind about yourself, as the settled and continuous state Christ’s work has effected for you and every other Christian. You are to enjoy it by faith, honour Christ in it, bless God through it, and worship and serve in the consciousness the indwelling Spirit gives of so great a privilege.
Now there was a time in your unconverted days when you made light of sin, excusing yourself with the notion that as we were all sinners it was no wonder that you sinned like others. Conscience awoke qualms now and then, especially when you read or heard Scripture warning of God’s hatred of evil, and of His righteous judgement soon to come, but you soon went to sleep again after a vain effort to do well. It never occurred to you that you were by nature a child of wrath, and Satan’s slave by doing your own will. You went to church or chapel, you read the Bible or good books occasionally, and were in your opinion not so bad as many you could name. During this time you had practically no conscience of sins, except for a painful twitch now and then which quickly passed. You had no right sense of your state, or true measure of God’s abhorrence of sins.
Then the moment came when God by His Word and His Spirit laid on your conscience your evil, dangerous and lost state. No longer did you evade the dread conviction that you were wicked and ungodly, an enemy of God, and powerless to do good. God probed the wounds, and made their depth felt, and led you to bow down in the confession of your guilt, and of your corrupt and wilful nature. Palliatives you refused, and you loathed yourself, and cried to Him whose goodness was leading you to repentance, and like Peter at the knees of the Lord Jesus, you said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord”, (Luke 5: 8). Now you had conscience of sins and the dread of God, yet you would not go away from the Lord Jesus. Again like Peter, you knelt at His feet and owned Him as your hope. To whom else could you go? He had words of life eternal; He was the propitiation for sins; and you felt the need of both.
How precious then to hear from the Lord Jesus - He who is the Judge of living and dead - that He Himself came to give you everything which the Holy Spirit made you feel the need of! How precious too to be given it in all the fullness of God’s grace, according to the worth of Christ and His work in God’s sight! Who but God could even have conceived of such a standing as “no more conscience of sins” for those that have been brought to the feet of the Lord Jesus, acknowledging themselves as nothing but guilty and lost? Never before had you such a deep sense of your inexcusable evil, and never was the burden of your sins felt to be so intolerable. How blessed then to hear in the glad tidings of the cleansing power of Christ’s blood! Whoever believes is cleansed by it from all guilt and every sin! Rest then on the Lord Jesus for your iniquities, and they are remembered no more.
Now that we believe, God does not see our shameful sins, but the blood of Christ which has completely and forever effaced them. Thus the worshippers, having been once purged, have no more conscience of sins! Of course we may and ought to remember our sins as the witness of our ruin, and of God’s grace, but resting on the efficacy of Christ’s work, we may have a clear conscience.
The worshippers under the Law had conscience of sins, because “blood of bulls and goats [is] incapable of taking away sins”, (Heb. 10: 4). Indeed the very repetition of the sacrifices was a constant reminder of their guilt, (v3). The sacrifice of Christ however, entitles the believer to have no more conscience of sins, for whilst “every priest stands daily ministering, and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins”, (v11), “he, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down in perpetuity at [the] right hand of God, waiting from henceforth until his enemies be set [for the] footstool of his feet. For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified”, (vs. 12-14). It is a description of the standing His work gains for every true Christian, not a special attainment of some, but the new and common privilege for all by faith.
What a living illustration Peter gives in Acts 3: 13 of a worshipper once purged having a clear conscience. How else could he charge the men of Israel with denying the Lord Jesus? Had he not denied him recently and repeatedly with oaths? Now so completely was he cleansed by the Saviour’s blood, that he boldly charged them with that sin! Had it not been effaced, he must have been ashamed to whisper the words. This perfect clearance you are by faith entitled to know and say as to all your sins. You owe it to the Saviour, and may you own it for His glory.