Let Go of Sin-Consciousness

“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins” (Hebrews 10:1-2, NKJV).

Today, I want to share some thoughts with you about how you can stay free from sin consciousness. 

God is perfect, and those who worship Him (and fellowship with Him) must do so with a perfect conscience. By “perfect conscience” I mean a conscience that is pure, clean, free from guilt and established in righteousness. God’s will for you is to worship Him in complete freedom: freedom from fear, guilt, shame, blame and condemnation. Your conscience plays a vital role in this process.

The condition of your conscience influences the degree to which you will enjoy the freedom Jesus purchased for you. This means your freedom is not complete until you’re free from the conscience of sin.

Many Christians walk around with sin (guilt) on their conscience. To deal with this burden, some resort to the practice of confessing their sins over and over until they leave this world. In some places, automatic confession of sins is incorporated into official church services. The obvious assumption is that everyone is, by default, unclean before God and confession of sins clears the way for the congregation to approach God. However, Jesus died (precisely) to put an end to this state of affairs (the cycle of sin-consciousness).

 The Good News is, God has made a way for you to serve Him with a perfect conscience all the days of your life. That way is the Blood of Jesus. As a Christian, if you base your conscience on anything other than the Blood of Jesus, you’re ignoring the Cross and setting yourself up for defeat. Sooner or later, satan (the accuser) will mess with your mind and hinder your experience of joy and liberty in Christ. 

Consciousness of sin was the prevailing reality under the Old Covenant law. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us why: The blood of goats and bulls could not make the conscience of those worshipers perfect forever. If it could, then the sacrifices would have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins. What the blood of animals could not do, now the Blood of Jesus has done. By His one time sacrifice, Jesus has purged and perfected our conscience forever.

Therefore, Jesus expects us to have confidence and boldness through His blood and not walk around with consciousness of sin as though we were living under the Old Covenant. If you, through unbelief or ignorance, hold on to consciousness of sin, you’re making light of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus will not die a second time for your sins, because He made sure that what He did for you that day on Calvary had everlasting effect on you. If you’re born again, you need to know this, you need to believe it and you need to walk in this awareness every day of your life.

Your faith in the Blood of Jesus must be unwavering. That is how you will defeat the Accuser (satan) and enjoy the freedom Jesus bought for you (Only do not use your liberty as an occasion to gratify the flesh, but use it as an occasion to offer your new life to God as a living sacrifice). Jesus has offered you a perfect conscience free of charge through His Blood, not through any work of yours.

You have a decision to make. Do you believe Jesus or do you have doubts? It’s up to you. My advise to you is, don’t let your personal weaknesses dictate the condition of your conscience. According to the Bible, your perfect conscience comes through Jesus’ Blood alone. And once your conscience is perfected by the Blood, you should no longer walk around with consciousness of sins. This is what you get under the New Covenant. Enjoy it. Let no one or anything talk you out of what Jesus purchased for you.

Remember this: Your experience of freedom is tied to what you believe. If you believe that Jesus has perfected your conscience forever by His blood (as the Bible states), then you will enjoy the blessings of the Blood. If you don’t believe, or you’re not sure, you can’t enjoy the blessings. Don’t let this happen. 

 Honor Jesus’ Blood.  Let go of sin-consciousness. 

Confess the following to support your confidence in the Blood of Jesus:

“I know who I am. I am the one Jesus loves. I surrender to the Blood of Jesus. I know Jesus has cleansed me from my sins. I am letting go of sin-consciousness. I have a perfect conscience through the Blood of Jesus. I reject the lies of the devil and all his accusations. I am accepting forgiveness and peace through the Blood of Jesus. I am holding on to my faith in the Blood of Jesus. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. I have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony. In Jesus Name. Amen”

What Was “Finished” at the Cross? (Pt 5)

Daily Devotion | Day 364 Cont’d

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).

As I mentioned earlier today, the following will be a continuation of the point we were discussing in Part 4 of the series: cessation of transgression through self-denial in Christ. This subject is present not only in the teachings of Jesus, but in those of the Apostles as well. For example, Peter wrote, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesharm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sinthat he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2). This sums up everything we have been saying about the cessation of transgression (or sin) in the believer’s life. Peter could not have put it better. Now you can understand why Daniel prophesied that the Messiah’s arrival would pave the way to finish the transgression.

 Notice that Peter does not talk about a progressive or future cessation of sin. Instead, he describes it as the present, ordinary experience of the believer. Note also how he connects these three things: the suffering of Christ, the suffering of the believer and ceasing from sin. He says the believer should arm himself with the same mind as Christ. Which mind? The mind which understands that overcoming sin involves denying to oneself, and that this self-denial is accompanied by suffering. Knowing this, Peter declares, “he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” Many Christians overlook the suffering aspect of life in Christ and the crucial role it plays in putting an end to transgression. Find time and read 1 Peter 3:13-4:1-19, Romans 6:1-23 and 1 John 2-3; you will notice that the three Apostles are saying the same things using different words and expressions.

Let us complete this section by looking at something else God did in Christ to put an end to transgression of His laws. In Hebrews 10:16-17, the author says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them. . . Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (For the full text of this prophecy, see Jeremiah 31:31-34). According to the author of Hebrews, the prophecy of Jeremiah is fulfilled in Christ. Look closely at the passage.

In the Old Covenant, God wrote His laws on tablets of stone. The people broke that covenant by breaking the laws established by the covenant. Then God announced that He would make a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-32). In the New Covenant, what did God do differently? Instead of using tablets of stone, He has put His laws in our hearts and has written them in our minds. What is God hoping to achieve by writing His laws in our hearts and minds? He wants to prevent transgression of His laws. If His laws are written into our hearts and minds, this means His laws are built into the core of our being. Our new ‘DNA’ is wired with God’s laws. The laws of God are now in our nature. It would, therefore, be natural for us to obey God’s laws. In short, this would put an end to transgression.

After talking about putting His laws in our being, God adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In the New Covenant, God would no more remember our sins and lawless deeds because of two things. First, because Jesus would have washed away all our sins with His blood. God would not remember sins washed away by the blood of Jesus. Second, because God’s people (in whose hearts and minds His laws are written) would no longer transgress His laws. God would have no sin to remember because His people would be walking in the Spirit, fulfilling His laws (Romans 8:1-8). Consequently, the prophecy in Daniel 9:24 would have been fulfilled. When we present the Good News of Jesus Christ, it is important to explain to people these fundamental truths. When people grasp these truths, the Church would have a formidable presence in the world and the Name of the Lord would be revered.

May the Lord grant you deeper understanding of these matters. And as your understanding increases, may you experience a new chapter of victory in all aspects of your life. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

What Was “Finished” at the Cross? (Pt 4)

Daily Devotion | Day 364

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).

Let us pick up where we left off yesterday. We were talking about how Daniel’s prophecy regarding the cessation of transgression is fulfilled and explained in the New Testament. We referenced Matthew 5:29-30 where Jesus instructed us that if our right eye or right hand causes us to sin, we should pluck it out or cut if off and cast it from us. Today we will examine this teaching closely in light of other passages in the New Testament. We want to find out how the transgressing of God’s law ceases at the Cross and because of the Cross.

Jesus did not come into the world to give us a partial solution to the sin problem. He came to deal with the sin problem once and for all. That is why He took away all our sins with a single sacrifice (John 1:29; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 18). When He appears a second time, it would not be to deal with sin but to give salvation to those who eagerly await Him (Hebrews 9:27-28). Therefore, as Messiah, Jesus addressed the sin problem at its root. To tackle sin at its root, He did (and said) many things, culminating in His death and resurrection.

We have already talked about how Jesus made an end of sins and made reconciliation for iniquity (see Parts 1 & 2 of this teaching). In addition, Jesus did something else to make sure that after we are reconciled and forgiven, we do not return to a life of transgressing God’s law, but rather obey the Father in holiness and righteousness. This is where He taught us about denying the self.

Specifically, Jesus said that if something causes us to sin, we must cut it off and cast it from us. Jesus was not joking. What He said has the same force today as it did when He spoke those words. If we understand this teaching and practice it, then we will understand the Cross and benefit from its power. The most effective way to resolve a problem is to identify the cause and remove it. This is what Jesus is doing when He tells us that if our right eye or right hand causes us to sin, we must cut it off and cast it from us. He wants us to identify the things in our life that cause us to sin and take decisive action to part with them; no hesitation and no excuses. If we had to choose between life in heaven with one eye (or one hand) and death in hell with our full body, Jesus says the former is more profitable.

Jesus is not asking us to mutilate our body or someone else’s. His point is about doing whatever it takes to distance yourself from whatever causes you to sin. This means if you are aware of anything (or anyone) in your life that is a source of sin for you, Jesus expects you to “cut it off” and get rid of it. If, for example, you are in a relationship or friendship that causes you to sin, Jesus expects you to end it by walking away from the relationship. Likewise, if you have in your possession any images, videos or other materials that cause you to sin, Jesus wants you to get rid of them. And He wants you to obey Him now, not some time later. If you want Jesus to save you, He will, but on His terms alone, not yours. If you want to be saved on your own terms, He will not be part of that arrangement.

When you obey Jesus by “cutting off” the causes of sin in your life, this will cause you some suffering: You might lose friends, relatives, money, reputation and so forth. You might even be persecuted or killed. This is what Jesus means when He talks about losing your life for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel (Matthew 16:24-25). But persevering in this suffering is how you stay crucified with Christ and remain dead to sin. And because you are crucified with Christ and are dead to sin, you will no longer transgress God’s law. Your former life of transgressing God’s law would be over. In your new life, you will live for righteousness alone. Salvation from sin is costly; it cost Jesus His life. Make no mistake; it will cost you, too.

We have more to say about this point, but I have to pause here. I will post the continuation shortly. Then God willing, we will conclude the series (as well as the Daily Devotional) tomorrow. Stay blessed.

For further study1 Peter 4:1-19

What Was “Finished” at the Cross? (Pt 2)

Daily Devotion – Day 362

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).

Today we will look at two more things in Daniel’s prophecy. Daniel prophesied that a time was determined (a) to finish the transgression and (b) to make an end of sins. As we pointed out yesterday, these prophecies refer to the work of the Messiah and the expected outcome of His work. Jesus, as we know, is the Messiah. We know also that by Jesus’ death on the Cross, the Father has reconciled us to Himself. This means our reconciliation was finished (done) on Calvary. But that is not all. Daniel’s prophecy identifies other things that would result from the work of the Messiah: finish transgression and make an end of sins. We will look at each of these prophecies, starting with “to make an end of sins.”

To make an end of something means to defeat, stop, destroy or render it powerless. By His death on the Cross, Jesus made an end of all sins. This means He defeated sin, dethroned it and rendered it powerless, so that sin can no longer multiply (as sins). We must emphasize that Jesus accomplished this once and for all time. That is why Jesus will not die for sins again (Hebrews 9:24-28). How did Jesus make an end of sins? The Bible provides the answer in many different ways and in several passages. We will look at three of those instances. 

Through the death of Jesus, God “condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). Notice the past tense. To condemn something means to make an end of it. That is what God did to sin. When God Himself condemns something, we can be sure that that thing has been brought to its knees. Another important passage is from the First Letter of John: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (3:8). “The works of the devil” is referring to sins. Satan is a sinner and he gains power by getting people to sin like he does. That is how he controls people. But Jesus died on the Cross to destroy the works of sin, so that people would no longer do the devil’s works, i.e. commit sins. 

The next passage is from Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” This passage is telling us that sin has lost its dominion because it has been dethroned. This took place through the death of Jesus. Calvary was where the battle against sin reached its climax. In that battle, sin lost and Jesus won. On Calvary, God made an end of sins. And Daniel’s prophecy was fulfilled.

We will pause here and continue tomorrow, if the Lord permits. In the meantime, understand that Jesus has made an end of sins. Sin could not defeat Jesus. It cannot defeat you, either. Sin is powerless against the Holy Spirit in you. The power of God in you is infinitely stronger than any temptation you might face. Walk in this truth and you will overcome every temptation just like Jesus did. Live free from sin. Live for Jesus alone. And enjoy the blessings of the born again life. Amen.

For further studyHebrews 7:1-28

What Was “Finished” at the Cross? (Pt 1)

Daily Devotion – Day 361

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).

The messages in this new series will build upon what was discussed in the preceding series, namely “Why Do Christians Continue to Sin?” To better grasp what is being discussed, I recommend that you read the presentations in the order in which they appear. The title of this series is inspired by the following words Jesus spoke from the Cross: “It is finished” (John 19:30). The obvious question is, what is finished? The Bible does not offer a direct reply to this question. However, when we search the Scriptures it is not hard to understand what things are finished (accomplished) in view of what happened at Calvary. Let us start with the Book of Daniel

In chapter 9, Daniel was praying for himself and for Israel, petitioning the Lord to forgive their sins and restore Jerusalem to its former glory. While he prayed, the man (angel) Gabriel appeared to him with a prophecy about the restoration of Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:1-27). Our opening Scripture captures the initial part of Gabriel’s prophecy. According to Gabriel, certain events were about to happen in the near future that would have a significant impact on God’s people and the rest of the world. The events are related to the work of the Messiah (Jesus). We will focus on those things in the prophecy that are relevant to the topic we are discussing. 

Gabriel mentioned six things that would happen. They are not necessarily in chronological order. We are interested in the first four things listed: “to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness.”  These four things are related to the things the Messiah would accomplish by virtue of His death and resurrection. The language in the prophecy speaks of decisive victory over sin accompanied by the reign of righteousness. The time frame specified by the prophecy would be the time to finish transgression, make an end of sins, and make reconciliation for iniquity. But what do these things mean? In what ways are these things fulfilled under the New Covenant? And how do these prophecies affect the life of Christians? 

We will start with the prophecy about making reconciliation for iniquity. Several passages in the New Testament testify that the Father has reconciled us to Himself. For example, Paul writes, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10; and v. 11). Notice the past tense. Reconciliation for iniquity is an accomplished fact and a fulfilled prophecy. It is a work done by the Father through the death of Jesus. We, therefore, are a reconciled peoplenow, not some time in the future. This means there is perfect peace between the Father and us (Romans 5:1-2). We now have grounds for intimate fellowship with the Father. 

Paul speaks again of this reconciliation in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (5:18-19). The Father has made reconciliation for iniquity. And  the prophecy in Daniel has been fulfilled. 

Let us pause here. God willing, we will discuss the remaining portions of Daniel’s prophecy tomorrow. Stay reconciled to the Father and remain blessed. Amen.

For further study2 Corinthians 5:1-21