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”

Born of the Spirit: Blowing As the Wind

Daily Devotional | Day 321

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8, NKJV).

Jesus had an important conversation with Nicodemus at the beginning of John chapter 3. The latter had questions for Him. Nicodemus probably didn’t anticipate that the conversation would take the course it did. When Jesus spoke about the born again life, he felt lost. The message about the new birth sounded too profound or too good to be true. Nevertheless, Jesus said what He needed to say. His teaching in this passage contains deep insights about the life of a believer.

One such insight is what we read in today’s opening Scripture. It’s about being born of the Spirit and blowing as the wind. Before we delve into the passage, let’s note that Jesus uses the expressions “born again” and “born of the Spirit” interchangeably (3:3, 5, 6, 7).

In 3:8, Jesus is describing the life of a person born of the Spirit. He does so by drawing an analogy between the characteristics of the wind and the characteristics of one born of the Spirit. That Jesus compares us with the wind makes one’s head spin. He says, “the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.” Then He adds, “So is everyone born of the Spirit.”

Observe carefully what is happening here. Jesus is pointing us to something profound. He is comparing us with the wind. He is giving us a clue about what we arewhat we have and what we can do. What Jesus is saying is this: To understand your born again life and your potential, study the wind. If you understand how the wind works, then you will understand how you too can operate.

Interestingly, the words “spirit” and “wind” are translated by one Greek word, pneuma. What you discover about the wind will help you discover yourself, because you and the wind share common characteristics. This is Jesus’ point, and every believer needs to pay attention. Jesus is a great Teacher. To help us grasp what we are and what we can do in the Spirit, He is pointing us to the wind. As we contemplate the wind, we will comprehend who we are. With this in mind, let’s look at a few characteristics of the wind.

You can’t contain, imprison or stop the wind. It moves freely. It can blow where it pleases and change direction at will. It can travel nearly everywhere at different speeds. It can be unpredictable. Wind is a powerful force of nature. At full strength, nothing can stand in its path. Wind is energy. Wind is power. After describing the wind, Jesus declares, “So is everyone born of the Spirit.”

This means you are as the wind. Therefore, you are unstoppable. You are captive to no one but the Father. You can be where you need to be in spirit (2 Corinthians 5:3-4; 2 Kings 5:25-26). You are supernatural energy in motion. No enemy or obstacle can stand in your path when you’re blowing. You are a mystery to your enemies. They feel your influence but they know not your point of origin or your destination. You not only have power, you are power.

This is who Jesus says you are. It is what He says you can do. Don’t ask the Holy Spirit to blow. He has already done that. Don’t ask the Holy Spirit to move. He has already moved. It’s your turn to move and blow. Next time the wind is blowing, take that as a friendly reminder from Jesus about what He says you are. You are as the wind. Blow now.

For further studyActs 2:1-21 and Ephesians 3:14-21

Freedom in the Father’s House

Daily Devotion | Day 320

“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed’” (John 8:34-36, NKJV).

In John 8:31-59, Jesus had a tense exchange with certain Jews who believed in Him. The debate centered mainly around freedom, slavery and sonship. Jesus opened the conversation by stating that if they wanted to be His disciples, they had to abide in His word (v. 31). At this point everything was fine. Then Jesus dropped a bombshell when He said: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (v. 32). The Jews were startled and took exception to Jesus’ statement (v. 33).

On the surface, there seems to be nothing offensive about what Jesus said. But the Jews did not see it that way. Jesus’ words implied that they were in bondage. In other words, He meant that they were not royals, but slaves. The Jews understood the implication of what the Lord said. This explains their reply in v. 33: “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never being in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” The Jews were right. Technically, they were ‘free’ people, because they were the ethnic descendants of Abraham. This could not be debated.

However, they missed Jesus’ point. He was describing their spiritual condition. And as the conversation progressed, He shed more light on the issue. The first clarification of His statement is found in today’s opening passage (John 8:34-36). In the passage, Jesus explains what He means by “slavery” as well as the difference between a son and a slave. Let us examine the passage.

Jesus said, “whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (v. 34). In making this statement, He defined the meaning of spiritual bondage. Earlier, the Jews challenged Jesus when He suggested that they were slaves. But now He clarifies Himself by stating that in His eyes a slave is anyone who commits sin. Jesus implied that the Jews He spoke to were in sin, and therefore they were in bondage.

Contrary to what they thought, they were not royals. Therefore, when Jesus said, “the truth shall make you free,” He meant, “the truth shall make you free from committing sin. And when you are free from committing sin, then you are no longer a slave but a royal indeed.”  It is the same thing He meant when He said, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (v. 36). The Son is the truth which makes us free, because He is truth personified (John 14:6).

Next, Jesus explains that he who is made free from sin is a son (a royal) as opposed to the one who is not free from sin (a slave). Then He tells us the ‘residential status’ of the son and the slave with respect to the Father’s house: “A slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” This means the one who is made free from sin (the royal) has a permanent place in the Father’s house. But a slave’s status is temporary, at best. Sooner or later, he would be asked to leave.

We will conclude today’s message by applying it to The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

The prodigal son relinquished his position as a son when he left the house for a life of sin (the life of a slave). When he came to his senses, he knew (rightly so) that he had lost his place as a son (15:18-19). But when he returned, the father had compassion on him and reinstated him to the position of a son. The change in status is evident from the father’s own words: “this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (15:24).

Notice that the younger son used to be alive (while still in his father’s house). But when he left the father’s house, he died (spiritual death). When he returned, he found life again. In contrast, listen to what the father told the older son who did not leave the house, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours” (15:31). 

Jesus came to redeem us from sin that we might live as royal priests. The Father wants us to be always with him. Let us therefore remain in His house, for in His presence is fullness of joy and liberty. Amen.

For further studyRomans 6:8-23; 8:1-11

Meet Sarah: The Mother of Believers (Pt 3)

Daily Devotion | Day 319

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise . . . So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free [woman]” (Galatians 4:28, 31).

In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote to address a hotly contested issue among Christians of that region. Some Jewish Christians, mostly based in Jerusalem, had convinced Gentile believers that submission to the entire law of Moses was necessary for their salvation. They were not asking the Gentiles to replace faith in Christ with the law. They did insist, however, that submission to Christ and His law was not enough. Gentiles needed to be initiated into the law of Moses as well via circumcision.

Paul heard about this. To his dismay, some of the Gentile Christians had either embraced this false doctrine or were close to doing so. His letter to the community was a sharp rebuke for their gullibility. Additionally, Paul took the opportunity to reiterate the sound teaching regarding these matters. In doing so, he combined the power of rhetoric, familiarity with the Scriptures and his divinely inspired insights into the new covenant. Today’s opening passage falls within this context.

Paul brought Sarah into the picture when he wanted to contrast the old covenant with the new. He did not mention her by name, but the context made it clear that he was speaking of Sarah (Galatians 4:22). Paul wanted to convey the following message: Whoever chooses the law over Christ (or in addition to Christ) chooses slavery over freedom. And to bring this point home, he made use of an allegory which involves two women: Sarah and Hagar.

Let us note that these two women are not fictional characters. They are historical figures in the Bible. And they both represent deeper spiritual realities with far reaching implications for believers. Paul’s goal is to show the ‘prophetic’ relationship between the two women and the two covenants they represent.

Hagar was a slave.  She represents Mount Sinai, earthly Jerusalem, life in the flesh, spiritual slavery and the law (old covenant). Children born of Hagar are born in bondage. As a result, Hagar’s children do not inherit the promises God made to Abraham.

In contrast, Sarah was a free woman. She represents the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26-27), life in the Spirit, spiritual freedom and the new covenant. Consequently, children born of Sarah are free; they are children of promise and heirs of God: “the Jerusalem above [represented by Sarah] is free, which is the mother of us all” (4:26).  This being the case, Paul confidently concludes that we, Christians, are children of promise as Isaac was (4:28), and “we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free” (4:31).

To sum up:

Being a child of Sarah is about identity, origin and destiny. If you do not know your origin and spiritual lineage, you will be confused about your identity and your heritage. Confused identity leads to a confused life. If you do not know you are from a royal family, you will live the life of a slave. This is what the Galatians were tempted to do.

But the Father wants you to know where you came from, which family you are part of, who you are and where you are going. Here, the life of Sarah is instructive. Sarah is more than a character in the Bible. She represents royalty, grace and freedom in Christ. And she is the mother of all who believe. Glory to God for giving us Sarah. Amen.

For further studyGalatians 4:1-7, 21-31 and John 8:31-47

Once a Sinner, Now Redeemed

Daily Devotional: Day 167

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23-24, NASB).

Today’s reading is one of the oft-quoted passages of the New Testament – and for good reason. The direction of our Christian life hinges on how we understand and apply this Scripture. Before arriving at Romans 3:23-24, Paul had spent ample time explaining the judgment that is upon people for going astray from God’s revealed will. Jews had the Law, but they failed by transgressing it. Gentiles didn’t have the Law; but they had no excuse for living in unrighteousness. For, as Paul notes in Romans 1:20, “since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” The common charge, therefore, is that “all [Jews and Gentiles alike] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 Notice that the Bible didn’t say all are sinners by birth. “All have sinned” means people who knew the difference between right and wrong, chose to do wrong. Moreover, notice that Paul didn’t say all never stopped sinning or all shall continue to sin. This is important, because many Christians rely – erroneously – on Romans 3:23 to justify sin in their lives and their reluctance to cease from sin. “All have sinned” is in the past tense for a reason. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, all who believe in Him shall be released from the dominion of sin and empowered to sin no more. Henceforth, they can live righteously by grace. This is the essence of being saved from your sins (cf. Matthew 1:21, John 8:34, and Romans 6:14). It is a blessed transition from being a slave to sin, to being the redeemed of the Lord. This transition is described in the next verse, Romans 3:24.

When people repent and turn to Christ, they are “justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” The two highlighted words are important. “Justified” means you are made just, i.e. you are made right with God through the blood of Christ. You’re no longer on the wrong side of God. Many Christians, however, stop at this point. They love the “justified” part; but they overlook the next equally important aspect of their salvation, which is redemption. The word redemption used here in Romans 3:24, is translated from the Greek word APOLUTROSIS. It refers to the act of being released from captivity or bondage upon the payment of a ransom. This means you’re redeemed, i.e. released from the power of sin. You’re no longer free to sin; you are free to not sin. You’ve been released from sin’s captivity, so that henceforth you can live exclusively for Christ and for righteousness.

 In Christ, to be saved means you’re washed (in the blood of Jesus), justifiedsanctifiedfilled with the Holy Spiritand released from sin’s captivity. Salvation, therefore, is a transition from being a sinner to being the Lord’s redeemed. Make the most of this holy transition and blessed freedom.

May the Lord bless you and keep you from all evil. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. 

For further study: John 8:31-36.