In Hebrews 9, Paul wrote about the old covenant and how the high priest annually offered a sacrifice “for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance (verse 7).” Paul added, “This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.” There was still this lingering thought, a sense that they had done something wrong. The physical act of sacrifice could not generate a clear conscience.
Our conscience is our moral compass. The New Oxford American Dictionary describes conscience as: “an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.” We are responsible for our behavior. Too often we try to clear our conscience through acts of kindness or even religious activities. We may even try to suppress the feeling of guilt or distract ourselves from thinking about it.
Yet it is that gnawing feeling that you did something wrong that should draw us to Christ Jesus seeking to repent. Only He can clear our conscience. Only He can forgive our sin. “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God (14)!” Our conscience should guide us toward doing right and righting wrongs; toward maturing our faith in Jesus so that we can serve God and His purposes.
© 2021, CGThelen
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. – Acts 9:28