When your conscience rises up and condemns you, where will you turn?

John Piper on Hebrews 9:

So here we are in the modern age, the age of science, space travel—E-mail, heart transplants, instant replays, beepers, 911—and our problem is fundamentally the same as always: our consciences condemn us and make us feel unacceptable to God. We are alienated from God. We don’t feel good enough to come to him. And no matter how distorted our consciences are, that much is true: we are not good enough to come to him.

We can cut ourselves, or throw our children in the sacred river, or give a million dollars to the United Way, or serve in a soup kitchen at Thanksgiving, or a hundred forms of penance and self-injury, and the result will be the same: the stain remains and death terrifies. We know that our conscience is defiled—not with external things like touching a corpse, a dirty diaper, or a piece of pork. Jesus said it is what comes out of a man that defiles, not what goes in (Mark 7:15-23). We are defiled by attitudes like pride and self-pity and bitterness and lust and envy and jealousy and covetousness and apathy and fear. Verse 14 says that these are “dead works”—that is, they have no spiritual life in them. They don’t come from new life; they come from death and they lead to death. That is why they make us feel hopeless in our consciences.

The Only Answer

The only answer in this modern age, as in every other age is the blood of Christ. When your conscience rises up and condemns you, where will you turn? Hebrew 9:14 gives you the answer: turn to Christ. Turn to the blood of Christ. Turn to the only cleansing agent in the universe that can give you relief in life and peace in death.

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

I urge you this morning, turn to Christ, turn right now to Christ and receive the free gift that he bought at infinite price: the gift of perfect forgiveness and cleansing.