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Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)

Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)

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Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ

Hebrews 9:1-14 (Pastor Heo)

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 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. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

The Blood of Christ

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 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!


Only the blood of Christ can clean our consciences.

God instructed the Israelites to build a structure – the tabernacle – which could be disassembled and travel with the people to the Promised Land, Canaan. This became the place that God lived among them.

At that time, the people had to travel to the temple – in Jerusalem – but before that temple was built, this tabernacle traveled with the people – as a representation of God’s presence and availability.

This building was the CENTER of their moving, living, working, breathing – likewise, Christ is the CENTER of our lives.

v. 1-5 explanation of the tabernacle – it is a symbol of the reality that is in heaven (Christ)

“1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”

This tabernacle is a symbol of the reality of Christ. ALL parts point to Jesus Christ.

In the study of this tabernacle:

A. Size

100 cubits long x 50 cubits wide = 1 cubit (50 cm) – from elbow to the end of the second finger in an adult man – my cubit is 48 cm.

So about 50m x 25m.

There was only ONE gate – only one way in to see God. This was a symbol of the entrance of salvation / life. Jesus says, “I am the Gate. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but I’m the Gate; I’ve come to give you eternal life.”

“Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we may be saved.”

John “I am the Gate” x2

1. Bronze altar =

Burnt sacrifice – burnt offerings of killed animals.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins who takes away the sins of the world.

2. Bronze Laver =

Wash basin – the priests cleanse their hands and feet before their duty. It symbolized their need for spiritual purity.

We also need daily purification / sanctification.

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:7-9

“The blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin.”

B. Outer Room =

Only priests could enter, and there are 3 things present there.

  1. Table of showbread
  2. Aaron’s staff
  3. Pot of manna

3. Table of Showbread =

All the time, 12 loaves of bread displayed on the table – each one representing one tribe of Israel. Once a week on the Sabbath, that bread was changed to new bread, and the old bread was eaten by the priests on duty.

This is a symbol of spiritual nourishment: God provides for his people.

Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry / will never go thirsty.”

4. Golden Lampstand =

7 candles symbolizing “perfection” spiritually

Morning and evening, the priests burned candles. It’s a symbol of enlightenment, light, guidance in the world.

Jesus, “I’m the Light of the World. Whoever comes to me shall never walk in darkness.”

John’s gospel “In the beginning was the light, the light of men, it shined in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

5. Altar of Incense =

Burned incense continually

Symbol of acceptable prayer of believers and continual access to God. How can we access God now? Through prayer.

We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because this symbolizes Jesus interceding for us as mediator.

Timothy “There is one mediator between God and man – the man Jesus Christ who gave his life as a ransom for all men.”

Incense = vapor going to heaven, like this our faithful prayers go to heaven.

C. Second Room =

The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) – only the High Priest could enter that place ONCE per year on the Day of Atonement

In this room there is only ONE thing: The Ark of the Covenant

6. The Ark of the Covenant =

A symbol of God’s promise with his people (법궤).

It was overlaid with pure gold, and inside were three things:

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. Aaron’s budded staff
  3. Pot (gold jar) of manna

The cover (called “The Mercy Seat”) was covered with cherubim (angels).

  1. Mercy Seat
  2. Atoning Sacrifice
  3. Propitiation (for our sins)

In that box: the most important thing: The Ten Commandments.

Before the Ten Commandments, everyone was recognized as sinners. The Commandments were like a spiritual mirror. With these Commandments, all people were recognized as sinners – and so the sins of the people were IN that box, and covered with the Mercy Seat.

The High Priest entered that place only ONE time per year ONLY with blood of lambs or goats, and sprinkled that blood on the top of the Mercy Seat (thus its name).

Through the sprinkling of blood on top of the Mercy Seat, God did not see the sins that were contained inside that box. This is a symbol of Christ.

  • 1 John “Jesus Christ is our atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.”
  • Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 3:24 “But all can be justified freely through his grace through Jesus Christ.”

God gives the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus, by his grace.

v. 6-10

“6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 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. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”

“…the time of the new order” = Jesus Christ – the better covenant

You know in this tabernacle, there is always a barrier to God.

  1. Ordinary people = to the Gate (not inside)
  2. Levites = into the courtyard
  3. Priests = into the Holy Place
  4. High Priest (one person) = the Most Holy Place

Jesus took ALL these barriers away and became our peace and reconciliation – between Jews and Gentiles, man and woman, slave and free, high and low.

Gal 3:28 “There are no Jews, Gentiles, no slave, free, no male, female in Christ. Jesus has made the TWO to become ONE and has destroyed all barriers between God and man.”

Conclusion: We can apply and enjoy this in our own lives – we must believe, accept, enjoy.

Conclusion: Only the BLOOD of Christ can make our consciences clear.

Is your conscience clear?

v. 9 “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.”

v. 11-14

“11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 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!”

Conclusion verse: “how much more!”

This is the contrast between v. 13 & 14

“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!”

Jesus himself never changes, so he is able to change everything.

  • He didn’t enter the earthly sanctuary, but the heavenly one.
  • He didn’t enter with the blood of animals, but his own.
  • He didn’t sacrifice for his own sins, but all our sins.
  • He didn’t enter the sanctuary repeatedly, but dwelt there repeatedly – where he IS, is the sanctuary.

In 4 ways, Jesus sacrifice of himself is totally different from the ceremonial system of the first covenant.

  1. Voluntary (animals lives were taken from them) – He laid his life down for his friends – now he calls you “friend”
  2. Spontaneous (animals were the product of LAW) – Jesus’ sacrifice was the product of LOVE
  3. Rational (animal victims did not know what it was doing – why it was there, what was happening to it) – Jesus, from first to last KNEW what / why he was doing it – and he died with his eyes wide open – he knew everything (rational)
  4. Spiritual / moral / loving (animals = mechanical sacrifice, like an assembly line, robots, etc) – but for Christ, all things at Calvary were not ceremonially prescribed, not mechanical – but his sacrifice was made through the Holy Spirit (eternal Spirit)

v. 14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to od, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus’ sacrifice was not the mechanism of Law, but all three members of the Trinity were involved.

  1. Jesus the Son offered himself
  2. through the eternal Spirit
  3. to the Father God
    • to the surpassing greatness of God compared to the blood of animals.
  • v. 13 = Did the blood of animals have an effect? Yes, some effect – outwardly, temporarily, ceremonially, they were cleansed.
  • The point? IF the blood of animals had SOME effect, then HOW MUCH MORE the blood of Christ, who is God?

If you understand and accept this, you should respond “Amen!” (Do not check my English)

If you understand this message from the movement and touch of the Holy Spirit, you should respond “Amen! I have a clean conscience!”

Forgiveness: has two sides:

  1. God’s side: his demand for holiness is satisfied fully by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
  2. Man’s side: our guilty consciences are scrubbed clean – there is no reason to feel defeated by guilty consciences – because he satisfies his requirements for holiness and wipes our “criminal record” (sins) clean – they are “NO MORE.”

If, let me give you one serious, practical question: Are you bothered by guilt today? At least there are two reasons:

  1. You have not understood that God can make your conscience clean – you must accept, believe, and enjoy this fact as real. God can make our consciences clean simply because of what Jesus did on the cross
  2. You have not yet received the gift of God through Christ because you have not asked. Accept your own inability to clean your own conscience and ask him to come in and do it for you.

Do you have any bad record in your history? He can cleanse ALL your conscience – there is no sin too great that he cannot forgive.

When Jesus comes into your life, he will change it.

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come.”

Jesus changes everything in our lives.

Let’s pray.

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