Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 27 September 2022:
Listen to this short video overview of 2 Samuel 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvoWDXNDJgs
Hebrews 9:14 — How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
“Here we are in the modern age — the age of the Internet, smartphones, space travel, and heart transplants — 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. And our consciences bear witness.
We can cut ourselves, or throw our children in the sacred river, or give a million dollars to charity, or serve in a soup kitchen, or a hundred forms of penance or 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.
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? Hebrews 9:14 gives you the answer: ‘How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.’
The answer is: 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.” (John Piper)
Jesus’ perfect sacrifice is intended to give you a clear conscience so that you can serve God unhindered by any fear or guilt. Again, grace enables obedient, confident, grateful service.
Hebrews 9:28 – …so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
“The question before us all is: Are we included in the ‘many’ whose sins Christ bore? And will we be saved at his second coming?
The answer of Hebrews 9:28 is, ‘Yes,’ if we are ‘eagerly waiting for him.’ We can know that our sins are taken away and that we will be safe in the judgment, if we trust Christ in such a way that it makes us eager for his coming.
There is a phony faith that claims to believe in Christ, but is only a fire insurance policy. Phony faith ‘believes’ only to escape hell. It has no real desire for Christ. In fact, it would prefer if he did not come, so that we can have as much of this world’s pleasures as possible. This shows that a heart is not with Christ, but with the world.
So, the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want him to stay away, while our love affair with the world runs its course? That is the question that tests the authenticity of faith.
Let us be like the Corinthians as we ‘wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 1:7), and like the Philippians whose ‘citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 3:20).
That’s the issue for us. Do we love his appearing? Or do we love the world and hope that his appearing will not interrupt our plans? Eternity hangs on this question.” (John Piper)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 27 September 2022: End your guilt today by accepting that Christ paid for all of your sins once and for all. Walk in peace with God, and obey Him not out of guilt or fear but out of genuine love for Him, appreciation for the grace you have received for eternity, and enthusiastic joy of being in His continual presence and fellowship, now and into eternity. (Hebrews 9)