This is what God gave me today in His word:
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 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. (Hebrews 9:11-14)
Christ purifies us, and then He sanctifies us, through His death. By ourselves, as we’ve all no doubt found out, we’re pretty hopeless… and useless… and all those other lovely adjectives used to describe those trying be good by their own volition. e.g., “bad”, etc.. A little more simply, we were “defiled persons”, as the author puts it. But Christ is able to purify all.
The sacrifices the Israelites used to make were really quite meaningless, except to serve as a foreshadow of Christ’s sacrifice. They had no real power to take away sin, or to relieve guilt. Rather, God looked on them, and was reminded of the sacrifice which He had planned before time; the sacrifice of His son, which actually could take away sin and guilt. Christ didn’t come before God with, as the author says, “the blood of goats and calves”, but with His own blood, to forgive the sins of the people; us.
Jesus didn’t only forgive our sins, though that in of itself would of been enough. He has also purified our consciences “from dead works to serve the living God.” All who believe in Christ as their savior are free from the slavery of sin and guilt, and are under a commission to “serve the living God.” I believe I’m serving God, albeit in a very small way, through my blog. As are numerous others through their blog. Pastors serve God when they preach, deacons do when they serve, and so forth. But ministry doesn’t have to stay in the Church, or for that matter in the blogopsphere. In fact, it shouldn’t stay just in the Church (or blogopsphere). Rather, however it is we can serve, we should serve God in that way. Whether in the Church or not.
You are Loved!