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No More Consciousness of Sin

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
July 15, 2022 9:00 am

No More Consciousness of Sin

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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July 15, 2022 9:00 am

All of the Old Testament points to Jesus. On this edition of Summit Life, we’re seeing shadows of the gospel in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. What the old temple gave you is a shadow Christ fulfilled in reality. He made an end to sin, the Hebrews writer says, and he sat down forever. What is most intriguing to me in this passage, however, is how the writer says that that blood of Jesus, how it does something with our guilt that the old covenant and all religions ever could never do. Welcome to Summit Life, the Bible teaching ministry of J.D.

Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. We are in a study of the book of Hebrews called Christ is Better, discovering how the good news of the gospel is revealed throughout the entire Old Testament. And today, we're looking at the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. We're seeing hints of the gospel in this ancient sacred holiday, pointing ahead to the blood of Jesus that takes away our guilt and shame forever. If you have missed any of the messages of this teaching so far, or if you'd like to get your copy of the companion Bible study that goes along with our teaching here on the program, visit us at or call us at 866-335-5220.

But right now, let's get started. Here's Pastor J.D. with a message titled No More Consciousness of Sin. All right, if you have a Bible, and now's a good time to take it out and open it to Hebrews 9.

Hebrews chapter 9. One of the central problems that Christianity claims to deal with is the problem of guilt. That's pretty much what the whole premise of the gospel is built upon, is it not? We were guilty.

We couldn't do anything about that, so Christ came and did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He dealt with our guilt. Now, when people say guilt, they usually mean what you feel when you have done something wrong. Certain Christian counselors that I respect, and read a great deal, make a distinction between what they call overt guilt and covert guilt. Overt guilt is when you know you've done something wrong, and you feel guilty about it. I am sure that we have a number of people in here at all of our locations who struggle with that kind of overt guilt.

Maybe it's a sexual sin that you have committed, or maybe you've gotten ahead where you are right now by cheating, and no one's ever found out about that. Maybe it's cheating at school, or you cheated in business, you cheated a partner, you cheated the IRS, maybe you know that you've been a bad parent, or you were a bad sibling, or a bad spouse, and you feel guilty about how you were to that person. You know, sometimes when you feel guilty in relationships, you can resolve the issue.

You can deal with it. You can go to the person and tell them you're sorry. You can ask for forgiveness. You can make restitution, but then there's sometimes that you can't. Sometimes the damage that you inflicted is irreversible and permanent. The relationship is permanently destroyed.

The damage to them is permanently done. Or maybe the person is gone, and you just can't say you're sorry anymore. Can't tell you how many people I've talked to to talk about ways that they treated their parents when they were alive, and then they never had a chance because their parents died to go back to them and say, I'm sorry for how I was.

I'm sorry for the way that I treated you and took advantage of you. And then on top of that, even if you can deal with the guilt sometimes, sometimes you can't shake the sense of shame that goes with it. Shame is not the same thing as guilt. Shame grows out of guilt.

It's the question of what kind of person am I who would do something like that? Or what if people found out that I had done this or that? Say, for example, you got caught embezzling from the IRS, and you had to pay a $50,000 fine and spend two years in prison. Well, if you paid your fine and served your sentence, your legal guilt would be gone. But then if you walked back into your small group, you would feel some shame, right? I mean, you may have resolved your guilt, but it's like, what kind of person am I that would do something like that and be caught in it? Some of you have messed up in ways you would never want anybody to find out about. You know, there are certain sins that when you confess them, right, you get sympathy from other people.

You're in a group of guys who are in their early 20s, and one of them confesses that he struggles with the sin of lust. Everybody just kind of nods their head. Or if I stand up here and I confess, sometimes I struggle with pride.

You know, I see guys out there, I see people out there nodding their heads. You get sympathy from them. Sometimes people are even proud of their faults. You ever notice that people who are Type A or overworked or OCD seem to like to confess that fault?

It's like they're proud of it. You know, it's like, I just worked too hard. I just care too much about my job. I'm just too responsible and neat and clean and perfect. And you're like, oh, I'm so sorry for you.

Shut up, you know. There are certain kinds of guilt. There are certain kinds of sin that get you sympathy, but then there are some that don't.

David Powison, one of my favorite counselors, says this. He says, some sins, however, do not elicit sympathetic nods. If you were adulterous and your family found out, they would not be nodding. Shameful sins receive stares, not nods. Even when guilt is confessed, the shame remains. I mean, there are certain sins that get confessed in a small group that make you go closer together as a group. Then there are sins that make everyone feel awkward in the room and you start immediately looking at your watch or trying to head for the door, right? All of that is what we call overt guilt.

Pretty straightforward. And then there's this other dimension called covert guilt, which is a sense that all of us have that something is wrong, a sense of shame that we may not be able to identify where it comes from, but it's just part of the human condition. I've explained it to you many times before as coming out of the Genesis 2 account where man and woman were in the Garden of Eden and they were clothed, excuse me, they were naked, but the first effect of their sin after they had sin was that they had a sense of shame about their nakedness. Now, if you know the story, you know that they were naked before they sinned, but they weren't ashamed of it because they were clothed in the love and the acceptance of God. Having been stripped of the love and the acceptance of God, they felt a nakedness about themselves that resulted in shame, and I've explained to you that that is a metaphor for our lives, that we have this sense of shame.

We don't know where it's coming from, but we know that we need to be covered. I explained that even if you don't believe in God, your soul has a sense of that shame. I used a couple of examples to illustrate this a few weeks ago. Playwright Arthur Miller, who wrote Death of a Salesman, talked about after how he quit believing in God, he still needed to be declared okay by somebody, and he found that in the approval of audiences and critics, and he confessed later that he realized all he had done was he'd switched out God with other people.

He used to be concerned about the approval of God, quit believing in God, so now he needed to be declared okay by another group of people. I found an interesting quote this week in an article about Madonna, or interviewing Madonna, in Vogue magazine. Madonna says, quote, my drive in life comes from a fear of being mediocre.

That is always pushing me. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being, but then I feel I'm still mediocre and uninteresting unless I do something else, because even though I have become somebody now, I still have to prove that I am somebody. My struggle has never ended, and I guess it never will. Now, I would guess that Madonna is probably not everybody's favorite musician in here, but that's a very insightful statement. In fact, I would say she might know herself better than you know yourself. She recognizes that court for her is still in session. She's still looking for the you're okay verdict. That's because she has an internal sense that something is wrong.

The jury may be different, but the case is the same. All of that goes back to soul nakedness, a sense of guilt, a sense of guilt before God that you carry around. You see, I've told you, while your mind might not admit there's a God, your heart knows it without a doubt, because that's how God created you. And so this sense of nakedness that your soul has causes you to walk around with this covert sense of guilt. Now, what happens is that sense of guilt drives you, sometimes more than you realize, causing you to ruin relationships, destroying your life.

So here's the question. What does the Bible say about guilt and how to deal with it? Hebrews chapter 9, verses 1 through 12 of chapter 9, the author of Hebrews goes through a description of the Old Testament sacrificial system, and he explains that the whole temple was set up to deal with our guilt.

That's what the whole point of it. The reason we had a temple is because we felt guilty, we were guilty. We had this sense of separation from God. Verse 2, he describes two intersections of the temple. Two intersections. The first was called the holy place. Would have looked like this, put a picture up here for you. You've got two sections of the temple. You've got the larger one there that is what they call the holy place. There's going to be three pieces of furniture in it, a curtain that divides it from the innermost section called the holy of holies. That curtain was called the paraket, which literally meant in Hebrew shut off, which was the purpose of the veil. Now, it was really thick, about four inches thick.

It was woven of 72 cords, each with about 24 strands in them. It was blue and red and purple. It had layers of overlapping material so that the place where the presence of God was, the holy of holies, was an absolute unapproachable darkness. And the holy of holies was one piece of furniture called the Ark of the Covenant. Now, you know what that looks like, right?

Right? And there were a few things inside the Ark, but on the top of the Ark was a mercy seat, the top where the blood of sacrifice was sprinkled. And on top of the mercy seat, stood two cherubim, which cherubim just means two different cherubs, two angels, which stood like guards guarding entry into the presence of God. Into that holy of holies, only one priest, the high priest, would enter and only one time a year on a day called the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. On that day, the high priest would go in and sprinkle the blood of a clean animal sacrifice upon the top of that Ark. As the writer of Hebrews notes in verse 1 of chapter 9, the high priest was supposed to make meticulous preparation before entering the holy of holies.

No defilement at all could be found upon him. The week leading up to the Day of Atonement was a pretty intense process to get ready for it. Old Testament scholar Ray Dillard describes it like this, quote, a week beforehand, the high priest was put into seclusion all by himself, taken away from his home, put into a place where he was completely alone. Now why?

Why would they do that? He said because they didn't want him accidentally to touch or eat anything unclean. Clean food was brought to him and throughout the week, he'd wash his body and prepare his heart. The night before the Day of Atonement, he wouldn't go to bed. He stayed up all night praying and reading God's word to purify his soul.

Then on Yom Kippur, he bathed head to toe and dressed in pure unstained white linen. Then he went into the holy of holies and he offered an animal sacrifice to God to atone or to pay the penalty for his own sins. He would offer throughout this process three different bulls. The first bull was one that he paid for that he would offer as a sacrifice for his own sin. The second bull that he would offer would be for the sins of the priest.

In fact, I'll keep reading and I'll get to that here in a second. After that he came out and bathed completely again and new white linen was put on him and he went in again, this time sacrificing for the sins of the priest, but that's not all. He would come out a third time and bathe again from head to toe and they would dress him in brand new pure linen. This time he would put on an ephod that had 12 stones on it representing the 12 tribes of Israel showing that he was going in now as their representative to offer a sacrifice on their behalf and he would go into the holy of holies and atone for the sins of all people. This is Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer.

We'll return for the conclusion of today's teaching in just a moment, but I wanted to remind you about our featured resource this month. You know, we are prone to drift spiritually and when that happens we lose sight of God's greater plan and purpose for our lives. The writer of Hebrews can't promise us that everything is always going to go right, but what he can tell us is that Christ is better than anything else you can obtain on earth. If there was ever a truth for us today, this is it.

All 10 parts of this Bible study include interactive questions and examination of the scripture, which then help us examine our own hearts to see where our faith might be lagging. Reserve your copy right now by calling 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.

Or visit us online at Thanks for being with us today. Now let's finish up today's teaching.

Here's Pastor JD. The Lord continues, this was all done in public. The temple was crowded. Those in attendance watched closely. There was a thin screen that he bathed behind for modesty sake, but the people were present. They saw him bathe. They saw him dress. They saw him go in.

They saw him come back out. He was their representative before God and they were cheering him on. They were very concerned to make sure that everything was done properly and with purity because he was their representative before God.

And if he didn't get it right, then God would not forgive their sins for that year. After this, the high priest would come out and they would go through the ceremony called the scapegoat ceremony. You'll see that referred to in verses 19 and 20 of chapter 9. Two goats were brought.

One would be sacrificed for sin. Then the priest would take the blood of that goat and he would sprinkle it toward the people. You see that referred to in verse 19. And then they would take a piece of wool from that or a piece of the skin of that goat and they would dip it in the blood and they would tie it around the neck of the other goat. That's the scarlet wool by the way in verse 19.

That's what that's a reference to. And they would set that goat free in the wilderness representing the fact that the goat was carrying away the sins of the people away from them. That's by the way where we get the phrase scapegoat from. That all this sin had been put on this one goat and he'd been sent out into the wilderness.

Right? So that was how that day of atonement went and that's what's being described there in chapter 9. All these ceremonies, all these regulations, all these arrangements for entering the presence of God.

But here's what the author concludes about it all. Verse 9. According to this arrangements, gifts and sacrifice are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper.

Fail. But they deal only with food and drink and various washings and regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. All that pomp and circumstance. And it couldn't do the one thing that we needed which was perfect the conscience, remove the guilt or change the heart. Verse 11. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect hand, the one not made with hands that is not of this creation, he entered once for all into the holy place. 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. Don't these symbols, the author says, don't they have to point to something? Keep in mind, he's making an argument to people who are Jewish who have seen these symbols all their life and he's like, don't they point to something? He says, yes, they point to Christ.

All of the Old Testament, the writer of Hebrews is explaining to you, all of it. The stories of the prophets and the miracles and the kings and the miraculous births and the killing of giants and the surviving through the fiery furnaces, all of these things were shadows. Christ was the substance that cast the shadow. The cleanliness required in the temple was a picture of the holiness required by God to be in his presence.

I mean, think about it. Surely God's concern was not dirt. He created dirt. Physical uncleanness represents something. The effect that uncleanness has on you gives you a picture of how moral uncleanness affects God. If somebody were to reach out their hand to shake yours and you notice that they have fecal matter on their hands, even if you're not a germaphobe, you pull back a little bit and you're like, I don't want to touch that. Unless you're a parent of a toddler as I am and then it's just no big deal. But it just creates a reaction in you or the reaction you have when somebody has bad breath. People with bad breath seem to seek me out and like to talk about two inches from my face.

And what do you do with that? You just kind of endure it while they just continue to aspirate and you're recoiling from that. If you feel like you're unclean, if you feel like you have foul breath and you're about to meet somebody important, you want to make sure that you're clean, right? So you check the mirror. If you're going into a job interview, you're going to meet somebody you want to get to know, you check the mirror, you do this thing with your armpits or you put your hand under there and you try to make sure you're all right. Or then you do that thing, I don't do this, but I've seen people do it and it's just like the most disgusting thing ever, where you go up to a friend and you're like, how's my breath?

And you blow in their face. Because you just don't want to be, you don't want somebody to recoil in the presence of your defilement. That is all symbolic of the reaction God has to moral uncleanness. It is repulsive to him. That was a symbol to them, not about how God hates dirt. It was a symbol of how God thought about moral impurity. The work of the high priest pointed to the work of Christ. All that preparation to take away guilt, that pointed to Christ who would do all that for us, albeit in the strangest way. If you study the last week of Jesus's life, you'll notice that Jesus seems to be staging his own day of atonement, just like the high priest did. He began to prepare for it a week beforehand.

That was called the Passion Week. The night before his sacrifice, he stayed up all night. He wasn't clothed in rich garments like the Jewish high priest though, he was stripped of the only garment that he had. Instead of being cheered on by the people, he was jeered by them. He was abandoned by nearly everyone he loved. He wasn't bathed in a purifying pool, he was bathed in human spit. And when he became before God, when he came before God, he did not receive words of encouragement.

The father turned his face away. But he effectively put away our sin forever, because he wasn't a sinful high priest making a sacrifice for our sin. He was a perfect savior who had become the sacrifice for our sin. Just like the Jewish high priest wore the 12 tribes of Israel on his heart, Jesus had us on his heart when, for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despised the shame, so that he could take upon himself our penalty for sin and not just offer the sacrifice, but be the sacrifice.

Every piece of the tabernacle was a shadow of Christ. He was the lampstand that brought the light of God to us. John 8 12, Jesus said, I'm the light of the world. Those who know him walk in the light of life. He was the table of showbread. John 6 35, I am the bread of life.

Those who feast upon him are never hungry. The curtain was a symbol of his flesh, torn so that we could enter the presence of God. At the crucifixion, a Roman soldier, Mark says, saw the curtain torn in two, literally, looking from the place where Jesus was crucified, could see the temple and see the curtain torn in two, a four-inch thick piece of cloth torn in two, symbolizing the fact that the way unto God had been opened. Jesus was the mercy seat where his blood was sprinkled so that we could find the forgiveness of sins. One of my favorite details on the Gospel of John, John mentions it really quickly, but if you know much about the Old Testament system, you pick up on it. John chapter 20 verse 12 says that when the disciples got there to where Jesus' body had laid and he had been raised from the dead, it says there were two angels sitting there, one at his head and one at his foot.

Now, where you've seen two angels before that is on top of the mercy seat, surrounding the mercy seat at the head and the foot. What they're saying is, hey, that place that was on that Ark of the Covenant, the point was not the Ark of the Covenant, the point was Jesus' body would be the place. His resurrected body would be the place where you would find the forgiveness of sins.

Finally, Jesus was the scapegoat. He carried away our sins forever. Psalms say, as far as the east is from the west, hidden in the depths of the sea, they're not merely covered over, they're gone.

They've been taken and dropped off a cliff somewhere and nobody knows where they went. What the old temple gave you is a shadow Christ fulfilled in reality. He made an end to sin, the Hebrews writer says, and he sat down forever. Now, what is most intriguing to me in this passage, however, is how the writer says that that blood of Jesus, how it does something with our guilt that the old covenant and all religions ever could never do.

I found three of them in this chapter. The first two are in verse 14. All right, so look at verse 14. How much more, the writer says, will the blood of Christ purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Three things the blood of Jesus does with our guilt. Number one, we go from guilt to purity. Jesus did not simply cover our guilt or waive the penalty or make up for it. He did away with it forever. When Jesus was on the cross, the words that he spoke right before he died, in Greek, tetelestai, which meant literally it has been paid.

He says it is paid. Charles Spurgeon used to say that it would now be unjust for God to punish us at all for our sin because God would be requiring two payments for the same sin. You're listening to Summit Life with pastor and author J.D.

Greer. Now, J.D., we're about halfway through our teaching series through Hebrews called Christ is Better. It seems to me like the point. The main message of Hebrews is don't give up. Yeah, Molly, that is exactly right. And by the way, I've heard some recordings of some things that you've been teaching here in our women's ministry.

And I think we need we need to get you in this podcast soon. But it is true as we walk through the book of Hebrews, we see that this is a book of the Bible that is written to people whose faith in Jesus was was lagging. Some of that was the difficulty of their surroundings, wondering why God wasn't delivering them more quickly or just walking through pain or sometimes just through a time when it seems like, you know, God almost feels absent.

I'd say that many of us today struggle with some of those same feelings and we find it harder and harder to to maintain this robust faith in God that he is active, that he's working and that is his goodness is is just flowing into our lives. So to help us as we daily seek to walk with God, we've got a Bible study to drive home that Jesus and Jesus alone is worthy of our trust and our devotion. We want every chapter of the book of Hebrews to challenge and to encourage you. And so this study is designed to take you deeper into the chapter so that you're hearing the Bible taught, but then you're also being able to examine it for yourself and let the Holy Spirit give you additional insight and help apply the concepts that you're learning to to your life so that your life changes.

Go to and it'll tell you how you can get ahold of that study. You can get a sneak peek at this beautiful study right now when you visit This ministry is made possible by friends like you who come alongside us with financial support, enabling people across the country and even around the world to hear this program on the radio and web. Join that mission when you give a one-time gift today or become a part of our monthly gospel partner family. When you give, we'll send you our brand new Bible study that follows right along with this teaching series.

It comes with our thanks when you financially support the mission of Summit Life today. The suggested giving level is $35 or more and remember every penny you donate is used to advance the gospel through this ministry. Give today and ask for your copy of Christ is Better when you call us at 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.

It's even easier to give on our website. Go to or if it's easier, you can mail your donation. Our address is J.D. Greer Ministries, P.O. Box 122-93, Durham, North Carolina, 277-09. I'm Molly Vidovitch. We trust you'll have a wonderful weekend of worship with your church family and be sure to join us again next week as we continue this study in the book of Hebrews here on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 23:59:59 / 2023-03-24 00:11:04 / 11

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