Hebrews 9:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 9:14, NIV: "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!"

Hebrews 9:14, ESV: "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 9:14, KJV: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Hebrews 9:14, NASB: "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?"

Hebrews 9:14, NLT: "Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins."

Hebrews 9:14, CSB: "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we can serve the living God?"

What does Hebrews 9:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The old covenant sacrifices were not completely useless. They were flawed, and the writer of Hebrews makes this clear (Hebrews 8:7). However, they did serve a purpose. They served as symbols of the future ministry of Jesus Christ. And, they were able to provide a measure of purity. Of course, that purity was entirely external, ceremonial, and temporary. Animal blood, and sacrifices by sinful priests, could never permanently change the inner nature of a man. In verse 13, the author introduced the point that the blood shed by these animals had some power.

Here, the blood shed by Christ is said to have the kind of power missing from that of animal sacrifices. Interestingly, the writer invokes all three persons of the Trinity when explaining how this sacrifice fulfills the entire purpose of the new covenant. God the Father can receive our service, because God the Son offers Himself as sacrifice, as guided by God the Holy Spirit. Mention is made, once again, that Jesus' life is "without blemish," a reference to His sinless life (Hebrews 4:15).

The result of the power of Jesus' sacrifice is dramatic. The "dead works" of rituals and laws left something un-resolved in our spirits. Christ's blood cleans us, spiritually, in a way those animal sacrifices never could. This is the same idea echoed in Hebrews 6:1, where attempts to be reconciled to God through deeds and rituals are also described as "dead works."