March 1, 2024


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Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
John 15:5

We have seen the wonderful provision that God has made for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have seen that this work of God for us was designed to reverse all the effects of man’s rebellion against God. All the bad things that we deserve were put on Jesus at the cross, while all the blessings of the Kingdom that belong to Jesus we share in through the cross and the resurrection.

No amount of religious work or obedience to God’s commandments on our part can BUY God’s blessings. JESUS bought these blessings for us at the cross. We can never say that through our works we merit any part of God’s salvation. God’s salvation is freely available. We are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9).
However, no one can receive full peace with God who still wants to fight against God and rebel against His Will. God’s will is that we be reconciled to Him. The repentance that we need to have is that turning away from self to God where we want God to fill us, free us, change us and work in us.

It is well known among believers that the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all sin. What is not so well known is the fact that the blood of Christ must cleanse our conscience from dead works too before we can serve the living God aright (Heb. 9:14).
It is essential therefore that we have a clear understanding of what dead works really are.

Dead works are more deceitful. They are externally good works, but they spring from a corrupt source (for nothing good dwells in our flesh) and are therefore like a filthy garment in God’s eyes (Rom. 7:18; Isa. 64:6).

Dead works are the works of our hands. These are works of selfrighteousness, and they are appropriately called “dead” works because they lead to death. Twice the book of Proverbs says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death”

We rely on work. We get significance from our work. We like a job that is well done. And well we should, because God created us to work. Yet all of our labors are useless, and thus dead, if they do not point to the worship of God. Any significance and esteem we attain from our labor apart from the end of bringing God glory and establishing His rule upon the earth is misplaced. Such godless labor may appear good to us and even receive the applause of others, but heaven finds it repulsive and defiled by sin. In other words, unless we have been washed in the blood of Christ, all our good deeds are worthless, useless, vain, and dead.
…unless we have been washed in the blood of Christ, all our good deeds are worthless, useless, vain, and dead.

These works are lethal because the thing that most keeps people from Christ is the belief that they can be good without Him. Their lives may be filled with good deeds in the eyes of men, but such works are not necessarily good in the eyes of God. Unfortunately, many have been led astray by the church, as preachers and teachers have told them that the gospel is what they do. Live right. Eat right. Give right. Die right. The truth, however, is that only faith in Christ matters—everything else is sin (Rom. 14:23). You can sing like Mahalia Jackson or Whitney Houston. You can play like Mozart or Yo-Yo Ma. Without Christ, these works are dead. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal is believed to have said, “There are only two kinds of people in the world: the righteous who understand themselves to be sinners, and the sinners who believe themselves to be righteous.” The Bible says that, apart from God in Christ, all my righteousness is but filthy rags—defiled and unclean (Isa. 64:6). Apart from the blood of Christ, my conscience and my hands are unclean, and my worship and works are dead. But in Christ, not only am I made alive, so are my works.

To serve the living God” is necessary to the happiness of a living man: for this end were we made, and we miss the design of our making if we do not honour our Maker. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever.” If we miss that end we are ourselves terrible losers. The service of God is the element in which alone we can fully live. If you had a fish here upon dry land, supposing it possible that it could exist, yet it would lead a very unhappy life: it would scarcely be a fish at all! You could not tell of what it was capable; it would be deprived of the opportunity of developing its true self. It is not until you put it into the stream that the fish becomes really a fish and enjoys its existence. It is just so with man: he does exist without God, but we may not venture to call that existence “life;” for “he shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” If he lives in pleasure, yet he is dead while he lives. He is so constituted that to develop his manhood perfectly, as God would have it to be, he must addict himself to fellowship with God, and to the service of God. Many ways have been tried by men to make themselves perfectly content, but they cannot find satisfaction out of God. When a man getteth to serve God, and in proportion as he thoroughly does so, he is peaceful, restful, and happy. Man is a fallen star till he is right with heaven: he is out of order with himself and all around him till he occupies his true place in relation to God. When he serves God, he has reached that point where he doth serve himself best, and enjoy himself most. It is man’s honour, it is man’s joy, it is man’s heaven, to live unto God.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
John 15:5

We do not glory in our dead deeds. We glory in the living Christ! Only Jesus provides the clean consciences, hands, and hearts we need to glory in Him.

Men are not Christians because of what they do but because of what Christ does. Consider again the words of John 6:28,29: “What shall we do that we might work the works of God?” “this is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent”


The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

“Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;”
Hebrews 9:8-9

Conscience, an aspect of human nature in God’s image, is a gift from God that, when working properly, tells people their obligation to God, accusing them when they do wrong and excusing them when they wrongly feel guilty.

Conscience is an aspect of self-awareness that produces the pain and/or pleasure we “feel” as we reflect on the norms and values we recognize and apply. Conscience is not an outside voice. It is a inward capacity humans possess to critique themselves because the Creator provided this process as a means of moral restraint for his creation.

The Old Covenant system could not “perfect the conscience of the worshiper.” So you have a worshiper who would bring animals to sacrifice for the atonement of his sin.

But it could not perfect the conscience, the God-given, innermost moral capacity of the worshiper. It could not transform the worshiper’s heart, and in the context of v.11, it could not open direct access to God.
That’s why there was a curtain separating the Holy of Holies in the temple, a curtain that ultimately tore when Jesus was the final sacrifice.
The Old Covenant could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper.
But when Christ appeared…

There is an internal change that occurs when you put your faith in Jesus. By His grace, God will regenerate your heart and make you a new creation. That is not an external cleansing— that is a cleansing of your God-given, innermost moral capacity.
negatively, the forgiveness of our purification from sin(s), and positively, the opening of access to God
When he transforms you, purifies your conscience, he transforms you from dead works to serve the living God.

We need the crucified, risen Savior to transform our soul and make us a new creation. We need the same gospel that saved us to remain the only gospel that can sustain us.

  • our conscience is purified from dead works to serve the living God.
    Here’s what that means— those dead works of our flesh, just like the Old Covenant system, that had to be done over and over again— Jesus was the final and sufficient sacrifice for our sin and to give us direct access to God.
    Through Jesus, these aren’t dead works any longer. Through Jesus, our works can now serve the Living God.
    We don’t work to get saved; we work because we are saved.

Having heard about dead works now, the great danger for some of us may be that of backing away from the cliff of ‘dead works’, and falling over the cliff on the other side of the narrow way – the cliff of ‘doing nothing’. That would be worse. The living works of the Spirit can be produced through us only as we cooperate with the Spirit in living a disciplined life – not law, but discipline.
Let us then cleanse ourselves not only from all defilement of the flesh, but also from that of the spirit (2 Cor. 7:1), so that our righteous deeds may become our wedding dress on the day of the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:8).