What are dead works?
Look at the following passage in Hebrews and let’s see . . .
“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).
In some ways the book of Hebrews is a big warning! It’s a warning for the Jews not to go back to a system that was never meant to give them access — full unfettered access — to Yahweh. Yes, they too could be saved by faith in the coming Messiah, but the Levitical system of laws and sacrifices was just a small picture pointing to the bright light that is Jesus THE Christ.
The law — or what we would say today is good works and trying to behave well — can never lead us to God. Only Jesus can! In fact, we need to be cleansed of the idea that we can work our way to God and that our good works have anything to do with salvation.
Why do we need to be cleansed of this idea? The reason is because thinking our good works can somehow earn us salvation is the most wicked, vile, evil thought one could have. What does it tell a holy, perfect, loving Father who killed His only- begotten, holy, perfect, loving Son, when we suggest that we can work our way to heaven? We are telling Father God that He didn’t do enough. We tell Jesus, who did so much more than we can comprehend, that He didn’t do enough. We tell the perfect triune Godhead that our plan is better.
Mankind needs to be cleansed of this abomination. Only faith in Jesus Christ can do that.
Hell is full of people who did a lot of good works in order to earn their way to heaven.
Heaven is full of wretched sinners who, by God’s grace, bowed their knees and acknowledged their worthless state and cried out for salvation.
Which one are you?