I Peter 1:18-19
J Pierpont Morgan was a noted American financier and
multi-millionaire of an earlier generation. Before his death he composed
a will consisting of 37 articles and 10,000 words. While Mr. Morgan had
been involved in transactions involving millions of dollars during his
lifetime, he left no doubt in his will as to what was the most important
transaction he had ever made. In his will he wrote:
"I commit my soul in the hands of my Saviour, full of confidence that having redeemed me and washed me with His most precious blood, He will present me faultless before the throne of my Heavenly Father. I entreat my children to maintain and defend, at all hazards and at any cost of personal sacrifice, the blessed doctrine of complete atonement of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ once offered and through that alone." J. Piedmont Morgan recognized the priceless value of the blood of Christ with regard to the believer's salvation.
I. The Importance Of The Blood Of Christ
There is a blood line that stretches throughout the entire breadth
of inspired scripture. From outside the gates of Eden in Genesis 4 to
inside the gates of New Jerusalem in Revelations 21:22, the Bible is
filled with the importance of the blood with regard to salvation.
When God clothed Adam and Eve after they had sinned in Genesis 3,it was in the skin of an animal whose blood had been shed. When Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice to God in Genesis 4, it was the sacrifice of a lamb whose blood had been shed. When Isaac was about to die on Mt. Moriah in Genesis 22, it was the blood of a substitute ram that saved his life. When the death angel passed over Egypt in Exodus 11, it was the sprinkled blood over the doorposts that saved the Israelites. Regardless of whether it was the consecration of a priest, the birth of a son, the deepest penitence due to sin, or the highest religious festival, the way to fellowship with God in the O.T, was through the shedding of blood.
In the N.T., the same principle applies. What the O.T. portrays
through picture and figures, the N.T. presents in person and fact. Paul,
in his inspired epistle (Rom. 3:24-25), Peter, in his infallible writing
(I Peter 1:2), and John, in his inerrant script (I John 1:7), all present the importance of the Blood of Christ. The final book of the Bible emphasizes the same theme: Rev. 1:5, "washed us from our sins in his own blood,' 5:9, "redeemed us to God by thy blood,"and 12:11, "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb."
Everywhere one travels through the Scripture, he will find one dominant theme: salvation by the blood and the blood alone. All hope of heaven and forgiveness of sin is based upon the shed blood of Christ in his death on the cross. Heb. 9:22, "..and without shedding of blood is no remission."
II. The Identity Of The Blood Of Christ
Blood has frequently been shed in human history, often in religious
causes. The trail of human history is a trail of blood. The dust of the
centuries is soaked with blood spilled upon its
surface, in religious crusades. The troughs of the ancient Aztec Indians
were filled with blood spilled in the name of religion. One of the
bloodiest crimes in human history was the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's
Day (August 24, 1572), when 100,000 people were mercilessly slaughtered
in human blood through religious fanaticism.
In a positive way, the blood of Christian martyr's soaked the
godless dust of ancient empires and simmered in the fires set by despotic rulers. But none of the above blood could ever cleanse and obliterate sin because it was defective, impure blood, the wrong blood. Divine redemption required that the blood which could forgive - cleanse sin - meet the Biblical standard, that it be of a certain nature - essence.
The blood of Christ was (1) sacred blood. It was the blood of
perfect man - the God Man. (Jn. 1:1,14), the lamb of God (Jn. 1:29).
Since Christ alone was perfect God and perfect Man (Phil. 2:5-8), He
alone was qualified to give His blood as the atonement for sin.
Christ's blood was also (2) sinless blood. His blood was like a lamb without spot or blemish (I Pet. 1:18-19). All other human blood has been tainted by the corruption of sin resulting from Adam's fall (Rom. 5:12, I Cor. 15:22), but the blood of Christ contained none of the sinful corruption which permeated all other humanity. When Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord Jesus he knew that he was betraying "innocent blood" (Matt. 27:4).
The consequence of man's sin is both spiritual and physical death
(Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27). It was through the blood of Adam (man) that
original sin was and is transmitted, not the woman (I Tim. 2:14). All
human beings, with one exception, are the ultimate product of Adam's
sinful seed. Christ is the only individual in Scripture who is designated as the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). The bloodline thus runs through the male, not the female, in divine revelation.
All the blood in the human embryo is formed by itself and solely
through the contribution of the male parent (No blood ever passes in the
embryo from the mother to child). Our Saviour, however, did not have a
human father as progenitor; he was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). The
blood that flowed in Christ's veins was thus contributed by a Holy God
(Matt. 1:22-23), resulting in a "Virgin Birth " and a Saviour with a
sinless human nature. Dr. A.W. Pink rightly stated in his commentary that "in becoming man, Christ did not partake of the foul poison which sin has introduced into the human constitution. His humanity was not contaminated by the virus of the fall."
Christ's blood was also (3) substitutionary blood (II Cor. 5:21; I Pet. 2:24; Isa. 53-5,6), that is, it was offered in our place, in our
stead. A substitute is an individual who takes someone's place when they
are either unable to appear or unqualified to act.
The blood of Christ was (4) sacrificial blood (Jn 3:16) for it cost
the Father something - it cost Him everything, the sacrifice of His only
Begotten Son. At Calvary, God separated Himself from His Son, in order
that we might never be separated from Him.
The blood of Jesus was (5) sufficient blood (Rom. 3:24-25). The Father set forth His Son to be a "propitiation" (satisfaction) for our
sins. This blood was shed once for all (Heb. 1:3; 10:12). In the blood
sacrifice of Christ, poured out from a sinless nature, the righteous
nature and demands of a holy God were perfectly satisfied. At Calvary,
righteousness and peace truly kissed each other (Ps. 85:10). The
songwriter was never more correct than when he wrote "Jesus paid it all,
all to Him I owe; sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed it white as
snow." In view of Christ's sufficient, completed atoning sacrifice
through His blood, the repeated sacrifice of the Roman Mass is the depth
of religious blasphemy. Christ truly "has redeemed us once for all."
What a blessing to know that Christ's blood is also (6) shielding
blood. In Eph. 6:18, the believer is exhorted to take the shield of
faith. This shield of faith is the shield in Christ's atoning
blood. When Satan brings the skeletons out of our past and accuses the
believer concerning his former life, the saint can always successfully
plead the blood of his great high priest intercessor (Heb. 7:25). Our
Lord thus saves us "completely," even from the insinuations and
accusations of our arch-enemy the devil.
On a tragic note, however, Christ's blood is (7) slighted blood
(Heb. 10:28,29). In those verses, the writer clearly indicates that those
who reject the blood of the new covenant (testament-agreement) do despite
to the "Spirit of Grace." The Holy Spirit is God's divine agent for (a)
convicting of sin, (b) convincing of Saviour and (c) converting to
salvation (Jn. 16:8-11). When the sinner resists the wooing work of the
Holy Spirit, he is thus closing the door of hope on the only means
whereby Christ's blood can cleanse and set him free.
III. The Impact Of Christ's Blood
The shed blood of Christ in his death on the cross has tremendous
power (impact) and brings to the repentance, believing sinner numerous
benefits-blessings, including redemption. (1)The subjects of
redemption are sold under sin (Rom. 7:14) and under sentence of death
(Rom. 5:12). The purchase price of the sinful "slave" is the blood of
Christ who dies in the sinner's stead (Rev. 5:9). (2) Purchased by
His blood, believers are never again exposed to sale, being eternally
secure (Jn. 10:28-29). (3) (I Pet. 1:18-19). Through Christ's ransom
payment, we are forever loosed - set free from sin's power. Thus, the
blood "shall never lose its power."
The second impact of the blood of Christ is righteousness (Rom.
3:25) "..... through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness..."
Through the merit of Christ's blood, the repentance sinner is declared
righteous - justified - in Christ (I Cor. 1:30). The same passage (Rom
3:25) also indicates that there is complete remission (forgiveness) of
sin (Eph. 1:7), with the slate wiped clear with regard to the believer's
eternal position in Christ. This total remission is again based solely
upon Christ's blood (Heb. 9:22)
The blood also brings reconciliation - the reuniting of God and man
(Col. 1:20-22, Eph. 2:16), a relationship that had been severed by man's
sin (Eph. 2:14), plus reception ("accepted in the beloved" - Eph.1:6) -
accession to God's presence by the "blood of Jesus" (Heb. 10:19).
The final impact of the blood of Christ is the bringing of rejoicing to
the believer's heart ("..we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom we have received the atonement" - Rom. 5:11). The
believer can now joyfully sing "Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb."
For those seeking freedom from the burden of sin, there is truly
"power in the blood of the Lamb." When asked the question "What can wash
away my sin?," the believer can confidently reply, "Nothing but the blood of Jesus," The emperor Napolean once took a map, and pointing to the British Isles stated, "Were it not for the red spot, I would have
conquered the world." The blood of Christ does not just mean something to the Christian - it means everything! In view of the Biblical emphasis
upon the blood of Christ, the blood of Christ cannot just be merely
symbolical in nature.
No Blood-No Remission!!
Man's greatest need is to be forgiven of his sins. This can only be
done through faith in the blood of Jesus. "...without shedding of blood
is no remission" (Heb. 9:22). "...when I see the blood, I will pass over
you..." (Ex. 12:13).
There are a lot of people today who try to add to the finished work
of Jesus Christ. There are those who say that one must be baptized or
join the church, or hold out faithful to the end, in order to be saved.
There are those who get people to say they believe in Christ and then say that they are saved. There is more to being saved than just a simple
profession. There must be a conviction of sin and an acceptance by faith
in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Many people are deceived by Satan into believing that they are saved when they are not really born again.
The Bible is clear in the fact that it is only through faith in the shed
blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, in His complete and perfect sacrifice,
that alone is the way people are saved.
Redeemed Through Blood
As the scripture says, "...we have redemption through His blood, the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7). To be redeemed means to be bought back. The price has been paid and it is through the blood of Jesus Christ. Peter reminds us of this when he says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Justified by Blood
To be justified means to be declared free. We know the Bible teaches that all are sinners. all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no, not one. No one deserves to be saved because of his goodness, but thank God, Jesus Christ died for sinners, shed His precious blood because of His love for us. The scripture says, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Rom. 5:9). the word justified literally means "just as if I had never sinned." The blood of Jesus Christ is what has paid for our sins.
Washed in His Blood
There are some who believe that baptism washes away sins. This is
not scriptural. The Bible says, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us
from our sins in his own blood" (Rev. 1:5). When one hears the Word, the
Holy Spirit takes the word and convicts or sin, of righteousness, of
judgment and works godly sorrow which brings repentance and faith; faith
in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our sins are washed away in
Made Nigh by Blood
Man is alienated from God, strangers from the covenant of promise,
no hope without God in the world! "But now in Christ Jesus ye who
sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:13).
Jesus broke down the middle wall of partition and makes the way possible
for us to enter into the very presence of God because He has sprinkled
His blood on the mercy seat as an atonement for our sins. Therefore, we
are made nigh by His blood.
Sanctified by Blood
The word sanctify means set apart from our sins, set apart from the
world through the blood of Jesus Christ. As Paul says, "Wherefore Jesus
also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered
without the gate" (Heb. 13:12). Jesus was crucified outside the city of
Jerusalem on that old hill called Calvary in order that we might be set
apart from our sins. He shed His own blood on that cross. What can make
me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus? What can wash away my
sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus? We are sanctified by His blood.
Peace through Blood
Man is at odds with God. We have sinned against Him. We have been
alienated from Him, but thank God through the blood of Jesus Christ, we
can have peace with Him. Paul says, "And, having made peace through the
blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (Col.
Cleansed through Blood
God's children are redeemed through the blood and justified through
the blood, washed in His blood, made high by the blood, sanctified by the blood, and have peace through the blood and daily we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Whenever we sin, we plead the blood of Jesus. For John says, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). In other words, we stay in fellowship with Jesus Christ our Saviour by daily trusting in the cleansing blood. We all sin every day, but "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (verse 9). This means that the daily walk of the children of God are cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
Conscience Purged by Blood
When one understands the real meaning of being forgiven our sins,
and having the Spirit of God living within us as children of God, one
will want to live for Jesus. The Holy Spirit puts that desire in our
heart and Paul reminds us that it wasn't the blood of goats and calves,
but by His own blood He has obtained eternal redemption for us and says,
"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?" (Heb. 9:14).
Just think of it, Christ died for my sins. Jesus shed His precious
blood, gave His all that I might be saved from the guilt and penalty and
finally from the presence of sin. I owe Him everything I am.
Bought with a Price
I do not belong to myself. If you are saved you do not belong to
yourself. you are bought by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. This
should, and will cause us to want to live for Him. As Paul says, "Ye are
not your own? for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:19-20).
What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus? What can
make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus? So, there is no
remission outside the blood of Jesus. You cannot mix blood and water, or
blood and church membership, or blood and works, or any other thing,
simply through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ do we have remission of our sins. Praise God for salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ!
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