Posts tagged ‘blood’

It Will Never Lose Its Power

I have had some experience with pharmaceutical sales, and one of the questions asked by doctors about a drug is whether or not it loses efficacy over time. In other words, does the medication work well at first, but over time loses its effect on the condition that is being treated? What I want to talk about is something that definitely does not lose efficacy over time. In fact, it is still the most powerful cure in the universe. It is the blood of Jesus!

The apostle Peter talks about the blood this way:

knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (I Peter 1:18, 19 NKJV)

The blood is something precious. Its value is far above that of silver or gold. This blood is the cure for the most deadly disease in existence. It is used to bring spiritually dead people back to life! You may wonder if we baptize dead people. I would say that, yes, we do. Every one of them starts of spiritually dead. They are then made alive by the blood of Christ!

For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13, 14)

Our sin had separated us from a holy God. We were without hope of curing ourselves, and were completely alienated from God. But the blood of Christ changed all of that!

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 NKJV)

Even though we were enemies of God, Christ died for us in order to demonstrate His love for us. We have gone from being enemies of God to having peace with God! (Colossians 1:20)

There was a song written by Andrae Crouch many years ago ago the blood of Jesus, that said that the blood would never lose its power. Even though it was shed for us nearly 2000 years ago, it is just as potent as ever. It will save the worst sinner today the same way it would save one back then. The words of the chorus say, “it reaches to the highest mountain“. Even when we are on the mountaintop and have intimate communion with God, we still are only there because of the blood that was shed for us back at Calvary. Then it continues with “and it flows to the lowest valley“. No matter how far we have wandered in sin; no matter how far into the depths of wickedness our life has plunged, the blood of Jesus will still reach us right where we are if we will only appropriate it.

The words of John at the beginning of the Revelation some it up best:

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5, 6 NKJV)

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The Blood Cries Out

Murder is a terrible thing. That is especially true when it involves family members. When a murder happens, there is instinctively a desire for justice and punishment. There is a felt need for justice to be done and for retribution to be handed out. Such was the case when e first murder occurred in Genesis as Cain killed his brother Abel.

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. “So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. (Genesis 4:8-11 NKJV)

Because of his crime, the blood of Abel cried out from the ground and brought down upon Cain a curse for his crime.

There is another time in Scripture that there is blood that cries out. During what is commonly called the passion of Christ, his blood was also shed. During the beatings, the scourging, and the crucifixion, Jesus shed blood. Like Abel, it was blood that was being shed by an innocent man, and was in connection with the offering of a sacrifice. The Hebrew writer says this about that blood:

to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:24 NKJV)

Abel’s blood, when it was shed, cried out to God for judgment, justice, and condemnation. The blood of Jesus also cries out, but speaks of better things. The blood of Jesus cried out “atonement, grace, forgiveness, and salvation!” The blood of Abel was like the sacrifices of the Law which only had the power to condemn. But the blood of Jesus is the blood of the New Covenant that brings forgiveness instead of guilt, grace instead of law, and salvation instead of condemnation!

In context, the Hebrew writer was making reference to an event that happened on Mount Sinai when Moses came down the mountain and found that the people were reveling in their sinful passions. On that day at Mount Sinai 3,000 people were killed as God judged them for their sins.
So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. (Exodus 32:28 NKJV)
Later, when the church was born at the feast of Pentecost, this time on Jerusalem (Mount Zion), the Holy Spirit descended, the Gospel was preached, and 3,000 people were saved. That is the difference now that the blood of Christ has been shed. Instead of instant judgment by the Law, those who received the Word and were baptized that day were forgiven and given eternal life! All of this was and is made possible by the blood of Christ that “speaks better things” for those who believe and obey the Gospel!

So come by the blood. Come to Christ and appropriate for yourself that cleansing power and have the blood cry out “forgiven, justified, and set free” over you today! Have peace with God because of the blood that was shed for your salvation.

and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20 NKJV)

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Our Kippur

Tonight at sunset, members of the Jewish community will celebrate the festival of Yom Kippur, also known as the Day (yom) of Atonement (kippur). This feast was ordained by God in Leviticus as the day in which the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a lamb on the top of the Ark of the Covenant. This was the space between the golden cherubim and was called “the mercy seat.” (Leviticus 13 & 26)

While that is very interesting, what does it symbolize for us today? Glad you asked!

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 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? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:11-15 NASB)

In Christ, we now do not need to wait for a yearly day of atonement in order to be forgiven. Nor do we have a high priest who is continually offering he sacrifice of His blood to atone for our sins.

For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:24-28 NASB)

This is a one time sacrifice that has been offered once-for-all and needs never to be repeated. As a sacrifice of infinite value, it cannot be added to.

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:10-14 NASB)

That is why He can continually cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:9) and why we can enter into His presence boldly.

With that in mind, every day is part of the one eternal Day of Atonement for Christians. So we should rejoice in the salvation that has been purchased with the blood of the Lamb of God. Christ has fulfilled the feast, and as our high priest has completed the atonement once for all!

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A Pollution Problem

Have you ever met someone who, just by being there, makes things better? Someone who can touch a mess and make it look like art? On the other hand, have you ever known someone who can take anything, even the best things, and turn them into something twisted and filthy? What is the difference between the two?
In Titus 1:15, the Apostle Paul makes the following statement:
“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” (Titus 1:15 NASB)
What does that mean for us?
It does no eternal good to reform a man on the outside without the new birth taking place and purifying him on the inside. Let me illustrate it this way.
A first century church is having a meeting, when in walks a leper. Not just any leper, but one with advanced disease whose rotting sores and dying flesh hang foul and putrid beneath the filthy rags he is wearing. Instantly, the folks there take pity on him, throw away his noxious shreds of clothing, and out him into a beautiful new white robe and new sandals on his feet. What is the lasting effect? Quickly the rottenness of his flesh begins to defile his clothing once again, and the leper is left in the same condition as before.
No matter what they did to clean up the outside, unless they cure the leprosy on the inside they are only taking what is clean and defiling it.
Such is the case with those who are trying to “be a good person” but who have not been born again. No matter how many charitable works they do, or what a good neighbor they are, their righteousness is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) in the site of God because they have not been cleansed of their sins. The problem is not that they are as evil as they could possibly be. But since everything that is not done to the glory of God and in faith is a sin, every work they do, no matter what it is, is a sin!

But those who have been purged from their sins are pure. “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5b ESV) And they remain pure as they confess (i.e. agree with God about) their sins and are thus continually cleansed (1 John 1:9).
It is when we are saved that our sins are remitted (Acts 2:38) and we are clothed with Christ for “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27 ESV) Only then can we be pure and do righteous works that are produced by our faith. Only then can we be said to have escaped the pollution that is in the world as our mind and conscience are renewed in Christ. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

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Mission Accomplished

Some things in life are done on a regular or even a continual basis. And in our spiritual walk with God, there are disciplines that we cultivate that aid our spiritual growth. Our Father in heaven also has things which he is constantly repeating, like forgiveness, salvation, and guiding His children. What I want to take a look at now, though, are things that God has done in Christ that are accomplished events, and will never be repeated because they are permanent I their effect.

Christ has delivered the Gospel and founded His church.
“Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3 NET)
This verse in the little letter of Jude deals a lethal blow to the teachings of those who claim that the Gospel has been lost and that we need a new revelation. There is no plan to reintroduce the Gospel after a time of complete apostasy and darkness. That is also why Jesus was able to say to Peter in Matthew 16:18 that, “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV)
Jesus also promised that he would be with us always, even to the end of the age just before His ascension in Matthew 28.
The Canon is closed, and the revelation of His will is complete. There is no need to give heed to those who claim new revelation.

But there is another thing that has been done once for all. Christ has shed His precious blood and eternally completed the sacrifice for our salvation.
The Holy Spirit put it this way through the Hebrew writer:

“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10-14 ESV)

The sacrifice that was made to secure our forgiveness was made once for all time, and it needs no repetition. In fact, to try and repeat it on a weekly or even daily basis is to cheapen the value of the original sacrifice! Nor is there a need to continually offer that sacrifice to God, for Jesus offered it and has already sat down. That’s generally how you know when someone has finished something. They return to their rightful place and sit down! Thus, when His mission was completed, Jesus was able to cry out “It is finished” as a confirmation that he had suffered enough and shed enough of His blood to fully accomplish that which He was sent to do. We dare not try to continue that sacrifice or repeat that sacrifice today.

In the future, there will be another work that will be accomplished once and for all. That will be the eternal judgment after death that will determine our eternal condition.

“And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”(Matthew 25:46 ASV)

Yes, our condition will be one of eternal bliss or eternal destruction. There is no indication that either of these destinies will be temporary or changeable. Thankfully, we can decide that destination today. According to Romans 6, If you are buried with him in baptism, you will rise to walk in newness of life and be on the road to Heaven. What could possibly be big enough to keep you from doing that today?

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