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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Power In The Blood




Most would agree that the greatest evangelist of the 20th century was Billy Graham. Likewise, most would agree that the greatest evangelist before him, in the 19th century, was Dwight L. Moody. These two great men of God shared a common trait - they were both criticized because of a specific subject they preached about – the blood of Jesus.

When Dwight L. Moody first started preaching, a woman wrote him a letter and said, "Brother Moody, if you want to be effective, you are going to have to leave out that blood stuff." Dwight L. Moody said, like Dr. Graham after him, "I determined at that moment to preach more on the blood of Jesus Christ more than ever before."

Likewise, when Billy Graham was young and first starting out, a professor from Cornell University wrote him a letter and said, "Mr. Graham, you have great talent, and you have what it takes to be a successful minister. But if you want to continue to be successful, you are going to have to leave out the preaching on the blood. It is out of date and no enlightened man of the Twentieth Century will swallow it."

Thank God that neither of these great evangelists listened to either what their listening audiences or their learned colleagues wanted – and instead preached what God and His word put in their hearts to preach. If only we had more like them today!

Why Preach The Blood?

With Good Friday and Resurrection Day right around the corner, there is no time more apropos than this to teach about the blood of Jesus, the power in the blood of Jesus. The power to save, heal, raise the dead. Without it we, as Saints, would not be equipped to carry on the same as the disciples did 2,000 years ago. But why? Why do we as Christians need to understand the significance of the blood of Jesus, the power in the blood?

First, we have to understand that we are not only people of the Word we are a people of the blood. The Bible is not only a blessed book, the true Word of God, it is a book built on blood. Throughout the Bible the word "blood" is found 415 times. The Bible begins with blood in Genesis when Cain sheds the blood of his brother, Abel and it ends with blood in Revelation when the Lord Jesus returns wearing a robe "dipped in blood." (Revelation 19:13)  The phrase “blood of Christ” is used several times in the New Testament and is significant in the expression of the sacrificial death of Christ and the full atonement on our behalf. Not only did Jesus literally bleed on the cross, but more significantly He bled and died for all sinners.

The blood of Christ has the power to atone for an infinite number of sins committed by an infinite number of people throughout the ages: past, present and future and all whose faith rests in the blood of Christ will be saved!

The blood of Christ as the means of atonement for sin has its origin in God’s blood covenants with man, from Abraham to David. In the day of Moses, once a year the priest made an offering of the blood of animals on the altar of the temple for the sins of all the people. He acted on the part of the people, through a blood offering to God, to redeem their sins. “In fact, the law required that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 states this very clearly but this was a blood offering that was limited in its effectiveness, which is why it had to be offered again and again, year after year. This covenant was but a foreshadowing of the “once for all” sacrifice which Jesus offered on the cross for all mankind. Hebrews 7:27 tells us “
who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.” Once that sacrifice was made, and the blood of Jesus was spilled, it became a permanent atonement and there was no longer a need for the blood of bulls and goats to be spilled for the temporary atonement of the sins of man.

The blood of Christ is the entire foundation of the New Covenant. On the night before He went to the cross, Jesus offered the cup of wine to His disciples and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). The pouring of the wine in the cup symbolized the blood of Christ which would be poured out for all who would ever believe in Him. When He shed His blood on the cross, He did away with the Old Covenant requirement for the continual sacrifices of animals. Their blood was not sufficient to cover the sins of the people because sin against a holy and infinite God requires a holy and infinite sacrifice. Hebrews 10:3-4 tells us “
But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” While the blood of bulls and goats were a reminder of sin, “but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:19) paid in full the debt of sin we owe to God and we need no further sacrifices for sin. Just before Jesus died on that cross, He said, “It is finished”  What He meant was that the entire work of redemption, the salvation of man, was completed forever. Hebrews 9:12 says “through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

Not only does the blood of Christ save believers from sin and eternal damnation in hell but, as it is written in Hebrews 9:14
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?This means that not only are we now free from having to offer meaningless sacrifices to obtain salvation, but we are free from having to perform works of the flesh to please God. We cannot achieve worthiness in the eyes of God – it is impossible! But, the Good News is that the power of the blood of Christ has redeemed us. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The power of the blood lies in the fact that by His blood we are freed from sin to serve the living God, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him and His presence forever. Not only has that but, through the Holy Spirit, God has given us the power to do His work here on earth! This is the power to act on the authority of God to heal, deliver and raise the dead – and it is only available through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!


When American astronaut Neil Armstrong, a devout Christian, visited Israel after his trip to the moon, he was taken on a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem by an Israeli archaeologist. When they got to the Hulda Gate, which is at the top of the stairs leading to the Temple Mount, Armstrong asked his guide whether Jesus had stepped anywhere around there. His guide answered, "These are the steps that lead to the Temple, so he must have walked here many times." Armstrong then asked if these were the original steps, and the guide confirmed that they were.

"So Jesus stepped right here?" asked Armstrong again.  "That's right," answered the guide.

Armstrong stopped dead in his tracks. "I have to tell you," he said to the Israeli archaeologist with tears in his eyes, "I am more moved stepping on these stones than I ever could have been stepping on the moon." Jesus has that effect on people.

Applying The Blood

Medically speaking, when you remove the blood from a body, the body dies. This is also true of the body of Christ. When you take the blood out of the body, the body dies. The blood of Jesus is the most precious gift from God. The blood of Jesus Christ is the only spiritual detergent that can permanently remove the natural stain of sin from man. Moreover, as Luke instructs us in Acts 20:28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

The entire church, the body of Christ, is founded on the power of His blood to enable redemption, forgiveness, cleansing, justification, sanctification, intercession and redemption. That is the power of the blood.


Redemption and Forgiveness

In Ephesians 1:7 Paul says, " In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace". Paul states two things that are provided for us by the blood of Jesus: redemption and forgiveness of sins


To redeem means "to buy back." We were once sinners, but Jesus bought us back out of the devil’s possession with His own precious blood. This redemption from the enemy is based upon the forgiveness of our sins.


Cleansing

Another provision of the blood of Jesus is cleansing from sin as stated in 1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" If we walk in the light, then, the first result is fellowship with one another, and the second result is that we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

We must continually walk in the light to continue having fellowship one with another and for the blood of Jesus to continue cleansing us.
Walking in the light consists of two actions put together: walking in obedience to the Word of God, and walking in truth and love with our fellow believers When we meet those conditions then we can say with full assurance that the blood of Jesus cleansing us from all sin.

Justification

A further provision of the blood of Jesus is justification. This is made clear in Romans 5:8–9, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”

To justify means "to make righteous, to acquit from sin, to hold guiltless." The best definition of justification that I have ever heard came in a teaching from Derek Prince: Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified—"just-as-if-I’d" never sinned. Because we are justified through the blood of Jesus, we receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not our own righteousness—and Jesus Christ never sinned. On the cross, Jesus assumed the penalty and the judgment of our sin, and paid the full price of redemption by shedding His own blood. In Him we experience the righteousness of God himself!

Sanctification

To sanctify means "to make holy," and to make holy means "to set apart to God." A holy person is someone who is set apart to God. Hebrews 13:12 says, " Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate." Jesus was crucified outside the city walls to sanctify the people through His own blood.

The blood of the Passover lamb set Israel apart to God in a specific way. The Lord made a distinction between those who were His people and those who were not His people. Wrath and judgment came upon those who were not God’s people, but God’s people were totally protected. The basis of this distinction, this separation, was the blood of the Passover lamb. Any home that had the blood on the outside was sanctified, or set apart to God. No evil power could invade that home because the Lord had made a distinction between His people and those who were not His people. The distinction was made by the applied blood of the lamb. Jesus is also called ‘The Lamb of God’ for good reason, His blood sanctifies us.


The blood of Jesus has made provision for redemption, forgiveness, cleansing, justification, sanctification and intercession on our behalf. By knowing and testifying personally to what the Word of God says about Jesus’ blood, we can apply these provisions to our lives. In this way, we are enabled to truly live in the victory Christ accomplished on the cross. This is the true power of the blood of Jesus.

~May the blood of Jesus cover, bless and protect you
Mark & Cathie 

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