THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD
ďAccording to figures provided by the Red Cross, approximately 32,000 pints of blood are used every day in the United States. Other figures state that although 60% of adults are eligible to donate blood, only 5% do regularly.Ē (http://voices.yahoo.com/donating-blood-important-factual-information-about-62318.html). Places like the Red Cross are in constant need of blood donors and you can see why because around 32,000 pints are used a day. The shelf-life of blood is short because it will only last for 42 days. Giving blood can make the difference between life and death. They say that one pint of your blood could help up to three people. No doubt, there is power in the blood. In a way, you are being a hero to someone when you give your† blood because your gift will help save someone. When you think about it, it is really is not much of a sacrifice to give blood, you just have to give up a little bit of your time, and for your trouble, you will get to eat free cookies and juice.
However, sometimes a person can become confused on what it means to give blood as this little boy was in this story about to read to you.
A family was involved in a serious accident. Mike, the younger of two brothers involved, was badly injured and needed a blood transfusion. Mikeís big brother, Danny, who was almost eight, was the perfect blood type. His father sat down with him and explained that his little brother was going to die but if Danny would give his little brother some blood that mike would be just fine. Danny sat and thought for a minute and then said o.k. Dad I will do this for my brother. They took Danny into the operating room and hooked up the needle to his arm and the blood from his body began to flow to his little brother. Everything had gone wonderfully and the nurse removed the needle from little Dannyís arm. Danny with a tear in his eye looked at his father and said, ďWhen do I die?Ē The father suddenly realized with a shock that Danny had misunderstood his explanation of giving blood. Danny thought he was giving all of his blood to save the life of his little brother! He thought that he would die after the transfusion was over. Yet he still had agreed to help his little brother. (http://www.barberville.net/sermon228.htm)
If this was a true story, you cannot help but feel sorry for this young man, but you can also stand in awe that he was willing to give up his life for his younger brother. Again, this shows just how powerful blood can be. However, as great as this story was and as great as it is that you giving blood can make a difference in a few peopleís lives, the most powerful blood that has ever existed that has no shelf life and can benefit every person that is alive and will be alive in the future is the blood of Jesus.
We sing a song in our song books on page 903 titled THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD. That is so true especially when it comes to the blood of Jesus. This morning we are going to look at what the blood of Jesus has done for us and how it continues to benefit us.
1. Jesus blood brought forth a new covenant.
Jeremiah predicted that a new covenant was on the way.
Jeremiah 31:31 " Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah --† 32 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.† 33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.† 34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
These verses are quoted in Hebrews 8, but after quoting Jeremiah it says:
Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
If you continue reading in Hebrews 9, the writer begins to show the importance of blood under the old covenant and the importance of blood under the new covenant. Let us pick up reading in:
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.† 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.† 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,† 14 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?
There are more points about Jesusí blood in these verses, but for now I just want to point out that Jesus did not use animal blood or any other kind of blood, He used His own blood, which we know refers to His great sacrifice on the cross, in which His blood was spilled.
Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.† 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.† 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.† 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.† 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,† 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you."† 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.† 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.† 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.† 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;† 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another --† 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.† 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,† 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
This is showing us that Jesus gave Himself up and shed His blood to bring forth a new covenant, which is a better one according to:
Hebrews 8:6 †But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Unlike the blood of animals that had to be spilled every year, Jesusís blood just had to be spilled one time to bring forth this new covenant that we are under today. The Law of Moses, which includes the 10 commandments and those 600+ laws are no longer binding to the Christian today. Paul puts it best in:
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,† 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Jesusí blood on the cross had the power to give us a new covenant and to nail the old Law to the cross. This new covenant was unique in that is designed for all people instead of just the Jews.
Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,† 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,† 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Jesusí blood had the power to bring both Jew and Gentile together under one convenient. If there is any doubt about Jesusí blood being responsible for the new covenant all we have to do is read what Jesus said about the† fruit of the vine when He instituted the Lordís Supper:
Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you.† 28 "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
On the first day of every week, we are to remember the blood Jesus shed for us as we drink of the fruit of† the vine.
2. Jesusí blood had the power to reconcile all of mankind to God.
Since all of us in this room are Gentiles, we† need to be thankful that Jesusí blood has made it possible for us to be part of this new covenant He created, which allows both Jew and Gentile to be reconciled to God. Again, Paul says:
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.† 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.† 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.†
So, Jesusí blood had the power to make reconciliation to God possible for all.
3. Jesusí blood was used to purchase the church.
When Paul was speaking to the Ephesian elders and warning them about false teachers, he tells them:
Acts 20:28 †"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to 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.
Before Jesus came, the Jews had to come to Jerusalem to the temple to worship God. They were to come at least three times a year, but Jesusí blood changed all that because along with this new covenant, there was different ways things would be done. As Jesus explained to the woman at the well:
John 4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.† 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.† 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.† 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Before Jesus died on the cross, He preached about the coming of the kingdom, which is also known as the church. It is spiritual in nature and does not require a set place for all to come to because we can worship God wherever we are. Many in the religious world will not like what I am about to say, but it does not change the truth of what I am going to say. Back in Acts 20:28, Paul said the elders were to shepherd the church (singular). Just as Jesus told Peter after He made His great confession, He said:
Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Notice Jesus says, my church (singular). There is only one church that Jesus purchased with His blood and it is the church He built that you read about in the New Testament. His blood did not purchase denominations, therefore manmade denominations cannot be the church. If you are not part of the kingdom that Jesus established, then you cannot make it to heaven because Jesus is the Savior of the church singular.
Ephesians 5:23 Ö Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
4. Jesusí blood brings redemption through the forgiveness of sins
Everything we have looked at so far is linked together by the power of Jesusí blood, but I am very thankful for our fourth point because it tells us that Jesusí blood has the power to redeem us and forgive us of our sins, which also means it gives us power over the devil. Letís look a few verses:
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,† 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;† 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,† 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
If Jesus had not shed His blood for us, there would be no forgiveness of sin. Since He did, He made salvation possible for those who want to be redeemed. No one deserved this great sacrifice He made on our behalf, but He did it because He loves us all and wants us to be united with our Father in heaven. It is up to us to accept this wonderful gift of salvation that Jesus has provided through His blood. Since Jesusí blood will redeem and forgive us of our sins, donít you think it is important to know how and when we can benefit from the blood of Christ? I think so.
First, I think we can all agree that Jesusí shed blood makes forgiveness of sin possible and it is not forced on us. Otherwise, it would violate our free will. A casual reading of †the N.T. reveals that one must obey the commands of God in order to have eternal salvation such as:
John 14:15" If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Matthew 7:21" Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.† 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
2 Thessalonians 1:7 when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,† 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we read through our N.T., we should look for those things that save. For example Jesus says we must believe in:
John 8:24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
He also says we must repent, which means we must change our ways to Godís ways and keep sin out of our lives:
Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Jesus tells us we must confess Him as Lord:
Matthew 10:32 " Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.† 33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
All these things I have mentioned so far are certainly necessary for salvation, but none of these I have mentioned so far tell us when we receive the benefit of Jesusí blood and have our sins forgiven. Many in the religious world will tell you that you receive the benefits of Jesusí blood when you believe, or when you say the sinnerís prayer, which is not found anywhere in Scripture. Letís consider a† few verses that talk about how and when we receive the benefit of Jesusí blood.
Revelation 1:5 †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,
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,† 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.† 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
So, John is telling that Jesus washed us from our sins with His own blood. Paul talks about these various sinners who had also been washed by the blood of Jesus because we cannot ever hope to be sanctified and justified without Jesusís blood washing away our sins. But when does this happen? I want to show you that it is at the point of water baptism that our sins are washed away by the power of Jesus blood. Consider what Jesus said before He ascended back into heaven:
Mark 16:15 †And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.† 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
This verse by itself does not show that baptism is the point our sins are forgiven, but it does show that baptism is necessary for salvation just as believing in Jesus is. However, we are about to see that baptism is the point we contact the saving power of Jesusí blood. Jesus had just given His apostles the command to preach the gospel to every creature. The first time they do this is on the day of Pentecost. After the apostles taught about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus we read:
Acts 2:37 †Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
These men realized what they had done, and they wanted to know what they should do? We all should ask that same question because Jesus died for us all. Here is the answer:
Acts 2:38 †Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Peter was speaking by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He tells us what role baptism plays in our salvation. He says that baptism is for the remission or we could say the forgiveness of sins. Also, Annaias tells Paul:
Acts 22:16 †'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
There is nothing complicated in what I have just shown you. The Scriptures plainly teach that Jesusí blood has the power to forgive us of our sins. We know that Jesusí washes us with His blood. We have learned that this happens at the point of baptism because we are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, which means our sins are washed away by the power of Jesusí blood when we are water baptized. We can know that this happening at the point of our baptism by putting our faith in the working of God as Paul explains in:
Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,† 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.† 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
Paul is telling us that baptism is not a work of man, it is a work of God, and He applies the power of Jesusí blood to us when we are baptized. Notice, Paul said that God makes us† alive together with Him and has forgiven† us of our sins when we are baptized. Baptism is also the point we are added to the kingdom/church by God.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Acts 2:47 †And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
One cannot enter the one church that Jesus purchased with His blood until they are baptized for the forgiveness of their sins. So, if you were taught that baptism was a sign of you already already being saved, then you have never been been baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you are not in the one church that Jesus will save.
5. Jesusí blood continues to have the power to cleanse us of our future sins.
No doubt, one of the greatest things we can do is obey the gospel and have all our past sins forgiven. That alone shows how powerful Jesusí blood, but it's the gift that keeps on given. John tells us:
1 John 1:7 †But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.† 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.† 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.† 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.†
We should thank God every day for allowing us to have the forgiveness of our past sins and the continual forgiveness of our future sins. Notice, it requires us to walk in the light or we could say remaining faithful to God. When we continue to love God and keep His commandments, we can know with certainty that if we sin and confess that sin to God that it will be forgiven. We are so fortunate to have a God that loves us so much that He gives many opportunities to be right with Him. He understands that we are human and we make mistakes sometimes despite our best efforts not to. So, Jesusí blood is powerful enough to forgive us of our past sins at the point of our baptism and to continue to forgive us of future sins as we repent and confess those sins to God.
In conclusion, I hope you will remember how powerful Jesusí blood is and not take for granted, but embrace it and use its power as God wants you to.