Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 6Page 20June 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Power In The Blood

By Louis Rushmore

There are several elements to which Scripture ascribes saving power. Each of these contribute to the redemption of a soul: faith (Romans 5:1), repentance (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ (Romans 10:9-10), baptism (1 Peter 3:21), faithfulness (Revelation 2:10), obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9), the Gospel (Romans 1:16), hope (Romans 8:24), grace (Ephesians 2:8), mercy (Titus 3:5), calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13), works (James 2:24), knowledge (2 Timothy 3:15), laying aside evil and receiving the Word in its place (James 1:21), preaching (1 Corinthians 1:18, 21), love (1 John 2:10) and the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7). These ARE NOT options from which one or more may be selected to the exclusion of the balance in this list; all the elements to which saving power is attributed work together to save a soul.

Unlike some of these contributors to salvation, blood has been a part of God's redemptive plan in each of the three periods of religious history or dispensations: Patriarchy (Genesis 4:3-5; 8:20-21), Judaism (Exodus 20:10; Numbers 18:17; Leviticus 3:1-17; 16:1-34; 17:11; Hebrews 9:7), and Christianity (Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18-20). Animal sacrifices under the two former periods typified (Hebrews 9:22-24) and were wholly dependent for their efficacious quality on the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:15), which he shed in his death on Calvary's center cross (John 19:34). Only the blood of Christ can cleanse the conscience from sin (Hebrews 10:1-4; 9:12-14).

Application of the blood of Christ to lost souls is crucial to salvation. The blood of our Lord's cross reconciles or brings souls "nigh" to God (Colossians 1:20-21; Ephesians 2:13). With the blood of Jesus the church was purchased (Acts 20:28) and individually, Christians are washed from their sins (Revelation 1:5). Redemption or justification occurs as a result of Jesus' blood (Revelation 5:9; Romans 5:9); anyone who is saved is saved only in this way (Revelation 12:11). The only triumphant entrants into Heaven at time's end will be by those who have obtained the remission of their sins through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:19).

How then can one contact the powerful, saving blood of the Savior? By inspiration, the apostle Paul taught that one must be immersed (baptized) into the death of Christ wherein our Lord shed his blood (Romans 6:3-5); "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).

Since baptism is the single means by which (according to New Testament exegesis) one can contact the blood of Christ, then baptism is the point at which one's sins are remitted. Therefore, the Gospel routinely declares that baptism saves or takes away sins. ". . . Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . ." (Acts 2:38). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . ." (Mark 16:16). "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). ". . . baptism doth also now save us . . ." (1 Peter 3:21).

Water baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21) saves because it symbolically places one into the death of Christ where His blood is. However, again let it clearly be stated that baptism or even the blood of Christ saves from past sins not without but in conjunction with every other element to which Scripture ascribes saving power. Sometimes called the "Second Law of Pardon," God has also provided access to the cleansing power of the blood of Christ for subsequent sins committed by Christians who stumble while attempting to live godly lives (1 John 1:7-9; 2:1). This subsequent application of the blood of Christ occurs through penitent prayer by the erring Christian (Acts 8:22).

As powerful as the blood of Christ is to remit sin, our Lord's blood and the sacrifice by which He shed it is useless on the part of those who for whatever reason do not appropriate that blood to their souls; this can only be done through compliance with the divine redemptive plan. Oh, how powerful is the blood of our Lord to save us! Dear reader, are you blood-bought or did Jesus die in vain for you? There is power in the blood, only if it is appropriated to sin-sick souls according to the conditions prescribed by God in His Word. There is power in the blood!

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