The Power of God through the Blood of the Cross
As we finish up this Bible Study, I am even more convinced that we have so very much to be thankful for when it comes to the precious Blood of Jesus! The Blood of Jesus along with the Power of the Holy Spirit, gives us the ability to accomplish all that we are called by God to do. It must be His Power, not ours! When our spiritual eyes have been opened to that truth, the Holy Spirit within us, can’t be anything but compelled to share the truth of God’s redemptive love with everyone and anyone who will listen. As His children, we should be proud of, and known by the Blood of the Lamb that has been applied to our lives. We must remember that what God sees when He looks at us is the Blood of His Son! It is very important that we recognize our standing in this world as blood bought, blood covered, power filled children of the Most High God. With that in mind, the enemy of our soul, Satan, will also see the Blood when he looks upon us. I can only imagine what he thinks about that! I hope my Blood covered life terrifies him! Our sanctified, justified, transformed lives are meant to reach a world full of people who are deceived into serving many false gods. Jesus wants to use us to undermine this great deception and replace the lie of the enemy with the Truth that is found in the Blood of the cross. Jesus wants us to introduce the perishing to His Father, the One and Only True God. The precious Blood of Jesus and what was accomplished through His life, death and resurrection is what sets our faith apart from all the other religions of this world. In Titus 2:14 we are called a peculiar people and are to be different from the world.
In Study #1, I challenged you with 1 Peter 3:15. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you for a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” As you think of the precious Blood of Jesus upon your life, my heart's desire is that you now can give the lost and searching answers, clearly and accurately, convincing them of the truth of God’s Word and the unfailing love behind His redemptive plan for them. Can you now point out the fact, in true love and compassion, that without Jesus they are in a perishing state before a holy and righteous God? In Study #2, we talked about the need for the covering of the precious Blood of Jesus upon a life. We also exposed the “counterfeit covering” that Satan is offering the world. We all have family members that are wearing this “counterfeit covering." We have friends, neighbors and co-workers who are wearing the “counterfeit covering.” Can you now point out the fact, in true love and compassion, that they are in need of the “real covering," which is the precious Blood of Jesus? We must be able to explain to those we love that being covered correctly by the precious Blood of Jesus is what enables us to come before a Holy God and not die. It gives us the full right to stand boldly before Him without fear of death. (Heb. 4:16)
In Exodus 12:1-13 we learn that the “BLOOD HAD TO BE APPLIED." The Lord said He was specifically going to look for the blood, not the dead lamb. “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; AND WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD...”. Only God knows what is in the heart of a man and only He can see if the blood has been applied to a life. My heart aches when a Christian has little understanding, little concern, is complacent or makes light of the precious Blood of Jesus. They often “assume” that just because the person sitting next to them in church is there, or their neighbor attends another church, they have no need to share their faith. We should “never assume” that we don’t need to share the message of the Cross. Our message is covered with the Blood of Jesus and we need to comprehend, have compassion and understand the importance of its application upon and for a human life. We can never just “assume” they are covered. Our words, actions and the faith behind our message to others will have eternal consequences. No words from us, no message from us, no blood covering - means death for that person! Whether you want to believe it or not we have a huge part to play in the lives of those around us. We can never assume that someone is covered by the Blood of Jesus. There is a difference between someone having just a head knowledge of who they might think God is and actually having the Blood of Jesus applied to their life. We have to be willing to share our faith with others and to make sure they know the difference!
We learned in Study #3 that Satan’s goal is to separate for eternity human beings from the God who created them and his strategy for the world involves massive deception. He has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. (2 Cor.4:4) That light is our gospel of the cross. We have been entrusted with the Truth that can shatter the deception of the enemy. We have been given the most important message that has ever existed. (John 3:16) We have been given the most important mandate that has ever existed. (Acts 1:8) We know the “Truth” that will set them free from their penalty of sin! We know that Jesus was the Perfect Lamb who was slain for the sins of this world. He is alive and is seated at the right hand of His Father, He is not a dead lamb still laying in the tomb with no power over sin. If we could really begin to understand, comprehend and experience the “Power of God” that is available to us, we would see our walk with God a little differently. The power that is available to us, is able to change a life, to take a dead life and give it “Life Eternal” is a real power. I have had to ask myself, “Do I really believe that the love of God and the Blood of Jesus can change a life?” If I truly believed, wouldn’t I be wanting to let everyone know the “Truth” of what the Blood of Jesus has done for them? Shouldn’t I be shouting from the mountaintops, “sin has separated you from the God who loves you and I have the answer!" Yes! Yes! Jesus did it for me and I want that for you! I want to tell everyone I know, “Don’t believe the deception and lies of the enemy of your soul, please cover yourself with the precious Blood of the Lamb!” For God so loved the world....
In Study #4, we learned that the Bible is very clear in stating that God hates sin. (Psalm 11:5-6) We can see how much God hates sin by looking at what He has done to redeem us from it. He sent his Son to earth to die on a Cross to condemn sin and to save His creation from their sin (Matt. 1:21). He made His Son, who knew no sin, to be sin that we might be made righteous (2 Cor. 5:21). He sent His Son to bear our sin in His body that we might be dead to sin. (1 Peter 2:24). He admonishes us as believers to stop sinning. (1 John 3:9). Some believers have fallen into serious deception on this crucial matter of sin. We need to have an understanding that holy living is recognizing the sinfulness of sin, both in its essence as lawlessness and in its satanic origin. When we strive and long for holiness, the “Power of God” that is available through the Blood of Jesus longs to dwell within us and take its rightful place. We need to recognize sin as absolute incompatibility with God and His holy character. We have no room for it in our lives. Sin is lawlessness against God and a violation of His authority. Sin is opposed to Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives. In our discussions, we have established that Satan’s biggest strategy has always been to get rebellious man to worship self and de-throne God from his heart. This deception is opposite to the Biblical teaching of sin and our need of a Savior. By looking at what God has done to redeem us from the death of sin, we should be more than willing to de-throne self. God, by the act of His great love, should rightfully take His place on the throne of our hearts. This is a big battle for our flesh sometimes.
In Study #5, we asked ourselves the questions, “Where is the victory in the Christian life today? Why aren’t we showing un-believers that His truths and His ways are worth living for? How will sinners know Him through us if we don’t have real solutions to their real problems?" We learned, as His church, we need to rid ourselves of all the “subtle sins” we carry around as believers. When we have a life full of subtle sins we will have a life that is not able to operate with the “Power of God” that is available to us from the Holy Spirit. Subtle sins in the life of a believer quench the Spirit of God. We must return to sanctified, set apart lives, and be different from the world. We must return to the truth that there is freedom, power, victory, healing and miracles in what Christ has accomplished on the cross for us as believers. All these manifestations should mark our lives as believers. God has called us to know His Word, know His ways and take His message of redemption to a world that is in bondage to the enemy. We are not to receive the world’s message of bondage unto ourselves. We are called to be a display of God’s glory and are encouraged to be raised up in His holy power. The mighty power of the Holy Spirit and the precious Blood of Jesus operating in the life of a believer is something that cannot be ignored or denied by any man! They can reject it, but they can not deny it! Many believers today continue to deny the power of God through the Blood of the cross by condoning and keeping their “subtle sins." They are not interested in being transformed by the hand of a Holy God. We must rid ourselves of the “subtle sins” to live a victorious Christian life. We must remember the cross daily and that our journey of hope begins by recognizing the utter hopelessness of our own sinful condition and our need for the cleansing Blood of Jesus. This is the only thing that will bring about true joy and freedom in the life of a believer and that’s something worth living for. Then will we have real answers for others to the real problems of this life. Our lives should everyday set the stage for the dramatic work of the hand of a Holy God.
In Study #6 we learned that in Leviticus 17:11, God says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood... We were able to establish that by God’s own hand, He intervened and shed the blood of an animal and put into motion a temporary plan of redemption for disobedient man until it was time for the cross. When sharing our faith it is important that we remember that God said, “The life is in the blood.” It is something that all of humanity has in common and can understand. We all have life giving blood running through our veins and when blood is shed we know it means death. Obviously, the life of the flesh is the blood! When Jesus spoke of His blood being “poured out," He was referring to His life, the life of God Himself, voluntarily given for us. Leon Morris, in The Atonement: Its Meaning and Significance, showed very clearly that this term “blood” denotes a life laid down in a violent, sacrificial death. The expression “the Blood of Christ” means not only that Christ shed His blood, but also that He poured it out before God. In the Old Testament the idea of sacrifice is that the blood, which is the life, is poured out to God, its giver. When Jesus Christ shed His Blood on the cross, it was not the blood of a martyr, or the blood of one man for another; it was the “Life of God” poured out violently to redeem the world.”
Our lives are so valuable to the Father that He willingly shed the precious Blood of His Son. Jesus His Son willingly laid His life down for us. God required a life for a life. It was His Son's life for our life! I want you to consider the implication of God’s redemptive plan for just a moment! There are many scriptures concerning the Blood of Jesus in our bibles, but I noticed something amazing. There appears also, to be a progressive revelation of the remission of sin through the shedding of blood in the Bible. In the case of Abel, the blood of an animal was sufficient for the forgiveness of one man (Genesis 4:4). During the first Passover, the blood of the lamb on the doorpost was sufficient to protect a whole family (Exodus 12:3). When the tabernacle was constructed, on the Day of Atonement the blood was sufficient to atone for the guilt of the nation (Leviticus 16:15, 16). But in the case of Jesus, the Lamb of God, His precious Blood shed on the cross was sufficient for “the sins of the WHOLE world” (1 John 2:2). God was all along setting the stage for the cross. Before the cross, they had to look to the blood of an animal that didn’t ever wash the stain of sin completely away. Their sacrifices had to be repeated daily, monthly, yearly. It was never enough. We, as believers in Jesus are so very blessed! All we have to do is look back and see the cross! Jesus died on that cross for us! A “one time” once and for all sacrifice was made.
This ties right in to Study #7. We learned that we can be assured that Calvary is, and will always be, the centerpiece of God’s eternal plan of salvation. God not only foresaw Calvary, but He was the one who arranged it. My heart cannot begin to comprehend the depth of perfect love that was behind His planning. Not only the love of a God for His creation, but the sacrifice that He made in putting His “only begotten Son” through the death of crucifixion. What is just as astounding to me, the obedience that was produced through the trust that Jesus had toward His Father. Jesus never questioned His Father’s motives regarding what was asked of Him. Not only did He trust His Father, but in spite of the cross, He was assured of His Father’s love. One of the most amazing scriptures to me has always been John 10:17 where Jesus states, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life”. Should that not speak volumes to our heart about the love and trust that was between the two of them. If Jesus was able to trust His Father under the circumstances and at the same time be assured of His Father’s love, shouldn’t we be even more assured of God’s love for us? Shouldn’t this compel us to share God’s love with others? Its not only recognizing the depth of His love, it is also trusting in the depth of His love. Calvary doesn’t stop with us! Calvary was not just for us! This is a message of trust that needs to be shared with others.
In Study #8 we discussed that as believers we need to not only place a significant emphasis on the love of God but we also need to continue to place a significant emphasis on the value of the precious Blood of Jesus. We need to take seriously the importance of the “Power of the Blood” and believe in its ability to continue to transform and change the lives of those around us. The precious Blood to the “perishing” if accepted, will redeem them. To those of us that are “saved” the precious Blood of Jesus, if accessed and applied, will continue to work alongside the Holy Spirit in great power transforming us into the image and likeness of Christ. The application of the Blood of Jesus to our lives, as believers, provides us a safe place where we can actually be spiritually transformed. As Hebrews 10:14 states, “Because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Although we have been redeemed initially we are also according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, . . . "being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
A sincere faith in Christ Jesus and what His precious Blood has accomplished for us, equips us to be able to live a spirit-led, faith-filled life so we can triumph over sin in our daily walk. This is what will cause us to be effective in the lives around us. If we can just grasp the truth of the Love of God behind the cross and believe it, we will walk in His power. When it becomes a reality to us that both the power and the love of God should be working through us daily, it is then, and only then, that we will see the fruit that our faith will produce. God wants to use us to bring others to Himself. The Love of God, the Power of God and the Fruit of the Spirit are needed for us to be vessels that He can use. We talked in our last study about being consecrated to God for His purposes alone. When we commit to being consecrated and truly transformed into the image of Christ we are fulfilling much of the purpose of the redeeming Blood of Jesus. We were purchased for God that we may love Him and serve Him only. Not created to serve ourselves and our selfish desires. Have we cried out to God to consecrate and transform us so that we may be used by Him? Have we cried out, “God I want make a difference in your Kingdom and I need your power?” This power is for the purpose of being a servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I want you to consider one of my favorite scriptures:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
2 Corinthians 2:8-10
The Greek word for “workmanship” has the connotation of a “work of art." Because of the precious Blood of Jesus we are His “work of art” to a lost and perishing world. A “work of art," especially one done by the hand of a Holy God, is going to get people's attention. It is then that we are called to do the “good works” which have been planned in advance by a God who loves us and the rest of the world with all His heart. Let us not take lightly the Blood of Jesus and what it is able to accomplish in the heart of a man or woman.
It will accomplish redemption!
Oswald Chambers said,
“When Jesus Christ shed His Blood on the cross it was not the blood of a martyr, or the blood
of one man for another; it was the Life of God poured out to redeem the world."
We have been redeemed, shouldn’t we want that for others?
I do realize that our world and this generation is much different from even 50 years ago. Our church methods have changed, audiences have changed, our culture and social morels have changed, but human nature does not. All humans are alike in that we share a common sinful nature. For this reason, the gospel message must never change! No matter how we might alter our approach or tailor our methods in reaching people for Christ, one thing that must never change is our message:
“The Blood of Jesus Saves!”
The Word of God is the “old, old story,” and it is awesome and completely sufficient. God is looking for candidates in this generation who will be willing and able to operate in His mighty power not their own. He wants to send us into a world that mostly rejects Him, so there must be something different about us. He is desiring that we carry out His destiny and His design and take His message to the people He has created and loves with an everlasting love. This “Power of God” is available to ordinary people who have surrendered to an extraordinary God. Let’s take our mandate of Acts 1: 7-8 seriously.
We need to every day, thank our Lord and Savior for His grace and mercy. We must always remember, by Jesus bearing the punishment of our sin even unto death, He conquered the power of sin and has given us the ability to do so also and wants it for others. Let us consecrate ourselves as servants to the Most High God and be faithful to lead others to Him. Death does not have to be an option for them. At Calvary, Jesus robbed the enemy of victory over death. This makes it possible for anyone to experience:
“Life Eternal” and
“The Power of God through the Blood of the Cross”