The Blood of Christ

A number of years ago I was trying to help an alcoholic who claimed to be a Christian. We were reading in the Bible at 1.Peter chapter one. When we came to verse 19 he said ‘Stop!’ I had just read “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ” - "Stop!" He said, "Tell me, what is the blood of Christ? We talk about it, we sing about it but - WHAT IS IT? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT DOES IT DO?"
 

As we talked further, I discovered that the blood of Christ was not the only thing about the Gospel he did not understand. As far as I could see he had not grasped God’s way of salvation at all. He was still in his sins and needed to be saved. This solved the problem of how a man, who claimed to be born again, could be a slave to alcohol, but now I had another problem. I knew what the blood of Christ meant to me but I had the greatest difficulty in expressing my beliefs in a simple Scriptural way. This article grew out of my subsequent studies and attempts to help others grasp the basic teaching of the Bible with respect to the blood of Christ. It was first published in booklet form in 1980 and has recently been revised.
David Chesney November 1999

The Blood Sprinkled Book

"For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people." (Hebrews 9:19)
Whether we understand it or not and whether we like it or not, a blood sprinkled trail runs from one end of the Bible to the other. It begins in Genesis with God Himself slaying and flaying an animal to clothe the nakedness of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). It continues with God’s acceptance of Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb and the rejection of Cain’s offering of the fruit of the ground (Genesis 4:1-7). We trace it in Noah’s offering of every clean animal and bird when they came out of the Ark (Genesis 8:20), and we see it again as Abraham plunges his knife into the ram provided as a substitute for his son (Genesis 22:13).

In Exodus we have the redemption of those under sentence of death by the blood of a lamb applied to the door posts and lintel of their house (Exodus 12:7, 13). In Leviticus we have sanctification and the way of approach to God by His redeemed people on the basis of shed blood. In Numbers we have atonement by blood and cleansing to be found in the ashes of a heifer burnt together with her blood (Numbers19). And so it goes on down through the Old Testament all the way to Malachi where we find God upbraiding His people for offering the torn, the lame and the sick of their flocks, rather than the best (Malachi 1:12-14).
When we come to the New Testament, we find the same blood sprinkled trail, but with a difference. It is no longer the blood of bulls and goats but the blood of Jesus Christ the "Lamb of God" of whom the Old Testament sacrifices were but shadows and types (Hebrews 9:1-10). The New Testament clearly presents what is taught by analogy in the Old Testament sacrifices - that salvation from the penalty of sin and a right relationship with God is based on the shedding of the blood of Christ. He died that we might live.
It is important to understand that the blood of Christ is not a minor or optional doctrine but is basic to any comprehension of what the Bible has to teach. Even more important is to grasp that a personal appropriation of the blood of Christ to oneself is essential to a living relationship with the Living God.

The Blood of Christ - What it is
The shedding of the blood is the death certificate, the evidence that death has taken place. This is what the blood of Christ is. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11) ----- "But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." (John 19:33, 34).

The Blood of Christ - What it Means
The meaning or significance of the shedding of the blood of Christ is that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) that "Christ died for the ungodly;" that "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6,8). This is what the blood of Christ means. The scope of what the shedding of His blood accomplished takes the rest of this article to explain.

The Blood of Christ - Declares God's Righteousness
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Romans 3:24)
God’s righteousness is intrinsic to His character (Psalm 7:9 ;116:5 ; 119:137). His righteousness is displayed in His Word (Psalm 119:137), in His ways (Psalm 145:7) and His actions (1 Samuel 12:7). God delights in the exercise of righteousness (Jeremiah 9:24). His righteousness is described as beyond calculation (Psalm 71:15) and enduring forever (Psalm 111:3; 119:142).

One of the glories of God is the perfect harmony of righteousness and grace He displays in working out His purposes in time and eternity. "Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful." (Psalms 111:3) "His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever." (Psalms 116:5). We who have the New Testament to help us to understand the Old should have no difficulty in appreciating this glorious harmony of righteousness and mercy revealed in the Old testament. Without the New Testament to explain it however, the revelation of the Old Testament does present certain difficulties. Consider the following:
"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilt;" (Exodus 34:6,7) How could God forgive iniquity and punish the guilty at the same time? How could He be both just and the justifier of the criminal?
How could God state that He does not leave the guilty unpunished and at the same time overlook the sins of His people Israel? Yet apparently He did just that! For example, God had decreed death for the murderer and the adulterer, but when David confessed to adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah, back came the reply - "The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." (2.Samuel 12:13)

Another example would be when Barak king of Moab hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel, but God ordered Balaam to bless Israel - "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:" (Numbers 23:21). How could God say such a thing? The whole record of Scripture up to that point shows that Israel was a stiff-necked, disobedient, idol worshiping, rebellious people. Was God blind? Of course not. God is omniscient or He is not God. Could God lie? Of course not. God is truth itself, or He is not God - "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" (Numbers23:19)

If God is not blind, and God cannot lie; if God is just, and God never changes or goes back on His word: how could God justify the rebellious nation of Israel? How could God pardon a murderer and adulterer? How could He do these things without compromising His righteousness? "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD." (Proverbs 17:15). There must be another part to the puzzle, something not made clear in the record, something man could not yet see; and there was - the blood of Christ!
From this side of the cross, after the event, it is clear enough. Now we can see how God can be just in that He exacted the due punishment for sin on the cross, yet is merciful to the sinner who accepts that Jesus Christ took the punishment for our sins on the cross. This had been foreshadowed in the Old Testament sacrifices and proclaimed clearly enough in such passages as Isaiah chapter 53, but until the actual death of God's Son on the cross, the Gospel was to some extent hidden.
Like the Mercy Seat concealed behind the veil in the Temple at Jerusalem, it was known to be there, but no one actually saw it except the High Priest, and that but once a year. Then came the day of the sacrifice of God’s Beloved Son, "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;" (Matthew 27:51). Now for the first time from outside the veil could be seen the blood sprinkled Mercy Seat. It had always been there, a Throne of Justice and of Mercy, but NOW it could be seen and the blood sprinkled on it could be seen. NOW the penalty for sins overlooked in the past in anticipation of this day had not only been paid, but could be seen to have been paid. The character of God had been vindicated. He had been declared "at this time" (Romans 3:26) to be righteous - by the blood of Christ.
"Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Revelation 15:3)

The Blood of Christ - Justifies the Ungodly

To be justified before God has sometimes been described as being "Just as if I'd never sinned." God however is perfectly aware that we have sinned. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23) - "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (John I 1:10). What it does mean is that the full penalty for sin has been paid, and that those who accept Christ's death on their behalf are no longer under jeopardy for their sins. "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:17). The Bible teaches us that our justification (our right standing) in the eyes of God is based on three things:
 
1. God's Grace - "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" (Romans 3:24). God’s grace is the only source of our justification. There is no merit in any of us to call forth the love of God. It is the "ungodly" that God pardons and justifies when faith is placed in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

2. Christ's Blood
- "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:6-9).

Christ’s death is the penalty paid that makes it possible for God to justify the ungodly. It is the shedding of the blood of Christ that allows Him to pour forth His love and mercy without compromising His justice. "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." (2 Corinthians 5:21) "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (Isaiah 53:11)

3. Man's Faith - "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Romans 5:1) - Faith is the means by which we can appropriate this gift of salvation which includes justification (a right relationship) with God. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8)
"Death then is the judicial ground of righteousness for a sinner. Grace is the principle on which God acts in reckoning him righteous. And it is on the principle of faith as opposed to works or merit that he receives the blessing ----- And mark the word is “justified”. It is not a question of pardon, merely, but of righteousness. The best of government might find a reason to pardon the guiltiest inmate of its jails; but to justify a criminal would be morally to become partaker of his crime. And yet with God, forgiveness is no mere remission of sin; it reaches on and embraces justification of the sinner. The believer is pardoned, but that is not all; he is reckoned righteous." (Sir Robert Anderson, The Gospel and its Ministry) .

The Blood of Christ - Purifies from Sin's Defilement
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:13,14).
"And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:7-9)

Sin is a foulness that needs to be cleansed as much as a crime to be punished. It is:
• A reproach (Proverbs 14:34),
• Filthiness (Proverbs 30:12 ; Psalm.14:3 ; 15:3)
• Defiling (Isaiah 59:3)
• Like Putrefying sores (Isaiah 1:6).

The defilement of sin must be dealt with or there is no entrance into heaven (Revelation 21:27; 22:11). The full fruit of man’s sin in all its loathsomeness will be revealed in the apostate church "Mystery Babylon" (Revelation 17:1-5). The root principle dwells in the heart of each one of us today (1.John.1:8)
Sin is not something we imbibe or acquire from our environment, it is something we are born with (Psalm.51:5). We are not sinners because we commit sins, we commit sins because we are born sinners. "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man." - "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:15, 21-23).

A simple illustration used to explain this necessity of cleansing is that of the boy who was told that he could play outside, but on no account to get his good suit dirty as there were guests coming for dinner. The guests arrive, the dinner is ready, and father goes to the door to call his son. Round the corner of the house comes the filthiest specimen of boyhood you ever saw. Taking him by the ear father marches him swiftly to the back of the house and soundly disciplines him for his disobedience. That settles the matter of guilt and punishment, but does it make the boy fit for the table? Of course not! He must be stripped, washed and clothed in something new before he can come to the dining room.

So it is with the Christian. Not only must the penalty for sin be paid, but the filthiness must be cleansed if we are to be accepted into the presence of a thrice holy God. Praise God, the defilement of sin has been dealt with through "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son which cleanseth us from all sin." (1.John 1:7).
As they hung side by side on three crosses, one of the two thieves turned to the man in the middle and said - "Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Just as he was, uncouth, unbaptised, unlearned in the various doctrines of salvation; with no time to clean up his act or undo any of the wrongs he had committed; he was accepted. "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43). Accepted by the Son of God he was fit for God’s presence, having been cleared from guilt and cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ. "We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:9)
In addition to the cleansing or sanctification imputed to the believer at the moment of salvation, there is the practical cleansing accomplished in the believer subsequent to salvation, by the Word and the Spirit of God which results in a changed lifestyle and effective holiness. I mention this in case anyone should consider practical holiness and separation from evil optional for the Christian. Far from being optional, it is the normal, natural, outworking of the indwelling Holy Spirit and of the new nature given to every Christian when he or she is born again. (Romans 6:1-13 ; 2.Cor.5:17)

Charles Spurgeon, the noted preacher, was once taunted by a companion, who, pointing to a drunk lying in the gutter said, "There lies one of your converts." - "He must be" replied Spurgeon, "For he is certainly none of Christ’s." "The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2.Timothy 2:19)

The Blood of Christ - Purchases Our Redemption
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" - "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14)
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation 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)
"And they sung a new song, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;" (Revelation 5:9)
Webster"s dictionary indicates that the word “redeem” is derived from two Latin words “re(d)” meaning “back” and “emere” meaning “to get” or “buy” hence “to buy back”. To redeem something implies the payment of a price in order to repossess it. As we can note from the Scriptures quoted above, the price paid for our redemption is the "precious blood of Christ."

Some of the great examples in Scripture of redemption are the redemption of the firstborn in Egypt by the blood of a lamb, the redemption of the nation as a whole from bondage to Egypt by the power of God’s outstretched arm, and the redemption of Ruth by Boaz. In these and other examples we see that no person or nation was in a position to redeem themselves, but another must pay the price if they are to be delivered. The Bible shows that everyone is under bondage to sin and death and that – " Truly no man can ransom himself, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of his life is costly, and can never suffice, (Psalms 49:7,8, ASV)

The Old Testament speaks of our redemption being from:
• All evil (Genesis 48:16),
• The grave (PS.49:15),
• Destruction (PS.103:4),
• Death (HOS.13:14),
The New Testament speaks of our redemption and deliverance from:
• Slavery to sin (Romans 6:18,20)
• This present evil world (Galatians 1:4)
• The curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)
• The power of darkness (COL.1:13)
• All iniquity (TIT.2:14)
• To God (Revelation 5:9).

This is the immensity of God's deliverance. For we were all without exception trapped in the kingdom of darkness, shackled by sin and death, without power and without hope. Into this situation the Father sent His Son to redeem, at the cost of His life, every captive willing to be freed. "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” --- “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (Mark.10:45; I.Timothy 2:6 ). Note that while our Lord gave Himself a ransom for "all", all are not necessarily redeemed. He paid the price for all, and all may be delivered from their bondage - If they chose to accept this payment of the price paid to redeem them.

There is a graphic illustration of the consequences of choice in the little book of Ruth. Ruth had a sister Orpah who could have returned to Bethlehem with Naomi but she chose not to (Ruth.1:14). Boaz the "Kinsman Redeemer" not only redeemed Ruth’s inheritance, but "all" including Orpah’s inheritance by her husband Chilion - "And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi." (Ruth.4: 9). The price was paid for both sisters but only Ruth entered into the good of her redemption.

The redemption to be found in Jesus Christ is also a matter of choice. It is to "As many as received him" is given power or authority to be called the children of God (John.1:12). It is to "Whosoever believeth in him" is given the gift of eternal life (John.3:16). It is only those who are "in Christ" who can give thanks unto the Father for their redemption. "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Col.1:12-14)
The Blood of Christ - Reconciles Man and God
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death," (Col.1:20-14)

"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (II Corinthians 5:18)
"And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:" (Ephesians 2:16)

At the root of all sin is a wilful disobedience, a conscious rejection of the revelation of God in an act of rebellion. It can be seen in the revolt of Lucifer, whose wilfulness is implicit in the seven times he uses the phrase "I will." (Isaiah 14:12-15). It is seen in the disregard of our forefather Adam who ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, contrary to God's commandment. In the latter case we are told particularly, that while Eve was deceived, Adam took this step as a matter of deliberate choice. (1.Tim.2:14).

We are all aware of the results of sin, in ourselves and in society. We live with the results on a daily basis. We sometimes forget however, that the fruits of sin have their root in a refusal to recognize and obey God. "Sin is lawlessness" (1.John.3:4). It is an assertion of the creature's independence, the repudiation of the Creator’s supremacy, the denial of divine authority.
"Sin has brought death into the world and all our woes; but more and infinitely worse than this, it has compromised the sceptre and throne of God." (Sir Robert Anderson, The Gospel and its Ministry) Thus Adam (and we his descendants) are not only estranged to God, but are enemies who challenge the sovereignty of God. (Romans 5:10; Col.1:21)

Aliens and enemies we might be by nature, but God has devised "Means whereby his banished be not expelled from him" (2.Samuel 14:14). How did He do this? By bringing down upon His dear Son the blow that should have fallen upon rebellious mankind (Isaiah 53:4,5). By exacting in that dreadful hour of accounting on the cross, full payment for sin, so that those who turn to God in faith, find peace and forgiveness for sins. The debt that was theirs has been marked paid in full. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2.Corinthians 5:21). "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" (Colossians 2:14). God has established peace. He is fully propitiated by the work of the cross whereby He, in Christ, made peace for man. "For he is our peace," Ephesians (2:14)

The Blood of Christ - Provides Access to God's Presence

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who some times were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)
In the Old Testament book of Esther we read of the Persian law that no one could come into the King’s presence uninvited under penalty of death, - "whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live:" (Esther.4:11). We also read of queen Esther and her decision to take her life in her hands by entering the presence of the king uninvited, "And if I perish, I perish." (4:16)

In God we have a potentate far greater than any earthly king. One whose law is more unchangeable than that of the Medes and the Persians. "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1.Tim.6:16) One however to whose ear the Christian has instant access day and night and in whose presence we shall one day dwell without fear.
Where does our confidence rest? How is it that creatures of the dust, such as we are, feel liberty to tug on the coat of Almighty God and say "Father" just as freely and naturally as a child pulling at his earthly father’s sleeve for attention? Expecting moreover that God will turn our way and give us full attention. May I suggest that our confidence is threefold:

1. Unlike Esther we have a Friend at court to represent us before the Throne. In the court of king Ahasuerus, the man with the ear of the king, and the king’s ring of authority on his finger was Haman the sworn enemy of Esther and her people. In the Throne room of God, the Man unto whom all authority has been given in heaven and on earth is the One who is "not ashamed to call us brethren," (Hebrews 2:11), the One who is our "Advocate" (1.John.2:1), the One who wills that we be with Him where He is (John.17:24) and the One who is our High Priest - "FOREVER" (Hebrews 5:6 ; 10:22)

2. Unlike Esther we have an invitation. Esther had not been called into the king’s presence for thirty days, but our invitation is fresh every day. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. - - - Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 4:16; 10:22)

3. Unlike Esther we are not subject to the penalties of the law. Esther was well aware that there was one law for all, whether man or woman. Queen she might be, but she was under the law. The Christian however, is marked in the eyes of God as one who has been identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held (dead to that which held us captive); that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." (Romans 7:6).

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:19)

The Blood of Christ - Is the Basis for Fellowship
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (I Corinthians 10:16)

"If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (I John 1:7)
In 1.Corinthians chapter ten, the breadth of Christian fellowship is shown to include all who have partaken of the blood and body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and exclude all who practice idolatry. In 1.John chapter one, the breadth of Christian fellowship is shown to include the Father and the Son, and exclude all who walk in darkness. In both passages, communion or fellowship is something into which we have entered by virtue of what God did for us in Christ. However, unlike our relationship as children of God, which can never be broken, our communion or fellowship with God and His people requires our active cooperation and commitment to maintain it.
If you have difficulty with the different concepts of 'relationship' and 'fellowship, try thinking of them in earthly terms. A child born into an earthly family is related to that family in a way that cannot be broken. Even if the child should go so far as to deny father and mother it does not alter the fact of the relationship. Fellowship or friendship within the family circle is another matter, something that requires the cooperation, yes and obedience of the child, to maintain the harmony of the home.
Paul, writing to the church at Corinth cites the example of the Children of Israel in the first half of chapter 10. Five times the word “all” is used in the first four verses to emphasize that all were delivered from Egypt never to return, but the conduct and lifestyle of "many of them" prevented them from entering into the blessings promised by God. - "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness." (1.Corinthians 10:1-5)
Of the 603,550 adult males who came out of Egypt, only two entered into the Promised Land. None entered into all the blessings that God had for them - "Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD." (Numbers 32:12). Note however, none returned to the bondage of Egypt. Their deliverance from slavery, once accomplished, was irrevocable.

Paul then applies the lesson to the Corinthian Christians "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (I Corinthians 10:11). He points to the communion cup and the bread as symbols of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, that these are tokens of the reality that “all” who are Christ’s have partaken of Him and been identified with Him in newness of life. Paul further points out that those who have been identified with the Holy One of God, could not sit with impunity in heathen temples indulging in idolatrous feasts any more than the Israelites ate and drank before the golden calf with impunity. (Exodus 32:6) "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils." (I Corinthians 10:21). Paul is not teaching that it is physically impossible to do so, but that such perverted conduct must inevitably break communion with God and bring discipline upon the disobedient member of the family.

I have digressed at some length on the necessary conditions for maintaining fellowship to emphasize that there can be no meaningful communion with God if our thought life or actions are contrary to His revealed will. Not long after I was saved, an old Scottish coal miner (James Cuthbertson), passed on the following outline on fellowship.

I have found it a great blessing over the years.
• The BEGINNING of fellowship 1 John 1:1,2
• The BREADTH of fellowship 1:3
• The BLESSINGS of fellowship 1:4
• The BASIS of fellowship 1:5-7
• The BREAKING of fellowship 1:8
• The BINDING of fellowship 1:9
• The BULWARK of fellowship 2:1,2

The Blood of Christ - Is Essential to Victory Over Satan
"And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Revelation 12:11).
The Christian has an implacable adversary - "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isaiah 14:13) "The great dragon ---, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:----- the accuser of our brethren " (Revelation 12:9, 10). "The god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), "Belial" [the worthless one] (2 Corinthians 6:15). He is "a murderer from the beginning" and "a liar" (John 8:44).
The Devil is the most exalted being to come from the hand of God, but he was not content with his position and led a revolt against the sovereignty of God. Sin did not begin with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It began in heaven. "O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground," (Ezekiel 28:17) "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

The Devil is possessed of immense powers far in excess of the greatest of men. He is a dirty fighter, a creature of vast, though corrupt intelligence who never does anything in a haphazard manner. He is the Christian’s implacable enemy. His chief objective today is to trash the testimony of believers. To besmirch the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ through lying ministers. To drag down those who through word and life commend the true Gospel. Through these means he would blind the souls of men to the truth of the Gospel, and frustrate the will of God, if that were possible.
How are we to face such an enemy? By denying his existence? This head in the sand approach is quite common but is as foolish as the Christian Science view that "Man is incapable of sin, sickness and death." (Science and Health. 475:28) Choosing to ignore sin, sickness and death does not alter the reality of their existence, but does make it impossible to deal with them intelligently and effectively. Choosing to ignore our Adversary does not alter the fact of his existence, but it does make victory over him unattainable.

How are we to face such an adversary then? By deriding him? I have a friend who took this approach, and I shudder yet as I remember him in prayer saying "I laugh at you Satan, I challenge you, I scorn you." Not even the archangel Michael presumed to despise Satan, or bring a railing accusation against him. (Jude 8,9) . Don’t be like the fool who reaches through the bars of the cage to pull the lions tail. We are safe enough when we take our stand in Christ and the Word, but reach beyond the sphere of our authority and we risk being clawed.
How are we to face such an adversary? Not by ignoring him, nor by underestimating him and certainly not by trying to match wits with him. Surely it is only in the power of God’s might and provision that we can face him. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:10). Ephesians chapter 6 goes on to describe the armour of the Christian in this fight against the "wiles of the Devil" and I would consider this armour corresponds to the provision of the second half of Revelation 12:11 where the word of their testimony and the manner of their lives (and deaths) were used in overcoming Satan.

A good knowledge of the Word of God and a lifestyle consistent with it are essential parts of our armour in this spiritual battle. But without the "helmet of salvation", no matter how powerful our words, and righteous our life, all our knowledge and righteousness will be of no avail against this enemy.
In Exodus we read of the Destroying Angel passing through the land of Egypt slaying the firstborn in every house except where the blood of a lamb had been applied to the house. It did not matter whether the person was religious or not, the question was - Is there blood on the lintel and door posts? It did not matter how well constructed the house was, how strong the lintel over the door, or what colour the walls were painted; the life of the first born within depended on whether the blood had been applied as prescribed.

Today those who are overcomers are those who are sheltered by "the blood of the Lamb." The question is not - Are you a good living person? --- but --- Are you sheltered by the blood of the Lamb? The question is not - Do you love God, read your Bible and pray every day? --- but --- Are you sheltered by the blood of the Lamb? The question is not - Do you belong to the right church? --- but --- Are you sheltered by the blood of "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."
To be under the blood is to be safe. Satan may be powerful, but he is not all-powerful. He is still 'The God of This World', 'The Prince of The Power of The Air', the author of the evil with which he would engulf this planet and enslave all mankind. But his days are numbered, his fate is sure. Reckon him for what he is. Don't underrate him, don't ignore him, don't tackle him in your own strength, but - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

The Blood of Christ - Its Personal Appropriation
If you have read thus far, I trust you have not only grasped something of the doctrine of the blood of Christ but have entered into the good of it personally. That you have realized you are a guilty sinner; separated from God, in need of cleansing, pardon and new life. That you have accepted the blood of Christ as the only atonement for your sins and have found peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
If you have not yet placed your trust in Him as your Lord and Saviour, I would urge you with every fibre of my being to trust in Him today. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1)
Where Will You Spend Eternity?


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