“Power belongs to God.” (Psalm 62:11)
God has made His power available to men but there is one thing that separates man from God and that is sin. Isaiah the prophet put it this way when he said, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not to short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59: 1-2). God spoke these words to the Israelites who had turned their backs on the Lord in rebellion yet it tells us that sin in any form separates us from God because God is Holy and cannot look upon sin.
Sin must be removed
Before we can really know the genuine power of God in our lives the sin that separates us from Him must be removed. It is only the blood of Jesus Christ that can put away our sin. The writer to the Hebrews tells us about the total effectiveness of the blood of Jesus Christ to put away our sin. “But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). We need the power of God’s Word but that Word will never have power to change us unless the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed our hearts from sin.
A ‘Bloodless’ Christianity?
So much of Christianity today knows little or nothing about the power of Jesus’ blood. Multitudes today need to be delivered from cold, formal and legalistic religion. Others are into miracles, signs and wonders, but have never fully understood and in some cases have never experienced the power of Jesus’ blood to cleanse and deliver them from the power and grip of sin. Christianity without the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is a counterfeit form of Christianity; in fact it is not real Christianity at all! What does God’s Word say that the blood of Jesus Christ has power to do?
1. The Blood of Jesus has power to atone for our sins.
(Romans 3:22-26) “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ (or by faith of Jesus Christ) to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood…He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus.”
Only God can forgive our sin and He does this on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ His Son. The shed blood is the only basis upon which God bestows His forgiveness. Paul said, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:17). The great debt we owe to God for our sin and rebellion was fully paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the price He paid was to shed His own blood. Through that blood we can be reconciled to God. Peter tells us this, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Having forgiven all our sins
Through the blood of Jesus Christ the record of our sins has been cancelled and Satan’s power to keep us enslaved to sin has been broken. Paul tells us this when he said, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a publicspectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:13-15).
Justified before God
Right now you may be conscious of your sin and know that you are a rebel in God’s sight and you may feel that you are too bad to be accepted by God. The lists of your sins and offences against God seem endless and you feel that there is more hope for a fool than there is for you. You may have done things that are too horrible to mention and are despairing of life itself. You have tried religion, good works or morality but have failed to measure up to your own standards of righteousness. You may feel the sentence of an eternal existence without God in hell because of your sins and feel that there is no escape for you. Whatever your spiritual condition the blood of Jesus Christ can justify you before God and cleanse you from all and every sin (1 John 1:7-9). The moment you repent and believe in Him who shed His blood for you God Himself declares you righteous even though you have no righteousness of your own (Romans 5:9).
2. The Blood of Jesus has power to save us from judgment.
(Romans 5:9) “Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.”
When The Lord was about to pass over Egypt in judgment to judge it for it’s sin and rebellion He told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb without spot or blemish and to sprinkle it’d blood over the door posts of their homes and stay inside. When the destroying angel passed over Egypt and killed all the firstborn of the Egyptians only the Israelites who had sheltered under the blood were spared. The lamb’s blood protected them from judgment because God had accepted the sacrificial animal’s blood on their behalf. In the gospel of John Jesus is called “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Now God required a perfect sacrifice for sin and the Lord Jesus Christ was the only perfect man who met those conditions. He was the sinless Son of God and became our representative before God and died in our place taking upon Himself the unabated wrath of God upon sin (Isaiah 53:5-6).
The Divine exchange
God laid on Him our sins and their penalty and made available to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ. God dealt with Jesus as a sinner, even though He was sinless so that he could declare us righteous who by nature are great rebels and sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21). This righteousness becomes ours when we thoroughly repent and trust alone in Jesus to save us. At that moment God credits Jesus righteousness to our account making us acceptable to God (Romans 3:21-25) (Romans 4:24-25) It was the Divinely ordered exchange.
Judgement is coming
There is a judgment day still to come and only those who are sheltering under the blood of Jesus by faith alone in Him will be spared. Just before Jesus returns He will rescue His faithful followers at the end of the Great Tribulation and then pour out plagues and judgments never before experienced on the earth. Everyone who does not know God and does not obey the good news about Jesus will be punished with flaming fire and everlasting torment in the lake of fire. The plagues on Egypt will come again upon a Christ hating, Christ rejecting world! (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) (Revelation 14:9-11 21:8)
Mocking the Blood of Christ
Today multitudes both without and even within the Church mock those who talk about the blood of Jesus. Many don’t really believe in a future judgment at all and laugh at those who do but with God a thousand of our years are as a day to Him. Some professing Christians no longer believe in a rapture of the saints or the Great Tribulation! God is not slack concerning His promises. What He has declared will come to pass! The only reason He has not poured out His wrath already on this unbelieving, rebellious, perverse and crooked generation is to give people time to repent and turn back to Him before it’s too late (2 Peter 3:3-10) (Acts 2:40)
Sheltering under the blood
Right now are you sheltering under the blood of Jesus Christ by faith alone? Are you longing and eager for His return? Do you want to be taken out of this world before the wrath of God is poured out? If you are not ready for Jesus return then flee from the wrath to come! Come to the foot of the cross and lay down your rebellion, unbelief and sin and call out to God to have mercy upon you through Jesus Christ! Do not delay! Seek the Lord while He may be found, call on Him while He is near. Forsake your wicked way and your evil imaginations and thoughts. Turn to the Lord with all of your heart, and He will have mercy on you. Turn to Him for He will freely pardon you! Do it now! Don’t delay any longer! (Isaiah 55:6-7)
Time is running out!
We are in the last days and right at the end of this present age and time is rapidly running out! The Lord Jesus Christ is coming very soon and He is God’s final word to you and if you reject Him then God has nothing more to say to you. Right now the blood of Jesus Christ is available to you. Through repentance and faith in Jesus and His blood God will not only pardon you and forgive you for all of your sin and rebellion but also cleanse you from it all.
3. The Blood of Jesus has power to cleanse us from all and every sin.
(1 John 1:7-9) “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
There is no other cleansing agent more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all sin. Even though Jesus was fully man as well as fully God His blood was pure blood and had never been tainted by sin. The blood that flowed through His veins is the only cleansing agent for sin. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can scour out the deepest stains of sin and rebellion in us as fallen human beings. The apostle John tells us that as believers we have been washed or loosed from our sins by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:11).
Applying the blood
When we thoroughly repent of all of our sin and rebellion and cry out to God to forgive and to cleanse us the Holy Spirit takes the blood of Jesus and applies it to the doorposts of our heart. God wants us to be free of the power of sin and walk free from it everyday. We read in Paul’s letter to Titus, “Who gave himself for us (i.e., Jesus) to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14). Paul also said in his letter to the Galatians, “Who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:4).
A ‘Jacob’ and an ‘Esau’
God’s will is not only to deliver us from the power of sin but also from this present evil age with its appetites and desires. Even though we still have our old nature it is rendered powerless to enslave us to sin as long as we walk in the Spirit (Romans 6:6-14, 17-18,22-23 8:1-17). Sometimes we will experience great inner conflict between the two natures (Galatians 5:16-18). In every born again believer there is within them a “Jacob” and an “Esau” wrestling for supremacy. Remember that Esau was born after the flesh but Jacob after the Spirit. While we are no longer slaves to sin, as unbelievers are, there will be times when we do sin. John the apostle said, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2). If we continue to deliberately sin while claiming to belong to Jesus we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 3:5-10). It does need to be said that every believer has a weak point that we wrestle with and at times the conflict will be very severe and it is only as we lay hold of the Spirit’s power by faith that we can defeat the enemy every time. Oh how we need the blessed Holy Spirit moment by moment in our daily lives. Remember the Devil, along with his demons, are working around the clock to destroy us and all of his fiery darts are aimed at the shield of faith.
Freedom from sin’s power
Right now you may be conscious of un-confessed and un-renounced sin and you desire to be free from it with all of your heart then do not despair. Don’t run from Jesus run to Him and lay hold of Him by faith . His blood is all any of us need to set us free from our sin. God wants to set us free from the power of sin and cleanse us completely from them all. How do we receive this cleansing?
Firstly, we need to accept the fact that “All have sinned and fall short of God’s Divine Standards” and that we are without excuse and stand condemned before God so long as we continue in our sin. Today in the Church many Christians run to counselors, psychologists and psychotherapists to unload their problems when in most cases they simply need to repent of un-confessed and un-renounced sin. Many pastors are simply “lopping off branches” as it were, instead of going to the root of the problem. In most cases sin is the root cause in the lives of Christians. Other Christians seek for deliverance from demons and go from one deliverance session to another or go to those who have a so called “deliverance ministries” but their real problem is with their flesh and if they were taught properly from God’s Word how to walk in the Spirit then they would be able to overcome their spiritual problems.
Secondly, We need to see that our only hope of pardon and cleansing and acceptance by God has already been provided for us in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, We need to confess and renounce all of the sins that we are aware of in our lives holding nothing back from God. We need to be honest with the Lord where our sins are concerned and confess them before Him and confess our need to be cleansed from them. To confess to God is to agree with what God says about our sins and not to argue with Him but to submit our selves to Him unreservedly. This is Biblical repentance. His promise is sure, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Fourthly, We must believe that we receive what we ask for. “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
By the Word, the Blood and the Spirit
Cleansing from the power and presence of sin in our lives comes by the Word, the Blood and the Spirit. The Word tells us that we need this cleansing. The Spirit Himself convicts us that we need it and then when we ask for this cleansing the same Holy Spirit takes the blood of Jesus Christ and applies it to the “doorposts” of our lives cleansing us from all sin. Jesus on the cross saves us from the guilt of sin. Jesus on the throne of our life saves us from the power of sin. Jesus coming again will completely save us from the presence of our sinful nature. Everyday we need to be regularly washed and cleansed through God’s Word and by the blood of Jesus because we still have our sinful nature to deal with and sometimes we do sin. Whenever we come to pray we need to ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to see if there is anything that we have left un-confessed before the Lord. We need to pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
“I will remember their sins no more”
Now if the Holy Spirit shows us something that we need to put right with the Lord then we need to confess it and renounce it there and then. Once we have confessed our sin then we can ask to be cleansed and know that He the Lord will do it according to the promise of His Word. “This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him”(1 John 5:14-15). The moment we come to the Lord Jesus for cleansing God erases our past offences and chooses not to remember them. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” and again God Himself has said, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Psalm 103:12) (Hebrews 8:12).
Walking in the light
The blood of Jesus Christ not only brings us Justification and cleansing but also will keep us from sinning if we continue to walk in obedience to God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). In other words as we walk continuously in the Light so we are continuously cleansed. How then do we walk in the light? The Psalmist tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). At times we may commit individual acts of sin because the desires of the flesh are at war with the desires of the Spirit in us but if we have really been born again then we will not want to sin or be habitually enslaved to sin (Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25) (1 John 3:7-9 5:18). The closer we walk with the Lord Jesus through His Word the less likely we will be to sin.
4. The Blood of Jesus has power to cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the Living God.
(Hebrews 9:14) “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the Living God.”
Many physical, emotional and psychological problems can be traced to a guilty conscience. A guilty conscience will rob us of God’s peace and fill us with fear, apprehension and drain us physically and emotionally. King David knew this experience when he refused to confess his sin at a certain stage in his life. “When I kept silent (refusing to own up to his sin before the Lord) my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). When we are weighed down with guilt because of un-confessed and un-renounced sin we are constantly under conviction by the Holy Spirit. Not only that, but our service for the Lord is powerless and ineffective.
Acknowledging our sin
This was precisely David’s case. His guilt stayed with him day and night with no let up. His soul was like a parched desert. His spiritual resources were all dried up. He could find no rest. Nothing could dull his guilty conscience. The more he tried to force his guilt down the more tired he became physically to the point where it began to affect his health. In those times psychology and psychotherapy didn’t even exist. What did David do? He went to the Lord and owned up to his sin and the moment he confessed it and put it away his relief was immediate and effective. “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity (Rebellion) I said ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’-and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
A purged conscience
If we really want to experience the power of the Holy Spirit working through us then it is absolutely necessary to have a clear conscience before God and men. If our conscience is weighed down with guilt over un-confessed and un-renounced sin then our works of Christian service will only be dead works generated by the flesh and not by the power of the Spirit. We may still be operating in spiritual gifts but our ministry will be spiritually contaminated and any fruit of our ministry will also be spiritually contaminated. While the gifts and calling of God go forth without repentance never the less a backslider, even though gifted, will eventually disqualify himself from the ministry. If our conscience has been purged by the blood of Christ through the power of the eternal Spirit of God then we will be able to serve the Lord faithfully even though we may be facing fierce opposition and struggling with great temptations to yield to the flesh.
Jesus’ blood and righteousness
Forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with God and righteousness is our greatest need as human beings and this is only possible for us through the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. If our hope for heaven is being built on any other foundation other than the Lord Jesus Himself, His Word, His Spirit and His blood, then that foundation will not stand in the wrath to come. Only the blood of Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse our conscience so that the Holy Spirit can generate His works in and through our lives. Sometimes Satan will accuse us and can even bring feelings of guilt especially about our past and all of us must be aware of this because Satan is “the accuser of the brethren and he accuses them day and night.” However, when the Holy Spirit convicts us about sin He puts His finger on that specific sin and reveals it to us. He doesn’t do this to condemn us but to drive us to the blood of Jesus to be set free from it.
Struggling with guilt
In the Church today there are multitudes of professing Christians who go from one counselor to another or from one deliverance session to another when what they really need to do is go to the Lord through His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with their sin and then by faith go to “the fountain opened for un-cleanliness and sin.” Praise God for the blood of Jesus Christ! There is nothing more powerful to deliver us from a guilty conscience than the blood of Jesus Christ! If you are a believer and have been struggling with guilt then stop going to your psychotherapist or psychologist or your pastor and go to the Lord Jesus Himself because He loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. His blood is the most powerful cleansing agent in the whole universe. Go to Him now, why delay!
If your conscience is riddled with guilt fly to the blood of Christ that can purge your conscience form dead works to serve the Living God. Don’t wait any longer as He is far more willing and eager and able to deliver you from your sin than you are to be rid of it! Right now ask the blessed Holy Spirit to show you any sin that has not been dealt with or forgiven and He will graciously reveal it to you. Once you have confessed and put it away then there will be no more need to feel guilty or to go back over the past again. God has forgiven and forgotten it and it is in bad taste to bring it up before Him again! Praise God for the blood of Jesus!
5. The Blood of Jesus has power to give us boldness and confidence in prayer.
(Hebrews 10:19-24) “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence (boldness) to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
Every born again child of God has the right and the privilege of approaching God with boldness and expectancy. In fact God wants us to approach Him in this way. The Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest who has offered up Himself once for all time as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He has gone into heaven to represent us before God His Father and He now sits at the right hand of God where He ever lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 4:14-16) (Hebrews 7:24-25) (Romans 8:34). When the Lord Jesus died the curtain in the Most Holy Place that seperated the Holy of Holies of the Jewish temple was torn from top to bottom opening up the way for sinful man to have direct access to God. The moment a person is born again, repents of their sin and believes in Jesus Christ and His shed blood they have direct access to God by faith. Not only is the blood of Jesus Christ the foundation of their justification but the means by which they can have their heart and conscience cleansed.
Finally and forever settled
Nothing can be added to the sacrifice Jesus made because it is complete and totally sufficient to justify sinners before God. No more sacrifice for sins is needed (Hebrews 7:27 9:25-26 10:10-12). This is why we don’t need priests, rosary beads, auricular confessions or penance and indulgences. Furthermore, there is no such place as Purgatory where one supposedly atones for their own sins! Either you believe you atone for your sins in purgatory or through the blood of Christ, You cannot believe both and be saved! As believers we can boldly and confidently enter into fellowship with the Lord in prayer and petition and know that we have an immediate audience with Him. If we have a clean conscience before God that has been cleansed and purged by the blood of Jesus Christ then our hearts will have the full assurance of faith. This faith enables us to boldly approach the throne of grace that we might receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. What a privilege we have as God’s children to be able to approach Him in this way (Hebrews 12:18-24).
Prayer takes time but in the end it saves time!
Christianity without atoning blood is Christianity without mercy for the sinner, without settled peace for the conscience, without genuine forgiveness, without acquittal, without cleansing, without boldness in approaching God and without spiritual power. If we would know spiritual power in our Christian life and service we must know the power of the blood of Christ. If we do not come to God through faith in the blood and merits of the Lord Jesus Christ then we cannot come to God at all. We certainly cannot know the power of prayer unless we know the power of God through His Word and through the blood of Jesus Christ alone through which we can approach God. Prayer takes time but in the end it saves time!
Adapted from the book “Power from on High” by R.A.Torrey.