The well-known hymn declares, “There is power, power, wonder-working power, in the blood of the Lamb.” As we study the New Testament, we identify numerous benefits of the blood of Christ.
- It has reconciling power. The Gentile Ephesians were at one time “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12), but they were “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (2:13); they were reconciled unto God by the cross (2:16). Even “when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Rom. 5:10).
- It has redeeming power. The very reason Jesus shed His blood and gave Himself for us is “that he might redeem us from all iniquity” (Tit. 2:14). The only thing valuable enough to redeem us back into God’s favor is “the precious blood of Christ,” Who is “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1:18-19).
- It has remitting power. The blood of Christ is powerful enough to release us from the debt of our sins (Acts 2:22-38). As the song says, “He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away. And now I sing a brand new song—Amazing Grace—Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay!”
- It has cleansing power. Jesus “loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5). John wrote of those who “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (7:14). Zechariah foretold that a fountain would be opened for sin and for uncleanness (Zech. 13:1). That fountain was opened on Pentecost (Acts 2:38) and it has been flowing ever since. Consequently, we can triumphantly sing, “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!” Only the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to wash away our sins. Thus, we sing, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
- It has sanctifying power. The Hebrews writer observed in Hebrews 9:13-14: “For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a 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?” Thus we read, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate” (13:12).
- It has justifying power. Paul expressly affirms that we are “justified by his blood” (Rom. 5:9). We are “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…(Rom. 3:24-25). This passage leaves no doubt concerning what it is that justifies us—it is the blood of Christ.
- It has purchasing power. The blood of Christ purchased the church of Christ (Acts 20:28). One cannot be saved apart from the blood of Christ, but since the blood purchased the church, one cannot be saved without being a member of the blood-bought church of Christ.
The blood of Christ was shed so that all people of every kindred, tongue, and nation might be saved (Rev. 5:9). The only beneficiaries of the blood of Christ are those who contact it by obedience to the gospel. The controversy has to do with when the blood of Jesus is applied to our sin-stained souls.
The prevailing teaching among denominations is that, when one says the sinner’s prayer, he is saved. However, the fabled “sinner’s prayer” is a concoction of the doctrines and commandments of men. Where is the verse where an inspired preacher ever instructed a sinner to say the sinner’s prayer in order to be saved?
Peter did not invite the hearers on Pentecost to bow their heads and invite Jesus into their heart. Rather, he commanded them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Christ is what gives us remission of sins (Mt. 26:28) and being baptized in water, as a penitent, confessing, believer is when this remission of sins is granted. The blood of Christ is what washed Saul’s sins away (Rev. 1:5), but Saul’s baptism in water (preceded by his faith and repentance) is when they were washed away (Acts 22:16). The blood of Christ is what purges our conscience from sins (Heb. 9:14), and the moment when we, as penitent, confessing, believers, are baptized is when we obtain that good conscience (I Pet. 3:21).
Some falsely accuse us of believing in “water salvation.” In truth, we believe in “blood salvation.” However, just as Naaman had to dip in the water in order to contact the power of God to wash away his leprosy (II Kgs. 5), we must, as penitent, confessing, believers, be dipped in water to contact the blood of Christ and enter the church of Christ.