This Week's Gospel Sermons
October - December 2011 Fall Series At Jackson Drive.
"MIRACLES OF JESUS"
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October 23, 2011
Power in the Blood
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1John 1:5-7)
These verses from John’s first letterare intense; so much truth is packed into very few words. First, notice that the message is from God and has been announced to man. The message that John proclaims is not his own, but is divine in origin. The message is then the standard—the only truth.
Next there is the pointed contrast between darkness and light, God and sin. God is Light. There can be NO darkness at all. Everything outside of God is darkness and contains NO light. This contrast between light and darkness is crucial to our spiritual understanding (see The Admonisher, October 9, 2011).
Our own position is then illuminated. If we follow God, we are in the Light. We cannot just say we are sharing with Him, our actions must show it. We must practice the truth, else we are in complete darkness separated from God. However, we see that it is possible to walk in the Light.
Fellowship—communion or sharing—is then given importance. If we are in the Light we are in fellowship with God. Not only are we then sharing a relationship with God, but with others who are also walking in the truth. This is not to say that we never make mistakes. John also deals with that: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1John 1:8). “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1John 1:10). Nevertheless, we now see a great power revealed—the power that enables us to have this fellowship with God and others who also share a relationship with Him.
In our text we are told of what the blood of Christ can do. Remember, this letter was addressed to Christians—to people who were in fellowship with God, Christ, and other Christians (1John 1:1-7). When Christians walk (continue to live) in the light of the revealed truth, we are told that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses (keeps on cleansing) from all sin. This cleansing is conditional, however, “IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9). What immense power—sins are cleansed! As powerful as this is, the power of the blood of Christ is even more far reaching. The power is actually manifest is so many ways.
The power of the blood of Christ shows when people are given the opportunity to become part of His family. The blood of Christ has power to bring those who were outside near. “Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision,’ which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:11‑13). This power works through God’s love for man in the giving of His Son—the shedding of His blood.
The power of the blood of Christ can also be seen in sinners being redeemed. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8a).
Another manifestation is displayed. Justification, that is, to be declared righteous, comes by the power of the blood. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:9).
Exhibited also is reconciliation by the power of the blood. This means that a change comes which brings us back into the right relationship with God. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10).
This justification and reconciliation comes about because sins are no longer a hindrance—they are remitted or forgiven. Remittance of sins is by the power of the blood. Jesus was clear about this as He explained His memorial supper: “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.’” (Matthew 26:27-28).
Since sins are forgiven we now have peace with God that was made available by the power of the blood of Christ. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20).
How can people enjoy and obtain the power of the blood of Christ? It is faith, repentance, confession of faith, and baptism which we are told brings the above mentioned things (Romans 10:9,10; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3,4). So, the power of the blood is available through the gospel. We have already seen that purification or forgiveness comes by the blood of Christ, but notice how Peter adds to the explanation: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1Peter 1:22). How wonderful, how powerful is the word of God! It contains the message of the power of the blood of our Savior and the instructions for us in relation to that sacrifice. It is this power that Paul proclaimed: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Romans 1:16-17).
The power of the blood of Christ is of such great value that it makes people Christians, and then, as Christians walk in the light, it keeps on cleansing them when they sin, as long as they repent, confess their sins, and ask God to forgive them.
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power, the power of the blood?
—S. Scott Richardson Sr.