This morning I dealt with the doctrine of redemption. Perhaps I should say, I introduced the doctrine of redemption. Because, as I hope many of you recognized, I didn’t say anything about the blood of the Redeemer. Peter says, “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: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” This morning we considered the meaning of redemption and its need. I pointed out to whom the ransom must be paid. I also spent a few moments on the silver and gold which cannot ransom us from penalty of God’s Law. But I said nothing about the ransom itself: the precious blood of Christ, the lamb of God. This evening I’ll try to complete this morning’s message and take it a few steps farther.
But first, for a moment put yourself into Peter’s sandals. Over the course of three years that man became intimately acquainted with Jesus, the Son of God. With his regenerated heart, there was no way he could have spent so much time with the Saviour without growing in his love for Him. With John as the only exception, Peter may have loved the Lord more than anyone else. And that love drove Peter onto the palace grounds of the High Priest, where he caught a glimpse of the Saviour after He had been brutally abused by the priest’s solders. When Peter saw Him, Jesus’ blood was pouring down His face and flowing also from many other wounds. I can’t imagine the emotional turmoil that poor disciple endured at that time, looking at his friend. Wouldn’t he have been repulsed by seeing so much blood? And he was being accosted by Christ’s enemies and Satanically tempted to deny the Lord. He loved Christ, and seeing that blood oozing out of His body must have pained him deeply. But then he did deny Christ, over and over again.
Without a doubt Peter never forgot the events of that crucifixion day. And years later, as he thanks of Jesus’ blood once again and writes about it, he appends the adjective “precious” to the words, “the blood of Christ.” “Precious.” The Greek word “timios” is translated “dear” and “honorable” one time each. But then it is rendered, “precious,” and “more precious” and even “MOST precious.” The word doesn’t speak of something heart-warming, like a precious little baby. The word speaks of something intrinsically, extremely valuable. The blood of Christ is the most valuable substance there is, infinitely exceeding gold that is “five nines” fine.
Digressing just a bit: most of you are aware that I donated blood plasma for many, many years. I offered one of my veins to some medical vampires, so that they could withdraw life-saving ingredients out of my blood to share, or sell, to others. But God blessed me with a rare blood type, making it 3 or 4 times more valuable than the average donor. Blood is always “precious,” but to those who took it, mine was “more precious.” And yet, in comparison to the blood of the Lamb of God, mine is nothing but a polluted drop in a vast ocean of need. Christ’s, by far, is “THE most precious” of all blood, because it is an essential part of the sinner’s salvation. And nothing is more important to any of us than the salvation of our souls. The Apostle John once wrote, “As many as received (Christ), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood (human blood), nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The Blood of Christ is DOCTRINALLY precious.
By that I mean, it is the blood of Christ which perfects and makes valuable the many aspects of our salvation. I have at least a dozen books, or sets of books, on Christian doctrine and Baptist theology. The word “doctrine” simply refers to things we teach, and “theology” speaks of “theos” – words about God. Those theology books break apart the subject of salvation into a variety of important aspects. They speak of “redemption,” “reconciliation,” “justification,” “sanctification” and “propitiation.” Reading a little more deeply we see “forgiveness,” “cleansing,” “fellowship” and “union with Christ.” Other related subjects include the “family of God,” “the priesthood of the believer” and more. Some of those books speak of the sovereignty of God, addressing words like “election,” foreknowledge” and “predestination.” I mention these things because in my study of Christ’s blood, I kept bumping into these various doctrines. The blood of Christ is related to each and every aspect of salvation, and I have scripture to prove it.
Peter here reminds us that we were REDEEMED – we were purchased out the market place of sin – by the precious blood of Christ. Our redemption was facilitated by the blood of Christ. Then Paul, twice, says the same thing to the believers in Ephesus and Colosse. He says, Praise the Lord, “wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved (in Christ); in whom we have redemption through his BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Note the reference to the “RICHES of his grace,” taking us back to the preciousness of Jesus’ blood. To the Colossians, Paul wrote, “Give thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Again, notice the connection to Peter’s thoughts of the Father and also to the inheritance. Then Paul concluded saying, God “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.”
Coupled to redemption in both of these verses is the matter of FORGIVENESS. You and I may be able to forgive what others do to us. It is something we need to learn to do. But when it comes to sin – transgressions against God’s law – only the Lord Himself can forgive. The foolishness of the idea that priests can forgive us of sin against God, is exactly that: “foolishness.” Jesus’ enemies had it right, “No man can forgive sins but God only.” Paul says, God’s forgiveness, divine forgiveness, floats towards us on the blood of the Lord Jesus. “In (Christ Jesus) we have redemption through his BLOOD, even the FORGIVENESS of sins.”
An idea which is related to forgiveness is called REMISSION. In fact the Greek word is translated both ways – “remission” (9 times), “forgiveness” (6 times) followed by “deliverance” and “liberty” one time each. The “remiss” in remission is the sending something away; much like “dismissing.” In salvation, the judgment which our sins deserve has been sent away by the blood of the Lord Jesus. Forgiveness and remission speak of deliverance from something – freedom from punishment. And as already noted, in God’s Son, we have “redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” In speaking about Christ, the writer to the Hebrews said, “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission… so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.”
Thus far we have redemption, remission and forgiveness of sin, through the precious blood of Christ. The words of Jesus in Matthew 26:28 tie the remission of sins to another blessing of salvation. Matthew 26 contains the institution of the Lord’s Supper. After the bread, “Jesus took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The word “testament” is a synonym for “covenant.” Jesus’ precious blood is the ground upon which a new covenant relationship is established between God and those He has chosen to save. You might properly say that the New Testament wouldn’t exist if it was not for the shed blood of Christ.
Romans 3 contains Paul’s most convincing proof that the children of Adam are all sinners. He quotes Old Testament scriptures and outlines real life examples, before saying, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Because of that failure to meet the Lord’s perfect, glorious standard, we deserve eternal condemnation. So Paul says, in chapter 6, “For the wages of sin is death (speaking of eternal death), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” But can you be more specific Paul? What is it about Jesus Christ our Lord that saves us? Going back to chapter 3 he says : “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” But you whom the Lord has saved, have been “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…”
So Romans 3:25 ties together redemption and something described as PROPITIATION. Propitiation speaks of the act of satisfying something, and in this case it satisfies the law of God. As sinners, you and I have broken God’s laws, and there are eternal penalties for that. Propitiation is the means by which that law and those penalties are satisfied – the demands are met. And that propitiation is made possible by the precious blood of Christ. “God hath set forth (Christ Jesus) to be a PROPITIATION through faith in his BLOOD…”
Another aspect of salvation is called JUSTIFICATION. Biblical justification is the act of God, where the sinner is declared to be righteous in God’s sight. Romans 5 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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 ward 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.”
A few minutes ago, I took you to parallel scriptures from Ephesians and Colossians. Paul told us that forgiveness of sin is possible only through the precious blood of Christ. Let me take you to two more parallel verses from those books which tell us that RECONCILIATION to God is possible through that same blood. “Reconciliation” speaks of bringing an offended party back into a good relationship with the offender. God has been infinitely offended by our sin and sins. Reconciliation to the Lord is absolutely necessary for us to be saved. Ephesians 2: “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins… But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made NIGH by the BLOOD of Christ. For he is our PEACE…” The blood of Christ is the means by which God is propitiated, peace is created, and we are brought into His presence. Colossians 1:19: “It pleased the Father that in (Christ) should all fulness dwell; and, having made PEACE through the BLOOD of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself… you that were sometime alienated and enemies.. Now hath he RECONCILED.”
The precious blood of Christ has made possible: reconciliation, forgiveness, justification, propitiation, peace, redemption and remission. Related to these things is another part of salvation called SANCTIFICATION. In justification God declares those He saves to be righteous in His sight. In sanctification God sets apart those people He saves. He separates them unto Himself. The meaning of the word implies that they are “made holy;” they have been made “saints.” And Hebrews 13:12 specifically says that Jesus sanctifies His people “with his own blood.”
Further connected to justification and sanctification are spiritual CLEANSING and WASHING. John the Apostles speaks of these things in Revelation and in his first Epistle. In I John 1 he says, “If we say that we have fellowship with (God), and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. But 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.” The blood of Christ is the only cleansing agent powerful enough to wash away our sins before the omnipotent eye of the holy God.
Later when John is introducing the Lord and himself to us in the first chapter of Revelation he says: “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that LOVED us, and WASHED us from our sins in his own BLOOD, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
I introduced this message by saying, “the blood of Christ is DOCTRINALLY precious. “ I think you’d be hard pressed to find any aspect of salvation which is not directly related to the blood of the Saviour. Yes, we could talk about the cross of Christ and the death of Christ. Both of these have their place in our gospel message. But obviously, both of these involved Jesus’ blood. If the blood of the Passover Lamb was not painted over the door of those Israelite the death angel would have taken the first born son living therein, and there would have been no redemption. As God said in Leviticus 17:11: “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.”
And that brings me to my conclusion:
The blood of Christ should be doctrinally precious to us, but it should be much more than that. Doctrine often involves details of logic; it is a product of the mind directed by the Holy Spirit. But I don’t know that Peter would have said that the blood of Christ is “doctrinally precious.” It was far, far deeper and more important. The blood of Christ was the instrument of that man’s salvation, and it was a part of the motivation of his life.
The blood of Christ is precious, because it is the means by which sinners, like Peter and me, can be brought into the presence of the Holy God. The precious blood of Christ is the foundation of the sinner’s salvation. And when someone is saved, he or she has what is essential for this life and for the next. And salvation is possible only through Jesus’ shed blood.
I hope that in your heart, as well as in your mind, the blood of Christ is precious and absolutely essential.