Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 15
Message Summary by AFT Team
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin – 1 John 1:7
We have already learnt about how the blood of Jesus offers us forgiveness of sins (Read blog here). This week, we are going to see how the blood of Jesus offers us cleansing from sin. Forgiveness and cleansing are two different things. Forgiveness of sin is about Jesus being offered as atonement for our sins; it is a one-time event that happens when we first come to Jesus for salvation. Cleansing from sin, on the other hand, is a continuous process that happens in the life of a believer; John wrote the above verse to believers in the church.
POLLUTION OF SIN
Sin is a constant polluter. It comes at us relentlessly. It like living a dusty place. No matter how much you may try to insulate your house, close the windows and clean regularly, dust finds a way into your house and settles on all the things in your house. Similarly, the sins of the world constantly try to settle in your mind. The pollution of sin affects every single person. You may not go out and commit an act of sin, but you are prone to the pollution of sin. The blood of Jesus does not only offer us forgiveness of sin, it also offers us cleansing from the pollution of sin.
Cleansing in the Old Testament
In order to understand how the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin, we have to understand cleansing as taught in the Old testament. The cleansing procedures detailed in the Old Testament are a foreshadowing and teaching about sin, and salvation and cleansing through the blood of Jesus Christ. When a person wanted to come to God, he had to do two things. The first thing was – He had to bring to the temple a sin offering as atonement for sin. God is holy; man is a sinner. The wages of sin is death; therefore, the atonement meant for sin is the shedding of blood. (Read blog here). Man sacrificed an animal, killed it and shed its blood and sprinkled it on the mercy seat as his sin offering. The second thing is cleansing. Cleansing is taught in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 and Numbers chapter 19. When a person encountered certain situations, he had to undergo a cleansing procedure, before he could enter God’s presence. Death was considered unclean, because it is associated with sin. And in order to teach man that sin is unclean, and that he has to be purified, God gave them elaborate procedures of cleansing. Similarly, there are elaborate procedures for cleansing for leprosy as well. Leprosy was deadly in those days. A person considered leprous had to be quarantined for many days, after which he would be checked. Then he had to bathe himself, and bring two birds. One of the birds had to be killed, and he had to be cleansed by putting the blood on the ears, the legs and hands and so on. This is to say that the pollution of sin enters man through various means – what he sees, hears, touches and has access to.
How can we say that these procedures in the Old Testament are about the pollution of sin and the consequent constant cleansing of the blood of Jesus? For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Hebrews 9:13,14. This verse refers to the cleaning procedures used in the Old Testament saying that if the blood of bulls and goats can cleanse, how much more can the sinless blood of Jesus cleanse our conscience so that we can serve God. So we understand that all these cleansing procedures were given to teach man that he needs the cleansing blood of Jesus. Make note that it was written to believers, people who had already accepted Jesus as saviour.
The Psalmist’s understanding of the pollution of sin
Let’s look at Psalm 51 to better understand the pollution of sin and the need for cleansing. We know that David had committed two sins, both adultery and murder. And this psalm is an expression of his remorse. He clearly talks about two issues: his two sins, and the pollution of sin that he finds difficult to escape from. He asks for forgiveness for these two particular sins, and then he asks for cleansing from the pollution of sin.
FORGIVE ME MY SINS
Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity. I acknowledge my transgressions.
He asks for forgiveness of his acts of sins – adultery and murder.
I WAS BROUGHT FORTH IN INIQUITY
I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
Here he talks about how sin nature is in him right from conception. It was a part of him even before He was born. He entered into the word with sin embedded in his personality, heart and mind. David understands that the filth and defilement of sin has been carried on right from Adam into every person born in this earth.
YOU DESIRE TRUTH IN THE INWARD PARTS
You desire truth in the inward parts.
David recognised the difference between an act of sin and the pollution of sin in the heart of man. Sin arises at the very heart of man in his thoughts. No one can say that they have no sin. 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. – 1 John 1:8,10. Even though a person may not commit blatant acts of sin, sin is in him. This verse is addressed to believers forbidding them to say that they had no sin in them, and if they did, they were liars.
PURGE ME WITH HYSSOP AND I SHALL BE CLEAN
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
We previously learnt that during the Passover, the Israelites were instructed to dip a hyssop plant in the blood of a lamb and smear it on the entrance (the lintels and doorposts) of their house to prevent death from entering.(Read blog here). In Leviticus 13 and 14 and Numbers 19 also, the people are instructed to dip the hyssop in the blood of the sacrificial animal and sprinkle it. David, of course, knew all these cleansing procedures and asks God to purge and cleanse him from sin. He asks God to wash and cleanse him of his sins.
CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
We can see here that David realises that his heart is not clean; there is sin in his intentions, desires, thoughts, imagination, understanding and decisions. So he asks God for a clean heart. What an amazing revelation he has had in the midst of his sins and the problems he was undergoing at that time – he realises that the problem is his heart. He asks for a new heart so that he can have a new life.
Cleansing in the New Testament
Jesus shed His blood on the Cross, not just for the atonement of our sins, but also to provide for us constant cleansing from sin. The work of the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us as we live amidst the pollution of sin in this world.
Jesus says in the sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God – Matthew 5:8. Paul writes to Timothy – Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. – 1 Tim 1:5. Paul says that the whole essence of the Ten Commandments is love. The people under the old covenant could not fulfil the commandment because their heart was wrong; there was no love. When sin pollutes, there his no real love and thereby no good conscience and no real faith. And therefore, no fulfilment of the commandment. The people under the new covenant have this new ability to follow the commandment, because God gives us a new heart. He takes away the heart of stone and gives a new, pliable heart that will obey and walk in the ways of God.
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. – Titus 2:14 . (To know about ‘good works’, read blog here). Paul talks here about the reason why Jesus died – that He might save and redeem us from sin, and cleanse and purify us; to keep us for Himself as His own special people, fervent and committed for good works. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. – 2 Corinthians 7:1. Paul is writing here to believers saying that since we are the inheritors of the promises of God, that we should cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of sin that affects our flesh and spirit.
How does cleansing happen?
THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES OUR CONSCIENCE
Hebrews 9:14 says that the blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Dead works are works that are done without faith in God and without the power of God, for any purpose other than to glorify and please God. Our conscience is cleansed from dead works so that we can serve God by living for Him. In order to grasp how the blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience, we must first know how the conscience works. In one way, it works like an alarm. As soon as you do something wrong, it makes a loud noise and alerts us. God has put the conscience in man, in order to caution him from doing wrong. It also makes you feel good when you do something right. Another way in which the conscience works is that it bears witness to our relationship with God. If our relationship with Him is right and God is pleased with us, then our conscience knows it and is at rest. When our relationship with God is wrong, it warns us. Whenever we sin, our conscience condemns us. The pollution of sin in this world is so powerful and pervasive, that it somehow pollutes us. That means our conscience would constantly condemn us. But the power of the blood of Jesus is so much more powerful that it cleanses our conscience and quietens it. If not, we would live in constant condemnation and failure. But now, through the blood Jesus, our conscience is purified so that there need not be even a moment of separation between God and us.
THE BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES OUR HEART
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 10:22 The blood of Jesus cleanses our heart so that we can go to God boldly without hesitation or fear. Some people don’t go to God because their conscience condemns them; they feel unworthy and unclean. But when the conscience and the heart are cleansed, one can approach God in full assurance of faith. When the conscience says, “You got a few things wrong”, the blood of Jesus says ‘It has been cleansed, come into my presence.” While the conscience is an important part of the heart, there are parts of the heart that are equally important – imaginations, thoughts, desires, wishes, intentions and understanding. These are also cleansed by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. Everything that is sprinkled by the blood of Jesus is holy. When the heart is holy, our actions are holy as well.
How to appropriate cleansing from sin
The very next verse says – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:22. Hold fast your confession that not only has the price been paid for your sin on the cross of Calvary, it is also the powerful instrument that God uses today to keep you clean from the pollution of sin, so that you can serve the living God and live for God successfully in this world. Use the tongue as hyssop and sprinkle the blood of Jesus on your life by your words.
AN EVER-FLOWING FOUNTAIN
In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. – Zechariah 13:1. Notice that two issues are mentioned here – sin and uncleanness. And the provision to deal with it is a fountain of the blood of Jesus. It not a tap that has to opened and closed for limited amounts of time. It is not rationed. It is an open and continuously flowing fountain of blood that purifies and cleanses us. All we have to do is stay under it. We stay under the fountain of the blood of Jesus by believing in our heart and confessing with our mouth. And this fountain will cleanse us of our sins and uncleanness.
Why doesn’t every believer experience the cleansing of the blood of Jesus?
– They do not know. Most believers know that they have forgiveness of sin when they come to Jesus. They know that the price for their sin has been paid by the death of Jesus on the Cross. But they have not been taught and they do not know that they can have constant cleansing from sin through the blood. They simply do not know that the blood of Jesus is a powerful instrument used to cleanse them and continuously keep them holy.
– They do not have a desire. Some people think that the cleansing of the blood of Jesus, as with many other promises of God, will get fulfilled only after they die and go to heaven. So they do not ask or desire for the cleansing of the blood of Jesus. They think that a pure heart is possible only in heaven. But Paul and Timothy tell us that without a pure heart, we cannot serve God successfully here on earth. We can have a pure heart only when the blood of Jesus cleanses us from impurities and the pollution of sin.
– They do not have a willingness to separate themselves from sin. Some people like some sins and some uncleanness. They are not eager to get rid of their sins, they prefer to wallow in it.
– They do not have faith. Without faith, nothing is possible. If there is doubt in your heart regarding the power of the blood of Jesus to cleanse you from sin, you cannot avail of it.
The power of the blood of Jesus is available to redeemed child of God. If you have been bought by the blood, the provision of constant cleansing from sin is accessible to you for all your lifetime. The cleansing power of the blood of Jesus is more potent than the polluting power of sin.