Power of the Blood of Jesus – Volume 10
Message Summary by AFT Team
For many believers, guilt is a weapon the devil uses to cause failure. When you live with a guilt conscience, nothing works in your spiritual life – your prayers don’t work, you don’t feel like reading the Bible, you don’t even feel like praying because guilt brings doubt and condemnation – “Will God answer my prayer? Will God bless me? Am I worthy to receive God’s blessing? I am not up to the mark. What is the use of going to church? What is the use of hearing the word? What is the use of praying? After all I have sinned; I am guilty!”
The Bible says in Revelation 12:10 that the devil is the accuser of the brethren day and night. Guilt is one of the major weapons that the devil uses. Satan first tries to prevent you from knowing Christ as your Saviour. But once you put your faith in Jesus, Satan takes another route. He couldn’t stop you from getting saved; now he wants to stop you from succeeding in your spiritual life.
What is Righteousness?
Righteousness is the ability to stand before God without any guilt, condemnation or inferiority. Righteousness solves the problem of guilt – there is boldness and confidence, and your prayers are successful. John says that this is the confidence that we have in God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and we know that we have the petition that we desired of Him. In prayer, the most important thing is confidence. And the same John says in his epistles, if your heart condemns you, everything fails. Knowing the truth about righteousness is the only way you can win the battle of guilt.
There is a big difference between ‘sin’ and ‘sins’. ‘Sins’ in the plural, are our wrongdoings. When Jesus died on the cross, He bore the penalty for our sins, and that is good. ‘Sin’ in the singular is the evil power or nature that resides in us. Ever since Adam sinned, this nature became the nature of man. Sin and iniquity have become a part of us. As long as the power of sin remains and dominates man, just relieving him of the penalty of sins is inadequate, because he continues to sin. That is why what happened on the cross is important – Jesus did not merely pay the penalty for man’s sins, He also delivered man from the power of sin.
In Romans 6, Paul explains that we are delivered from the power of sin and that we are in a new and wonderful position that God has brought us to – not only are we delivered from the penalty of our sins and the power of sin, we are also given something wonderful – righteousness.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
God made Him sin – How?
JESUS BECAME OUR SIN OFFERING
What does Paul mean by saying ‘God made Jesus to be sin for us’? How can Jesus be made sin? Paul is referring to Isaiah 53:10 – Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him He has put Him to grief. When you make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, he shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. In the phrase ‘you make his soul an offering for sin’, what is the offering for sin that Isaiah is talking about? The Old Testament contains many illustrations of animal sacrifices. Leviticus chapters 4 and 5 talks about sin offerings. We have already learnt that the only atonement for sins is the shedding of blood. Sin offering is when a man who has sinned offers an animal as a sacrifice for the atonement of his sins. When he sacrificed the animal, he would lay his hands upon the animal and confess his sins over the animal. This is called ‘identification’. The man’s sins are transferred to the animal symbolically. It became his substitute; it would die instead of him. Isaiah says that God made Jesus a sin offering for us. Using the phrase ‘sin offering’ instead of ‘sin’ in Corinthians 5:21 helps us better understand what Paul said – God made Jesus who knew no sin, to be sin offering for us. Just like the animal that the Old Testament sinner sacrificed, Jesus is innocent. And similar to it, our sins are transferred to Jesus; He died in our place.
Let’s further examine that prophecy by Isaiah. When you make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed – when Jesus was made a sin offering, a whole new generation of righteous people would rise. He shall prolong His days – He would live forever in eternity. The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand – the will of God would be done thus. He shall see the labour of His soul and be satisfied – what Jesus did on the Cross is called the ‘work of salvation’; He worked for our salvation and He would be satisfied with His work, because it would fulfil the purpose for which He did it – to save us. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many – by knowing Christ and what He has done, by accepting Him and His work of salvation, by believing and receiving Him as one’s own saviour, many would be justified and made righteous.
God made Him sin – Why?
WE BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD
When we put our sins upon Jesus, He became our sin offering. But it did not stop with that. Something more happened – He put His righteousness upon us. In God’s sight, we are as righteous as the son of God. Isn’t that unbelievable and wonderful? God sees us as righteous, not because we are righteous but because we have been given Jesus’ righteousness. Sometimes, people misunderstand this as ‘forensic righteousness’, a legal and rhetorical righteousness, not real righteousness. But the Bible doesn’t say ’that we may treated as the righteousness of God’ or ‘that we may considered as the righteousness of God’; it says ‘that we may become the righteousness of God’. Righteousness is a gift; it has been given to us. Romans 5 says that those who receive this ‘gift of righteousness’ will reign and rule in life through this one man, Jesus Christ.
God calls us righteous. He calls the things that were not as if they were. He called Abram Abraham, meaning the father of many nations, even before his wife had conceived. A year after God called him Abraham, his child was born. When we put a child in school, we don’t start off telling him, ‘You are stupid and unintelligent’. We starting calling him clever and bright and we gradually work with him towards achieving it. Similarly, God doesn’t start off calling us sinners; instead He calls us righteous. Therefore, we have to believe in this God-given righteousness and call ourselves righteous; only then will be able to live a righteous life. A mentality of righteousness leads us to a life of righteousness.
WRAPPED IN THE ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Bible tells us to put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. ‘Put on’ as one would put on oneself a piece of clothing. When we dress well, we conduct ourselves with dignity. We would not sit on a dirty chair or on a dustbin. However, if we are dressed without care for appearance or cleanliness, we would sit in any place, probably on a dirty chair or even on the pavement. Similarly, when we put on the mentality of righteousness, we would not wallow in the mud of sin.
Let’s us consider another illustration to understand it better. When a little girl wear clothes that look like adults’ clothing say, her mother’s saree, she somehow transforms into her mother. She talks and walks like mother; her voice, tone and her gestures change. Just like her behaviour changes on just wearing her mother’s saree, we change when we put on the new man made in righteousness and holiness.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. – Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God. Why does Isaiah say ‘I will greatly rejoice’ and in the very next sentence say, ‘my soul shall be joyful’? Isn’t it enough to say, ‘I rejoice’? Why does he describe his joy in so many phrases. In the Hebrew language, it reads, “I will rejoice, rejoicing”. The verse that follows explain the reason for his joy. He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. God clothes us in garments of salvation. If that was all he did, then that itself would be more than sufficient; salvation from sins is a great and wonderful thing. Salvation has saved us from the penalty of our sins and power of sin. But God goes one step further – He covers us with robes of righteousness. A robe is a piece of clothing that is worn over and above garments; it covers a person. One modern translation says – He has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness.
When God wraps us with the robe of righteousness, Satan, the accuser, who is prowling around us, is unable to find sin in us. He looks at us from all angles, eager to find fault in us. But since we are wrapped in the robe of righteousness, all he can see is only the righteousness of Jesus. We are saved from the constant accusation of the evil one. God has not only given us salvation from sins, He has given us His own righteousness. What a wonderful thing! No wonder then that we would greatly rejoice and rejoice rejoicing!
CONDEMN THE CONDEMNATION
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord – Isaiah 54:17
No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Guilt is a weapon that the devil often uses. But God says that that weapon will not work against you. Every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. The Bible does not say that God will condemn; it says ‘you’ shall condemn the tongue that raises against you in judgement. When satan brings guilt and condemnation against you, you shall condemn it. Do not expect God to condemn it. It is your job to condemn the condemnation that satan brings against you. How do you condemn the condemnation? We saw earlier how the saints of God defeated the accuser – by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. You can condemn the condemnation by speaking what the word of God says about what the blood of Jesus has done. Since you stand not on your own righteousness, but on the righteousness of Christ that has been given to you, you can boldly tell satan that he has no authority to condemn you. Since you are wrapped in a God-given robe of righteousness, he cannot see any sin in you. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit – Romans 8:1. There is ‘now’ no condemnation – the word ‘now’ means that that it is true for every present moment, not just for past sins.
To be free from condemnation, we have to be clear about the difference between ‘conviction’ and ‘condemnation’. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit; when we commit a sin, He gently convinces us that it is wrong and helps us to repent. It is like when we gently scold a child when he makes a mistake. Condemnation on the other hand, is a feeling of guilt that continues to remain even after you have repented and done reparation for the mistake. Condemnation never lets you forgive yourself. It is from the devil. When you know this difference, you will be able to condemn the condemnation of the devil.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. The right to condemn the condemnation is the birthright and inheritance of every believer. It is not just for pastors or preachers, it is for every believer. And it is not a rare privilege, but your inheritance, your right. Their righteousness is from Me. Your righteousness is from God Himself. So stand boldly upon it and defeat the accusation with the word of God.