The Blood Of Christ

Clinton D. Hamilton
Tampa, Florida

Apart from the shedding of the Lord's blood there would be no remission of sins. Leave blood out of one's teaching and it would be an incomplete gospel, for the blood of Christ has special and important significance in the Testament system.

God set forth Christ to be a propitiation for sin through faith in His blood (Rom. 3:25). Justified by His blood, we are saved from the wrath to be meted out at the judgment through faith in Him (Rom. 5:9). In Christ, "we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses" (Eph. 1:7). Consequently, we are not redeemed by such corruptible things as gold or silver, but by "Precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ" (I Pet. 1:9). When we were washed and cleansed in the blood of Christ, we were made to be a kingdom, to be priests (Rev. 1:5-6). One thus cleansed remains cleansed through the blood, for "if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sins" (I Jn. 1:7).

In the light of these statements of scripture, one is forced to the belief that apart from the blood of Christ there is no salvation. But we need to understand how this blood saves us and when it does. Not everyone who believes he is saved by the blood actually is. With open hearts, let us consider the divine record.

The blood of Christ is indissolubly connected with His death. That the bodies of those crucified might not remain on the cross upon the sabbath, the Jews asked for the bodies of the thieves and Jesus to break their legs and take them away (Jn. 19:31). But, when they came to Jesus, they found Him dead already and did not break His legs (Jn. 19:33). "Howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced this side, and straightway there came out blood and water" (Jn. 19:34). Jesus shed His blood in His death. "For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life" (Rom, 5:10). On the other hand, Paul says, "Yet now hath he reconciled in the bodv of his flesh through death" (Col. 1:22), and "through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross" (Col. 1:20). Reconciled by His death, but also reconciled by His blood! We must conclude that there is an indissoluble connection between the death and the blood of Christ.

The blood of Christ is indissolubly connected with the New Covenant. Jesus said, "For this is my blood of the covenant" (Matt. 26:28). Paul quotes this statement in I Cor. 11:15. From Hebrews 9-10, we learn that both the Old and New Testaments were dedicated or set apart by blood. The Old was dedicated with the blood of bulls and goats, but the New was dedicated with the blood of Christ. Hence, all the laws dedicated with the blood of Christ are essential and should be respected. The person setting aside Moses' law died at the mouth of two or three witnesses. Now, ponder carefully the apostle's statement about the law of Christ in view of the superiority of the blood that dedicated it. "Of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Heb. 10:29). Thus one cannot disregard the law of Christ without deprecating His blood. Only that which has been set apart by the blood of Christ should be observed in religion. Any change of the law dedicated by the blood of Christ would be dishonoring Him. Any addition to that law would bring His law to naught in our lives. This is another reason why we appeal only to the word of the Lord-no creed, discipline or confession of faith authorized by man.

Next, the blood of Christ is indissolubly connected with the remission of sins. On the night of His betrayal, Jesus said, "For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Matt. 26:28). This Jesus is the one whom "God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood" (Rom. 3:25). It is through the blood of the cross that peace is made (Col. 1:20). Thus it is in Jesus that we have our redemption and forgiveness of sins through His blood (Eph. 1:7). Being thus redeemed by the precious blood (I Pet. 1:19), we are loosed from our sins and made to be a kingdom and priests (Rev. 1:5-6). With His blood, Christ purchased men "of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). Had Christ not shed His blood, there would have been no remission of sins; it is impossible to detach forgiveness of sins from the shedding of blood of Christ. But the fact that the blood of Christ remits sins does not assure every one of forgiveness. There is something which the individual must do to avail himself of the merits of the blood of Christ.

In order to receive remission of one's sins, one must obey the gospel, which involves one's being baptized in water. Why? The blood of Christ is indissolubly connected with baptism. Jesus shed His blood in His death, for when his side was pierced with the spear, He was already dead (Jn. 19:34). It follows that He shed His blood in His death. One is baptized into the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3-5). This means that when one is immersed in water in harmony with what scripture says, he is then brought in contact with the merits or benefits of Christ's death on the cross. To be baptized into the death of Christ is to be brought into such a relation as to receive the benefits of that death. But since Christ shed His blood in His death, it follows that the blood of Christ is indissolubly connected with baptism. Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins, (Matt. 26:28). One is baptized for the same purpose (Acts 2:38). It follows that when one is baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, he receives forgiveness through the blood of Christ. But, baptism is a condition of his receiving this remission.

In His death, Jesus shed His blood and by His death the New Testament became effective (Heb. 9:16-17). This Testament is the only law for men in religion now. No other system of religion is so dedicated or set apart. This is the law that Jesus ratified in heaven and the covenant which God binds on men now (Heb. 9:15-22, 10-29). One cannot set this law aside without detriment to his own soul. One who adds to or subtracts from the law is in opposition to the Lord. To tamper with the New Testament is to count the blood and the Lord for nought. This New Testament teaches that one cannot be forgiven of sins except he be baptized (immersed, Col. 2:12, Rom. 6:3-5). If one desires to have his soul purified by the blood of the Lord, he must be baptized into the death of Christ in harmony with the teaching of the New Testament. The indissoluble connections of the blood with Christ's death, the new covenant, the remission of sins, and baptism forces one to this conclusion. When men plead with others to be baptized, they are not minimizing the blood of Christ, but rather, they are honoring it as they should.

Also, the blood is indissolubly connected with the church (Acts 20:28). Paul here affirms that the Lord purchased the church with His blood. It is from every nation, people and tongue that the Lord called the church and loosed them from their sins by His blood (Rev. 1:5, 5:9). Thus, this group of people is purchased with blood. It is impossible to sever the connection between the blood and the church. If one has not been cleansed by the blood of Christ, he is no part of the church, for it is the body of the redeemed (Eph. 1:7). But, if one is a member of the church, the body of Christ, he has been washed in the blood (Col. 1 :20-22). Those who speak of being saved by the blood and later becoming a member of the Lord's church are speaking man's, not God's doctrine. Man cannot put asunder that which God has joined. The church of the Lord and the blood of Christ are connected and no man can disconnect them. But those saved have been cleansed with the blood, and those cleansed with the blood are in the church. It follows that the church is the body of the saved (Acts 2:47, Eph. 5:23-25).

Baptism is that which puts one into, the church, for by one Spirit were we all baptized into the one body (I Cor. 12:13 ). These Corinthians had heard the gospel, believed, and were baptized (Acts 18:8). But baptism and the blood of Christ are indissolubly connected as we have learned in this study. One is baptized into the death of Christ, in which death He shed His blood. That which puts one into the church is that which puts Him in the benefits of the death of Christ. Consequently, it is absolutely impossible to disconnect the blood of Christ and the church. Thev are inseparable.

Members of the church have provided for them a wonderful Supper. We refer to it as the Lord's Supper. The Corinthians were instructed to eat that supper (I Cor. 11:20-33). What is this supper? "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, it is not a communion of the body of Christ?" (I Cor. 10:16). At the time this supper was instituted, Jesus said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you" (Luke 22:20). Thus, when Christians meet together to commemorate the Lord's death by partaking of the Lord's Supper, they commune (partake) of the benefits of the blood of Christ. There is a God-made connection between the supper and the blood of Christ. No one can destroy this connection, he may ignore it. Such conduct will result in his own ruin.

The new covenant is the Lord's will to us. Whatever that will binds us to do has been sealed with His blood. To disregard what He teaches in this will is to set at naught His blood. This one cannot do without detriment to his own soul. If one bows to the will, sealed with the blood of Christ shed in His death, the Lord adds him to the church (Acts 2:47), and as a Christian he can meet with others to commemorate the death of Jesus in partaking of the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 11:20-33). We plead with men to accept the saving benefits of the blood of Christ, yield to the blood-sealed law, and obey the injunctions therein.

Truth Magazine IV:12, pp. 9-10
September 1960