There is a great, old hymn that has the refrain:
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the blood, of the Lamb (Lewis Jones, 1899)
This compels me to ask some rhetorical questions. Is this still true in our day? Have we somehow diluted the blood of Jesus so that its power has been curtailed? Has the Cross of Christ been so ridiculed that it is ineffective anymore? Do we believe that there is still power available to, as John Newton said, “to make the foulest clean?” (Amazing Grace, 1773)
We live in an age of growing apostasy. The tendrils of the sin-loving lifestyle have wrapped themselves firmly around many hearts, even reaching into the pews of many churches. The “people of God” are less and less distinguishable from the “world.” To many, faith is merely some old-wives’ tale or something fictitious, unattainable, or even undesirable. Churches convene but many are devoid of faith. For these, religion is some “feel-good” weekly pill that is rooted in anything but the blood of Christ. We preach on things other than the Cross because we feel that the message of the Cross is perceived to be offensive to man’s desires. God forbid that we hurt people’s feelings so we choose instead to preach mindless, “feel-good” baby food (Galatians 5:11) instead of relying upon the power in the blood.
In this age, we need to firmly grasp the message of the apostle Paul who boldly proclaimed:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16,17 NKJV)
There IS power in the blood. It never will lose its cleansing strength. What we can lose, however, is our dedication to it. Is the perceived weakness in the blood today due to the fact that we are ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Do those of us who proclaim it really believe it or are we guilty of just “peddling the word of God” (2 Corinthians 2:17) for our own benefit?
There is a real danger to our suppressing or denying the power in the blood of Christ. First, there is no salvation without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). No matter how “good” we may feel about being religious, the Bible reminds us that it is only through our being sprinkled by the blood of Calvary’s Lamb that we are saved (see 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 12:24; John 6:53,54 for some examples). It is at the offensive Cross that a spiritual transference occurs – our sins are covered once and for all by the redemptive blood of the sinless Lamb. Our salvation starts there and is anchored in the Cross. We can never forget what Jesus did for us. Understanding the price that was paid for our redemption is important to keep us from returning to the “sin which so easily ensnares us.” (Hebrews 1:1) The power of the blood is what empowers the gospel.
Second, the power of the blood of Christ drives the faith relationship. We need to understand the tremendous gift that faith actually is. A common misconception is that faith is something that we will ourselves to somehow “feel.” Faith is something that is mysterious and intangible. Faith is trust but such trust is not based upon something we can plainly see or touch, smell or hear. There is no way to “train” faith like some sort of spiritual body-builder. Faith just is. It happens and cannot be forced by mere mortal will. The Bible asserts this truth by stating:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8,9 NKJV)
Faith is either totally a gift of God or, at least, is a cooperative venture between man’s will and God’s gift. Either way, the kindling of faith is something within God’s hands. It is very precious and we must never underestimate or trivialize it. So if God is calling us right now into a faith relationship, we had better heed that call (Hebrews 3:12-15). If we are already in that faith relationship, “under the blood” so to speak, this should galvanize us to understand how precious faith is and spur us to guard our hearts. We must be fully convinced that “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 2:12 NKJV)
The blood of Christ still has all of its awesome, cleansing power. We need to stop attempting to dilute it or flavor it to make it more palatable to the world at large. We must end any practice of mixing it in with worldly “feel-good” messages and just let God have His way. Faith and salvation depend fully upon Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross. So, let the truth of the gospel ring out unembellished and untouched by human hands. Let the truth of the gospel convict us of sin. Let God unleash the power that is in the blood of Christ in our lives.