The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin

"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).

"All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Sin results in spiritual uncleanness. Water and many other solvents are used to wash away physical dirt, but only the blood of Christ can cleanse us from sin.

Many people do not understand how blood can take away sins. Sin is rebellion against God. Thus only God can determine how sins are forgiven.

God has given blood as the means of atonement by which sins are forgiven. In Leviticus 17:11 He explains: "The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." Atonement is satisfaction for an offense, resulting in the restoration of a broken relationship. "According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).

Under the Old Covenant there was atonement through the blood of sacrificial animals. This prefigured the blood of Christ, who would bring the ultimate sacrifice for sin. "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).

"Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 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 9:12-14). Christ was qualified to pay the penalty for our sin because He was without sin. Since He was not under the same condemnation, He could voluntarily take our place, "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24).

The blood of Christ is the blood of the New Covenant. Jesus told His hearers: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me' " (John 6:53-57).

The meaning of this mystery was revealed when Jesus instituted the Lord's supper: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins' " (Matthew 26:26-28). Paul explained: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Corinthians 10:16).

Now we can better understand John's statement: "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 begin our walk in the light of the gospel when we are baptized into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Paul was told: "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

We continue to walk in the light by following Christ day after day and by coming together on the first day of the week to partake of the body and blood of Christ at the Lord's table. Paul says that Christians become weak and sickly if they do not partake of the Lord's supper correctly (1 Corinthians 11:30).

There is power in the blood of Christ.

The Old Covenant was given to the people of Israel. The New Covenant is for the whole world. To non-Jewish Christians Paul wrote: "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13).

Under the Old Covenant only the high priest could enter the most holy place in the temple. Under the New Covenant every Christian may approach God in the heavenly sanctuary, "having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh" (Hebrews 10:19,20). Jesus suffered "that He might sanctify the people with His own blood" (Hebrews 13:12). Having been made holy by the blood of Christ, we may boldly approach God's throne of grace.

The blood of Christ is the ultimate proof of God's love. "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:8,9). He "loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (Revelation 1:5).

God proves His love by the price He was willing to pay for our salvation: "Conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:17- 19). The church was purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28).

The grace of God is demonstrated by the blood of Christ. We are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith" (Romans 3:24,25). "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).

The blood of Christ frees us from Satan and places us in the kingdom of God: "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13,14). "Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death' " (Revelation 12:10,11).

Because of the blood of Christ, we may stand in white before the throne of God: "Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, 'Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?' And I said to him, 'Sir, you know.' So he said to me, 'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb' " (Revelation 7:13,14). "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation' " (Revelation 5:9).

"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).

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)