Vol. 15 No. 5
God’s Way of Salvation
Vs. 13, We have been brought near to God through the Blood of Jesus Christ!
Eph 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
The Doctrine of the Blood, (continued).
1. While our Lord bled prior to and while on the Cross, He did not bleed to death on the Cross.
2. Blood is the basis for animal life. The soul is the basis for human life.
3. The Doctrine of Redemption was communicated in the O.T. by means of theses animal sacrifices. Redemption is the classifying phrase for the “blood of Christ,” starting in O.T. times, Eph 1:7; Rom 5:9; Heb 9:12ff
Eph 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
As noted in Hebrews chapter 9, if the blood of bulls and goats sanctified those unclean on the outside, i.e., ritually sanctified, how much more will Christ, the flawless sacrifice, Heb 9:14, do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself, vs. 26. This one sacrifice takes away all sins of the many, not only external but internal too, vs. 28, which bulls and goats were hopelessly unable to accomplish, Heb 10:4. Therefore, believers have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all, Heb 10:10, 14, 17. As such, when Paul used the word, “blood,” it emphasizes Christ’s spiritual death upon the Cross, while as the same time recalling the whole Christ-event; the life, ministry, death, and triumphant resurrection of our Lord. To communicate the whole of what Christ accomplished, Paul frequently shifted metaphors regarding the effects of the Cross and the blood of the Cross as illustration, Col 1:20.
Col 1:20, “And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His Cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
4. Christ did not die on the Cross by bleeding to death, John 19:30, 33-34. The physical death of Christ on the Cross occurred not by bleeding, but by an act of His own volition:
Mat 27:50; Luke 23:46, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He dismissed His spirit and departed from this life as an act of His own volition. John 10:17-18, indicates that He did not die by bleeding to death.
John 10:18, “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
When Christ died physically, much of His blood was still inside His body, John 19:34, “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water, (serum – white blood cells).”
5. Therefore, the blood of Christ is part of the representative analogy between the physical death of animals in the O.T. and the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross bearing our sins, 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Col 2:13-14, and the phrases that use “blood” to represent that also give us the image of Christ sacrificing His own life on our behalf.
2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
For Paul and the other writers of the N.T., phrases like, “the blood of Christ,” 1 Cor 10:16; Eph 2:13, “the blood of the Lord,” 1 Cor 11:27, “the precious blood,” 1 Peter 1:19, “His blood,” e.g., Rom 3:25; 5:9; Eph 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2, or “the blood of the Lamb,” Rev 7:14, are all linked with the spiritual death of Christ, i.e., the giving of His spiritual life as a substitute for our sins, that was followed by His physical death.
Drawing upon the language of the courtroom, Rom 5:9; Eph 1:7, sacrifice, Rom 3:24; cf. 1 Peter 1:2, 19; 1 John 1:7, and the Christian concept of reconciliation, Paul viewed this relationship to God as established through the “blood of Christ.” As such, believers have been freed from sin through the blood of Christ, Rev 1:5, and have been purchased for God, Rev 5:9.
6. Christ died twice on the Cross, so that we might be born twice. The first birth is the imputation of human life to the soul at physical birth. The second birth is the imputation of eternal life to the human spirit at regeneration. In regeneration, the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit for the imputation of eternal life. The spiritual death of Christ relates to salvation, while the physical or somatic death of Christ relates to resurrection. The spiritual death of Christ looks backward to sin and forward to the calling of many sons into glory, Heb 2:10.
Heb 2:10, “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.”
The physical or somatic death of Christ looks backward to His finished work on the Cross and forward to His resurrection, ascension, and session.
The figurative blood of Jesus Christ is associated with several categories of His saving work on the Cross. The figurative blood of Christ refers to His spiritual death on the Cross, which is equivalent to the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ during the First Advent. The literal blood of Christ refers to His physical or somatic death on the Cross, because the work of the First Advent was finished.
7. The Impact of the Blood of Christ.
The blood of Christ depicts six Doctrines of Soteriology (Salvation):
a. Expiation, the paying of the penalty, Rev 1:5.
b. Redemption, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
c. Justification, Rom 5:9.
d. Propitiation, Rom 3:25.
e. Sanctification, Heb 13:12.
f. Reconciliation, Col 1:20.
8. In Paul’s farewell address to the church at Ephesus, he admonishes the Pastor-Teacher to communicate these doctrines to their church as protection over their souls, post-salvation, Acts 20:28-30.
Acts 20:28-30, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
9. The blood of Jesus Christ represents the New Covenant, (the life insurance contract), that God has made with the believer, Mat 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20, which Jesus instituted as an ongoing memorial to His finished work on the Cross and our new life in Him through the communion cup. As such, “His Blood” is represented in the Communion Cup, 1 Cor 11:25.
As you may know, there is a New Covenant for Israel, Jer 31:31-33, and one for the Church. Christ is the fulfilment of both.
L.S. Chafer notes, “Israel’s covenant, however, is new only because it replaces the Mosaic, but the Church’s covenant is new because it introduces that which is God’s mysterious and unrelated purpose. Israel’s new covenant rests specifically on the sovereign “I will” of Jehovah, while the new covenant for the Church is made in Christ’s blood. Everything that Israel will yet have, to supply another contrast, is the present possession of the Church-and infinitely more.” (Systematic Theology)
“This doctrine emphasizes that the relationship of Christ to the New Covenant and the church to Christ does not in any way negate the future fulfillment of the New Covenant with Israel. The Lord made the New Covenant with Israel and presented it to Israel as a foundation of the messianic kingdom program. But the nation rejected the Messiah and His kingdom. Thus the New Covenant will not be fulfilled with Israel until the Day of the Lord events when the nation in repentance accepts the One whom it previously considered to be “stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4; cf. Zech 12:10-14). Before that happens, Gentiles outside God’s covenant program and Jews under the shadow of a curse are blessed to be able to participate in the New Covenant. This they can do through Spirit baptism into Christ at the time of conversion. Though the Servant / Messiah came to His own people, “His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His name . . .” (John 1:11-12).” (THE NEW COVENANT, Larry D. Pettegrew, Professor of Theology, The Masters Seminary)
The New Covenant for the Church, Luke 22:20, incorporates every promise of saving and keeping grace for those of the present age who believe. Its many blessings are either possessions or positions in Christ.
The death of Christ is the key to the validity of the contract, will, or Covenant, Heb 9:16-17. Thus, the “shedding of blood” in vs. 22, using the Greek word HAIMATEKCHUSIA, (that is used only here in all antiquity), speaks of the death of the sacrifice, which is a necessary component of both the Old Covenant, (Mosaic Law), and the New Covenant. In vs. 22 it states that, “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
“Shedding of blood,” HAIMATEKCHUSIA – αἱματεκχυσία is made up of HAIMA, “blood,” and EKCHUNO that means, “to pour out, shed, or spill.” It denotes “putting to death” by blood shedding. It is used to refer to slaying, especially in the Old Testament practices of offering sacrifices. Strictly speaking, it is the bringing of the blood to the altar, the application of the blood for objective expiation, whereas the sprinkling, RHANTISMOS, of the blood represented atonement. Therefore, HAIMATEKCHUSIA means only blood shedding, slaying, killing, and not the application of it. Therefore, it represents Christ’s completed work upon the Cross.
The New Covenant required the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross, His efficacious offering of the blood, so that God the Father could ratify a New Covenant both for Israel and the Church. A will or testament becomes operational by death. The New Covenant ratified by God is valid because of the blood of Christ, i.e., the efficacious spiritual death of Christ on the Cross, being judged for our sins. The blood of Christ links animal blood in the representative analogy with the saving work of Christ on the Cross. The New Covenant is the reality in contrast to the shadows of the Old Covenant, the Levitical Offerings.
The reason this is a New Covenant to the Church is the fact that Jesus Christ’s efficacious work on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins provides for mankind a new spiritual heritage during the Church Age. It provides for a new spiritual species through regeneration, eternal life, and a Portfolio of Invisible Assets during the Church Age.
The New Covenant to the Church is the basis for establishing the Royal Family of God forever. Part of the plunder of the strategic victory of Christ on the Cross is the establishment of the Royal Family composed of Church Age believers only. Therefore, the New Covenant to the Church includes its priesthood, its royalty, its escrow blessings, sharing God’s happiness, and the operational Divine Power System.
All the shadows of the Old Covenant point to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the reality. He is the guarantee of a better Covenant between God and man, Heb 7:22. The blood of the Covenant has set us aside as Royal Family, Heb 10:29; 1 Peter 2:9. As such, the New Covenant is the legacy of the royal priesthood with God the Father as the ratifier and God the Son as the mediator of the New Covenant for the Church.
Heb 8:6, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much that He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on the basis of better promises.”
The better Covenant is the New Covenant to the Church with its spiritual heritage versus the Covenants to Israel, which spoke to their physical heritage.
The New Covenant to the Church is a spiritual legacy to the Royal Family of God and authorizes the royal priesthood. The New Covenant applies only to those who are born again. Hence, the New Covenant is God’s grace disposition to the Royal Family in time and eternity. This is God’s greatest experiment of grace. It supersedes the shadow Covenant of the Old Testament, the Mosaic Law. It authorizes a new universal priesthood for the Royal Family of God, which operates positionally in the Holy of Holies.
At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ acknowledged the implications of His upcoming death by referring to His blood, symbolized in the wine, as “shed blood.” In the Gospels, we see the account of this memorial as each writer, though consistent in the theological meaning of this act, gives us a unique perspective of its application.
Like the writer of Hebrews, Matthew, reflecting the Trespass Offering, clearly interprets the act of the Cross as represented in the Communion Cup with the forgiveness of sins, Mat 26:26-28, a phrase which neither Luke nor Mark have. Such an understanding highly suggests that an O.T. sacrificial backdrop based upon Lev 17 was in mind, as seen in the Trespass Offering.
Mark, reflecting the Sin Offering, showed the death of Jesus was a Covenant sacrifice, Mark 14:22-24, with the image of being “poured out,” cf. Ex 24:6-8; Jer 31:31-33. The blood was shed on behalf of many. This recalls Isa 53:12; Jesus was “numbered among the transgressors,” Mark 15:28, and died in their place, as depicted in the Sin Offering.
Luke, reflecting the Peace Offering, in Luke 22:17-20, also tied the blood to the New Covenant of Jer 31:31ff. He too uses “poured out” as reminiscent of the Sin Offering ritual in Lev 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34; cf. 8:15; 9:9; Ex 29:20.
John, reflecting the Burnt Offering, used “blood” in chapter 6 in a clearly sacramental context. It is where Jesus told potential followers in John 6:53-56, that they had to “eat His flesh and drink His blood,” which also reflects the
Meal Offering. The concept of eating the flesh and drinking of blood suggests partaking of the whole of Christ and is reminiscent of the Last Supper in its implications for the believer. It meant believing and receiving Him as the revelation of the Father. He had explained to them that coming to Him, (i.e., believing in Him), is to have eternal life, vs. 47-48. As such the Communion supper is our reminder, as well as a memorial to Christ, of our eternal life that He gained for us upon the Cross.
Finally, in Jer 31:31-33, the New Covenant to Israel included three things: 1) Transformation, 2) Forgiveness of sins through Christ vs. the Law, 3) A new Relationship.
For the Church it means a new spiritual species, forgiveness by Christ’s efficacious work on the Cross for salvation and rebound post-salvation, and our union with Jesus Christ being, “in Christ”, as we have been made members of the Royal Family of God. It is only through being “in Christ” that Church Age believers participate in the New Covenant. We are elect “in Christ,” and because of Christ’s unique relationship with the Father, we are heirs together with Christ, 1 Cor 3:22-23; Rom 8:17; Eph 3:6.
How do we get into Christ? Clearly it is through the baptism of the Spirit at the time of conversion, Gal 3:27.
Through Spirit baptism and putting on Christ, we are identified with Christ with a sense of bound-up-with-ness that qualifies us to participate in the New Covenant blessings. Through such intimacy, church saints, whether Gentiles or Jews, inherit what Christ inherits and are sons of Abraham because Christ is, Gal 3:29.
10. The blood of Christ cleanses us from dead works.
The book of Hebrews uses HAIMA twenty-one times, which confirms the highly cultic atmosphere of that book. Just about every reference is pointed to the sacrificial imagery of the Old Testament, e.g., Heb 9:7, 12-14, 18-22, 25. Nevertheless, “the real point is the religious and ethical significance of the blood of Christ cleansing the conscience from dead works, Heb 9:14, cf. 10:22,” (Kittel).
Heb 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Because we have received spiritual life through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we are now able to live in the unique spiritual life of the Church and perform Divine Good works. When we confess our sins post-salvation, 1 John 1:9, we are cleansed from all unrighteousness and have fellowship with God once again. As such we are filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18; Gal 5:25, and are able to perform Divine Good, Gal 5:22-23, Eph 5:9; John 15:1-7.
11. And finally, the blood of Christ as expiation is also the basis for the Rebound Technique, Lev 4-5; 1 John 1:7; cf. 1 John 1:9; 1 Cor 11:25-32.
We have in Eph 2 the true condition of every unbeliever on the wrong side of the Cross were the blood of Jesus Christ identifies the payment of their every sin. And vs. 8-13, gives us the last contrast in this chapter, the works of the flesh compared to the blood of Jesus Christ. The former cannot save anyone, whereas the latter can save all. As such, the “Blood of Christ” removes all false standards set up by religion, legalism, and the reversionistic revolution to pay for or overcome their own self in the flesh, i.e., their own sins.
Through the symbolism of the blood in Scripture as death, two categories of death experienced by Christ on the Cross are in view. His somatic (bodily) death, which refers to what happened to His literal blood of which much remained within His body, and His spiritual death, which refers to what happened to His figurative blood. The somatic or physical death of Christ looks forward to the resurrection, whereas the spiritual death of Christ looks back to our sins and spiritual death. Yet, it is the figurative use of the phrase “His blood” that has to do with salvation as Jesus did not bleed to death.
“The “Blood of Christ” is the sum total of the doctrines of Redemption, Expiation, Regeneration, Justification, Imputation, Propitiation, Positional Truth, Sanctification which all add up to Reconciliation. The work is done, peace is made, and reconciliation has been provided, the Cross of Christ has removed the barrier and satisfied every just claim that God had against us so that every member of the human race can be saved. In place of the barrier, Jesus Christ now stands between God and man as the way to eternal life.
The One who removed the barrier “through the blood of His Cross” becomes the door through which all may enter into eternal relationship with God. Jesus said, “I am the door: by Me, if any man enter in he shall be saved,” John 10:9. The way has been opened for all to enter, and we enter by personal faith in the Son of God. Justification, Redemption, Expiation, Regeneration, Propitiation, and Eternal Life become our personal possessions when we believe on TLJC,” 1 Cor 1:30; Rom 4:5; John 6:47; Rev 1:5-6. (Col. R.B.T. Jr.)
A SPECIAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to:
Lesson #’s 16-012 to 16-015