Posts Tagged ‘blood’

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

We all have sinned.

The Bible does not mince words when it comes to that. It speaks clearly on that fact, especially where Paul is concerned. We come to know that we never truly measure up to God’s standard.

Thank God for salvation.

Thank God that grace covers our sins. Praise be to God for the blood of Jesus that covers us so completely that we are not viewed by our sins but by His miraculous works.

Sin caused us to need the Savior, but it was not poweerful enough to keep us out of His family. He loves us as dear children, considering us both heirs and sons of God. He assures us that nothing and no one can pluck us from His hand.

We are still sinners, but God’s love for us ushered in salvation. Therefore, much akin to how Paul stated it to the Romans: we were saved as sinners.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

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Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.” – Exodus 24:8 (NIV)

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. – Matthew 26:28 (NIV)

When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people.  He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” – Hebrews 9:19-20 (NIV)

Blood dripped down from the cross.  Droplets of shed blood hit the soil.  Many had bled there before.  Countless slain criminals had hung above the earth and died there, soaking the ground with blood.  However, something appeared different that day. 

The man hanging among the thieves was innocent.  He had been tried in a religious court that had refused to accept His message.  He had put up little defense against their accusations.  Even when they handed Him over to the Romans, He stood in silence as He faced His inevitable death sentence.  He said little as He endured the cruel beatings from the Roman soldiers.  He had offered no resistance when they forced Him to march with His cross through the streets.  Even as He hung upon the cross, the few words that He offered were mumbled as he neared death.

He had been called Rabbi.  John the Baptist had called Him the Lamb of God.  Some had said that He was the Christ (the Anointed One).  He was even called the Messiah by others.  Yet, some mistook Him for one of the prophets like Elijah or Jeremiah.

No matter what He was called.  He hung high above the ground and shed His blood for the salvation of the world.  Nothing would ever be the same once His blood was shed.  No one who called on His name and believed His message would not have the new covenant presented through His shed blood and slain body.

And that day was the preparation,
and the sabbath drew on.
– Luke 23:54 (KJV)

What Moses had offered in the wilderness was hardly anything close to what Jesus offered on Calvary’s cross.  Jesus bore all of our grief and sorrow for our sake.  Jesus offered a covenant that Moses could only imitate at that point.  Moses could only offer a ceremonial sprinkling of the blood for the covenant.  Jesus offered a prophetic and redemptive covenant that showed the power of God through His shed blood.  Souls are saved continually through what Jesus offered as a supreme sacrifice on that day.

Do not believe the naysayers.  Do not accept the lies and the misunderstandings.  The blood of Jesus still saves.  The blood of the Lord paid the price for our sins for our salvation.  He stood in and paid the penalty for our wrongdoing, for our transgressions and infirmities.

Let the covering of the blood continue to work on you.  Let the blood remind you of His sacrificial love.  Never forget that the blood of the slain Savior who suffered for sakes soak into your soul like it once soaked into the soil of Golgotha.  Let the image of that blood settle into your spirit and keep you close to Him in this new covenant.  Hold dear to Him as your Lord and savior, for His blood still has power.

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer
sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:
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?
– Hebrews 9:13 (NASB)

But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of God.
– Hebrews 10:12 (NIV)

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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.
 – Isaiah 53:10 (NKJV)

God’s people are to live in such a way that their lives please God.  God’s people are to live to please God.

It doesn’t sound like the Christianity that many of us signed up for when we walked down the aisle of our home church and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior in our lives.  It does not resemble the only-believe sermons that echoed in tent revivals throughout Middle America during the times of Progressives prior to the Industrial Revolution of America.  No, it does not even seem to resemble any of the tenets of religious righteousness that seem to make the headlines as the Religious Right.  That doesn’t sound like the normal Christian life that many pastors, evangelists and others have spread throughout the nation and the world about prosperity, being born again, and serving to be saved. No, it doesn’t sound like any of that at all.

However, that is what the Word says.  We are to live in a way that pleases God.  We are to model our lives after the service, sacrifice and suffrage of Jesus Christ.  Isaiah’s “Suffering Savior,”  the “man of sorrows,” presents us with a humble manner of submission that we can see and reflect in our own daily lives.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. . .

Sadly, we often interpret God’s pleasure as an image of the Heavenly Father looking down and smiling upon Jesus on the cross.  That sounds far from the accurate interpretation of the matter.  God’s pleasure in the situation is the satisfied debt of sins.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied the debt of sin through the Lamb of God who was “without blemish” (1 Peter 1:19, NKJV).  Therefore, Jesus submitted to God and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  As John says, He serves as “the propitiation of our sins.” Read Hebrews 2:17 and 1 John 4:10 about His sacrifice for our sins.

He paid a debt that we could never repay on our own.  He had to serve as the propitiation of our sins in order to satisfy the debt that we could never repay ourselves.  As Paul wrote, salvation is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).  He stepped up and stood in for us, only to sacrifice all and suffer for our sakes.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

1 John 5:2-4 (NKJV)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

We need to reflect Christ’s sacrificial living.  Paul stated that we should have the mind of Christ.  Peter said that we should suffer just as Christ suffered.  James, the brother of the Lord, said that we should embrace being tested and tried.  We are to live in a manner that satisfies God.  We are to please God.

Our daily lives are to please God.  Let not Christ’s suffering and sacrifice appear to be in vain.  Do not disregard the cost of salvation.  God did not hold back.  He offered His best.  We, too, are called to offer our best.  God offered His best in Jesus Christ.  God expects us to offer our best by following the example of Jesus Christ.

Live to please God.  Live a repentant and revived life.  Live a renewed life as a new creation in Christ Jesus.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. – Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. – Psalm 147:11 (KJV)

“It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.”
-Mahatma Gandhi (Gandhi quotes)

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 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I  have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:12-13 (NIV)

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” – Genesis 9:17 (NIV)

God has a way of showing us things.  We might have taken them for granted, but they have real meaning beyond the surface.  There is more to them than what we might think or imagine with our natural minds and our natural eyes.  We have to see that our very own nature can cloud our spiritual discernment at times.  God has meanings that appear as mysteries to us.  He wants us to come into a certain level of understanding, especially when it comes to our covenant with Him.

What does that have to do with coffee? I was talking about covenants with God, right?

We can have coffee and a covenant.  We can sit down and have fellowship.  We can bond over the very things that seem so normal and mundane.  We can have fellowship in His Spirit and through His Spirit.  Since we have His Spirit, we can share such fellowship together.  It is by His Spirit that we have such a bond of peace and unity

We can sit down and have a cup of coffee, entering into a covenant of communion with other believers.  We can enter into a covenant of friendship and spiritual unity.  We can take normal things like a simple cup of coffee and make it into more than just a cup of Joe.  We can truly engage in fellowship under the blood covenant that we have with each other through Christ’s shed blood.

You can have a covenant with a brother or sister in Christ.  That’s real.  In fact, that is necessary.  Yet, our covenant starts with a spiritual sign.  It is no longer flesh cut away.  He has cut away at our hearts.  He seeks a spiritual sign among us nowadays.  Our covenant with Him through His blood allows us to have a binding covenant with other brothers and sisters in Him.

1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)

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Revelations in Revelation-Part 1 (The Alpha and the Omega)

The title of the final book of the Bible has a revealing title: The Revelation of Jesus Christ  or The Revelation to John.  It varies from on Bible translation to another but each, no matter who published or printed the particular Bible, has the same opening words: “The revelation of Jesus Christ…” Rev. 1:1 (NIV).  The revelation is about Him, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Here is what is revealed about Him initially:

  • “…Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (vv.5-6, NIV)
  • “…he is coming with the clouds,  and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him..” (v. 7, NIV)
  • He bears many names: Alpha and Omega, First and Last, Beginning and End (vv. 8, 17, NIV)

I believe John’s testimony serves well for us to remember: Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.  If we both hear this prophecy and take it to heart, we can expect a blessing from the Living One, the one truly revealed by the prophecy:  Jesus Christ.

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Christ rose from the grave. He died for our sins, suffering punishment for our salvation. He rose for our sake. Let us give him praise due to His name.

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I love Max Lucado’s He Chose NailsThe title says it all.  He chose nails.  He endured the suffering sacrifice of the cross.  He took the beatings and the piercing of thorns upon His head, but He did it all for our salvation.  He withstood trial after trial, dragged from the Jews to the Romans, after the betrayal of one of His own disciples.  Even the religious leaders hurled insults at Him as He hung from the cross.  People walked by and spat upon Him as He hung like a common criminal.  One of the criminals who hung on either side of Him began to ridicule Him as well.  I wonder how many of us would have made it through that test of the cross.  I question our Christian strength to withstand of all of that for some unthankful and ungrateful people.  Even if we only had to handle the insults and the mocking from others, how long would we stand it? Would we last until their debts had been satisfied and paid by the price of shed blood? Could we stand to accept such hardship to the point of death for the sake of others? As Max Lucado simply wrote: “He chose nails.”

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Paul asserted to the church at Corinth that he came preaching nothing but Christ and him crucified.  What we should gather from this is that Christ and His death on the cross is the main focus of what we need to share with people.  We gain no glory for ourselves, for we do not seek it.  To Him, all the glory is reserved and set aside.  He is the Savior and the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the earth. Preach Christ.  Preach the gospel.  Preach the redemption and restoration that comes through salvation.  Preach Christ and nothing but Him crucified.

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As Christians, we have to understand that our new identity is in Christ.  We are intially covered with the sacrificial blood of Christ, then the Spirit of the Lord indwells within us.  As we continue to grow and become more steeped in the Word, our faith increases. As we increase in faith, we learn to live more like Christ, but we also learn to live for Christ.  His name is on everything we say and do.  His name becomes attached to our every statement.  He becomes the focal point of all of our work.  Wecalim his name because He decided to claim us when we were too sinful for God to touch and too “sick” to help ourselves.  Claim His name.

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For the prophecies ofold to become true, the Savior had to suffer. A simple reading of Isaiah 53 will reveal His extensive sufferings at the hand of the sinful. I marvel at the mighty work that was accomplished on the cross at Calvary. I am taken aback by the majestic work done throu according to gh His sacrificial death. Didn’t the earth tremble and darkness filled the skies according to Luke 23:44-45 and Matthew 27:51-53? Even graves were opened and people who were risen from the dead appeared in the city. Yet, that one morning when they went to visit His grave, it seems like His references to Jonah (Matthew 12:40). Someone must have forgotten His references to Himself in the messinic psalms like Psalm 22. No,that morning the mere body of a man that they had crucified and buried could not be found. The King of kings had risen. It was a morning where there truly was no need in mourning.
“… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”-Psalm 30:5

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