The Baby & The Blood
December 9th, 2014
Some of the most amazing words ever spoken were recorded by the Apostle John in I John 1:7, “…And the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” We must never misunderstand that the Babe born in Bethlehem was born to die, and die He did on the Cross of Calvary for all mankind. As we celebrate the Birth of Christ, this Christmas season, may we equally celebrate the Blood of Christ.
It must be understood that the blood of Christ cleanseth, not has cleansed, or shall cleanse. This notes a continued act. There is a perpetual pleading of it for us, a continual flowing of it to us. It is a, “fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath its flood lose all their guilty stains.”
1. The Baby’s Blood Has Virtue To Cleanse.
It does not actually cleanse all, but only those that believe. There is a sufficiency in it to cleanse all, and there is an efficacy in it to cleanse those that have recourse to it. The apostle ads nothing to the blood. It has the sole and the sovereign virtue. The whole of cleansing is ascribed to His blood, not anything we can do by way of our own righteousness or works can partner with the blood to merit our forgiveness. It alone is the universal remedy. The blood of Jesus Christ, absolves from the guilt of sin, and shelters from the wrath of God. This blood purges not some sins, but all sins. I sure love the words of Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
The cleansing of His blood has a duel meaning. There is a cleansing from guilt, and a cleansing from filth, both are the fruits of this blood: the guilt is removed by remission, the filth by purification. Christ does both: he cleanses us from our guilt as he is our righteousness, from our spot as he is our sanctification; for he is both to us. I Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” This is the fundamental doctrine of the gospel. The apostle wrote about Christ in I John 3:5 when he said, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
2. The Baby’s Blood Has Value To Cleanse.
The blood shed at Calvary was not just the blood of a Good Man but the God Man. It was the blood of the “only begotten son of God.” Hence our sin is perfectly cleansed by this perfect blood. The blood of Christ perfectly cleanses us from sin, in regard to both condemnation and punishment. Though the nature of sin does not cease to be sinful, yet the power of sin ceases to be condemning. The sentence of the law is revoked, the right to condemn is removed, and sin is not imputed to them who believe. Where there is a cleansing from the guilt, there necessarily follows a removal of the punishment. What is the debt we owe upon sin? Is it not the debt of punishment, which is righteously exacted for the fault committed? When the blood of Christ therefore purifies any from their guilt, it rescues them from the punishment due to that guilt. Herein does the pardon of sin properly consist, in a remission of punishment. The crime cannot be remitted, but only in regard of punishment merited by it. If God should punish a man that is sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and pleaded for by the blood of Christ it would be contrary both to his justice and mercy: to his justice, because he has accepted of the satisfaction made by Christ, who paid the debt, and acquitted the criminal, when he bore his sin in his own body upon the tree; it would be contrary to his mercy, for it would be cruelty to adjudge a person to punishment, who is legally discharged, and put into the state of an innocent person, by the imputation of the righteousness of the Redeemer.
Though the acts of sin are formally the same that they were, or put another way we still struggle with sin even after we get saved, yet the state of a cleansed sinner is not legally the same that it was; for being free from the charge of the law, he is no longer under the condemnation of the law. Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Jesus proclaimed in John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Redemption was purchased by the death of Christ, offered in the gospel, and conferred upon the believer, hence it cleanses from all sin universally. For since it was the blood of so great a person as the Son of God, it is as powerful to cleanse us from the greatest as the least. Since it is the blood of the Son of God, it is both the blood of a holy and of an uncreated and infinite person. Is it not therefore able to exceed all the bulk of finite sins, and to cover the sin of every transgressor? Oh what a rich treasure sinful man has found in the blood of Christ. God’s word declares in Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Did you catch that? The sins of all believing persons, in all parts, in all ages of the world, from the first moment of man's sinning, to the last sin committed on the earth was put on the back of our suffering Saviour. Well might the apostle say, “The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” God collected all the sins from all parts of the world, in all ages of the world, bound them up together, and 'laid them upon' Christ's shoulders. The 'forgiveness of sin' is the fruit of 'redemption through his blood.' Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
3. The Baby’s Blood Has Victory To Cleanse.
Christ took our sins upon him, not thereby to become sinful, but in a judicial manner, to accept both the guilt and punishment for our sin. II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Listen as John the Baptist introduces him to the world in John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
He was made sin, as if he had sinned all the sins of men, and we are made righteousness, as if we had not sinned at all. By accounting the righteousness and sufficiency of his sufferings to us. If we stand upon our own merit, we are lost; our own rags cannot cover us, nor our own imperfections redeem us. I John 5:19 declares that, “…the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Divine holiness cannot but hate us, divine justice cannot but consume us, if we have no other righteousness than our own, but just then the apostle declares for all believers, “…the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
We must be as willing to accept of this sacrifice as Christ was to offer this sacrifice. God requires only a willingness of us to believe, receive and acknowledge the depths of his wisdom and grace, and accept the redeeming blood of Christ as the full and sufficient sacrifice for all our sin. This makes up the marriage knot between the sinner and the Redeemer. By this the soul empties itself and clasps about a Saviour, and then Christ and the believer are counted as one person legally. Ephesians 3:17 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” Then in Christ we have the testimony of Colossians 3:3 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”
This victory is imputed to us through faith. Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is in this way alone that the angelic prophecy at our Saviours birth can become your personal possession this Christmas season. Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
**This Blog was inspired by the writings of the great Puritan Preacher Stephen Charnock (1628–1680). Nearly all of the numerous writings attributed to him were transcribed after his death. It was in this spirit that I share his tremendous material about the Blood of Christ with you in this Blog.