Friday, June 17, 2016

Is Sin Just "Covered by the Blood?"

Which is more powerful; the blood of bulls and goats, or the blood of Jesus?

What seems like an obvious answer, for many Christians is not. Many believers still live under the power of sin as if the blood of Jesus had no more power than the blood of an animal.

"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."  Hebrews 10:1‭-‬4 NIV.

So the writer of Hebrews tells us that the sacrifices of the law could never make the worshipers perfect.  Why?  Because every time there was a sacrifice, there was a reminder of their sins. Those sacrifices could only cover sin for a time but could never completely take sin away.  Those sacrifices could never cleanse, "...once for all..."  However, the blood of Jesus did not cover sins, it took them away.  
Jesus did not hide your sin - He removed your sin!

"But when this priest [Jesus] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:1‭-‬4‭, ‬12‭-‬14 NIV.  By one sacrifice for all time, Jesus made the way for the complete (not just partial or temporary - but complete) forgiveness and removal of sin.  
The blood of Jesus is so powerful it makes worshipers perfectly cleansed, forgiven, righteous, and holy.

Why would anyone want to be reminded of their sins?
Under the New Covenant, there is no longer a reminder of sins from year to year. Jesus' blood paid for it all.  If a believer sins, he doesn't need to sacrifice an animal, and Jesus certainly does not need to go back on the cross.  The bible says in Hebrews 8:12, that God has chosen to remember our sins no more.

As believers, we sometimes need to be reminded that we are no longer slaves of sin. Before you were in Christ, you were in bondage to sin, but as a believer, you are no longer bound to sin.  "...Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."  Romans 6:6  Why are you no longer bound to sin? "...Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." Romans 6:7

"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."  Romans 6:11‭-‬14 [Emphasis mine].

Because of the blood of Jesus, sin is no longer your master!

Ephesians 1:7 says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace..."  In Christ, we have been redeemed and forgiven because of God's grace.

Past tense.  Done deal.  Microphone dropped.  Elvis has left the building.

This was accomplished at the cross long before you or I were born and certainly long before any of us had sinned. Jesus did all the work that was necessary through His shed blood.

"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:13‭-‬14.
Again, past tense. No more need for a new sacrifice or for fresh redemption. 
You were rescued. You were redeemed. You were forgiven. 
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1‭-‬2.

Many people today live under the shadow of performance-based religion that keeps them in bondage to sin. 

Why does it keep them bound?  Because they are not told about the sin-destroying, bondage-breaking and delivering power of the precious blood of Jesus.  They are not told who they really areInstead, they are often told that they are just "old sinners saved by grace," and not the truth of what the bible says.  
I doubt there could be a bigger lie in the church today than that phrase!  I know it sounds spiritual and humble, but it is not true.  Before you were in Christ, you were a sinner.  In Christ, however, you are not!  You are a saint.  You are righteous, you are holy!  People may repeat that phrase because they have been taught it, or because they think it sounds humble.  But to say that you are still a sinner once you are in Christ is antithetical to the gospel.

It may sound prideful to say you are righteous or holy and a saint, especially when religion says you are a sinner.  But the bible tells us our true identity.  If you are a believer in Jesus, saved by His grace, you are no longer an "old sinner."  

If you are a believer in Jesus, then you are:
  • A saint of God, not a sinner.  
  • A blood-bought overcoming son or daughter of the Most High God!
  • Alive together with Christ
  • Seated with Christ in heavenly places
  • Accepted in the beloved
  • Justified freely by His grace
  • Righteous 
  • Completely and uncompromisingly forgiven...    
It is the blood of Jesus plus nothing that delivered us from sin.  It's not Jesus' blood plus your performance, your confession of sin, or any other thing that redeemed you or keeps you.  
The blood is that powerful!

Sin loses its appeal
When a person begins to realize who they are in Christ and what the blood of Jesus did for them, then sin begins to lose its appeal. 
Sin revives again as people are given a command not to do something.  
Don't believe me?  Try this on for size...

"I command you not to think about a purple elephant with pink hair!"

So what is the first thing that came into your mind?  Be honest.  Dare I say, that you immediately began to imagine what a purple elephant with pink hair would look like?  The very thing that you are told not to do is the very thing the flesh wants to do!  

That is the exact problem with trying to keep people from sinning by putting them under the law.  The purpose of the law was to point out that everyone was a sinner and could not help themselves from sinning. The law did not have the power to prevent sin.  In fact, the strength of sin is the law! (1 Corinthians 15:56)  Every year the law brought an ongoing reminder of sin.  
The law was good, but it was weak because it could never take away sin.  The sacrifices demanded by the law could only cover sin.  But again, the blood of Jesus did not cover your sin, it removed your sin.

As you believe the good news that the blood of Jesus has set you free from sin, you will begin to experience the joy that is found in knowing Him, and knowing that you are in Him, and accepted by Him just the way you are.  There is no longer trepidation of entering into His presence, but a new confidence and boldness of knowing that nothing stands between you and the Lord.
The blood of Jesus is powerful enough to take care of your past, present and future sin. 

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8.  You were darkness, but not in Christ!

"Therefore, brethren, 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, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."  Hebrews 10:19‭-‬23 [Emphasis mine]
"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.."  Hebrews 4:14-16

God, who has already forgiven you in Christ, is faithful.

No comments:

Post a Comment