Bible Lesson 95

The blood of Christ and the death of Christ

Leviticus 17:11 and Romans 5:6-10

In this lesson, we want to look at our Bibles and find what God has to say concerning our salvation and how that salvation was procured. I can’t imagine why, but over the past decades, the Church of the Living God seems to have wanted to dodge the real price of mankind’s salvation. Perhaps it comes from the Church’s hymnology and how wonderful writers have lifted the blood of Christ over the death of Christ. Perhaps you have never really thought about it, but if we look at the truth of the matter, we have expended much of our singing toward the shed blood of Christ, the love of Christ, and the cross; and certainly, I am not attempting to make light of that. What I am doing is to show what it cost the Father to extend His grace to those who are saved and given that inheritance in heaven. So please do not misunderstand me when I say that sometimes we can get so far from the flames that we do not feel the heat.

We will never appreciate our salvation and the Amazing Grace of God until we have dealt with the passion of Christ in His death on the cross. I am a great admirer of gospel music and the old hymns of the church, but we all should know that taken at face value many of our hymns and gospel songs are not paragons of the Christian doctrine.

With that said let’s move on to deal with the hard facts of just how dead in trespasses and sin we were before God reached down to us in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10). We were not able to simply understand that God loved us enough to send His Son Jesus to shed His blood, what we have to understand is that we were completely undone, without help or hope, under the wrath of God and destined to spend eternity in hell’ but God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us ‘even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive with Christ (by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

That sounds simple and as we like to say in our day, it sounds easy and quick; but that is the problem. We have begun to think that the Bible was given to us to be used as we see fit. There are some ‘hard sayings’ that most like to leave unread or unconsidered, and so we just reckon that God meant them for another time and other people. Then there are the promise verses that like the verses there in Ephesians 2:4-5, seem to say that everyone is covered and everything is going to be alright. There is much more to salvation than that and we need to begin to move back to an understanding of the Bible in its context.

We in some fashion understand that Jesus Christ shed His blood, but we have all at one time or another shed some of our blood. We sometimes accidentally injure ourselves and we bleed ‘and we understand that as shed blood. We are asked on occasion to donate some of our blood to someone else who needs it, and so we go and let them shed our blood. That is a correct understanding of the shedding of blood, but it is not taking the Bible’s understanding of the shedding of blood in the proper context. It is one thing to shed our blood, but something entirely different to die; and that is what Jesus Christ did as He shed His blood for us.

That is a little different than our sitting in our comfortable places on Sunday and singing ‘Love Lifted Me’. Most of you probably have sung that great old hymn on more than one occasion. I can hear it in my head as I write these lines’ and it goes’.’ I was sinking deep in sin, Far from the peaceful shore, Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, From the waters lifted me’ now safe am I.’

That is a great old song but hearing that after most of the ‘cheap grace’ sermons that are preached in our churches today, misleads people. That talks about rescue, and it is but that is not the rest of the story. The rest of the story paints a bleaker story than that; because the one who rescued us there had to die Himself, to rescue us. Not many would attempt to rescue a drowning person if they knew for certain that they would drown in the process.

I heard an account of a man that was aboard an American warship back during World War 2, and they were sunk by a U-boat and had to go overboard with nothing except some part of the ship that broke off and floated. To make a long story short, several men were clinging to this peace of floating junk, and they survived several days before they were rescued by another ship. During one day a shark bit the leg off of one of the men clinging with them and the sea was turned to bloody gore.

What were they to do’ They could not help him, and if they let him stay with them, his blood would draw more sharks and so they pried his fingers from their hold on the float and pushed him away. They were sacrificing one who was injured and was going to die anyway, to save themselves. Our Lord and Savior volunteered to leave heaven and come to the earth, and He was eternal but He chose to die in our place because our condition was so desperate that there was no other way.

He died! He was buried, and on the third day, He arose and ascended back into heaven forty days later. Yes in that process of dying He shed His blood but He died and went to the grave for people that we’re sinners and His enemies (Romans 5:6-11; James 4:4).

Death is a subject that as finite creatures we do not like to deal with. We are born with it stamped in our minds that we will someday die. We go through life in denial about that but we know we are going to die. Now, if we understand death as our language would put it’.it is the opposite of life’ but it never denotes non-existence.

It also is known as the separation of the soul (the spiritual part of man, from the body the material part). Perhaps we should look at what ‘life’ means to properly understand what death means. We know that life means an existence in which a person is active and aware of their surrounding to some degree.

That is physical life but there is another side of life, at least real life, and that is a spiritual dimension and spiritual life is ‘conscious existence in communion with God and spiritual death is conscious existence in separation from God.

Because of Adam’s sin, we are all born with His nature and that was a nature that was not submissive to God..we are born separated from God, having no conscious existence with God, no way to commune with God. We are born physically alive, but spiritually dead and we are under the wrath of God, unless and until God does a supernatural work in us to ‘quicken’ us and give us the ability to deal with God (Ephesians 2:1-10).

That requires the new birth, where we become the workmanship of God in salvation, created ‘In Christ’ unto good works which God preordained that we should walk in them.’ It was not simply because Christ shed His blood; but that he died so that we could live forever in heaven. Our home before had been hell and torment and suffering for eternity in hell, but because He died, we shall live forever in heaven. We can not appreciate what lengths Christ went to, to save us unless we keep our focus ‘.not on the blood or the cross or His love, because they all figure into the reason that He did what He did on the cross, but on the fact that He went that last mile and finally in sheer pain and exhaustion with his life being passing from Him to His Father, Jesus cried out ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me” Then the Scripture tells us that He cried out and yielded up His spirit. None was able to take His life, yet He gave it to save those who would obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9).

There is no way that human words can paint the picture of the suffering of Christ on the cross in His death for us. Think about this on a clear and bright day, God turned His face from His beloved Son and it became dark, so Jesus had to suffer in darkness, knowing that His Father had turned His face away from Him because of my sin and yours if you are saved. Who can imagine the burden of sin and depravity that was punished with a just punishment as He hung on that cross’

Could you have done what Christ did on Calvary’ Could you drink of that cup that He drank from, (Matthew 26:39; Mark 10:38)’ Certainly none of us would qualify as that sacrifice that was made by the Lamb of God; and even if we were to go to the cross and die a thousand deaths, it would not do what the death of Christ did for us. The point of this lesson is not to demean the blood, the cross, the love or the forgiveness that was offered to those who would obey by His death, what I want to emphasize is the fact that if He had chosen (and He could have) to come down from the cross before His death, we would have no way to be saved.

We are not saved because He was nailed to the cross, nor because He bled while there, it was because He died there’ and if He had not died, then He could not have said ‘It is finished’. We do not have to worry in our day about Him not completing His Mission to die to save His people; because He did; however we as Christians who have been called to teach others about the Lord and His death and suffering that takes our sins away, we must always be careful with the Word of God that we do not unwittingly or on purpose make it say something that it does not say.

There is no doubt that Christ came to the earth to die; and in that dying, He was nailed to a cross and He shed His blood ‘but that was incidental to what was required for us to be forgiven and saved and that was that He Must die! God never changes His mind about things, except to institute a better thing for a good thing. God told Adam, the first human, that in the day that He disobeyed, and sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that he would die.

We are reminded in Romans 3:23, that all are sinners, and in Romans 6:23 we are reminded that the ‘Wages of sin is death’. That means that we were born with a debt, that debt was because we had Adam’s sin nature and we loved to sin. Some who are such shallow thinkers will say that they were not sinners, at least not to the extent that Christ would have to die for them; however they have a sin debt that can only be paid by God and that was put in place when Jesus Christ was charged and nailed to a cross, there to shed His blood and finally to die to pay that debt. Nothing else will do nothing but the death of Christ.

That reminds me of one of my favorite hymns that are titled ‘Nothing But the Blood’. It goes like this’..’What can wash away my sin’ Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again’ Nothing but the blood of Jesus’. That’s a great old song and it has some truth in it, but it is also misleading. Does the shed blood of Christ wash away your sin’ No, what pays your sin debt and washes away your sin, is the death of Christ.

Yes, the blood is active in that but the truth is always a truth, even when we have made us something that sounds a little more palatable to sinners in our midst. Regardless of how we look at it, how we desire to see more ‘professions of faith’, and new members in our congregations we cannot circumvent God’s rules for salvation. Salvation is not something that we ‘decide’ to have and then say we have it, not something that our pastor or friend or evangelist can cause us to seek. Salvation is of God! It was planned by God in eternity past, purchased by God in the body of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ as He hung on the cross and died, and only comes to those whom God seeks out and saves.

We got on a path some decades ago when churches began to want to expand their memberships to look good to their competition, and they found that it takes a while normally to have a big congregation if we wait on God to provide it, and so we began to save people ourselves. There will never be a soul in heaven that was saved by anyone or anything other than God and He always does that in the same way.

God seeks lost souls but God only seeks souls that He has conditioned for salvation by His Holy Spirit. That means that when real preachers begin to preach the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth of the Word of God, God works in some who hear the truth to call them, quicken them, allow them to see themselves as they are seen by God and that is according to the Law of God’.then broken-hearted and contrite sinners who cannot stand themselves because of their depraved condition submit themselves totally to God.

Not for what they can do for God but for what God can do for them. What we have to remember, to prepare ourselves to serve our Gracious God, is to remember that ‘no soul shall ever know the love of God, unless and until it has dealt with God’s wrath against their sin. God’s love never sets aside God’s wrath until the conditions that God has set are met. We seem to like to preach and teach that God’s sole purpose is to meet the felt needs of everyone that thinks their needs is a physical need, rather than a Spiritual need. We have come to operate based on accepting people into the membership of our church because they chose to walk the aisle and shake a hand and agree to be baptized.

Oh yes, we normally ask them if they love Jesus but we never ask them to tell us which Jesus it is that they love. There are millions of imagined Jesus out there and none of them but the Biblical Jesus can save a soul. We normally invite at the end of every preaching service and we make it emotional to the point that anyone who loves Mama and Apple Pie can come to be a member of our group. That’s the reason that we have diminished the glory of God and ended up with congregations that are just like the community that they live in. We are not to be like our communities, we must be different because we are different.

We live in the world but we do not live like the world. People who own their volition join churches are not supernatural because of the work of a Supernatural God. We can change the exterior to some degree, but internally we are rotten because we are born with Adam’s sin nature. Whether we want to believe it or not, sinners will never seek God on their own’.God seeks and saves sinners (Romans 3:11; Luke 19:10). Yes, the Bible does say ‘Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find; knock, and it shall be opened.’ But we have to understand that in the context of Ephesians 2:1, which reminds us that we are born dead in trespass and sin. Now, ask yourself, what have you ever seen a dead man do’

We are born unable and unwilling to communicate with God, because of Adam’s nature in us, and until God moves to remedy that we may think we are asking, seeking, and knocking; but we are asking the wrong question, seeking we know not what, and knocking on the wrong door. God has told us that ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh’ (John 3:6). In other words, if we decide, or we chose to do something on our own, it is of the flesh and it is contaminated with sin. Whatever we do that is not of faith, is sin.

Let me put that another way’.everything that a sinner does is sin. If a sinner makes a profession of faith that is not driven by the Holy Spirit of God, it is a sin. If a sinner goes to church it is a sin, and if a sinner prays it is a sin because a sinner does not have saving faith (Romans 14:23). I have said all of that because it is Biblical and to make my point about how specific we need to be when we preach. We must preach the truth that is contained in the context of the entire Bible. We must never surrender to the position of pragmatism or what works. The only thing that works is the truths of God and they must not only be preached and heralded whenever we preach, but they must be stood upon and defended against all attacks.

Why is it so important that we preach and remind people that it was Jesus’ death that was required in our salvation’ Well, the best reason is that it is what the Bible says. The next reason is that it shows the great price that had to be paid for our depravity. We have used the Scripture from Romans 6:23 several times in our lesson, and that verse says ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord’.

We all have sinned so we have earned a payday and that payday is death. Jesus Christ took us out of line to be nailed to that cross and suffer eternal separation from God and He substituted Himself to be nailed and hung on that cross, to shed His blood and suffer death for us so we could inherit eternal life. That was prophesied by the Prophet Isaiah in chapter 53 of the book of Isaiah, where we read, beginning at verse 6.”All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all’..verse 8 tells us that ‘He was cut off from the land of the living’ and that means that He died. Now the sin debt has been paid, and we must simply preach that as we confront people about their condition as sinners. No man will ever be a child of God until he rejects his father Satan.

No man will ever know the love of God until he has dealt with the wrath of God against his sin. And no man will ever be saved until he can accept the fact that he was so sinful and depraved that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh had to come and suffer death in his place. I recommend that preachers and teachers think about those statements that I just made and realize that no member can ever be a productive member or be a true member of your church until they have done all of that. We cannot make up new rules for salvation, although we have made a great attempt at it over the years we have not changed God’s mind so we must go back to the Bible and preach what we find there ‘.in Context!!!

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob