Charles Stanley - The Message of the Blood of Jesus
The subject of this sermon we sing about, we don't talk much about it and I'm not too sure we believe all that we ought to believe about it. But it's important that you listen very carefully, because it affects every single one of us. And you may be one of those persons who's never heard it before. You need to listen to it carefully, because it will affect the way you live and the way you die. And so, when I think about it being that serious, I think about the fact that some people shun the whole idea. And they are not just electing it but there are those denominations that cut these pages out of their hymnbooks, because they've decided that it's not important; that it offends people. So, there are all kinds of ideas and attitudes about it. But the truth is, without it, you and I wouldn't be here today.
So, what's the subject? The subject is the blood of Jesus Christ. And more than likely, many of you who may be listening or watching, you've never heard a sermon on it. You've thought about it. You've wondered about it. Maybe you've even mentioned it in your prayers, but you haven't fully understood what it's all about. So, I want to ask you to listen very carefully. Your whole eternal future may depend upon it. So, I want to talk about the blood of Jesus, how it applies to every single one of us. So, I want you to turn if you will to First Peter chapter one and I want us to begin reading just a few of the verses here, beginning in verse seventeen, of First Peter, chapter one, "If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay here on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and your hope are in God".
Now, when's the last time you heard a message on the blood of Jesus? Well, it's been a while since I've preached one. And more than likely it's been a while since you've heard one. And the more I thought about it and the more the Lord began to speak to my heart to remind me, this is the heart of the gospel. That all the things we can say about other subjects and all that relates to it, this is the very heart of the truth of what you and I believe. And it's the message that'll either get you to heaven or you'll lose it and miss it. So, I want you to listen very carefully because I just really want to say two things about it. And the first one is the seriousness of sin. When you sin against God, especially if you keep on sinning against God, and especially if you keep on doing the same thing over and over and over again, you set yourself up for divine chastisement. And if you've never trusted Christ as your savior, you're going to be rejected one of these days when you stand before the judgment.
Sin is serious business with God because it has eternal consequences. And it doesn't make any difference who you are. It doesn't make any difference where you're from, what's your vocation, how much wealth you have, you name it. There is nothing that matters. Sin is disobedience to Holy God. And He warns us from the beginning of the Bible to the end, that God hates sin because of what it does to His children, to His creation. And you and I've read the Bible enough to know that all through the Word of God, sin is a destroyer, a divider, you name it, all the qualities that we've mentioned, that's what sin is. So, in light of that, you say, Well, what's the nature of sin? And I want you to think about this is the true nature of sin. We said it's serious. But how serious is it? So, the true nature of sin, first of all, it deceives. It's already deceived you; because you wouldn't keep doing what you're doing if sin didn't deceive you. That is, you're okay. It's alright. God loves you. God understands. And so, you just keep disobeying God and being deceived into thinking that you are an exception to the laws of God to the consequences of sin. You're deceived.
Secondly, it disappoints. Sin always makes big time offers. If you'll do this, you'll feel fantastic. If you'll do this, he or she will do thus and so. And so, when you think about the disappointments all of us have had in life about different things. But sin is a disappointer because it makes awesome promises it cannot produce. It may be temporarily satisfying, but if sin had no satisfaction whatsoever, you wouldn't be sinning. It has temporary satisfaction. But it's a deceiver and it disappoints. It is destructive. All you need to do is to look around and realize how destructive sin is. It takes many, many pathways, but ultimately, it'll destroy you. It destroys families; it destroys marriages; it destroys jobs; it destroys future; destroys children. You name it, sin is destructive by its nature. And then think about it. Ultimately, sin brings death.
Now, why do I hesitate about that? Because I want to say that sin oftentimes brings death over a period of time. Sometimes it's instant. But the worst thing is that it's eternal in its effect. The Bible says, the soul that sinneth, it shall die. The wages of sin is death. And so, if I had to stop right there, this would be a terrible life. But thank God, we don't have to stop there. So, let's think about this. What is the saving power that brings about forgiveness of sin? It's the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. And I want you to think about this. Go back if you will to the third chapter of Genesis, all the way back to the beginning. And when you do, here's what you'll discover. You'll discover in this perfect Garden of Eden, that Adam and Eve had everything going their way. But they'd had a choice, God gave them a choice. And so, they sinned against God. And the Scripture says, in verse twenty of chapter three, "Now, the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living". They had sinned against God, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them". He killed a lamb; shed blood, and covered them, the Bible says in that verse, with skins. So, in the very beginning of the Bible, with the first sin, God shed blood in their behalf. God began in the very beginning to say, If you're going to be saved, the blood has to be shed. There is a cost to sin. The price of sin is blood. The price of sin is the blood of Jesus.
All the way back in those days before they knew anything about what you and I know about, the issue was forgiveness required death and the shedding of blood. So, when you come to Jesus, after He came into the world, and He's talking about sin, and you'll remember what He began to talk about the blood to His disciples. And then that night of the Lord's Supper, what's the Lord's Supper all about? It's all about the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ bringing about salvation, it's a reminder to us of what happened. Then, with that in mind, I want to give you four words. There are four words I want to give you which really describe this whole redemptive plan of God. They all have to do with the blood of Jesus. They're all a part of that. But you could just wrap up the whole message of salvation in four words and the first one is redemption, the one we just read about a few moments ago, redemption.
And when you think about that word and you think about what it says, listen to what he says. Verse eighteen of that first chapter of First Peter, "Knowing that you were not redeemed," that is you weren't saved, "with perishable things like silver and gold". Isn't it interesting that God took the most precious things or valuable things to say, Look, your most valuable commodities won't do you one bit of good. He said, "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile, empty way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious," God said it was, "precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ". So, first word is redemption. And redemption means you redeem something, you pay, and you get it back. The blood of Jesus Christ is the only thing in existence that could ever take care of our sin. He redeemed us. He bought us back from a life of sin.
Then the second word is reconciliation. And I want you to turn to Colossians chapter one for a moment. Reconciliation, chapter one, beginning in verse nineteen; listen to what he says, "For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him," now, watch this, "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. And although you were formerly alienated," separated from God, "and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach". Sin has separated every single one of us from God. And those of us who are saved have been reconciled. We trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; His work at Calvary; we've been reconciled.
So, there is redemption. There is reconciliation. Reconciliation brings people together. Reconciliation brings husbands and wives together who have been separated or divorced. And reconciliation brings sinners to oneness in their relationship to Jesus Christ. Union, reunion, and harmony. Then there's a word, justification. If you'll turn to Romans chapter five for a moment. Justification. And look, if you will, in that... let's begin in the eighth verse, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". So, when he talks about God's love for us, what does he do? He goes straight to the reason, the ultimate reason and the price for God's love for us. He says, "God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him".
Now, we say something is justified, it's declared no longer guilty. That is, when God justifies us, He declares us no longer guilty. Well, you say, well how, what was, does God just say, You're not guilty; you're not guilty; you're not guilty. No. It's the blood of Christ that makes it possible so that if a person rejects Jesus, they reject the only person who can take care of their sin because He's the one who brought justification as a reality. It's the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, he says we were redeemed, reconciled, and justified. And it's not what we do, but it's what He did for us. Then there's one other word and that's the word sanctified, sanctification. Look if you will in Hebrews chapter thirteen for a moment. And I want you to notice just one verse here. Jesus, the Scripture says in verse twelve, "Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate".
Now, to sanctify something is to set it apart. And so, here's what he's saying. He's saying He has redeemed us; He's reconciled us; He has justified us; and now He has sanctified us. Those four words cover the Christian life. In every aspect of our life, what is God doing? He's doing something to deal with sin in our life. So, let's deal with sanctification for just a moment. Sanctification is an act, just like redemption is; but sanctification is a process that goes on and on. For example, somebody says, Well, if I've sinned after I've been saved, Everybody has. And God knew that everyone of us would, because we're in this flesh. And we come into this world with a bent away from God, and then we're saved. That doesn't mean that we'll never sin again, but it means that God has atoned for our sin and we're saved, we're His children now. Our Name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life; we're forever His. But then suppose we sin again. All of us have sinned in some way since we've been saved.
So, sanctification is not only something that happens once, watch this now, we are redeemed once; we're reconciled once; we're justified once. Sanctification happens not only once but on and on it goes. For example, if you turn to First John, a passage that you know, no doubt, pretty well, because we've all called upon God in this. And I want you... we'll many verses, but let's just start with verse seven of chapter one, "But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another". Listen to this, "And the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin". Now, we're talking about believers. So, watch this now, as a believer, "We walk in the Light," we're a believer, "He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son," present tense, is continually cleansing us from all sin, "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins," that means if we agree with God about it, that we've sinned against Him, "He is faithful and righteous," that is, He absolutely will, "forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness".
So, that, God redeems us once and for all. And He reconciles us once and for all. And He justifies us once and for all. And we look at the Scripture and His sanctification is once and a continuing process. Knowing that we weren't going to be perfect and couldn't be because we still have that something within us. And some people call it a sin nature, whatever you want to call it. We still have that. We need His continuing cleansing; His continuing sanctifying. So, therefore we can say, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". Watch this. People take that verse, they know it so well, and so they'll look at the end of the day and say, Well, I'm sure I've sinned. Or they can name several things. But Lord, You said, If I confess my sins, You're faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You know it by heart so well. And then you just hop in the bed and say, I'm forgiven.
If you don't take sin seriously, recognizing that every time you and I have sinned against God and we've come to God and asked for forgiveness, we're asking for forgiveness and receiving forgiveness on the basis that Jesus died at the cross and shed His blood, which was the once and for all, sacrifice for all sin of all time for all people everywhere. Sin is a serious business. And it's so serious it cost God His only Begotten Son. So, the cross isn't all about a little shedding of some blood; and we celebrate Easter, no. It's about Holy God; looking at all of humanity and knowing that every single one of us would sin against Him and we would all be separated eternally from Him unless He did something about it which He started in the Garden of Eden with the first couple, atoning for their sin by shedding blood. And He's been doing it ever since, all through the Old Testament; all through the New Testament. And you and I don't have to look forward to something that's going to happen.
We can look back to the cross. Everybody from the Garden of Eden till Jesus was crucified, was looking forward. Everybody from the cross, on, we're looking back. And we're looking back at the cross of Jesus Christ. It isn't, watch this, it isn't something we just deal with at Easter. It's something we deal with daily. Jesus died and suffered on the cross in order that you and I could have a relationship with God, even in our weakness and our frailty, we'd be forgiven because God's love has no end. It's ever flowing in our behalf, in our direction. And so, when you say, Well, I want to get right with God, well then you have to end up at the cross. There's no other place. You say, Well, I don't believe in that cross and all that blood. Then you'll never be saved. You'll die without Christ and be lost forever. Doesn't make any difference who you are. You say, But God understands. Here's what God understands. That from the beginning of time, when sin entered humanity to this present moment, only one thing atones, takes care, brings about forgiveness of our sin, the blood of one Man. The person Jesus Christ, shedding His blood, atone for the sin of the entire world.
Now, somebody says, Well, what's another choice? There is no other choice. From beginning to end, this Book talks about His coming. This Book talks about what happened and the Book talks about what's going to happen again, He's coming again. And the question I would have for you is this. Has there ever been a time in your life when you got serious about your sin? You've been joking about it; playing around about it; fouling up your life; messing up other people's lives. Have you ever come to grips with your sinful lifestyle and told God that you're a sinner? You desperately need Him in your life. And you're asking Him to forgive you on the basis that His Son died and paid your sin debt in full. And you're asking Him to forgive you of your sin and surrendering your life to Him. Has it ever happened, or has it not?
Well, if it's never happened, the last thing you want to do is to die. Until you're willing to confess your sinfulness and recognize, listen, forgiveness isn't cheap. Forgiveness cost God His only Begotten Son. The shedding of His blood is the only atonement for sin. And so, I would ask you today, Are you willing to ask Him to forgive you of your sin? Not because you're going to be better, but because Jesus died for you. Because after you trust Him as your Savior, He sends the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, into your life to enable you to live above sin; enable you to be righteous and godly; He reminds you that He's willing to forgive you of your sin. God didn't just save us and leave us. He indwelt us with the Holy Spirit to enable us to live out the life of a godly person.
Now, there's the gospel. One sermon. If you died today, you will have heard the truth. It's all about the blood of Jesus. It's all about forgiveness. It's all about cleansing. It's all about God's awesome restoration of our life; writing our name in the Lamb's Book of Life and being His child forever. There is only one thing through one person at one time in all of history that can get you to heaven. And that is the sacrificial substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died in your behalf, so you would not have to die in your sin. That is the gospel. And so, if you're one of those persons who's here, or somebody who's listening or watching, this is your opportunity.
Let's pray together. Father, I pray for somebody here who's unsaved, don't know anything about redemption or reconciliation, or any of these terms that we've used. They just know there's sin in their life and they're separated from You. I pray right now, in Jesus's name, they would ask You to forgive them of their sin, surrender their life to You. Let it be the beginning of a brand new life. And You said You would seal us as Your children. And so, I pray that there would be confession and the surrender of that life to Christ. And today they'd make it known to someone that their life was changed on this Sunday morning when they trusted Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior. And then, Lord, for all the rest of us, that we would not forget this message. And Lord, we can get serious about living godly lives. And we pray this in Jesus's name, amen.