Most Christians will agree that the blood of Christ does have a certain degree of power in it. But how does that power manifest itself? What does it do? How does it work? How does the shedding of His blood “cleanse us from all sin”?
For sin to die out and cease to plague us spiritually, we must submit to the cross and die with Christ. He “was made to be sin” (II Cor. 5: 21). At the moment of His death, sin died. “The life is in the blood.” The life of sin is in the blood. And the ancient law now tolls for all sinners: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. With the shedding of the blood of the sin offering Christ, sin died that day at the cross. We must submit to this truth. As we believe that sin in our hearts died with Christ, we too can be raised up with Him, a sinless creature, a new creature.
The first overcoming, which leads to all of the overcomings, or victories in Christ, is the victory over sin in our lives. It is a direct victory of the power of the devil in our lives, for “he that commits sin is of the devil.”
But to get rid of sin in our lives was the “purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3: 8). How is this done? “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12: 11). Our victory over the evil comes through these two things.
Many talk a good Christian ballgame, but few deliver through the lives that they lead. Many claim to follow Christ, yet they still do secret sins, which emanate from the dark recesses of an un-regenerated heart–a heart that is old and carnal–a heart that has not climbed Calvary’s hill to submit to the death of the cross along with Christ.
By the Blood of Christ the Sacrificial Lamb
He is the sin sacrifice–the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” He takes away the sin of the world. When He gets through, we don’t have it anymore. But we must identify our old sinful heart with Him that day of the Lamb’s death some 2,000 years ago. This is how the Lamb’s blood cleanses us. When it drained out of Him, the life and energy and power of sin died out. When His blood was all spilled out, then the life force of sin in us drained out as well. This is how we overcame the devil. It is from this cleansing of sin through the death of our old nature, of our old spirit, of our old heart.
Yet, sadly, chances are very slim that you will hear this in today’s church houses and Sunday schools. It is “too strong, too harsh.” It is not politically correct and is a sure fire way for the hired preacher to lose his pastorship. But the old preachers of past centuries taught these very things I have shared here. John Wesley taught it, yet you won’t hear this in a modern Methodist church. Martin Luther taught it, but today’s Lutherans won’t hear it in church. Spurgeon taught it, but most Baptists won’t hear this stark message in their churches.
But this is how we repent from sin. The very first apostles’ doctrine was “repentance from dead works.” Sin, the breaking of the 10 Commandments, is a “dead work,” for it leads to death. And getting rid of sin in our lives is the very cornerstone in the sure foundation Christ talked about. Without this start in Christ, the foundation is shaky, and the house will fall when the devil winds blow.
Indeed, it is a major undertaking to get the sin question straight; it can be a real upheaval in a person’s life. But the bottom line is this: God has provided a way to get rid of sin and sinning in our lives. Our old selfish sinful nature dies when we reckon it dead with Christ. When He died on the cross, our old sinful nature died there with Him. When we spiritually make His soul the sacrifice for our sin, then we die with Him. And we are then buried with Him. And then through belief in God’s power that raised Him from the dead, we also are raised up with a new nature and a new spirit from our heavenly Father. Baptism in water symbolizes this act of faith, being “baptized into His death” (Romans 6; 3).
We have to reckon our old selves dead with Christ. It is this spiritual death that frees us from that bondage to keep breaking the 10 command-ments. We are freed from the slavery to sin. But it takes faith to believe it. I am not imagining this teaching. I have lived it. It is in the Holy Bible, although it is seldom, if ever, taught. Just read Romans 6: 1-13 and Colossians 2: 11-12, 20 for starters. It is there.
And this is just the beginning of the “milk of the word.” Just the first two principles—repentance from sin and faith toward God. We have got to get this into our hearts. Be shocked. Be astonished. Study it out thoroughly. Be fed the milk that you may grow up into Christ. That’s in there, too. Later the “meat of the word” will help us grow into full spiritual maturity to become just like Christ. There—I said it. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
[This is Chapter 18 of my new book The Apostles’ Doctrine coming out later this fall.]