The Precious Blood Of Christ

Healing does not always present itself initially with an improvement in symptoms. In fact, it can often times create difficulties more challenging than the illness itself.

I see this parallel in the spirit, soul, and body. The reason I mention this is because I have been going through deeper healing (in every way) as a result of my study of the cross; and at times I have been unable to follow through with my intentions to blog more frequently, as well as to make my posts shorter. God has to provide a sort of eclipse of time, energy, and lack of symptoms for me to create anything at all.

However, with that said I have a couple of announcements to make. First, I am in the process of designing a new website. I could not be more thrilled at the prospect of it, and the big dreams God has planted in my heart for it. Be looking for it soon.

Second, I would like to introduce someone to you that I highly respect. His name is Frank Viola, and even though I do not personally know him, I consider him not only a friend, but also family. You can find a little bit about him at his blog site here. However, the biggest reason I am bringing him up today is that he has a new book coming out this week that I am personally very excited about.

If you read his compelling excerpt from God's Favorite Place On Earth, and the endorsements provided, I am certain that you will see the potential for God to do an amazing work through Frank’s insight. For those of you in other countries who do not speak English, the excerpt itself should provide encouragement and I hope that you will watch for it to be available in a text form soon that you can easily translate. You can see the excerpt and all the details about the book here.

Yesterday marked the fifth Sunday of Easter on many church calendars. I was relieved to realize after Easter Sunday that I had several more weeks to conclude my study and present my findings on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Never could I have imagined how my little mission to create a page that would explain Salvation to my readers would so drastically change my own life and circumstances.

When I set up this blog and named it Christ, Set Us Free I did so with the belief that the phrase could work either way. I knew that ultimately Christ set us free from many things purely by His atonement. However, through His Word and Spirit He continues to set us free from sin and self through the process of sanctification.

The work of sanctification is a continual act of the Word and Spirit that follows conversion. This explains why I was able to recognize progression in my own spiritual growth without realizing that I was missing so much of the power provided by faith in the work of Jesus that was provided through His actual death and resurrection.

Profound changes have occurred in me since I started my study of the Cross. I realize now that this was a missing link to many aspects of healing provided for our spirits, soul, and even body. Therefore, I feel certain that from this point forward this blog will provide as the central means to freedom the message of the cross primarily.

During my research of the Passover, I came across this excerpt by Charles Spurgeon on The Precious Blood of Christ, from his devotional Morning and Evening. It just happens to coincide with the same chapter of 1 Peter that we began to address last week. The illustration he provides illuminates the significance of the blood in a beautiful way:

The precious blood of Christ.

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with Him.

Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God.

The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same.

The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God.

There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise?

He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! Sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened.

The blood of Jesus! We shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!


Comfort In The Gospel Of Christ

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

Monday’s bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston, MA, are tragic reminders of the brokenness in our fallen world.

As I observed our nation grieve again for those who suffered the loss of loved ones and permanent physical and emotional disabilities because of another tragic act of violence, I wonder how long it will be until most everyone returns to life as if nothing happened.

Yet every single day we have reason to mourn the tragedy that is lived for many in our broken world. Sinfulness influences everything.

What if every morning we took the brokenness of our lives, our neighborhoods, and our world to our knees and mourned over everything that is being lost every moment:

The hidden pain that goes on behind closed doors in the privacy of homes where life is supposed to be loving and safe.

The people who are sick, suffering and dying and have been left alone by society because it is just too painful to watch.

Every murder, rape, and mugging.

The bombings that are regularly exploding in other counties.

The sex trafficking and other forms of human slavery that is existent, horrific, and growing.

The poverty in our world that is deep and invasive.

Obviously, I could go on. The point is that this world is in a condition of moral decay. Some people are indifferent; some are rebellious. For those Christ offers no blessing.

However, for those of us who deplore the evil of the times there is comfort in the gospel of Christ.

I have posted the following text from John Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible before, but it is a beautiful reminder:

Blessed are they that mourn ... For sin, for their own sins; the sin of their nature, indwelling sin, which is always working in them, and is a continual grief of mind to them;

The unbelief of their hearts, notwithstanding the many instances, declarations, promises, and discoveries of grace made unto them;

Their daily infirmities, and many sins of life, because they are committed against a God of love, grace, and mercy, grieve the Spirit, and dishonour the Gospel of Christ:

Who mourn also for the sins of others, for the sins of the world, the profaneness and wickedness that abound in it…

These, how sorrowful and distressed so ever they may appear, are blessed for they shall be comforted:

Here in this life, by the God of all comfort, by Christ the comforter;

By the Spirit of God, whose work and office it is to comfort;

By the Scriptures of truth, which are written for their consolation;

By the promises of the Gospel, through which the heirs of promise have strong consolation;

By the ordinances of it, which are breasts of consolation;

And by the ministers of the word, who have a commission from the Lord to speak comfortably to them;

And then are they comforted, when they have the discoveries of the love of God, manifestations of pardoning grace, through the blood of Christ, and enjoy the divine presence:

And they shall be comforted hereafter; when freed from all the troubles of this life, they shall be blessed with uninterrupted communion with Father, Son, and Spirit, and with the happy society of angels and glorified saints…


The Cross Of Christ

The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment. Matthew Henry

The Word of God has been an instrument of healing to me in more ways than I can count, and much of it can be attributed to my Bible study for the writing of this blog.

What I have had to press through in hardship to bring this study to life could never be expressed in words. However, I have never stopped believing that God, through His Word, had everything I could possibly need for life. And not just life, but life abundant (John 10:10).

I have invested much time and energy studying the Passover and the blood of Christ. This study has shaken me to my very core, in a good way. At times, I find myself weeping for no reason. Now, somehow I am changing. I see myself growing stronger physically and spiritually and more confident in Christ.

One of the reasons I wanted to cover the subject of the cross [the death and resurrection of Christ] is because when I accepted Christ, no one explained the elemental teachings of the gospel; therefore, my foundation was weak and full of gaping holes.

However, I was never strong enough to attempt to fully understand and appreciate the subject until now. I am convinced more than ever that this issue is one of the biggest reasons I have struggled to find freedom for so many years.

Admittedly, I am in over my head theologically. I am seeking counsel on how to write my page on salvation. Maybe I can even get someone to write it for me because, for the life of me, I cannot find one clear, concise, compelling commentary that answers all of the questions I presented.

My prayer is that God’s leading in my studies will be used to bring mercy and truth to others who may be lacking in the fullness of all that Christ died for us to have.

For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect).

For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, Amplified Bible


The Blood Of Christ

I spent all of Holy Week studying the Passover. My goal was to clearly and concisely define the various terms used to explain salvation through faith in the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (savior, redemption, sacrifice, blood, lamb, atonement, repentance) in time for Easter. However, the more I studied the Passover the more I was drawn in.

Within the subject of the Passover, we have a picture of salvation. However, during my research something began to happen to me. I am still trying to understand this dynamic change that is taking place in me.

Therefore, even though Easter has come and gone, I am studying the blood of Jesus Christ. I will not stop seeking until I understand clearly how all of this is relevant to our freedom in Christ.

What can we learn about the blood from the Passover? Last time I presented the first part of Matthew Henry’s commentary on the Passover because I felt his was the most clear and applicable. Here is the second part of his account of Exodus 12:1-20:

2. The sprinkling of the blood was typical. The blood of the lamb must be sprinkled, denoting the applying of the merits of Christ's death to our souls; we must receive the atonement, Romans 5:11.

Faith is the bunch of hyssop, by which we apply the promises, and the benefits of the blood of Christ laid up in them, to ourselves. It was to be sprinkled on the door-posts, denoting the open profession we are to make of faith in Christ.

It was not to be sprinkled upon the threshold; which cautions us to take heed of trampling under foot the blood of the covenant. It is precious blood, and must be precious to us.

The blood, thus sprinkled, was a means of preserving the Israelites from the destroying angel, who had nothing to do where the blood was. The blood of Christ is the believer's protection from the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the damnation of hell, Romans 8:1.

3. The solemn eating of the lamb was typical of our gospel duty to Christ. The paschal lamb was not to be looked upon only, but to be fed upon. So we must by faith make Christ our own; and we must receive spiritual strength and nourishment from him, as from our food, see John 6:53-55.

It was all to be eaten; those who by faith feed upon Christ, must feed upon a whole Christ; they must take Christ and his yoke, Christ and his cross, as well as Christ and his crown.

It was to be eaten at once, not put by till morning. To-day Christ is offered, and is to be accepted while it is called to-day, before we sleep the sleep of death.

It was to be eaten with bitter herbs, in remembrance of the bitterness of their bondage in Egypt; we must feed upon Christ with sorrow and brokenness of heart, in remembrance of sin. Christ will be sweet to us, if sin be bitter.

It was to be eaten standing, with their staves in their hands, as being ready to depart. When we feed upon Christ by faith, we must forsake the rule and the dominion of sin; sit loose to the world, and every thing in it; forsake all for Christ, and reckon it no bad bargain, Hebrews 13:13, 14.

4. The feast of unleavened bread was typical of the Christian life, 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8. Having received Christ Jesus the Lord, we must continually delight ourselves in Christ Jesus. No manner of work must be done, that is, no care admitted and indulged which does not agree with, or would lessen this holy joy.

The Jews were very strict as to the Passover, so that no leaven should be found in their houses. It must be a feast kept in charity [love], without the leaven of malice [hatred]; and in sincerity, without the leaven of hypocrisy [pretense].

It was by an ordinance forever; so long as we live we must continue feeding upon Christ, rejoicing in him always, with thankful mention of the great things he has done for us.