The Blood of Jesus

By William Reid

Chapter 11


Faith In The Blood Of Jesus The Spring Of Holiness

T IS NOTEWORTHY THAT the apostle Paul, who most strenuously upholds justification by faith in Jesus, always connects it with holy living, and frequently shews that it is the firm belief of the truth of the doctrine that leads to new obedience in the life. In his Epistle to Titus, after speaking of "Jesus Christ our Saviour," and "being justified by His grace," and "made heirs according to the hope of eternal life," he directs that the doctrine of salvation by free grace alone should be affirmed constantly in order that believers might maintain good works, (Titus 3:4-8). And there can never be "good" works but on the principle of being "justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law" (Gal. 2:16). We never do good works until we do them because we are saved, not in order to be so. A lively sense of many sins forgiven will make us love much and shew it practically, (Luke 7:47). And we should have such a vital connexion with Christ, and such intimate fellowship with Him, as will exclude all surmisings as to our acceptance. If we are to render Paul-like service, we must exercise Paul-like faith, and enjoy Paul-like experience. And this is a record of how he believed and lived: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gavel himself for me," (Gal 2:20).

We must be well assured of the love of God in Christ Jesus, to our own souls in particular, before we will be able to say, "This one thing, I do: I strive to be holy as God is holy." One of the best of the old writers has said:

Saving faith," has always a sanctifying and comforting influence. The true believer does not divide righteousness from sanctification, nor pardon from purity. Yea, he comes to Christ for the remission of sins for the right end; and that is, that being freed from the guilt of sin, we may be freed from the dominion of it. Knowing that there is forgiveness with Him that He might be feared, he does not believe in remission of sin that he may indulge himself in the commission of sin. No, no; the blood of Christ, that purges the conscience from the guilt of sin, does also purge the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. They that come to Christ in a scriptural way come to Him for righteousness, that they may have him also for sanctification; otherwise, the man does not really desire the favour and enjoyment of God, or to be in friendship with Him who is a holy God. The true believer employs Christ for making him holy as well as happy, and hence draws virtue from Him for killing sin, and quickening him in the way of duty. The faith that can never keep you from sin will never keep you out of hell; and the faith that cannot carry you to your duty will not carry you to heaven. Justifying faith is a sanctifying grace. It is true, as it sanctifies it does not justify; but that faith that justifies does also sanctify. As the sun that enlighteneth hath heat with it; but it is not the heat of the sun that enlightens, but the light thereof: so that faith that justifies hath love and sanctity with it; but it is not the love and sanctity that justify, but faith as closing with Christ.

"If a man hath no faith in the Lord's goodness, no hope of His favour in Christ, where is his purity and holiness? Nay, it is he that hath this hope that purifies himself as God is pure. I know not what experience you have, but some of us know, that when our souls are most comforted and enlarged with the faith of God's favour through Christ, and with the hope of His goodness, then we have most heart to our duties; and when, through unbelief, we have harsh thoughts of God as an angry judge, then we have no heart to duties and religious exercises; and I persuade myself this is the experience of the saints in all ages.

There is thus an inseparable connection between our believing the love of God to us in Christ Jesus, holiness, and spiritual comfort. Unless we "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith," we cannot expect to have "our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water," (Heb. 10:22).

And as the blood of Jesus is our ground of confidence in coming to God at the first for forgiveness of our sins, our mainstay in trouble, and the spring of all worthy obedience, so must it be our only plea in approaching our heavenly Father for all needed spiritual blessings. If we wish to have our own souls quickened and revived, or a great work of the Spirit achieved throughout the land, and millions of souls converted, the name of Jesus must be our only plea, as we come to plead for these blessings at the throne of grace. Another says:

In all true prayer, great stress should be laid on the blood of Jesus: perhaps no evidence distinguishes a declension in the power and spirituality of prayer more strongly than an overlooking of this. Where the atoning blood is kept out of view, not recognised, not pleaded, not made the grand plea, there is a deficiency of power in prayer. Words are nothing, fluency of expression nothing, niceties of language and brilliancy of thought nothing, where the blood of Christ - the new and living way of access to God, the grand plea that moves Omnipotence, that gives, admission within the holy of holies - is slighted, undervalued, and not made the groundwork of every petition. Oh, how much is this overlooked in our prayers - how is the atoning blood of Immanuel slighted! How little mention we hear of it in the sanctuary, in the pulpit, in the social circle! Whereas it is this that makes prayer what it is with God. All prayer is acceptable with God, and only so, as it comes up perfumed with the blood of Christ; all prayer is answered as it urges the blood of Christ as its plea; it is the blood of Christ that satisfies justice, and meets all the demands of the law against us; it is the blood of Christ that purchases and brings down every blessing into the soul; it is the blood of Christ that sues for the fulfilment of His last will and testament, every precious legacy of which comes to us solely on account of His death; this it is too that gives us boldness at the throne of grace. How can a poor sinner approach without this? How can he look up - how can he ask - how can he present himself before a holy God, - but as he brings in the hand of faith the precious blood of Jesus? Out of Christ, God can hold no communication with us; - all intercourse is suspended - every avenue of approach is closed - all blessing is withheld. God has crowned His dearly beloved Son, and He will have us crown Him too; and never do we place a brighter crown upon His blessed head than when we plead His finished righteousness as the ground of our acceptance, and His atoning blood as our great argument for the bestowment of all blessing with God. If, then, dear reader, you feel yourself to be a poor, vile, unholy sinner -if a backslider, whose feet have wandered from the Lord, in whose soul the spirit of prayer has declined, and yet still feel some secret longing to return, and dare not, because so vile, so unholy, so backsliding; yet you may return, 'having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (Heb. 10:19). Come, for the blood of Jesus pleads; return, for the blood of Jesus gives you welcome.

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous," (1 John 2:1). And if you are stirred in spirit for the souls of the perishing around you that they may be saved, and for the work of God that it may be revived, make mention of THE BLOOD OF JESUS, and you may rest satisfied that you "have the petitions, that you "desired of Him," (1 John 5:15). Jesus has passed His word, that on doing this you shall obtain the desires of your heart; for He says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you, "(John 15:7). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give, it you . . .  Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full," (John 16: 23, 24). If, then, there be no great revival of God's work, no great awakening and conversion of perishing souls, may it not be because this sin lieth at our door, that we have not used the blood of Jesus as our all-prevailing plea in prayer? Oh! let us no longer employ that "'precious blood "so sparingly in our pleadings for revival, but let us urge it as our only and our constant plea, and prove God herewith, whether He will not open to us the windows of heaven, and pour us out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it, (Mal. 3:10).