The Blood

By Dr. Golden Blount
(Preached by Dr. Golden Blount at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pontiac, Michigan, December 29, 1996)

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Leviticus 17:11)

I want you to turn with me to the book of Leviticus. I am going to read only one verse. I regard this verse, in many ways, as one of the most important verses in all the Bible. And let me say this: you should be very careful of what kind of teaching and preaching you allow to become a part of your life. If a preacher or a teacher is wrong - not Biblical - about this verse and this subject on which I am about to preach, stay away from him in the rest of his ministry, because he will be wrong about other truths. It will be so subtle that many of the things he says - if he is not right about this subject - will be wrong and you may not even know it. Even the apparently very good ones - I am talking about apparently good preachers, apparently good teachers - if they are wrong about this subject, in many other facets of their ministry, many of the subjects they approach will be very close to right but they will not be right because they are wrong about this verse. That is how important this verse is.

Let us bow our heads in prayer. Lord Jesus, we ask that You will help us as we study the Word of God. As we look into its blessed pages, Lord, may it grip our hearts and may we have burned upon the surface and the depth of our hearts the word, "blood." We pray, Lord, that each of us might realize the importance of Your precious blood and that precious blood only, Lord, that can take us to heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Look with me at verse 11 of Chapter 17 of Leviticus, please. Observe there. It says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

The subject of this sermon is "The Blood."

The Bible is a bloody book. It begins in the fourth chapter of the Book of Genesis with the chronicling of the first murder, and ends with the heavenly war correspondent, John the Apostle, reporting prophetically of the horse-bridle depth of blood flowing in Armageddon's grisly valley. Four hundred forty-seven times God inspired the human authors to pen the words in the Bible that translate as blood. One hundred and one times the New Testament writers had blood dripping from their pens.

Blood - it is not surprising then that the book in the Bible that contains more blood than any other of the entire sixty-six is the Book of Leviticus, for it is this book - the Book of Leviticus from which we have just read - wherein God gives the principle of life itself. Our text, Leviticus 17:11, states very simply: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar [that is the blood] to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

Blood is essential. No other tissue of creation is quite like the blood. With its mixture of fluid and tiny boats that are called corpuscles, it flows through the body. Everyone here, every living body, is kept alive by blood. And that blood flows through your body carrying life-giving nourishment to the body cells, while at the same time, as it returns back to be filtered, it carries away life-destroying wastes. How like the blood of Jesus Christ the blood of the body is. Jesus gives us spiritual life. As He flows through us, He washes us clean and takes away from us that which would destroy our spiritual life, just as the blood does in the body.

Had the physicians in George Washington's day read and believed our text, it is doubtful that they would have been draining life from the afflicted people of that era with the questionable practice of bloodletting.

Wise men of the ages experimented with botany, biology, and finally, decades, thousands of years later, they finally turned to the blood to discover the source of physical life in the physical realm.

In the spiritual realm, God declares in I Peter 1 verses 18-20, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."The Apostle Peter said the whole thing is centered around the blood of Jesus Christ.

In spite of the intrinsic importance of the blood physically and spiritually, man today in his ignorance, wants to avoid the blood. One whole denomination some years back revised their hymnal and took out every song that mentioned blood in it. Mankind cries that the preaching of the bloody cross of Jesus Christ is nauseating, that it is narrow, that it is nasty, that it is Neanderthal, naive or nonconforming, negative or negligible, or nonproductive. Then mankind insists that it is nonprofessional to believe and preach the blood of Jesus Christ.

But God proclaims that the blood of the cross of His dear Son is noble, that it is notable, that it is nourishing, that it is nullifying to sin, it is nurturing and yes, it is even nutritious. That is God's answer. John 6:53 says, "Then Jesus said unto them [This is Jesus' testimony about it] Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.""...Drink his blood...," Jesus said.

Philosophers have tried to explain that whole thing away over and over again. Do not argue with the Bible, do not try to explain it away. You must spiritually imbibe the blood of Jesus Christ into your very system. You must accept the blood. I did not say it, Jesus said it. "...except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." That is what Jesus said about it.

Mankind rejects Christ who was bloodied for the sins of the world, and defends its attack by saying that the preaching of the blood is offensive, that it is objectionable, it is obnoxious, ominous, old-fashioned, opinionated, outdated, and even optional. You do not really have to do it. I have heard preachers who thought they were fundamental talk about it as though, "... well, you can preach the blood or you do not have to."

No - it is not optional! God's Word responds and declares that the preaching of the blood is obligatory, it is obedient, it is omnipotent, it is optimistic, it is ordained of God, it is overpowering, overwhelming. That is the preaching of the blood. However, it is not just blood in general - it is the blood of Christ.

Every prophecy in the Old Testament pointed to Christ and His sacrificial blood. Every sacrifice pointed to His bloody cross. Every believer today must look back to the bloody cross of Jesus Christ. The blood of Christ!

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

I. The Blood of Christ Cleanses.

The blood of Christ, first of all, cleanses with totality. Listen to I John 1:7: "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." That is how you are cleansed. It is by the blood.

It cleanses us with timelessness. Hebrew 10:12 says, "But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, [that is all He had to do it - one time] sat down on the right hand of God."

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses with transfer. II Corinthians. 5:21 says, "For he hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."Your sin - if you believe on Jesus Christ - is transferred to Jesus Christ, and His righteousness is transferred to you. And it is all possible only through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Many years ago when they had the first World's Fair held in Chicago, there was an exhibit, or exposition as they called them, entitled "The Parliament of Religions." Dr. Joseph Cook represented the Christian religion. One by one, representatives of the various world religions spoke in behalf of their beliefs to this great crowd within that building. Dr. Cook was the last to speak. He turned to English literature for his example and told the story of Lady Macbeth. She had blood on her hands from murder, and that represented, in Shakespeare's mind, the evidence, the consciousness of her sin. There was the famous place in the play where she said, "Out, out, damned spot!" She could not get that spot of blood off because it was from murder. It was still on her, in other words. Of course, the people there knew of that great play, and Dr. Cook said, "Gentlemen, does your religion have anything that will remove the spot of blood from Lady Macbeth's hand?" And he waited for anyone to stand and say, "My religion has a way to remove the blood from Lady Macbeth's hand," but none did. The fact of the matter is there is no other religion in the world, or in history, that has the power to remove that bloody spot from Lady Macbeth's hand. And so, when it was established that no one else had an answer, finally Dr. Cook said, "The religion of Christ has." Then he quoted, "...the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7).

And when he had finished that Bible verse, the Moody Bible Institute choir stood up in the balcony and sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah." When they finished, Dr. Cook looked around, and every representative from every one of those religions had left the building. You see, the only way you can ever have a truly clean heart is to have it cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses.

II. The Blood of Christ Conquers.

Secondly, the blood of Jesus Christ conquers. We have enemies that must be conquered: the enemies of Satan, and sin, and self.

Satan is conquered only through the blood of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us in Revelation 12, verses 10 and 11, "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren..."[that would be Satan] "...is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

By the way, there is something there that scares me. I realize that while we are here, Satan is up in heaven, accusing us day and night. There is a battle going on that you may not realize.

How do you conquer Satan? Here it is: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,..." it says in the Bible, "...and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Satan is conquered by the blood of Jesus Christ. In the midst of these battles, when you have been losing, you should plead the blood of Jesus Christ. You will find out, when you start doing that, the blood conquers Satan.

The blood of Jesus Christ conquers sin. In Ephesians 1:7 it says, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."

The blood of Jesus Christ conquers "self." We accuse ourselves. Yes, it occurs inside of your own heart. You say things to yourself and you criticize yourself. You do this to yourself inside your heart, and "self" accuses you with guilt and says, "You know you are no good and you have no right to claim to be saved - no right to enter the heavenly throne room." Listen to what we read in Hebrews 10:19-22: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus [By the blood of Jesus!] by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."

Oh, what a blessed thought! Whoever you are, you can enter into the very throne room of God, not because you are so good, but because of the blood, because of the blood! You overcome self. You see, God overcomes through the blood!

Years ago at a university there was a group of young men that went out on a drinking spree one night. The leader of that group took them through the bars and they all got drunk. When they were headed back to the dormitory they saw silhouetted against the moon the steeple of a church with a cross on it. The leader of the group mockingly said, "Behold, God's great plus sign." And they all laughed about it.

But when they got back to their rooms, one of the young men could not sleep that night because they had mocked the cross of Jesus Christ. At two o'clock that morning, he went into that leader's room and said, "Listen, I laughed at what you said about 'God's plus sign, the cross,' but it bothered me and I have decided to do something about it." He said, "I am going to stand for this cross of Jesus Christ. I am going to receive Christ as my personal Savior." He had been in Sunday School when he was younger, and he knew what it was all about. He received Jesus as his personal Savior. As a result of that young man's mocking about God's plus sign, and the other one saying, "No, that is how I am getting to heaven," seven of those young men got saved. I am telling you, even God's plus sign, just a cross, will remind you of the great power and grace of the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ conquers.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

III. The Blood of Christ Commissions.

I am commissioned by God Himself, and you are commissioned, those of you who are born again, by the blood of Jesus Christ.

It is done with principle. In I Corinthians 2:2, Paul said: "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." He said, "I have a principle. I have a commission from God and I have a principle. My principle is that the only thing I am going to talk about among you is the blood of Jesus Christ and His cross."

And this commission comes with protection. Go back to the Old Testament and see what God said. At the time of the Passover, the time of the sacrifice of the lamb, in Exodus 12:13 God says, "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." It is the same principle today. The blood of Jesus Christ provides God's great protection.

The blood commissions us with power. In John 12:32 Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." That is the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. In the blood is His power. The power to carry out our great commission of winning men and women and boys and girls is in Christ's bloody cross. Why? Because God said it.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

The blood of Jesus Christ commissions.

IV. The Blood of Christ Condemns.

The blood of Jesus Christ condemns. It is the blood that is condemning you today. I say this to you Christians. Those of you who are out of fellowship with God, it is the blood that is condemning you inside your heart. It is not because some good Christian tells you that you are wrong. It is not because you come under conviction when some preacher or good Christian walks into your presence.

This condemnation is fair and it comes from the blood. It is fair. Listen to Matthew 27:25. Now this is the Jews. You remember back several years ago the Jews and the Catholics were discussing these things, so the Pope said, "We absolve the Jewish nation of all responsibility in the crucifixion of Christ." Who gave him the right to absolve anybody? That is not what the Bible says. The Jews pronounced their own condemnation in Matthew 27:25: "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children." That is fair. They said, "That is fair. That is what we want. We want Him to be crucified." "Are you sure? This is supposed to be your king," they were told. They said, "That is all right. His blood be on us and on our children." And in God's name I say it is fair - it always has been and it always will be. That is the fairness of this whole thing. We condemn ourselves with our own sin.

Hebrews 10:26-29 says, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"

Oh, you say, "That is harsh language." That is not my language, that is God's language. God said it. When you start messing with the blood of Jesus Christ, you are on dangerous ground.

And the blood of Jesus Christ condemns with fury. Hebrews 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."They found that out in 70 AD - the dispersion that took place at that point in history because they crucified Jesus. It has continued. They did not even have a land to call their own until 1948, and they are still fighting about it.

And the blood of Jesus Christ condemns with finality. John 3:36 says, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." That is pretty final. The blood - the blood! The blood of Jesus Christ condemns.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

V. The Blood of Christ Converts.

And finally, the blood converts. It will change you. Turn your life - your soul - over to Jesus Christ and His blood will convert you, it will change you.

The blood of Christ will change you toward God. Romans 3:25 states a truth that explains how this happens. That verse proclaims, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

The truth of this verse is plain if you look at it in reverse order. You need the forbearance, or the mercy of God because you are a sinner. How do you get rid of your sin? That is the question. Through His mercy He declares His righteousness to be your righteousness. How does that happen? "Through faith in His blood." God declares your sin to be replaced by His righteousness "through faith in His blood."

And then we come across that word, "propitiation." The word propitiation is a translation of the Greek word "hilasterion," which is usually translated, "mercy seat." The mercy seat was actually in the Old Testament tabernacle and it was the place of judgment. Because of the sprinkling of the sacrificial blood upon that mercy seat, God's judgment was satisfied and He became inclined to fellowship with the penitent sinner.

The mercy seat was made after the pattern of the one up in heaven, the original. When Jesus died, He took His own blood and sprinkled it on the heavenly mercy seat so that the judgment seat in heaven became our mercy seat, or a place of fellowship with God. God has set Jesus forth to be that place of fellowship. Why? "Through faith in His blood." Through His blood you will be converted toward God. Instead of the mercy seat being the place where you are judged, God says that it is now the place where you can meet God. Why? Because of the blood of Jesus Christ. That is part of conversion.

Secondly, blood of Jesus Christ converts toward the world. I John 2:2 says, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

You say, "You mean everybody is saved?" No, what it is saying is that there is enough power in the blood of Jesus Christ to bring everybody who has ever lived or ever will live before that mercy seat because of Christ's blood. But you say, "Then why aren't they all saved?" The blood of Jesus Christ is universal in scope but personal in application. You must receive it yourself.

In a crowd this large probably some of you are not truly born again. I am not being your judge. I do not have to be your judge. God has already told you that you are not right with God. The feeling in your heart is saying, "Yes, he is right, he is preaching the truth. I am not right with God." That is the Holy Spirit talking to you. You need to be born again. Jesus will save you. He will convert you toward God, toward the world, and even toward yourself. Ephesians 2:13 says, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."Ah, the blood, the blood. It is all through the Bible, isn't it? Every bit of it is in here. I Peter 1:18-20 says, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you."

Notice, "...ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ..." I can almost hear some say, "Preacher I am just not sure that I really need that. I can go right down the road to another church that is recognized as a church and hear something entirely different, and I can get to heaven the way they say."

Do you really believe that by changing church locations you can change what God says? Listen to God for once in your life. At the close of a gospel service back some years ago, an intelligent looking man came to the preacher, and he said, "I do not see any necessity for the blood of Christ in my salvation. I can be saved without believing in His shed blood."

"Very well, then," said the preacher, "how do you propose to get saved?" And he answered, "By following His example. That is enough for any man - just follow His example." You have no idea of how many times in my ministry I have heard that statement: "I just follow the example of Christ."

The preacher said, "Okay, suppose it is enough for any man to just follow the example of Christ. Are you proposed to do just that in your life?" "Absolutely," the man said. "I am sure that will be enough to get me to heaven." "Very well," the preacher said, "I am sure you want to begin right." The man said, "Yes, I really do, and I will. Do you have any instructions?" "Yes," the preacher said. "The Word of God tells us of Christ's example. I read right here concerning Christ, '...who did no sin, neither was there guile found in his mouth.'" And he looked at the man and said, "I suppose that you can say that of yourself already, can't you?"

"Well," said the man, "I can not say that exactly. I sometimes sin."

"Well," answered the preacher, "in that case, you do not need an example, you need a Savior."

Some people actually think they are on their way to heaven because they are a member of a church. When I was about 10 years of age, I was taken by a schoolteacher to her church. She had asked if any in her class did not attend church, and I said I did not. It was during World War II, and my father had moved us from the city close to the factories to a farm, and my family had stopped attending church at the Canton Baptist Temple in Canton, Ohio. My dad was working in a factory sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. I raised my hand that I did not go to church, and that kind teacher said, "May I come by your house next Sunday morning and pick you up?" I said, "Sure that would be nice to have my teacher come and pick me up." So she took me to her church. I went, and they put me in a back room with a bunch of other little kids and we colored pictures. I think it was Goldielocks and The Three Bears. It was not about getting to heaven, I know that. That was one time I had a chance to get to church and go to heaven.

Then at 12 years of age we moved back into town from the farm. I remember going to another church. It was right beside the new school I was attending, and some of the kids brought me over there. The minister said, "Would you like to be a member of the church?" I said, "Yes, that sounds like a good idea." I asked my folks and they said, "Sure, go ahead." So they went out and bought me a new white shirt, black bow tie, a pair of nice pants and some shiny shoes. I studied for two weeks, learned some hymns in the hymnal, learned some scripture verses, and studied their Confession of Faith. At 12 years of age, I stood in the little kids' choir and I sang, and we were all confirmed. I was a member of that church at 12. I am here to tell you that I was a member of that church, and I was not converted, and I was going to hell until I was saved at the Canton Baptist Temple, at 18 years of age.

Unless you are born again according to what the Bible says, it does not make any difference what any church says, including this one. You can be a member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church from its inception and still be on your way to hell unless you have been born again by the blood of Jesus Christ.

As Lady Powerscourt, a great Christian of many years ago over in England, lay dying in her beautiful home, a friend came by her room and said, "How are you today, Lady Powerscourt?" "Very well," she said. "I will tell you what I have been thinking of. I was thinking that one needs a great many scriptures to live by, but only one to die by."

Her friend said, "And what is that verse, your Ladyship?" The dear, dying saint said, "The only scripture that a person needs to die by is this: '...the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from every sin,'" And she added, "As I lay here dying, that verse has never been sweeter to my soul than at this moment."

You can have all kinds of philosophies to live by, and you can go to all kinds of motivational seminars to learn how to live and make your life what you want it to be. But I want to warn you, you had better be sure you have this verse to die by. Have you been born again?

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

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