The Blood of Jesus Christ: Not Less Significant

The fact that we have being arguing that pleading the blood of Jesus has no biblical support does not mean that Chrits’s blood is less significant. In fact, the role of the blood that our Lord Jesus shed on the Cross is at the very center of our faith and walk with God.  According to Wayne Grudem,

The New Testament frequently connects the blood of Christ with our redemption. For example, Peter says, “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1: 18-19).[1]

In other words, the precious blood of Jesus is the price that was paid for the redemption our souls in order for us to access God’s salvation from our hopeless sinful state. Grudem adds that,

The blood of Christ is the clear outward evidence that his life blood was poured out when he died a sacrificial death to pay for our redemption – “the blood of Christ” means his death in its saving aspects. Although we may think that Christ’s blood (as evidence that his life had been given) will have exclusive reference to the removal of our judicial guilt before God – for this is the primary reference – the New Testament authors also attribute to it several other effects.  The effects include the following:

  1. By the blood of Christ our consciences are cleansed –Hebrews 9:14
  2. By the blood of Christ gain bold access to God in worship and prayer – Hebrews 10:19
  3. By the blood of Jesus we are progressively cleansed from our sin – 1John 1:7; Rev. 1:5
  4. We able to conquer the accuser of the brethren through the blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross – Rev. 12: 10-11
  5. We are rescued out of a sinful way of life -1 Peter 1: 18-19.[2]

Above are the things that the Bible tells us the blood of Christ had accomplished for genuine believers in Christ. We do not have to activate it now in order for the blood to start working; it has been working since the very day Jesus Christ died on the Cross.  Scripture’s emphasis on the blood of Christ also shows the clear connection between Christ’s death and the many sacrifices in the Old Testament that involved the pouring out of life blood of the sacrificial animal. These sacrifices all pointed forward to and prefigured the death of Christ.[3]

Conclusion

We can see from our discussion above that the blood of Christ works for the redemption of our souls and for our deliverance from Satan’s kingdom where sin rules and reigns. It is very worrying to hear Christian today plead the blood of Jesus on shoes, cars, and utensil to mention just a few. The role of the blood of Jesus is far deeper than that – it is the very essence of our faith. The precious blood of Christ is what gives us access to God having being ‘jailed’ by Satan through our sinful lives. As important as the blood of Jesus is, it maintains a different but not less significant position in our faith. When it comes to prayer, the Bible teaches us to pray to God in the name of Jesus.  In the words of Grudem, praying in the name of Jesus speaks of his power, authority and personality (Proverbs 22:1; Eccl. 7:1). When Peter commands the lame man, “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk (Acts 3:6); he is speaking on the authority of Jesus, not on his own authority.[4]   Although the blood of Jesus is not less significant; Christians should understand that it was shed for our salvation not for praying. It is only proper as leaders of the Church to communicate proper, balanced, sound theology. The health of the Church is very important. So, the blood of Jesus is never a substitute for the name of Jesus in prayer; and the former is not a consolidation either. The name of Christ does not need any additional supplements to work – it is the most powerful name on earth!


References

[1]Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), 579.

[2]Ibid

[3]Ibid

[4]Ibid, 379.

Praying in the Name or in the Blood of Jesus: The Bible speaks for itself

The uniqueness of the name of Jesus is evident in the fact that the name was given by God himself and sent to his mother through an angel. There is no single place in the word of God whether in principle or in concept that believers are told to pray in the blood of Jesus. Since the Bible is its own best interpreter, may we objectively listen to it as we hear what is says about the name of Jesus in the following scriptures:

  • The name of JESUS is holy and awe-inspiring – Psalm 111: 9

He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!

I. WHAT JESUS TEACHES ABOUT HIS NAME

  • Jesus says “ask anything in my NAME …(not in my blood) – John 14: 13-14

You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

  • The NAME OF JESUS unlocks any door – John 15:16

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

  • Demons bow to the NAME OF JESUS…(not his blood) – Matthew 7:22

On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.

 

II. WHAT THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST LEARN ABOUT THE NAME OF JESUS

  • The NAME of Jesus casts out demons …(Not his blood) – Luke 9:49

John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”

 

III. THE APOSTLES AND BELIEVERS OF THE EARLY CHURCH PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS

  • The Name of Jesus is above all other name and it has authority over all of God Creation – Philippians. 2: 9-11

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • The name of Jesus does supernatural healing/miracle … (not by pleading his blood)- Acts 16: 16-18

One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”

This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.

  • The Apostles of Christ pray and do ministry in the NAME of Jesus – Acts 4:23-31

As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.  And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.  Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.

  • The NAME of Jesus performs wonders that money cannot  – Acts 3: 1- 6

 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money. 4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!

  • The NAME OF Jesus in the greatest of all names – Acts 4: 12

             There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

            For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

IV. CONCLUSION

It is not only safer to pray in the name of Jesus; it is also biblical. Our Lord Jesus Christ could have taught us to plead his blood while praying but he did not. The name of Jesus is the most powerful name with which we are taught by the word of God to pray. In spite of the persecutions that the early Church went through, they prayed in the name of Jesus. Remember their days were closer to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ than ours, yet they never pleaded his blood in their prayers as we have seen from biblical accounts. Instead, they pray in the name of Jesus!  Let us all learn from the church in Philadelphia. Jesus Christ testifies of the church in Philadelphia thus: “I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” (Revelation 3: 7-8). Beware of distraction; pray only in the name of JESUS!

References

…what Post Observers say about Pleading the Blood of Jesus

Introduction

Thanks so very much for your continuous interest in this blog. In the last two posts, we have been considering the topic, “pleading the Blood of Jesus”: A Common Error   in Prayer. We thank God for the education and blessing that this topic has been to us. We want to specially thank those of you dimmed it fit to drop a comment or two on the post. We have seen those some comments as very valuable especially to our subject of discussion. So, to round-up this topic, we felt it will be good to let you read some of these comments:

Toyosi Awesu, Canada, April 27, 2010 at 4:13am

Hi my brother, just read a few of your articles and I must say that I’m impressed. You are doing a great job educating people (especially African Christians) about biblically sound theology. I applaud your efforts in speaking on these issues. God bless you.
Harunah Tukurah, Kenya, April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm
I appreciate your courage in discussing the wrong usage of the blood of Jesus that I hear a lot from Christians especially some respected men and women of God. You quoted two passages that some are backing up their usage of the blood but I think the Bible itself is more inclined to the use of blood for cleansing and not for protection. Time is not on my side to support my position with scriptural passages at the moment. God bless you.
Saul Mulama, Kenya, April 27, 2010, at 12:21 noon
The name of Jesus is sufficient for the christian. Christians must learn what it means to call on the name of Jesus and the Bible has guaranteed victory when we call in the name of Jesus. Christians are also called upon to live their lives just as Jesus did. Pleading the blood has no biblical backing. Thanks for these reflection and I have no doubt that Christians that get the chance to read it will find it helpful.
Dele Adeniyi, Nigeria, April 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm
The blood of Jesus as atonement for our sin the bible made clear, pleading it unending is an act of over religious activity to appear an authority on our own. You will be hearing “I plead the blood of Jesus” that “I” before the congregation send a lot of message especially now that christian always want some body to be “doing” prayers for them. But more importantly that we ALL get to heaven at the end.
The Berean Girl, USA, April 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Hi Moses,

Thank you for this article, I agree call upon His name, Jesus! I read another article about this same subject, which gave many scriptures to support the truth and by reading them for myself I have found that the erroneous use of Jesus’ blood as a “talisman” for protection from danger to be just that – a grievous error. And to my shame I have been so guilty of using it and have since asked God for forgiveness in applying this error to my life- Thanks be to God He is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness and for Jesus who ever makes intercession for us. By “pleading” the blood of Jesus for protection we are profaning it by making it not only common but using it for the wrong purpose for which it was intended – not a small thing to God – just ask the guy who “saw the writing on the wall”. (read the account of which I refer to in Dan. 5)Satan wants to profane Jesus’ blood which was shed for the remission of our sins not our protection, the name of the Lord is called upon for protection – look it up, do a word study and you will find that even then protection is iffy. For example, if the blood was truly meant for our protection then why did all the apostles suffer great bodily harm and die martyr’s deaths? Paul lists the many things he suffered for Jesus in bringing the gospel to the Gentiles – did Paul or the rest of the apostles not know about the “power” of pleading the blood of Jesus’ to save them from these calamities and certain death? The only apostle that escaped martyrdom was John, yet he suffered for the gospel as well, he never mentions pleading the blood for protection, why did these men of God suffer so much for the gospel of Jesus? Jesus said we would suffer these things because the world hated Him and it will hate us … any good soldier will tell you that war is hell and to get stronger you will have to go through some “stuff”. Back to John, he was the apostle of love… does that mean the other apostles did not walk in love ?- no. I just believe that John had the greatest revelation of love – get it – “revelation”! Whenever the Bible, New or Old Testament, speaks of blood it is in relation to sin and cleansing – it is used for atonement – look it up, do a word study on “blood” – it is easy. Why isn’t that good enough for some people? It is good enough for God. As for the account in Exodus – the blood on the door posts was contingent upon their obedience, if they were to disobey His command, they were dead meat – thankfully all of Israel obeyed. This account – the passover, is a symbol and foreshadowing of salvation, not protection. I urge all who call themselves Christians to wake up and read the Bible for themselves and not just read, but dig, and study, question, seek and you will find- do not just take what is spoon fed to you – be a Berean! Paul commended them for searching the scriptures, which was to them the Old Test. If you are not reading and studying the Old Test there by laying a firm foundation for the New Test, you will be easily duped- Paul did not condemn the Bereans for searching scripture to see if his teachings were Biblical and then scream – “Thou shall not touch God’s anointed!” as some wolves do when their doctrines are second guessed these days. And when we do read the Bible we need to take it in context, do not chop it up, but read the whole chapter go get the full meaning and study it – thanks to the dumbing down in America and elsewhere the art of reasoning and logic are fast disappearing. My friends – God is not some “cosmic genie” that hearkens to His word, spoken out of our mouths to get him to bend to our will, if we do this we are guilty of witchcraft, and do not think we can command God to do our bidding in His son’s name either – Jesus shed His blood once for the forgiveness of our sins, to be reconciled to Him, we can take it or leave it. He is the Almighty God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient – big words, please look them up. We are at His mercy, He is the King of His universe, in case we have forgotten this God provided for us Job 38 – 41. Then, if we still feel like pleading the blood and walking around acting like a “little god” after His dissertation in these chapters – Lord help us all, but thankfully Job got the message, let us be like him – repentant (Job 42). And when you study and show yourself approved, be ready to slaughter some sacred cows- be ready to accept His Truth. Jesus warned us over and over of some things – His sheep hear His voice, men lie, there would be false messiahs or “anointings”, false teachers in the last days, and things will get worse and worse – not better, so sheep beware – ravenous wolves are amongst the flock and they are dressed up like sheep!

Thank you again Moses

Conclusion

Thanks for your interaction and I am looking forward to your comments as well as meeting you again in our next post.

“Pleading the blood of Jesus”: A Common Error in Prayer – 2

Introduction

This is a continuation of our last post, and I wish to seize this opportunity to heartily appreciate those of you who  found time to interact with the post, and especially those who went a step further to drop their opinions on our subject of consideration. By the grace of God, we shall show some of these comments in our next post as I personally find them very valuable to this subject. In the meantime, you are welcome again  to this edition of our post!

The Blood of Jesus and the Christian Faith

According to the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cult, Sects and World Religions, “Blood in Christianity is the heart and soul of the faith. It is the blood that issues life (Lev. 17:11). The shedding of blood was the basic activity of the priests and the temple in the Hebrew religion of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus is the great high priest who shed his blood for the remission of sins (Romans 3: 21-24).”[1] So, the supreme purpose of the blood of Jesus was for the remission of our sins. This is exactly the biblical concept that was described in the Old Testament through the sacrifices of animals picturing what will come to be in the New Testament through the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Peter 18, 19; Hebs. 9: 24-26; 1 John 1:7). This shows that Jesus paid for our sins through his shed blood and death on the cross and that was according to Hebrews 9: 24-26, once and for all. In essence, there is no single scripture in the Bible that supports the pleading of the blood of Jesus for our protection or any kind of continuous religious rituals for that matter.

Those who advocate pleading the blood of Jesus often use Leviticus 17:11 and Revelation 12:11. To use these scriptures as biblical evidences for pleading the blood of Jesus is completely misleading and unscriptural. For instance, David J. Stewart argues that, “this Scripture [Leviticus 17:11] speaks of the blood of animals, which were sacrificed to temporarily cover the sins of the people in the Old Testament, until the Messiah would come and offer the perfect Sacrifice of Himself to God the Father.   We read in Hebrews 9:12 concerning Jesus, ‘Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood had he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’” [2] Stewarts explain further that “Jesus’ blood didn’t (only) atone for our sins; but rather, took them away forever!”[3] Besides, the account of Revelation speaks of the sacrificial work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary as the means of victory over the dragon for every believer. On the other hand, the Exodus 12:7 account speaks as an analogy of the work which Christ shall come to do later. That tells the relationship between the Old and New Covenants. The New is a continuation of the Old. Again, God himself told the descendants of Jacob to apply the blood on their door posts. If God had wanted that to continue, he would have told us specifically. So, where exactly has God told us to plead the blood of Jesus for our protection? The name of JESUS is enough! For the Holy Communion, Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me”, why not the same thing for his blood in prayer?

Conclusion: Is the Blood of Jesus a talisman?

In African Traditional Religion(s) as well as in many cultic and world religions, blood is believed to provide power and life and therefore plays a central part in ritualistic sacrifices.[4] But which blood sacrifice is required of a Christian other that which was done on behalf by Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago? The word of God commands us to pray to God ONLY in the name of JESUS (John 16: 23, 24, 26; Acts 4:2; Colossians 3:17; Philippians 2: 5-10 etc, etc).  Pleading the blood of Jesus for our protection, in my own opinion, is tantamount to using talisman. What is a talisman? The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cult, Sects and World Religions describes a talisman as “a magic object, often engraved with symbols or a picture of a character that is believed to harness special power to protect or prosper the owner or possessor. Talismans are sometimes used to protect oneself against evil spirit or demons. Sometimes they are also used to attain love, health, success, and power.”[5] While the blood of Jesus may not be physical objects that can be carry around as described in this definition, I believe its picture is in the hearts of those who use it. This therefore is completely against the word of God and believers should desist from using it.

It does not matter how enormous the challenge that we face, the name of JESUS is powerful enough to save us. So, I encourage you to pray in the name of JESUS alone!


References:

Photo culled from:http://www.lostseed.com/extras/free-graphics/images/jesus-pictures/nailed-to-cross.php

[1] Larry A. Nichols, George A. Mather and Alvin J. Schmidt, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cult, Sects and World Religions (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 370.

[2] David J. Stewart, “It’s the Blood of Jesus!”  In http://remnantradio.org/Mirror/www.jesus-is-savior.com/Believer%27s%20Corner/Doctrines/blood.htm, cited on April 26, 2010.

[3] Ibid

[4] Larry A. Nichols, George A. Mather and Alvin J. Schmidt, 370.

[5] Ibid, 453.

“Pleading the Blood of Jesus”: A Common Error in Prayer – 1

“Then the passengers began to yell in prayer with the shout of ‘Blood of Jesus’ renting the air.  Almost everybody turned emergency prayer warriors, with a rush of Pentecostal supplication” (“….How I survived the Air Mishap” In http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=171417, Published on April 20, 2010).

_________________

According to Thisday (Nigerian) Newspaper of today April 20, 2010, the above statement summarizes the experience of the passengers on board the flight (9J 995) of Dana Air service when faced face-to-face with death yesterday April 19, 2010, as a result of a “bird strike”. This according to the pilot means that “a bird had flown into the engine compartment, and damaged some parts of the aircraft” (Thisday Newspaper). The incident occurred at around 9 am (Nigerian time) while the plane was departing MM International Airport Lagos for NA International Airport Abuja. According to this source, the mishap happened shortly after the aircraft had taken off and there were 97 passengers and crew on board. But, it is now a moment of thanksgiving again for Nigerians that through the help of God Almighty and the braveness of the Pilot, no life was lost in the mishap. Following the recent plane crash in Russia involving the President of Poland and his wife as well as many top government functionaries of the country, and the latest Volcano experience in Iceland; the world could not afford to lose another 98 people again from Nigeria. While we mourn with the government and people of Poland and the world, for the unquantifiable loss that the Iceland Volcano has brought; we should on the one hand, thank God for saving the lives of these Nigerians.

However, there is a lesson to be drawn from this experience by all Christians. While we identify with the ugly condition which the Christians on board flight was faced with, being faced face to-face; is shouting the blood of Jesus the proper and shortest prayer in such a situation? Is there any where in the Bible where Christian are enjoyed to pray in and with the blood of Jesus? This has become a common error in our prayers today especially in our African Christianity. While I am not in the position to confirm if situation is the same on the entire continent of Africa; I had on several occasions personally witnessed this in Nigeria, where I having been working as a pastor in last couple years and in Nairobi, Kenya where I now live as a student. It is not uncommon nowadays to hear Christians say: I/we plead the blood of Jesus; I/we cover you, myself, my family, my house, my car, this place, or that place etc, etc with the blood of Jesus. Unfortunately most times, even church leaders are guilty of this modern-day heresy. I believe this issue is gradually manifesting itself in several ways in our worship today. This is commonly seen during prayer sessions where Christians gather to pray. Once, the prayer leader says, “I plead the blood of Jesus,” you will hear the congregation chorus loudly, repeatedly and with high emotions, “the bloooooooooooooood of Jesus!”

Personally, this issue and many alike are indication of how most Christians in Africa still suffer from biblical illiteracy. I wonder where people got this doctrine from! Sadly and gradually, Christians are now using the blood of Jesus to replace the name of Jesus even in prayers. Ignorantly, the church is passing this “doctrine” to the younger generation of Christians as well as misleading inexperienced and weak brethren. I believe the way Christians now use the blood of Jesus like talisman may not unconnected with what blood means to us as Africans. This experience is perhaps what we are importing into our worship of God today. This is not to say in any way that the African cultures, traditions and values are bad but that the African worldview in this instance should not be allowed to replace the biblical position on the matter.  In the next post we shall look at the relationship between the blood of Jesus and our African background. Subsequently, we shall take time to look at the meaning and the significance of the ‘blood of Jesus’ from biblical and theological perspectives. Finally, we shall look at the name of Jesus as the ONLY name with which Christians could reach God in prayer.

As usual, you are welcome to follow on in this journey and your comments, questions and critiques are most welcomed.

___________________________

Sources:

The photo inserted is culled from:http://airlinersgallery.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/air-france-a330-200-f-gzcp-75apr-dxb-pdnlr.jpg

Thisday (Nigerian) Newspaper (http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=171417), Published on April 20, 2010.

Thisday (Nigerian) Newspaper (http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=171419) Published on April 20, 2010.