30 Minute Radio Lesson - WAVG Radio 1450 AM
Clarksville church of Christ
August 13, 2000
Speaker: Richie Thetford
Good morning and welcome to another presentation of "What Is Truth?" I'm Richie Thetford, evangelist for the Clarksville church of Christ, located at 407 W. Hwy 131 in Clarksville. I want to thank each and every one you for taking the time to listen this morning as we examine another truth of God's word. It is my hope and prayer that those of you that are listening today will honestly examine your heart to ensure that you are in fact doing only those things that are pleasing to our almighty God. As we discuss the topic of the hour, "The Blood of Christ", I want to encourage you to have your Bible readily available so that you can examine the scriptures to make sure that what I am presenting is in fact God's will for you. Remember, the Bible clearly states that we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). It is my hope that each one of you this morning will have the kind of heart that the Bereans did back in the first century. It was said of them that "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Also the apostle John warns us that we should "....not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1). By looking at the Bible passages, you can see for yourself that what I am teaching this morning can in fact be backed up by book, chapter, and verse in the Bible. This is so vitally important as we strive to do only that which is authorized by God and not what some man may say about a given subject. Now I invite you to please have your Bible, pen and paper ready and let's study together another truth of God.
The modernists today deny the doctrine of blood atonement. They say that they cannot see why an infinite God could not redeem man by some less painful method than to have His own Son die on-Calvary's tree. They object to the doctrine of the innocent suffering for the guilty, and they say that such a position will not fit into the realm of wisdom and justice. Their cry is "Away with the idea that an innocent Christ had to die for the sins of the world and pay such a cruel price." They want man to work out his own salvation without the blood of Christ applying to him in such a horrible sacrifice. Like the Hebrews of old, Christ is a stumbling-block unto them and they seek to establish their own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God. And then again like the ancient Greeks, they seek their own wisdom instead of that wisdom that is from above. The inconsistent part of all of this is that at the same time they say that the innocent could not suffer for the guilty, they claim in some way to believe the Bible. If the Bible teaches that man has a soul, it teaches just as clearly that the Son of God was without sin and yet was made sin for us, and that he who knew no sin died for the sins of the human race. Let us see what the Bible teaches on this subject.
The prophet Zechariah foresaw the redemption of man through that fountain filled with blood and sung it in these words
found in Zechariah 13:1, "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."
Isaiah, in the beautiful 53rd chapter of Isaiah, writes these words in his magnificent style, in verses four to seven: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth."
Even the enemies of Christ prophesied that he should die for others. Listen now to the prophecy of the wicked Caiaphas in John 11:49-52: "And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish. Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad."
Our Lord not only taught that his blood was shed for the sins of the world, but he erected a monument to keep that doctrine ever alive in the minds of his disciples. He instituted the Lord's Supper, the memorial feast that was to perpetuate the memory of His blood shed for the remission of sins. How could any modernist celebrate the Lord's Supper and not believe in the power of the blood of Christ to save man from sin? Listen to the very words of Christ in Matthew 26: 27-28: "Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Even the symbolic book of Revelation teaches the great doctrine of blood atonement. In Revelation 7:13-15 is the teaching. "Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them."
We further learn that man's wisdom is not enough. Yet in the face of these plain and forceful passages many people are depending on every thing, except the blood of Christ to save them. The educator is depending on his wisdom, the scientist on his science, the philosopher on the potency of his philosophical speculations. All of these things are good in their place, but they only build up the outer man and leave the heart untouched and unsaved. All of the wisdom of this world could not save Solomon from idolatry and polygamy and education could not save the world from rape and murder. Ah, yes, they had their arts and sciences in this ruined world before Jesus came. The great teachings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle have never been excelled except by the teaching of that humble carpenter of Galilee. Yet the morals and worship of ancient Greece bowed to the black monarch of cruelty and war. Surely in our own time we have witnessed the utter failure of science, philosophy and education to save the world from sin, butchery and oppression. Germany was one of the greatest scientific nations that the world has ever seen, and yet she has rattled the saber time and time again in the face of humanity and has caused hate to rest on the highest pinnacle of man's soul.
But as we concern ourselves this morning with our part in this salvation, the question arises, How may I be saved in the blood of the Lamb? Where may I find this fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuers veins? Where can I contact this precious blood that will give me a right to the tree of life and a home in that city that lies four-square?
Those who heard this program last week bear with me for just a moment while we review one scripture on the matter of where the blood is found. It is recorded in Exodus 20: 24. In this scripture God tells Israel to make an altar of unhewn stone, that they are to make no steps to the altar, and they are to offer their sacrifices upon it. He has this to say in the 24th verse, "An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you."
Friends, do you see the point? "In every place where I record my name I will come unto you and will bless you." It is simply this: In the offering of blood, God met them and blessed them. This blessing was to take place only in those places where He had recorded His name. Please turn now in your Bible and listen now to the statement of the great prophet Isaiah in the 56th chapter of Isaiah and the fifth verse, concerning the place where the name that is to be an everlasting name can be found: "Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."
Isaiah says God will give the everlasting name in his house. Now, lets turn over to the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 3, verses 5-6: "And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end."
Friends, here is the truth. God was to meet them where His name was recorded. Isaiah states in the 56th chapter, on the subject of the new covenant, that God will give the everlasting name to and in His house. Paul declares that Christians are in the House of Christ, the Church of Christ. It is here that the sinner finds God in the forgiveness of his sins. Ephesians 2 teaches that we are reconciled in the one body, that body is the church, and that we make our peace with God in the one body, the church. Listen now to the reading of Ephesians 2:15-16: "having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity."
Now let us take the time to examine creeds that are in error. I understand full well that this is not the teaching of the denominations on the matter of where the sinner finds and is saved by the blood of Christ, but it should be the aim of the wisest of the great, and the greatest of the wise to be obedient to every part of the truth of God. The popular evangelists of the time that speak constantly of the blood of Christ, fail to tell the sinner where the blood Can be reached. they therefore cry out with a loud voice about the wonderful blood of Jesus, and leave lost and dying men to find it if they can. The Bible teaches that the blood purchased the church. In Acts 20:28 it states, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."
And in the face of this plain statement they teach that man can have the blood apply to them outside the church for which the blood was shed. Not only that, but they also teach that one does not ever need to be a member of that blood-bought group unless it is convenient for one to do so. They teach that man does not need to be a member of the church, purchased with the blood, to go to heaven. They teach that as long as one is in any church, one can go to heaven. If this is true, then it must follow, as the night the day, that man does not need the blood of Christ to apply to him to go on into heaven. The folly of this doctrine should be apparent to all men with an open mind and an open Bible. The church is blood-bought and all that are saved must be purchased with this price.
Not only is this true, but to be in the house of Christ one must also be in Christ. The house of Christ wears the name of Christ and this is why the name church of Christ was given to the New Testament church. This is the only God given name for the church that would give the Purchaser honor and glory. When a man is in Christ, and in the house of Christ, he is in the church. If he is blood-bought he is in Christ. If he is blood-purchased he is in the house of Christ and if he has been purchased with a price he is in the church of Christ. It must follow, therefore, that he finds the blood as he comes into Christ, into the house and into the church. We need therefore to give our attention to the teaching of the Bible concerning getting into Christ. To make it simple for all to understand, let the Bible speak in Galatians 3:27: "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
Friends, that passage of scripture is very plain and should not be misunderstood. It tells us that we put on Christ by baptism. Nowhere does the Bible say that belief is into Christ. The Bible teaches that belief is unto salvation not into it. Romans 10:10 has this to say, "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The Bible does not teach that repentance is into Christ or into the house of Christ, for Peter said in Acts 11:18 that repentance is unto life. Let's read together this passage of scripture, "When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."
We have already found that confession is not into anything, but unto salvation (10th chapter of Romans and the 10th verse). But the Bible teaches that baptism is into Christ, and not only this, it also teaches that those who have been baptized into Christ are the ones who have put on Christ. Now, does the Bible teach that we are baptized into the house of Christ or the body, the church of Christ? Let the Bible give the answer in I Corinthians 12:12-13: "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." Paul says we are baptized into the one body, and in Ephesians 1:22-23, makes this statement: "And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
Now we are ready for this conclusion: The blood is in the body and the body is the church. We of necessity, therefore, come in contact with the blood as we come into the church, or as we are baptized into the one body, the church.
We learn also that the blood of Christ was shed in His death. Consider now these truths. The blood of Christ was shed in his death. Not in his life but in his death. They came to break His bones and found Him dead, and the spear was thrust into His side, and blood and water came forth. If the blood was therefore shed in the death of Christ, we could find the blood in exactly the place where it was shed: His death. But someone is quick to say that we cannot die and have the blood of Christ apply to us. Well, friends, that depends on what kind of a death we are talking about. Are we talking about a literal death, or a spiritual death? Let the Bible give the answer and let all who hear this program this morning get the point. The Bible tells us that we are baptized into his death, and therefore we become dead to sin. Not only so, but we arise to walk in newness of life. Listen to what the inspired apostle Paul writes in Romans 6:1-10: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
We have already found that we are baptized into Christ, and that we are baptized into the one body that is the church. Now we find that We are baptized into his death. Baptism puts us where the blood can be found: The house of God. A man goes down to be buried with his Lord who is outside of the church, and comes up to walk in newness of life inside the church. Therefore as he comes into the house of God he finds the sin-cleansing blood in that act that puts him into Christ, namely, baptism. That is why water and blood were associated in the death of Christ, and why the Bible tells us that baptism is for the remission of sins. The blood is found in baptism and hence baptism is for or unto the remission of man's sins. In Acts 2:38 we read, "Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Now listen to Paul's instruction from Ananias in Acts 22: 16, "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
To those who hear this program, why don't you find the blood of Christ where it was shed? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins. Have God add you to the church of Christ, for by the Spirit you will be baptized into the one body.
Friends of this radio audience, why not resolve now to be a Christian and a Christian only? Come to Christ the Savior of the world and put Him on in His own appointed way. Enthrone Him in your heart as Lord of your life, and become a Child of God by obedience to His will. Sing with the redeemed of the earth,
In the cross of Christ I glory,
Tow'ring o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story,
Gather round its head sublime.
The crossbeam of the cross of Calvary pointed in opposite directions. In the end, all men will be parted right or left to spend an eternity in heaven or hell. Which of those two places will you find yourself in if you were to die today? If you have not been saved by the blood of Christ in baptism, putting Christ on, then you have no hope of everlasting life in heaven with our Father. What is your decision? Won't you heed the invitation of Jesus as He says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt 11:28-30). Jesus is waiting for your decision.
This is Richie Thetford, evangelist for the Clarksville church of Christ thanking each of you for listening to this morning's broadcast and invite you to listen again next Sunday morning at 8:30 A.M. for another presentation of "What Is Truth?"