The Cleansing Blood
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“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.”—I John 1:7.
Actually three great systems of truth are found in this verse.
The whole New Testament would have to witness to this great section of truth—a Christian walking in the light.
Then the second great truth mentioned is “fellowship one with another.” The basis of fellowship is taught in the Word of God. There is much about fellowship—the Christian and his fellowship in the family of our Lord.
Then there is a third great truth mentioned in this verse: “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
I speak on this third truth. In fact, I want to boil it down a little finer and speak on “The Cleansing Blood.”
This subject begins in Genesis and keeps running like a never-ending stream, culminating in the Book of Revelation. Some of the great verses in the Bible have to do with the atoning, cleansing, saving, efficacious, redeeming blood of our Lord.
“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.”—Lev. 17:11.
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”—Exodus 12:13.
“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”—Heb. 9:22.
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—I John 1:7.
It is said that at the great World’s Fair, held years ago in Chicago, a meeting was held of all religions from all over the world. Dr. Cook, a fundamental, Bible-believing, old-fashioned preacher of the Word of God, to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity over all the religions of all the worlds, quoted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He gave a recitation of Shakespeare and brought Lady Macbeth, so to speak, out upon the stage and had them listen to her as she looked at her hands indelibly stained with the blood of murder: “Out…! Out, I say!” Her words were spoken so as to erase the obvious and permanent stain.
Then he asked, “Are there any religions here this day that could cleanse the hands of Lady Macbeth? cleanse her from murderous blood? from guilt? Who has a religion that could cleanse her hands of this sinful stain, this spot that incriminates and condemns?”
One stood to his feet and said, “I have no remedy for cleansing, but had I been able to talk to Lady Macbeth before she sinned, I might have been able to keep her from sinning.”
Another stood to his feet and said, “I have no remedy for cleansing, but if I could have talked with Lady Macbeth, I could have helped her have peace of mind in spite of the fact that her hands were stained with blood.”
Then Dr. Cook asked again, “Is there anyone who has a remedy for cleansing this condemning spot of which she has cried? Who can remove it? Who can cleanse it? Who can get it off her hand—this guilt, this sin?”
No one had a remedy.
Finally, this man of God said, “Our Christianity has a remedy. The blood of Jesus Christ cleans-eth us from all our sin.”
Thank God for a complete remedy for sin, found in the precious blood of our Lord!
I want you to notice five aspects about the cleansing blood of the Son of God.
I. The Blood of Christ Cleanses From Past Sins
A terrible thing that men and women face in all walks of life is: “What shall I do about my past sins? How can I get them taken care of? How can I be forgiven?”
Here are some thrilling things God does with our past sins:
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”—Isaiah 44:22.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”—Ps. 103:12.
“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”—Micah 7:19.
“O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.”—Ps. 79:8.
“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”—Isaiah 43:25.
God says, first of all, ‘I will blot them out as a thick cloud.’ That means He will remove them, set you free from them.
God says, ‘I will remove them as far as the east is from the west.’ “East…from the west” is an immeasurable distance. You start out west and go to the east and keep going, and it is in a circle that is immeasurable, never ending. It is limitless expanse.
Then God says, ‘I will put them in the depths of the ocean.’ How deep is the ocean? I think just over five miles is the deepest place in the Atlantic, and a place in the Pacific Ocean is almost seven miles deep. It was announced one time when Mrs. Malone and I were traveling overseas on a large jet airplane: “You are now over the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean.” I thought then of what God said: ‘I will bury your sins in the depths of the oceans.’
But the most wonderful thing God says He will do with our sin is, ‘I will remember them no more against you forever.’
God has a divine memory. He can remember forever, age upon age, all that He wants to remember. But He has divine forgetfulness. When one has been saved, He puts one’s sins under the blood. He can wipe the very record from His mind.
God can make the pages of life that are marred with sin as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18 says,
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
II. The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses From All Present Sins
I am preaching to many who are saved and are asking, “What can I do with this awful sin that grips my life, robs me of joy and steals away my happiness?”
I was reading some years ago about the work of the Gideons who have given Testaments to literally millions of soldier boys and nurses in recent wars. They have also placed Bibles in motel and hotel rooms all over the world.
One Gideon New Testament was given to a boy in World War II. He carried it in his pocket. One day on the battlefield there came a shot from the enemy’s gun. A bullet hit the New Testament and knocked him to the ground. But the bullet never entered his body.
The young man said, “This New Testament not only saved my life but kept my soul from Hell because I was lost when that bullet struck me.”
Another soldier boy had paid the supreme price and had given his life in service for his country. They found the Gideon New Testament in his hand and found his finger on I John 1:7, “…and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
They said, “If he claimed in his dying hour the promise of I John 1:7, then his soul is saved, and he has gone to be with the Lord.”
III. The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses From All Possible Sins
I mean by that what many people have asked me about when they came to accept the Lord as their personal Saviour: “Preacher, I can see how God can wipe away all the past sins, but I am still in this body, still in this old godless world, and I still have the Devil as my enemy. Maybe I will yet sin.”
It was so with a woman who was saved one Sunday night in the Emmanuel Baptist Church. One of our deacons’ wives had gone into the prayer room with her. The two came out of the prayer room together. The minute I looked at the lady who came to be saved, I knew what had happened to her.
You know, God’s salvation is kind of like the measles. It breaks out all over you! Saved people even look like they are saved, act like they are saved, and they ought to smell like they are saved!
When this lady came out, you could see her happiness. Tears were running down her cheeks, and she was wiping them with her little white handkerchief. Oh, that radiance, that countenance, that heavenly glow!
I went to shake hands with her. While we were rejoicing, she said, “But, Preacher, I would like to ask a question. I know when I went into that little prayer room tonight I was laden with sin and on my way to Hell. Now I know I have been saved, been cleansed from all sins past, but I am going home to an unsaved husband. I will go to work tomorrow at a place where people are lost and without God and without hope. I know I am not perfect. I will yet sin against God. So what about future sins?”
I said to her, and I say to you, that over nineteen hundred years ago when Christ climbed the rugged hill of Calvary, bearing on His back a cross—the instrument of His death—when He hung there crowned with thorns and robed in blood amidst the taunts and jeers of a godless world, He died for ALL of your sins.
When Jesus died, all of your sins were future. You had no past sins when He died. They were all future, for you were future. When He died, He died, thank God, for all our sins. When in John 19:30 Jesus cried, “It is finished,” it meant past, present and even future sins were taken care of then and there.
I continue to read at the close of chapter 1 of I John. (Chapter 2 is a part of chapter 1, actually.) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not” (2:1). God said, “Don’t sin.” God said, “[But] if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Thank God for a Saviour who not only took care of the past and wonderfully cares for the present, but made an atonement that takes care of the future.
God says, “…sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Romans 5:10 says, “We shall be saved by his life”—not His life on the other side of the cross, not His perfect life walking among men, but His life at the throne now where He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
IV. The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses From Sin’s Power
In Romans 6:1,2 Paul asks and answers a question:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
It is not God’s will that sin have dominion over any Christian.
Someone asked Dr. H. C. Morrison, a great preacher who believed somewhat in sinless perfection, “Dr. Morrison, have you gotten to where you can’t sin?”
He said, “No, but I sure have gotten to where I can’t enjoy it.”
Years ago a man waited for me down in the Riker Building in Pontiac. I had finished a radio broadcast. (Some people spend more time arguing than they do trying to help people.) He said, “I want to buy you a cup of coffee.”
We sat down and drank our coffee in a little restaurant or fountain there in the Riker Building. People were all around.
He said, “I have been listening to you, Preacher. There is something into which you need to go deeper.”
I said, “Yes, I realize that. I have been trying to go deeper with the Lord ever since I have been saved. There is a lot that I don’t know. I can’t even pray before I start off confessing my ignorance to the Lord.” So I could agree with him on that.
He said, “There is a doctrine we hold called the doctrine of ‘sinless perfection.’”
I said, “Explain it to me.” (You know, if a man is wrong and you let him talk long enough, he will hang himself!)
He said, “Now, sinless perfection means that you never grieve the Lord. You never sin against God in any way, shape, form or fashion.”
After he got through explaining this, he also explained how perfect he was.
I said, “Do you mean to tell me that you are perfect and never sin?”
His eyes went up and down and up and down and sideways and up and down. Finally, kind of halfheartedly, he said, “Well, I never sin. I never grieve the Lord.”
I said, “I don’t believe you!”
He said, “What right have you to tell me that you don’t believe what I am saying?”
I looked around. People were listening. He was red in the face. In a moment he was beating his hands together and as mad as the Devil. I said, “See! You lost your temper already.”
He got just exactly what he needed.
The Word of God teaches us to know ourselves. God deliver me from the Christian who can’t sin!
Let’s pretend I have to jump in a lake to help someone who is drowning. I want someone to hold my billfold. Two fellows are there. One says, “Give it to me. I can’t sin. I could not, would not steal it. I’m sanctified, holy, sinless and perfect. I can do no wrong.”
I would say, “Not you, brother. I don’t want to fool with you at all.” I would look at the other one and ask, “How about you?”
“Oh, I could steal it, and may be tempted to; but by the grace of God, I will keep it for you.”
I would say, “Hold it, brother, while I jump in the lake.”
Deliver me from that sanctimonious “I can’t sin; I wouldn’t sin” kind of a Christian. Give me the Christian who says, “By God’s grace, I will live so as to please the Lord and go to sleep at night with a clear conscience.”
The blood of Jesus Christ delivers from sin’s power. There is no other deliverance within you. It is the blood that keeps us clean. It is that foot-washing Jesus talked about. You need your feet cleansed because in the duties of the day you walk through the dirt. The blood gives cleansing, daily cleansing, to every child of God.
V. The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanses From Sin’s Penalty
“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.”—I Pet. 1:18,19.
There have been some wonderful experiences of people saved in this church. A couple came forward one Sunday morning. They lived about thirty or thirty-five miles away and came here to visit. That morning it looked like all Heaven broke loose. The front was literally filled with people who came to be saved.
This lady came forward with her husband. I shook hands with them. She said, “I am saved, but my husband is lost.” Weeping, they went into the prayer room.
After a while, they came out and talked to me. She said, “In the last year, we have spent six thousand dollars in medical bills and psychiatric treatments for my dear husband. Thank God! What six thousand dollars couldn’t do in a year, the blood of Jesus Christ has done in a few minutes!”
Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., used to tell of “Little Jim.” He said down in the mountains of Tennessee years ago there was a community filled with bootleggers, gamblers and rough people. Even the young people were the roughest in those days that anyone could imagine.
They would send teachers to the little mountain school, but in a few weeks, they would give up and say, “No one can control this bunch.”
One day there came a young teacher about twenty-two years of age. He had a frail body and was not very large of stature, but a giant in backbone and character. He went to that little mountain school and wrote on the blackboard ten rules and the penalty for each. One rule was, “Thou shalt not steal,” and the penalty was ten lashes with the coat off.
One day after school had been going on a few weeks, the biggest test came. A young man in the class said, “Someone stole my lunch.”
The teacher said, “There is the rule on the board. If you steal, it is ten lashes with this leather whip with your coat off. Now, is there anyone here willing to own up to it? Your sins will find you out.”
Finally, in the back of the room a frail, bony, little boy with an old hand-me-down overcoat pinned with a rusty safety pin held up his hand.
The teacher said, “Jim, not you! You wouldn’t do that! The best boy in the class wouldn’t do that.”
Jim arose and came down and said, “I stole his lunch.” He went on to say, “Teacher, my daddy is dead, and my mother has tried to raise her family here in these mountains. We have nearly starved to death. I have been coming to school hungry, and I came today and was so hungry that I went and got his lunch and I ate it. I am guilty.”
The teacher said, “Jim, the hardest thing I have ever had to do is to lay this lash on you ten times. Now take off your coat.”
Little Jim looked up at that teacher and said, “Don’t make me take off my coat. Give me twenty lashes or thirty lashes, but don’t make me take off my coat,” standing there on a frosty fall day, barefoot.
But the teacher said, “The rule says coat off, ten lashes.”
Little Jim began to fumble with the little rusty safety pin. Finally he got it off and threw it back—no underclothes on his little upper body. He let that big coat drop to the floor and stood there barefoot, his little head bowed and the bones in his little shoulders showing.
It is said that as the teacher raised that lash, which would cut the blood right out of him, the boy who raised his hand and said, “My lunch was stolen,” jumped out of his seat, came up and pushed him away and said, “Teacher, don’t hit that kid! You will kill him. Lay his lashes on me!”
Two thousand years ago One came to the Father and said, “Don’t put it on him. Don’t send him to Hell. I’ll take his place.” Jesus, thank God, died for me.
“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”—
I John 1:7.
I Urge You to Trust Christ Today.
You have read the message by Dr. Malone on the matchless theme of “The Cleansing Blood.” Has the blood of Jesus Christ been applied to your heart? Do you know its cleansing power in the forgiveness of your sins—past, present and future?
That precious blood will wash away your sins when you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. He, the perfect Lamb of God, died in our place. His substitutionary death pays the full price of our sins. You may be saved today.
If you would like to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then pray a prayer like this one:
Dear God, I know I’m a sinner. I believe Jesus Christ died for me. Right now I trust Him as my Saviour. I believe that His death on the cross pays for all my sins and His blood washes away all my sins. I am trusting Him to take me to Heaven when I die. Amen.