By Brian Holda (2005)
This study may almost seem basic at first, however, when I started looking at this stuff, I realized how much I never really knew about what should be basic things: the blood of Jesus, the power of the cross, etc. Studying these proved to be life-changing for me. Much of this material comes from The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee.
Nee died in the early 1970’s and spent the last twenty years of his life in prison in China. He is a Chinese man who is acknowledged as one of the leading Bible teachers ever. Nee would preach in front of thousands who would come from all over the world, and a lot of his preaching was later transposed into books. One of these books is The Normal Christian Life.
WHY STUDY JESUS’ BLOOD?
“How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). In this verse we see that one of the very worst things a human could do, in God’s eyes, is regard Jesus’ Blood as unclean or common. Counting the Blood as a common or unclean thing deserves supreme punishment from God. This gives strong reason why we need to talk about the Blood. Do we count the Blood as common or unclean? Do we see the holiness of Jesus’ Blood?
At the onset, we must understand why it is essential to study Jesus’ sacrifice. Rev. 5:8 says, “When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Comparing this to John 1:35-37 (“Behold, the Lamb of God!”), we can see that “the Lamb” is another name for Jesus.
In John 1:35-37, why does John the Baptist introduce Jesus as a Lamb? Why not say, Here is the Messiah? Or the Savior? Or God? John does not say any of these things. The only thing he says is, “Look at the Lamb”. To a Jewish mind, this title would remind them of sacrifice and slaughter. They knew that the purpose of a lamb is to be sacrificed, so when they heard this they could have recognized that Jesus was sent to die. Even when Jesus walked on earth, He would be recognized by His sacrifice. This is the supreme reason He came, and why even after He died He is seen in heaven as a Lamb.
In heaven, as well as on earth, He is known by His sacrifice. It is all centered around His sacrifice. Even the praise music centered around the Lamb – Jesus (see Rev. 5:8)!
Look at Rev. 5:9: “You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Jesus cannot be separated from His title as Lamb, and the Lamb cannot be separated from the Blood that was slain for all mankind. This is the scene in heaven. This is the focus of their prayers and music: the Lamb that was slain.
It is paramount for us to realize that prayer cannot be a separate thing from Jesus’ sacrifice. Praise music cannot be a separate thing from Jesus’ sacrifice. All of our life must be centered around the sacrifice of Jesus. True worship and true prayer must center around Christ’s sacrifice.
We will look now at an incident with Samuel, the last judge in the Scriptures. Samuel is undoubtedly one of the most underrated men in the entire Bible. Few preachers seem to talk about him today, but in the Bible, Samuel is elevated as a hero of the faith the likes of Moses (see Jeremiah 15:1). In 1 Samuel 7, Samuel calls forth Israel to pray over them. While they all are gathered around to receive his prayer, the Philistines (Israel’s enemies) surround Israel in hopes of ambushing and attacking them. When Israel realizes what is taking place, they become very distressed and yell out to Samuel to not cease praying on their behalf (1 Samuel 7:8). In 1 Samuel 7:9, though, before Samuel prayed, we see that he sacrificed a suckling lamb first. It was only after this that he prayed.
The order for Samuel was: 1) sacrifice the lamb, 2) cry out to God.
Verse 10 shows God’s response: “the LORD thundered with a great thunder…and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.” Notice also that the wording of verse 10 would imply God did this during the sacrifice of the lamb. It may have been even before they prayed that God honored their requests because of their faithfulness to sacrifice the lamb. In verse 13 we see that the Philistines never again came within the border of Israel, “And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.”
There are perhaps only a few today, if any, who have this kind of power before God in prayer against the enemy – the power that sent the Philistines to never again come within the borders of Israel. The thing we all must notice is that Samuel, who was a great prayer warrior, before he would even pray, had to sacrifice the lamb. He has clear priorities, and God seemed to agree with these priorities. He was not someone who said in haste, “Let’s pray right now! Let’s pray right now!” No. First, he had to sacrifice the lamb, and then he went to prayer.
Today, we don’t take lambs to the temple to offer up for sacrifice anymore, because Jesus is the Lamb. Our duty, then, is to understand fully what Jesus did in His sacrifice. This is what we must do now, and this is why it is given us in the Scriptures. This is why it is so important. I guarantee it for your prayer life, if nothing else. If we do not understand Christ’s sacrifice, I believe it is entirely impossible to have the power Samuel had in prayer. We must understand the sacrifice before we can become prayer warriors.
The BLOOD and “SINS” as compared to the CROSS and “SIN”
To fully understand Christ’s sacrifice, we would need to read the book of Romans. Romans is the heart of the gospel in full measure – the Blood, the cross, what it means for us, etc. We will now draw our attention to the Blood.
The focus of Romans 3:20-26 is specifically on the blood. Romans 3:25 speaks of Jesus as the One “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith”. So what does the Blood of Jesus concern? Verse 20 says, “by the works of the law no flesh will be justified,” and verse 25 tells us that God “passed over the sins previously committed,”. We must be clear that Christ’s Blood and Christ’s cross deal with two separate things according to Romans. The Blood deals with the actual deeds you have done – the actual sins. This is why the Bible tells us that by the Blood our deeds have been justified. Whereas the cross deals with who you are – the sinner.
There is this clear distinction in Romans. In the first 4 ½ chapters of Romans there is a key word: sins. This is a plural word that speaks of the actual deeds you have committed. Another key word in this section is “Blood”. This is because the blood is what covers your sins. We praise God that all of our sinful deeds are covered by Christ’s Blood, but we must see that God does not want to end there. We also, as humans, are sin factories. We produce sins all the time. God must kill this factory to give us a new life as well. We have to be clear on this distinction.
The Blood, then, answers the problem of our sins, deals with what we have done, and it changes our conscience. Whereas the cross answers the problem of our sin (singular). It deals with the sinner. The nature of this study is to deal with the Blood, which handles our deeds, but in a future study we hope to see how God deals with our person and changes our lives as well.
THE THREE EFFECTS OF SIN
We have spoken previously of the Blood justifying our sins, but it must be noted that this does not excuse our sins. In Romans 5 it says that by Christ’s blood we are justified before the Lord. This doesn’t make our sins right, but it means that we have been justified by Christ’s Blood. A definition of justified that speaks precisely of the nature of our justification is this: just-as-if-I’d never sinned. This is the way I think of justified. By no means does this say that God excuses your sins, but rather Christ’s Blood acquits your sins as if to say you are totally innocent of what you should be charged for. He trades Jesus’ Blood for your sins. The Cross, however, must kill the sinner, so that we can have Jesus’ new life.
Now we must talk about sins. Romans 5:12 says that SIN entered the world through one man and made all people sinners, and Romans 5:19 says that through the DISOBEDIENCE of one man many were made sinners. These verses contrast Adam with Jesus. In verse 12 it is called sin, and in verse 19 it is called disobedience. This gives us a definition of sin: disobedience. Disobedience from God’s nature, disobedience from God’s law, disobedience from all of what God has given. This is what sin is.
We turn our attention now to the beginning of creation to see all of the effects of sin, and all of where the Blood answers those effects. In Genesis 2:15-17, the LORD God is giving commands to the man. God is talking directly to the man, and says that the only thing Adam must obey is one negative commandment: Do not eat from that tree. Of course we know what happens.
Look now at Genesis 3:6-9. Verse 8 indicates that the first result of their eating the fruit was hearing God walking in the garden. We already saw that God was in the immediate presence of the man (Gen. 2:15-17) and gave an immediate command to them. But after they eat the fruit, they hear God walking in the distance. This indicates that they are no longer in God’s immediate presence. In one sense, God can no longer see them.
“Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” (Gen. 2:9). This is chilling to me. I have thought about this verse over and over. How would it have been to have God ask where are you? It clearly means that you are no longer in His presence. You are nowhere to be found in God’s presence. Where are you? I personally think that all of heaven must have curled down right at that point when God asks, Where are you?, to his supreme creation. They left the presence of God there, and even later they were driven out of the entire garden. The very first effect of sin is that you cannot live in God’s presence.
The next effect of sin can be gleaned by comparing Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:10. Before they ate the fruit, they were “naked and not ashamed”, but after eating the fruit their eyes were opened and they were ashamed. This is the next effect of sin. Their eyes were opened, and they felt ashamed.
I think we all know this to be the pattern of sin in our own life. When something happens, we cannot be in God’s presence. Before we knew Jesus we could never be in God’s presence. The next thing, though, is that we feel ashamed. While God is over here saying, Where are you?, they are over there hiding from God. They hid. Sometimes we think that the only thing that separated them from God was God Himself removing His presence, but that is not all. They did not want to see God either. When God wasn’t there, they still didn’t want to be where God was, because they were ashamed.
Now we will look at the third effect of sin. Genesis 1:28 tells us that Adam and his wife had God’s power to control the things of the air, water, and earth. “Rule over…every creeping thing that moves on the earth.” This must include serpents. Every animal they have control over. However, the reason they sinned was because of obeying the request of the serpent. The serpent came and said, “Isn’t this enticing fruit?” and they answered to him.
Genesis 3:13 reveals their loss of dominion. Eve says, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Yet, she was supposed to have dominion over the serpent. They relinquished their dominion when they let the serpent reign over their lives instead of the other way around. They lost their power because they listened to the serpent. This is why we are called enemies of God before we are Christians: we were on Satan’s side.
In fact, Satan’s whole nature is accusing. In Rev. 12:10, he is called the accuser. Even the Hebrew word, Satan, literally means, ”the accuser”. Satan is characterized by his accusing. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, though, their immediate response to God was accusing. The man accused the wife of giving the fruit, and the wife accused the serpent. This shows clearly that they took on part of Satan’s nature when they ate the fruit and started accusing others. This is why Jesus calls all those who live in sin, in essence, children of the devil (John 8:44). When we sin, Satan has usurped authority over us. In Genesis 3:14, Satan is cursed to eat only the dust of the earth, yet it must be noted that Adam was formed of dust. Satan had dominion (and still today has it) over all those born of Adam.
To review, we see that the problem of sin has three parts:
- God-ward: separating us from God
- Man–ward: shame towards God
- Satan-ward: Satan gains dominion
Since these are the effects of sin, the Blood must answer to all three of these things. God already foreshadows this by covering the nakedness of the man and woman with animal skins (see Gen. 3:21). To hide their shame and nakedness, God used animal skins, indicating that blood must be shed to truly cover them. This is such a contrast with the covering of fig leaves. Fig leaves may cover them for a season, but then wither away the next. They will never last, and such is all covering outside of the Blood of Christ.
THE ANSWER OF THE BLOOD: GOD-WARD
To answer the problem of sin God-ward, let’s turn to Leviticus 16. This chapter focuses on the Day of Atonement. This feast was celebrated one day of the year. It was the only day of the year that the high priest would enter the immediate presence of God. And, as seen by the title of this feast, this day was a day centered on atonement.
Leviticus 17:11 says: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.” Blood is here associated with atonement. There are 100 different places in the Bible where we see blood linked with atonement. For this reason, it seems that we must study the Day of Atonement if we are going to study the power of the Blood, because this is the actual day given specifically for atonement of sins.
On this Day of Atonement, the high priest would come and take two goats, sacrificing one of these goats. Leviticus 16:15 tells us that the priest sacrificed the goat outside of the temple, where all of the people were. Hebrews 13:11-12 shows us that this relates to Jesus, who was sacrificed “outside the camp”. Jesus, like the slaughtered goat, was sacrificed in public for everyone to see. In the Day of Atonement, the whole public was there with the high priest. The high priest came and sacrificed the goat for everyone to see. It was a public presentation of the sacrifice.
After this, the priest would take the blood that he gathered from that sacrifice and go inside the veil of the Holy of Holies, where no one can see, and sprinkled the blood seven times on all of the things there. Lev. 16:17 describes this. The first thing we notice is that no one, besides the high priest, was allowed to enter. The high priest was making atonement for everyone’s sins, yet no person could see this transaction. The people’s sins were being taken care of without their seeing. It is only between the high priest and God at this point, and the people were left to trust that this is what actually took place. This shows us that, first of all, the blood is for God’s eyes. The blood was presented for God.
Hebrews 9:7 testifies that ONLY the high priest was allowed to enter, to forgive the sins of everybody. Vv. 11-12 shows us that the most holy place (the Holy of Holies) that the priest entered is a symbol for heaven. We see here that Jesus is called the High Priest, and He carried His own blood, just as a high priest carries the blood of goats during the Day of Atonement. As a high priest, Jesus was able to go up, and only Jesus, and present His blood before God on behalf of all of us. We never saw that transaction. None of us were there, and really, none of us could have been there. Jesus was the only one allowed to go there as a high priest, and we are not allowed to watch. However, we must realize that this work has been taken care of. Why did this happen? Because the Blood is first of all for God’s eyes. God is the first one concerned. In one sense, we can say that it is between God and God!
Also, the fact that only one person can enter the Holy Place tells us that Jesus truly is the ONLY way to come to God. There are good verses that testify to this (John 14:6, Acts 4:12), but this Day of Atonement shows us the concept of why Jesus is the only way to God. It is all about the Blood. Jesus had to show this to God on our behalf, because the blood is for God’s eyes. Jesus is the only one who can restore our relationship and fellowship with God.
In Lev. 16:20-22, we see that after the transaction, both the high priest who was in the Holy Place, and the people who were not there (they just had to believe that it happened), took the second goat and sent him to the desert. The priest was, in essence, showing the people the reality of what took place in the transaction with the blood. This goat was sent far away from their presence. This is a picture of what happens when we accept that Jesus went to God the Father, after He resurrected, and offered His Blood. We were not there. We have to accept this. Just as the goat went into the wilderness, our sins have been sent away too.
Romans 5:8-9 tells us that we who believe have been justified by Christ’s Blood. We are saved – we are spared; our sins are on that goat – when we believe that Jesus presented His Blood for God’s eyes first. What is our responsibility, then?
The focus of Lev. 16 is first on the high priest then later it goes to the people (all of the people who saw the public sacrifice). Lev. 16:29-31 gives the people a very clear job concerning this sacrifice. For the people on the outside, their job was to do nothing. That was their only job, and this is really good news for us. The only things they were supposed to do were to rest and humble themselves. They humbled themselves because they could do nothing. They had to accept verse 30: “it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you”. They had to accept the finished work in that Holy of Holies that they could not be a part of. They must accept this and simply rest, acknowledging that fact. And actually, the way they did this was through fasting. This becomes an interesting and powerful way to look at fasting when we see that we are not doing any work when we are fasting. We are only humbling ourselves to let the high priest do the work. This is a very powerful picture to realize that the Blood is first of all for God’s eyes, and our job is to rest in that work.
Another foreshadowing of the Blood of the Lamb is seen in the Passover Feast of Exodus 12. Let us remember that both Exodus and Leviticus were written 1,500 years before Christ was ever born. Just think of how specific everything is with what Jesus did and the work it does in us, and yet it was written centuries before Christ was even born. It seems that in the Passover Feast, itself, the entire book of Romans can be seen.
Exodus 12:5-8, 12-13 shows some of the requirements for this feast.
The final plague of Egypt was the killing of the firstborns. The only thing that saved someone from this was the blood of the lamb that was spread on their doorframe. The blood was spread on the top of the door, and the two sides. Many have commented that this makes the shape of the cross, probably as a type for Jesus’ Blood that was shed on the cross. But we must also remember that it was on the doorposts on the outside of the house that the blood was spread. During this feast, the people had a specific job as seen in verse 8. The job of the people was to stay inside when this all took place. They were to stay inside, eating and enjoying this feast. Specifically, they were eating the lamb that had just been slaughtered – the dead lamb. I believe this is part of the crucifixion of Christ. You take in His death, dying with Him.
So they are all taking this in and eating when God comes by and looks at the blood (see v. 13). They never saw this transaction. It doesn’t matter though, because the Blood is first off only for God’s eyes. God has to see it first. That is the true power of the Blood. And we must trust that if He sees it, then it is done. Our job is only to take in the death of Christ, inside the house, apart from this transaction.
Remember also that the firstborn was being spared from this act. What does this mean? The firstborn always symbolizes your new life. It is the new life that comes from you when you join with another. If you have the Blood, then, that God sees, you get to have new life. This is a powerful allusion here. It is the Blood that covers your sins, God erases them, and you also take in the death of the Lamb and get new life to live. Egypt, however, did not have the blood to cover them, so their firstborn had to die. They could not have new life. New life begins when God sees the Blood of His Son.
Hebrews 12:14 tells us that without holiness, no one can see or will see the LORD. This shows the foolishness of us when we think we can make it to heaven by our own merits. God does not care how much better you are than other people. The only requirement to see the LORD is holiness. We must be holy to be in the presence of God and to see God. This is a serious matter. It is not a matter of being better than the other people. It is about being holy. So how can we be holy?
1 Peter 1:18-19 shows a contrast between Jesus’ Blood and silver and gold. The Blood is spoken of as better than silver and gold because those things perish and do not last forever, but the Blood will last longer than silver and gold. In God’s eyes, that is enough for Him to see. He only needs to see the Blood on the doorposts, so to speak, and He moves on. It is enough. We, then, need to stop trying to feel out the Blood. We need to cease asking if the Blood really covers all of our sins. Stop asking, Does it REALLY cover all? There are some sins we have committed that make us question if God would really forgive us. We have to look through God’s eyes, and see that He calls the Blood “precious” (v. 19). When we ask what God’s value of the Blood is, who cares how much we really feel that it doesn’t cover all of our sins. First off, the Blood is not even for you. It’s all on the outside of the doorposts.
THE ANSWER OF THE BLOOD: MAN-WARD
We see, then, that the Blood was offered when Jesus went up to God. This transaction was only for God’s eyes, and we receive, by faith, that our sins are covered. But what about where this directly relates to us? We remember that when God called out to Adam and Eve that they were not in His presence, but they did not want to be in His presence either. They would rather cover their nakedness with some temporary thing and hide in shame, than seek God. Today, then, when God says “Yes” to us, why do we still hide in shame?
Hebrews 10:22 shows another aspect of the Blood of Jesus. Here we read that our hearts are sprinkled from a guilty (or evil) conscience. We must first realize that this does NOT mean that our whole heart is made completely pure. Jeremiah 17:9 says that our heart is beyond cure. In God’s eyes, your heart cannot be cured. If your heart can’t be cured, God needs to give you a new heart. In Ezekiel 36:26, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you”. These Scriptures prove that the cleansing of Hebrews 10:22 is not in purifying your old heart. Rather, this verse speaks of cleansing your conscience. The conscience says there is still a barrier between God and myself, that God would not want to really interact. It tells us that we can’t have true prayer with God because of sins committed last year, earlier today, etc.
God answers this in the first part of Heb. 10:22: “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith”. We can see here that faith and our conscience are linked together. This is consistent throughout the Scriptures (1 Tim. 1:19, for instance). From our personal experience, how often has a guilty conscience plagued us from having a strong faith? You may have faith in the Lord, and faith that you can pray, but if you have a guilty conscience, how long does your faith usually last? We all know that our faith never lasts long in such circumstances. We may have much faith, but still say, “I can’t talk to God, because my conscience is so guilty.” Faith and conscience go together here. But if we see, through the power of the Word, that Christ’s Blood cleanses our guilty conscience, and take this statement in faith, we will be granted a new faith and a new boldness in approaching God. We don’t have shame and guilt anymore and we can’t have shame and guilt anymore. Guilt and shame are not the work of the LORD, because our conscience has been cleansed by the Blood of Jesus.
Hebrews 10:19 shows us that we enter God’s presence with confidence by the Blood of Jesus. If we realize this fact, that we are allowed in prayer – in faith – to enter by the Blood of Jesus, then the struggle is done. You can never have a guilty conscience. Christ’s Blood excludes a guilty conscience. We must enter by the Blood.
What does it mean to enter by the Blood of Jesus? I believe this is an accepting that, first of all, the Blood is for God’s eyes and the justification is done – God only needed to see the Blood to pass over your sins. The second action of entering by the Blood is a confessing of sins to God as He exposes those sins. Entering by the Blood is accepting that I can’t be holy except by the Blood of Jesus. To enter by the Blood is resting in the work of Jesus’ Blood, in the work that our High Priest did. Not only does this allow us to come to the presence of God, but it allows us to come with boldness and confidence (Heb. 10:19). My feeling is that today, in this place, we don’t have much boldness in our prayer life and in our asking. There is a true lack of boldness.
For example, look at the manner of prayer Jesus teaches us to pray. We all know this: “Our Father/ Who art in heaven…” In Matthew 6:11, Jesus tells us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” How many of us can say that we talk to God in this manner, “Give us”? How many are that bold to ask of God and say, “Give us”? Jesus says, though, that this is our model prayer. We are much more likely to say, “Please, if you will…”. Many times I’m afraid our prayers are watered down because we don’t understand the value of the Blood. We don’t understand that we are brought in and purchased by the Blood. We don’t understand that our conscience has been cleansed. If we begin to understand the power of the Blood, we can have much boldness in our prayer life. Do we see this?
We can know, by the Blood, that we can ask God for things that we previously had no right to ask. This is our problem, that we know we have no right to come before God and ask anything of Him. We know He’s already done too much for us. We know this, so we start wondering if we can really be so bold to ask for much from God. But this seems to be an unscriptural attitude. We must see the value of the Blood. We should have boldness in the LORD now, and see that our conscience has been cleansed.
Ephesians 2:13 explains that the Blood first brings us near to God. Consequently, as seen in Hebrews 10:22, we later are called to draw near ourselves through the power of the Blood. So first, the Blood brings us to God’s presence, and then, after this, we must draw near. This is the pattern. The blood brings us near, yet we must also draw near by the Blood. This is not a one-time deal. Every hour, every minute, every second, we are to enter by the Blood. We are to understand that our conscience has been cleansed – all of the shame is done.
I believe an example of coming by the Blood can be seen in Daniel 9. Daniel is here praying on behalf of the entire Israelite nation. Israel was being beaten and enslaved, yet Daniel came boldly before God in prayer. In Daniel 9:15-16, we can see his example. In verse 15, Daniel confesses the sins of Israel. This is part of what it means to come by the Blood: to recognize that you have sinned and messed up. After this, though, Daniel appeals to God by saying, “in accordance with all Your righteous acts” (Dan. 9:16). Remember, Daniel is praying that an entire nation be freed from their slavery and punishment that they deserved. This was not, then, any small request, but he appeals to God’s righteousness. He gained his boldness by leaning on God’s righteousness. He understood what too few of us seem to grasp. He could ask bold prayers, not because he’s had a good day. Not because he’s prayed a little more today or been reading the Bible a little more today, or because he’s done a good deed today. He didn’t come with any of those things. He didn’t say to God, “Answer me now because I have done this for you and that for you.” No. He knew that even though he, himself, may not have acted sinfully, the whole people have sinned and he was part of them. He knew this, and yet understood a precious truth: God will answer when you appeal to His RIGHTEOUSNESS. And His supreme act of righteousness is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
When we appeal today to the Blood of Christ, we know we can ask bold things. This is a precious truth. Too many times we have all believed that it is only on “good” days that we can pray powerfully to God. We believe that it is only when I have done a little extra “goodness”. It is only when I have done something good. And on those bad days when we mess up and acted in disobedience in some way, we never have a good prayer life. This is all due to our mixed-up priorities. We think it is about how good we have been, when according to God, it is all about His Blood – entering the prayer room by His Blood, entering closer to Him, by His Blood. We must understand that no matter how bad you’ve sinned, Jesus’ Blood has covered it, if you are willing to receive the work of His Blood.
In Hebrews 10:1-4, the author of Hebrews is comparing Jesus’ blood with the blood sacrificed in the Old Testament Law. The author says that the blood used in the Old Testament was not worth as much as Jesus’ blood. Verse 2 says, “If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.” (NIV). If the blood they used was as worthy as Jesus’ blood, they would have no longer felt guilty. For us, then, we should no longer feel guilty. There should be no guilt here. By Jesus’ blood, your conscious has been cleansed.
Our guiltiness is much of Satan’s work (as we shall see shortly) in accusing us and telling us that we’re not good enough. This happens when our eyes look away from Jesus’ blood. The blood, though, is first for God’s eyes. During the Passover, He only had to see the blood on the outside, no matter what was happening on the inside. It is first for God’s eyes, we must know this. There should be no more guilt, because the Blood of Jesus is all sufficient. We need to be certain not to treat the Blood of Jesus as a common or unclean thing (see Heb. 10:29). The Blood of Jesus is a supremely Holy thing. No matter how bad you may sin, you cannot change the power and holiness of the Blood. God has already accepted this, and we must too.
THE ANSWER OF THE BLOOD: SATAN-WARD
Finally, we need to study the answer that the Blood gives Satan-ward. This is our last problem. We see how God accepts the Blood. We see how our conscious has been cleansed. Now we need to deal with Satan’s work.
As we have said, the chief duty of Satan is to accuse. There are two ways that Satan can accuse. He used to be allowed in the presence of God, and he would go and accuse people in God’s presence. He used to be able to go to God and point at so-and-so, and say, He messed up here, here, and here. And God had to say, “Yes, you’re right, and I can’t [in one sense] do anything about it, because he is on your side.”
This was the power Satan had over them before the Blood of Christ. He could accuse us before God and he could accuse us before ourselves as well. He could say to us, “You’re not worthy! You’re not worthy to receive anything from God!”
We need to look at how this has been answered by Jesus’ Blood. In Hebrews 9:7 we see that the high priest could enter the Holy room only by the blood. This means that Jesus was qualified to enter because He carried his own Blood. He could enter the Holy room and be in God’s presence. As High Priest, Jesus is allowed to do many things on our behalf.
Hebrews 7:24-25 tells us that Jesus, as High Priest, is now able to intercede on our behalf. Remember that when man sinned he joined the side of Satan, because Satan had total accusation against him. Satan could truly say about man that he had sinned and messed up, because Satan knows that God’s only standard is holiness and man fell short of this standard. (We have all fallen short of the glory of God). Everyone has fallen short of God’s standard. But then Jesus came and, by His Blood, entered the presence of God where He can now act on our side. This is only because of His Blood. It’s not because we’ve done something good. He could act on our side because of His Blood, and He can start interceding for us, against Satan.
Since this has happened, what is Satan able to say against us now? What can he do now that Jesus is in the presence of God? How can he be against us? Romans 8:31 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” Paul asked the question before I did. If Jesus did all of these things for us, if He is on our side making intercession, who can be against us now?
Rom. 8:32-33 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies”. Paul asks the question again: Who will now bring the charges? Satan was able to do this. He was able to come to God and say, “He’s done this, he’s done this, he’s done this, he’s done this…” and he was fine to say that. But Paul asks who can do this now? Why can’t Satan? Because it is God who justifies. By Christ’s Blood you have been justified. Satan can’t sit there anymore. Jesus says that He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18). Without treating this subject in depth at this time, we can see that Satan used to be able to go before God and accuse the people. But now, who can do that? When God is on your side, when you’ve joined the side of God, when you’ve given your life over to the LORD, who can do that now?
Romans 8:34 says, “who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Who, then, can really kill us? This says that Christ Jesus died and rose, so Satan can’t get us there. Jesus is also there now making intercession for us. He has been doing this for 2,000 years, on behalf of all those who have joined His side and accept His Blood. Satan has no way anymore. This may be one of my favorite aspects of the Blood. Think about it, Satan was able to charge me on everything I’ve done. He could say, “You’ve done this, you’ve done this, you’ve done this…” and I had no power because I knew he was right. I knew I had messed up. But who can do that anymore when Christ is on your side? Jesus is making intercession because of His Blood.
1 John 1:7 says, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This tells us that Jesus cleanses us from all sin. All sin. This does not mean all sin in a general or vague sense, but it may be more accurate to say every sin, as the Greek implies here. Every single sin.
This gives us a problem and a solution. This scripture states, “if we walk in the Light”. This is a problem because our darkness is exposed when we are walking in the Light, in the presence of God. The Light exposes all of our darkness. This is a very real problem for us, and if this verse stopped there, we would be in danger. If we’re walking in the presence of God, then He has light on all of us. Every single thing you did. What you did ten years ago, five years ago, and this morning. We are totally in the light now.
This reminds me of Song of Solomon. In this book you have a beautiful picture of the Bride and Husband which is symbolic of Christ and the Church. One of the first things that happened in this book is the drawing away of that beautiful Bride into the bed chambers of the Husband. Immediately she is taken into this intimate place with the Husband. When she was there, though, the light of the Husband’s presence showed that she had been darkened by the sun. This was exposed when she was in such an intimate presence with the Husband. This is what happens to us. When we are brought into an intimate presence with Christ, our darkness is brought into the light. This would not be a good thing for us. God literally cannot stand to be in the presence of anything short of holiness. He must have holiness. But the reason we can now have fellowship in the Light is because of the Blood of Jesus. The blood cleanses us of every sin. Every sin. This is why Song of Songs 1:5 has the bride saying she is “dark but lovely”. She is dark because the light exposes her darkness, but lovely because the Husband has remedied her darkness (with the Blood of Christ).
Before the Blood of Christ, Satan could go to God and say, “Well such-and-such has done this, this, and this.” And God could only say, “You’re right.” We all used to be enemies of God in a very real sense. But now, everywhere Satan points, God can answer back with the blood of His Son. Satan will point to this, and God answers with the Blood. Satan will point to that, and God answers with the Blood. Every sin has been covered.
It reminds me of the introduction to James Bond movies. In these, James shoots the TV screen and a red color (symbolizing blood) fills the screen. There is then a covering of blood between the viewer and James Bond’s character. This is helpful to think about. It is as if I am like James Bond, and God is watching this picture of what I am doing, but there is a lens of Blood that covers everything that I do. This is a direct answer to Satan’s accusations. There is nothing he can point to that is not covered by the blood.
1 John 2:1-2 says: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” Here we see that God hopes that we live without sin, and He gives us His Word to combat our sinful nature. BUT, we also need to realize that Christ is now our advocate if we sin. Every sin we commit is answered by our Advocate, Jesus Christ. It is through His Blood that He acts as advocate whenever we sin. We need to see that Christ’s Blood has given provision for all sins that we could commit. Past, present, and future.
It seems that a similar picture is spoken of prophetically in Zechariah 3:1-5. Joshua is seen here with two figures standing before him: “the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him”. (The angel of the LORD is thought to be Jesus). Satan is seen here accusing, as his nature entails. In this scene, it is the Lord who rebukes Satan and his accusations. Joshua, though, was still clothed with filthy garments for Satan to accuse. In order for the LORD to rebuke Satan’s accusations, He must remove the filthy garments from Joshua’s life. He does this, and gives him new garments so that Satan has no room for accusing. Revelation 19:8 shows that clean garments are the righteous acts of the saints, and Romans says explicitly that our righteousness comes from Christ’s blood, so it seems that the garments given to Joshua in Zechariah 3 speak of Christ’s Blood shed on our behalf to wash us clean.
As we have seen, Satan has lost all of his power to accuse people before God, on account of the Blood of Jesus. He used to be able to point out our sins in the presence of God, but now there is not one sin he can point to that has not been covered by the Blood.
Revelation 12 shows Satan being hurled down from heaven, not allowed there anymore. But his presence is still very much upon the earth. Rev. 12:17 shows Satan being enraged with Christians, and reveals that he will constantly attack us. Even in Gen. 3:15, although Satan’s head will be crushed, he still will be able to strike the heel of the offspring of Jesus. He has lost all accusations before God because of the Blood, but he still seeks to accuse the conscience of Christians today.
Satan will say to Christians, “You have sinned, and keep on sinning. You are weak, and God can have nothing more to do with you.” Immediately, our response is either to look within and self-defend, or to travel into depression and despair. We will try to convince ourselves and Satan that we are strong and can stop sinning on our own. But, as soon as we do this we have lost the battle. Satan will always win if we try to look for our own righteousness, and ignore the righteousness of Jesus.
In Philippians 3:3, Paul says he puts no confidence in his flesh. NO confidence. He has learned that it is not the flesh that will defeat Satan. In fact, the Serpent feeds off of the dust of the earth (Gen. 3:14). Since Adam was made of dust, and we are his offspring, we only feed Satan when we live by the flesh and look for victory in our flesh. Our key is to stop looking at ourselves to defend against Satan, and look instead to Jesus and His finished work. Hebrews 12:1-2 talks of running the race by “fixing our eyes on Jesus”. Any runner who looks downward at himself will only trip up and fall. When Satan accuses us, we must rather point to Jesus’ finished work and the Truth of God’s Word. When Satan says, “You are weak and sinful and God wants nothing to do with you,” we need to learn to say, “IT IS WRITTEN that Christ’s Blood covers every sin.” We need to learn to constantly point to Jesus and His work, because His work will never change. We will always have good and bad days, but Jesus’ work will never change.
A man who is under accusation is a man not trusting in the Blood. The Blood always speaks in man’s favor. It answers every unrighteous act we have committed or will commit. We need to know God’s Word on this matter and stop listening to Satan. Christ is truly our Advocate, but the accused have sadly sided with the accuser (Satan). It is God ALONE who can answer Satan’s accusations, by His Blood. For even Michael the archangel did not try to argue with Satan, but rather said, “The Lord Rebuke you!” (Jude 9).
We will win against Satan’s accusations if we always answer him with the Blood. Our faith and obstinacy in the precious Blood silences Satan and puts him to flight (see Romans 8:33-34). In Revelation 12, when Satan is thrown down from heaven and goes to accuse the Christians, they were able to overcome him using 3 weapons. The very first weapon they used was the Blood of the Lamb: “the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb…” (Rev. 12:10-11). This is a most precious Truth about the Blood of the Lamb.
We have seen that the Blood of Christ has answered every problem created by sin. First God-ward, then Man-ward, and finally Satan-ward. It is also by this very same blood that we were purchased as slaves of righteousness unto God (1 Cor. 6:20). At the end of our study, then, we must ask one final question:
What would happen if we valued Christ’s Precious Blood the way God values it?
APPENDIX A – Appropriating the Blood in our life.
Excerpt from “If Anyone Sins” by Watchman Nee…
II. THE LORD HAVING BORNE ALL OUR SIN
…we must first realize that the Lord Jesus has borne all our sins on the cross. All the sins which we have committed, as well as those we are committing and will commit during our whole life, were borne by the Lord on the cross.
However, on the day we believed in the Lord, under God’s light we only saw the sins that we had committed before we had believed. A man can only be conscious of the sins which God shines His light upon; he cannot feel the sins which he has not yet committed. Therefore, the actual sins the Lord Jesus bore on the cross are more than the sins that we see. The Lord Jesus bore all of our sins on the cross, but we see only the sins which we have committed.
You may have been saved at the age of sixteen, or you may have been saved at the age of thirty-two. All the sins you committed before your salvation are absolutely and totally forgiven by the Lord. However, at the time of your forgiveness, the number of sins that you were conscious of was actually much less than the actual number of sins which the Lord bore for you. Your experience of the Lord’s grace went only so far as your personal experience of your sin. But the Lord’s work on our behalf was based on His knowledge of our sins. We must realize that even the sins that we are not conscious of are included in the Lord Jesus’ redemption.
Perhaps you were saved at the age of sixteen. Suppose you had committed a thousand sins during the first sixteen years of your life. You might have said at the time you believed in the Lord, “I thank You. My sins have been forgiven because You have taken away all my sins.” In saying that the Lord had taken your sins away, you meant that the Lord had dealt with your one thousand sins. What would have happened if you had been saved at the age of thirty-two instead? Proportionally, you probably would have committed two thousand sins by the age of thirty-two. You might have said the same thing: “0 Lord, You have borne all my sins.” If you were saved at sixty-four years of age, you would have said the same thing: “0 Lord, You have borne all my sins.” It is quite clear then that the Lord has dealt with the sins that were committed during the first sixteen years of your life as well as the sins that were committed from age sixteen to age sixty-four. The Lord dealt with all of your sins on the cross. The criminal on the cross did not believe in the Lord until just before he died, but the Lord took away all his sins (Luke 23:39-43). In other words, the Lord took away the sins of our whole life on the cross. Although, when we first believed in the Lord, we only felt the forgiveness of our past sins, in actuality, the Lord took away all our sins, even those we commit after we are saved. We must understand this fact before we can understand how to recover our fellowship with God.
III. THE TYPE OF THE ASHES OF THE RED HEIFER
We have a picture of the Lord’s vicarious death for our sins in the type of the ashes of the red heifer.
Numbers 19 is a very special chapter in the Old Testament. A heifer was used, which speaks of something special. This heifer was used not to meet a need at that moment but to meet a need in the future. This, too, is very significant.
In verse 2 God told Moses and Aaron, “Tell the sons of Israel to bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect, and upon which a yoke has never come.” A heifer, not a bull, was offered here. In the Bible gender is very meaningful. Male signifies everything related to the testimony of the truth, while female signifies everything related to the experience of life. This is a principle we should be familiar with in reading our Bible. Abraham speaks of justification by faith, while Sarah speaks of obedience. Justification by faith is objective; it has to do with truth and testimony. Obedience is subjective; it has to do with life and experience. Throughout the Bible the church is symbolized by females, because the church is subjective, being related to the Lord’s work in man. A heifer is used here instead of a bull because it represents another aspect of the Lord’s work His work toward man. The red heifer signifies a work that is subjective rather than objective.
What happened to the heifer? It was slaughtered, and its blood was taken and sprinkled seven times directly in front of the tent of meeting. In other words, the blood was offered to God because the work of the blood is always for God. The heifer’s blood was sprinkled seven times in front of the tent of meeting, signifying that it was for God and for the redemption of sin.
After the red heifer was killed, it was burned. The skin, the flesh, the blood, and the dung were all burned. The whole red heifer was burned. As it was being burned, the priest cast cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet into the midst of the fire. What do cedar wood and hyssop signify? First Kings 4:33 said that Solomon discoursed about trees, from the cedar to the hyssop. Cedar wood and hyssop therefore signify all the trees. In other words, they signify the whole world. What does scarlet signify? This word is also translated scarlet in Isaiah 1:18, which says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, / They will be as white as snow.” Scarlet, therefore, signifies our sins. For the cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet to be burned together means that the sins of the whole world were gathered together with the red heifer when it was offered up to God; they were all burned together. Here, we see a picture of the cross. The Lord Jesus offered Himself up to God. He embraced all our sins. The gross sins were there as well as the lesser sins. The sins of the past, the present, and the future were also there. The sins for which man feels the need of forgiveness, as well as the sins for which man does not feel the need of forgiveness, were there. All sins were upon the heifer, and they were all burned with it.
After they were burned, what was done next? Numbers 19:9 says, “A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and place them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the assembly of the sons of Israel for the water for impurity; it is a purification of sin.” What does this mean? This is what makes the red heifer so distinct. After the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet were burned with the heifer, the ashes were gathered up and kept in a clean place. Thereafter, if any of the Israelites touched something unclean and became unclean before God, another clean person could mix the water for impurity with the ashes and sprinkle it on the unclean person. This would remove the person’s uncleanness. In other words, the ashes were used to remove uncleanness. They were prepared for the future. They would be used when uncleanness was detected at a later time.
In the Old Testament, sinners needed to offer up sacrifices to the Lord. If a person had offered up a sacrifice and then touched something unclean, he would become unclean again before God and could no longer fellowship with Him. What did he have to do? Another person would take some ashes of the red heifer on this person’s behalf, put them in a vessel, pour in living water, mix it into the water for impurity, and sprinkle it on his body. The man’s uncleanness would then be removed and his sin forgiven. When an Israelite brought a bull or a lamb to the Lord and offered it up as a sin offering, he did it because of some known sin. But the red heifer was related to another matter. The burning of the red heifer was not for known sins which had been committed in the past, but for future uncleanness. The burning of the red heifer was not for past sins but for future transgressions.
This shows us another aspect of the Lord Jesus’ work. One aspect of the Lord’s work is like that of the ashes of the red heifer. The efficacy of redemption is signified by the ashes. The sins of the whole world are in it, and the blood is also in it. Whenever a man becomes unclean or has touched some unclean things, he does not need to kill another red heifer and offer it to God. He only needs to take the ashes of the red heifer that was offered once and mix them with water and sprinkle them on the body. In other words, there is no need for the Lord to do anything a second time. His redemption accomplished everything. He made provision for all of our future uncleanness and future sins. Everything has been fully accomplished by His redemption.
What do the ashes signify? In the Bible, ashes signify something in its final form. Whether a bull or a lamb, its final form after being burned is ashes. Ashes are very stable; they do not corrupt into something else. We cannot corrupt or destroy ashes. Ashes signify something in its final form.
The ashes of the red heifer signify the eternal and unchanging efficacy of the Lord’s redemption. The redemption which our Lord accomplished for us is most stable. Do not think that rocks on mountains are stable. Even rocks can be burned into ashes. Ashes are more stable than rocks. The ashes of the red heifer signify the Lord’s redemption which He has prepared for us. It is forever unchanging and incorruptible. We may apply it any time. If a Christian touches something unclean by accident and there is uncleanness in him, he does not have to ask the Lord to die for him again. He only needs to trust in the eternal and incorruptible efficacy of the ashes and to sprinkle his body with the water of life, and he will be clean. In other words, the ashes of the red heifer tell us that the past work of the cross is applicable for our use today. We also can say that the effectiveness of the cross covers all the needs we will ever have in the future. These ashes are specifically for the future. Only one red heifer needs to be burned, and it only needs to be burned once. Its ashes are enough to cover one’s whole life. Thank the Lord that His redemption is sufficient for our whole life. His death has taken away all our sins.
IV. THE NEED FOR CONFESSION
We have covered the side of the Lord’s work, which is redemption and the removal of our sins. What should we do on our side?
First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In this verse the word we refers to believers, not to sinners. When a believer sins, he must confess his sins. Only after he has confessed his sins will he be forgiven. When a believer sins, he should not ignore it or cover it up. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: / but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” When a believer sins, he must confess his sin. Do not give sin a nice name. Do not excuse yourself. Lying is a sin. When you lie, you should confess that you have sinned. You should not say, “I have said a little more (or less) than I should have.” You should say, “I have sinned.” You should not explain it away or cover it up. You should confess that you have committed the sin of lying. You must condemn lying as sin.
Confession means to stand on God’s side and judge sin as sin. There are three things here: God, ourselves, and sins. God and sins are at the two ends, and we are in the middle. What does it mean to commit a sin? It means that we stand on the side of sin and that we are away from God. Once we sin, we are away from God. Once we join ourselves to sins, we cannot be together with God. As soon as Adam sinned, he hid from God and dared not meet Him (Gen. 3:8). Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, though once alienated and enemies in your mind because of your evil works.” Sin alienates us from God. What does it mean to confess our sins? It means to come back to God’s side and to acknowledge that what we have done is sin. We have come back to God. We are no longer with sin. We are standing opposite of sin and calling sin a sin. This is confession. Only those who walk in the light and who have deep feelings and a repulsion for sin can have genuine confession. Those who are callous to sin, who consider it natural to sin, are not making any confession when they merely acknowledge something with their lips in a heartless way.
Believers are the children of light (Eph. 5:8) and the children of God (I John 3:1). They are no longer outsiders but members of God’s family. In a family one should behave in a way that is worthy of the family. You are a child of God, and you should know sin. You should have the same attitude towards sin as your Father. The way the Father considers sin should be the way you consider sin. Confession in God’s house comes when His children take the same attitude as their Father towards sin. They condemn sin in the same way that their Father condemns sin. They take the same attitude as their Father with regard to sin. When a child of God sins, he should condemn sin as sin just as the Father does.
If we confess our sins this way, God “is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When we sin and when we know our sin and acknowledge it as sin, God will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God is “faithful,” which means that He must honor and fulfill His own words and promises. He is also “righteous,” which means He must be satisfied with His Son’s redemptive work on the cross and must recognize it. Based on His promise and based on His redemption, He has to forgive us. He is faithful, and He is righteous. He must forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We have to pay attention to the words every and all in I John 1:7 and 9. “Every sin” and “all unrighteousness” are fully forgiven and cleansed. The Lord has done this. When the Lord says “all,” He means all. We should never change it to something else. When He says every sin, He means every sin, not just every sin committed before we believed or every sin committed in the past. He has forgiven us of all sins.
V. AN ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER
First John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you that you may not sin.” These things refer to the forgiveness and cleansing from our sins through God’s promise and work. John wrote these things to us so that we may not sin. It shows us that the Lord has forgiven our many sins and that, as a result, we do not sin. When we find out that we are forgiven, we do not become free to sin; rather, we will not sin.
Following this it says, “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” “With the Father” this is a family affair; it is something that happens after we are saved. We have already believed and have become one of God’s many children. Now we have an Advocate with the Father, who is Jesus Christ the Righteous; “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins.” Through the Lord Jesus’ death and by His becoming the propitiation for our sins, He has become our Advocate with the Father. These words are spoken to Christians.
The propitiation spoken of here is the reality of the type of the ashes of the red heifer in Numbers 19. It speaks of God’s forgiveness of our future sins according to the accomplished work of the cross. There is no need to have a new cross. We only need the work of the cross once and it is sufficient. With the eternal redemption of the cross, our sins are forgiven. That sacrifice was not an ordinary sacrifice. It was a sacrifice whose efficacy could be applied at all times. It was ashes; therefore, it was applicable all the time. Based on His blood, the Lord Jesus Christ has become our Advocate. He has accomplished redemption on the cross. Based on His accomplished work, we can be cleansed. If we sin by accident, we should not be disheartened by our sin; we should not wallow in it or remain in it. When we sin, the first thing we should do is confess our sin to the Lord. God says that it is a sin, and we should acknowledge it as a sin. God says that this is wrong, and we also should say that it is wrong. When we ask God to forgive our sin, He forgives our sin, and our fellowship with Him is restored immediately.
In the eyes of God, no brother or sister should sin. However, if anyone sins by accident, the first thing to do is deal with it immediately before God. He or she should take care of the problem of sin immediately. Never delay. Deal with it as soon as possible. You must confess immediately. Tell God, “I have sinned!” Our confession is our judgment of ourselves. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When a child of God sins and does not confess his sin but instead remains in his sin, he loses his fellowship with God. There will be no further fellowship between him and God. There is a leak in his conscience, and he will not be able to stand up before God. He may still have a little fellowship with God, but that fellowship will not be pleasant. Indeed, he will suffer. When a child who has done something wrong comes home, he will feel that something is not right because his father will not speak to him. He cannot have an intimate fellowship with his father. He knows that there is a barrier between him and his father. This is the pain that results from a loss of fellowship.
There is only one way to recovery–it is to go to God and confess our sins. We have to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has become our Advocate and has borne all our sins. We have to confess our failures and shortcomings before God in a humble way. We have to look to Him so that we will no longer be proud or loose when we set out on our journey again. We have to realize that we are no better than anyone else, and that it is possible for us to fall at any time. We have to ask God for mercy and strength to go on step by step. Once we confess this way, we will immediately recover our fellowship with God, and the joy and peace that were lost will come back.
Finally, we should point out once more that Christians should not sin. Sin results in suffering and loss. May God have mercy upon us, keep us, preserve us, and lead us on in the way of unceasing fellowship with Him!