Much material taken from Watchman Nee’s, Normal Christian Life

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common [unclean, unholy] thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

(Hebrews 10:29)

Why study Jesus’ sacrifice?

John 1:35-37

  • John calls Jesus the Lamb
    • In Jewish law, Lamb brings to mind one thing: SACRIFICE
      • Genesis 22:7; Exodus 12

Revelation 5:8-9

  • Lamb is at the center (Revelation 5:6)
    • Lamb = Jesus (Revelation 17:14)
      • His sacrifice makes Him worthy to take the scroll
    • Prayer is seen as precious to God
    • Prayers and music center around the Lamb

1 Samuel 7:7-10,13

  • Samuel sacrificed the lamb before he prayed for deliverance (v. 9)
  • As the sacrifice of the lamb was offered, God interceded for Israel (v. 10)
  • Samuel’s prayers were respected by God (v. 13; see also Psalm 99:6; Jeremiah 15:1)
  • Application:  It is essential to understand the sacrifice of the Lamb for effective prayer (among other reasons) 

What is the difference between the work of the Blood and the work of the Cross?

Romans 3:20-26 – focus: the Blood

  • Refers to “deeds” (v. 20) and “sins that were previously committed” (v. 25)
  • If we have faith in Jesus (all of who He is and what He did), our unlawful deeds are replaced with God’s righteousness
    • When?  “now”, ever since Jesus died and rose again (v. 21)
  • The blood deals with what we do
    • Hebrews 9:22 – forgives our sins
* Is focus of Romans 1:1-5:11* Is focus of Romans 5:12-8:39
* Answers the problem of our sins (plural)* Answers the problem of our sin nature
* Deals with what we have done* Deals with who we are
* Changes our conscience* Changes our life
The Blood and Cross Compared, According to Watchman Nee

What is sin and what are its effects?

Romans 5:12,19

  • Both of these verses speak of the same incident – Adam eating the fruit in the garden
    • Adam’s act was called a sin in v. 12 and disobedience in v. 19
      • Sin = disobedience towards God
  • Romans 5:12 – “all sinned”…everyone has disobeyed God

The 3 main effects of sin:

Genesis 3:4-13

  1. Separates God from man
    1. Compare Genesis 2:15-17 with Genesis 3:6-9 
    2. Genesis 3:24
      1. Only High Priest was allowed in the immediate presence of God according to the Law
  2. Creates guilt in man; a feeling of estrangement towards God
    1. Compare Genesis 2:25 with 3:7-8
      1. Even though they were not in fellowship with God, they still hid from Him instead of seeking Him
    2. Luke 15:18 – he becomes conscious of his sin, says “I have sinned”
  3. Gives Satan ground to accuse man before God, and accuse man in their hearts
    1. Compare Genesis 1:28 and 2:24 with 3:12-13
    2. Revelation 12:10
    3. “Satan” means “the accuser”
  • Atonement of blood is foreshadowed by the skins of animals used to clothe them (Genesis 3:21)

The Problem of Sin has 3 parts:

  1. God-ward
  2. Man-ward 
  3. Satan-ward 

The Answer of the Blood – God-ward:

  • In Old and New Testament, “blood” is used in connection with the idea of atonement probably over a hundred times (see Leviticus 17:11)

Day of Atonement – Leviticus 16

*  A day specifically for the atonement of Israel’s sins (instituted around 1400 years before Christ was born).

  • Leviticus 16:15 – sin offering was offered publicly in court of tabernacle
    • FULFILLED: Jesus was crucified publicly (Hebrews 13:11-12)
  • Leviticus 16:14-15 – Blood taken from the sin offering and brought into the Most Holy Place
    • FULFILLED: Jesus, as our High Priest, offered His own blood to God in Heaven (Hebrews 9:11-12)
  • Leviticus 16:17 – Only High Priest could enter, even though it’s for forgiveness of all the people
    • FULFILLED…only through Jesus’ blood can we come to God (Hebrews 9:7,11-12 (John 14:6))
  • Only act of High Priest was presenting the blood before God
    • Transaction was only between God and High Priest
      • Happened in the Sanctuary…away from the eyes of the men who were to benefit by it
  • Leviticus 16:20-22 – after God saw the blood, the sins of the people went away
    • Symbolized by a scapegoat running to the wilderness
    • Romans 5:8-9
      • “justified” (v. 9) = Just-as-if-I’d never sinned
  • What were the people required to do for their sins to be cleansed?
    • Leviticus 16:29-31 – REST IN THE PRIEST’S FINISHED WORK
  • Blood is firstly not for us but for God

Passover Feast – Exodus 12

*  Feast instituted around 1400 years before Christ was born

  • Exodus 12:5-8,12-13 –
    • Blood was shed in Egypt so that Israelites could be saved (v. 13)
    • Blood was put on lintel and door-posts (v. 7)
      • The flesh of the lamb was eaten inside the house (v. 8)
    • “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (v. 13)
      • The blood was first for God to see 
      • Those feasting inside never saw this transaction
        • Their only job was receiving into their bodies the dead lamb.
      • Romans 3:25
    • Israel’s firstborn were spared because of the blood (vv. 12-13)
      • Firstborn represents new life, being born again
        • For new life to happen, God must first see blood

God requires men to be sinless (Hebrews 12:14)

  • Romans 3:23 – every man falls short of God’s glory and holiness
  • Romans 5:8-9 – Only Christ’s Blood wholly satisfies God
  • Don’t try to feel God’s value of the Blood…the Blood is first for God to see
  • It is matter of faith in God’s Word (Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
    • If Holy God is satisfied with the Blood, it must be acceptable…no matter how much you feel that your sins are too great for the Blood to cover
    • Blood is contrasted with things that perish to show that the Blood will never lose it’s value (1 Peter 1:18-19)

The Answer of the Blood – Man-ward:

  • Hebrews 10:19-22 (9:13-14)
    • What does the blood cleanse?
      • Not our whole heart
  • Jeremiah 17:9 – heart is desperately sick
    • We don’t wash what needs to be trashed
  • Ezekiel 36:26 – we need a new heart
  • Blood cleanses heart in relation to the conscience (Heb. 10:22)
    • Conscience says there is barrier with God (guilt, etc).
  • How does this relate to our faith?
    • Conscience and faith are intimately connected
    • Heb. 10:22: “full assurance of faith” – When these verses are believed and accepted, conscience is cleared towards God
  • By what do we enter God’s presence?
    • Heb. 10:19: “by the blood” – only way to enter God’s presence is by the Blood
      • “By the Blood” – Recognize sins, confess need of cleansing and atonement, come to God on basis of finished work of Jesus (see 1 John 1:7-9)
        • Not on ground of being extra kind or patient or that you’ve done something great
        • Do you approach God on uncertainty of your feelings? Or truth that God is satisfied with the Blood?
  • In what way do we enter God’s presence?
    • Heb. 10:19 – “having boldness”
      • When we realize the truth of the blood, we can approach God in boldness
      • In Lord ’s Prayer, we are told to pray, “give us…forgive us, etc.”…these are very bold words to pray to a Holy God, and only by the blood is it possible to pray such words (see Matt. 6)

How do we enter God’s presence by the blood?

  • Ephesians 2:11-13
    • First, we were brought near by the blood
  • Hebrews 10:19-22
    • To continue, we must come by the Blood every time
    • Daniel 9:15-16, 21-23
      • Daniel was able to pray boldly because he prayed on the merits of God’s righteousness (v. 16)
        • His prayers were answered powerfully! (vv. 21-23) 

What about the shame of sins?

  • Hebrews 10:1-4
    • “no more consciousness of sins” (v. 2)
      • Romans 4:8 – we must see how blessed we are because of Jesus’ blood
      • Romans 5:1 – “peace with God”

How do we serve God?

  • 1 Corinthians 6:20 – we are slaves to God
    • bought by Christ’s blood (Acts 20:28)
  • If we accept His Blood, we become a slave to God (Romans 8:18)

The Answer of the Blood – Satan-ward:

Satan accuses us before God…

  • Revelation 12:10 – Satan’s most strategic weapon is accusation
    • Accuses man before God and in our own conscience 
  • Genesis 3:12-13, 22-24
    • Man joined forces with Satan at the Fall (vv. 12-13)
      • Taking on Satan’s nature of accusation
    • Man is now outside of the garden (vv. 22-24)
      • Beyond reach of God’s glory (Romans 3:23)
  • The Blood removes the barrier
    • Blood puts God on the side of man against Satan
    • Since God is on man’s side, he can face Satan without fear
    • Hebrews 9:7 – Jesus is High Priest because of Blood
      • Hebrews 7:24-25 – As High Priest, Jesus makes intercession for those who are His
  • 1 John 1:7
    • We are cleansed from “every” sin, not “all” sin in the general sense
    • God is in the light
      • All of our darkness is exposed to God (Song of Solomon 1:4-6)
        • He can see every sin
        • Blood is able to cleanse every sin He sees
        • God is in the light and I too am in the light, and the precious Blood cleanses me from every sin.
    • every – our sins are not too big to be forgiven…big sins, little sins, conscious sins, unconscious sins, remembered, or forgotten
      • the Blood does so because in the first place it satisfies God
  • Since God sees all our sins by His light, and can forgive them on the basis of the Blood, what can Satan accuse us of?
    • Romans 8:31-34
      • Satan can’t be against us if God is for us (v. 31)
      • God points Satan to Jesus’ blood (v. 33)
      • Romans 8:33-34 – God answers Satan’s every challenge
        • Christ is intercessor (v. 34)
    • 1 John 2:1-2
      • Christ, by His blood, is Advocate if we sin
      • Seen prophetically in Zechariah 3:1-4

Satan’s accuses us before our conscience…

  • Satan says: “You have sinned, and you keep on sinning.  You are weak, and God can have nothing more to do with you.”
    • Our temptation is to look within and self-defend, or go to depression and despair
    • Satan wins if we try to look for our own righteousness
      • Philippians 3:3; Hebrews 12:1-2 – stop looking at yourself to defend against Satan’s accusations
  • A man under accusation is a man not trusting in the Blood
    • The Blood speaks in man’s favor, but he listens to Satan
    • Christ is our Advocate, but the accused have sided with the accuser
      • God alone, by His Blood, can answer the accuser
  • Always answer Satan with the Blood…this is how we Win!
    • Our faith and obstinacy in the precious Blood silences Satan and puts him to flight (Romans 8:33-34)
    • Revelation 12:11

What would happen if we saw Christ’s Precious Blood the way God sees it?

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