1. Text: 1 Pt. 1:17–19.
  2. Sin is described in the Scriptures as the soiling of a soul that was once pure and clean — Ac. 22:16; 2 Cor. 7:1.
  3. It is the blood of Christ (Jn. 19:34) that makes “cleansing” from sin possible.

I. The Significance of the Blood of Christ

  1. It is a principle as old as the earth that “the life is in the blood” — Gen. 4:10; 9:4; Lev. 17:10–14. Cf. Deut. 12:23.
  2. The requirement that “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) means that when sin has been committed, death must occur to satisfy the demands of justice — life must be taken to atone for sin.
  3. To say that life must be taken is to say that blood must be shed to atone for sin.
  4. In the OT, animal sacrifices were a reminder of God’s requirement of life for sin (although the shedding of animal blood could not itself atone for sin) — Gen. 4:4; 8:20; etc.
  5. In the Law of Moses, the Day of Atonement was a once-a-year occasion when the blood of animal sacrifices was brought into the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle — Lev. 16:1–34.
  6. All of these sacrifices were pointing forward to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, who by the shedding of His blood truly atoned for the sins of mankind — Hb. 9:6–15.

II. The Efficacy of the Blood of Christ

  1. As we have seen, the blood of the Lord atones for our sins — Hb. 9:22,23,27,28; 10:1–4,10,18. Cf. Hb. 9:6–10:29.
    1. It is a propitiation for our sins — Rom. 3:25,26. Cf. 1 Jn. 2:2.
    2. It justifies us — Rom. 5:9. Cf. 1 Pt. 3:18.
    3. It reconciles us to God — Col. 1:19–22.
    4. It makes us near to God and His people — Eph. 2:13,16.
    5. It sanctifies us — Hb. 13:12.
    6. It cleanses us from sin — 1 Jn. 1:7; Rev. 1:5.
    7. It redeems us — Eph. 1:7. Cf. Col. 1:14; 1 Pt. 1:18,19; Rev. 5:9.
  2. The blood of Christ dedicated the new covenant, in which there is the forgiveness of sins — Mt. 26:28; Hb. 9:15–18. Cf. Hb. 12:24; 13:20.
  3. By the blood of Christ we have access to God’s presence — Hb. 10:19–22. Cf. 1 Pt. 3:18.

III. Baptism, the Church, and the Blood of Christ

  1. The blood of Christ, and only the blood of Christ, can cleanse the stain of sin from a soul — Rev. 1:5. (“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”)
  2. It is in the act of baptism (into His death) that we receive the benefit of the cleansing blood of Christ — Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12. Cf. Gal. 3:27.
  3. In baptism, we are “washed” from our sins — Ac. 22:16; Eph. 5:26.
  4. The church of the Lord consists of those who have been cleansed by His blood.
  5. Christ’s death is what it cost for sins to be forgiven and the Lord to have a redeemed people — hence, the church has been “purchased” with Christ’s blood — Ac. 20:28; Eph. 5:25–27.
    1. Each Lord’s Day, those who have been bought by the Lord’s blood commemorate His death in the Lord’s Supper.
    2. In the Lord’s Supper, Christians commune with the body and blood of the Lord and proclaim His death until He comes — 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23–26.
  6. As Christians, we ought to live each day as those whose salvation was bought by the blood of Christ — 1 Cor. 6:19,20.


  1. Do we find the cross of Christ scandalous? Do we find a message which teaches blood atonement for sin either a “stumbling block” or “foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:23)?
  2. Christ died and shed His blood at Passover — Jn. 13:1. Cf. Exo. 12:5–7,12,13,21–23.
  3. He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29).
  4. As we struggle against the devil, may we be among those who “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 12:11).
  5. And may we be grateful to be among those who have “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14).

Gary Henry — +

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