With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Living in Constant Spiritual View of the Blood

Okay, so how many times can one read the same book and just keep getting ministered to on so many levels and in so many new ways? God just knows how carnal and slow I am and so keeps taking me back to some of the same things over and over.

You might recall I posted a "Nothing but the Blood" YouTube video a couple of weeks ago. That's about the time it started... I knew God was leading me back to Andrew Murray's book, "The Power of The Blood of Jesus" for what has to be at least the fourth reading.

One of the issues of today that ignites so much controversy if even mentioned in Christian circles is the matter of sanctification. Holiness. Consecration. Separation. Setting ourselves apart. In my view, it is a major missing element in the body of Christ today. We don't seem to mind being saved AND talking about it but mention sanctification and mini wars break out. We want to be as cool as the world, do the same things as the world, dress like the world, dare I say it drink like the world, talk like the world and hang out with the world.

Now don't get me wrong here. Balance and filtering every aspect of our lives through rightly dividing the entirety of the word of God is the key. But I don't see any examples of the New Testament believers carrying on with their former way of life once they were born again. Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, Luke were all solidly "set apart" not only by God but in the way they lived their daily lives to do the work of the kingdom. When Jesus 'ate with sinners' He maintained His mission which was anointed of God and consecrated with strength, power and ability from the Holy Spirit to go about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him. Hey, if that's what we are doing when we hang out in worldly places then more power to us. That's not what I see happening and that's not what I'm addressing.

For me, when I accepted the Redemption Jesus purchased for me, God brought me out of a life of self destructive behaviors. I realize not everyone was as bad off as me when they came to surrender at the feet of our Lord. Regardless of what we think we were saved from, we each need to realize the reality of what every single one of us have been saved FROM. Perhaps then we wouldn't take it for granted.

It is a right view of the Blood, I believe, that keeps all of these points in check and is perhaps one of the critical missing elements in our Christian circles and even churches today. When was the last time you heard a series of teachings on the Blood?

So this post is already way too long. I guess I'll have to make it a series... imagine that. :-)

I could quote just about every line of the Andrew Murray book I referenced here. It's really that full. But I'll close with these words from his book...

"For victory over sin and the deliverance of the sinner, God has no other means or thought than "the blood of Jesus." The blood must have the same place in our hearts which it has with God. From before the foundation of the world, the heart of God has rejoiced in that blood. Our heart will never rest, nor find salvation, till we too learn to walk and glory in the power of that blood.

It is not only the penitent sinner, longing for pardon, who must value it. No! The redeemed will experience that just as God in His temple sits upon a throne of grace, where the blood is ever in evidence, so there is nothing that draws our hearts nearer to God, filling them with God's love, and joy, and glory, as living in constant, spiritual view of that blood."

I believe with all my heart that the closer we get to God in the truest spiritual sense, the more our hearts desire Him. The more we desire Him and then stay true to that desire in our outward lives, the less power our carnal desires have over us. It is then a matter of separating our lives UNTO God and not so much a matter of separating our lives FROM the world. The desire for "the things of this world" will fade and even become abundantly unappealing.

"The blood must have the same place in our hearts which it has with God."

This has become my constant prayer.


marmee said...

"nothing but the blood of jesus"

there's power in the blood!
this is truly our foundation as believer's. i too think there is a lot of compromising in the church and in christians as a whole. there is a move to be so community minded they leave out the very things that will deliver you and set you free.
this is definately one of the areas of forbidden conversation. but i'm glad you brought it up. it makes my heart glad that i was blessed to have such great underpinnings of my faith built in me at such a young age.
my concern is for this generation. the "entitlement" they feel is not about consecration or sanctification. it is how can i make this gospel fit into what "i" want to do.
not all are like this by any means. i know plenty of young people who love God with their whole heart and are laying their lives down as a sacrifice. but there are so many mixed messages. it makes you cling to what you wholly know to be the truth
the bible , the blood!

Meems said...

Marmee: I've got so much stirring in me about this subject right now. Thanks for your thoughts. You made some really good points. I like your use of the word underpinnings to describe the foundations of faith. It reminds me of Heb.5:11 - Heb 6:3.

You've also hit on the GenX and GenY mentality of entitlement. I blame OUR generation though for passing along our sloppy life styles of self-ISH living rather than self-sacrifice (mind you -I am SO generalizing here).

Anyway, the church (believers worldwide)as a whole should be WAY different in our approach to problems, in raising our families, in exemplifying marriage, in our work ethic, in the way we treat others... our way of life in every area. Instead I see us trying to make the gospel fit into the world --like you said. WE are trying to fit INTO the world.

Anyway, the Blood IS the central power of our redemption. IF the church was exercising that power rightly we could be the effective ministers of reconciliation we were called to be and I believe the world would want what WE HAVE.

It's a tough subject because it is a complex one but... we do well to glory in the precious Blood.

marmee said...

this is a topic i feel passionate about. along with gardening, i could converse about it all day and night long.
i especially loved your third paragraph. we are in the world but not of the world.so we are to be set apart from it.
we are trying to do that in our lives more and more. moving was a big step in the right direction and growing our own food, too. next year we have bigger plans to go out into our field becoming even more self sufficent.
also, to teach our children to slow down the pace of living in this tech-age of lifestyles.
we have come to appreciate some of the simplier things in life.
a beautiful new vegetable out of our own garden, sitting together by the fire pit exchanging stories, not falling into the comercialism of the holidays, the list goes on...
seeing the very essence of God in the living world around us and breathing it in.
this is what the blood has done for us as receivers of his mercy.

mjm said...

I might need to add this little "light" read to the growing stack next to my bed. (Oh how I need a place besides the floor to house them all.)

A thought the first time I read your post...I think I have read it three times now...Do you think our view of sanctification is at all affected by the point in which we come to Christ? By that I mean do you think our past experiences and what we feel that God has saved us from influences how we view holiness?

You said, "Regardless of what we think we were saved from, we each need to realize the reality of what every single one of us have been saved FROM." I agree with you completely. I know as one who came to Christ as a child, it can be easy to try and justify my attitude, actions, etc and compare myself with others. Over the last several years I have come to understand that it really is the grace of God and nothing of my own accord.

Just some initial questions/thoughts. I can't wait to read more.

Meems said...

marmee: I'm with you... it is an inexhaustible topic and one we do well to "speak" about and mention amongst believers often.

mjm: Yeah... all of Murray's books are "light" reading. HA! On the other hand it IS the kind of book you want to pick up over and over again just knowing you didn't get but perhaps a tenth of it the first time. Mine has so many underlines, highlights, stars and brackets it threatens to become unreadable if I don't stop marking it up. :-) If only I could just "get-it"! All those marks don't mean a thing until the work of the Blood becomes part of me... what makes me who I am... and completely reconstructs how I view life.

To try to answer your question... you asked "Do you think our view of sanctification is at all affected by the point in which we come to Christ? By that I mean do you think our past experiences and what we feel that God has saved us from influences how we view holiness?"

The simple answer is yes. Although I find that thinking to be erroneous and even misleading.

My view is that we were all saved FROM the same thing. No matter when or how we came to our Lord as Savior... no matter what our natural life decisions were prior to that point. We've all been saved from a life of destruction, and from that wide path (all the stuff along the way) that leads to it. We've been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's marvelous light! We've been saved from eternal death and Hell.

Clearly, it is up to each one of us to make the necessary choices to walk this way out and THAT is where we either "make it or break it" in this life --so to speak.

I've found that as I concentrate on what I've been saved UNTO it equalizes whatever we each have come from in our "past life".

Personally, I feel those folks who come to God and never walk through the muck and mire of bad choices have it so much better. So much less to have to shake free from one's thinking and one's habits. To me, it is the best possible testimony of the power of the blood of Jesus to say 'I received Jesus as my Lord when I was a child and I didn't depart from Him all my life.' Wow. Now that's keeping power in action!

I hope I answered your inquiry understandably.