“Without the shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22). If there were no other statement made regarding the need for the shedding of blood, any blood shed would remove sin. For example, the blood of the sheep Abel brought would have been sufficient to save. (Genesis 4:2, 4). The blood of the animals Abram offered would have brought remission. (Genesis 12:7, 8; 13:4, 18; etc.). This included the blood of the ram Abram offered in place of the blood of his son, Isaac, at Mount Moriah. (Genesis 22:2, 12, 13). The blood of the animals Isaac offered on altars he built at Beersheba and at other places would have been sufficient to remove sin. (Genesis 26:23-25). The blood of the two (2) kids Rebekah killed to deceive her husband Isaac would have had redeeming power. (Genesis 27:6-10). The blood of the beasts Jacob offered upon the mount would have redeemed man. (Genesis 31:48-54). Surely the blood of the Passover lamb would have had redeeming power if any blood would have been sufficient. (Exodus 12).
However, “It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4). It took the precious blood of the sinless, spotless, Lamb (Son) of God to remove sin. (Hebrews 9:12, 14, 28; Matthew 26:28). Peter said we were not redeemed with corruptible things, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18, 19). Paul wrote to the saints at Rome (Romans 1:1, 7), saying, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:9). Is it any wonder that we sing so confidently so many songs about the precious saving blood of Jesus? For example, At The Cross; Nothing But The Blood; Are You Washed In The Blood?; “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood; There Is Power In The Blood; Redeemed; and others.
The blood of Jesus was shed for lost mankind. John wrote, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Revelation 1:5). The blood also purchased the church. (Acts 20:28). Jesus proclaimed that He came to do the Father’s will. (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-40). On the cross He said he finished that plan. Then, there “came out blood and water.” (John 19:30, 34). “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13; Romans 5:7, 8; Ephesians 5:2).
It is now up to each lost person to do his/her part to be saved by the blood of Jesus. If the shedding of the blood of Jesus saved without one’s obedience, all would be saved, therefore, universalism. If the shedding of the blood of Jesus saved without saved people being faithful to do the Lord’s will, no one would be lost. Acts 2 helps one to see that the shedding of the blood of Jesus alone does not save, for those who crucified the Christ realized that they had sinned, and were at this point in need of forgiveness. That is why they asked, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Too, Peter’s response shows that they still had their sins. He told them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins….” (Verse 38). Verse 41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.” It is implied that those baptized also repented as they were instructed. Each letter written to Christians and/or churches telling them what to do shows that those who have been saved have much to do to enter the eternal kingdom. (Romans thru Revelation).
We, therefore, are redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19), when we obey “from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin,….” (Romans 6:17, 18). The One who gave His precious blood to save us becomes “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8, 9).
What does the One who poured out His saving blood instruct us to do to obey Him? First, “Jesus answered…The first of all commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Mark 12:29). It is in hearing that one develops necessary faith (John 8:24), for “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). Bible faith does not come by hearing the doctrines and commandments of men (Matthew 15:7-9; 16:13, 14), but by Hearing what God says. (Matthew 16:15-17; Romans 10:17). Bible believers learn that repentance is necessary to salvation by reading the statement of Jesus, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5; 24:46, 47). The repentant non-doubting believers who have repented must now confess their faith in Jesus, or as Philip told the eunuch, and as he did, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37). The penitent believer, having confessed his/her faith in the Deity of Christ is now ready for the final step, imitating Jesus (Romans 6:1-5), buried with Christ in the waters of baptism (Acts 8:36-39), and raised in His likeness, which will erase all sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20, 21), and cause the Lord to add him/her to the church. (Acts 2:41, 47).
In all of this, one must not cease to remember that the blood of Christ shed on the cross saves one when one does His will as stated in the immediate paragraph above. One remains saved by doing the will of the Savior for the redeemed. For example, those saved by the blood of Jesus, God’s precious sinless Lamb, are to “be ready to every good work” (Titus 3:1), deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly (Titus 2:11, 12), add the Christian graces (2 Peter 1:5-11), love saint and sinner (Matthew 5:43-48; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8), hating any sin done by anyone (Psalm 119:104, 128), and so much more. One must be temperate (self-controlled), lest one, though saved, be like Paul who said, “myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Beloved, “God so loved the world” including you, “that he gave his only begotten Son” lifting Him up on the cross to save you. (John 3:14-17). WHAT LOVE! Jesus now calls, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit` have done their part. Will you now complete their wishes for you? You will not be earning your salvation. Remember, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10).
A final thought. Churches of Christ are often accused of minimizing the blood of Jesus and stressing baptism. However, the body of Christ, which is the church of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22, 23) places more emphasis on the blood than any other group. The lost are told to be baptized (Acts 10:48), to imitate the death, burial and resurrection of the Christ (Romans 6:1-5), where His blood was shed. Too, in partaking of the Lord’s Supper weekly (Acts 20:7), Christians eat the bread and drink the cup, the fruit of the vine, remembering the body and blood Jesus shed for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26-29). Preachers and teachers of the word often speak of the saving blood of Christ. Songs about the blood are sung regularly.