The Power of the Blood (Bonar)

Various places in Scripture teach us about the power and efficacy of Jesus’ blood. By his blood we can enter into the holy presence of God (Heb. 10:19). We have redemption through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7). We were bought with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:19). And so on. Speaking of the power of Christ’s blood, Horatius Bonar (d. 1889) gave a great biblical list of the effects of Christ’s blood experienced by his followers. I’ll summarize them below:

  1. Through Christ’s blood he (the Christian) has the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7). Keeping his eye fixed on the blood, he realizes every moment the forgiveness which it proclaims, and the blessedness of which that forgiveness is the source.
  2. Through it he is brought near and kept near to God. For thus it is written, ‘Now in Christ Jesus you who were far off are made near by the blood of Christ’ (Eph. 2:13). It was this that enabled him to draw near ‘with a true heart and in full assurance of faith,’ and it is this that keeps him in the same posture still.
  3. Through it he is put in possession of eternal life. The blood is his security as well as the ground of his claim to eternal life….
  4. Through it his conscience is purged (Heb. 9:13-14; 1 John 1:7). Though a sinner, the Christian is enabled to plead ‘not guilty’ by reason of his connection with Jesus’ blood. To do anything else would be to deny the full efficacy of the blood.
  5. Through it he is set apart for God. By it he has been bought, and by it he has been separated from a present evil world. Hence he can join in that song of Revelation 1:6. By this blood he has been ransomed, and this of itself sets him apart.
  6. Through it all holiness comes. The blood has opened the channel and holiness flows. He dares not say, ‘I am sprinkled with the blood, therefore I may make light of sin and live as I please.’ No, he sais ‘I am sprinkled with this blood, therefore I must be holy.’…
  7. Through Christ’s blood the Christian overcomes (Rev. 12:11). It is the sight of this blood that nerves him for the conflict and gives him the assurance of victory. The blood with which we are sprinkled gives us both strength and courage.
  8. Through it the Christian’s garments are purified. Of the blessed above it is written, ‘They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ (Rev. 7:14). It is this that so thoroughly purifies our raiment, making it, for beauty and glory, to resemble that of our great high priest Himself. Not one stain of earth is permitted to defile it….
  9. Through it all blessing flows. The ‘good things to come’ (Heb. 10:1) are all connected with this blood. It is the blood that makes it befitting in God to bestow these blessings, and which emboldens the sinner to draw near in order to receive them. All that is excellent and glorious is connected with this blood.

The above edited/summarized nine points are found in the ninth chapter of Bonar’s The Blood of the Cross.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015