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THE INCORRUPTIBLE AND REDEEMING
William Cowper (1731-1800) wrote these beautiful words of a well-known hymn:
E'er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
This was C. H. Spurgeon's (1834-1892) favorite hymn. The great preacher said,
For me there is nothing worth thinking of or preaching about but this grand theme. The Blood of Jesus Christ is the life of the gospel (C. H. Spurgeon, "The Blood of Sprinkling," February 28, 1886, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 32, p. 121, reprinted by Dr. Bob Ross of Pilgrim Publications, P.O. Box 66, Pasadena, Texas 77501).
Why did Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, make such a strong statement? Why did he say, "For me there is nothing worth thinking or preaching about" but the Blood of Christ? You can see by reading the hundreds of sermons he preached, printed in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, that this was true. But why? Why would the greatest preacher of the English-speaking world make the Blood of Christ his main subject? Simply because there is no more important subject in the Bible!
The Bible teaches that there is no salvation for mankind without the Blood of Jesus Christ. I want us to focus our thinking on two things regarding the Blood of Christ this evening. Both points are from my text in I Peter 1:18-19.
1. The Blood of Christ is incorruptible.
2. The Blood of Christ is necessary for your redemption.
I. First, the Blood of Christ is incorruptible.
In the Psalms, God's Word gave this prophecy, which was fulfilled in Christ:
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Psalm 16:10).
The Hebrew word for "corruption" means "destruction" or "decay" (Strong's Concordance).
This verse from the Psalm is quoted in the New Testament:
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption…He (David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption" (Acts 2:27, 31).
Some in our day say that the Flesh of Christ was resurrected, but His Blood was soaked up in the dirt around the Cross and perished. But the Bible gives another verse which says that the Blood of Christ was also incorruptible:
"Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18-19).
The word "corruptible" in this verse is from "perish" or "destroy." The verse shows that the Blood of Christ cannot perish or be destroyed. Silver and gold are the least perishable of all substances on earth, but even silver and gold will perish when the world is burned in God's judgment. We are told that "the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up…all these things shall be dissolved" (II Peter 3:10-11). The very elements (The Greek word means "atoms") will be burned up. All that is in the world will be "dissolved" (literally "destroyed") by the fire of God. That includes silver and gold; "all these things shall be dissolved."
But I Peter 1:18-19 tells us we are not redeemed by something corruptible, "but with the precious blood of Christ." This verse clearly shows us the incorruptible, imperishable, unspoiled (Strong's) Blood of Christ!
An article in Frontline magazine said,
When the Blood of Christ was shed, it did not congeal and disappear into the dust of the ground. It could not, for God's Word says it is incorruptible Blood. The sands of Mount Calvary did not soak up the precious Blood of the Lamb of God. Since "incorruptible" when applied to the body of Christ refers to the Resurrection of the body, incorruptible Blood can only mean that the Blood of Christ was raised by the same supernatural activity (Frontline magazine, March/April 2001, p. 5).
When Jesus rose from the dead, He said:
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke 24:39).
The Disciples were astonished to see the risen Christ. They "supposed that they had seen a spirit" (Luke 24:37). Many people today think that Jesus rose as a Spirit. These verses correct the idea of a "Docetic" spirit-Christ. No, He arose with a flesh and bone body. He told the Disciples to look at the gaping wounds in His hands and His feet.
"Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing" (John 20:27).
Christ told Thomas to put his hand into the hole in His side, made by the soldier's spear when He was on the Cross.
My point is this: Christ said for the Disciples to look at the holes in His hands, His feet, and His side. Blood would have flowed out of those wounds, if there had been any Blood left in His resurrected "flesh and bone" body. But there was no Blood left in His Body. The Blood had already been resurrected by the power of God.
When Mary Magdalene met Jesus after He rose from the dead, He told her,
"Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God" (John 20:17).
Yet, not long after that, the Disciples "came and held him by the feet" (Matthew 28:9). He would not let Mary touch Him, because He had not yet ascended to God, yet a short time later, He allowed the Disciples to hold Him by the feet. The Scofield note gives us this explanation, which seems perfectly Biblical to me:
Jesus speaks to Mary as the High Priest fulfilling the day of atonement (Leviticus 16). Having accomplished the sacrifice, He was on His way to present the sacred blood in heaven, and that, between the meeting with Mary in the Garden and the meeting of Matthew 28:9, He had so ascended and returned, a view in harmony with types (Scofield note on John 20:17).
This was the same view that Dr. John R. Rice believed.
The High Priest in the Old Testament took blood and put it on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. So, Christ took His Blood into Heaven between His meeting with Mary and His meeting with the Disciples:
"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:11-12).
Notice that this passage says He entered "once into the holy place." That had to be at some other time than at His ascension, because the Bible says,
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).
We are told repeatedly in the New Testament that He is seated at the right hand of God, and this verse tells us He went to be seated there immediately after speaking to the Disciples and ascending to Heaven. This makes it at least plausible that He had previously ascended and placed His Blood in the "holy place" (Hebrews 9:12) in Heaven.
"Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ" (I Peter 1:18-19).
The Blood of Christ is now on the mercy seat in Heaven. It is incorruptible. It cannot perish or decay. All this is supernatural. Of course! Take out the supernatural and there is no Christianity – just morality. But this is not magic. You cannot manipulate the Blood of Christ. No magic! The Blood is supernatural, but it does not respond to magic. “Decisionism” is magic! That’s why we reject it. It is God who decides to cleanse you with the Blood.
I know Dr. John MacArthur does not believe this point. I also know that he got his false ideas on the Blood from a strange man named Colonel R. B. Thieme, Jr. I was present in the fall of 1961 when the young John MacArthur attended a series of Bible studies by Thieme in which he (Thieme) taught the same things that MacArthur has taught across the years since then. I am convinced that Dr. MacArthur got his ideas from R. B. Thieme, because I saw him taking notes on those very points. Thieme taught that the word “blood” means “death” – not “some blood floating around in the air some place.” These are thoughts that crop up from time to time throughout Dr. MacArthur’s sermons, and I personally know that he got those ideas from Colonel R. B. Thieme. This is a tragedy, because Dr. MacArthur teaches good doctrine on other things. Our church prays for Dr. MacArthur every week to turn away from R. B. Thieme’s strange doctrines on the Blood of Christ.
II. Second, the Blood of Christ is necessary for your redemption.
The text tells us you are not redeemed with corruptible things, but you may be redeemed by the Blood of Christ. The word "redeemed" in I Peter 1:18 is the translation of a Greek word that means "loosen" or "release" (Strong's, Vine's), "signifying a release" (Vine's).
Unless you are "loosened" and "released" by the Blood of Christ, you will forever be
1. Under "the curse of the law" (Galatians 3:13). You are cursed by the law because you cannot keep it. You are not able to keep the commandments in the law of God perfectly. That's why the law curses you. It shows you are guilty and gives you no way to escape from judgment. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus can wash your sins away, so you can be "loosened" and "released" from the curse of the Law.
2. Unless you are "loosened" and "released" by the Blood of Christ you will forever be under the domination of Satan, "who are taken captive by him at his will" (II Timothy 2:26). Nothing can "loosen" his hold on you, or "release" you, but the Blood of Jesus Christ!
3. Unless you are "loosened" and "released" by the Blood of Christ, you will forever be under the wrath and judgment of a holy God. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus Christ can "loose" you and "release" you from the judgment of God.
Oh, my friend, you must have the Blood of Christ! You must have the Blood of Christ to loose you from the curse of the Law, to loose you from your slavery to Satan, and to loose you from the wrath of an angry God! Oh, you must – you must – have the precious Blood of Jesus Christ to redeem you from the curse, from bondage, and from wrath. I repeat, you must have the Blood of Christ! I pray that you will trust Jesus soon!
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(END OF SERMON)
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Prayer Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme.
Solo Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness”
(by Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, 1700-1760;
translated by John Wesley, 1703-1791).
THE OUTLINE OF
THE INCORRUPTIBLE AND REDEEMING
by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18-19).
I. First, the Blood of Christ is incorruptible, Psalm 16:10;
II. Second, the Blood of Christ is necessary for your redemption,