March 30, 2016
I John 1:5-7
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Blood Bath! The term conjures up horrible pictures of a massacre! That’s bad! I have always had a gentle nature and have never liked to fight. I do not watch violent movies or TV shows, or allow such literature to entertain me. I try to live by the principle Paul put forth in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are
lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if
there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
In short, I try to only allow good things to enter and stay in my mind! I know I can’t always stop wrong thoughts from coming, but – as a wise minister once told his son – “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from landing in your hair!” Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:34, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” If I want good to come out of my heart (my life) then I will try to allow only good in!
But back to our theme – Blood Bath! In this case it is very good! And we, as Christians, need to understand it! The Scripture is I John 1:5 through 7:
This is the message which we have heard from Him [Jesus Christ], and
declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we
say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and
do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His
Son cleanses us from all sin.
That last part of the last sentence – “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin,” is the Blood Bath of which we must learn. Notice that the word cleanses is in the present tense. The present tense in the Greek gives this meaning – as explained in A Popular Commentary on the New Testament: “…it is the present tense, however; and simply preached a perpetual removal of all sin as pollution in the light of God.” A good translation is, “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son keeps on cleansing us from all sin!
A perpetual removal…! Why do we need a perpetual removal of our sin? It is because of what John writes to believers in the next verse, I John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” This side of heaven we still sin! Although we have been given a new godly nature (see Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; II Corinthians 5:17), we still have the old sinful nature upon which we too often rely! (See Galatians 5:16, 17). We follow our own way instead of God’s (see Luke 22:42). We are told we will be sinless when we get to heaven in I John 3:2:
Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed
what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like
Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
It is God’s purpose to make His children into the image of His Son! (See Romans 8:29). Throughout this earthly life it is a process – as Paul describes it in II Corinthians 3:18: “…we…are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Glory to glory to glory to glory! – a process until we see Him “…face to face…” (I Corinthians 13:12). Then, when “…we shall see Him as He is…we shall be [completely] like Him…”! Until then we sin! Until then we need the constant cleansing of His blood! Until then, we need to be under a divine Blood Bath!
Jesus, in the upper room, showed His disciples a practical object lesson of this truth in John 13:4 through 10:
[He] rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and
girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to
wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He
was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him,
“Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing You do not understand now, but you will know after
this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus an-
swered and said to him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with
Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my
hands and my head.!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only
to wash his feet, but is completely clean….”
We are washed completely by His blood when by faith we first come to Jesus! (See Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 103:12; Ephesians 1:6). But, just like the New Testament person who washed in the public baths, and then walked home, getting only his feet dirty again, we ‘get our feet dirty’ as we walk through life! That’s why we need the constant cleansing of His blood – a constant Blood Bath!
So thank God that “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us [keeps on cleansing us] from all sin.” That ongoing action makes us perpetually acceptable to the Father! Praise His holy name!