In recent weeks I’ve had several inquiries concerning the practice of verbally pleading the blood over everything we do and say. This activity seems to be a widespread practice among certain groups. After reading some material defending this practice, I’m of the opinion that people who verbally plead the blood over themselves are not testifying to the finished and full Gospel. They, in fact, have reduced the blood of Christ to a mere superstition. Claiming the blood over them as a protection formula, puts them on the same level as a person who wears a rabbit’s foot to ward away evil. Hey, it didn’t bring that rabbit any luck when he had the foot neither will pleading the blood bring any blessing to us.
These dear people have, without knowing, turned the blood of Jesus into a hocus-pocus ritual, a sort of magic wand that they think will protect them from evil and harm.
But, pleading the Blood of Jesus is not Biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus tell us to plead His Blood over ourselves. Furthermore, nowhere in the Bible does anyone ever plead the Blood of Jesus over themselves or others. I repeat, this practice of pleading the blood over ourselves is non-biblical.
On the other hand, we see from Scripture what the blood has already accomplished.
Justified by His Blood, Romans 5:9
We have Redemption through His Blood, Ephesians 1:7
Peace has been made through His Blood, Colossians 1:20
We have been made near by His Blood, Ephesians 2:13
We have been cleansed by His Blood, 1 John 1:7
The Blood is incorruptible Blood, 1 Peter 1:18-19
Our conscience is purged by the Blood, Hebrews 9:14
We enter into the Holiest by His Blood, Hebrews 10:19
We are set apart by His Blood, Hebrews 13:12
We overcome by His Blood, Revelation 12:11…in other words, we make our testimony that which has already been accomplished by the blood (this is not the same as pleading the blood).
Jesus, the sacrificed Lamb, is now our High Priest in heaven. As God’s Children, the blood of Jesus has already been applied to our lives. When Christ Jesus ascended to heaven, He entered into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled His precious blood upon the Mercy Seat before the throne of God. Hebrews 9:12 says; “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.”
His enemies are already vanquished. The blood has already triumphed. Christ became a curse, and now we have the blessings of Abraham (Galatians 3:13).
It’s redundant to plead the blood of Jesus over us to protect us. We are already under the blood and the care of the one sovereign and true God.
Nor can we cover unbelievers with the Blood of Jesus so that they one day become saved. Is salvation now the result of ritual magic? A thousand times no! There is no magic ritual in the Gospel.
Of course, it is correct to thank God for the accomplishments of the Blood. Unquestionably, it’s lawful to remind the forces of spiritual darkness of the triumph of the blood. But to reduce the blood of Christ to a little magic formula is anti-gospel. It is another form of legalism. In the legalists mind, God will do something but only if we do something first (i.e. plead the blood).
Pleading the blood is sheer anti-gospel nonsense and leads to disappointed casualties up and down the country.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
by Benjamin Keach
Download here. (Pdf) (45 Pages)
by Michael Kruger
As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.
In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).
One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…
Read the entire article here.
When interpreting scripture we must sharply distinguish between justification and sanctification, nevertheless they are never to be divorced from one another
“Christ never comes into the soul unattended. He brings the Holy Spirit with Him, and the Spirit His train of gifts and graces. Christ comes with a blessing in each hand: forgiveness in one, holiness in the other” (Thos. Adams, 1650).
Yet how rarely is Ephesians 2:8, 9, completed by the quoting of verse 10! Again, the twin truths of Divine preservation and Christian perseverance must not be parted, for the former is accomplished via the latter and not without it. We are indeed “kept by the power of God,” yet “through faith” (1 Peter 1:5), and if in 1 John 2:27, the apostle assured the saints “ye shall abide in Him,” in the very next verse he called on them to “abide in Him”; as Paul also bade such work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and then added “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Balaam wished to die the death of the righteous, but was not willing to live the life of one. Means and ends are not to be separated: we shall never reach heaven unless we continue in the only way (the “narrow” one) which leads thereto.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
by Reformed Reader
Near the end of 1768 John Newton exchanged a series of letters with a pastor friend who had been reading William Law’s writings. Law, who died in 1761, was a priest in the Church of England who later became a private teacher. Law’s popular work focused on things like devotion, holiness, sanctification, and perfection. Newton’s friend believed that righteousness and sanctification were synonymous. In other words, in his reading of Law’s call to devotion, Newton’s friend thought his sanctification was his righteousness. He believed that if he wasn’t devout enough, sincere enough, or zealous enough, God would not accept him. In fact, he even was afraid that he would end up forsaking the Lord; he lacked peace, comfort, and assurance.
Read the entire article here.
By J. V. Fesko
John Barclay, professor of divinity at Durham University in England, has written a sizable contribution to New Testament studies in Paul and the Gift. His basic thesis is that gift is the proper first-century category for comprehending Paul’s term grace (2). His primary focus is examining the divine gift giving, which for the apostle Paul is God’s gift of Christ (4).
Barclay believes gift is the best way to understand Paul’s concept of grace for three chief reasons.
First, grace is a multifaceted concept that theologians frequently use but seldom define. Some stress the incongruity of grace (giving to an unworthy recipient); others the efficacy of grace. Barclay points out that these different “perfections” of grace (conceptual extensions) aren’t better or worse interpretations of the concept, just different aspects of it (6). He identifies six possible perfections of grace (70–75, 563):
•Superabundance—the size or permanence of a gift
•Singularity—the giver’s sole and exclusive desire to express benevolence and goodness
•Priority—the timing of the gift, namely, that it takes place prior to the initiative of the recipient
•Incongruity—a gift given without regard to the worthiness of the recipient
•Efficacy—the effect of the gift, namely, what the gift is designed to accomplish
•Non-circularity—the gift escapes reciprocity and a system of exchange
Read the entire article here.
By James White
Took a phone call from 18-year-old Luke who has been talking to some Roman Catholic apologists—spent the entire hour with Luke addressing issues like sola scriptura, apostolic succession, the gospel, grace, justification—we about covered it all! Should be helpful to many!
Download the audio here.
Source [Alpha Omega Ministries]