When we first started attending a Spirit filled church, we often heard people using the words, “plead the blood.” At first, I didn’t know what it meant and thought it was spiritual lingo. However, over the years I have come to more of an understanding of what this means.
In Exodus 12 we read about the instructions that God gave the children of Israel through Moses. Moses had just announced the last plague to Pharoah, that all the firstborn children would die that night but God told Moses how to protect His people. Verses 3-5 tell us that they had to sacrifice a perfect lamb and then in verse 7, to put some of its blood on the door frames of their houses so that God would pass over them and protect them.
This points to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the spotless lamb of God, whose blood was shed for our salvation. The word salvation includes protection, so every time we need protection, we can “plead the blood of Jesus.” It simply means applying the effects of the blood of Jesus over our loved ones, homes, vehicles etc. We do it in faith, believing in the power of the blood.
“They overcame him (satan) because of the blood of the lamb and because of the word of their testimony.” (Rev 12:11 AMP).
So often Christians struggle with this issue. So, what does the Bible have to say? "In Him we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph 1:7; NKJV). By Christ's sacrifice on the cross, His death and resurrection, the shedding of His blood, He
won forgiveness for all of us, all sins, past, present and future.
God not only forgives us but He doesn't remember our sins (Heb 10:17). In fact, as far as God is concerned, our sins have been plunged into the deepest sea (Micah 7:18) and removed from us to the distance of the east from the west (Psalm 103:12). If God could forgive King David for adultery and murder (2 Sam 12:1-15) and the apostle Paul for persecuting the early Christians (Acts 9:1-2) then He will forgive us for anything we have done,
We are to forgive as Christ forgives us (Eph 4:32) and if we don't forgive God won't forgive us (Mark 11:26). Jesus said we should forgive someone 7 times 70 times (Matt 18:21-22). I think that means don't put any limit on your forgiveness. Our greatest example of forgiveness is of course, Jesus. On the cross He prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34; NKJV).
Let's receive God's forgiveness and forgive others by faith and in sincerity, from our hearts (Matt 18:35).
Do you ever get up in the morning and not know what to wear? Well Col 3:12-14 gives us a few suggestions! Verse 12 begins in many translations with the words “clothe yourselves with…...”, so let’s see what we are supposed to wear.
1. Tenderhearted mercy (or compassion). That’s not just feeling sorry
for someone but doing something about it.
2. Kindness or “goodness in action”. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23).
3. Humility or “a deep sense of one’s littleness”.
4. Gentleness or being able to keep your emotions under control, another fruit of the Spirit).
5. Patience or extending forbearance with people that try your patience, another fruit of the Spirit.
6. Forgiveness – enough said!
7. “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14; NLT). In other words, the most important thing we need to wear is love. Agape, God’s unconditional, sacrificial love.
If we make a decision to wear these clothes every day, we will always look beautiful!
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42; NKJV). This verse describes the early church, or we could call it the normal church. Fellowship, in our verse above, is the Greek word, koinonia. This is an intimate form of communication amongst Christians and with God, engendered by the Holy Spirit. Christian fellowship is an all-consuming spiritual union and relationship with God and brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, or church. The fellowship amongst Christians in the early church was characterized by an emphasis on the teaching by the apostles (the word), prayer, praise, holy communion, meeting together, sharing meals, taking care of each other’s needs and a great sense of unity (Acts 2:42-47a).
Many other scriptures in the New Testament also describe the fellowship of the early or normal church. As Christians, we are all baptized into the church by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13), we are all important. The apostle Paul exhorted us to be: “knit together in love” (Col 2:2a; NKJV); that is God’s unconditional love, but he also encouraged us to share affection and brotherly love with each other (Rom 12:10). We are to exhort, encourage and call each other on in our spiritual walk (Heb 3:13). In addition, as already noted above, we must: “do good to all, especially those who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10; NKJV). Just like in the early church, as we all become this same normal church today, we will see the Lord: “add to it daily those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47b). Amen!
“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit (Eph 3:16 NLT). This is Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. He also prays for the Colossians to be “strengthened with all power according to His glorious might to attain every kind
of endurance and patience with joy” (Col 1:11 RSV). I believe the kind of strength Paul is praying for is an inner strength which would enable them to be patient and joyful in all circumstances.
1 Tim 1:12 (NLT) says, “I thank Jesus our Lord who has given me strength to do His work”. A different word for strength is used here in the Greek, “endynamoo” which means to increase in strength and also to enable. The same word is used in 2 Tim 4:17 (NKJV), “The Lord stood with me and strengthened me so the message might be preached fully through me.” These 2 verses are talking about strength for God’s service but it is still a strengthening or enabling that comes from God. Another verse using this same word is Eph 6:10 (AMP), “Be strong in the Lord (draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him) and in the power of His (boundless) might”. Phil 4:13 is a very familiar and often quoted verse but I love it in the Amplified Bible, “I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal for anything through Him who infuses strength into me. I am self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency)”. Wow!
These verses all encourage us to rely on God’s strength (rather than our own) so we can be strong as Christians and in God’s service and as a result be more useful to God. I don’t know about you but I need that kind of strength!