March 20, 2012
BY: John Barnett
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Revelation 1:5 " and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood," NKJV
SIN IS A DEADLY DEFILEMENT
Listen to the testimony of one who experienced the amazing clensing power of Christ’s blood:
Who am I? My godly mother died when I was a young child. Reared by a sea-captain father, taken to sea at age eleven, I soon forgot the Scriptures she had taught me.
Several years later, I was pressed into the British navy and became a midshipman. By then I had earned the reputation of being able to curse for two hours straight without repeating a word. Restless and wild, I tried to desert, was caught, stripped, whipped severely, and degraded to the ranks. I eventually ran away to Africa, but only so “I might sin my fill.”
And I did.
Debauched and distant from God, I fell into the hands of a Portuguese slave trader. For months the chief woman of the trader’s harem treated me like an animal, beating me and forcing me to grovel in the dirt for my food.
Reduced to a mangy cur of a man, I finally escaped and made my way to the shores of Africa. Picked up by a passing ship I earned the position of first mate because I was a skilled navigator. But while the captain was ashore one day, I broke out the ship’s rum and got the entire crew drunk. When the captain came back, he was so furious he hit me, knocking me overboard.
I would have drowned were it not for a sailor who pulled me back on board by spearing my thigh with a boat hood. The wound was so large that it left a scar big enough to put my fist in. Some weeks later, when the ship neared the coast of Scotland, it sailed into a storm and almost sank. For days I manned the pumps below deck in what seemed a hopeless nightmare.
It was then that I desperately called out to God. He answered my helpless cry, and I emerged from the hold of that ship to later become the chaplain of England’s Parliament and even to preach before the king. I am the vile blasphemer whom many would subsequently refer to as the second founder of the Church of England. And it was I who wrote:
Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
These were the lyrics born out of my wayward, free-versed life. And to my ears, there is no sweeter sound than grace in all the world. Who am I? John Newton.
⇨ Let’s hum the tune to Amazing Grace
⇨ Now with our eyes closed sing the the sweet words to There is a fountain.
⇨ What are we most thankful for this morning? Jesus washed away the dreadful, eternal penalty of our sins!
JESUS IS A WONDERFUL SAVIOR
Please open your Bibles to Revelation 1:5.
There is power in the blood of Christ isn’t there? YES! There is power to change, cleanse and keep us. There is power to redeem, restore and renew us.
ITS ALL THE POWER OF GOD’S AMAZING GRACE... POURED OUT IN THE SACRIFICE OF OUR LORD JESUS...
AS HE POURED OUT HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS!
#1 Why do we need that power? We are all infected with sin.
#2 What happened when Christ shed His blood? The NT describes the power of the Blood of Christ. Hang on. We are about to cover alot of ground. These are some of the big truths of Salvation! In brief, HIS BLOOD:
1. Powerfully Paid the Penalty of our Sin [past FORGIVENESS]
2. Absolutely Defeated the Power of our Sin [present VICTORY]
3. Totally Secures us from the Presence of our Sin [future SECURITY]
JESUS HAS TAKEN CARE OF OUR PAST LIFE
1. Power to purchase us. Acts 20:28
2. Power to remove God’s Wrath from us . Romans 3:25
3. Power to justify us. Romans 5:9
4. POWER TO SCRUB OUR MINDS CLEAN Hebrews 9:14
JESUS IS TAKING CARE OF OUR PRESENT LIFE
1. POWER TO LIBERATE US Ephesians 1:7
2. POWER TO EXPERIENCE FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST 1 Corinthians 10:16
3. POWER TO KNOW CHRIST'S INTIMACY Ephesians 2:13
4. POWER TO HAVE CHRIST'S PEACE Colossians 1:20
5. POWER TO ENTER GOD’S PRESENCE Hebrews 10:19
6. POWER TO LIVE CHRIST'S LIFE Hebrews 13:20-21
7. POWER TO LIVE OBEDIENTLY 1 Peter 1:2
8. POWER TO CLEANSE OUR SINS 1 John 1:7
9. LOOSING POWER Revelation 1:5
LETTERS IN THE SAND
Every hand holds a stone and clutching fingers run along the sharp edges with malicious satisfaction. Their shouting ceases as the piercing look of Christ travels round the circle questioningly, and they fall to muttering, as one of their group shouts out the accusation again.
The woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. It seems to His disciples that Christ does not look at her at all. He does not speak. Stooping down, He slowly, deliberately begins to write in the dust at His feet. His keen glance rests upon the woman's accusers one by one. Then He writes in the sand at their feet-letter after letter. They watch His finger-fascinated, as it travels up and down, up and down. They cannot watch without trembling. Looking into their faces, Christ sees into the yesterdays that lie deep in the pools of memory and conscience. He sees into their very hearts, and that moving finger writes on ... Idolater, Liar ...Drunkard, Murderer, Adulterer,
There is the thud of stone after stone failing on the pavement. Not many of the Pharisees are left. One by one, they creep away-like animals-slinking into the shadows ... shuffling off into the crowded streets to lose themselves in the multitudes. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." But no stones have been thrown.
And now Christ looks at her. He does not speak for a long moment. Then, with eyes full of understanding, He says softly: "Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?" (John 8:10) And she answers, "No man, Lord." That is all the woman says from beginning to end. She has no excuse for her conduct. "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:11)
What He here says is - Not that He acquits the woman, but that He forgives her. Not that He absolves her from blame, but that He absolves her from guilt. Not that He condones the act, but that He does not condemn her for it-He forgives her instead. And it may be that His finger writes again in the dust, tracing this time the outline of a cross or the shape of a hill- a hill shaped like a skull.
No, we do not know her name, nor where she lived, nor who she was. But of this we can be sure-she was never the same again. She was a changed woman from that moment. Of that we can be sure.
God is willing to forgive us, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, because the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin. Lets close today by thoughtfully singing # 195 “What can wash away my sin” .