While on the cross, Jesus shed His blood to:
1. Satisfy the wrath and judgment of God against us for our sins – Romans 3:25 “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” 1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Romans 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
2. Cleanse us from all of our sins, past, present, and future – Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” 1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Acts 13:38 “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” 2 Corinthians 1:10 “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”
3. Justify us before God – Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
4. Make atonement for our souls – Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
5. Purge our conscience from dead works – Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Many people have their consciences dangerously salved by dead works. These works are called “dead” because they cannot give life. Many think the more they do, the better chance they will have to earn eternal life. This is a deception.
The problem with our efforts is the way God sees them. Isaiah the prophet said, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) David said, “Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.” (Psalms 39:5)
Paul said in Romans 3:10-20: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Dead works could include: Baptism, Communion, Sacraments, mission work, charity, giving money or time, learning a catechism, saying prayers, attending church, being in a ministry, reading the Bible, lent, fasting, etc. If these dead works could save us, why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? Why did His blood have to be shed? The blood of Jesus Christ purges our consciences from dead works. It makes us realize how silly it is to trust in ourselves, and what we can do, rather than trusting in Christ and what He has done.
Illustration: If you committed 10,000 crimes, and you had to stand before a judge, would you tell him how good you are? So, if a person sins just 3 times a day (over 1000 times a year), and is 40 years old, that is over 40,000 sins (crimes against God’s law) – 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
No amount of “good” works can erase one sin. That is why what we call “good” works, God calls “dead” works and He expects us to repent of them. Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” The foundation is the first thing built. The first thing to having a relationship with God, is to repent of the dead works you are trusting in.
This Salvation is entirely and wholly a work of God’s grace–without any works of man. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God’s grace (undeserved and unmerited favor) draws us to Himself (John 6:44), gives us repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), and faith to believe (Romans 10:8-17).
The agent by which this is done is the person of the Holy Ghost – John 16:7-11 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
No works, however good, can make Salvation more secure. Consider this truth in the following verses:
Romans 4:2-5 “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”
2 Timothy 1:9-10 “Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”
Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
It is a free gift, not a reward! Romans 5:15 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
Romans 5:16, 18 “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification…Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”