Lord's Day Liturgy

The Blood of a New Humanity

I grew up in a Baptist church where we didn’t potluck without casseroles or sing without hymnals. As a kid I remember thinking that we sang a lot of hymns about blood, and I was especially confused about the song “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
that makes me white as snow;
no other fount I know;
nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Red is a primary color, but I had never seen it turn anything white. You have to work to get red wine and red blood out, not on.

Not only is Jesus’ blood precious “like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19), His blood purifies sinners. It “will purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). “The blood of Jesus…cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). His blood also purchases salvation; “he entered once for all into the holy places…by means of his own blood, thus securing eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). And His blood whitens stains, as when “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages…have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9, 14).

In Adam humanity got started. In Noah humanity got restarted. In Christ, the true second Adam, humanity got remade. His blood is regenerating a new humanity, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Precious is the flow, the fount of the sin-bleaching, new civilization-building blood of Jesus.

Lord's Day Liturgy

Gravy That Requires Forks and Knives

One passage that Joe Rigney readily and rightfully keeps on repeating in The Things of Earth is 1 Timothy 4:4-5.

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

I’m not sure how many week’s worth of exhortations are latent in this rich Scripture soil, but as we’re studying Genesis 8 and 9 at church, with Noah back on dry ground and God adding a whole protein-packed page to Noah’s menu, I thought we could think through at least one exhortation.

Many believers will get to heaven trudging on the sidewalks outside hell’s walls. I don’t mean this like other preachers have, as a portrayal of carnal Christians. Instead, I mean it as a reference for the religious who try to separate themselves from all earthly things. They don’t drink, smoke meats, or go with girls who do. Certain abstainers are monkish, mendacious, and Paul says that they are devoted to demon doctrines.

True, Puritanical pilgrims, “those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3) have yet to find a piece of meat too skunky for Scripture seasoning and a prayer marinade. That’s part of what quiet times are good for: to cook out light and fearful thoughts over the heat of a theology fire. Daily devotions ought to flour the broths of life into a gravy that requires forks and knives.

They Spirit says that some men will depart from the faith and try to be spiritual in infernal ways, while truly spiritual persons will be cooking with gratitude and the holy men will have second helpings.