Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 8, 1954

No Redemption Apart From Blood - Sanctified By Blood

Roy E. Cogdill

Under the old covenant God required that everything — vessels, book, tabernacle, people, utensils, in fact, everything that entered in any way into the service of God — should be sanctified by blood. The writer of the Hebrew letter makes this plain, declaring, "for a testament is of force where there hath been death: for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth. Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded to you-ward. Moreover the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he sprinkled in like manner with the blood. And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." (Heb. 9:17-22)

This is the type. Now if we turn right on through the book of Hebrews, we have an application of the type, a fulfillment of it in the blood of Jesus Christ. "We have an altar," the writer says, "whereof they have no right to eat that serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered without the gate." (Heb. 13:10-12) So under the New Covenant, as well as under the Old, people are sanctified by blood. The difference being that it is the blood of Christ now that sanctifies, rather than the blood of animals.

No Blood — No Sanctification

It is as impossible for a man to be sanctified unto God today who has not come under the blood of Christ as it was impossible for a Jew to be sanctified to God then who had not been sprinkled with the blood of an animal. It was blood — the blood of animals — which gave that old covenant its acceptability in God's sight. It is blood — the blood of Christ — which gives power and saving efficacy to the new covenant. Without the shedding of animal blood that old covenant would have been powerless and without effect. Without the blood of Christ the new covenant would be equally impotent.

The new covenant is given its effect by the blood of the Lord Jesus. The inspired writer declared, "And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it." (Heb. 9:1516) The New Testament, the book of the law of Christ, was given force and effect by the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ; it was not effective at all, and had no power or force, until that blood was shed.

Under the old covenant the tabernacle was sanctified by the sprinkling of the blood of animals. So under the new covenant the church is sanctified by the blood of Christ. Remember now that people are sanctified by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 13:11 tells us that); and the law, the covenant, the gospel can be effective only by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:15-17 tells us that). So we are prepared to understand now that the very way into heaven itself is sanctified or opened up by the blood of Christ. "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having a great high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith." (Heb. 10:19-22) That is a specific reference to the church, to the body of Christ. Through it we have our approach unto the Father; this is the "new and living way" which has been made possible through the blood of Christ. To the Ephesian elders Paul said, "Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)

Thus the people, the law, or gospel, and the church are all sanctified by the blood of Christ. Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. Without being sanctified by that blood of Christ which was shed, there can be no acceptability with God. The writer of Hebrews declares, "It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." (Heb. 9:23) All the vessels of the sanctuary were cleansed with the blood of Animals; but the church is sanctified to God with a better sacrifice — the blood of Christ.

How can any man think he can be acceptable with God while he stands aloof from the blood-bought institution which Christ has purchased? He has certainly read God's word to little profit who has the idea that "the church is non-essential," and "one can be saved out of the church as well as he can in it." There is no forgiveness without blood; and there is no blood possible save that of Christ which is able to forgive sins. The blood of Christ bought the church; forgiveness is there. It can be had nowhere else.