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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Pulpit Cyclopedia, 1851
"The precious blood of Christ…" I Peter 1:19
The word precious signifies valuable, of great worth:
(1) It is applied in the divine Word to human life. One of the captains sent to seize Elijah said, “O man of God, let my life and the life of these fifty servants be precious in thy sight.
(2) It is also applied to the blood and death of the saints, "And precious shall their blood be in his sight." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
(3) It is applied to the divine Word. "The word of the Lord was precious in those days."
(4) To the redemption of the soul. "The redemption of the soul is precious."
(5) To wisdom. "Wisdom is more precious than rubies."
(6) Loving-kindness of God. "How precious is thy loving-kindness, O God!"
(7) It is applied to Christ as the foundation-stone. "Behold, I lay in Zion a precious corner-stone," &c.
(8) To the promises. "Whereby are given to us precious promises."
(9) To faith. "That have obtained like precious faith."
Finally, it is applied to Christ's blood. "The precious blood of Christ."
I. IT IS PRECIOUS COMPARATIVELY.
II. IT IS PRECIOUS INTRINSICALLY.
III. IT IS PRECIOUS SUPERLATIVELY.
I. IT IS PRECIOUS COMPARATIVELY.
Every creature of God is good. He made nothing in vain; not a leaf, pebble, grain of sand, drop of water. We see more of the divine glory in the animal creation. All creatures are precious, so much so, that his wisdom, power, and goodness, for them, &c. They are all formed with love of life. How they cling to it!
Cruelty is abominable wickedness, insulting to God. God however was pleased, under the old dispensation, to allow some of these creatures to be slain for sacrifices, &c. God in this exhibited the evil and desert of sin, the doctrine of mediation, the provision of a substitute. Now, however precious the blood of these creatures, yet it possessed no real merit in reference to the sin of man.
"Rivers of oil and seas of blood,
Alas, they all must flow in vain."
They were but shadows, symbols, types, &c.
II. CHRIST'S BLOOD IS PRECIOUS INTRINSICALLY.
1. The blood of a human being. You may learn God's estimate from the price he set upon Cain, Gen. 4:15. When he spake to Noah, Gen. 9.
2. The blood of an innocent, spotless being. Men may deserve to die. "Soul that sinneth," &c. Christ was perfect, no stain, no weakness, no guile.
3. The blood of a holy, benevolent being. He was endowed with every excellent quality; just, good, merciful. Every virtue and grace in him in a state of perfection.
4. The blood of the Son of God. Christ was the tabernacle of the Deity, all the fulness of the Godhead. A creature is great in proportion to the resemblance to Deity. "Christ is the express image," &c. What value it imparted to Christ's person and work, the life of God's anointed Christ! If all creatures had been sacrificed in earth and heaven, not equal to this. Could easily have created more, but God never had, nor ever will have, but one "only begotten Son," Jesus Christ.
III. CHRIST'S BLOOD IS PRECIOUS SUPERLATIVELY.
1. Christ's blood made a true and real atonement for sin, which no other blood did or could. Animals could not. A million of them are not equal to one soul. How could the blood of unconscious, short-lived animals, atone for immortal souls? Angels could not. Sin affected body and soul. They have no bodies. Besides, they are a different order. The law was violated by human nature, and human nature must suffer or satisfy the broken law. Man could not. All are guilty. Law demanded his life. When he had given that he had nothing left. Now the law demanded obedience, Christ rendered it, and gave his own blood or life for the redemption of the sinner. It was truly human nature, though holy, and therefore possessing infinite virtue and efficacy.
(1.) This atonement extended to all sin. The figurative atoning sacrifices under the law, made no provision for reckless, daring, presumptuous sins; but Christ's blood extends to all manner of sins and blasphemies, &c.
(2.) This extends its influence to all sinners. Priests of old made an atonement for the congregation of Israel and proselyte strangers, Christ for the whole world. "Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man." "Who gave himself," &c. "And he is the propitiation," &c. And this extends to all ages. Of old the sacrifices had often to be renewed—the great sacrifice once every year. But this reaches from the beginning to the end of the world, eternity to eternity. "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many," Heb. 9:28; 10:11, 12, 14.
2. Christ's blood has given a most illustrious exhibition of the divine glory. Of holiness—sin pardoned, not palliated. God displayed his great abhorrence of sin. Justice magnified, and iniquity punished. Mercy triumphing in harmony with inflexible righteousness. God inexorably just and yet the Saviour.
3. His blood has procured for us inexpressibly great and precious blessings. Forgiveness of sin, peace and reconciliation with God, purity of heart, final victory over our enemies, and meekness for eternal glory.
Value this blood, apply it, glory in it; exhort sinners to come to it.