There is an ongoing debate among some apostolics concerning the question of when the blood is applied to a believer. Many assert that the blood is applied solely at water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. Careful study of the scripture, however, reveals that while baptism represents the initial natural or physical application of the blood, it is not the only application of the blood. For if anything at all is certain about the lesson of Old Testament typology it is that the blood is applied to the believer in atonement just as surely as it is applied in redemption.
When the Children of Israel were in Egypt, the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the doorposts and lintel of each of their houses. This was the act of divine redemption, whereby the people of God were redeemed out of the bondage of Egypt. Notice that before the blood of the lamb could be applied it had to be shed – i.e., the lamb had to be slain. It should also be noted that the work was not finished simply by applying the blood to the doorposts and lintel of the house. The completion of the natural application (man’s job) merely set the stage for the spiritual application (God’s job), in which the Spirit of God worked actively “passing over” every blood-marked dwelling to deliver the house from the avenging work of the Death Angel – thereby causing it to avoid the house and not destroy its firstborn occupant.
After leaving Egypt, the Children of Israel were then a redeemed people, even though they did not immediately take possession of the Promised Land (as a result of their unbelief). However, God made a covenant with them and gave to them His Laws, which made provision for a structured place of worship and sacrifice (the Tabernacle) as well as a ministry to oversee and serve in it (the Priesthood). All these provisions were made for a redeemed people partly so that when they were estranged from God because of their sins they could once again be brought back into oneness with him through the atoning work of the blood of the covenant, which ultimately was to be sprinkled upon the lid of the Ark of the Covenant – the Mercy Seat – in the Holy of Holies by the High Priest once a year every year on the Day of Atonement.
Christ was our Passover—“Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world!” As sinners, we were redeemed out of the world by His blood when we repented (crucified with Christ), were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (buried with Christ), and received the gift of the Holy Ghost (risen with Christ). This is the awesome process of New Testament redemption: the innocent Lamb shed its blood, dying at the hands of those whose own sins had condemned them to death; the blood of the slain Lamb is applied to the house of the condemned; and in glorious victory the risen Lamb frees the house from the looming threat of imminent death and destruction.
However, Christ’s blood also answers to the blood of atonement, and furthermore, He who was the Lamb of God is also now our High Priest, ever living to make intercession for the redeemed saints with His own blood. Indeed, John tells us that the blood of Jesus “cleanseth” us from our sin in a continual and perpetual work of atonement.
So we see that as sinners, the blood of redemption was initially applied when we were converted or born again of the water and the spirit – per Acts 2:38. As saints, the blood of atonement (“blood of sprinkling”) is subsequently applied continually to us as members of the Body of Christ by our fellowship (“communion”) with the saints walking in the light (which represents the Truth preached from the blood-sprinkled Word of God) – per 1 John 1:7.
Pastor Tim D. Cormier
18 August, 2004
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