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“Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
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.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

We were singing this lovely song at church a couple of weeks ago and suddenly I stopped.

I realised we were singing in the present tense. Go over it again:

“Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;”

“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;”

Before I go on, can you spot the problem?

Jesus died. Jesus rose again. Jesus’ blood flowed from the cross, and Jesus conquered the grave.

All true right?

Every sentence I just wrote was in the past tense.

Death is already conquered and we are already redeemed by the blood of the lamb. Talking about Christ’s redemption in the present tense implies that once is not good enough, we have to be washed and rewashed and washed again to keep us clean. This limits the power of God.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”

1 Peter 3:18

“For such a High Priest [Jesus] was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens, who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

Hebrews 7:26-7

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus died, died once, for all sins. When we accept this sacrifice, we are washed in His blood. And that’s it. We are clean for all time.

Isn’t this a revolutionary concept?
Instead of always feeling the judgement of God, we can realise that we are forgiven. We can actually move on.

We replace feelings of guilt with feelings of thanksgiving. We can dance in the courts of the LORD, not as some beggar who’s snuck his way in and probably doesn’t belong there, but as fully accepted children of God.

Constant reminders about what horrible people we are and how much God will kick our butt if we don’t repent of our latest sins can be replaced with praise to God for His everlasting mercies which never run out but are replenished every morning.

We can stop looking back at what we were, and look ahead at what God has made us, a new creation, and strive through the power of Christ living in us to become more and more like Him.

This is the power of the Gospel, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.