Many of us grew up singing that wonderful old hymn “Power in the Blood.” What a wonderful message to those of us believing on the free gift of grace and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. The first verse says “Would you be free from the burden of sin?” Romans 6: 18 tells us “You have been set free from sin and have become a slave to righteousness.” Holman Bible Dictionary states “In biblical usage righteousness is rooted in covenants and relationships. For biblical authors, righteousness is the fulfillment of the terms of a covenant between God and humanity or between humans in the full range of human relationships.” We have entered into a covenant, or contract, or agreement with God and we are to honor that agreement in all that we do. So, a “slave to righteousness” is not only an agreement as to how we will treat God but how we will treat each other.
The end of the first verse closes with “Would you over evil a victory win?” In Holman Bible Dictionary under the word evil it states “After all the solutions are considered, we still realize that the problem of evil is not completely solved on an intellectual level from our limited human perspective. However, on the practical and experiential level we can say with the apostle Paul that ‘in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us’ (Romans 8:37).” You see we cannot overcome evil on our own. It takes the help of something greater than evil to give us the ability to claim victory and Jesus is that something greater. 1 John 4: 4 states “because who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Satan may have dominion over this world but our Lord and Savior conquers all!
The next verse says “Would you be free from your passion and pride?” From our very birth we are sinners and our natural passion is to serve sin. Galatians 5:24 says “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” We cannot serve two masters so we are either passionate about sin or passionate about Christ. Those finding themselves trying to live in both worlds live a life of confusion and dissatisfaction. Proverbs 8: 13 tells us “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” I believe this verse can be applied in two ways. The first is the most obvious and that is the person who is serving sin and evil by the way they conduct their lives. The second is the person claiming to be a Christian but has an arrogant attitude towards those around them, especially those that are in the first group defined above. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” God never wants us to forget that we are all sinners and Jesus’ death and resurrection was for us all not just those that would judge themselves guilty of only “minor” sins. With God, there is not such thing as “minor” sins.
The next line in that verse says “Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide.” Pause a moment and think about the incredible cleansing that took place at Calvary. James 4: 7-8 says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts…” Its no wonder that the author of this hymn then says “There is wonderful power in the blood.” We can have a power that will make the devil himself flee if we will only accept it.
The next verse says “Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?” White is most often viewed as the color of purity and snow is often used as a symbol of purity (“pure as the driven snow”). When we experience God’s cleansing we are made pure no matter how bad or how dark our past may have been. 1 John 1: 9 tells us “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
The next line is “Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.” In John 7: 38 Jesus says “Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit and when we receive Jesus Christ as our savior, the Holy Spirit washes away those stains from our life choices that were not aligned with God’s choices. We are, as scripture tells us, a “new creature.” We now not only have a new spiritual life on earth, we have an assurance of an eternal home with our Heavenly Father.
The next verse begins with the line “Would you do service for Jesus your King?” You see it’s not just about making a decision and then sitting back and waiting for your eternal home. We have work to do! The first order of business is to begin the journey of our own spiritual growth. We cannot remain infants in Christ and expect to accomplish the things God asks of us. Ephesians 4: 14-15 says “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” We must “grow up” spiritually in order to effectively serve Him. So how do we do service for Jesus? John 3: 19-21 tells us “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” We must be an extension of the “Light” and our light will show others how to come out of the darkness to be part of the “Light.” The next line says “Would you live daily His praises to sing?” Matthew 5: 16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” If we will only allow our spiritual light to shine, then those around us will recognize, by its ability to expose, the worthiness of praise that belongs to our Heavenly Father. It’s not about us, but its all about others seeing Him through us!
Then there is that magnificent refrain after each verse that says “There is power, power, wonder working power In the blood of the Lamb; There is power, power, wonder working power In the precious blood of the Lamb.” Father, I pray that you never let us forget the wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb. When we are weak let us remember there is power in the blood! When we feel discouraged and defeated, let us call on the wonder working power in the precious blood of the Lamb! Let us be bold in shining our spiritual light and humbly remember the source of that light. Oh Father, thank you for the wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb. Amen.