The Blessings of Being Under the Blood

 “In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; He pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.  As for me, I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.  (Psalms 75:8-9)  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John. 6:37-40)

Our Righteousness Is In Christ Alone

          Today’s passage of Scripture is set in a Psalm that has the characteristics of a Hymn of Thanksgiving.  Several passages of Scripture in Psalm 74 were prayers of Asaph.  This particular song of Asaph, Psalm 75 is a song of deliverance, of triumph and a Psalm of faith.  It is a song for the saints and a Hymn that proclaims the wonderful deeds of God. The opening verse of Psalm 75 says, “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 75:1) I would propose to you that the blessings of being under the blood of Christ are many.  By coming under His blood we are found righteous.  His bloodshed paved the way for us to miss the wrath of God, purchased our salvation, and enables us to enjoy the blessings of God.

The Bible tells us to partake in the Lord’s Supper, “Communion,”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians. 11:16) Biblically this is one very good way of showing our appreciation through obedience to the Word and telling others who observe us of Jesus’ sacrificial death upon the Cross.

The Word “Cup” Is Often Used In the Bible

The word “cup” is often used figuratively in the Bible for that which is portioned out and of which one is to partake.  Thus, it can mean God’s Judgments, His wrath or afflictions. (Psalms 11:6; 75:8; Revelations 14:10)     Jesus used this term regarding His sufferings.  (Matthew 26:39)  He also used the term cup in reference to what some of his saints would suffer. (Matthew 20:22) In the Old Testament the cup had also been applied to the blessedness and joy of the children of God, and the full provision made for their needs. (Psalms 16:5; 23:5; 116:13)

Dr. Dewight Jones claims there are some 32 cups mentioned in the Word of God.  I would like for us consider three of them today.  1.) The Cup of Wrath,  2.) The Cup of Salvation, and 3.) The Cup of Blessing. Just what are the blessings of being under the blood of Christ? Just what are the wonderful deeds done by Christ out of love for His Father and for us? Before we can fully enjoy those blessings we must remember just what the blood of Christ redeemed us from.  Just what was the source that caused Jesus Christ to willfully lay down His life? 

The Cup Of Wrath

There is a “cup of wrath” and we must recognize this truth as we come and take communion together as a Body of Christ.  The beloved John gives us this insight, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)“Wrath” (orge) here is “referring to divine judgment to be inflicted upon the unrighteous.” This wrath of God is not an uncontrolled, unthinking, or a violent reaction.  It is a deep, sometimes permanent, thoughtful, controlled righteous anger that is good and deals justly with all who reject Christ.

This anger of God is aroused for several reasons.  1.) Romans 2:5 says “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”  Unsaved people allow their hearts to become hardened and unrepentant.  Thus they spurn God’s love – rejecting His truths.  2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 tells us He will punish those who do not… obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.   They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord.”

2.) Romans 1:18 says The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness…”  Paul’s epistle also tells us that, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him…” (Romans 1:21)  Those who under the wrath of God, have by choice chosen to transgress God’s law.

3.) Ephesians 5:6 says Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.”  God’s wrath (orge) here is a “decisive anger, a deliberate anger that arises from His very nature of holiness.”  This wrath is on the “disobedient” (apeitheia) — those unbelievers who willfully walk in unbelief and are not persuadable.  They have an obstinate rejection of the will of God for their lives.  They live in defiance.

The Book of Ephesians also tells us this, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person… has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”  (Ephesians. 5:6)  Ephesians 5:7 says clearly “Therefore do not be partners with them.” 

God Is Holy And Righteous

God’s wrath is clear and active.  He is holy, righteous and pure as well as loving, gracious and merciful.  He executes justice as well as love. He shows wrath and anger as well as compassion.  His wrath is both present and future. Romans 1:18 tells us clearly that God’s wrath is present and active in this life.  Our introductory Scripture to this first division of the message was John 3:36 and it is best translated in the New American Standard Bible as “…the wrath of God abides on him.”….    In its proper context “the wrath of God ‘abides’ (meno) means to continue to live in, or rather sin remains upon.  More accurately, they remain in their sin.

God punishes the disobedient in this life most often by giving them over to uncleanness, to vile affections, to a reprobate mind.  Romans 1:24 says Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts…”  Romans 1:28 says, Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done.”….    These two truths are set after the introductory verse Romans 1:18, The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness…”

People who are under this cup from God are like the burglar Walter B. Knight wrote about. They know it’s wrong but they are bound by their sin, needing to be set free by Christ.  In Saint Paul, Minnesota, a thief broke into a U.S.O. and stole $23.50.  He left a note to Mrs. Margaret Wood, the director, which read, “I am sorry I stole this.  There is a day when I will pay for my sin!”  I remember before I came to Christ, there were sins I would commit.  I hated it when I did it, but I was bound to it.

The Cup Of Salvation

There is an indisputable fact. There is a judicial judgment of God here and now as well for the future.  There is a cup of wrath for those who choose not surrender to the Lordship of Christ.   Another Biblical fact is that the Lord has a “Cup of Salvation.”

Psalm 116:13 says I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”    The opening verse to Psalm 116 says, I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;   he heard my cry for mercy.”(v.1) Many have placed Psalm 116 right up there with Psalm 23 and it appears to be in with a series of psalms that have a special place in the Passover liturgy.  It seems to be fourth in what some call a Paschal Hallel {halal}, meaning praise, which was sung or read on Passover Day.  It appears to some that Psalms 113-114 were read or sung before the meal and Psalms 115-118 were read or sung after the festive meal.  Several believe these psalms were sung by the Lord and the disciples on the night of the betrayal (Matthew 26:30) just before their departure for the Mt. of Olives. Something else must be noted about Psalm 116.  It has all the appearance of being a personal song, in which the believing soul may be reminded of God’s love and power to deliver the man that calls upon the Name of the Lord.     Therefore, to fully enjoy the communion service one must personally be worshiping the Lord in spirit and truth.

We do not know for sure who wrote this psalm, but we know that he fully understood that the “…Lord [had] delivered [his] soul from death, [his] eyes from tears and [his] feet from stumbling…”  This appreciative believer wrote How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people”. (Psalm 116:12-14)

Examination Before Communion

The illuminated child of God knows who delivered his soul from eternal damnation, he knows who sees his tears and can keep his feet from slipping.  That is why he takes time to examine himself before partaking in Communion.  He ask the probing question, “Am I living in a way that is worthy of the gospel I claim before my Lord and in the eyes of others?”  The born again Christian has the same assurance in his heart as the writer of Psalms 116.  Being under the precious blood of Christ brings salvation and this salvation has purchased much for the child of God.

1.) Salvation brings assurance.  Jesus says “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John. 6:37-40)

As Adoniram Judson lay in a nasty Burmese jail with thirty-two pounds of chains on his ankles and his feet tied to a bamboo pole, one sneering prison mate asked, “What is the prospect of converting the heathen?’’  Instantly Judson replied, “The prospects are just as bright as the unfailing promises of the never failing God.” You may never be put into prison, however, there will be times in your life that you will question God’s willingness to intervene, and maybe even your salvation.  Christ’s blood purchased you and that is all you need to stand upon.

2.) Salvation brings joy.  I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy.” (Psalm 132:16) The salvation of the saints should be as evident as one having on a garment.  Time after time I have met a new born again Christian and the Lord has put such a joy in him that he overflows with joy.  The New American Standard Bible says “…And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.”  The King James Bible says, “…Her saints shall shout aloud for joy.”

In a book entitled, “The Pioneers, A Narrative of the Bengal Mission,” a pioneer missionary wrote (G. Gogerly), “It would astonish and amuse the European stranger to hear these natives sing. They have not the least idea of either harmony or melody; noise is what they best understand.”  A visitor once visited the Bengal Mission and made the comment “Sing softly, brothers.”  The missionary’s response was, “When these Christians were Hindoos, they threw their heads back and shouted praises to their gods, who are no gods.  No, sir, they cannot do less for the Lord Jesus.”  And they continued to sing with all their might to their Lord.

3.) Salvation brings seasons of refreshing….   Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”   Another translation says, “…in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”  Observing the Lord’s table with a right heart, focus off of self and through a breaking away from traditionalism will open the door of the heart to genuinely observe Communion.

4.) Salvation changes masters….    But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)   The Blessedness of being under the blood is that Christ paid the price for us to be set free from the old slave master, “the flesh.”  A new ruler resides in the throne room of our hearts.  Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit we can obey Christ now whereas before our Salvation it was impossible.

5.) Salvation gives one an abundant life.  Jesus said, “…I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.”  (John 10:10 NAS)  This is one of the grandest of our Lord’s claims.  “Abundantly” (perissos) means in superabundance, more than enough.  Christians have all they need according to God’s will for full service unto Him, provision and all that is needed for communion with God, Christ and fellowship in the Holy Spirit.  On this truth life begins, is sustained, and matured.

6.) Salvation sets one apart unto God.  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the [sanctification] by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 2:13)    All born again Christians have been chosen by God for a specific purpose and they are not being changed through their own efforts, but through surrender to the Holy Spirit of God. “Sanctification” (hagiasmos) in its practical application refers to separation unto God… produced by the Holy Spirit.” What a wonderful thing.  Being under the blood of Christ enables Christians to have the highest position in all the world, being God’s holy and beloved children set aside for his works.

7.) Salvation saves one to the utmost and puts the child of God under the continual intervention of Christ before God.  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)   The verb “to save” (sozo) is used absolutely, which means that Christ will save in the most comprehensive sense; He saves from all bondage that humanity may have gotten themselves into.  Christ’s salvation is complete deliverance, no matter what the need of the sinner.  This is available to all who will approach God in the name and under the authority or rather the Lordship of Christ.

Growing In Christ

Many a Christian has experienced a tremendous cleansing when they received Christ.   However, they know as they walk in step with the Holy Spirit, there is a continued purifying process going on within them.  The apostle Paul’s inspiration to the saints in Philippi was, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Philippians1:6)

Our Lord conducts our cause and purpose in heaven as our Advocate.  Even though He is enthroned in Heaven, He has yet power upon earth.  He and God send the Holy Spirit down to indwell, guide and empower us.  This gift is given to us because of Jesus’ sacrifice and through His intersession.  While Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit intercedes within us.  The Holy Spirit works within our minds and hearts and bestows all the grace God wants to give us.  As a child of God you are given the cup of salvation that saves you from the bondage of sin and enables you to live a satisfied pleasing life to the Lord.

The Cup Of Blessing

There is a wonderful cup of salvation and there is “The Cup of Blessing.”  Psalm 16:5 says, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup…”    What a wonderful blessing, the Lord is the child of God’s inheritance.  “The Golden Psalm” has often been given as the title of Psalm 16.  Ainsworth called it “David’s Jewel, or Noble Song.” It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord.  However, a cry from the soul that says “Thou are my Lord” especially in times of trial is evidence of spiritual maturity and understanding of what it means to be under the covering of the blood of Christ.

The illuminated child of God approaches Communion, saying, “Let me have the love and favor of God and be accepted of Him.  Let me enjoy the comfort of communion with the Lord and the satisfaction of understanding His graces and sustaining love.  Just let me be captivated by His promise of eternal life and rest in my eternal state.  What else is there to desire, what more can a man achieve and what surpasses the blessing of being under the blood of Christ?” The heart of the man who wrote that Paschal Hallelujah Psalm, should be the heart of everyone wanting to participate in Communion.  The Psalmist writes, “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?…” (Psalm. 116: 12) “. . .This Do In Remembrance Of Me.” In remembering the precious blood of Christ, Jesus says we are to partake of Communion in remembrance of Him.  The Holy Spirit of God moved the apostle Paul to write, Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-28)

The apostle Paul, in warning the Corinthians about participating in idolatry feast and about the true purpose of the Lord’s Supper wrote this, Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?”…. (1 Corinthians 10:16) The truth Paul wanted to relay to the Corinthians was that a man who sat at the table of Jesus Christ cannot go on to sit at the table which is the instrument of wickedness.  If a man has eaten in remembrance of the Body and drunk in remembrance of the Blood of Christ he cannot touch with heart a life of wickedness.

The Sin Of Idolatry

There was a great statue that was done of Christ by Thorwaldsen.   After Thorwaldsen had carved it, he was offered a great deal of money to carve a statue of Venus.  His answer was “The hand that carved the form of Christ can never carve the form of a heathen goddess.” What is true in Corinth is true for the Christian today.  He who has handled the sacred things of Christ cannot soil his soul with things that God calls wickedness.

Idolatry was the sin the apostle Paul often contended with.  The word “idolatry” (eidoloatrisa) means both the worship of false gods and the failure to have a right relationship with God.”  In practical terms, an idol is anything that consumes a person’s mind, heart and soul and body.  It is whatever gets your extra money, time, adoration and strength.  Anyone who is not working on the principal of stewardship is easily drawn into idolatry.  The Christian who understands the principal of stewardship will exercise his gifts, and manage everything given to him in a manner that reflects an awareness that he will be  giving an accounting to God.  The modern day things that can become idols if not kept in proper perspective are self, family, possessions, business, sports, religion, sex, knowledge, and power.  Not keeping these in there proper place, can cause a person to touch the Holy Things of God with unholy hands.  One must be in proper relationship with God, Christ and in fellowship with the Holy Spirit before partaking in Communion.

It is always important to dwell on the fact that we serve a merciful God who mercies are fresh and new every morning.  After a good healthy Holy Spirit examination of the heart a Christian may partake in Communion. Paul teaches that the cup of blessing brings us spiritually into participation in the blood of Christ and into fellowship with Him.   Partaking in Communion is  not only being obedient to the Lord, it is a privilege that proclaims the Lords death until He comes.

Communion Not To Be A Religious Ritual

As you are partaking in Communion, one attitude of your heart should be a proclamation of a solemn oath that you are set apart unto the Lord.  Just as food and drink are necessary for sustaining the body, observing Communion is good for spiritual health. The prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon, wrote in his exposition of Psalm 116 the heart of the today’s message.  He wrote, “Personal love fostered by a personal experience of redemption is the theme of this psalm.  In it we see the redeemed answered when they pray, protected in times of trouble, resting in their God, and walking at large sensible of their obligations.  They are conscious that they are not their own but purchased with a price, and joining with all the ransomed company to sing hallelujahs unto God.”

Walter B. Knight wrote about an elderly Scottish woman who lived alone and was asked, “What do you do all day?”   The elderly Scotch women said, “Well, I get my hymn book and sing.  Then I get the Bible and let the Lord speak to me.  When I get tired of reading and singing, I just sit still and let the Lord love me.”

Too often we have let Communion become a religious ritual, thus forgetting how much God and Christ love us.  Therefore we miss out on the joy that is available to us.  Let the Holy Spirit place so deeply in your hearts that which was in the heart of Jeremiah, “Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassion’s never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  (Jeremiah 3:22-24)

Let Us Pray!