Holding to Truth

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Have You Received the Double Cure?

Christ—”The Rock of Ages”

Rock of Ages,” the famous hymn by Augustus Toplady (1740-1778), speaks of a “double cure.” This “double cure” saves us for our two-fold problem with God.

Have you received such a “double cure”?

Before you answer the question, let’s consider this hymn and what it’s referring to.

The first stanza of the original hymn says,

Have you received the double cure?

Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save me from its guilt and power.

The expressions “the water and the blood” and “save me from its guilt and power,” speak of a salvation in two aspects. This two-fold salvation solves our two problems by means of two provisions.

In this post we’ll consider how the water and the blood solve these two great problems.

Man’s Two-fold Problem with God—“Sin’s Guilt” and “Sin’s Power”

“Sin’s Guilt”—Due to “Sins,” Our Many Transgressions

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)

As fallen human beings, our first problem with God is our “sins.” The  words of this hymn, refer to this as “sin’s guilt.”

Sins” in the plural, refer to the many trespasses we have against God’s righteousness—our transgressions are not only against God’s moral law in the Old Testament (Exodus 20), but against the higher law of the kingdom of the heavens in the New Testament (Matthew 5-7). Such a kingdom standard is far beyond what any fallen man can fulfill by himself. (Not only is murder condemned but even our anger can bring us under God’s judgment.) Such failures bring us under much guilt.

However, 1 Peter 2:24 speaking of Christ says, “Who Himself bore up our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness. His “bruise” healed us.  What good news! Our “sins”—our many acts of sinning against God and man—were fully borne by Christ upon the tree, the cross.

God heaped all our sins on His dying Son and judged them in Christ’s body. Now through His death, we have died to sins.

“Sin’s Power”—Due to Sin, Our Sinful Nature

However, we have an even greater problem than “sins”—“Sin,” that is our sinful nature that we received through the fall. We are a “sin tree” that by nature produces “sin fruits”—“sins.” This refers to sin’s “power.”

The Apostle Paul referring to His experience outside of Christ confessed, “But if what I do not will , this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me.” (Rom. 7:20)

In Romans 7, “Sin” is personified, it’s not merely some wrong doings but an indwelling power that prevented Paul from doing the good that he willed to do. Don’t we all have this same experience?

Concerning God’s righteous law—we men of flesh just can’t keep it. That’s not an excuse, that’s just the fact. But, that’s not all…Also, notice, Paul doesn’t say “sins” but “sin.” Christ not only died for our sins, but He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom. 8:3). On the cross He condemned that sinful nature in man. He judged sin in the flesh—not just the record of “sins” but “sin”—the sinful nature itself.

God’s “Double Cure” for Man—“the Blood and the Water”

“The Blood”—Christ’s Redeeming Death for Dealing with Our “Sins”

According to John 19:34, the first substance that came out of Christ’s pierced side was “blood.”  With His blood we were redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18-19), God’s righteous requirement was satisfied (Heb. 9:22), and all our sins were forgiven (Eph. 1:7). By this blood we are washed of our sins (1 John 1:7, 9), our conscience is purified (Heb. 9:14) and we are reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20).

It is God’s mercy that we who were once fallen sinners have been redeemed with the highest price, “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19). We deserved to die but Jesus loved us so much that He paid the debt we could not pay, shedding His own sinless blood to obtain our redemption. What love was this? We’ll praise Him for eternity as the worthy Lamb of God (Rev. 22:1).

To receive this first aspect of “the double cure,” we simply need to believe into Christ (Rom. 3:22)—hiding ourselves in “the cleft of the Rock.” By our “faith in His blood,” Christ becomes our propitiation place—the place where all problems between us and God are solved (Rom. 3:25), so we can meet with God and enjoy Him in peace. We are justified in Christ, our cleft Rock, and fully hidden from the wrath of God (v.24).

“The Water”—Christ’s Life-imparting Death for Dealing with “Sin” in Our Nature

Yet, there was another substance that flowed from Christ’s pierced side—”water.”  John 19:34 says, “And one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear and immediately there flowed out blood and water.” What does this “water” signify?

“Water” signifies the eternal, divine life with which we are regenerated or born of God (John 3:5-6, 15-16). In John 7:37-39, the Lord Jesus called the thirsty ones to come to Him and drink, promising that whoever believed into Him, out of their innermost being would flow rivers of living water, the Spirit. The Spirit of life, the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:2, 9) becomes an automatic law in Christ’s believers that is able to save them from the law of sin and death.

When we contact Christ as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), He imparts His powerful resurrection life into us to save us spontaneously. Such a saving is not from the guilt of sin but from the power of sin (Rom. 8:2).

To receive this second aspect of the “double cure” we need to drink the “water” of life—to contact Christ, as the life-giving Spirit with our deepest part—our spirit. We can do this by confessing  to Him and by calling on His dear name—”Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!”

Receive the double cure!

May we all open to the Lord to receive His “double cure” that we may experience God’s complete salvation:

“Lord, thank you for being the “Rock of Ages” cleft for me on the cross. Thank you, that from Your pierced side flowed “the blood and the water”—blood to redeem me and water to impart life to me. By Your “double cure” I am saved from sin’s guilt and power. Lord Jesus, remind me to continually confess my sins, to apply your blood and receive your cleansing. Also remind me to continually call on Your name to enjoy You as the living water—the Spirit—saving me in life from my sinful nature. Lord Jesus, I love You.”


About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

9 Replies

  1. MY PRAYER IS THAT THE LORD CONTINUE HIS CLEANSING WITHIN ME WITH HIS BLOOD, AND FILL ME WITH HIS DIVINE LIFE GIVING SPIRIT WHICH WILL ENABLE ME TO BE AN OVERCOMER IN EVERY SITUATION AND DIFFICULTIES IN THIS LIFE

    1. Dear Bernice,

      Thank you for your encouraging comment. Yes, may the Lord continually cleanse us and fill us with the life-giving Spirit. Such a progressive experience of “the blood and the water” will cause us to be overcome and reach God’s goal to gain His Body and bride. Praise Him!

  2. Amen, brother. Most believers know and care for only the washing away of sin – but we need yet another cure, the removing of the nature of sin through the washing of the water in the Word! And it is so true – on the cross Christ was pierced and out of His side came blood AND water! May the Lord continue to open our eyes to see His judicial redemption (the blood washing away our sins) and His organic salvation (the water removing the nature of sin in us).

    1. Stefan,

      I hope that this high gospel of blood and water would enlighten unbelievers and believers alike to see that there is much more to salvation than merely to be forgiven of there sins and saved from perdition. May this gospel of “the double cure” enlighten people to the need of being saved in the life of Christ. This is the only way for God to get His eternal purpose. Thanks again for the encouragement and fellowship more about some collaboration.

    2. Helen Mataki

      amen thank you Lord saving us through Your precious blood and for Your imparting of Your divine life into us that we may grow in Your life and nature

      1. Amen. Yes, the Lord’s blood has redeemed us, and has brought back to God so that He can save us in His life and gain His original purpose a corporate man to express Him and represent Him. It’s so good that when we enjoy the “double cure” not only is our need being met but God’s purpose is being fulfilled.

  3. Wow, we sang this song this past weekend in our college conference in Texas. The blood deals with the guilt and the water deals with the power of sin. Amen!

    1. Katherine,

      Thank you for your encouraging comment. Praise the Lord for the two substances that flowed from our Lord’s side–blood and water. I’m so thankful to know that the Lord not only cleanses us form our sins but also is imparting the water of life to us to metabolically change our sinful nature not only delivering us from the power of sin but fulfilling His purpose to make us His bride.

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