Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Have you applied the blood of the Lamb? Are you drinking the water of life?

“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34)

God does not just want to save you from hell by Christ’s redeeming blood. His purpose is much higher than that. In saying this, I am by no means depreciating the value of the precious blood of Christ for this blood satisfies all the righteousness claims of God upon fallen sinners such as us. But even if we were as sinless as Adam and Eve before the fall, God’s original purpose to dispense His life into man would still need to be fulfilled.

The Bible introduces the tree of life and the river in Genesis 2:9-10 and ends with the promise to eat of the tree of life and a call to drink the water of life in Revelation 22:14 and 17. So in this post, I’ll present the good news not only of “the blood,” but also of “the water.” I hope you’ll be encouraged to appreciate and enjoy both.

“Blood and Water” reveal two sides of God’s complete salvation.

God’s salvation has two sides or aspects—the side of procedure and the side of purpose, the judicial side and the organic side. So let me ask you, “Are you saved? If so, is your salvation one-sided or two-sided? That is, are you saved by the blood of Jesus? Or are you also being saved in the life of Christ? If your salvation is only by the blood, then it’s only one-sided. You’re only saved judicially by the blood. Yes, you’re redeemed. You’re forgiven. You’re reconciled to God. Your problems with God are solved and you won’t perish for eternity. We must thank Him for that.

But, what about the other side? Is God’s eternal purpose being carried out in you organically? That is, are you being saved in the life of Christ. Romans 5:10 says “For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.

“The blood” is for judicial redemption—the procedure of salvation.

I mentioned in a previous post, Have You Received the “Double Cure”?, that there were two substances that flowed out of our Lord’s pierced side—blood and water. The blood is central in the judicial aspect. By the Lord’s shed blood we were redeemed (Heb. 9:12)—the righteous requirement of God’s law was satisfied, and our debt was fully paid. God has forgiven and forgotten our sins (Heb. 9:22). He has cleansed the stain of guilt on our conscience (Heb. 9:14). By Christ’s blood we were sanctified, set apart to God (Heb. 13:12). Satan the accuser is also defeated by this blood; his accusing mouth is shut up (Rev. 12:11). How wonderful is this shed blood!

“The water” is for organic salvation—the purpose of salvation.

The second substance that flowed from the Lord’s pierced side was the water for life-imparting. The water is central in the organic aspect of God’s salvation. The Lord Jesus spoke of this water in John 4:14 saying “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever, but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.” It is this water of life that fulfills God’s eternal purpose.

First, this life regenerates us (1 Pet. 1:23). Then it saves us (Rom 5:10). It sanctifies us, saturating us and making us holy inwardly (Rom 6:19, 22). Then it gradually renews, transforms and conforms us to Christ’s image (Rom. 12:2; 8:29). This life will ultimately glorify us (Rom. 8:30) making us the same as Christ in life and nature in our entire spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23). It is in this life that we reign for living the Body life in the proper church life (Rom. 5:17; 12:4-5; 16:1-24). In this life we grow up into Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:15-16). Finally, this life will flow us into its totality, the city of life, the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1-2).

To refocus on my point—“Is your salvation only one in God’s procedure or is it also one that fulfills His purpose? Let’s consider an illustration and then an application.

The producing of Eve illustrates the purpose of God’s salvation.

Before man fell, God had a purpose to produce a complement for Adam (Gen. 2:18-23), who typifies Christ (Rom. 5:14). In saying that it was not good for the man to be alone, God was actually saying that it was not good for God to be alone. So before Adam ever sinned, God put him into a deep sleep, opened up his side, and took out a rib. With this rib, the life-element of Adam, He built a woman, Eve.

Similarly, God put Christ into the deep sleep of death, opened up His pierced side and released the flow to produce the church with His eternal life (John 19:34). (The difference with Christ is that, because of the fall of man, blood was also needed to purchase, to redeem, the church.) On the one hand, His side was pierced. But on the other hand, not a bone of His was broken, indicating that it is with His “unbreakable” resurrection life that the church as Christ’s bride is produced and built up (John 19:36).

The covering of skins illustrates the procedure of God’s salvation.

However, due to man’s fall in Genesis 3 there was a remedy needed to rescue fallen man from God’s death sentence so that he could be preserved for God’s purpose. Otherwise, God would have had to immediately judge by death the man whom He created (Gen. 2:17). So, God came in to preach the gospel to Adam and Eve. He sought them out, exposed their sin, judged the serpent who deceived them and promised that the woman’s seed (Christ) would crush the deceiving serpent (Gen. 3:15).

When Adam believed this gospel—indicated by his calling his wife’s name Eve (meaning living)—God justified them, covering them with coats of skins (Gen. 3:21). Such a type of redemption was the procedure of their salvation. Today, whenever someone hears the gospel and believes, God clothes them with Christ as their covering righteousness, just like the father put the best robe on his returning prodigal son (Luke 15:22).

Although such a sacrifice was needed due to man’s fall in sin, it did not change God’s original intention to produce a counterpart for His Son. So, even if we were as perfect as the God-created man before the fall, we would still need the salvation in the life of Christ! We would still need to be regenerated, renewed, transformed, conformed and glorified with the divine, eternal life of God.

The application of the two aspects of salvation by washing, eating, drinking and entering, fulfills God’s purpose.

Rev. 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.”

Yes, we are sinful. But, praise the Lord, He accomplished an eternal redemption for us. We simply need to apply Christ’s accomplished redemption by using His efficacious blood whenever we feel separated from God due to our sins, guilt on our conscience or accusation from Satan. (For a fuller appreciation of these points I would encourage you to read the Precious Blood of Christ by Witness Lee.)

Second, we should not stop with being forgiven and cleansed. Rather, we should go on to eat the tree of life and drink the water of life in order to enjoy the saving life of Christ. In this way we’ll fulfill God’s eternal purpose to gain Christ’s bride, His counterpart. (For more on eating the tree of life, please see my post, Four ways to eat the Lord as the tree of life.) So washing, plus eating the tree of life ushers us into the holy city, which is the bride of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9-10). By daily applying the cleansing blood and daily enjoying the saving life of Christ, we’re becoming His “Eve,” His counterpart, the New Jerusalem. What a complete salvation!

“Lord, thank you for such a complete salvation. Thank you that Your blood has dealt with all our problems before God negatively. Lord cleanse us with Your blood so that we can enjoy You as the tree of life and the water of life today. Lord, we praise You even more for revealing to us the purpose of Your salvation, to produce and build up Your organic Body. Lord, keep us enjoying Your organic salvation  each day by eating and drinking You. Lord Jesus, we love You!”

This post was inspired by my enjoyment of message 8 of the International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones in Baarlo, the Netherlands which is based on Chapter 10 of  Truth, Life, the Church and the GospelThe Four Pillars of the Lord’s Recovery by Witness Lee. You can also read more on this line in a post by a fellow blogger at agodman.com.

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. What a powerful statement: Even if we were as sinless as Adam and Eve were before the fall, God’s original purpose to dispense His life into man would still need to be fulfilled. Don’t forget God’s original purpose! He has not, we should know it and speak it.
    Hallelujah for “much more” salvation in His life!

    1. Phil, it’s so good to have a complete view of God’s salvation. We highly regard the redemption of Christ, not just because it saves us from perdition, but because it is the procedure to bring us back to the eternal purpose of God. I’m so glad that by the blood of Christ we have been brought back to the tree of life so that we can now be saved in the life of Christ to carry out plan to build up Christ’s Body and become the New Jerusalem. What a high gospel!

  2. Daniel Acevedo

    It is amazing to me just that human beings could even begin to see such things. I read the bible by myself and don’t see that much. It is through faithful saints, speaking these things, and re-speaking (blog-posting) these things that even I can enter into them!

    Now we need to come to the Lord so that He can apply His marvelous, complete salvation to us. The first half of salvation requires our coming to the Lord in faith, the second does too! Oh Lord, may I eat you and drink you today. Praise the Lord!

    1. Daniel,

      It is a tremendous privilege to see the treasures of divine truth revealed in God’s word,such as “the blood and the water.” I consider it an honor to be able to re-speak this high gospel and to encourage others to do so also.

      Thank you for the encouraging comment. May the Lord lead us on, through the procedure of His judicial redemption, into the purpose of His organic salvation so that we may be saved in Christ’s life, in order to build up of the Body of Christ so that He can return.

  3. Hallelujah for the Bible’s revelation of God’s purpose! Revelation 22:14 is a good summary, “Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter by the gates into the city.” We wash (or “are washing” – the Greek word is a present participle, indicating on-going actions) in order that (or for the result that) we may have right to the tree of life. I touched this same subject in three recent short posts on Redemption for Life at newjerusalem12.wordpress.com.
    Thank the Lord for the blood and water that flowed from His death and is still flowing!

  4. Patty Stone

    Is it okay to sleep tonight. I have cried for days and am talking to God and confessing my sins but they are so many I am tired and wish to rest.

    1. Tom Smith

      Patty, We need to confess our sins to the Lord Jesus and then trust in the effectiveness of His precious blood to cleanse us from every sin (1 John 1:7-9). When we trust in the Lord’s accomplished work for us, we can rest and be refreshed. Satan’s tactic is to harass us again and again about our sins, even after we have confessed them. We should refuse his lies but stand firmly on God’s sure word. Then we will be strengthened to go on with Christ. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me all who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” May you find your rest in Him.

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