08.05.13

“Blood Work” Book Review

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Louis Love and Thabiti Anyabwile chop it up with Tony Carter — discussing his latest book, Blood Work: How the Blood of Christ Accomplishes Our Salvation. See more about Tony’s book in the video below.

Louis Love
Louis Love serves as the pastor of New Life Fellowship Church, which he planted in 1997. Joyfully married, Louis and his wife, Jamie, have three adult children and ten grandchildren.
Thabiti Anyabwile
Thabiti Anyabwile serves as a pastor of Anacostia River Church (Washington DC). He is the happy husband of Kristie and the adoring father of two daughters and one son. Holler at him on Twitter: @ThabitiAnyabwil
Tony Carter
Tony Carter serves as the Lead Pastor of East Point Church. Tony is married to his beloved, Adriane Carter, and their marriage has bore the fruit of five wonderful children. Holler at him on Twitter: @eastpc
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C’mon Up!

  • Mark Mcculley

    Thanks for clearly teaching that it’s not about the “red substance”, as is taught by Ian Paisley and the Free Presbyterians. Rev. D. A. Waite, pastor of “Bible For Today Baptist Church,” Collingswood, New Jersey, has made this doctrine of the blood part of the Articles of Faith for his church, even updating them in November 1997 “to meet present-day threats to the Faith”:

    We believe that the doctrine of the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is of great importance in the Bible; that Christ’s Blood has been under attack in centuries past as well as in recent decades by modernist apostates, Mary Baker Eddy, R. B. Thieme, Jr., John MacArthur, Jr., and others; that Christ’s Blood is not a mere figure of speech or “metonym” to be equal to “death”; that Old Testament sacrifices had two distinct parts: (1) the death of the sacrifice; and (2) the application of the blood of the sacrifice; that death was not sufficient, but the blood had to be applied properly … that some of Christ’s Blood was taken by Him to heaven and placed on the heavenly mercy seatthus cleansing the heavenly tabernacle (); that Christ’s Blood is now in heaven as the “Blood of sprinkling” (); that Christ’s Blood gives us boldness and access to the holiest in heaven (); that Christ’s Blood makes us perfect in every good work to do His will (); and that Christ’s Blood overcomes Satan.5

    Waite is a rank Arminian and is premillennial dispensationalist in his eschatology.6 Interestingly, he defines justification as a declaration of God that the believer is righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ and this is bestowed “solely through faith in the Redeemer’s incorruptible shed Blood.”7 It would appear that to Waite, at least, this doctrine of the blood is vital. Notice too that John MacArthur, Jr., is classified with “Christian science” cultist Mary Baker Eddy as a “modernist apostate” because he disagrees with Waite on this point. We will have occasion to examine the Fundamentalists’ controversy with MacArthur later.

    Do Fundamentalists view Christ’s blood as human or divine? Ian Paisley writes, “His Blood is divineBlood as opposed to human blood.”8 That is an amazing statement. If the blood of Jesus is divine, it must have the attributes of divinity. It must, to quote the Westminster Shorter Catechism, be “infinite, eternal and unchangeable in its being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth” (A. 4). Clearly, Christ’sblood does not possess these qualities.

    Not all Fundamentalists agree with Paisley’s assertion that Christ’s blood is divine, not human. Dr. J. Hymers, Jr., of Baptist Tabernacle, Los Angeles, California writes,

    Everyone I know of teaches that Jesus is the God-man. Jesus was both human and divine. His Blood, therefore, was both human and divine Blood. That’s the position of every credible fundamentalist on earth today.9

    Where does that leave Paisley‘s credibility as a Fundamentalist with his view of Christ’s divine blood? Furthermore, if so-called “credible Fundamentalists” had been present at the Council of Chalcedon (451) and had expressed the opinion that Christ’s blood was divine and not human (Paisley) or both human and divine (Hymers), they would have been condemned as heretics, as we shall see.

    Paisley,10 Hymers11 and Waite12 teach that Christ’s blood is in heaven as a distinct entity from His resurrected body, having been sprinkled on the heavenly mercy seat. Rev. John Greer of Ballymena Free Presbyterian Church and Dr. Alan Cairns of Faith Free Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina, both ministers of Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church, hold a different view. Cairns writes,

    The fact that Christ’s blood may be spoken of metaphorically for His death has led some evangelicals to downplay or even deny the redemptive virtue of the actual blood of Christ. They do not scruple to say that Christ’s blood perished in the dust of Palestine … this is dangerous and without biblical warrant … the incorruptibility of Christ’s body means that it was supernaturally raised from the dead (). There is no Biblical reason to deny that the incorruptibility of Christ’s blood means that it was raised along with His body … if the blood of Christ was preserved and raised incorruptible with His body we would expect it to be in His body.13

    In a sermon entitled “The Blood of the Godman” (2002), Rev. Greer argues for this position:

    … the blood of Christ is sinless.14 You see the whole humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ is a sinless humanity … Since the bloodbelongs to His sinless humanity, that means that His blood is incorruptible and His blood is indestructible … No part of the real humanity of Christ could ever see corruption;15 that includes the blood … [in contrast to] the awful teaching of some that the Lord’s precious blood perished in the dust of Palestine … and I’m not talking about Liberals, I’m talking about men who say they’re evangelical … there are evangelical groups that teach that horrendous idea … the Resurrection necessarily took place because the humanity of Christ could not see corruption … the blood of the Lamb, being part of that humanity neither saw corruption nor destruction but was actually resurrected along with the body. There’s the simple answer as to what happened the blood. Theblood was raised again … Where is the blood now? Well, the answer’s very simple. It’s in heaven … We often speak of the blood-stained mercy seat where Jesus answers prayer, have you never stopped to think (because, you know, all these hymns are not correct. I need to say that) … there’s no mercy seat in heaven, there’s no altar in heaven. Christ has fulfilled all those things … Christ is our mercy seat … if we accept that doleful, morbid heresy that the blood perished, then my dear friend, lovely gospel verses lose their meaning … thank God that the blood lives on in the body of our glorified Christ.16

    It ought to be pointed out at this juncture that when David writes of Christ in , “Neitherwilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (quoted by Peter in ), the Holy Ghost does not mean that he Messiah’s body is indestructible. The fact that the text says “neither wilt thousuffer” implies that, left to itself, Christ’s body would have decayed. Christ had a real human nature. Christ’s real human nature would have gone the way of all human nature, if the Triune God had not ensured that Christ did not see corruption.

    Its Implications

    If Christ did not have human blood, His complete human nature is denied. Disagreeing with Paisley, who, as we have seen, teaches that Christ had divine, not human, blood,17 Greer and Cairns recognise the danger of denying Christ‘s humanity. For example, Cairns warns of this:

    On the other hand, it [i.e., Christ’s blood] must not be deified. It belongs to Christ’s humanity, not His deity … we must never forget that in the incarnation there was no confusion of natures. Christ’s deity was not humanized nor His humanity deified.18

    Greer gives a similar warning to his congregation. In the aforementioned sermon, he says,

    The humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ had a beginning. Now that may shock you, but it won’t shock you when you think about it … His humanity began in the incarnation through the virgin birth … the Holy Spirit took of the substance of Mary’s womb and He created the sinless humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ … there are evangelical preachers who will tell you that the Lord’s humanity was brought down from heaven and planted in the womb of the Virgin Mary and that is absolutely wrong. That would mean that He would have what they call a heavenly humanity, but that wouldn’t be our humanity.19