How we are forgiven (book review)

The meaning of the word ‘blood’ in Scripture
By Alan Stibbs
Christian Focus. 83 pages. £3.99
ISBN 978 1 845 507 268

In a world where there is increasing confusion about the cross of Jesus, this book shines brightly.

It is a reprint of an essay first written in 1962 to challenge and correct wrong thinking that was creeping into the church. The introduction outlines the specific error in view. Don’t be put off if at first sight the issue seems a little distant. As you get into the main section of the book its relevance becomes clear.

Alan Stibbs carefully traces the theme of blood throughout the pages of the Bible. What does blood really represent? Why must it be shed? How does blood fit into the Old Testament system of worship? Why does the New Testament so often refer to the death of Jesus in terms of his blood? How do we enter into the benefits of his blood?

As these questions are carefully and systematically explored it drives you with great force to a stunning conclusion. The blood of Jesus refers to his violent death on the cross on behalf of sinners. His blood is the only means by which we can be forgiven, cleansed, justified and rescued for eternity. We enter into those benefits as we come to him in personal faith. This is pictured by the language of sprinkling or drinking.

It is well worth taking time to read this book carefully, looking up Bible references, and making a note of the argument as it develops. I found that it was on reading this book a second time that the truths began to sink in deeply. (It is only short!)

This book will lead you to a deeper understanding and appreciation of ‘the precious blood of Christ’.

Jonty Allcock,
pastor of Bush Hill Park Community Church, an FIEC Church in Enfield, North London