Posted by: rcottrill | December 12, 2011

Are You Washed in the Blood?

Words: Elisha Albright Hoffman (b. May 7, 1839; d. Nov. 25, 1929)
Music: Elisha Albright Hoffman

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The Wordwise Hymns link will provide a list of some of the Bible references to the blood of Christ, and its infinite value. Pastor Hoffman has given us a number of other gospel songs found in many hymn books, including: Glory to His Name; Is Thy Heart Right with God; Leaning on the Everylasting Arms (part of this song); and I Must Tell Jesus.

The present song first appeared in 1878, in a book called Spiritual Songs for Gospel Meetings and the Sunday School, of which Hoffman was a co-editor. Three years later, it was included in Ira Sankey’s Sacred Songs and Solos. For some unknown reason, it was dropped from all subsequent versions of Hoffman’s song book, but it has appeared in many evangelical hymn books, since.

A repeated phrase from the song was used in Vachel Lindsay’s poem “General Booth Enters into Heaven,” about the death of Salvation Army founder, William Booth.

Booth led boldly with his big bass drum–
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)
The saints smiled gravely and they said: “He’s come.”
(Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?)…

Sadly, there are those in the professing church today who want to do away with references to the Saviour’s shed blood. However, to do that, they have to revise the Scriptures themselves. The Bible says Christ loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5), and it speaks of those who will triumph in the Tribulation as having “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14)–truths which Hoffman makes use of.

CH-1) Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Both for salvation from sin (Eph. 1:7) and for the believer’s cleansing, so we can walk in fellowship with the Lord (Eph. 2:13; I Jn. 1:7, 9), we need the remedy made possible by the blood shed on Calvary

CH- ) Are you walking daily by the Saviour’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Elisha Hoffman’s song concludes with an urgent invitation to all who are lost in sin, and thus without hope for eternity:

CH-4) Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

Yes, this is a nineteenth century gospel song–or what they would call a “Sunday School song.” Contemporary songs avoid calling people’s souls “unclean,” and avoid speaking so explicitly and insistently of the remedy. More’s the pity! We still need the power of the shed blood of Christ in our lives.

1) What are some reasons why many moderns (even professing Christians) seem to want to avoid this subject?

2) What does the shed blood of Christ mean to you personally?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


  1. Beautiful song, much spiritual power, and a great evangelistic tool. Been playing it over and over again. There’s power in songs to preach about the blood of Jesus! When you think about it cults are a bloodless religions. Thank you for your insight and service to Christ.

    • Thanks for your encouragement. And, as noted in my article, it’s not just the cults that do not appreciate and preach the power of the blood of Christ. Some professing Christians turn away from it as being gross and gruesome. But it’s by the “precious blood” of our Saviour that we are redeemed (Eph. 1:7).


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