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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.
Words: Harry Dixon Loes (b. Oct. 20, 1892; d. Feb. 9, 1965)
Music: Harry Dixon Loes
Note: His given name was Harold Loes, but he took the middle name Dixon to express his admiration of Rev. Amzi Dixon, who was at the time the gifted pastor of Moody Church, in Chicago. From 1939 until his retirement, Mr. Loes served on the music faculty of Moody Bible Institute, and contributed dozens of fine gospel songs to the Christian community.
There’s an average of five litres of blood in the human body. About once a minute, it is circulated completely around the body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and carrying away carbon dioxide and waste. The blood does a wonderful job of cleansing our bodies.
The actual filtering is done when the blood passes through the kidneys. When these are not functioning properly, harmful residues can build up, making the individual seriously ill. The doctor may suggest the possibility of planning for a transplant. Meantime, dialysis is the answer. Dialysis puts the blood through a filter outside the body, returning it again afterward. My friend Jim was on dialysis for many years, and it enabled him to carry on a relatively active life, in between trips to the hospital for the treatment.
There is a spiritual parallel. What is accomplished by the blood in our bodies is only a small picture of the purifying power of the blood of Christ. In the Old Testament, the Levitical priests offered animal sacrifices to make atonement for sin, because “without shedding of blood there is no remission [no forgiveness]” (Heb. 9:22). But no permanent cleansing of sin could be brought about by the death of an animal (Heb. 10:4). This was only a temporary provision, a picture of what was to come through the death of Christ on the cross (Jn. 1:29; I Cor. 15:3).
Now that Christ has died and risen again, “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). When an individual puts his or her faith in Christ, the Bible says, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (I Jn. 1:7), washed “whiter than snow,” as David puts it (Ps. 51:7).
“Our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ…gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:13-14).
Given the message of God’s Word, it’s not surprising that many hymn writers have written songs about the blood of Christ and it’s power. Here are a few examples. William Cowper’s hymn There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood was inspired by an Old Testament prophecy, “There shall be a fountain opened to the house of David [i.e. from the family of David] and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 13:1).
Echoing what was said earlier, a gospel song by Lewis Jones says There Is Power in the Blood, and one by Canadian hymn writer Civilla Martin assures us The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power. Robert Lowry’s hymn asks, “What can wash away my sin?” and it answers, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Elisha Hoffman makes the message practical and personal with Are You Washed in the Blood?
To this may be added a 1941 gospel song by Harry Dixon Loes, a song of testimony entitled simply ‘Twas Jesus’ Blood.
1) A sinner, lost, condemned was I,
Doomed an eternal death to die;
But Jesus died for me,
He bore sin’s penalty,
On Calv’ry’s hill was lifted high.
‘Twas Jesus’ blood that ransomed me,
From chains of sin He set me free,
While ages roll my song shall be:
‘Twas Jesus’ blood that ransomed me.
2) I ne’er could be at peace with God,
But for the cleansing, crimson flood,
No one but Christ could win
Atonement for all sin–
He signed my pardon with His blood.
1) What does Peter mean when he speaks of Christ’s blood as “precious” (I Pet. 1:18-19)–precious why, in what way?
2) What is your favourite song about the precious blood of Christ?