The Blood of Christ

What does the blood of Christ have to do with water baptism?
Ray Brantley

Many in the world today use certain doctrines to discount the importance of water baptism, but the Bible teaches an inherent link between the blood that Christ shed for mankind and the command to be baptized.

The first and most obvious connection between the blood that Christ shed for mankind and the command to be baptized in water can be found when comparing two passages of scripture that contain the phrase "for remission of sins". The first occurs in Matthew chapter twenty-six when our Lord and savior instituted what is known as the Lord's Supper.

  • Mt. 26:26-29
      "26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom." (KJV 1900)

This passage clearly shows the reader that the reason why Christ shed his blood was in order to offer the remission of sins. The word "remission" in this passage of scripture comes from the Greek word "aphesis" which means, a release from bondage or imprisonment, forgiveness or pardon, and removing the penalty of transgression. Jesus, in an act of love, died upon the cross shedding his blood so that mankind could be able to have their sins, or transgression of the law of God (I Jn. 3:4) forgiven as if they never happened at all.

The second occurrence of this phrase "remission of sins" appears in Acts chapter two as the apostles are filled with the Holy Ghost and the miracle of speaking in tongues occurs for the first time.

  • Acts 2:37-40
     "37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (KJV 1900)

This passage shows the people who were gathered at Jerusalem realizing that they had sinned against God by crucifying Jesus and a desire to do whatever was necessary to be saved from their sins. When they asked the apostles what they should do to be saved Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Christ Jesus". These commands were given for the express purpose that they might receive "remission of sins".

The phrase "remission of sins" in both Matthew chapter twenty-six and Acts chapter two are identical in the original Greek language. This undoubtedly links the "blood of Christ" with the command to be baptized.

This is far from the only link between the blood of Christ and baptism. Another unarguable link is found when we look at the death of Christ in scripture. Paul does an excellent job connecting these two things through the death of Christ in his letter to the brethren at Rome.

  • Rom. 5:8-11
     "8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." (KJV 1900)

Paul in Romans chapter five shows that mankind who has sinned and been separated from God is justified (declared righteous) by the "blood of Christ" and that man can only be reconciled to God by the "death of Christ".

  • Rom. 6:3-4
     "3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (KJV 1900)

It is through baptism that the wayward sinner comes into contact with the death of Christ. The burial of baptism is in the likeness of the burial of Christ's death. Paul has connected the blood of Christ to the death of Christ and now shows the connection between the death of Christ and water baptism. Once again the Bible shows a link between the blood of Christ and water baptism.

Yet another way in which the blood of Christ is linked to water baptism is through the "washing away of sins". As John began to pen the important book of Revelation he showed that Jesus Christ was integral to washing away the sins of mankind.

  • Rev. 1:4-6
     "4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him pwhich is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Rev. 1:4-6)

John shows that the only thing capable of washing away the sins of man is the power that is found in the "blood of Christ". Most will look at this verse and say that it proves water baptism doesn't have the power because the power is in the blood of Christ. This is partially true, in fact, the Bible shows that the power is not in the water but in the act of obedience.

  • I Pet. 3:21-22
     "21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." (KJV 1900)

Peter tells that the power is not in the water but that it is found in subjecting ourselves unto Christ through obedience. This is the answer of a good conscience unto God. When this is added to verses such as the ones found in Acts chapter twenty-two the link between the blood of Christ and water baptism is once again shown.

  • Acts 22:12-16
     "12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (KJV 1900)

As the apostle Paul is recounting the story of his conversion as a defense of the charges brought against him he shows what he had to do in order to have his sins washed away by the blood of Christ. He is told by Ananias, a man of God, to arise and be baptized so that his sins my be washed away. Yet again showing that the blood of Christ and water baptism are linked. Not because of the power found in the water itself but because in being baptized one is obeying the command of God and humbling themselves in obedience.

Although many more examples of the link between the blood of Christ and water baptism can be found in the scriptures such as the phrase "shall be saved" which links them in Romans chapter five and Mark chapter sixteen, these verses examined in this article prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the blood of Christ is linked to the command to be baptized of water. This link cannot be broken without going against what the Word of God has to say on the subject.

If you are interested in studying the topic of baptism or find that you need to be baptized so that you too can contact the blood of Christ and have your sins washed away please contact us at the Church of Christ at Milestone. You can do this either through email ( or by phone (850-529-9158). If you are not in the Pensacola, Florida area we would be happy to get you in contact with someone near you who can assist you in whatever you need.

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