Go Tell It on the Mountain: Day 2

There Is Power in the Blood

by

Today's Text: Psalm 51:1-9, John 1:10-18, Ephesians 1:7-12, Colossians 1:9-14, 1 Peter 1:17-21

Scripture Reading: Psalm 51:1-9, John 1:10-18, Ephesians 1:7-12, Colossians 1:9-14, 1 Peter 1:17-21

This simple hymn is a Trojan horse filled with doctrine. It lays out the effects of believing in the sacrifice of Jesus, hiding those truths in the hearts of those who sing them. And a great many have. This hymn by Lewis Edgar Jones has appeared in hundreds of hymnals down through the years and is still widely known and sung today.

Lewis Jones graduated from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, then went to work for the Young Men’s Christian Association, better known as the YMCA. Jones wore many hats in his role with the YMCA, including organizing camps for those young men. Hymn writing was something he considered more of a side project. Often writing under pseudonyms, Jones wrote not to gain fame but to serve his campers.

It was during a camp meeting in Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, that Jones wrote both the lyrics and melody for “There Is Power in the Blood.” The simple song served a simple purpose: to remind the singer that he is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ alone—not by anything he himself does. 5

Since that camp meeting, countless believers, young and old, have sung the song around campfires everywhere, proclaiming the ways the blood of Christ rescues sinners:

It frees us from the burden of sin and secures our victory over it.

It works against our pride even as it cleanses us of guilt.

It purifies us and calls us to praise Jesus for His generous grace.

Using repetition, rhyme, and imagery, Jones’s song clarifies what it means to trust in Christ. Listen as the refrain unpacks the glorious truth: There’s wonderful power in the blood.


There Is Power in the Blood
by Lewis Edgar Jones

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Refrain:
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

SRT-Hymns7-Instagram-2

Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the Content Director for She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth, and a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church. Russ is the author Struck: One Christian’s Reflections on Encountering Death, Behold the Lamb of God, and Behold the King of Glory. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Source:
Morgan, Robert J. Then Sings my Soul. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011.

  • A simple and pointed reminder that no amount of religiosity saves anyone. Only the blood. Hallelujah!

  • So beautifully explained Becky! Thank you! ❤️

  • My unbelieving friends have a problem with the blood, and all the references to Jesus being a spotless lamb that was slain (that never goes over too well with the vegetarians in my life!). I have friends who will say, “yes I’m okay with God and I believe, but I don’t believe in all that gross blood stuff.” In addition to using the times as a reference point (Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice because they were still sacrificing animals back then to atone for sins), I’m going to use some of the comments here to shed light on the issue for my friends. Yes it’s true that Jesus was the only one powerful enough to stare sin in the face and not sin; in order to defeat death He had to die and be resurrected. The blood represents our insufficiency to pay our debt to sin and our saviors sacrifice to wipe the slate clean, but can anyone else shed light on why we sing songs to the blood and not just to Jesus?

    • Becky

      It’s as God says, the unbelievers can’t understand the things of God because they do not have His Holy Spirit to teach them. When unbelievers are being drawn to God, they will have a searching spirit and be open to talking about God and His Word.
      We sing songs about the blood of Jesus because it is the very heart of the Gospel. Atonement must be made for sin because “the payment for sin is death” Romans 3:23 for mankind/sinners and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin” Hebrews 9:2 Jesus gave his blood/life in our place. In the Old Testament, sins were covered by daily sacrifices and once a year on the Day of Atonement the High Priest went on to the Holy of Holies to put the blood of the lamb on the Mercy Seat for the sins of the people. When Jesus shed his blood for us, he went to Heaven and as our Great High Priest put His atoning blood on the Mercy Seat there as the Spotless Lamb of God. You can read about this in Hebrews 9-10.
      The whole book of Hebrews is great for understanding the OT sacrificial system. It was a picture of what was to come with Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That’s why we sing about the precious blood of Jesus and that’s why we say there is power or life in the blood of Jesus.

  • Atalie Jones

    Thank You, Father, for power in the blood! Thank You for blotting out our transgressions. Thank You for sending Your one and only, perfect Son to pay my ransom.

  • Power in the Blood has always been very special to me. Not simply for it’s encouraging message, but because it was always a hymn I would sing at summer bible camp with my best friends. I’ve always said that whenever I’m having a bad day, hymns are the cure. They calm my soul and make me feel refreshed, reminding me of my time at summer camp, and all the things the Lord has done for me. This study touched my heart! As I was reading over the lyrics, I thought of a point my pastor had made in a sermon, “the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in us today!” and I’ve always carried that with me.

  • Allison Joy

    You know what I noticed? The salvation messages used in this study are all in chapter 1 of Paul’s letters. It’s like Paul is saying, “Look. We’ve got something things to discuss. We’ve got some problems to work one. But first of all, let’s not forget why we are here. Let’s remember the ultimate message that I’m sharing with you! Don’t forget the most important thing!”

  • Guadalupe N Calderon

    Jesús my Savior

  • Lari White sings a great rendition of this song!

  • Thank you SRT for giving the back stories to these hymns. I love that There Is Power In The Blood was written as a simple reminder of what Jesus blood does for us it saves us and frees us from the burden of sin, it works against our pride and cleanses us of our guilt, it purifies us and calls us to daily sing God’s praises. Thank you Jesus for your powerful, wonder-working and life giving blood!

  • Talk about a rebirth or second chance at life, right? His blood holds such power and freedom is His gift to all His people. Thank you Lord for your blood and cleanse us each day, reminding us of who we belong to ❤️

  • Lindsay Prater

    Wonderful! What a privilege to have graduated from Moody Bible Institute as well. God does wonderful things through His word!

  • Singing today for the first time in a long time! Thank you,God, for the precious blood of the Lamb!

  • So beautiful His blood is…because Jesus’ blood was shed, the veil was torn and we have complete and total freedom to interact, talk with, and have an open relationship with our almighty and loving Father! I am so grateful for the blood and how it not only allows those things, but washes me white as snow. Amen!!

  • Leigh Ann Mayfield

    Camped among the questions in the hymn! Would you be free from the burden of sin…or’e evil a victory win…free from passion and pride…whiter, much whiter than snow…do service for Jesus your King…live daily His praises to sing…Oh YES, YES, YES, YES, O Lamb of God, Your precious blood – cleansing in Calvary’s tide, wonder working power, life-giving flow…IN THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF THE LAMB!!!!

  • Thank you so much Jesus for your ultimate sacrifice! Wash my sins away and keep me on a path of light and goodness only towards you!

  • jenn in ga

    i’ve been singing this hymn since i could talk, and today i was struck by the the fourth verse.
    the only way i can be effective in service to my King and daily His praises sing is through the power of the blood. my striving, my determination, my willpower, my yearning won’t accomplish either of these things. only through God’s power that is at work within me, both to will and to work, according to His good pleasure, that i can do anything at all (phil.2:13).

    • jill-smiles

      Amen!!! My goal today is to put my awareness on Him through whom all things are possible. Less me, More Creator, Savior, Holy Spirit!!!!

    • Emily B.

      His blood is so powerful, but how easy it is to forget that and fall back on what I can do for myself on my own. Thank you for reminding me that I only accomplish things through God’s power in me.

  • I have sometimes wondered why there had to be death – Jesus’ death on the cross – to bring us into a relationship with Him. This is from a sermon on Psalm 51 by Ray Stedman. He said, “The only answer is: Sin is so deeply imbedded in us that it can’t be cured by anthing but death. The old life has to die. Godd cannot improve it. Even God can’t make it better, he can’t cleanse it or wash it; He can only put it to death. David understands that now. He says to God ‘If you’re going to deal with this terrible fountain of evil in me, I can see that it must be put to death. It must be purged with hyssop then I will be clean.”
    Sometimes I believe I become casual about my sin. I don’t take it seriously. But God is such a holy God that being casual about my sin is dangerous. The only way I am clean is through the “precious blood of the Lamb”. I pray that today I will be ever mindful of my sin. That I will call it what it is and lay it before His throne with confidence and assurance that there is power in the blood.
    Be blessed, sisters. Here’s one of my favorite versions of this hymn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT_YX50Mvi0

    • Aimeejoy

      Kathy,
      I enjoyed reading your ponderings about why there had to be death. I wonder if Hebrews 12:2 can give us further insight. It says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” From this verse we see that part of Jesus dying on the cross was for the purpose of scorning it’s shame. The cross, in roman times was a death of a thief. It was undignified and cast a shadow of shamefulness upon the executed. In one of, author and psychologist, Curt Thompson’s lectures that I recently listened to, he points out that In order to scorn someone/something one does not simply avoid it. A person has to come into the presence of the someone/something for whom they have contempt and deliberately reject it. I would like to add on to your comment that Jesus had to die because he had to confront sin in its fullness, and the shame that it causes, in order to fully reject it. Only the creator of the world has the power to be in the presence of sin and shame and not be overpowered by it. Praise be to the Lord; for He is our champion and conqueror!

  • This has been my favorite hymn since I was a little girl. As a thirty three year old, I know now how precious of a gift my freedom through Jesus Christ is. What a powerful and fun song to sing!

  • Deborah Thompson

    I am struck by the irony of the third stanza-
    Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
    Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
    There’s wonderful power in the blood.
    The crimson of blood on the white of snow, the stains of that blood that dig deep into anything it touches, and yet once again- who is like our Jesus? ONLY his blood can make clean, ONLY his blood can wipe away the stain of sin- so thankful for the power that has wiped my sins away!

    • Elizabeth

      It isn’t just irony in that stanza. My Dad is a pastor and served in the navy for thirteen years prior to that. He told us that in the navy they would use different colored pencils to mark their maps. The first thing that they do when they open a new box of colored pencils is to not just throw out the red ones, but break them into useless pieces before throwing them out. See, on any navy vessel, their emergency lights are red tinted, and red is the only color that will blot itself out and make it look white. It would turn anything written in red completely invisible. “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow” is not just a pretty saying, it’s a scientific fact!

  • Would you be free? So much emphasis today on personal freedom. Is being able to do whatever you want at any time really freedom? This kind of “freedom” leads to our own destruction. As fallen creatures we aren’t able to choose what is best. We do what is right in our own eyes and call it freedom. Only the blood of Jesus offers true life-giving freedom- freedom from the burdens caused by our sin that enslaves us. What a beautiful reminder from this hymn writer who knew where true freedom lies.

  • Thank you Jesus that your blood changes everything! So much power in your blood!

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • Oh another one that takes me back to the little country church. I can still hear the swell of all the voices, in their thick accents, singing this song! I love these old hymns, and not just for nostalgia sake, but how Russ said, the Truth that is packed within them! So much power in the Blood!

  • churchmouse

    It’s hard to fathom blood cleansing anything. It usually causes such a mess. Our God accomplishes things in the most unexpected ways. He takes red blood to produce white robes. A slain Lamb gives sinners new life. I shake my head at the wonder of it but am so so grateful. This hymn simply asks do I have the desire to be cleansed? He has already provided the Way. Let’s sing and rejoice!

    • Nads

      The same things struck me…the oxymoron of blood making “whiter than snow” and, most importantly that it is DONE — the choice is mine to step into the flow and be cleansed by my Saviour!!

    • Christina Dekker

      Thank you for this. Beautiful, thought-provoking picture

  • Elisabeth7291

    So many of our churches no longer sing these wonderful old hymns that I’m thankful to SRT for keeping them alive and reminding us of our worship roots.

    • Cassy

      So true! It’s been in my heart to reach out to our musical director and ask if he could begin incorporating hymns into the praise service. I miss singing them!

    • Sarah

      As I read each day’s scripture and hymn lyrics I hear their phrases in the current music played on the radio and in concerts. This one made me think of “Clean” by Natalie Grant and “There is Power” by Lincoln Brewster. I do agree that I love the sound of an old church hymn but I am also glad that the message is out there for all to hear and sing during the course of the day.

  • Karen From Virginia

    Thank you Jesus for your blood and it’s power to cleanse and restore!
    I was weighed down sad because my sister had her foot and ankle amputated Saturday. When we talked she hurts so bad, I cry. I don’t live near her and traveling doesn’t appear to be an option. So I can only show my love through phone calls and prayer. Praying for healing and that God would meet her in a deep way. And reading and singing helped me refocus me on God’s power, love and He is able. He is worthy and I can give it all to Jesus and rest in His love and blood.

    • churchmouse

      Continued prayers for healing for your sister and comfort for you even as you comfort her.

      • Anne

        Praying for your sister and that you are a blessing to her no matter how far away.

        • lynne

          I am praying for you and your sister. I think of that scripture in the psalms where it says that he is near to the broken hearted and saves such as have a contrite spirit. God is near and He can be the bridge that you use to touch your sister. My sister is faraway and struggling and I have been able to encourage her even being so far away. I am praying the same for you!!

      • Karen From Virginia

        Oh thank you. I’m learning to lean on Jesus in new ways. Jesus is with her.

    • Praying for you and your sister. May your words comfort her.

  • He sacrificed so much for us. What an excellent passage today!

Further Reading...