“The Power of the Blood covenant,” Malcolm Smith, Harrison House, 298 pages
- Critical read
- Must read
- Good read
- Read if you want
- Read something else
Why read “The Power of the Blood Covenant?” The new covenant established by our God through the sacrifice of atonement by the blood of Jesus Christ is one of the most basic and critical concepts we as disciples of Jesus Christ need to know. Yet few are truly clear on just what that new covenant is and how it defines our faith and practice every day. Few preachers preach on it, and few writers write about it. Often those that do remain at a very shallow and incomplete explanation and application of this key transaction in our God’s Kingdom.
The practices of the institutional church have accordingly fallen into more of an old covenant pattern that obscures the practical outworking of our relationship with our God. The overwhelming majority of institutional church congregations I have connected with over the years have looked much more like old covenant synagogues than new covenant bodies of believers. Every denomination with which I have ever had connection promotes this old covenant practice base, and every seminary I have had seen teaches the old covenant practices as fitting for the new.
Few things could be as far from the truth as the current sate of “church practice” in the western institutional church.
Malcolm Smith is an Episcopal pastor from England living in the US. Early in his work here, Smith became aware of the scope and importance of the new covenant in Christ’s blood to our everyday living. He has dedicated much of his energies to making these truths known, for they are critical for us in living the life of God every day.
The point of the book: The new covenant, secured for us in Christ’s blood, is the pathway by which our God initiated the Kingdom of God on earth and secured our place in it. Furthermore, this blood covenant defines our daily living with our God in a way that will be different from what most believers have learned in their years in the institutional church. A careful reading of this book will uncover just about every important condition of this covenant as well as every influential nuance. It will correct the misguided information most are laboring under, providing a clear, refreshing, and freeing experience in discovering how our God wants to live within and among us.
The impact of the book: First of all, I have found no better, more thorough, or more readable explanation of this cornerstone of our theology than Smith’s book. Kudos to him for doing the good work of explaining the important details of this eternal transaction with simplicity, clarity, and precision. This book could be a textbook for a graduate course in terms of content but reads much more easily. What sound like difficult theological concepts in most sermons are brought to light with a conversational ease and with simple illustrations. Perhaps tis would be a better text for this subject that almost all the other texts out there.
Second, this book makes the biblical case for the work of the Holy Spirit in all true followers of Christ every day yet manages to keep it free of sectarian views on manifestations and gifts. A balanced, biblical treatment is what Smith offers. He does so with the concepts of God’s oaths, the representative roles of Christ and men, The blood, the covenant, the celebration feast, and sin. Smith also utilizes Old Testament types and examples that our God presented as representatives of the coming covenant, explaining with them the details of the new covenant.
While it takes a while to read through the book – it is nearly 300 pages – it is well-worth the read. If one reads and understands it one chapter at a time, every day or two, it won’t be long before the refreshing, freeing reality of new covenant living will be clear in your thinking. How to walk in the Spirit, live as people of the Spirit, and live as an intimate friend of our God will all be exposed and explained well.
Quote: Page 72 – “One thing is sure – all of our whining that He could love us does not stop Him from loving us! His love is almighty and does reach us wherever we are. He set His love upon us before we were born, without asking our permission; it is eternally too late to argue with Him on this issue. He is the God who, so Jesus tells us, delights to throw wild parties for the undeserving failures in life, to celebrate them and declare them His own.
You are not working toward His love; you are now, in this moment, loved. We begin our journey into understanding the new covenant by knowing that we are loved and highly valued by God. The only explanation to His making the covenant is His love for us. We receive His love with thanks; we surrender to that love and rest in it.”
This is an amazing treatment of the central point and theme of all of our God’s work in the history of the human race. It is one of the most influential and important works I have read. Please read it for yourselves.