Christianity’s Most Essential Verse

Posted on January 8, 2018

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By David Ettinger

A Recap
leviticusMore than a year ago, I wrote a blog titled, “The Bible’s Most Crucial Verse.” The verse of interest was Leviticus 17:11, which reads: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

The crux of the blog was pretty much an explanation of the Gospel:

  • That all people are born separate from God and therefore are sinners.
  • Because of this we are condemned to eternal separation from God.
  • However, God provided a way of forgiveness, and that through the shedding of blood.
  • Originally, this blood sacrifice was made manifest in ancient Israel’s sacrificial system.
  • Eventually, God deemed the sacrificial system inadequate, and replaced it with one, final, and permanent atonement for sin: the Lord Jesus Christ who lived a perfect, sinless life, surrendering that life on a Roman cross for the sins of the world.

I went on to write that atonement, or redemption, can only come through one means: the shedding of blood. No other religion, including modern Judaism, provides a blood atonement for sin, therefore, all adherents of other religions are lost in their sin and will, when this life is over, spend eternity in Hell, separated from God.

The Only Religion
ephesians-1146701-1279x1185There is only one religion which provides the blood sacrifice God is looking for, and this is Christianity. This is made clear by the apostle Paul, who in one simple yet brilliantly-worded proclamation, magnificently lays out for us the essential verse upon which all of Christianity rests. The verse is Ephesians 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Of course, the “Him” and “His” of this passage is the Lord Jesus Christ, as the six previous verses tell us. Ephesians 1:7 is the ultimate salvation verse for those who have given their lives to Christ. In other words, if asked, “So you gave your life to Christ; what does that mean?” You can reply, “Because I have given my life to Christ, I have been released from the slave market of sin and have been set free. I have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and my sins have been forgiven.”

Ephesians 1:7 is the perfect partner of Leviticus 17:11. Let’s read them consecutively, and see what we have, beginning with Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” “In [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

In these two verses we have the what, why, and who. The what: that blood is necessary for the preserving of life, in this case spiritual life. The why: that blood – and only blood – is required to make atonement for the sin which destroys our spiritual lives. The who: Jesus Christ is the only one who can provide the blood necessary for redemption, atonement, and forgiveness.

This is essential Christianity.

The Bonus
purple crossAnd, speaking of essential Christianity, let’s not forget the bonus: that this blood atonement does not have to be purchased or earned by the one seeking it. Rather, it is a free gift from God the Father as Paul tells us that it is given to us “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

A basic definition of Christian grace is “the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation.” All of humanity consists of those “who are under condemnation.” Those under grace are those who have accepted God’s free gift of atonement – the shed blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross.

The Most Essential Verse
Ephesians 1:7 is Christianity’s most essential verse because it simply but definitively tells us everything we need to be saved from our sins and gain acceptance by God.

May God bless you richly in the knowledge and security of this most essential of truths!

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