Author: Alan Stibbs
Publisher: Christian Focus (www.christianfocus.com)
You may have heard it said that the church today needs something. Accordingly, many offer their opinions as to exactly what it is we need. One thing is certain, we do have needs. Recently, I have found that one piece missing from the church is not learning from those who have gone before us. Many have taken to writing such deep truths, leaving a testimony and challenge to learn the deeper truths of Christ for those who follow. This is one of the best books to read and reread. It is also a vivid reminder of the repeated word “blood” in the Scriptures.
One might judge the book not so much by its cover anymore, but the length thereof. That would be a mistake. Whether a book is many pages or a few, the true reason to read a book is for the content. Alan Stibbs was a preacher, teacher, expositor and writer. He has left us many writings; this one is so rich that a reader will revisit the pages to be reminded again of the truths it reveals. Alan Stibbs was living and working around the time the world knew other excellent men of God like John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. While originally published in 1962, it is with great appreciation from this writer that it has once again been republished for today’s seekers. Why the word “seekers” and not readers? There is a difference between the two. Seekers want to learn, grow and finish their race well. Readers tend to be, though not always, reading for the moment while not usually seeking to grow or even retain what is read. Let me assure you that no offense is meant to readers; readers can be seekers too, though most read “for the moment” not necessarily for a lifetime. This book is one to read with a seeking heart, and then you will experience the awesomeness anew of Christ’s shed blood.
Today’s congregational times are usually spent singing contemporary songs. While that is good and has value, we shouldn’t do so at the cost of the richness the more traditional hymns contain. We would do well to include both types of songs; the old helps anchor the new. Such is this book--an essay on the blood that keeps the followers of Christ today well-grounded and anchored by remembering aspects that seldom might be mentioned during preaching or teaching moments. This is a book that would be of such use on personal library shelves in homes, making it available to all who enter.
While many may know or are familiar with the usage of the term “blood” in the New Testament, Alan Stibbs starts with helping us understand this in “type” in the Old Testament. We may have difficulty understanding what is presented in the Old Testament because we eat prepared foods while not seeing the process that gets the meat from the living animal to the dinner plate. However, this short essay helps us see anew more than an animal losing its life for the sustenance of mankind. Once the author presents to us an understanding of “blood” in the Old Testament (Hebrew), he then leads us to a greater appreciation, understanding and application thereof from the New Testament (Greek).
In the expounding of the New Testament word for “blood” meanings, the author writes the Scripture reference, the Scripture itself (in part or in entirety), then goes on to summarize the understanding he has of Scriptures in total. It helps to have the Old Testament foundation, usage and types explained when looking at the term “blood” in the New Testament. We then begin to be reminded of the awesomeness of our God and thankfulness wells up within the heart of the believer, so we don’t forget the price He paid for us to cancel our debt.