Power to Praise in Times of Reproach

“Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:12-15).

Introduction
Some think that they are sanctified because of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This is only a partial truth. In the passage of Scripture we have just read it is stated that sanctification comes through Christ’s blood. The sacrificial blood of our Saviour cleanses us from sin, while the Holy Spirit gives us the power to stay clean. Before the Spirit of God can lead us in the path of holiness we must first be sanctified by the blood.

Bearing His Shame
Without the sanctifying power of the blood we cannot bear the reproach of Christ. This means that we will not have the power to confess Him; instead we will be fearful about owning Him as our Lord and Saviour. Isn’t it true that some can ‘talk the hind leg off a donkey’ in any gathering, but are suddenly struck dumb when it comes to witnessing for the Lord. It takes more than mere strength of character to declare one’s faith in Christ when the reproach of the Cross tempts us to hide.

Ashamed of Christ!
What a sad day it will be when all things we have thought, said, and done is brought to our remembrance, and we are called to give account for being ashamed of our Lord. Wouldn’t it be better to overcome this fear while we have breath?

God can remove fear and shame from even the most timid of saints, if they would simply submit to the sanctifying power of the blood.

Conclusion
God sanctifies His people so that they bear the reproach of Christ. Just as the Lord suffered death outside the city walls, so the believer is called upon to give up his life and sin for Christ’s sake. By doing so he will receive power to bear reproach, persecution and tribulation.

Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” We can never offer real praise and worship, nor will we fearlessly proclaim His name, until we are made clean and sanctified by Christ’s blood. Is this the reason why our witness is so ineffective or non-existent?

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