The Red Back Hymnal

The CHURCH HYMNAL: ‘Songs About the Blood of Jesus’

Bill Lloyd
Bill Lloyd

When my church denomination’s newly-elected general overseer preached at our General Assembly forty-six years ago, he told of an incident that took place when he was but a young student in a large university many years prior.  Before he ever became a minister, he was a student of pre-medicine.  Even so, he was somehow curiously placed in one particular classroom full of young preachers.  This pre-med student was the only one in the class who was not going into the ministry –– or so he thought.

In his address to our General Assembly, this new general overseer told of that class and professor from long ago.  One day, he said, the “skilled” professor began to talk freely of things to the class, including his criticism of the Blood of Jesus Christ.  The professor even dared to say, “There is little significance to the Blood of Jesus.”  To make matters worse, the young pre-med student looked around the room and saw a few young preachers even agreeing with what was said.
After that class ended, the pre-med student went straight home to his family’s little four-room house.  He was greeted by his Mother in the kitchen.   She sensed her son was greatly troubled about something, so she began to question him as to what was wrong.  The Christian son then told his Mother how his faith was being tested, and he included what the professor said in class about the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
Without delay, the young man’s Godly Mother took him by the hand, and together they knelt down in prayer between the old flattop cook stove and the box of chopped wood, all to talk to the Lord about this serious problem.
This precious Saint of God began to cry out to God in prayer, “Oh, God, if the faith of my boy is being tried, I pray you will stop the lips of those who would do such.”  She continued by saying, “…and IF preachers are encouraged to have doubts, I pray that You would somehow correct this situation.”  This Mother then boldly added to that prayer, “Lord God, would You tie that man’s tongue?”
The young man returned to the class the next day.  For some reason, the professor passed over all the other young men studying to become a minister, and he called upon the one and only pre-med student to answer what he thought of the Blood of Jesus Christ.
This student rose to his feet to speak, but he could not think of a single Scripture to tell the professor in defense of the Blood of Christ.  He was afraid to speak, and frankly, he just didn’t know what to say.  But he knew he had to say something, so he finally spoke up and declared, “I believe in the shed Blood of Christ; it has washed and made me clean.”
Just then, the professor opened his mouth to speak, but quickly found his tongue to be as motionless “as a slab of stone.”  All the professor could do was to pat his face and motion for the students to quickly leave the classroom.  Thank God for the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, and thank God for praying Mothers!
I must also thank God for Gospel songs based upon the Word of God!  I feel about the Blood of Jesus just as a gifted convention songwriter tells in one particular song.  Charles L. Towler wrote, “I STILL BELIEVE THERE’S WONDER-WORKING POW’R, in the Blood of the Lamb, Tho’ some may doubt and turn aside, I still believe it’s true:  There’s wondrous pow’r in the Blood.” 
Well, praise God!  There IS power in the Blood of Jesus Christ!  I also declare my belief and trust in the shed Blood of Jesus Christ.  Countless Gospel music songwriters have written songs about the Blood of Jesus Christ, whether through Southern Gospel songs, or through convention songs or hymns. 
It’s no wonder this CHURCH HYMNAL is affectionately known as “the RED Back book.”  Not only because the covers are red, but also because songs about the Blood of Jesus fill this book.  Throughout this marvelous hymnal, you’ll find the Blood of Jesus Christ mentioned innumerable times in title or text, all through great songs such as:
“ARE YOU WASHED IN THE BLOOD?” (E. A. Hoffman) –– The songwriter asks many questions, such as, “Have YOU been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?” “Are YOU walking daily by the Savior’s side?” And then, “When the Bridegroom cometh will YOUR robes be white?” 
But this song would not be complete without Hoffman asking, “Are YOU washed in the Blood; In the soul-cleansing Blood of the Lamb? Are YOUR garments spotless?  Are they white as snow?  Are YOU washed in the Blood of the Lamb?”
“NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD” (Robert Lowery) –– “WHAT can wash away my sin?” and “WHAT can make me whole again?”  Lowery then answers the many questions throughout the song by adding:  “O precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow, NO OTHER fount I know, Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” 
“THERE IS A FOUNTAIN” (William Cowper) –– Cowper asks no questions in this song, but rather makes statements in all four verses, including, “There is a fountain filled with Blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, And sinners plunged beneath that flood, lose ALL their guilty stains…” 
E. A. Hoffman and J. H. Stockton had much to say of the Blood of Jesus Christ in their song of worship, “GLORY TO HIS NAME.”  As we sing all four verses, we then give “Glory to His Name, Glory to His name, There to my heart was the Blood applied, Glory to His Name.”
N. B. Vandall tells in song, “You ask me why I’m happy so I’ll just tell you why, because my sins are gone…They’re underneath the Blood, on the Cross of Calvary, as far removed as darkness is from dawn…Praise God, MY SINS ARE GONE.” 
Edward Mote & William Bradbury remind us in song, “MY HOPE IS BUILT on nothing less, than Jesus’ Blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, BUT wholly lean on Jesus’ name…”  Then verse 3 declares, “His oath, His covenant, His Blood, support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way, He then is ALL my hope and stay…”
And did you also remember, “THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD”?  Yes, “There IS pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r, in the Blood of the Lamb…” 
In this old Gospel song, songwriter L. E. Jones asked such things as, “Would you be free from the burden of sin?” “Would you o’er evil a victory to win?” “Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?” “Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow,” “Would you do service for Jesus your King?” and “Would you live DAILY His praises to sing?”  Whatever our need of Him, “There IS pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r, IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB…” 
Although some churches no longer have choirs to sing this wondrous truth of the Blood of Christ; and though some preachers have replaced it with some pleasing secular gospel that tickles the ears of the rich and satisfied; and despite the fact that the preaching of the Blood of Christ has been attacked on every side by the enemy of our souls –– none of this has diminished God’s power one bit.  Not a bit!!!
Over and over in the Bible, Jesus told of the great importance of His shed Blood through statements such as, “…This cup is the new testament in My Blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).
Throughout the New Testament, we learn great emphasis is placed on the Blood of Jesus Christ.  Just some Scriptures listed below tell us how:
1 – We have “REDEMPTION through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
2 –  We have …“PEACE through the Blood of His Cross…”(Colossians 1:20).
3 – We are “…MADE NIGH by the Blood of Christ” (Ephesians2:13).
4 –  We are “…NOW JUSTIFIED by His Blood…” (Romans 5:9).
5 –  John tells us, “…The Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son,CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN” (1 John 1:7).
6 –  We learn, “For this is My Blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the REMISSION OF SINS” (Matthew 26:28).
7 –  We know, “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might SANCTIFYthe people with His own Blood, suffered without the gate” (Hebrews13:12).
8 –  “Having therefore, brethren, BOLDNESS to enter into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
9 –  We are to “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath PURCHASED with His own Blood” (Acts 20:28).
Ira Stanphill was a noted Gospel songwriter and preacher, but like many other Christians, he never walked down a pathway complete with roses lining his every step.  He also had trouble in his life.  His first marriage (1939) ended in divorce some nine years later
Just one year prior to his second marriage (1951), he would write the Gospel song that tells, “I don’t know about tomorrow, it may bring me poverty;  But the One Who feeds the sparrow, is the One Who stands by me.  And the path that is my portion, may be through the flame or flood;  but His presence goes before me, and I’m covered with His Blood!”
Although this song is not found in the Red Back CHURCH HYMNAL, the message speaks to us of Christ’s shed Blood yet today. 
A more recent song – one also not found in the CHURCH HYMNAL, but one written by Andrae Crouch – tells in part, “The Blood that Jesus shed for me, way back on Calvary, The Blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will NEVER lose its power. ~ It reaches to the highest mountain.  It flows to the lowest valley;  The Blood that gives me strength from day to day, It will NEVER lose its power.”
It is the power of God that makes the difference –– the kind of power that shakes jails; that makes hopeless cripples leap for joy;  that makes diseases retreat.    
Then too, Godly Mothers who pray for their children also make a difference.  Just ask the young pre-med student who witnessed the answer to his Mother’s prayer when he saw his professor’s tongue was tied after denouncing the Blood of Jesus.  His Blood made a difference to that young student long ago; the Blood made a difference when the young man answered the call of Christ and later became leader of my denomination. 
And the good news is the Blood of Christ still makes a difference TODAY. 
–– Bill

Absolutely Gospel Music

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