There Is Power in the Blood

 

open hymnal in the sunshine

words and music by Lewis E. Jones, published 1899

Would you like to listen to Alan Jackson sing it while you read? Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link, then come back up and read while the music plays in the background.

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

CHORUS:
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

About the Hymn:

This uplifting song about the blood of Christ has been published in at least 286 hymnals. The lyrics as printed here come from the Baptist Hymnal (2008) #225.

While browsing the titles of the hymns to Jones’ credit, I noticed a good many that were written about the blood of Christ, and I am gratified that such a hymn should be preserved to this day. Some editors of our modern-day hymnals are trying to eradicate songs that speak of the blood because they fear that it is offensive. Perhaps they are right. After all, Jesus Himself said that even the disciples would be offended because of Him on the night that He was arrested and taken to be crucified. Mark 14:27 “And Jesus said unto them, All of you shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” The editors are right that the blood of Christ is offensive to some—but they are dead wrong if they think we should avoid singing about it. Our very salvation is rooted and grounded in the crucifixion of Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22b). Consider also these verses:

But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. —Romans 5:8-9

But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. —Hebrews 9:11-12

That’s good news, folks! And how about the verse that may well have been part of the inspiration for the song?

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. —Revelation 1:5

About the Author:

Lewis Edgar Jones (1865-1936) was born in Yates City, IL. A classmate of Billy Sunday, Jones attended the Moody Bible Institute. After graduation, he worked for the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Davenport, IA; Fort Worth, TX; and Santa Barbara, CA.

Hymn-writing was his avocation, and he wrote both the lyrics and the tunes to some 189 hymns under the pen names of Lewis Edgar, Edgar Lewis, and even Mary Slater. “There Is Power in the Blood” stands as his single most popular hymn. Some other titles include “Are You Robed in Righteousness?” “I Am Trusting Jesus Only,” “I Have a Song I Love to Sing,” “I Have Been Saved from the Power of Sin,” “My Sins Are Taken All Away,” “Not by My Trying, Nor Yet By My Tears,” “Since Christ Hath Redeemed Me and Given Me Peace,” “To Redeem My Life from Bondage,” “To Thy Precious, Bleeding Side,” “Trusting in Jesus, O Why Should I Fear!” “We Are Daily Drawing Nearer,” and “When My Upward Way Seems Rough and Steep.”

Most of what we know about Lewis E. Jones comes from a letter he wrote to Haldor Lillenas in October 1932:

In regard to the writing of my songs, I would say that a great many came from sentences in a pastor’s sermons. Since I began this work, I have always been listening for some such inspiration. I remember that “Power in the Blood” was written during a camp meeting at Mountain Lake Park, Maryland. My life has been uneventful. I was born in Illinois, moved with my parents to Iowa, where I lived on a farm until I was twenty-one. Then I went into business for a while. Eventually I entered Y.M.C.A. work. Attended training school in Chicago; Billy Sunday graduated from the same class. I was in Y.M.C.A. work for thirty-six years. I retired five years ago, and am now living in California, where all bad weather is unusual.

Lyrics and bibliographic information came from Hymnary.org and Hymntime.com.

Photo taken in Milton, FL, 2018

 

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