The hymn “There Is Power in the Blood” was published in 1899 by Lewis Jones who is credited with both the lyrics and the music for this powerful hymn about the sacrifice of Christ and the shedding of His blood for the salvation of mankind.
Lewis Ellington Jones (1878-1917), Lyricist & Composer
There is misinformation on some sources in relation to the names and dates of Lewis Jones. Some record his name as “Lewis Edgar Jones”. Also, some sources mistakenly date his birth as February 8, 1865 in Yates City, IL. Similar sources mistakenly state he died September 1, 1936 in Santa Barbara, CA, and he was buried in Altoona Walnut Grove Cemetery in Etowah County, AL. Obviously, research often needs refined at times!
Supposedly, he was a Baptist and a fellow classmate of Billy Sunday at the Moody Bible Institute. He worked with the YMCA which in its day stood for “Young Men’s Christian Association”. The YMCA was founded by George Williams to provide refuge for young men to study the Bible and engage in prayer. The organization now prefers to use the term “the Y” indicating changing times. Changing indeed! Jones’ work with this organization would take him to Davenport, IA; Fort Worth, TX; and Santa Barbara, CA.
“There Is Power in the Blood” was his most published hymn according to Hymnary.org. The meter of this hymn is 10.9.10.8.188.8.131.52. He wrote “There Is Power in the Blood” while attending a camp meeting in Mountain Lake Park in Maryland. There are over 200 texts credited to his name. His other works include: “We Shall See The King Some Day”.
Jones also wrote under pseudonyms including: Lewis Edgar, Edgar Lewis, and even Mary Slater. In contradiction to the dates mentioned above, his grave marker in the Walnut Grove Cemetery in Alabama clearly reads:
Lewis Ellington Jones
There Is Power in the Blood
We Shall See the King Some Day
And other songs
An ancestry site which has the correct dates and such report that he married Mary Scott (1879-1954), and they had one daughter named Beulah Mae Jones (1911-1997).
There Is Power in the Blood
Blood has always been a powerful agent in God’s scheme of redemption for man. Animal sacrifices were made which certainly included blood (Genesis 4:4). The blood of the Passover lamb was slain to protect the firstborn in Egypt (Exodus 12:7,13). Blood was considered the life of the flesh—“But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Genesis 9:4, NKJV.) It should be easily seen that an animal or human sacrifice includes blood!
The blood of numerous animals was used to atone for mankind’s sin; however, the blood of animals was insufficient—“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4, NKJV.) Why was the blood of animals insufficient? Because animals are not the same as humans! It would take a sacrifice greater than animal sacrifices to deal with a man’s sin, and it would take far more than just any ordinary man’s blood to deal with the sins of the world’s blood. It would take God-Made-Flesh Jesus the Christ to shed His blood for the remission of sins for the whole world, both those under the first covenant and those under the second covenant—“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:14-15, NKJV.)
Where does one come in contact with the blood of Christ? Another way to phrase the question is where does one come in contact with the death of Christ which is when He shed His blood? The answer is very plain—we come into contact with the death of Christ (and the blood of Christ) through our contact with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4, NKJV.) Paul would go onto write, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27, NKJV.)
The song reflects “Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide; There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.” This cleansing comes from baptism as Ananias told Saul of Tarsus—“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16, NKJV.)
The Baptist Manual clearly states “Baptism is not essential to salvation, for our churches utterly repudiate the dogma of ‘baptismal regeneration’; but it is essential to obedience, since Christ commanded it. It is also essential to a public confession of Christ before the world, and to membership in the church which is his body.” One wonders how something can be essential for obedience but not be essential for salvation! Contrast this to what Peter wrote “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, NKJV).
There is indeed power in the blood of Christ, and one comes in contact with the blood of Christ when one comes in contact with the death of Christ in baptism!
Howard, V. E., and Broadus E. Smith, eds. Church Gospel Songs & Hymns. Texarkana, TX: Central Printers & Publishers, 1983.
“Lewis E. Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://www.hymnary.org/person/Jones_Lewis.
“Lewis Edgar Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/bio/j/o/jones_le.htm
“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=85056617&PIpi=69163812.
“Lewis Ellington Jones.” No pages. Cited 25 September 2016. Online: http://mykindred.com/cloud/TX/getperson.php?personID=I36731&tree=mykindred01.
“There Is Power In The Blood.” No pages. Cited 29 September 2016. Online: https://hymnstudiesblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/there-is-power-in-the-blood.
Wiegand, John P., Editor. Praise for the Lord. Nashville, TN: Praise Press, 1997.