For the Brazilian film, see Baptism of Blood (film). The first Christian martyr Saint Stephen, painting by Giacomo Cavedone. A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of Jesus. In early church .. Jesus Freaks. Voice of the Martyrs, Extreme Devotion. for more information go to . ‘The blood of martyrs is the seed of progress’. The role of Published online: 12 Mar Download citation · The famous observation of Tertullian that, â€œthe blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,â€ has a depth of insight which is all too often.
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We have no trouble thinking of persecution and martyrdom as a great obstacle to the spread of the gospel which will not, however, be successful in hindering Church growth. But to say that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church is an altogether different concept. If martyrdom is a surmountable obstacle to the growth of the Church, then the Church might advance just as well, even better, without it.
But if the blood of the martyrs truly is the seed of the Church, then without it, the Church does not grow. Without martyrdom, the Church would never have taken root in the world of Tertullian. And if so, what practical effects ought this scriptural truth to have upon the actions, goals, and designs of the Church as she approaches her task of global evangelism in the twenty-first century?
And without the remission bloor sins, there is no life. Christ came to earth for no other purpose than to give his life for the sins of his people Isaiah This is the intent of the parable that Christ spoke to his disciples, only days before he was to offer himself up for them all: Just as a grain of wheat can only produce life in abundance if it first dies and is buried in the earth, so Christ could only accomplish the fruit of new life for his followers if he first died and was buried in the earth.
It is beyond controversy, then, that willing death was the necessary means for the accomplishment of the redemption which leads to life. It is incontrovertible that Christ had to suffer and die to accomplish redemption and life. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously: Who his own self owf our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: Christ alone effectually accomplished this incorruptible life-out-of-death; but the application of it in the lives of his followers is produced by an analogous blodo which eof effective to work in us the death-conquering life of Christ.
Just as the apostle Paul exhorted the early Christians: Is the suffering of Christ necessary for the spread of the gospel throughout the world of unbelievers?
In his epistle to the Colossians, Paul made a very remarkable statement: This astounding assertion is nothing other than that, what the sufferings of Christ were lacking for the goal of bringing life to the nations, the analogous sufferings of the saints, as they proclaim the gospel, are sufficient to fulfill. What could Paul have meant? It would be blasphemous even to consider such a possibility. In other words, Christ had to suffer in order to purchase our eternal life; and now we as his witnesses have to suffer in order to spread the effects of that fully-accomplished redemption.
It is the willing, joyful self-sacrifice of the martyrs that God uses as the primary means of evangelizing the lost and dying regions of a world opposed to him. The blood of the martyrs truly is the seed of the Church. If this is indeed the case, it must have a tremendous impact on our attitude towards the means by which we hope to spread the gospel to the nations.
If one were to search the annals of the history of missions, he would find that rarely, if ever, has the gospel spread to an unreached people group when it had not first been planted and watered by the blood of the saints. One way in which he does that is to re-tell in picture form the story of what happened on Calvary.
There, Christ willingly died an unjust death at the hands of the wicked. When his servants willingly die an unjust death, then the power of their word is joined to the power of their example, and the result is a living faith which turns the world upside down, and facilitates the mighty spread of the kingdom of God.
In this century, it is more vital than ever that we be committed just as much to the bloody portrayal of the gospel as we are to the verbal proclamation of the gospel. Christ left us with a great commission which has thus far been two thousand years in fulfilling. The great delay must not harden our hearts, but rather spur us on to the final completion of our task.
In such broad expanses of time, it is easy to lose sight of the truth that world history is moving definitely toward a goal which cannot be stopped: The entire story of man is moving towards a certain conclusion. That conclusion of all of history, indeed, the goal for which the world was created in the first place, is the Christ-exalting joy of a great band of worshippers eternally pouring out their hearts before him in wonder and praise.
Let us never lose sight of this certain end! Let us be laboring now as never before!
The Church is poised and ready to fulfill by her blood the task left for us by Christ. Let us take heart and know that victory is certain!
I leave us with two final admonitions. The gospel never eof to unreached areas by people committed to safety. Let us be eager and willing to lay down our lives for the sake of the One who gave up his own precious life for us.
Let us be ready to give up our possessions, our safety, our families, and our lives to see the gospel spread and the Kingdom increased until the great commission is finally accomplished, and Christ bloor in all his glory to reward us eternally for our light and momentary affliction! God never intended for every Christian to be martyred. It is no shame vlood live a life of radical commitment to the gospel which never ends in extreme persecution or martyrdom. We are a body, and have different lbood and callings.
But whether we are called to lay down our lives in martyrdom or to lay them down in a long, wearisome service that sees no bloody end, let us strive to be vitally connected to the worldwide Church. God has raised up mwrtyrs mighty band of believers in China, South Korea, Africa, and other places who are persecuted intensely and who desire intensely to be used of God to spread the gospel throughout the unreached regions of the world, no matter the cost.
We may never face persecution of this sort in America: Let us be partnering with them financially!
Let us be learning of their needs and sacrificially contributing in any way that we can! And today we can pray that this will be true of the three men who died in Turkey last week. Frances Aldridge April 26, Jesus said, Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it cannot. Samson Gandhi October 22, Thanks for the articles and resources provided on this site.
In regard to Tertullian’s quote,”The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church”; I’m not sure everything has to be debated. This quote can certainly have truth without being equated to Scripture. At times, the blood of the martyrs can be both; seed for some and a hurdle for others. Hurdles are not necessarily a bad thing; they strenghten as well. Chris Brammer November 13, An excellent resource as I prepare to preach on Acts 4 this Sunday.
I will be directing my church to this article. Campbell Markham February 22, Thanks for the great article, Nathan.
I came by it because I was looking for someone to suggest some possible reasons why people convert to Christ in the face of persecution particularly in closed countries where Christians are killed. I’m about to write an article about what how Christ made his appeal to a darkened world. Did he candy-coat what it would mean for people to follow Him, or did He tell them to count the difficult cost of following Him. The follow-up question is – how does the church currently present Christ to those who are uncommitted?
Unfortunately, I think we sell people entertainment, dynamic speakers, “relevancy,” and promises to meet other felt needs. Rarely do I hear, “come drink my blood, and eat my flesh,” or “deny yourself and take up your cross.
Blood of the Martyr (Chronicles) – Gatherer – Magic: The Gathering
Anyway, sorry for rambling. Thanks martyrd for the article. If you don’t mind, I’d like to quote you on some things that you said.
Lonnie November 16, You have really taken us back to the faith of our fathers. We need more of this kind in our modern world. May 17, Chigoo Nwaeze January 30, Praying last night for guidance on starting a mission to the Islamic world I got back two words “Blood Martyr”.
I asked for more but nothing came. So I typed in Blood Martyr on a search engine and the first item was this article which is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you Nathan and thank you God! Moses June 27, Monergism Books on Facebook. Comments thank you for this valuable resource!!
I should have said thankyou ‘Nathan’! Post a comment Name: