Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Christ did the great work on our behalf, clearing the way for us to have a restored relationship with God, our sins forgiven. His suffering brought our healing. Now He calls us to take up His cross and follow Him. 1 Peter 2 21 says, For to this you are called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. Those who follow Christ are called to a life of sacrifice, dying to self, and willing to do what is difficult and costly for the sake of the gospel, just like our Savior. Instead of spending our lives on our own comfort and personal plans, Christ beckons us to invest our time and energy in building His plan. Beautiful things will result in us and around us when we surrender our lives to Christ's call. This is the third part of Rich's message on 1 Peter 2 21-25, titled Following Through Suffering.
It was first preached on October 23, 2022. Now there's a word we use every day, isn't it? What does expiatory mean? Very, very simply basically put, it just simply means this. Christ's suffering, expiatory means to put right. To put right, that's the nuance at the very basis of what that word means, to put right. Christ's sufferings put me right. They were not just, yes, they were exemplary, but they were not just exemplary.
They put me right because they were in my place. They were for me, His sufferings. And so it says, He Himself, look at verse 24, He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree. His work, He Himself bore our sins, and that bore our sins as an aorist active means He's presenting a complete picture here.
It's not just a past tense, something that happened long in the past, not just that, it's a complete picture. He took upon Himself our sin. Think about that. Think about who Jesus is and that He would do this. It is a humble sacrifice for our highest good and our deepest satisfaction. As we read this paragraph that we're studying today, Isaiah 53 is all through this. Peter's quoting and paraphrasing and expanding Isaiah 53 and his expiatory suffering, his exemplary suffering, his expiatory suffering are the basis of our call. They are what answer the question why to our very being. And there is an outcome to it, an outcome that God determined that He predestined, if you will, the outcome of the sufferings of Christ.
What is it? Look with me again at verse 24, He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to freedom. That we might means that there is a necessary element of faith in there. Jesus died and He bore our sin, but until we surrender ourselves in faith, until then, we are not free. But when we do surrender ourselves in faith, we are free because we are, as He says in verse 24, dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
If you mark in your Bible, I'm going to encourage you to mark right here. The theme of this whole series is live as people who are free. And in verse 24, when He says that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, what is that? That is freedom. Live to righteousness.
Let's bring it up on the screen. Live to righteousness. He's dead to sin and live to righteousness. That is what it means to be free.
You must understand the nature of your freedom that you have. Not only are you dead to sin and that you live to righteousness, but you are personally whole in your being, personally whole. By His wounds, you have been healed. Your being is whole. And Dwight alluded to it this morning in quoting Romans chapter 8, whom he foreknew, he called, he justified, he called, he predestined, he justified, he did what? Glorified. Do you know that you, Christian, in God's eyes, are already glorified?
What is that? That is ultimate healing. It is wholeness as a person. That's what God has for us. You've been healed from the destructive disease of living for yourself. You can write 2 Corinthians 5.15 there if you want.
And then also, he says, we've been reconciled. Verse 25, for you were straying like sheep. You were straying like sheep. You strayed in deception, headed for destruction, and now you have returned into the loving grip of the benevolent sovereign. And that's why he calls us to live our freedom.
You have now returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. Live your freedom in Christ. You don't have to, why can you live your freedom?
What does it look like? You are free because you don't have to prove yourself and you don't have to keep yourself. Did you know that's what most people do every day is they spend their energy and resources in proving themselves and keeping themselves. And in Christ, we are free. We don't have to do that. All of that's been taken care of for us in Christ. That's our freedom.
And that being the case, we are free to follow Christ's steps of living with abandon as living sacrifices. Dallas Willard in his book, The Divine and Conspiracy, wrote, the Lord is my shepherd is written on many more tombstones than lives. Is it written on your life? And I'm not saying go out and get a tattoo. I mean, you're free to if you want, right?
Can someone look at your life? And the message that they get is the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. Here's the hard thing I'm going to do. I'm going to ask of you this morning.
There's a negative side and there's a positive side. I'm going to ask you to forsake. I'm going to ask you to forsake following Christ casually and cheaply. It's a very American thing to do that, to follow Christ casually and cheaply.
What does that look like, Rich? Well, it means you're following Christ. You claim to be a Christian, but you avoid any interruption to your comforts and routines. In fact, those are the only commitments you really keep is your comfortable routines.
With everything else, you keep your options open. And in doing so, we become Christian couch potatoes. Spectators. Are you a Christian spectator?
At the end of that T-A-T-E-R. Tater, get it? I'm just, anyway. No, but we're expecting trophies for our participation. God should be pleased with us just because we're here this morning. Are you expecting a participation trophy for coming to church? Are you following Christ casually and cheaply? Psalm 15 verses one to four are very gripping verses. Oh Lord, who shall dwell in your holy hill? Redacting it a little bit here, he says at the end, verse five, verse four, the one who honors those who fear the Lord, and listen to this, he who swears to his own hurt and does not change. Commitment is almost a dead virtue in our culture.
The church needs to resurrect it and model it as we follow Christ. He who swears to his own hurt and does not change. Those of you who follow football, particularly college football, you remember that Lou Holtz was the legendary coach of Notre Dame football. Here's his statement on commitment, right? He says the kamikaze pilot who flew 50 missions was involved but never committed. I'm just gonna leave that there. You are called to follow Christ in doing good and to be willing to suffer for it. You are called to that. You are in ministry.
That's what I'm asking you, so I'm asking something great of you this morning. The first side is the negative side, and that's to forsake following Christ casually and cheaply. And then on the positive side, in conclusion today, I'm gonna ask you to follow your shepherd.
I'm gonna ask you to follow your shepherd by being willing to do what is difficult and costly. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 14:28:06 / 2023-05-08 14:32:09 / 4