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The Redemptive Suffering of Christ

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2022 12:00 am

The Redemptive Suffering of Christ

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 28, 2022 12:00 am

Forgiveness results from God’s grace, which cannot be earned.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, July 28. When we understand what Jesus did on the cross, believers find strength to endure all things. Let's learn more about the redemptive suffering of Christ. Peter wrote this epistle, if you'll recall, in order to encourage those believers whom he knew were about to undergo some great persecution.

A little of it had begun, but not much. But by the next year, persecution was going to set in in a very painful fashion. So he's been talking about that. And he says in verse 17, for it is better if God should will it so that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what's wrong.

So he's been talking about that all through. And now he gives Christ as an example. So the reason for verse 18 through 22, he sort of moves off from Christ as an example to talk about these other things, which is a part of what he's explaining.

It's just that Peter moves from Christ's crucifixion into what happened when he died and when he ascended. So we are, in essence, talking about Christ's suffering. So he says in verse 18, for Christ also died for sins once for all. But just for the unjust, in order that he might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.

Now, what he's saying here is this. First of all, verse 18, he speaks about Christ's provision for the sinner. And he says that provision, Christ also died for sins once for all. So when you and I see the Lord Jesus Christ hanging upon the cross, remember, if he died as a substitute, who in essence should have been hanging there? He was the sinless, virgin-born, spotless, incarnate God in the flesh, the Son of God, dying in whose behalf?

In our behalf. So the truth is, he took your place and my place. He did not deserve the cross, but rather he says, and oftentimes when the Bible says for, when he died for, it's always, it's always in the Greek an underlining of the fact that it was a substitutionary death. That is, he took our place. So he says for Christ also died for sins how many times?

Once. Now, if he had not died for your sin, listen now, if he had not died for your sin, you would have had to die in your sin. Jesus Christ bore in his body on the tree the penalty for your sin. If he had not taken the penalty, you would have been penalized. So he took your place in order that how much of your sin?

How much of it? All your sin might be atoned for, paid in full at the cross. Now think about the power of the death of one man. Remember that he was crucified between two thieves, one of whom said, if you be the Christ, remember me when you come into your Father's glory. The other one said, if you're the Son of God, why don't you save all of us? Remember now, he bore in his body your sin and mine, and the Bible says in this chapter, he died for our sins what?

Once and for all. Listen, he died for your sin and mine, once for all. That is one time in one single act.

Now think about this. In one single act, one man bore all the sin of all of humanity from the Garden of Eden all the way to the last person that ever be born. He bore all the sin of all mankind on one body at one time in one moment of history.

Nobody else could have done that. Now somebody says, well, why couldn't somebody else have done that for the simple reason that all of us are sinners? The only person who could have died for sin is a sinless person.

That is, this was a substitutionary atoning sacrifice. That meant that whoever this was was paying the price for everybody. The only person who could pay the price for anybody was someone who was not guilty. And surely the only person who could pay the price for everybody was someone who was capable, able to bear the sin of all mankind upon himself. The only person who could do that was God. The very idea that anybody believe that Jesus Christ was virgin born and that Jesus Christ came into the world and had died on the cross, the only way he could possibly have atoned for the sin of the world was to have been God himself. So hanging there crucified was God the Son.

So he says that he died once for all the just for the unjust. There are only two ways for you to stand before God in the judgment, either condemned by your sin or freed by his death. That's the only way you can stand there. You can't stand there any other way. There's no middle road.

There are no third choices. The only way you'll stand before him is either condemned and under the wrath of God in your sin, or you'll stand before him freed and liberated by his death. That's why he says in this passage the just for the unjust. That is, Jesus, the justifier, could still remain God and at the same time atone or pay the penalty of your sin. If God had said, well, look, being God, I'm going to let you get by with this time, he would have broken his own promises, he would have proven to be unfaithful, and not a single one of us could ever have fully trusted God to be God. When he says the just for the unjust, the only way God could remain the God he says he is, is to pay our penalty or every single one of us would have been condemned by the wrath of God to hell forever.

So you remember this. When you stand before God, you'll stand in one of two conditions. You'll either stand freed and liberated through the blood of Jesus Christ or you will stand condemned in your sin.

There is no other way to stand there. So what he's saying is that Christ suffered just like we suffer, but he suffered for the sins of the world. Christ also died in your behalf and mine. Once for all, that is the power of one man's death. The just for the unjust in order that.

Why did he die? Now once you look at that, he says in order that he might bring us to God. Two things I want you to notice in that phrase. First of all, he says Christ died for sins once and for all. That is a literal factual statement.

Now get that. Christ died for our sins once for all. Factual statement. Then he says that he might bring us to God. That is, he might bring us to God.

That isn't a factual statement, but a potential statement. That is, I may get to God, but that's up to me. He died once and for all for my sins. But now whether I get to God or not depends upon whether I choose to follow what he says. He says that he might bring us to God. Oh, he's willing. He's ready.

He's able. But whether I come to God or not is really not his decision now, but my decision. He's already paid the penalty once and for all. If I come to God, it's going to be because I respond properly to his once for all death.

So what he's saying is here is this. Once and for all, Jesus Christ died bearing your sin and my sin. He did that in order that he might make a way that we might have access, that we might be introduced to God and introduced to him freely because the blood atonement has signed and sealed our internal security once and for all. So stamped upon the forehead of every single believer is the sign not guilty. We are no longer guilty before God, clothed in his righteousness. All of it is based on the blood atonement. Now, all of that we understand. But what in the world does he say following that?

Now watch this. Having been put to death in the flesh, physically we know he was crucified and died, but made alive in the Spirit or by the Spirit. Now, Jesus Christ's Spirit never really died. He never was without existence, nor did he die in his Spirit. That is, his Spirit was always alive. A better translation of this really is by the Spirit.

It is the same little two-letter Greek word. Now listen to what he says. Now, I'm not going to give you 40 different views of this passage, though there are variations, 40 different variations of the interpretation of where Jesus went when he died.

I'm going to sum them all up to five, which really capsule the variations of all of the some 40 different variations of it. Now, he says, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, that is, by the Spirit in which also he went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison. Verse 20, who once were disobedient when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah during the construction of the ark in which a few, that is, eight persons were brought safely to the waters.

What is he referring to? He's referring to something that went on back yonder when Noah was preaching the truth, preaching righteousness. So I would not argue with the person who says when Jesus Christ died, not only did he present his blood before the Father in full atonement, but he also descended and took all of those who had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ or believed the gospel, believed the message of faith as the foreshadowing came through these lamb, sheep, goats, doves, bull that were sacrificed, their blood was shed.

All of that was a foreshadowing. All of those who accepted God's witness and God's testimony by faith, they were saved. And so now that the blood atonement has been finished, he has taken them to heaven. And so when you say, well, where is paradise today? It's in the presence of God.

So I would never argue that I believe that's true. Now, when he says, and corresponding, what he says, that is, eight persons were brought safely through the water. And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you. Now, you now know that baptism does not save you. That's not really what he's teaching.

Here's what he's teaching. He's simply saying that in those days, as the floods came, what really saved them was not water, but the ark. What really saved them was God who led Noah to build the ark and save them. Therefore, as water did not save Noah, but the ark saved them, neither does baptism save us, but Christ saves us. And then he says, not the removal of dirt from the flesh.

Now, he's talking not about physical dirt and physical flesh. Neither does baptism remove sin and clean up this old fleshly life of us. But he says, but baptism is an appeal to God for a good conscience. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ or by his power, that is, it's an answer of a good conscience. It is amazing to me how many people who've never been baptized. They've accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. They say, I got to think about that.

I want to tell you something. The Bible says, my friend, you need to be baptized. It is an act of obedience and failure to do so is an act of disobedience to God. It is a symbol of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. And oftentimes, it is used to teach a lesson in the Scripture. And that is the understanding of who we are in Christ Jesus identified in him. When he died, we died. When he was buried, we were buried. When he arose, we arose.

That's God's way of picturing our relationship to him. Listen, not the removal of dirt or sin from the flesh in this life, but an appeal to God for a good conscience by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He illustrates all these tremendous truths by baptism. Then, not only do we have Christ providing for the sinner, Christ proclaiming to the spirits, but now he says, here is Christ in his sovereignty. Listen, who that is Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, hallelujah, listen to this, having gone into heaven after angels and authorities and powers, had been subjected to him. Now, what does that mean to you as a believer? Crucified, buried, having descended, now risen, sitting at the Father's right hand, having gone into heaven after angels and authorities and powers, that is, authorities and powers, as he refers to in Ephesians chapter 6 that we have to deal with in this life, had been subjected to him.

What does that say to you personally? It means that the Christ whom you and I serve not only has been called Lord, he is Lord. Everything in existence is in subjection to him. Satan is in subjection to him. All authorities, all powers, all kings, all emperors, all presidents, all forces in the universe, every single thing in existence, every single person in existence, every single power in existence is in subjection to the one who died for your sins and is seated at the right hand of the Father, making into session for you, having accepted you just the way you are and is waiting for you. Listen, Jesus Christ standing in heaven, seated at the Father's right hand, waiting for us to come. And he knows tonight exactly when every single one of us is going to arrive just on time.

He did it all for us. Seated to Father's right hand, having subjected, put everything. Now listen, what does that mean to us? It means that the Christ whom you serve, the Christ whom you trust, the Christ whom you love, the Christ to whom you have looked to all of these years, what he's saying is, man, relax.

He's got it all under control. You put your faith in him, you don't ever have to worry about being disappointed. You and I may disappoint each other and we may get disappointed by lots of things, but I can guarantee you one thing tonight. Jesus will never disappoint you. Never.

There's no way. You know why? Because he's a perfect Lord, perfect Savior, perfect friend, not going to disappoint you. Seated at the Father's right hand and you see just for a moment, for three days it looked like the devil won. It looked like Satan won.

It looked like the Pharisees and the Sadducees won. They said he's dead. Then the Bible says, Resurrected on the great getting up morning, hallelujah. Jesus Christ came out of the grave in a glorified body to validate for all humanity that everything he'd ever said was absolutely the truth. Resurrected from the grave to give assurance to every single believer that no matter what happens to us, ultimately we shall be resurrected just like the Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected because every single promise he made, we can question, well, how do I know it's true?

Let me ask you a question. Would you not agree that any person who could rise from the grave canceling out the power of sin and conquering the power of death itself, if he makes a promise, you can bet your life on it and every single one of us knows that sometime or the other we're going to die and we're not scared to death, we're not afraid of death because we know we're going to take that one step and when we do, we're just going to move from life into glory, absent from the body, present with the Lord. How do we know? The resurrection of Jesus Christ. And my friend, if you're not saved, you don't have any hope, you don't have any assurance, I can give you one thing you can be confident about. You stand before the Lord Jesus Christ one of these days as the great judge, either liberated from your sin by the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross, are you going to stand condemned in your sin and when you stand before him, you can bet your life there's not going to be any second chance, no third chance, he's not going to excuse your sin, you will have trampled over the Bible, trampled over preaching, trampled over the gospel all of your life and stand before him, having rejected him, you won't even make an excuse before God. You'll stand in the illumination of absolute and perfect holiness and you will be condemned in your own heart because of your sin.

You have one hope, one hope alone. You've listened to a lot of preaching, a lot of gospel, a lot of philosophy, a lot of theology, a lot of everything else, but I want to tell you there's only one way to get to heaven and that is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago at Calvary and you're responding to that by faith. No other way. How did he put it?

He could say it a whole lot quicker than I could. I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me and I want to ask you tonight, if you've never placed your faith in Jesus Christ, are you willing to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins? Are you willing to surrender your life to him? That is, are you willing to confess your sinfulness and are you willing to accept his death on the cross as payment for your sin, not try to add anything to it, not try to help yourself?

You and I must come to him empty-handed. Have thine own way, Lord, just as I am without one plea but that thy blood and thy blood alone was shed for me. There's only one way to be saved, only one way to be forgiven and that's coming by faith through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Some of you, you know that you're saved, no doubt in your mind about it, but you've not been baptized. I want to tell you, you're living in disobedience to God and you need to get right with God. Obedience to God says I do what God says, when God says, how God says, do it.

And I want to ask you tonight, do you love him? If you love him, you'll obey him and as you obey him, you get to know him better and the more you get to know him, the more you love him. The more you love him, the more you want to obey him. The more you obey him, the more you get to know him and so that's a wonderful eternal cycle that every single believer can get in once you decide to obey him. Thank you for listening to The Redemptive Suffering of Christ. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 02:48:40 / 2023-03-19 02:56:40 / 8

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