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The Lamb of God #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2024 12:00 am

The Lamb of God #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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May 28, 2024 12:00 am

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Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. It is our joy to continue our commitment to teaching God's people God's Word. Today, Don is continuing with the second part of a message we started last time, so let's get right to it.

Open your Bible as we join Don now in The Truth Pulpit. If I mention Abraham Lincoln to you, here in America at least, there's an instant association that you make with that, assassinated at the end of the Civil War. Whether you like Lincoln or some of you in the South don't like Lincoln, that ain't my point. We're not talking about Abraham Lincoln here.

We're simply making a point that there are points of reference in national history that we all have some kind of grasp on. And Lincoln was assassinated just 150 years ago. That's not long. That's the 1,500 years of Israel history, 10 times as long. A daily reminder with the Lamb. And if you think about American history, 250 years since the founding of our country, give or take, 1,500 years from Moses and the deliverance from Egypt to the time of Christ, six times as long as the national history of the United States of America as we're speaking today.

And we think that's a long time in a glorious history of our country. Well, multiply it by six to greater exclusiveness and you realize that this principle of the Lamb was just so embedded in their mind that it was as sure a principle as the principle of gravity operating around us today. They knew what a Lamb was.

They had associations that they made for it. That's what the Old Testament prepared the way for. Let's go to our second point this morning.

Now as the plane starts to take off, we start to go out over the ocean, we realize we're ascending over something great and vast that makes us seem small and tiny by comparison. Point number two, Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. Point number one, the Lamb in the Old Testament. Point number two, Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. With all of that foundation that we've laid here this morning, understand this.

Actually, let's approach it this way. Let me just remind you, we read it earlier, John 1, verse 29. The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

And in verse 36, he said it the next day. He looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, behold, the Lamb of God. And so this man who by outward appearances, speaking of Jesus, who by outward appearances looked like any other man, John the Baptist, who was obviously sent by God as shown by his powerful preaching and the response to it, John points to this otherwise inconspicuous one and says, that's the Lamb of God.

And then the light bulbs just start popping and going off in the minds of people. What could that possibly, the Lamb means a substitute sacrifice slain for guilty sinners so they can avoid the judgment of God, and John transfers that association over to the person that's walking in their midst. It's really, it's wonderful to read this and to have the help of the Holy Spirit to understand something of the significance of it as we walk by faith 2,000 years later.

For just a moment, I wish there was a way to time travel and to be there with our understanding in the moment and watch, see what happens, see faces as people look at it. John says, there goes Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Now, in light of everything that we've seen, the Passover event, the daily sacrifice, the prophetic picture in Isaiah 53, you can read commentaries on this passage and you'll find that scholars will quibble with one another over exactly what John had in mind. Was he referring to the Passover in Exodus? Was he referring to the daily sacrifice? Was he referring to Isaiah 53?

And your eyes can glaze over as they talk about these things. Here's what you and I should be able to understand clearly. The overall concept that John is describing and the metaphor that he's using, it's crystal clear. He is figuratively referring to Jesus Christ as a lamb. And as a lamb in that context of these people, he is saying, this one here is the meeting place with God. This one here, that one's blood will be shed in substitution for sinners like you. That blood will apply to a soul, will enable that soul to escape the judgment that God's going to bring on everyone else, as shown in the final plague in Egypt.

Oh, beloved. Christ the Lamb. Christ the Lamb. John's saying three years before the event, in calling him the Lamb, he's saying that one there is going to be slain. So that the judgment of God will pass over anyone who has that blood applied to them. Christ the Lamb would bear their sins in his coming death. Christ the innocent Lamb would be slain in the place of sinners.

In 1 Corinthians 5, verse 7, Paul says that Christ our Passover has been sacrificed, Christ in our place as our substitute. And there's two things that we should not let slip away from our understanding here. Two things that we need to have wedded side by side as we consider Christ the Lamb. One is to remember, as we said earlier, the preeminent excellency of this person. The preeminent firstborn one of the entire universe, the creator of the universe, through whom all things were made, as you read earlier in John chapter 1. All things were made through him. The one who created all things and all things made through him. That one would be the Lamb of God.

This one who as you read in his subsequent life of preeminent moral excellence, of preeminent wisdom, of preeminent power over demons, over nature, over sin, over death. That preeminent one is the one who's going to be the Lamb, slain, blood shed in all of this. This is the majesty of the incarnation, God becoming human flesh in two natures in one person, and yet not just, not just two natures in one person, but a person of preeminent greatness, infinite eternal essence to be slain for guilty sinners like you and me. Behold the Lamb of God, beloved. Behold the wisdom of God.

Behold the power of God. Behold the gospel of God in the things that we are saying here. Behold the opportunity we have to remember this in just a few moments and recognize and understand afresh why we don't take communion lightly. We're talking about preeminent things throughout all of biblical history, the core of redemption of sinners, the core of the glory of Christ.

So well do we warn people not to take it lightly. Well do we take time to remember our dear Lord. Turn to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 1. And as you're turning there, well do we come by faith. Well do we come humbly. Well do we come not protesting any works or righteousness of our own, but come as bankrupt, poor, confessing, mourning sinners, grateful that God has provided a Lamb by which we could meet Him and escape the judgment that will fall on the world. Peter, in 1 Peter, chapter 1, picks up on this imagery of the Lamb as well. In 1 Peter, chapter 1, verse 17, he says, If you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. Conduct yourselves with fear, not with superficial emotion, not with some kind of mindless response to pulsating music and calling that worship. Consider who you address as Father, and respond in the fullness of your life reaction with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers. How did you come to Christ?

How were you delivered? How were you saved from your sins, Peter is saying? That's the point that he's making. It wasn't with perishable things such as silver or gold. There was nothing that you could present. You couldn't buy your salvation with Fort Knox. You couldn't buy your salvation with a thousand earths to give. In the words of Isaac Watts, if the whole realm of nature was yours, that wouldn't be a sufficient gift to give to God to forgive your guilt and to credit you with the righteousness of Jesus Christ so that you could abide with Him throughout all of eternity.

None of it's enough. Nothing earthly could accomplish this. And even if there was a gift, I'm speaking as a fool, as a madman, even if there was a gift that we could somehow give to God that would be sufficient for eternal life, there's not, but let's just play a game of pretend, even if there was, your guilty hands would defile it before it could be presented to him.

If you tried to pick it up and present it to him, your own guilty hands would defile it. Nothing. It's futile.

Our desires, our efforts to save ourselves are futile. Gold and silver cannot purchase a gift like this, so how was it that we can be redeemed then if it's nothing that we can do? Verse 19, 1 Peter 1. You weren't ransomed with silver or gold, but there was one way. It was with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you, who through him, the meeting place with God, through that meeting place with God, you are believers in God, who raised Christ from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God. Peter says you were redeemed because an innocent lamb laid down his life. The blood shed at that cross satisfied the demands of God's justice against all of your iniquity. You see, beloved, let's step back and remember what we were like before Christ before we come to the table. And those of you who are not Christians, a thought that grieves my heart, because I would have everybody in this room know Christ.

If you're not a Christian, what I'm about to say describes you right now. Sin leaves us separated from God and under condemnation. Isaiah 59 says your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Separated, hidden, he does not hear. Elsewhere in the Psalms it says if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. And we all have sin in our hearts.

What are we to do? Ezekiel 18, the soul who sins will die. Into that hopeless condition steps the Lamb of God whom we are to behold. Christ bore the penalty that God's justice demands from guilty sinners.

He bore the penalty that we could not pay ourselves. Listen to these scriptures. 2 Corinthians 5, he made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 1 Peter 2, he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. 1 Peter 3, Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God. Beloved, the deplorable nature of theology is always trying to come up with ways that undermine the blood sacrifice of Christ and what scripture ascribes the significance of it. So that people want to deny the penalty-bearing nature of Christ and they'll say ridiculous, blasphemous things like, you know, that's cosmic child abuse. The father's abusing his son. And other foolish things like that that are really unmentionable, not fit to be mentioned.

I say that just to set the context here. You need a couple of theological terms in your mind as you think about Christ. The death of Christ was penal.

P-E-N-A-L. It was penal in the sense that as he died, he was paying for the, he was paying the penalty of sin for his people. And in addition to that, the death of Christ was substitutionary, meaning that he died in the place of his people.

He was the substitute. You and I could not bear an eternal penalty that our sins against an eternal God demanded. Sin against eternal God, against the eternal law of an eternal God demands an eternal penalty. And we, with our finite resources, we can't pay it. And those that die unforgiven will spend eternity trying to pay a debt that can never be paid. They'll never escape from the judgment because the penalty is endless. The worm does not die.

The fire is not quenched. But behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Behold the Lamb that God himself provided, that Christ voluntarily accepted and made his own role. Beloved, it was with the greatest of condescension of Christ by which we can be saved. Philippians 2 says that he was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The fullness of everything that God requires from man was fulfilled to perfection in the life and death of Jesus Christ. And he offers himself now in his resurrected power through his word, he offers himself to everyone who will believe and says, All that is mine, the perfection of my righteousness, the satisfaction that my death rendered to the law of God, all of that can be yours if you just behold him. Behold him in a repentant spirit. Behold him in a humble spirit. Behold him and receive him. But, my friend, understand that just like the children of Israel in the days of Egypt, that blood of his must be applied to your soul or you will be eternally lost. But as we remember at the table here this morning, with that blood applied, here we are, the lukewarm Christians who have lost their first love. Here we are, those that have wandered aimlessly, lost, guilty, and yet to realize that right before you, by the Spirit of God testifying to your heart, right before you is a lamb that you can lay hold of that satisfies all of that debt and takes it away forever. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Beloved, if you behold him, grab him, embrace him, never let him go.

Receive him and rest in him as your own. Charles Spurgeon said this. He said, God from all eternity appointed the Lord Jesus to be the great sacrifice for sin. When we rely upon Jesus Christ to save us, we trust in the one whom God has appointed to save his people. If, as a poor, guilty sinner, I leave my sin upon Christ, the Lamb of God, I leave it where God has bid me to cast it, I rest in a sacrifice which God himself ordained of old to be the sacrifice for sin.

Spurgeon goes on. O soul, there can be no question that if you come to the Father in the way in which he himself appoints, you come acceptably. God's appointment is the guarantee of the acceptance of everyone that believes in Jesus. If you've done any reading about the ministry of Charles Spurgeon, you may know that there is a famous way that the Lord used him and this phrase, Behold the Lamb of God, that I commend to you for consideration of your own soul. Prior to the days of sound amplification, Spurgeon was in a large auditorium on the day before a major speaking event where over 20,000 people were expected to attend. So he was doing a sound check in this great auditorium, and the place was empty, or so it seemed.

And they, whoever was working with Spurgeon, you know, you do a sound check and nine times out of 10, 99 out of 100 today, people say, testing, one, two, three, testing, one, two, three, not Spurgeon. Spurgeon stood on that great platform and said, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. For all he knew, he was speaking to an empty room.

What he didn't know was that there was a worker who had no idea of what the occasion was, who heard Spurgeon say the simplicity of those words. And those words, Behold the Lamb of God convicted him, convicted his soul. He put down his tools.

He went home. He wrestled with God and came to saving faith. In response to the simple invitation, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Beloved, beware of who you listen to that want to make Christianity complicated and about social matters and everything that you've got to do.

Understand that the beginning premise of everything is that you, as a guilty sinner, would understand the principle of a blood sacrifice, that the eternal Son of God is the one who laid it down and offers you to come and bid you behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I call on you, everyone, to behold him today. I call on you, everyone, to recognize the greatness of the gift that is right before you and the ease of the invitation which is offered to you to behold him and come.

In one sense, it's easy. In another sense, it means humbling yourself, beholding him and saying, I can't save myself. I need you to save me. It means a willingness to turn from your sin and to behold this Lamb of God who is the Lord of God to rule over you, to receive him, to rest in him.

But what alternative is there? Would you cling to your sin? Would you cling to yourself? Reject the blood and say, no, I don't want that blood applied to me.

I think what I want is I want to go with the world and join in the judgment that it's going to face. What kind of fool would reason like that in his heart? What kind of fool would reject Christ in light of the consequences? Even more, what fool would look at the eternal blessed Son of God offered to him in love and walk away?

That wouldn't be any of you, would it? Christian, if you've beheld the Lamb of God, you've embraced him as we come to the table, rejoice, be at peace, be at rest, be strengthened, be emboldened, be encouraged. We have this table because that Lamb of God loved you and gave himself up for you. We have this table because that Lamb of God keeps you. We have that table because that Lamb of God says, I'll never drink the fruit of this kingdom until I'm with you in the kingdom. That's how much he loves us. That's how full the salvation is that we have in him. It's why we come with a reverent celebration of this table here today. Bow with me in prayer. Those of us that know Christ have an opportunity to take these elements, to be strengthened in our contemplation of faith of our dear Lord.

Jesus Christ indeed, my brothers and sisters in Christ, he indeed poured out his blood to purchase salvation for us, and we gratefully remember the Lord who saved us from sin. You may be visiting here as a Christian. We invite you to join us in the table if you are not holding on to any unconfessed sin.

But if you're not a Christian, please pass the elements. Don't pretend to participate in a remembrance of a Lord that you have not received. And if you're a Christian defiantly holding on to sin and indifference and all of that, and you're not willing to repent as the elements come to you, you need to pass these elements by as well. We ask you not to profane the Lord's table if you are consciously holding on to any sin in your life.

Don't pretend to share in Christ if you are disobedient. Father, give us grace to receive this time well. Thank you for the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, who takes away the sin of everyone who believes in him. And those of us that are Christians can say individually, the Lamb of God who took away my sin. Hallelujah. What a Savior. That's Don Green here on The Truth Pulpit.

And here's Don again with some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, there is no substitute for reading the Word of God for yourself and spending the time day by day going through the Bible in a systematic way so that you have a full exposure to everything that the Word of God says. It's remarkable the way the Spirit of God works through the Word to minister to our hearts in that way. To help you do that, we have a couple of different Bible reading plans available on our website, thetruthpulpit.com. If you would go to thetruthpulpit.com, click on the link that says About, you'll find a sublink there that takes you to two different Bible reading plans that you can choose from.

It's free. It's there available to help you in your reading of God's Word. And I know that the Spirit of God will use that in your life if you're not used to reading God's Word on a regular, systematic basis.

Make this the day that you start something new and move in that direction. And join us again next time here on The Truth Pulpit as we continue teaching God's people God's Word. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thank you so much for listening to The Truth Pulpit. Join us next time for more as we continue teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-28 05:12:24 / 2024-05-28 05:21:54 / 10

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