1Cor 2:2 Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified 2/14/2010 ßà
#1. The Testimony of God (1Cor 2:1-5, 1:4-8)
#2. Jesus Christ (1Cor 2:2, 2Pet 1:21)
Please open your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Cor, 1Cor 2:1 (2X). This is a chapter where the sovereignty of God is prominently on display. We have already seen the wisdom of God in chapter 1, but now we shall see the sovereignty of God in relation to the cross of Christ. That is why I chose for the title of this sermon, “Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified” (2X), taken from verse 2 of this chapter. And here again I had to be very selective, for the subject matter is very great. Let us now hear from 1Cor 2:1-5,
#1. The Testimony of God (1Cor 2:1-5, 1:4-8)
1Co 2: And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
What do we read here in 1Cor 2:1? First of all, the apostle
Paul did not come to
Here we read of the testimony of Christ. Is that the same as the
testimony of God? It is practically the same, for Christ is God; just like the
1Co 1:4-8 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And so, what is the meaning of “the testimony of Christ”? It means “The Gospel”. It is here called the testimony of Christ, because it bore witness to Christ, to His Divine nature, His miracles, His Messiah-ship, His Character, His death, and so on. The message of the Gospel consist in bearing witness to Christ and His work. It was confirmed, or made certain to their souls by the Holy Spirit, sealing it on their hearts. And because they were saved they were enriched by Christ in all utterance and knowledge, for the furtherance of the Gospel. And so, when we turn again to 1Cor 2:1 where we read about “the testimony of God”, here it is still the Gospel, but it bears witness to the true character and plans of God. In other words, “the testimony of God” bears witness to the counsel of God, or the decree of God, which are the plans of God which He made before the foundation of the world. This in turn leads us to the Covenant, which is God’s last will and testament which He made before the foundation of the world.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to he Hebrews, Heb 6:16 (2X). The testimony of God bears witness to the works of God and to God Himself. The fundamental work of God is His counsel, which means His plans for this universe. The infinite wisdom of God dictates that He must have known all His plans for this universe long before He create the first speck of dust. If we ask how long before creation did God know all this, we must answer that He knew it an infinite time before creation, because God did not become infinitely wise at a certain time, but He always was infinitely wise. Therefore God does not learn new things in time, but He knows what the future holds. And not only does He know it because God is omniscient, but He also knows it because He causes the end to evolve from the beginning according to the pleasure of His will. It means then that the providence of God, or the hands of God, are always working out what His counsel, or His plan, has determined to be done. Therefore His works are not only known to Him, but they are also eternally perfect. As God is, so are His works. The condition of the world at this time in history is the best plan that God could have come up with. And thus we should be grateful for everything that God sends our way, for it is the best of all possibilities. Here in Heb 6 God made a promise to Abraham, and because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself. Heb 6:
Heb 6:16-18 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
“The immutability of His counsel” means that His plans are
unchangeable. What God has decided in His counsel is not going to be changed
during human history. Therefore, the two immutable things that God spoke about
in verse 18 are His counsel and His oath, which were of great comfort to
Abraham. But they are also of great comfort to us, for we too can rely on God’s
promise to take all His elect into the NH&NE. There is not going to be a
change of plans when we have sinned. Please turn in your Bibles to the
Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 46:9 (2X). In various places in the prophecy of
Isaiah God speaks about Cyrus. You remember that the Medes and the Persians
under the leadership of Cyrus conquered
Isa 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
The ravenous bird from the east refers to Cyrus. As we can see, God’s counsel includes all mankind, both saved and unsaved people, for Cyrus was an unsaved man. Within the counsel of God is a set of decisions God made which is called the covenant of God, and the covenant of God, also known as the new covenant, or the covenant of grace, is identical to the last will and testament of God.
Please return again to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 9:15 (2X). Here we can see that the covenant of God is actually the last will and testament of God. Both the Greek and the Hebrew word which has been translated “covenant” has at other places been translated “testament”. We want to remember this wherever we see the words covenant or testament in the Bible. We read in Heb 9:15-18
Heb 9:15-18 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Christ is the Mediator of the new testament, or the new covenant. He died for the redemption of the sins that were under the first covenant, so that the beneficiaries, which were called, might receive their eternal inheritance. You see, the covenant of God speaks of an inheritance, because it is a last will and testament. That is where the word inheritance comes from. And who was the maker of that will? The Bible says Christ was the maker of that will, because we read in Col 1:16, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”. And so, before the foundation of the world Christ, in the person of God the Son as His representative, signed the covenant of God, and it became effective on the day that Christ died. More precisely, it became effective two days after He died, because His atonement was not complete until Christ rose from the grave. Therefore on Sunday, April 5 in the year AD 33, all the beneficiaries of the covenant of God became instantly rich beyond comprehension, for they inherited all that God has. Yea, even more, for they inherited God Himself, for God said to Abraham in Gen 15:1, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. God Himself is our great reward in the life hereafter. And who are these people who have been named the beneficiaries of the covenant of God? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:11 (2X). We should not say that these are the most lucky people on this earth, but these are the most blessed people on this earth. If we have become believers in the providence of God, then we understand that there is no such thing as luck; instead we must use the word “blessed” for we are blessed by God. We read here in Eph 1:11 about who the blessed beneficiaries are of the covenant,
Eph 1:11 In whom also WE have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Can we all see that here? WE have obtained this great and wonderful inheritance, because WE have been predestinated according to the purpose of Christ who worked all things out according to the counsel of God. And so, here is the counsel of God, and the great inheritance is predestined to be ours for this was the purpose of God from the beginning. Just one more thing: Who is meant by WE? Well, we should read the following three verses, for there it is specified who the beneficiaries are.
Eph 1:12-14 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
WE, who first trusted in Christ, shall be to the praise of His glory. WE, who trusted that Christ paid for the satisfaction of all our sins are the blessed ones as mentioned in verses 3-5. WE, who believed all these promises listed in verses 3-11 are the beneficiaries of the covenant of God. Our faith in these promises is the down payment of our inheritance, until the last day when the NH&NE, the purchased possession shall be turned over to us, unto the praise of the glory of God. And this all became a reality on Sunday, April 5 in the year AD 33, at a time when we were not yet born, when we were still enemies of God, for no one has told us of our inheritance. But when we learned of our great inheritance, God the Father drew us to Christ, for we read in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Our faith was the sign that we were on the list of beneficiaries of the covenant of God, which is the same list of all the elect that God the Father gave to God the Son before the foundation of the world, for our faith was given to us to be that sign. But since we were full of sin, something had to be done to erase all these sins from our soul. And to this end God sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save us from our sins.
#2. Jesus Christ (1Cor 2:2, 2Pet 1:21)
Please return again to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 2:2 (2X). Perhaps you remember that this second verse begins with the word “For”, which means “Because”. And thus this second verse is tied to the first verse. 1Cor 2:1 is summarizing what we have already heard in chapter 1, that God does not depend on the wisdom of man, but that God is self-sufficient. The Gospel does not depend for its success on human wisdom, or on the philosophy of men. We read in 1Cor 2:2,
1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
In other words, “It was my fixed, deliberate purpose when I came
I have taken you from “the testimony of God”, which refers to the
character and all the works of God to a subsection of the works of God which is
called “the counsel of God”, which refers to the plans God made with
respect to all the people in this world, and then again to a subsection of the
counsel of God that is called “the covenant of God”, which refers to the
last will and testament of God, and which contains God’s decree on election and
reprobation. And all these concepts hang together by the underlying principle
of God’s infinite wisdom. All the principles of election and reprobation that
are so hated by most churches today are a necessary outflow of God’s infinite
wisdom. And so, we have arrived at God’s last will and testament, which is also
called the covenant of grace, or the new covenant. This last will and testament
of God contains a list of beneficiaries, which is identical to the list of all
the elect of God, which God the Father has given to God the Son before the
foundation of the world. But everyone on this list is a dirty rotten sinner who
has no right to come into God’s holy heaven, for only those who are at least as
righteous as the elect angels may enter into heaven. On top of that, God’s law
declared that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and the death that
truly is the penalty for sin is not the physical death of the body, but it is
the second death of being cast with body and soul into Hell. And thus, if God
wants to take all these people on the list into heaven, then God has a problem
that needs to be solved before He takes these people into heaven. How can God
make these sinners righteous? To solve this problem God applied the principle
of substitution. Anyone of us who stands before the bar of justice, where God
presides as judge, can have his penalty for sin paid by ourselves, or by
someone else who is able to pay such a great penalty. The only qualification
for such a generous person who can stand in for us must be that he is Himself
free from sin, for if he also has one sin then he first must atone for his own
sin, and that will take an eternity in Hell, so that he never gets around to
pay for my sins. O, a second qualification of such a generous person is that he
may not be consumed in the process, for the penalty for sin is the second death
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb
5:7 (2X). Before the Lord Jesus went to the cross He first went to pray in
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
Heb 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
What do we read here? The Lord Jesus was pleading with the Father
to save Him from death, and was heard in that which He feared. In other words,
the Father did save Him from death. But what death was Christ saved from. He
was saved from the second death. He was saved from being consumed in the
Joh 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Notice these words very carefully. Beginning in verse 28 we read, “Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished” must refer to the suffering in His soul, for the Lord Jesus was still hanging on the cross. It was at that time that He allowed Himself a little drink of the vinegar. Then the Lord Jesus said, “It is finished!” What was finished? The sufferings in His soul were finished, for He was still hanging on the cross. But He was still suffering in His body. None of those sufferings were taken away. This is all the more proof that the Lord Jesus was suffering in His soul the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. This was the suffering that was now finished. A little while later, before He died, He said with a loud voice, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit”. And then He died and His human soul went to be with the Father in heaven, but His body went into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:12 (2X). We see here once more that the Lord Jesus Christ did not only suffer in His body, like so many churches want us to believe, but He suffered in His soul the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. We are not able to work with the number infinity but God can. We read in Isa 53:12
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
You see if Christ gave all that He had, if Christ suffered for me the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, then why should I complain about a little suffering in this life? Why should I have pity for myself? The Lord of glory suffered a great deal more for me, and He will give me the strength to bear my own griefs patiently. Of the 57 years I spend with Betty, perhaps 17 years were with her either in a wheelchair or with a walker. She suffered more than I did. Why should I complain? The aftershocks of self-pity and the resulting enslavement to pharmaceutical products are far worse than a little suffering can cause. Take my advice, and abandon all self-pity. It is deadly poison to your body and soul. Now let us look at:
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X). Let us first get a good grip on the atonement of Christ and on the meaning of His resurrection from the grave. We have seen the last will and testament of God, and we have seen that God has a list of those whom He chose unto salvation, and He made that choice before the foundation of the world. What did God do with that list of people He favored? God put that list of His elect into the mind of God the Son. We read in Eph 1:3-5,
Eph 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Three times in this passage did God say that He has placed us “in
Christ”. But we did not exist yet. Nevertheless, by placing our names in Christ
before the foundation of the world, it means that the Father at that time has
given our names to God the Son, so that God the Son, who later becomes Jesus Christ,
will know exactly for whose sins He has to pay. Please turn in your
Bibles a few pages to your left, to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 2:20
(2X). It means that we were in the Lord Jesus Christ all the way from the
beginning of His conception. All His life our sins were staring Him in the
face. All His life He knew that He was going to die in body and soul for a
bunch of dirty rotten sinners who had no pity on Him. All His life He knew that
He had the task of building the
Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
And if I was crucified with Christ, then I also died with Christ there on the cross. But then, when Christ died His soul was taken into heaven. Were does that leave me? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 6:3 (2X). When we study this passage in Romans we should be aware that the baptism in this passage does not refer to water baptism, but to the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. For example, the Lord Jesus said in Luke 12:50, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Christ was not referring to another water baptism, but He had to undergo a washing of sins at the cross. Baptism means washing. We read in Rom 6:3-7,
Ro 6:3-7 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Here again, we were crucified with Christ, we died with Christ, and we were buried with Christ, and we were raised with Christ. Therefore, if we have been planted together with Christ into His death, we shall also be together with Christ in His resurrection. Please turn in your Bibles again to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:4 (2X). Even though God recognizes that we were sinners, He made the same arrangements for us as for those who have only sinned once or twice. He has given us all the resources necessary to keep us in the fold of the Lord Jesus, until the end has come. We read in Eph 2:4-8,
Eph 2:4-8 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
This faith is a special gift from God. If we believe all that God has written in Eph 1-3, including all the concepts of election and reprobation and predestination, we can be sure that this faith was a gift from God, and that God has placed our names in the Book of Life. Moreover, we read here in Eph 2 that we were made alive together with Christ, and we are seated together with Christ in the heavenly places. This is a great honor which already was bestowed upon us almost 2000 years ago. Please turn in your Bibles again to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 4:25 (2X). We still are amazed that there are people who heard these messages on election and who heard God’s love and approval of those who believe these doctrines, and yet they turn and squander this potential gift by turning to a free-will Gospel. They have turned away the grace of God and traded it in for a lie. They have spurned a magnificent eternal life with God and traded it in for a life with Satan. Can we see that they have repeated the sin of Adam and Eve, by turning away the grace of God, and they have traded it in for a life as a pauper? Rom 4:25
Ro 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Christ was raised because of our justification. It means: the declaration of our righteousness made it necessary for Christ to be raised. What a great honor God has bestowed on those who were not worthy to receive anything. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.