1Cor 2:2                    The Purpose of God’s Salvation Program                    8/26/2012     

Š      Calvary (1Cor 2:2, John 6:70, 12:6, Mark 14:21, 1John 2:2, 2Cor 5:21, Rom 6:23)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.                  A People for Himself (Eph 1:9-12)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      Incorrigible Sinners (Eph 1:3-8, Phil 2:13, Rom 8:1)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.                  The Atonement of Christ (1Cor 2:2, Eph 1:3-8, Gen 3:17-19, 6:5, 8:21, Psalm 51:5)

 

 

 

 

 

Š      Mercy on Some (Eph 2:4-5, Psalm 5:5-6, 7:11, 11:5-6, Rom 9:11-13, 3:10-12, Matt 7:13-14)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.                  The Necessity for God’s Son (1Cor 2:2, Prov 16:5, Heb 10:14)

 

 

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 2:2 (2X). You are saying, “We heard this before.” No you did not. I can preach on this verse 50 times and you will hear something different every time. But there is another aspect that I want you to be aware about. You can see from the insert in your bulletin that this time I am composing the sermon the way I did it 20 years ago: I am using a flow-sheet format. At the center of this flow-sheet is this verse, 1Cor 2:2, because the apostle Paul tells us here that the most important thing of the Gospel, the most central issue of the Gospel, and the most valuable act of God, was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Everything from eternity past until this event that turned all of God’s terminology around, this earthshaking event that turned the world upside down, this pivotal event that changed history from the Old Testament time to the New Testament time, was the event of the cross of Christ. Everything from eternity past led to the crucifixion of Christ, and once that was accomplished everything following is caused by the cross of Christ all the way down to eternity future. And so, this is what we have to understand. This is what will give us an understanding of how everything fits together, and how we can see the whole Bible as one harmonious whole. And so, let us begin to read this pivotal verse, 1Cor 2:2,

Š      Calvary (1Cor 2:2, John 6:70, 12:6, Mark 14:21, 1John 2:2, 2Cor 5:21, Rom 6:23)

  1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

What came to pass there on Calvary? Jesus Christ was crucified; that is a historical fact. Why was He crucified? He made atonement for sins; and here is where the lies began to spread. The liars claimed that Christ paid for the sins of everyone in the whole world. O really? The liars claimed that the Lord Jesus Christ also paid for the sins of Judas Iscariot. They are ignoring the declaration of the Lord Jesus who said in John 6:70 that Judas was a devil. And they are ignoring that the Lord Jesus said of Judas in John 12:6 that he was a hypocrite and a thief. And they are ignoring that the Lord Jesus said in Mark 14:21 “The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.” Why did the Lord Jesus say that of Judas? Is it not because Judas was on the way to hell? Indeed that is where he will be condemned to on the last day. Likewise the sins of Adolph Hitler, who was responsible for 40 million deaths during the Second World War, were not paid for at Calvary because he committed suicide. And we can identify many others for whom the Lord Jesus Christ did not pay their sins. In fact, I have shown in July 28, 2002, that the translation of 1John 2:2 where Jesus Christ supposedly suffered for the sins of the whole world is based on a faulty translation out of the Greek.

And so, what came to pass there on Calvary? Christ made atonement for the sins of many. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 5:21 (2X). What does it mean that He made atonement for the sins of many? It means that He imputed the guilt of the sins of many upon His own account, so that He became qualified to pay for those sins on behalf of the many on whose behalf He interfered. God says in 2Cor 5:21, “For He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin (sin offering) for us, who knew no sin (Christ, the sinless Lamb of God knew no sin; ever); that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ imputed the righteousness of God on us).” The Lord Jesus Christ, who as the Judge of all mankind declared the penalty for the sins committed. Rom 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death,” and the death that God has in view is the second death, which means an eternity in hell. Then He stepped from behind the judge’s bench and stood in front of the bench, facing the Judge, who is God, and paid the penalty on behalf of the many for whom He interfered. This is the meaning of 2Cor 5:21. Christ did not pay the penalty in the place of the sinners, but He paid it on behalf of the sinners, for He may not be defiled with their sins before He finished paying the penalty, for then He would be disqualified to be their Redeemer.

Let us see what the consequences are of this little piece of understanding. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:9 (2X).

#1.      A People for Himself (Eph 1:9-12)

How far back and how far forward does this bring us in our understanding? Usually when we ask ourselves what the purpose of God is in creation we should refer to this chapter of the Bible, for here it is stated in a condensed form. When we ask ourselves what the purpose of God was in creating this universe, and the world, and man as the crown of His creation, the answer is usually: It was for His own glory. But what are the words of Scripture which really state this important declaration? Here in Eph 1:9-12 God declares what His purpose was in creating us. God says in Eph 1:9-12,

Eph 1:9-12, “9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 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: 12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Here it is, clear as a bell. However, I have observed that people in these United States these days do not understand English. They will read this, but they do not understand what was said. They do not understand the definitions of mercy and grace. They are stuck in their Old Testament definitions of Jews and Gentiles. And they are deliberately ignorant about the New Testament Israel. That is a very bad report card coming from a person whose first language was not English. It would be very arrogant of me to claim that I can say it better than God does. All I can recommend is that we must read these sentences very slowly, and let the words slowly sink in. Let me just review in broad strokes what God has revealed our inheritance is, and let us compare it with the rest of the Bible. In verse 9 God says that He has made known to us in the preceding verses 3-8 what is the mystery of His will. What God is referring to is that He has revealed unto us the counsel of His will in election and predestination. The Father has chosen a Bride for His Son, and He has placed the names of all those whom He has chosen in the mind of Christ. And now, what is He going to do with that Bride? Verse 10. In the dispensation of the fullness of time, which means on the last day, He will gather together everyone who is in Christ, which means everyone who has been predestined to belong to the Bride of Christ, and in verse 11 He will bring us into an inheritance of which the land of Canaan was just a faint shadow. This inheritance means not only that we enter into the New Jerusalem, which is a gigantic city in the New Universe, which is also called the New Heaven and the New Earth; but this inheritance includes that we will be with God and He will be with us permanently. This was all planned from the beginning of time, according to the counsel of God’s own will. Verse 12. This was His purpose from the beginning, so that we, the Bride of Christ and the Temple of God will be to the praise of His glory for all eternity. This is what our inheritance is about, and this was the purpose of God before He created this universe and the world and us. God is going to give it to everyone whom He predestinated to give it to.

What role does the cross of Christ have in all of this? All those whose sins have been atoned for at the cross of Christ will enter into the New Jerusalem. Not one can be forgotten and not one can be added. And who are those whose sins have been atoned for at the cross of Christ? They are all those who have been chosen before the foundation of the world to be the Bride of Christ. Not one can be forgotten and not one can be added. This is how God created a people for Himself.

Let us now consider God’s description of how He chose His people, the Bride of Christ, before the beginning of time. Please move your eyes to verse 3 in this chapter. We are going to read Eph 1:3-8,

Š      Incorrigible Sinners (Eph 1:3-8, Phil 2:13, Rom 8:1)

Eph 1:3-8, “3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4  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: 5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;”

This is how the Father chose the Bride of Christ: “According to the good pleasure of His will”. Can you see that we had no say in the matter? We could not have any input at the time we were first born after the flesh, and we had no input at the time we were Born Again after the Spirit when all these blessings of Eph 1:3-8 were lavished upon us. He chose us not because we were such good people. He chose us not because of any good work that we have done, or any good work we were going to do. In fact, God’s Word is very adamant about it. Salvation is not of works, lest anyone should boast. In other words, there should not enter a smidgen of pride in us for choosing the Lord Jesus as our Savior. We did not choose Him; He chose us. And if there was any desire in us to want to serve Him, it was there because God placed that desire in us. God told us that in Phil 2:13,

Phil 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” And thus, both the gifts and the calling are all from God. In fact, when God chose us, we were incorrigible sinners, and we deserved no gifts from God whatsoever. There was nothing good in us. We were like stinking maggots in His sight. Now transport yourselves to a point in time before the foundation of the world. There was nothing but God the Father, and God the Son, who is also called Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. Nothing else existed, for even time and space were not in existence. What God is telling us here in Eph 1:3-8 is that before God began to create this universe He worked out His plan in the counsel of God. What does that mean? It means that God worked out His plan unto excruciating details from beginning to end. He did not stop half way, for God does nothing half way, or else He would not be God. And when He planned to choose us as the Bride of Christ, He planned this long before His first act of creation. Then God began His act of creation, and God does not need billions of years to create all that we see now. The Bible says that God created it all in six days, and since creation is a mighty miracle of God we should not be surprised that God did all that in a miraculously short time. God does not lie. Only people who have no faith start imagining that God did it in billions of years. But that information came from the mind of unbelieving man, not from God.

When the Father chose us He placed our names in Christ, meaning in God the Son. Therefore, whatever happened to Christ in history also happened to us, for we were and are in Christ. When Christ was crucified, we were crucified with Him. When Christ died, we died with Him. When Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised with Him. When Christ ascended into heaven, we ascended with Him. When Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, we were seated with Him. And all this was completed in AD 33, for Christ was crucified in AD 33. When Christ endured the equivalent of an eternity in hell at the time of the cross, we were in Him, and God counts it as if we have already endured the equivalent of an eternity in hell. That is why God would never send us to hell again, for we have already been there. All our sins have already been paid in full at the time of the cross. That is why we read in Rom 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And look now at those words, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” does not represent a condition prior to salvation, for salvation is “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” The words “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” are not a condition but a result of salvation. And so, let us summarize what we have learned thus far, before it all gets too complicated for our human mind. How should we summarize the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins? Now listen carefully:

#2.      The Atonement of Christ (1Cor 2:2, Eph 1:3-8, Gen 3:17-19, 6:5, 8:21, Psalm 51:5)

The atonement sacrifice was made by Christ, who is fully God for He is one with God the Son, and was paid to God to satisfy the righteousness of God on behalf of a people who were made and chosen by God, and who sinned against God, to give them a new universe made by God, all for the glory of God (2X). Now, this boggles the mind. Do we understand it all? No! But what do we conclude when we look at this summary of the atonement? We conclude that only God is in control, and it is only God who could have designed it this way from beginning to end; and what God has done with us and has done to us is so glorious that we have no words to describe our gratitude to Him. And now we begin to get a little understanding and some appreciation why the apostle Paul said in 1Cor 2:2,

  1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Since God must be in control to make all these things intermesh with one another, is it then any wonder that it is God who must make the decision whom He is going to save and whom He is not going to save? It is not man who can make these earth-shaking decisions, for man has proven to mess up everything that was put in his care. Please turn now to the left side of the flow-sheet that is in your Bulletin and now you can see that we have actually covered many areas of discussion. And please turn in your Bibles again to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X). Today we have time only for the left side of the flow-sheet. Let us start all the way to the left, which is at time minus infinity. We begin with the counsel of God, also called the decree of God, which was in effect before time began. There God said in Eph 1:3-8, “3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4  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: 5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;” God must make the decision whom He is going to save.

And who did God choose? God chose children of Adam, who were made in their father’s image after the fall. God waited until Adam and his wife had degraded themselves by listening to the serpent rather than to God. The serpent was the incarnation of Satan. God allowed Satan to deceive Adam and Eve, because this act of the Devil fit within the plan of God. Then God said in Gen 3:17-19,

Gen 3:17-19, “17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Now we begin to see that the words of Scripture take on a spiritual meaning, for when God cursed the ground He did not only curse the ground, but He cursed every-thing in the life of Adam, including his manner of worship. When God cursed him with thorns and thistles, spiritually it included the curse of hurricanes, and tornados, and earthquakes, and floods. When God commanded him to eat bread we need to realize that a great deal of innovation had to occur before Adam could eat bread. And thus Adam and Eve generated children after their own kind. They were incorrigible children. The T in the left upper corner of the little squares indicates that these were people who were totally depraved. We have an example of that in Gen 8:21. There we read,

Gen 8:21, “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.” The Lord said this after the flood when all the wicked of mankind have been wiped from off the earth. Before the flood God said, in

Gen 6:5, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Compare this with Gen 8:21 where God said, “for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Nothing changed in the hearts of men after the flood. They remain incorrigible, because the heart of man is totally depraved.

Why is this so? Why is it that men’s hearts remain so sinful? The answer is that men are sinful since conception. This is original sin. God says in Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Not the act of the man and his wife was sinful, but the baby conceived in the womb is already sinful, and “shapen in iniquity”. And thus all mankind comes into the world already sinful and under the wrath of God. Adam’s sin has infected the whole human race, and thus the whole human race has become wicked. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:4 (2X).

Š      Mercy on Some (Eph 2:4-5, Psalm 5:5-6, 7:11, 11:5-6, Rom 9:11-13, 3:10-12, Matt 7:13-14)

But God has mercy on some. We read in Eph 2:4-5, “4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” Now the love of God enters the picture. It is the love of God for His elect children. The letter U that you see in the upper left corner of the little squares indicates that this verse applies to unconditional election. God loves those who are His elect. God does not love those who are not His elect. For example, God says in Psalm 5:5-6, “5  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6  Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.” And God says in Psalm 7:11, “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” And God says in Psalm 11:5-6, “5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.” God has divided the human race into two groups of people: The righteous and the wicked, or the elect and the reprobate, or the wise and the foolish, or the workers of righteousness and the workers of iniquity, or the poor in spirit and the proud in heart, and so on, and so on. Throughout the Bible God says that He loves His people who are the elect of God. He has mercy on them and saves them from the wrath of God. But He hates those whom He has not chosen, for they are wicked and always have been so. They have never been regenerated from the inside. We can see this so clearly in Rom 9:11-13,

Rom 9:11-13, “11  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” God said this of Jacob and Esau long before the children were born. In fact, God said this of Jacob and Esau before the foundation of the world. And God said this in order that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth.” This is what election is, and God said this so that we may know what election is. This is the mercy of God on some. I said on some, because the love of God is not given to every one. In Matt 7:13-14 God speaks about the few and the many, the elect and the reprobate. God’s warning to Esau is that he belongs to the many. We read in Matt 7:13-14, “13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” God has divided the human race into the many and the few. Who are the many? God stated in Rom 3:10-12, who the many are:

Rom 3:10-12, “10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” The reprobate are not condemned because they have not been elected, but because they are wicked and always have been so, and have by their wicked deeds declared that they want nothing to do with Christ. They think they do not need a Savior for they do not recognize that they are sinners. And so, they stumble around in their spiritual darkness, and are too proud to recognize that they are blind. Who can atone for the many? No one can, for if they do not submit to Christ as their Messiah then in God’s eyes they are as the synagogue of Satan. But look now at the few who are the elect of God and who have sinned, for there is not a just man upon the earth who does good and does not sin.

#3.      The Necessity for God’s Son (1Cor 2:2, Prov 16:5, Heb 10:14)

1Cor 2:2 speaks about the cross of Christ. What is the cross of Christ about? It is about the forgiveness of sins. How does God forgive sins? God forgives sins through an atonement sacrifice. A sinless person can atone for the sins of another human being. The sinless person must be sinless, for if he has one sin on his record he must first atone for his own sin, but that will take him an eternity in hell, and so he will never have the opportunity to atone for someone else’s sin. Moreover, the atonement sacrifice the sinless person must give is his own body and soul, and he must pay the penalty for the sins of the other human being in full, which is the equivalent of an eternity in hell. Therefore, if this sinless person is just another human being he can pay only for one sin of the other human being. That does not help much, for each human being has millions of sins on his account. Therefore, the only way any human being can be forgiven is if the Lord Jesus Christ would pay the atonement price for him. Christ is all powerful, and Christ as the sinless Lamb of God is able to pay the price and not be consumed in the process. Moreover, Christ is able to pay the price of the atonement for many sinners at the same time. In other words, we must have Christ as our Redeemer for Christ has the power of God. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Moslems do not have Christ as their Redeemer, and their hope of salvation is vain. But many other religions have a do it yourself salvation, and God says in Prov 16:5 that “Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord.” Everyone who has a free-will gospel is proud in heart, for they are not willing to submit themselves to the will of God. That is why the Reformers called the Roman Catholics an accursed idolatry, for they also have a free-will gospel and they crucify the Lord of glory again and again in their Eucharist ceremonies. What does God say about this practice? We read in Heb 10:14,

Heb 10:14, “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”

By one offering in AD 33 the Lord Jesus Christ has atoned for the sins of all His elect, and He has completed the payment in full. That is a powerful Savior. But let us now turn to the practical side of this. If we would join one of these religious groups in their worship services, just for the purpose of making friends so that we can later minister to them, we are in fact negotiating with the Devil. Based on our experiences with the woman in the Garden of Eden we know that we will lose. This is not an area where we can be soft on sin. If we cannot be firm in our stand against ceremonial hoopla, we must avoid having contact with people who are in the camp of Satan. Remember that we are in a warfare and any contact we have with the enemy must be in battle. We shall not make friends with the enemy, and we shall not pretend that we will make friends with them. The Devil is far more clever than we are, and he will outsmart us any time. Our Savior and Prince is the Lord Jesus Christ, and we shall not pretend that we do not know Him, for then we will be mincemeat for the Devil.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.