Heb 2:9                       He Tasted Death for Every Son                              7/17/2011        ßą   

 

 

 

 

#1.       By the Suffering of Death (Heb 2:9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       In Accord With the Character of God (Heb 2:10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Captain of Our Salvation (Heb 2:10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 2:9 (2X). This is where we left off two weeks ago, but I really did not finish what I was going to say about this verse. First of all I am going to disappoint all of you who are speed-readers. Today I am going to cover only two verses. The title of this sermon is, He Tasted Death for Every Son (2X), and this refers to the last end of Heb 2:9 where we read, “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” But the KJV contains the wrong translation. The word “man” is not present in the Greek text. The words “every man” come out of one Greek word which means “every”. We would do much better by reading this part of Heb 2:9 as “that He by the grace of God should taste death for every son” and I am saying this because the Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer and die for every man in the world; that is a misinterpretation of 1John 2:2, on which I have already said many things in the past. Let us now begin reading Heb 2:9-10,

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

The two subject matters touched by these two verses are The Cross and The Sovereignty of God. These are very important subject matters. That is why I wanted to limit myself to only these two verses. Let us first focus on Heb 2:9. Through the apostle Paul God stated in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” That is how important the matter of Christ crucified is. It is the hinge on which entire world history turns from the Old Testament economy to the New Testament economy of God. There are many changes which took place when Christ died on the cross. But instead of making a list of the changes which occurred, today I want to focus on the reasons why Christ died on the cross. Rather than focus on the plain facts, we must understand the purpose of God in sending the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth. Let us first understand the literal words God dictated to the prophet. What did God say? I have already indicated that the word “man” is not in the original manuscript. Now let us look at the two places where the word “for” appears in this verse. The first word “for” in the KJV is in the context of, “who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” The word that has been translated “for” is the Greek word “dia”, which does not mean “substitution” but it generally means “through” or “by”. The second word that has been translated “for” is the Greek word “huper” which can mean “substitution” but it generally means “on behalf of”. And so, Heb 2:9 reads as follows:

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels by the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death on behalf of every son.

The author of the Interlinear Bible translates it similarly, but not much better:

Heb 2:9  But we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, who on account of the suffering of death was made a little less than the angels, so that by the grace of God He might taste of death on behalf of every son.

When we see the word “might” in this verse we should not think that this reflects an uncertain “might” as in modern English, but remember that this is a “future imperative.” It does not refer to a possibility, but a certainty as you can see in the KJV by the word “should” in this place: “that He by the grace of God should taste death on behalf of every son.” This then is the meaning of the verse that we have under consideration. Even though Heb 2:6-9 is a quotation from Psalm 8:4-6, these words in Heb 2:6-9 say much more than Psalm 8:4-6. There we read,

Ps 8:4  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Ps 8:5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Ps 8:6  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

In Psalm 8:4-6 we may not be sure who God is talking about, but in Heb 2:6-9 we are sure that God is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ; particularly that even now “We see (by faith) Jesus crowned with glory and honor,” and in His exaltation we find the ground and the guarantee, the proof and the pledge, of the coming exaltation of all His people. And this He did for our sakes. It was for our sakes that He came and atoned for the guilt of our sins.  

#1.       By the Suffering of Death (Heb 2:9, John 10:18, Eph 1:21, Isa 53:12, Rev 12:4, Jam 4:6, Eph 2:1-5)

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels by the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death on behalf of every son.

“By or through the suffering of death.” It was for this particular reason that Jesus was for a season made lower than the angels, so that by His passing through a death of sufferings He was crowned with glory and honor. It must not be understood that He came in a body as we have, where death is a symbol of the penalty for sin. His human nature was holy and incorruptible. He laid down His life of His own accord, as He stated in John 10:18. Therefore we must conclude that in becoming man Christ took upon Him a nature that was capable of dying. It was the death of the cross. It was a death in which He suffered not only at the hands of sinful men, and of Satan, but it was at the hands of God Himself. He had to satisfy the demands of infinite holiness and justice. This was a task which no other creature was capable of performing. Christ undertook a work which was far above the power of all the angels and yet to begin that work He had to be made lower than the angels. If ever power was made perfect in weakness, it was in this. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:21 (2X). Through the suffering of death He has been highly exalted by God Himself. It is not simply that His exaltation followed the Savior’s suffering and death, but by the immeasurable greatness of His sacrifice He received the reward of a great multitude as His bride, and He was crowned with power and might and dominion down into eternity. God says in Eph 1:21, He has been raised “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” Christ is crowned also in the world to come. This was His reward for the infinite sacrifice that He gave at the cross. God spoke again about this reward 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.

“Therefore”, in which paraphrased God says to Christ: “Because you have done this, I will apportion to you the great multitude for a bride, and You shall divide the spoils of war with the mighty, because You have offered Your soul unto death, and You have made intercession for the transgressors. Look at Christ on the cross. Look at the suffering that was done to Him. But see also in that event the great Warrior there on the cross who dared to take on the great and mighty dragon whose tail was so mighty that he took a third of the stars of heaven with him and cast them down to the earth (Rev 12:4). He is the man Christ Jesus. He is a man, not just indwelt by God the Son, for we too are indwelt by God, but was made one Person with God the Son, having simultaneously a human nature and a Divine nature. But it was in His human nature that He had to atone for our sins. And so great was this task that Satan himself did not believe that Christ could survive so great a penalty, for Satan also knew the demands of the righteousness of God. That is why Satan came to indwell Judas Iscariot. Satan is no dummy. Satan is a fallen angel, and the intelligence of this fallen angel is many times greater than human intelligence. But in every case that involved the atonement of the saints, Satan made big errors, because he did not understand the mercy of God. And what is that mercy of God? The mercy of God is that He saved me, because I was just as wicked a sinner as anyone of you. If I would consider myself a lesser sinner than anyone of you, I would be stuck up in pride, and God says in Jam 4:6, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” You see, there is absolutely no benefit in thinking that I am a lesser sinner than anyone of you, for salvation is all by grace. But through much prayer and by much grace from God, some people are able to resist temptation better than others. Please turn one page in the Epistle to the Ephesians to Eph 2:1 (2X). God shows us here that each one of us is not better than another. We all are subject to the wrath of God, and the wrath of God means that we all were on the way to Hell. Eph 2:1-5,

Eph 2:1-5 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 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;)

We all were by nature the children of the wrath of God, even as others who never become saved. And notice why God says, “by grace are ye saved.” It is because the guilt of our sins was already paid when we were made alive together with Christ. That was in AD 33. We had no say in the matter. We did not exist yet, and our souls did not exist yet. All our sins were still future sins. Consider the incredible mercy of God by having His Son pay for the guilt of our sins and suffer the gruesome death of the cross, even before we were able to commit those sins. And what did the Lord Jesus have to pay? God is a righteous judge. When a criminal stands before a righteous judge, the judge will not reduce the penalty even if His own Son stands before Him. The Lord Jesus was the Judge; He stated the penalty; the wages of sin is death, and the death that God has in view is the second death, which is an eternity in the lake of fire. Then the Judge stepped from behind the judge’s bench, and God the Son was sent to earth and united Himself with the man from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and the Lord Jesus Christ was born. Now the Father took the place of the Judge. The guilt of all the sins of all the elect of God was imputed to the account of the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the cross He paid the price in full: It was the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Where was the love of God? Did the Father not love the Lord Jesus? O yes, He loved His only begotten Son more than He loved all of mankind. But the righteousness of God towers above all the attributes of God, and thus the righteousness of God must first of all be satisfied. O yes, the Father loved us also, and that is why He offered His only begotten Son on our behalf, so that the guilt of our sins may be erased from our account. That is how much He loved us. Look now at Him on the cross. All the Old Testament animal sacrifices were types and pictures of the atonement of the Lord Jesus on the cross. All those animals were roasted in the fire. But where is the fire at Calvary? The fire was burning in His soul. The women and the disciples saw only the suffering in His body. But the suffering in His soul was much more intense than in His body, and that is why after hanging on the cross for about six hours the Lord Jesus cried out with a loud voice: “It Is Finished.” What was finished? He was still suffering on the cross; He was still bleeding from His hands and His feet; most of His blood was still in Him. It was the suffering in His soul that was finished. He finished paying for the guilt of all our sins. Look now at Him on the cross. Are we grateful for the payment that He made on our behalf? This is how much He loved us. Do we love Him for that? Then let me ask you: Where is our love for Christ? What is the manifestation of our love for Christ? Can we point to certain of our actions and say: This is what I have done to show my appreciation for what Christ has done on the cross. And if we cannot show any of these acts of appreciation, then I am afraid we have not believed that the Lord Jesus Christ indeed paid for the guilt of all our sins on the cross, for if we have really believed that, our faith would be followed up by action. That is the nature of faith, and that is the nature of love, and that is the nature of gratitude. How is it possible that man can be so hard, and so callous, and so ungrateful? How is it possible that man can spit in the face of Christ and say, “I do not believe it”? But it is true, for Bibles have been best-sellers for hundreds of years and the story of the crucifixion has been known to all mankind all over the world. And what we see today is that the majority of mankind refuses to hear the truth of the crucifixion. Mankind has spurned the love of God. God shows us hereby the depravity of man in all its ugliness. I have no words to describe the utter ungratefulness of man for the infinite sacrifice that God made to save us from Hell.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 5:21 (2X). Here is a verse that amplifies the meaning of the Greek word “Huper”, which usually means “on behalf of”. God says in Heb 2:9,

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels by the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death on behalf of every son.

Look at these words, “that he by the grace of God should taste death on behalf of every son.” Not “for”, not “in the place of” like in substitution, but Huper, meaning “on behalf of”. Notice the difference. God says in 2Cor 5:21, “For (Because) he (God) hath made him (Christ) (to be) sin for us (Huper), who knew no sin (the spotless Lamb of God); that we “might” (again the future imperative: “should”) be made the righteousness of God in him.” Christ was and is and remains forever the spotless Lamb of God; He knew no sin! He did not become defiled with our sin like some preachers teach. When God made Him sin for us, it does not mean that Christ actually became sin in our place, but He became a sin-offering on behalf of us (Huper). He, the Judge over heaven and earth stepped from behind the judge’s bench, and stood before the Father as the Judge, and the Father imputed to Christ’s account the guilt of all the sins of all His elect. You see, the word “impute” is an accounting term. It does not mean dumping a load of sins on the soul of Christ and making Christ the greatest sinner on earth, but it means charging to His account the guilt of all the sins of all His elect. Let me give an example that everyone of you can associate with. When I, the sinner, go to Las Vegas and accumulate a very large debt, living it up with harlots and riotous living, I may impute to my account a large debt that I am not able to pay. It means that I have to go to jail and work it off in jail until the last penny has been paid, and that means I will be in jail for a very long time. But I have a very rich uncle who has pity on me, and who voluntarily steps forward and pays my bills on behalf of me; not in the place of me, not substitution for he is not guilty, but he paid on behalf of me, for I am the one who is guilty and my sins are not transferred to another; only the guilt of my sins are transferred to my uncle’s account. Then I am immediately set free; all my debt has been paid. That is the meaning of the word “Huper” and the accounting term “impute.” Christ was and is and remains forever the spotless Lamb of God; He knew no sin, ever, for He cannot be defiled, for He is God. You can check any Greek dictionary and see that this is the correct interpretation. This is how the Lord Jesus Christ became our Redeemer. What is a Redeemer? A Redeemer is a Kinsman, a next of kin, meaning a close relative who steps forward as a benevolent protector. If someone has been murdered, someone who is a next of kin steps forward as the Redeemer, and hunts down the murderer and kills him. This is not murder, for it has always been in the law of God since Gen 9:6, and it is a beautiful picture of Christ avenging us on Satan. If through poverty a land is sold, then someone who is next of kin to the man who fell into poverty may step forward as the Redeemer, and buy back the land and donate it to the one who first owned it, which is a beautiful picture of Christ redeeming the New Heaven and the New Earth for us. If someone has become so poor that he sells himself into slavery, then someone who is next of kin may step forward as the Redeemer, and buy back that slave and set him free. All these are spiritual pictures of salvation through Christ, who is our Redeemer. Look now at another significant picture: If someone dies and leaves no children, then his widow should not marry a stranger, but should marry a brother of her former husband who will perform the task of a Redeemer to raise up seed for his deceased brother, so that this brother’s name should not be put out of Israel. Look at the spiritual meaning of this action: So that his brother’s name should not be put out of the Book of the Elect of God. Can you see the beautiful picture that God is painting before us? We are represented by that widow. Formerly we have been married to another gospel, but that gospel has lost its attractiveness, and we have become a widow, a woman who has no husband. Then Christ steps forward as our Redeemer, and takes us to be His bride, and we are no widow any more. But Christ could only be our Bridegroom if He first became our next of kin. And that is why He became man in the likeness of sinful flesh, so that we can become His bride. That is the meaning of Christ as our Redeemer. And all that is totally in accord with the character of God. But let us be honest with ourselves: Do we love our bloody Bridegroom? Do we love Him who loved the church so much and gave Himself for it? For God says in Eph 5:25-27, “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Do we love Him who gave all that He had, so that we could have all that God has, for our benefit and for our happiness, and for our glory in the life hereafter, and that no more sin would cleave to us? Do we appreciate that we have become the Bride of Christ?

#2.       In Accord With the Character of God (Heb 2:10, Prov 16:4, Rev 4:11, Psalm 76:10, Rom 9:20, Eph 2:4, Luke 10:20, Eph 1:3-8, Gal 3:13)

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

This is why the Son should for a season be made lower than the angels in order to taste death for everyone of His people. This was not only according to God’s eternal purpose, but it was also in accord with all His wondrous perfections. Never was God more Godlike than when in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, He was crucified for the guilt of our sins. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory,” Look at this now! This expression sets forth the supreme sovereignty of God. All things without exception refer to all creatures and all events. It means that the Most High God is the final cause of everything. God says in Prov 16:4, “The Lord hath made all things for Himself.” God says in Rev 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” This blessed basic truth is to be received with unquestioning and unmurmuring faith. If God can declare in Psalm 76:10 that even the wrath of man shall praise Him, then this same God will vindicate His broken law in the punishment of the wicked; but more so, His justice and His holiness shall be magnified by their second death. Hell itself shall overflow with the wicked to the glory of God. But nothing so stirs up the enmity of the carnal mind and evidences the high handed rebellion of fallen man as the response of fallen man to this great truth of the sovereignty of God. People immediately complain that we are not just robots, or irresponsible creatures. Or they will blasphemously argue that God and not ourselves is to be charged with our wickedness. To all this God answers with the words of Rom 9:20, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” How dare we oppose what God said! How dare we declare to others, “Thus saith the Lord”, when the Lord has not said that? That is blasphemy!

Let us review this one more time. Our God is infinitely righteous, which is His most important attribute, and our God is infinitely wise, which means that God does not become wiser in the progress of time. And therefore our God is also omniscient, which means that in all of history God knows the end from the beginning. But because our God is also immutable, meaning He does not change, it means that God must make all His decisions before the foundation of the world, for if God made a decision at a moment in history it means that God at that moment did change. Therefore, our God not only knows the end from the beginning, but He causes the end from the beginning to occur. This agrees with what God says in Isa 46:9-11, and there we read, “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.”

“I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” And so, before the foundation of the world the Father chose a bride for His Son. What is so bad about that? But this bride is made up of the sons of Adam, and that is a big problem, because every one of the sons of Adam is born wicked to the core, and is born as a slave of Satan and as an enemy of God. We saw that already in Eph 2:1-5. And so, if God wants to pursue the idea of giving some of the human race to Christ as His bride, God must do something to make that bunch of slaves of Satan acceptable to God. How did God answer this question in Eph 2:4? He said, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” and therein is contained a plan of God so great and so wonderful and so merciful that even Satan could not have imagined this that God was going to do. You see, since we did not exist yet before the foundation of the world, and even our souls did not exist yet, the only representation of His elect God had was our names. And God planted our names in the mind of God the Son, who is also called Christ. How do we know that it was our names? The Lord Jesus said in Luke 10:20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Where were our names written before the foundation of the world? Heaven did not exist yet. Yes, they were written in the mind of God the Son. And so, where do we find that our names were written in Christ before the foundation of the world? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X). God has predestinated us. What does “predestinate” mean? It means determine our destiny beforehand. And how does God predetermine our destiny? God did that by imputing the guilt of our sins to the account of the Lord Jesus Christ and by having Christ pay for the debt that we owe while He hung on the cross. We read in Gal 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Huper): for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” Was Christ made a curse in our place? No, because there is that Greek word “Huper” again. Christ cannot be defiled by substituting for us; He was made a curse on behalf of us; He paid the price that was put on His account. Eph 1:3-8

Eph 1:3-8 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. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Verses 3 and 4 say, The Father blessed us in Christ, and the Father chose us in Christ. And God did that according to the good pleasure of His will; not according to our will but His will. The Father has made us accepted as children of God in the Beloved, which means in Christ, because Christ has redeemed us, has bought us back, through His blood, and has forgiven us our sins according to the riches of His grace. Look at what the infinitely wise God has done. First He chose us, then He made Christ pay for the guilt of our sins on the cross, then He made us alive first physically (He caused us to be born) and then spiritually (He caused us to be Born Again). We would have chosen this order in reverse, but God for the great love with which He loved us chose this sequence of events because this made sure that the end result was completely according to His plan. You see, God loved us unconditionally. We cannot mess up His plans. No sin of ours was so great that God could not forgive. Let us remember that, for God calls us to be like Christ, and God calls us to love the unsaved unconditionally like Christ has loved us unconditionally when we were yet sinners. When we bring them the Gospel let us love them unconditionally, for to this end were we called and to this end we have to serve Christ and love our fellow man. Do we appreciate the condescension of Christ? Then we should also humble ourselves when we bring the Gospel to the unsaved and love them, for among them may be one who is an elect of God, worthy to be saved.

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

The grace of God which gave Christ to taste death for His people, answered to the love of His heart. Never did anything more display, and never will anything more overflow to the glory of God than His making the Son lower than the angels in order to taste death for His people. And who are His people? Are they the Jewish nation that descended from Jacob? If that were so, then God is a liar, for God declared in John 1:13, “Not of blood”. In other words, “You do not become Born Again because you are of the right bloodline.” And God reinforced this principle by stating in Gal 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In other words, the ground is level at the foot of the cross. There is not one nation elevated above another, for salvation is an individual act of God. It always has been before the cross, and it will continue to be so. God says in Rom 10:12, “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.” And God says in Col 3:11, “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Therefore, who are His people? According to what we have read in Eph 1:3-8 His people are His elect, chosen from all nations and peoples and tribes and tongues in the world. God is not pleased with people who hang on to the Premillennial theory of eschatology, for they declare God a liar in many places in the Bible. God is not pleased with them, for God declared in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” These are very threatening words. These words sound a warning to all those who fabricate a theory and then search the Bible for support for their theory. This is not how we should study the Bible. The love of God is manifested first of all in the fact that He gave us a Bible. Do we realize how many people in the past did not receive a Bible in their hands? Do we realize how privileged we are? Secondly, the love of God is manifested in that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. And we recognize this action of God when we recognize the love that we have for Christ and for our fellow man. Thirdly, the grace of God is manifested in making us hear the true Gospel, and then seeing it in the Bible that we hold in our hands. What did God say in Rom 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God?” God stated that the faith which God gives as a result of salvation comes when we are under the hearing of the true Gospel, and the ability to hear and understand the Gospel comes through a spoken word from God. Just like God spoke and brought the world into being, so God speaks and converts a sinner into a saint. It is the grace of God that He gives us the ability to hear. And when we realize that we have come to know who God is, that we have come to understand that the Almighty who created this great and wide Universe is the one who made Himself known to us, and that He is the One and only who sent the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth to save us from our sins, and to elevate us from sinners to sons of God, we stand amazed that this is at all possible. How is it possible that God chose us out of an ocean of sinners, and then elevated us to the status of sons of God? And how is it possible that this love of God is spurned by the majority of people in the world. This is the utter depravity of mankind.

#3.       The Captain of Our Salvation (Heb 2:10, 5:8-9, Matt 10:38, Phil 1:29) Please turn to Heb 5:9 (2X).

Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

On the cross the Captain of our salvation was bringing many sons unto glory, for through His sufferings all the guilt of our sins was paid. How can a perfect person be made perfect? We can understand this when we realize that the reference is not to the Person of Christ, but to a particular office which He fills. His character needed no perfecting. We read in Heb 5:8-9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Verse 8 does not mean that He learned to obey, but rather that He learned by experience what obedience is. In like manner it was by the experiences through which He passed that Christ was perfected, and to be appointed officially to be the Captain of our salvation. But consider now two things. First of all, the Lord Jesus Christ as our Captain was also our forerunner. Christ was going before us and He commanded that we must follow Him. When the Lord Jesus said in Matt 10:38, “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” we must take this command from the Lord seriously. What was He referring to? The entire chapter of Matt 10 refers to following Christ by proclaiming the Gospel. But secondly, since Christ is our forerunner we must also go through suffering. What kind of suffering is the Lord referring to? It could be that He calls us to suffer in times of persecution, for if we witness the true Gospel we will many times face some persecution, but those moments of persecution are rare and do not consist of a daily suffering. But there is another kind of suffering involved in bringing the Gospel, and this suffering is daily. We read in Phil 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” We must suffer for His sake, and we will suffer in the process of following Christ. When did Christ suffer? He did not only suffer during the 20 hours of His atonement. He also suffered when He brought the Gospel to Chorazin, and to Bethsaida, and to Capernaum and He was not believed. Do we suffer when we bring the Gospel to those whom we love, and it seems as if we were not believed? We do suffer in such cases, and we suffer when we lift them up in prayer to God. Before we actually shake the dust of their city off our feet we need to remember that we must indeed love them. We pray constantly for them, and we must love them unconditionally. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Get involved in their lives. It is only in this way that we follow the Lord in His footsteps. And if we do not suffer when we pray for them, I do not believe that we indeed love them. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.