Isa 53:6                     All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray               4/20/2008      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       All We Like Sheep (Isa 53:6, Gen 2:17, Eph 2:1, Acts 17:26, Job 14:4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Christ, the Mediator (Rom 5:15-17, Eph 1:5, Isa 53:6, Phil 2:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3,       The Iniquity of Us All (Isa 53:6, 2Cor 5:21, Hos 4:8, Heb 7:26)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:1 (2X). I promised to give a number of sermons on this chapter of Isa 53 and to preach it every time that we have a Lord’s Supper service. Let us review the first six verses of this chapter, to look again at the context. The picture God shows us is:

Isa 53:1 ¶  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Isa 53:2  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Isa 53:3-4  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.        Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Is 53:5-6 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.      All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Obviously God is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of our sins, and of the atonement that He is making for our sins. We understand this especially from verse 6, where we read, “and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”. So today let us focus particularly on verse 6, which begins with the words, “All we like sheep have gone astray”. Therefore the title of this sermon is, All we like sheep have gone astray. Atonement for sins is a subject that has been recorded in the Bible almost from the beginning of time. God demonstrated this to Adam and Eve by making coats of animal skin for them. Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve, offered animal sacrifices to God, to atone for his sins. Etc. We are reminded of atonement for sins in the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement that God prescribed for the children of Israel. Through these sacrifices God was looking forward to the blood of Christ. We read:

Lev 17:11,  For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Later on God explained in Heb 10:4 that all those animal sacrifices could not take away one sin. But all those animal sacrifices were signs and shadows pointing to the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He provided the ultimate atonement for our sins. Our sins are stored in our soul, which is our spirit that God gave us at the time of our conception. That is why God says in Lev 17:11, “It is the blood (of Christ) that maketh an atonement for the soul”. Our soul needs to be cleansed from all the sins that are cleaving to it. And so, let us focus on verse 6 where the cleansing of our soul is in view.

#1.       All We Like Sheep (Isa 53:6, Gen 2:17, Eph 2:1, Acts 17:26, Job 14:4)

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

When God says, “All we like sheep have gone astray”, God is informing us of the universality of sin. All mankind has sinned, without exception. How did it begin, and how does it end? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 2:17 (2X). When God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, He breathed into Adam the breath of life, and Adam became a living soul. It means that Adam became a person with two entities, a body and a soul. But then God laid down the law for Adam, and He said in:

Ge 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

In other words, the penalty for sin is death. What does that mean? Does it mean death in the body or death in the soul? And the answer is: both in the body and in the soul “thou shalt surely die”. But there is more. The words “thou shalt surely die” in the Hebrew text are actually, “dying thou shalt die” (2X). This is a change which the King James translators made 22 times. In the KJV the combination “thou shalt surely die”, or “he shall surely die”, occurs 22 times. And in all 22 times we can replace “thou shalt surely die” with the words “dying thou shalt die”, for that is really what it means. Sometimes God refers only to a dying body, but more frequently God refers to a dying body and soul. Here in Gen 2:17 God refers to the dying body and soul. As a result, when Adam ate from fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he died in his soul instantly, and in his body the process of dying started from that moment in time. Death is the penalty for sin, and the ultimate penalty that God has in view is the death of both body and soul in Hell, for Hell is also a place where both body and soul are dying, but where the process of dying lasts for an eternity. Remember God’s promise: “Dying thou shalt die”. That is why Hell is often referred to as a place of destruction, or as a place where sinners perish. Definitely the torments of Hell are forever, for it is a place where the worm dieth not, or better where the maggot dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. It is a place where the smoke of the sinner’s torment ascendeth up forever and ever. Many cults derive their doctrines from the English text, such as the KJV, from which they derive that Hell means incineration and annihilation. But when we put our trust in the original Hebrew OT and the Greek NT all false doctrines are clearly shown to be false, and Hell turns out to be a place where “dying thou shalt die” for an eternity. Death is the penalty for sin, both in the body and in the soul. It is well known that the theory of common grace denies this. According to the theory of common grace sin and death were restrained after Adam sinned, so that Adam did not die on the day that he ate from the forbidden fruit, and his soul did not absolutely die. But this cannot be true, for it makes God a liar, for God said, “in the day that thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt die”. You see, death is not a consequence of sin, but according to Gen 2:17 death is the penalty for sin. It is the manifestation of the wrath of God upon Adam and upon all his posterity. God kills man! When Adam sinned he became trapped in the power of death; both physically and spiritually he was trapped in the power of Sin and of the Devil. Death reigned over him. Moreover, no one can deny that the penalty for Adam’s sin was the death of his soul and the souls of all his posterity, for God says in Eph 2:1, “And you (all you saints) were dead in trespasses and sins”. God does not lie. And thus we see that Adam’s sin caused death in his soul, and death to be present in the blood running through all his veins. And so, when we read in Acts 17:26, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth”, we understand that the death that was cleaving to Adam was transmitted to all his posterity, for all nations came out of one blood, the blood of Adam. Even Eve was a descendant of Adam. Let us then also consider the words that God spoke in the Prophecy of Job. God said in Job 14:4, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one”. When Adam and Eve sinned they became unclean in the eyes of God. “Unclean” means defiled, unrighteous, guilty of sin, and deserving death in body and soul in a place called Hell. It then follows from Job 14:4 that everyone of their posterity was also unclean in the eyes of God. Everyone means “WE All”. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 2:1 (2X).

Whom is God addressing in this Epistle to the Ephesians? God says in Eph 1:1, “To the saints which are at Ephesus”. We should keep this in mind when we read about the sins among those in the church at Ephesus who were mostly Gentiles in the flesh, sinners, but by the grace of God have become saints.

Eph 2:1 ¶  And you (hath he quickened), who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:2  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:

Eph 2:3  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.

These saints formerly were “dead in trespasses and sins”. This was how they started out their life on earth. Adam’s sin cleaved to them from the day they were conceived in their mother’s womb. They were already sinners before they were born; not sinners by practice, but sinners by nature, for they “were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” who never become saved. Adam’s original sin cleaved to them. And when they were born they became also sinners by practice, for they simply acted out their sinful nature. Now this was not written only to them, but also to us, for WE ALL were by nature children of the wrath of God, even as others. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 5:12 (2X). We are discovering from all these passages that the way WE ALL came into the world, was totally depraved, born dead and double dead through sin, wholly incapable of doing any good in the eyes of God, and were inclined to all evil, for that was what we were by nature. And then we read here in Rom 5 that our sinful nature originated through the sin of Adam and Eve. WE read in Rom 5:12,

Ro 5:12-14 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:       For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.       Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

We see here the universality of sin and death. How can God inflict the penalty of death upon all men, even upon little babies? The reason is that all men are made sinners through the sin of Adam. All men, without exception have sinned. And why is Adam’s sin charged to our account? It is because God put in effect “the representative principle”. For when God created mankind, He did not make a multitude of individuals, but God created an organism, the root of which was the first man Adam. Angels are created as individuals, but mankind was created as an organism. It might appear as if the descendants of the one man Adam were the innocent victims of his transgression. But we must remember that God created the human race not only as an organism, with Adam as the root and first father, but also God created mankind as a legal corporation, with Adam as the representative head. The situation is similar to that of a nation on this earth. Before God a nation is not an aggregate of individuals, but a legal body; and the government represents all its citizens. When the government declares war on another nation, the soldier who is called by the government to battle does not commit murder when he kills the enemy. He only handles the sword of the government, in the name of the government. If the government accumulates a huge debt because of the war, we are all responsible for the payment of that debt, which will be a burden on our children and our children’s children. It is in this way that there is a communal guilt and a communal responsibility that runs into generations. And it is in this way that God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, even to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him. It is in this way that God created the whole human race in Adam as a legal corporation, represented by our first father. We cannot say that we are not responsible for his transgression, for we have all sinned in him, and his sin is imputed to us, which means it is charged to our account. But now comes the beautiful part. Since the first Adam is our representative in the flesh, both as the root of the organism and as the federal head of the legal corporation, God provided the second Adam as the federal head in the spirit of another legal corporation, which is the nation of all those who have become saved. Therefore we read in Matt 24:7, “For nation shall rise against nation”. Thus, since we are an organism, salvation is possible through one Person, Christ. For the fallen angels there is no salvation possible, since they are a bunch of individuals. 

#2.       Christ, the Mediator (Rom 5:15-17, Eph 1:5, Isa 53:6, Phil 2:8)

Let us continue to read here in Rom 5:15-17,

Ro 5:15-16  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.              And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Ro 5:17  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

The first thing that jumps out of this passage is “the free gift”. This gift is mentioned five times in these three verses. It is the gift of righteousness, and it is the gift unto justification, and it is the gift of grace, and it is a gift that is totally free. How free is FREE? Well, if you must do anything at all to receive this gift, then it is not free. And thus it cannot be a gift we receive because we have been so good, or it cannot be a gift we receive because we have taken the initiative to believe on the Lord Jesus as our Savior, or it cannot be a gift we receive because looked down the corridors of time and He saw that we were going to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. All these would count as actions and initiatives on our part. But the gift of God, through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, is a gift of grace. What is grace? Grace is God’s unmerited favor. Can we merit unmerited favor? Absolutely not! Does God bestow this unmerited favor upon everyone of mankind? Absolutely not, for then we would lose the meaning of the word “favor”. The word “favor” means that God favors some men more than others. And since this favor of God is unmerited, we must conclude that God bestows this unmerited favor entirely “according to the good pleasure of His will”, which is exactly what we read in Eph 1:5. This is the only way in which we can receive this gift of grace. And it is a gift that imparts to us “justification”, which means that we are declared just, or justified, in the eyes of God. A just person is not going to be brought before the judgment throne of Christ. A person who has been justified has all his sins removed from of his soul. Also it is a gift that imparts to us “righteousness” in the eyes of God. But righteousness is a property of God. And thus a person who is righteous in the eyes of God is someone who is declared to be as holy and righteous as God Himself. A righteous person is not going to be brought before the judgment throne of Christ, because all his sins have been removed from his soul, and all his deeds are righteous before God. And thus we see that the gift that Rom 5:15-17 speaks about imparts to us all these wonderful attributes, which can only be attributes of children of God. Let us now tie these three verses to the previous three verses. Remember that we are studying in this sermon Isa 53:6,

Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

We see that in Rom 5:12-14 all in the human race are sinners because we inherit the guilt of Adam’s original sin, and since we also inherit Adam’s sinful nature we all are going astray from God as soon as we are born, and from that point on, as we get older, the multitude of sins on our soul only gets worse. But then we read in Rom 5:15-17 that just like Adam was our federal head in the flesh, and just like the one offense of Adam brought the penalty of death to all men, so in like manner Jesus Christ became the federal head in the spirit for many, not for all, and the obedience of Christ brought the righteousness of God and eternal life with God as a free gift to many. And so, the people who now have the Lord Jesus Christ as their federal Head live no longer under the burden of sin and death, but under the power and grace of life eternal. Since mankind was created as one organism, the representative principle could be applied, and that is why salvation through one representative, Jesus Christ, was made possible. And this points us to the cross, for Christ “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:8). This then is where the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Let us see this in the following words:

Please turn to the Gospel According to John, John 3:16 (2X). As you know, these are words that are taken out of context so many times, because this verse is one of the most favorite verses of those who have another gospel than the Gospel of the Bible. But let us see what God has to say about the free gift that the Lord Jesus prepared for us during His atonement on the cross. We read in John 3:16-18,

Joh 3:16-17  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.               For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The word “world” here is the Greek word “kosmos”, which is the most frequent word being translated “world”. Let us trace in 7 logical steps what this word means. #1. God loves the kosmos (V.16). #2. God does not judge the kosmos (V. 17).  #3. God does not judge the believers (V.18). #4. God loves the believers (V. 16). #5. God will judge the unbelievers (V. 18). #6. The unbelievers are not part of the kosmos, since the kosmos is not judged (V. 17). #7. Therefore the kosmos is the kosmos of believers, not of the unbelievers. Now that was easy! The kosmos is the kosmos of the believers, not of the unbelievers. And who are the believers? Who are those who have faith? God says in Eph 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”. This clearly states that faith is the gift of God. And thus if someone conjures up faith to believe in Christ by saying the sinner’s prayer, or by obeying the altar call, or by deciding that it is the proper thing to do, that faith was not the faith as a gift from God. Only those who are drawn by the Father to the Lord Jesus Christ are those who will receive faith as a gift from God. We read in John 6:44, "No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”. And so, when we look again at John 3:16 we see that it is not a verse that states universal atonement, but on the contrary it is a verse which states that Christ came to save only the world of those whom the Father will draw to Jesus. It is a verse which states the sovereignty of God rather than the free will of man. In John 3:16 God says that He loves the world of His elect so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son on their behalf as an atonement for their sins, in order that all His elect, whom He has given faith, shall not be cast into Hell, but have eternal life with God in the NH&NE. This then is the reason why “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. This is the reason, but what was actually taking place when God imputed our sins on the Lord Jesus Christ?

#3,       The Iniquity of Us All (Isa 53:6, 2Cor 5:21, Hos 4:8, Heb 7:26)

Please turn in your Bibles to the 2nd Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 5:21 (2X). This too is a verse that is often taken out of its context with very little understanding. Remember, we are searching for the meaning of Isa 53:6 where we read, “and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”. What did God do in this process that we often call “the process of substitution”? We read in 2Cor 5:21,

2Co 5:21  For He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin (Christ knew no sin); that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

  Clearly this verse speaks of some sort of substitution.  But what is God saying here?  The design of

this very important verse is to urge the strongest possible reason for being reconciled to God. This is implied in the first word in this verse: “For”, or “Because”. The strongest argument we can bring to bear when we evangelize is the fact that the Son of God has become incarnate for our sins, and has suffered and died in our place. Then we read, “He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us”. But notice that the words “to be” are in italics. They are not in the original Greek text. Literally it is: “He has made Him sin, or a sin offering for us”. But what is meant by this? #1. It cannot be that Christ was literally sin, and thus it must be understood figuratively. #2. It also cannot be that Christ was made a sinner, for God says in this verse, “Who knew no sin”, and everywhere else the Bible says that He was holy, harmless and undefiled for He must be the spotless Lamb of God. #3. Also it cannot mean that Christ was in any proper sense of the word “guilty”, for no one is truly guilty who is not personally a transgressor of the Law. And if He was guilty then He deserved to die, but then His death could not be an atonement for another person. #4. But if the declaration that He was made “sin” does not mean that He was sin itself, or a sinner, or guilty, then it must mean that He was a “sin-offering”, an offering or a sacrifice for sin. There are many passages in the OT where the word “sin” is used in the sense of sin-offering, or a sacrifice for sin. For example in Hos 4:8 we read, “They eat up the sin of my people”; this actually refers to the sin-offering rather than to the sin itself. And thus when “Christ is made a sin-offering for us”, it means that He made an atonement for sins, and that His death was designed by substituted sufferings to make reconciliation between man and God. Then we read in 2Cor 5:21, “Who knew no sin”. He was not guilty. He was perfectly holy and pure. Christ, the Lamb of God was also the High Priest who killed the Lamb, and who brought the blood of the Lamb behind the veil, into the Holy of Holies in the temple. We read in Heb 7:26, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens”. In all respects and in all conceivable senses the Lord Jesus was pure and holy. If He had not been, He would not have been qualified to make atonement for our sins. And then we read in 2Cor 5:21, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. It means that we are made righteous in the sight of God; that is, that we are accepted as righteous and are treated as righteous by God on account of what the Lord Jesus has done. Look at the contrasts: He was made sin; we are made righteousness. He was treated as if He were a sinner, though He was perfectly holy and pure; we are treated as if we were righteous, though we are defiled and depraved. Righteousness is imputed to us by God, and our sins are imputed to Christ’s account. The whole plan of God centers on substitution and without substitution there can be no salvation. Look at the greatness of the divine compassion and love that is shown to us who are the guilty. And notice that the words “for us” do not mean “in the place of us”, but “on behalf of us”. Christ remained undefiled. It is as if Christ the Judge pronounced the penalty, and then He came from behind the bench and paid the penalty on behalf of us who could not pay, because we were poor beggars who were unable to pay such a great price.

            AMEN.                        Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.