“A FIVE PART PORTRAIT OF GOD’S SUFFERING SERVANT”
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BIBLE SCRIPTURES
(Romans ) and (1 Peter -25)
We read in (Romans ) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. There is both “bad news” and “good news” in this verse. The “bad news” is “The wages of sin is death”. This is the Word of God to man. Man doesn’t believe it of course. He proves his unbelief every day by his attitude and his actions. We need only observe the rising crime rate, the statistics on murder, rape, burglary, etc.; they are all on the increase. Our jails and penal institutions are overflowing. They are overcrowded to the point that many criminals, worthy of confinement, are released to make room for still more law breakers. But, sin and sinners are not confined to society’s criminal element. God says in His Word that all of mankind are sinners both by nature and by practice. Notice the following;
Man is a sinner by nature.
· (Genesis 6:5) “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”. Nothing has changed since the early days of man’s creation. If anything, things have gotten worse.
· (Psalm 51:5) “Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me”. This is how we all begin our earthly sojourn.
· (Ephesians 2:1, 3) says of all men that they are “dead in trespasses and sins” – “and are by nature the children of wrath”. This means that we are all under the wrath and condemnation of God.
We cannot help being born with a sinful nature. We cannot change that, but God wants us to believe it. When Adam sinned, he and all mankind in him were alienated from God. Adam’s sin was imputed to all men. (Romans 5:19) “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…” It follows then that this imputed sin brought judgment on the whole race. (Romans 5:18) “Therefore as by the offense of one (by one offense) judgment came upon all men to condemnation”. Because of this, God, in wondrous love for sinners gave His beloved Son to deal with the sin issue and make it possible for God to provide salvation to any and all who will receive it.
Man is a sinner by practice.
Just as the apple tree bears apples because it is an apple tree, even so the sinful nature of man soon manifests itself by the practice of sin. Sinful thoughts, words and deeds are the visible evidence, the fruits of a sinful nature. Notice what God says in His Word;
· (Romans 5:12) “By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.
· (Ecclesiastes 7:20) “There is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not”.
· (Romans 3:10) “There is none righteous, no not one”.
· ((Romans 3:23) “There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.
This is a serious issue
indeed because God says in His Word “The wages of sin
is death”. “Wages” are something
we earn. Death is the wage of sin. “Death” in the Bible is not only in the
physical sense, the death of the body, which is the separation of man’s spirit from
his body. There is also a “second death”
(see Revelation 21:8) which is the separation of the spirit/soul of the person
from God for all eternity. Dear reader,
it is important that you believe and accept what God, in His Word, says about you. It took me thirty years to learn that I was
the sinner of whom God was speaking. I
never realized that my sins were taking me to hell and a lost eternity. I thought I was a “good person” as I compared
myself with others that I knew. I
learned that it was foolish to compare myself with my fellowman, who is also a
fallen sinner. It is God that measures
us and tells us what we are in His eyes.
It is the Word of God that is the “yardstick” by which we must measure
ourselves. God say’s “all have sinned
and come short of the glory of God”. We
have “come short”, we have missed the mark.
If your still in your sins and unsaved, your under the condemnation of
God. It says in (John
) “He that believeth not is condemned
already”. You are facing eternal destruction, the loss of
the eternal well being of your soul. You
are facing the “second death” and the “
“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
This is the “good news” in (Romans ). God has given us a gift and what a gift it is. It says in (James ) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father”. God’s gift to man is “good” and it is “perfect” because the gift that He gave was His own well beloved Son. It says in (John ) “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. What a gift. How precious it is. (2 Corinthians 9:15) “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift”.
Wages are something we earn as we noticed from the first part of (Romans ). A gift is something we receive. The gift here is “eternal life”. Have you received God’s gift of eternal life? You cannot “earn” eternal life; you can only “receive” it as a gift. There could not possibly be a more wonderful gift than this. Notice in our verse that the gift of eternal life is “through Jesus Christ our Lord”. To receive God’s gift, you simply reach out in faith and accept it. (Acts ) “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. Since it is a gift, it cost you nothing. It cost God everything to make this gift available to you. The gift of eternal life is “through Jesus Christ our Lord”. It was necessary that God’s beloved Son leave the glory of heaven. He came down in condescending grace and made salvation possible through the offering of Himself on the cross. Let’s consider this in more detail by noticing the following:
A FIVE-PART PORTRAIT OF GOD’S SUFFERING SERVANT (READ 1 PETER -25)
We will comment on these verses by considering the Lord Jesus Christ in the following outline;
1. (VS. 21) – HE WAS A SUFFERING SAVIOR
2. (VS.22) – HE WAS A SINLESS SAVIOR
3. (VS.23) – HE WAS SUBMISSIVE SAVIOR
4. (VS.24) – HE WAS A SUBSTITUTIONARY SAVIOR
5. (VS.25) – HE IS A SHEPHERDING SAVIOR
1) HE WAS A SUFFERING SAVIOR
The Lord Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, He suffered for our sins as well. We are told in, (Hebrews 2:9) “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death … that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”. He not only went through the experience of death, He went through “the suffering of death” and He did for “every man” and He did for YOU dear reader. It says also in, (1 Peter ) “Christ suffered for us”. (1 Peter 4:1) “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh”. Why did He have to suffer and die? (1 Peter 3:18) gives us the answer. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. In our natural state and in our sins we are separated from God. It says in, (Isaiah 59:2) “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God”. It is only through the finished work of Christ that we can be brought back to God if we believe in Him and receive Him as our own personal Savior. From the Bible, the Word of God, we can be a witness to His sufferings all along His earthly sojourn.
1. (Isaiah 53:4) “Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted”. (Zechariah 13:7) “Awake O sword against my shepherd” … “smite the Shepherd”.
2. (Isaiah 53:6) “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. (Has made the iniquity of us all to meet on Him).
3. (Isaiah 53:10) “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief, when Thou shalt make His Soul an offering for sin”.
The sufferings of the Savior on the cross were for your sins and my sins. As we stated above from (I Peter ) “Christ also hath once suffered for sins the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. Have you come to God for salvation? The way has been provided through the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The Savior says through the words of the prophet Jeremiah, (Lamentations , 13) “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger”. Multitudes are passing by these days. They are busy with life and all the diversions of life. They are passing by the Savior and passing by God’s salvation. They are passing by “God’s wonderful gift”. “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. WHAT ABOUT YOU WHO ARE READING THESE WORDS? ARE YOU PASSING BY GOD’S GIFT OF SALVATION? The Lord Jesus Christ was not only a “suffering Savior”, He was also a;
2) A SINLESS SAVIOR
It says in (1 Peter ) “He did no sin neither was guile found in His mouth”. He committed no sin in His lifetime. Not only “did He not sin”, “He could not sin” for He is the Holy Son of God. There was no fact of sin; there was no act of sin in His life. There was no guile, no trickery, no deceit, and no dishonesty. This is the testimony of the apostle Peter. In addition, we have the testimony of others;
On more than one occasion God expressed His delight with His beloved Son. Scripture says for example, (Matthew ) “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. No one ever passed through this scene as did He. He was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. When it was time for Him to be crucified He said, (John 17:4) “I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” As far as we are concerned, it says of us, (Romans ) “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. The Lord Jesus Christ is not only a “sinless Savior”, He is also;
3) A SUBMISSIVE SAVIOR
It says in (1 Peter ) “When He was reviled; He reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not, but committed Himself to Him (God) that judges righteously”. The prophet Isaiah wrote of the “submissive Savior” in (Isaiah 53:7) “He (the Lord Jesus) was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before his Shearer’s is dumb, so He opened not His mouth”. He “opened not His mouth” against His enemies. He “opened not His mouth” to request divine help. He says in (Matthew 26:53) “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions (72,000) of angels”? He never made this request. He was “A SUBMISSIVE SAVIOR”. Scripture in, (2 Corinthians 10:1) speaks of “the meekness and gentleness of Christ”. But, that’s not all. He is not only a submissive Savior, He is also;
4) A SUBSTITUTIONARY SAVIOR
Though He was sinless it says of Him that God, “made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. It says also in (1 Peter ) “He bare our sins in His own body on the tree”. The Savior not only suffered violently, He suffered vicariously. He was on the cross as your substitute. He went under the wrath and judgment of God that was due to you. The apostle Peter wrote (1 Peter ) “Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”. The Hymn writer wrote;
All my sins were laid upon Him
Jesus bore them on the tree
God, who knew them, laid them on Him
And believing I am free
Every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can say like the apostle Paul (Galatians ) “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. The Lord Jesus Christ is not only a “substitutionary Savior”, He is also;
5) A SHEPHERDING SAVIOR
It says in (1 Peter ) “Ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer, guardian) of your souls”. In this verse, Peter is speaking to those who have been saved, to those who have returned to the Shepherd. Have you returned to the Shepherd or are you still a straying sheep in the eyes of God? It says in (Isaiah 53:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Shepherd? Can you say like the Psalmist in (Psalm 23:1) The Lord is my Shepherd”? Jesus Christ is called the “Good Shepherd” in (John ) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”. There on the cross, He gave His life for YOU. Dear reader, does this mean any thing to you? Has your heart become so hard that you can remain untouched by all that God has done for you? If you die in your sins and miss heaven, it will not be because God does not love you or because God’s Son did not die for you, but it will be because you have not availed yourself of God’s offer of salvation. The savior is not only the “Good Shepherd” in regard to salvation; He is also called the “Great Shepherd” in regard to His resurrection. We read in, (Hebrews ) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep”. God does not ask you to believe in a dead Savior. Jesus Christ is alive. He is a living Savior. This is the good news of the gospel. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Salvation is promised to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to all who believe in His resurrection. We read in, (Romans 10:9, 10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Salvation comes to a person, not by mere intellectual ascent of historical facts concerning the person of Christ, but there must be a genuine acceptance of Him with one’s whole inward being. Have YOU had this experience?
Dear reader, in closing let me remind you, that you are traveling the “highway of life”, passing through time, and oh such a brief time it is. Just ahead is an endless eternity to be spent in either heaven or hell. There are only two destinies before you. Maybe you have already or are in the process of preparing for retirement. But, have you made preparation beyond the grave? Have you made preparation for eternity? The Bible says, “Prepare to meet thy God”. Have YOU done this? Now that you have read this message you have come to a “crossroads” in your life. Which way will you go? What decision will you make? Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s offer of salvation? Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him to be your Lord and Savior? (John 3:15, 16) “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”. “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”. It’s your decision and your responsibility.
Please give this matter your most serious attention. Will you be a believer or a non-believer? Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.