This is the message I will be preaching at San Pedro CRC -June 16, 2013:
The Life, Trials and Victory of the Messiah
Read Aloud: Acts 8: 27-35
27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.
29The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
34The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus
The Ethiopian official is travelling back and forth to Jerusalem-and is wondering if he is near now before God-and is wondering if his understanding of the Scriptures is already right (which is a common experience) and realizes that he needs a teacher – and here comes Deacon Phillip –sent by God to teach him-and what is it all about? It is all about – it is about the Good News about Jesus
- I. Introduction:
Story about a man in a bible study –from Worldwide church of God –formerly headed by Herbert W Armstrong- but experienced a reformation thru father and son –PS Tkach-and turn it from a cult to an evangelical church called- Grace Communion Intl. It was local Pacita Bible Study-This man was complaining that these evangelicals are fixated with conversion and the start of Christian life –but he said we must mature and to do what is next? Is he right –the death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus –is for beginners- and then we must outgrow this?
One of my aunts, when I was starting as a Christian 1981 I read their books , is from Seventh Day Adventist. They know Justification and even Atonement and yet they believe the Investigative Judgment that applies to believers after 1844? To them Calvary only gives Jesus a chance to treat man anew again –His Death is only beginning and it is not complete – but our sanctification must be done by ours- by works. Is this true?
Galatians 3: 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
And see Apostle Paul’s vision of the Christian life:
.8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Fallen Man/Redemptive Focus:
- Either a twice fool man-sinner and yet running away from the solution. A teenage boy -thief running from the police-thinking he will be just sent to jail
- Or…Self-righteous –then and even now-self-sanctification
Let us see our Confessional Statement re: Sanctification
Belgic Confession Article 4:
We believe that this true faith, being wrought in man by the hearing of the Word of God and the operation of the Holy Spirit, regenerates him and makes him a new man, causing him to live a new life, and freeing him from the bondage of sin. Therefore it is so far from being true that this justifying faith makes men remiss in a pious and holy life, that on the contrary without it they would never do anything out of love to God, but only out of self-love or fear of damnation.
Therefore it is impossible that this holy faith can be unfruitful in man; for we do not speak of a vain faith, but of such a faith which is called in Scripture a faith working through love [Gal 5:6], which excites man to the practice of those works which God has commanded in His Word.
Q86: Since, then, we are redeemed from our misery by grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we do good works?
A86: Because Christ, having redeemed us by His blood, also renews us by His Holy Spirit after His own image, that with our whole life we show ourselves thankful to God for His blessing, and that He be glorified through us; then also, that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by the fruits thereof; and by our godly walk may win others also to Christ.
WCF Chapter 13
I. They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, by his Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
So let us go to the Word –so that the Spirit teaches us about Jesus and his Good News.
1.Intro to Isaiah 53:
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness —
15 so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
A quick preview-trailer of what is the Servant is all about: Exaltation, Disfigured, His Blood for the cleansing of the nations – and their enlightenment…this is what is all about Grace-the Gospel of Jesus.
This emphasized the tremendous suffering He had to undergo-since his face will be disfigured-that even Mary will not recognized the resurrected Jesus from 3 days ago was bloodied face.
This also shows that He has a priestly duty to sprinkle the nations-details will be later.
2. His Life
53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Bring to front –a carpenter –not me nor Bro Bong –like Jesus –not with piercing eyes like what my mother told me when I was young.
Jesus did not impress people as being the best looking, the most brilliant, the most socially engaging or the most religious person they had ever met-except after His commissioning and empowering of the Spirit.
Maybe 5 ft 1- 110 lbs -muscular and tanned by the sun.
3. His Sufferings
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
What hurts the most-is that when He is suffering for us-we do not recognized it-we even turn away or mock Him.
I was asked in a Bible study-that if Jesus came here-and acted and spoke like He did before-I might be part of those of conspired to have Him killed
The heaviest sin-we can do (blackhole woman- which we can only do with those we know-and not a stranger ) –like yours and mine… He bore in that tree…
Iniquities is indirect or passive sins –result of Adamic nature-we do-while transgression are active ones. We are deliberate in our sins.And they are all violations of the Law of God.
Let us distinguish between the different meanings of the word-Law:
- Law of Moses
- Law of Sin and Death
- Law –as the partition of the OT Scriptures
- Law as a time/economy/dispensation
- Law as a means of salvation
- Moral Law
- Law of God
- Law of the Spirit
- Law of Christ-or His commands
- Works of the Law- Conscience-which is really loyalty to what we perceive what is good and true
If it is the OT Scriptures as revelation, moral law, Law of God or Christ or the Spirit or the works of the Law (Conscience) –we are still clearly under as a way of life-a way of thankfulness-but no longer of salvation.
But if it is the Law of Moses, Law of sin and death –or a time/economy/dispensation and especially as a means of salvation-we are not under anymore- or directly under unless gone through the prism/filter of Jesus-His person and works- what He had done in behalf of us.
Here and Not Yet–
Stand in the left and right side of the stage –to emphasize the comparison
Most people does not know the balance. The Lord was wounded for our peace- and for our healings. Bot are true –but not totally now.
There is Resurrection power –we can know it – even with death, sickness , poverty and death- in dire situations –this is available to the Christian.
Php 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Php 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Php 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
Php 3:11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
–but unless not this situation- then there is health, wealth and security for the Christians
I must answer these questions –especially for someone who experienced the death of my nephew last year 2012 –through a drowning accident-and then this past few months –I went through medical examinations and then a colonoscopy –which I thought already have a colorectal cancer – and through many doctors-I need to address the questions –especially I went to Singapore where some of the two types of preachers are: the prosperity-health and wealth –and those who always asks for the commitment and contributions of their members.
I have to hurry up and tell you and warn you what I can.
There are those Word of Faith = like that of David Paul Yonggi- largest Korean church- A name it claim it teacher –which is a false teaching. Faith is not a magic trick-nor the name of Jesus –a magic word- an abracadabra-
Cho has said, “You create the presence of Jesus with your mouth…He is bound by your lips and by your words…Remember that Christ is depending upon you and your spoken word to release His presence.” 
Thus, Paul Yonggi Cho is criticized by many evangelicals for teaching that faith and prayer are methods to control God. In ‘Evangelicals Now’, April 1995, p.9, Cho is quoted, “God has a tremendous need, and we minister to his need of fellowship”.
In the name of Jesus –means based on his mediator ship/ high priesthood/ His guarantee/ his character –then I pray for it. I am not manipulating the Father for favors –but expectant of His concerns-because Jesus is my mediator.
A father knows best when to give gifts –petition him – like me –son asking for new shoes- but the shoes are old but still okay. But in the end –I might because of mercy –and then my pride –because he is mynson-I will grant him his request. So- Always ask. You don’t need to earn His favor-you are his son
I am not sure if Pastor Joseph Prince with a big church at Buono Vista-The Star Theater which holds 5000 seating capacity with 4 services and three satellites locations –is also a part of these-He is preacher of Radical grace but he acknowledge his debt to Kenneth Hagin –who is a Word of Faith preacher – except for his reliance on the Word and Grace instead of manipulations.
Meanwhile Ps Kong Hee of City Harvest Church –who always challenge his congregation for greater commitment and funds – was filed with criminal charges –misuse of charity funds 2012.
Ps Joseph Prince caution hastiness in judgment-and so these are the things happening to big churches in Singapore-and it ahs effects here inn the Philippines.
Being poor or sick or persecuted is not a sin or cause by our sins-in fact we might be righteous and still experience it –as I always read of those pastors in Muslim or Communist (North Korea & China) countries.
See this whole chapter:
2 Corinthians 4
5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Outwardly we are wasting away-but inwardly we are being renewed….
35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
The last enemy to be conquered in His 2nd Coming of Jesus is Death and its manifestations:
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Our being conqueror is not because of our situations –but in spite of our situations
Victor Frankl-survivor of Holocaust:
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how.'”
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.”
But it is very true that we are more than conquerors because we believe in Jesus:
1 John 5:3-5
3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
The prism of the Moral Law had transformed through Jesus in our time-the New Covenant. For the OT Jews- he sees God through the mediatorship of Moses-and His Laws. But now the Law is seen through Jesus.
Our relationship is now based on our loyalty to the Jesus- i.e. Lordship is the better issue regarding the life of a Christian.
Example in the office-for the new employee-he does not have to do the whole things I have done for the past 2 years-He just have to do what I tell him right here , right now. He does not have to impress me that he can do all things –for he cannot. But he just have to follow –what I need him to do –right here, right now.
But if someone wants to earn his salvation or impress God through the Law-he will find that the Law is hard taskmaster. If the Law is like a 1000 items quiz –if you fail in answering right-one item/one number-did you fulfill the Law? No! It must be perfect-1000- 100% correct all the time.
I rather be under the Lordship of Jesus/ being a fellow brother of Jesus- than be under the regime of the Law.
The law is hard master –but a good servant under the Lordship of Jesus the Messiah.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta –an Albanian by birth- served her whole life the untouched caste of India-and yet near the end of her life she was asked if she is sure to go to heaven when she dies-she only answered that-I hope so. There is no security or assurance as Scriptures says for those who believe in Jesus.
3. His Death
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
There was grave injustice in the trial of Jesus- done overnight-in fact before the annual Sabbath-there was haste in deciding against Him
But this injustice is not because of Him –but for His people- Israel or the elect.
His death between 2 thieves –and then using the tomb of Joseph Arimathea (a rich man) was prophesied sure and true.
He was truthful –even if it will incriminate Him-especially when He was asked under oath if He is the Messiah and Son of God.
4.Atonement and Justification:
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Part of the kerygma- substitutionary atonement- The Great exchange. His righteousness for our sins.
But this is easier said than done
What is needed:
- He must be both God and Man
- He must be sinless
- He must suffer a horrible death
- He must rise from the grave
- He must then ascend to heaven
- He must reign in behalf of man
Because we are NOT;
The wording using Many is hallmark of the teaching on definite atonement. Let us read our confessions on this:
Canons od Dordt
Second Head of Doctrine
Since, therefore, we are unable to make that satisfaction in our own persons, or to deliver ourselves from the wrath of God, He has been pleased of His infinite mercy to give His only begotten Son for our Surety, who was made sin, and became a curse for us and in our stead, that He might make satisfaction to divine justice on our behalf.
The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.
This death is of such infinite value and dignity because the person who submitted to it was not only really man and perfectly holy, but also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, which qualifications were necessary to constitute Him a Savior for us; and, moreover, because it was attended with a sense of the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin.
For this was the sovereign counsel and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of His Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation; that is, it was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father; that He should confer upon them faith, which, together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, He purchased for them by His death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them, free from every spot and blemish, to the enjoyment of glory in His own presence forever.
Rejection of Errors
The true doctrine having been explained, the Synod rejects the errors of those:
Who teach: That God the Father has ordained His Son to the death of the cross without a certain and definite decree to save any, so that the necessity, profitableness, and worth of what Christ merited by His death might have existed, and might remain in all its parts complete, perfect, and intact, even if the merited redemption had never in fact been applied to any person.
For this doctrine tends to the despising of the wisdom of the Father and of the merits of Jesus Christ, and is contrary to Scripture. For thus says our Savior: I lay down my life for the sheep, and I know them (John 10:15, 27). And the prophet Isaiah says concerning the Savior: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand (Isa. 53:10).
Jesus is more than enough- excess of needed- but it is applied to His children –just enough for their release. Mahigit at sapat. And yes-His grace is overwhelming exceeding what is needed for his children.
There is a different teaching which says that –theoretically Jesus died for all men –but it is upto man to apply it to themselves. There is also another teaching that says theoretically Jesus death is for all –but the application is only for the elect. The other is Arminianism-the other is Amyraldianism. Both are not true. For it divides the Father from His Son and Spirit-the Trinity-in their divine purpose. It also cheapens Jesus death –as if it is not enough to purchase everything for our salvation.
Like is Jesus death – a chance to win a ticket –or a chance to win the house and lot per se?
Is it like a Father who gifted His Son a house and lot- to find out that the tax and the furnitures, the paint-the CR is still incomplete?
Will you teach how to swim –to a drowning man? No-you save him-by swimming to him and getting him by the back and getting him safely ashore. Complete!
God the Father –in eternity loves the Son-and wants to give Mankind as a gift to His Son -and they know-in any scenario of the future that man-though sinless in creation will be tempted by Satan –and fell-because of Jealousy and Pride. _And so to insure such Gift-the Son decided-before the foundation of the world-to die for them-pay for the sake of His Father’s justice-their nature-their Triune hatred of sin. And the Spirit agrees to apply this to the elect-in time-complete with everything in it- Faith, Justification, Adoption, reconciliation, Born Again, Conversion, Sanctification and final Glorification.
Justification of the many v. 12- is a term to be used repeatedly by Paul –and is not a universalistic term-like all- but it refers to numbers- but still a definite number.
Also the predestination is always initially referred to Jesus – It is His will to crush him. It is through His election –that we are elected.
5. His Ascension & Reign
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
His resurrection is also mentioned in v11-“ After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied”
After resurrection-came His ascension-His reign over the nations –at the right hand of God.
It is also His High Priesthood is mentioned here-part and parcel of His Atonement v12b
It is said that Muslim empire prove their power – 1000 years of destroying churches North Africa and Southern Europe and Middle East- and that their intent now is to regain that power and extent of influence.
But the Son of Man will prove their undoing –for this is his spoils-and He will not be thwarted-and this is in the future. All His foes will later see the extent of His Ruling –because of His Dying.
- Because the Messiah is just like us-a common man- we should not be timid or shy in coming to him. He is not a superstar complexion-not a Regal baby
- Because He suffered felt the alienation of others-He can understand us –and knows the loneliness of the heart. Sometimes we hide these things from others-But the Messiah knows-and He understand these things. We should say these in prayer.
- Because He is just like us-and yet He is also our champion-our victor-our general –who went ahead in assaulting our enemy- It is appropriate to volunteer in His army –in extending His rule to others-through evangelism –through discipleship-by sharing the Good News about Jesus.
His Life is common-
and yet He died uncommon death-despised and forsaken-for our sake-for our healing-for our peace
Yet He triumped and won over sin,death and Satan in the cross-that is why he can grant –here and now-and there and in the future- salavation, Eternal life and presence of His Father in Heaven amongst His People and Angels
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.