Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 1 · 8 months ago

The Joy of Salvation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hebrews 12:1-14

Hebrews Chapter Twelve. Just a word about standing to hear the word read. I often attend during the week, in the middle of the week, services at a Lutheran Church and Bisarre sin of Lutheran Church Church where the Gospel is is clearly taught. Don't agree with everything they do, but one of the things they do is they have people stand for the reading of the Gospel. They don't require that for other portions of scripture. I don't agree with them on that, but there is something about standing for God's word and and helping you to see very clearly that that. I am going to be delivering a message this evening, but I don't claim infallibility for my interpretation or for my message. But this word of God is what you're going to be held accountable for, the truth that is here in God's word. So we begin our reading with Hebrews Chapter Twelve and verse one one. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted in your struggle against sin. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood, and have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons, for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline and which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly ...

...fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time, as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore, lift up your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Please be seated. I titled My sermon the Joy of salvation, and what prompted me to consider the subject was something that I caught myself doing, misquoting the Bible. Ever caught yourself doing that? I'm one of these people who sits in the Pew and listens very carefully to every word that the preacher says, and my pastor back home will tell you that on several occasions I've gone up to him afterwards and pointed out that he misspoke. I've heard preachers on the radio misspeak this particular verse. It's found in the sum that we sang earlier, Psalm fifty one, and it's in the King James It's restore to me the joy of THY salvation, and I'm going to blame the King James version for the misquotes, because what people do is they say restore to me the joy of my salvation. I've said that, I've heard other preachers say it. That's not what the verse says, and it's significant because if we see salvation as something that is our property,...

...that we have earned, that we have gained, I'm not sure where ever truly know the joy of it. The joy of salvation is to be found in the Lord. We call upon God, when we have come, confessing our sins and recognizing our guilt before him, to restore us to his joy, to the joy of salvation. And in our passage this evening here in Hebrews, Chapter Twelve, verse two, tells us that we're to be looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. If you were to think to yourself right now, what what do you really find joy in now, I hope that all of you would say that you find joy in God, that thinking about God brings joy to your mind. But I want to talk about more on an earthly level, thinking about the sources of our joy. Do you find joy in your parents, joy in your children? If you're married, do you find joy in your partner? Do you find joy in your children? Do you find joy in your grandchildren? And maybe...

...there's someone here this evening who has great grandchildren. I don't know that, but great grandchildren. I know. One of the things about grandchildren. I have none, three children. If you don't have children, you're not likely to have grandchildren, and even if you have children, you don't necessarily end up with grandchildren. And if you don't have grandchildren, you're very, very unlikely to ever grab great grandchildren. But grandchildren can bring great joy into a person's life. I've observed it in others and I guess one of the things about grandchildren as opposed to children is that you can send grandchildren home, can't you a little different? But we look at those things and we say that's that's joy. I find joy in that. Jesus found joy when he was facing the cross. Now that it should seem very strange to all of us, the joy that he saw was not in the cross itself, for we know that they're in the garden. He pleaded with the father, not my will, but THY will be done. Jesus, when he was here on this earth and as he exists he will exist now throughout eternity, is both God and man. Fully man, he had a will. Did you realize that he had a human will? And that's what he's speaking of there when he says not my will, but THY will be done. Jesus did not get pleasure from death, but what that death would accomplish. That Jesus went to the Cross for the joy that would be his in us. Now, I noticed in my study Bible here that there are two possibilities of interpreting this...

...phrase. For the joy that was set before him. They have a second one here that they say is less possible, less probable but possible, and they said it's in place of the joy set before him. And what that reading suggest is that that Jesus was willing to give up heaven to come and suffer. But I like that they said it was less probable. I personally believe it's impossible, because what it suggests is that he suffered. He chose to suffer instead of the joy that would have been his if he had refused to die. Well, I'm here to tell you this afternoon that if Jesus had refused to die, he would have been disobedient to the father, and that's an impossibility. There's no way that I can interpret this passage that way. It has to be that his joy in us was so great that he was willing to face that cross. And I cannot explain the cross to you here, when Jesus, quoting the Psalm from the cross, says my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I cannot explain that. I kind of have a basic, kind of grasp of the perimeters of the Trinity, that we must always believe that there is one God, but that we must also believe that the father is God, that the son is God, that the Holy Spirit is God. But what Jesus went through on that cross was so that we might know the forgiveness of sins. And so the writer to the Hebrews goes on to say, consider him who endeared, endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. He points out to his readers here that they have not resisted to the point of blood shedding. Block that God brings disciplines into our lives, difficult things, but the things that God calls us to endure, could they...

...ever compare to what Jesus had to endure when bad things happened to us, and someone wrote a book about that, when bad things happened to good people? Well, speaking as a calvinist, I think there's a problem with the categories there. There are no good people in themselves and the bad things that happened to us here are nothing compared to what we deserve. But we are called upon to endure very difficult trials in this life. Look at job, look what he went through, the loss of his property, those things could be replaced. The loss of his children. I've not had to experience that. I know people who have, who've lost a child. I cannot imagine what that would be like. My youngest daughter wants me to live as old as my uncle did, but an uncle lived to be a hundred and four and she said she wants me to live that long and I told her, I said, Alicia, I'm not sure I want to live on that Earth, this earth, that long. And she said why, Daddy, and I said well, for one thing, I'm not sure all three of my children will still be living and you don't want to outlive your children, but it happens. You don't want to go through some of the very painful experiences of life, but they do occur and some of those things come into our lives to discipline us. I never seek to place myself in a position of judging the trials that come into the lives of others. There people. It's interesting. I paint houses for a living and when people think of me, how this painter, they talk to me one way. When they find out I'm a preacher, they'll talk to me entirely different and people will ask me questions about but why did why this? Why that? And some of the...

...questions sometimes even have about their personal lives. Why did this happen? And I don't have those answers. But I do know that for a believer, nothing comes into your life except that which God has planned and the things that we suffer in this life are temporal. Take Job for an example, something I realized that the teenager was fascinating. Someone pointing this out to me that when job is restored at the end of the book, and I'm giving away the end of the book. If you haven't read it, do read it if you get a chance. Job, at the end of the book is all of his property is restored, the camels, the donkeys, everything twofold. He ended up with trice as much stuff as he's very rich man to start with. He end up with twice as much stuff in the end. The Lord blessed him except for one thing, well, two things. He still only had one wife, but children. He got the same number of children until someone pointed out to me that was telling job that your children are alive, they're in heaven there with the Lord and the number of your children is doubled. What a beautiful assurance. If you do go through such a tragic event as to lose some one, well you don't really lose them. There's a man back in sterling someone after his wife died. They approached him in the restaurant. He was there in the local restaurant and came over to him and said I was really sorry to hear that you lost your wife, and he looked Guy Straight and then I says I didn't lose my wife. I know exactly where she is. But when we look for a source of joy, where are we going to find it? Turn with me to first Peter Chapter Four. First Peter Chapter Four and and verses twelve through fourteen.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you, to test you as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice, in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you, suffering for Christ's sake. Again, I don't know how much that's happened to you. Peter goes on to talk about people who suffer because of their own crimes, as an evildoer, and that's that's not got a reward attached to it, but suffering for Christ. And I can't help but believe, because of the patterns that I have seen in our culture here in America and worldwide, that the time is very near when more and more believers are going to be called upon to suffer for the sake of Christ. Might not be thrown in jail or physically abused, but you might lose a job, you might lose friends over it, you might find yourself isolated. But if it's for the name of Christ, you're blessed, because God's spirit of glory rests upon you. Turn with me to Peter Chapter One. Now for s Peter Chapter One and verses three through nine. Blessed be the God and father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born againto a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who, by God's power, are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now, for a little while if...

...necessary. You have been greed by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and build with glory obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to to be yours searched and inquired, carefully, inquiring what persons are. TIMES, the spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which the angels long to look. I've never seen Jesus. I don't know if any of you would claim that you had ever physically seen Jesus with your own eyes, but you believe in him, you believe in the one whom you have not seen, and you rejoice. There is joy, a joy that is inexpressible, a joy that is wonderful. Now, finally, John Chapter Sixteen, beginning with birth.

Sixteen. John Sixteen, beginning with birth, sixteen, Jesus speaking to his disciples there the night before before he dies, a little while and you will see me no longer, and again a little while and you will see me. So some of his disciples said to one another, what is this that he says to us? A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me, and because I am going to the father. So they were saying, what does he mean by a little while? We do not know what he's talking about. Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him. So he said to them. Is this what you are asking yourselves what I mean by saying a little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish for the joy that a human being has borne born into the world. So also, you have sorrow for now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you. In that day, you will ask nothing of me, truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the father in my name, he will give it to you. Till now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive that your joy maybe full. When Jesus there speaks about the birth of a child, I take that quite personally. Now I'm not claiming I have ever given birth to a child. Don't get me wrong, I'm not confused about that, but I was actually present. I have five sisters and my father was not in the delivery room for one of his birth I was in the delivery room for all three of my children's births and the difficulty that is involved in giving birth, the sorrow that he talks about, is real. But once that baby is...

...delivered, I got to stand there and see the look on my wife's face when she was handed that little baby and the delight. and Jesus is telling his disciples you're going to go through some very difficult things and for them there was going to come a time when the world would be rejoicing those who had persecuted Jesus and wanted to see him dead. And the disciples who ran. Only one of them, John was present to actually witness the crucifixion of Jesus, standing there with Jesus Mother Mary. The joy that was theirs, though, when they saw the risen Lord, and the joy that is going to be yours and mind when we stand in the presence of our risen Lord, when he raises US bodily from the dead, or if we're doubly blest and we happened to be living at the time of his return, were changed in a moment. Do not have to experience death. That joy, that joy makes it all worthwhile, just as the joy that Christ has in every sinner that repents and comes in faith to him. Jesus said there's more joy in heaven among the angels over one sinner that repents. And yet we're told here, the told in our passage, that the angels seek to look into those things and they can't comprehend them. And the reason they can't comprehend them is that they have never been sinners. Holy Angels Have Never Been Sinners, they've never been guilty, they've never been lost, and they look at a mate...

...in amazement as God takes sinners such as us and makes us saints and ultimately will perfect us. If you can't find joy in your current circumstances, can you not find joy in your ultimate destination? Let's look to God in prayer.

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