Sermon Preached on 7th June 2020
As we focus our thoughts on the cross this morning, ( We’ll be taking communion shortly ) I thought I’d share some teaching about ‘what Jesus has achieved for us’ , through His ‘Atoning Sacrifice’ on the cross.
The Christians focus must always be on Jesus, and I want to emphasise at the start that all that God has done for mankind’s salvation is centred on Christ, revolves around Christ.
And I want to remind us and emphasise again that Jesus Christ’s ‘Atoning Death’ on the cross is ‘Sufficient’ for our salvation. ‘Remember Sufficient’
There is nothing that we can add to what Jesus has done to make it more sufficient.
Lot’s of people are taught in their varying denominations that they have to add something to what Christ has done.
Therefore, for them, salvation means trusting in Christ, plus, trusting in themselves, in there living a good life, being a good person. That’s False !!
The Bible clearly teaches that we can’t add anything to what Christ has done with regards to our salvation.
All that Christ has done with regards to achieving our salvation is ‘Sufficient’. ( The word sufficient means: Enough – Adequate )
Let me read some words from the Apostle Paul. But he ( Jesus ) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ 2 Corinthians c12 v9
Paul is writing to the church at Corinth, explaining some of the things that he had to contend with, and he mentions the words of Jesus given to him.
Jesus said to Paul: ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ And Jesus says that to us all. Jesus’ grace is sufficient in each and every circumstance.
This morning, I want to say that Jesus’ grace is sufficient to save us, and there is nothing we can add to it.
I have four points for brief consideration this morning. Four ‘R’s’
Christ’s grace is ‘Sufficient’ to:
Rescue us from the wrath of God.
Redeem us from the justice of God.
Restore us to a righteous state before God.
Reconcile us into fellowship with God.
First point: Christ’s grace is ‘Sufficient’ to: Rescue us from the wrath of God.
The Apostle John writes in his Gospel, c3 v36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. John c3 v36
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans c1 v18-20 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
These two portions of scripture tell us that the wrath of God, ‘Remains’ or ‘Abides’ on those who reject Him.
These two portions of scripture show us that God has clearly revealed Himself to the human race, and we are without excuse in not believing in Him.
He has revealed Himself through His creation, that is what Paul says.
He has revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ, that is what John says.
( God has also revealed Himself to us through His Word the Bible )
So, the Gospel teaches us that God’s wrath, His ‘Righteous Anger’, is settled against godless sinful people who reject Him, Father, Son & Holy Spirit, God’s wrath is against those who supress the truth.
Now there is a lot of ‘Righteous Anger’ going on in the world today.
Anger over the mistakes made with regards to how we’ve dealt with the Coronavirus. ( Lack of PPE etc - Dominic Cummings etc ) Anger over the racist murder of George Floyd in America.
People should get angry over these types of things. It’s OK to be angry at things that are wrong. Greed – Incompetence – Injustice – Persecution etc.
I’ll call this type of anger, a ‘Right Anger’. We as human beings can have a right or righteous anger.
And therefore, it’s not difficult to understand God’s ‘Right & Righteous Anger’ His ‘Wrath’.
And the fact is, God is angry that we as the human race should reject Him, and reject His Son.
Just for a minute, put yourself in God’s place. If you gave up your child, willingly sacrificed your child’s life to save others, and then those people laughed at you for doing so, considered what you’d done to be irrelevant, would you be angry? Just a bit !!
That is what the world has done to God, that is what the creation has done to its creator.
Therefore, the wrath of God remains on people.
‘But’, remember, God is a God of Grace.
And His grace is Sufficient to rescue us from the wrath of God.
Do you remember this verse from Titus that I shared last week?
Titus c2 v11: For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
Jesus, the physical embodiment of God’s grace has appeared, and He offers salvation.
Jesus offers us a way to be rescued from the awful holy righteous wrath of God.
And it is through faith in Him, faith in His ‘Atoning Sacrifice’ upon Calvary’s Cross, faith in His substitutionary death.
When Jesus died, He took the wrath of God upon Himself. He placated the wrath of God. He exhausted the wrath of God. So that those who trust in Him are free from the wrath of God. Hallelujah, what a saviour.
And remember, all that Christ has done in coming to rescue His people is sufficient. Nothing can be added to it. Jesus cried from the cross: “It is Finished”, mission accomplished, job done.
So, firstly, ‘The grace of Jesus is Sufficient to Rescue us from the Wrath of God.’
Secondly: The Grace of Jesus is Sufficient to Redeem us from the Justice of God.
What do I mean by that? Well, we understand and we acknowledge that God is a God of Grace, a God of Mercy, a God of Love, a God of Compassion, a God of Comfort, a God of Kindness etc.
But God is also a God of Justice. Justice is an extremely important thing, concept.
( Again, just look at what’s been going on in America )
Justice is important for humanity, and justice is important for God.
I’m glad that the God of the Bible is a God of Justice, Truth, Fairness, Impartiality and Equity.
For me, God wouldn’t be God if He wasn’t.
So, how as Christ redeemed us from the justice of God?
Well, the thought of redeeming something as to do with having to make a payment to get something.
The common illustration to help us understand redemption comes from the ‘Slave Market’.
To redeem a slave, to enable a slave to become free, you would have to pay a price for him or her. ( Paying a ransom is a similar idea. A payment is made for a persons freedom ) do you follow that?
So, with that thought in mind, the paying of a price, let’s apply it to what Christ has done for us.
Firstly, another concept which is easy to understand is that, if you break a law, then there will be a penalty to pay, a price or a punishment as a consequence. This is Justice, this is right.
This principle is applicable in everyday life. This principle is what societies are built and governed on. Would you agree with that?
So…, we must acknowledge that God is the ultimate power and authority in the universe, He is our creator, therefore He sets the rules, He gives us the laws to be governed by.
People may suppress this truth because of their sin, but it still remains a fact.
Now our problem is that we’ve all broken those laws that God has given to us.
We’re all guilty of breaking God’s commandments, we’ve all transgressed His law, we’re all guilty sinners, and consequently God’s Justice demands that a penalty be paid, a price be paid, a punishment be incurred.
Now God’s Justice doesn’t just demand that we get a slap on the wrist for breaking His law.
Breaking God’s law is a serious thing, and His justice demands that a penalty be incurred, that penalty, that price, that punishment is death.
The Bible says: ‘The wages of sin is death’ Romans c6 v23 That is, eternal death in hell.
Now that might seem extremely harsh, but who are we, the created, to question the justice of the creator?
God’s Justice is perfect because God is perfect. Human justice is flawed and corrupted. God’s Justice is righteous and true. And no one can escape God’s Justice because He sees and knows everything.
And God’s verdict of the human race is: ‘Guilty law breakers, guilty sinners’.
But remember, yes God is a God of Justice, and that is vitally important, but He is also a God of Grace and Mercy.
And He has made a way possible for us to be redeemed from the Justice of God.
And it is through trusting in Jesus as our ‘Substitute’, as our ‘Saviour’.
Jesus redeems us from the Justice of God by paying the penalty that we should have to pay, by paying the price that we should have to pay, and by suffering the punishment that we should have to incur.
Remember, the Bible says: ‘The Wages of Sin is Death’, and Jesus received our wages, He died in our place to redeem us.
Mark c10 v45 says: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
A payment was demanded by God for the redemption of His people, that payment was the life of His Son Jesus. ( A mystery yes, but true…. )
The reality dear friends, either we pay the penalty for our law breaking and sin, which means hell, or we ask Jesus to pay it for us.
Either we are judged by God for our sin, or Jesus is.
And Jesus will willingly do that for us, because He is full of Grace, and His Grace is Sufficient to redeem us from the justice of God.
Third point: The Grace of Jesus is Sufficient to Restore us to a Righteous State before God.
Now the Bible says that everyone is conceived in sin. We read the words of David in Psalm 51 v5: Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
This is the natural state of every human being. This is the state we inherited from our actual parents who were sinners before us.
And this is the state we inherited from our original parents Adam & Eve.
Everyone is a sinner because of Adam & Eve. ( We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners. It’s our nature to sin )
So, this is not good news is it? As I’ve already stated, God’s Wrath remains on godless sinners, and His Justice demands that a penalty be paid because of their sin and transgression.
But, as I’ve said already on numerous occasions, the God of the Bible is a God of Grace and Mercy.
And He has made a way possible through the cross of Christ for our sin problem to be dealt with.
The ‘Atoning Sacrifice’ of Jesus upon the cross was sufficient to placate the wrath of God, and was sufficient to fulfil the demands of God’s Righteous Justice.
Therefore, as a consequence: Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32 v1-2
And also those wonderful verses from Micah c7 v18-19:
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry for ever but delight to show mercy.19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Now, through God’s Grace, and through Faith, we can be restored to the people we were created to be, the state we are meant to be. Righteous and Holy.
Our innocence was lost in the Garden of Eden, but our innocence was restored at the Cross.
( And let me just mention also that another aspect of God's Justice is that God cannot condemn those who've trusted in Christ. He cannot hold their sin against them because it was held against Jesus when He hung on the cross. Romans c8 v1 says: There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. )
If you’re a Christian you’ve been ‘Justified through Faith’. That means that you’ve been made right with God, you’ve been declared righteous in God’s sight through faith.
Faith which is a gift from God because of His Grace. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians c2 v8: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Remember, our self-righteousness is as ‘Filthy Rags’ to God. The only righteousness acceptable to God is that of His Son Jesus. And that perfect righteousness of Christ is ‘Imputed’ to us through faith.
That is the only way that we can be restored to a ‘Righteous State’ before God. Made fit for His presence, made fit for heaven.
The battle for every Christian is to be in practice and life now, what we are in status and will be in eternity, righteous, obedient, holy, Godly.
So, the grace of Jesus is sufficient to restore us to a righteous state before God.
And now my final point. The Grace of Jesus is Sufficient to Reconcile us to fellowship with God.
So, the Grace of Jesus is Sufficient to placate the wrath of God, fulfil the demands of God’s justice and declare us righteous before God. These are wonderful results that come through the Gospel.
And these make it possible for us to be brought into fellowship and friendship with God.
Before we were Rescued, before we were Redeemed, before we were Restored, we were hostile towards God, we were at enmity with God.
Because of sin, we were alienated from God, with no knowledge of Him, no relationship with Him.
That was us prior to our conversion. But, through the all sufficient grace of God expressed in Christ, we can be reconciled.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans c5 v10: For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Paul says in Ephesians c2 that we were dead in our transgressions and sin.
Our lungs may have breathed, our hearts may have beat, our feet may have walked, but we were dead.
Dead inside to the knowledge, the wonder, the glory of Almighty God. But, we were made alive in Christ.
We were washed, we received rebirth, and now we are being renewed day by day, through God’s Spirit, in fellowship with God, Father, Son & Spirit.
This is salvation, this is true Christianity. We have open access into God’s presence. We have a personal relationship with God through Christ.
We are friends with God, reconciled through the precious blood of Christ.
Here’s two wonderful verses, Ephesians c1 v7: In him ( Jesus ) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
And Ephesians c2 v13: But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
I’ll close because of the time. Now please realise. One day, we’ll be completely Rescued, completely Redeemed, completely, Restored and completely Reconciled when we’re in glory with Jesus.
Until then, remember that the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is ‘Sufficient’.
Sufficient in all circumstances, in all seasons.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He is ours.