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The Sufferings of Christ

Introduction: Different Take on Persecution – In Back to Jerusalem (pages 57-58), one of the house church leaders of China sends this message to Western Christians: “The past fifty years of suffering, persecution, and torture of the house churches in China were all part of God’s training for us. He has used the government for his own purposes, molding and shaping his children as he sees fit. That is why I correct Western Christians who tell me: ‘I’ve been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom.’ This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on it. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, ‘the government will be on his shoulders’ (Isaiah 9:6). Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God. Don’t pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.”

    1. Made Lower Than the Angels (Psalm 8:4-5)
    2. Crowned with Glory and Honor (Revelation 19:11-12)
    3. Tasting Death for Every Man
      1. Potentially, Christ Paid the Price for All Men
        1. He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9)
        2. He takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)
        3. He draws all men unto Him (John 12:32)
        4. He died for all (2 Corinthians 5:15)
        5. He gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6)
        6. He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2)
        7. He bought those who deny Him (2 Peter 2:1)
      2. Practically, Christs Payment is Applied to Those Who Believe
        1. Specially of those that believe (1 Timothy 4:10)
        2. That whosoever believeth on Him (John 3:16)
        3. To whosoever shall confess Him (1 John 4:14-15)
    1. The Preeminence of Christ (Colossians 1:18)
      1. By whom are all things
      2. For whom are all things (Revelation 4:11)
    2. The Purpose of Christ To Bring Many Sons to Glory
    3. The Perfection of Christ
      1. The word perfect does not mean sinless in the Bible. The etymology of the word shows the main idea of the word to be finished. To be perfect means to be complete in all respects; without defect or omission; sound; to be in a condition of excellence.
      2. His work was finished on the cross (John 19:30)
      3. He was perfected in His resurrection (Luke 13:32)
      4. He was made perfect through sufferings (Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:8-9)
        1. He learned obedience (Hebrews 5:8; Philippians 2:8; Mark 14:32-36)
        2. He became the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9)
        3. He became one with His brethren (Hebrews 2:10-11)
        4. He became the succourer of those tempted (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15)
    1. His Oneness with the Brethren
      1. Joining sanctifier with sanctified
      2. Unashamed to call them brethren
    2. His Meeting with the Brethren (Hebrews 2:12-13)
      1. He declares His name to them (Hebrews 2:12)
      2. He meets with them in the church (Hebrews 2:12; Psalm 22:22; Matthew 18:20; 1 Timothy 3:15)
      3. The grounds of His meeting (Hebrews 2:13)
        1. Faith
        2. Fellowship

Conclusion: On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand – Samuel Stennett (1727-1795) was the English Baptist preacher who wrote the hymn, On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand. His testimony continued to the end of his life. “During his last illness, Stennett spoke in glowing terms of Christ’s finished work. He said, ‘When I reflect upon the suffering of Christ, I am ready to say, “What have I been thinking of all my life?” What He did and suffered are now my only support.’ And again he exclaimed to his son, ‘Christ is to me the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely.’ On August 25, 1795, in his sixty-eighth year, Samuel Stennett passed into glory. His body was laid to rest in Bunhill Fields along with so many other Baptists and dissenters.” –from This Day in Baptist History (p.226).