Hypothetically, what if someone approached me and said that if I offered myself as a sacrifice, then EVERYTHING would go back to the way it was prior to Covid-19, and that Covid-19 would no longer have an effect on anyone – ever. And what if I agreed to this plan / this vaccine (sacrifice of myself) that would make everyone else completely well? Would the world show appreciation for my sacrifice? This morning I’d like for us to consider what Christ did as a substitute for each and every one of us. How then can we show our appreciation to Him for what He did in our place? Take the following words and passages into consideration and see how the Lord would have you to apply these truths.
Question: "What is the substitutionary atonement?"
Answer: The substitutionary atonement refers to Jesus Christ dying as a substitute for sinners. The Scriptures teach that all men are sinners (Romans 3:9-18, 23). The penalty for our sinfulness is death. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
That verse teaches us several things. Without Christ, we are going to die and spend an eternity in hell as payment for our sins. Death in the Scriptures refers to a “separation.” Everyone will die, but some will live in heaven with the Lord for eternity, while others will live a life in hell for eternity. The death spoken of here refers to the life in hell. However, the second thing this verse teaches us is that eternal life is available through Jesus Christ. This is His substitutionary atonement.
Jesus Christ died in our place when He was crucified on the cross. We deserved to be the ones placed on that cross to die because we are the ones who live sinful lives. But Christ took the punishment on Himself in our place—He substituted Himself for us and took what we rightly deserved. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Here again we see that Christ took the sins we committed onto Himself to pay the price for us. A few verses later we read, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Not only do these verses teach us about the substitute that Christ was for us, but they also teach that He was the atonement, meaning He satisfied the payment due for the sinfulness of man.
One more passage that talks about the substitutionary atonement is Isaiah 53:5. This verse talks about the coming Christ who was to die on the cross for our sins. The prophecy is very detailed, and the crucifixion happened just as it was foretold. “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.” Notice the substitution. Here again we see that Christ paid the price for us!
We can only pay the price of sin on our own by being punished and placed in hell for all eternity. But God’s Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to pay for the price of our sins. Because He did this for us, we now have the opportunity to not only have our sins forgiven, but to spend eternity with Him. In order to do this we must place our faith in what Christ did on the cross. We cannot save ourselves; we need a substitute to take our place. The death of Jesus Christ is the substitutionary atonement. https://www.gotquestions.org/substitutionary-atonement.html
Isaiah 53:6 (NLT) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.
The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in…
Romans 5:6-21 (NLT) Christ in our Place
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Adam and Christ Contrasted
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (NLT)
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Message Title: Growing Deeper Together
Passage: Hebrews 10:19-25 (NIV) [Notice the three “let us” commands in this passage, and more specifically we’ll focus on the last command for today’s challenge…]
A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
At about the 4:49:45 to the 4:50:15 mark (in the link below), Pastor Sol at Cornerstone Church in Ames, Iowa points out that “53 times the Apostle Paul refers to the Christian faith, and he says, ‘Our Lord.’ And only one time he says ‘my Lord.’ Which tells us something about how he intends for us to walk with our Lord. It’s a together thing…it’s a team sport, this is a community…[and we need community in order] to walk well with Christ.” https://cornerstonelife.com/live/
What’s your community? Are you in one?
Here’s one practical way in which you can grow deeper together with other believers…
Pastor Mark Vance reminds us at the 4:32:45 to the 4:33:33 mark, that “membership at a church is a lot different than a membership at a country club. Because membership at a country club is just trying to be ritzy so people think you’re a big deal. Membership at a church is different. Because when we say membership, we don’t mean like buying into something [(money-wise / flaunting our money)], membership in a church is based on the teaching of the scripture where it says that when we are in Christ we are members of one another because we are part of His body. Membership means inter-connected. It’s what it means to say I don’t just go to this Church, this is my church, I’m invested in it. I want to be faithful to see this church and the people in it and its ministry of the gospel grow and go forward.” https://cornerstonelife.com/live/
What steps are you taking in order to grow deeper together with other believers so you can grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as well (2 Peter 3:18)?
We met as a group on 8-8-20. We had 17 men present and one new attendee. Kent Reed was our guest speaker. He did a fabulous job describing his story and then concluding with how he’s seen the blessings from God in it all.
Here's the link to the live stream...https://youtu.be/DNI8_jX9DzM
Kent explained a little about his sister who’s had MS for much of her life. He’s learned many life lessons from her which little did he know would prepare him for what was to come in his own life. She taught him to make the most of each day, regardless of your circumstances, and to see the best in life at all times.
On June 2nd of 2016 Kent was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, which altered his life significantly. He and his family love motorcycles and are firm believers in wearing a helmet when out on the road. This particular day Kent was just going for a short ride with his daughter to get her a tape measure for her college dorm room — he didn’t feel as though he needed his helmet for this adventure…so he set it aside and put it on the bench in his parents garage. What he’s come to find out in research since then is that most accidents happen within 3 miles of your home. As they were riding on this short journey Kent needed to make a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. He thought he’d looked carefully and allowed the first vehicle to pass and then he was going to proceed. His eyes missed seeing a van also approaching on this two-lane highway. Before he knew it, they got sideswiped. The van threw Kent and his daughter from the bike. Kent remembers sitting in the gravel alongside the road with a laceration on the back of his head, which ended up being more serious than he originally thought. His daughter Lizzy, on the other hand, came out of the accident with very few minor injuries.
Kent was rushed to the hospital, and immediately put into a comma. He had suffered from the accident three fractures in his skull, a brain bleed, and a heart flutter. When Kent came out of a comma he had an intubation tube and neck brace on. The tube was so uncomfortable…he attempted to communicate to his cousin to help him remove the tube, but to no avail. A day and a half after coming out of a comma he had 25 friends / family come visit him…they were unsure if he’d make it so they wanted to be there for him. Kent recalls feeling so much guilt for not wearing his helmet, but very blessed to find his mind still working…though he did suffer some memory loss.
Kent spent eight days in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. During his time there he needed assistance from nurses and from a walker. Kent’s wife helped him recoup at his parents house for the first week. In that first week he experienced horrible headaches and much discomfort. Kent decided to take notes on his phone during this entire process…we’ll hit on that in his blessings section below. He’d often have to see an Occupational Therapist, and since he had a seizure in the ER he too had to see a Neurologist. Because of the seizure he also loss his license for 6 months. When it was time to retake the driving and written tests he found the experience tougher than he’d imagined…he barely passed either one. Each of these experiences were VERY humbling to have to go through.
Kent’s accident caused him to ask himself this question, “What will I do with the rest of my life?” He was excited to share the answer the Lord gave him with his daughters (his wife knew he was a dreamer so he went to his daughters first). His plan was to come up with a foundation that would make it possible to pay back/forward to medics/ER workers/and Veterans. Out of that discussion arose AmericanBraun.US and then the development of an advisory board. Kent was so excited to see this dream moving forward that he was full on ready to have a rally to get it started.
Someone gently reminded Kent that we all need to crawl before we walk, and walk before we can run. Eventually the rally did take place. He has t-shirts made. Dinner was provided. 60 people showed up and Kent was able to share his passion/vision and to raise a good amount of money to start with. A couple of months later he launched the second rally in Des Moines. 70 showed up to this one, and he was able to raise 3K. Since then he has partnered with Stop Soldier Suicide, and has raised a grand total of a little over 20K. His foundation has been able to give away nearly 19K to help the causes he set out to help with. He’s enjoyed meeting their specific needs and seeing the smiles on their faces in person. It brings Kent great joy to see where these raised dollars are going.
Since Covid hit it has been difficult making contacts via Zoom, and to keep the drive alive / moving forward. But nonetheless, he’s super excited to be here today and to be living.
The MAIN thing he learned is that all blessings come from the Lord. He believes in no such thing as “luck.” Here are a few blessings he’s kept notes on throughout this recovery process…
We all have choices to make in life. We can choose to blame God and become bitter towards Him. Or we can choose to humble ourselves before Him, and trust that He’s got our best interest in mind at all times. (Book of John…why did this happen? for His glory). We can choose to give up on life, or give life our absolute best. What’s interesting is that when it comes to our physical well-being we choose to give it our all so we can get back to 100%. Yet sometimes when we have a BROKEN fellowship with the Lord because of our decision to continue to live in sin, we’re somehow good with that. We need to use Scripture to fend off our enemy when we feel like giving up and giving in.
Praise God for men who can share relatable experiences. We’ve recently heard from Terry Freeborn, Jared Johnston and now Kent Reed…men who have allowed the Lord to take them through some deep valley’s. Now each of them are on the mountain tops cheering others on to get to where they are. What a huge benefit and resource for our Ox Strong group, community, pastors and churches.
Be looking for men to help in their time of need, and be willing and humbled enough to be helped in your time of need.
Song: Give me your eyes…for Humanity by Brandon Heath
Point #1: What have been some problematic mindsets/responses/results towards repentant adult believers?
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 2 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter