Subject:The great works of God involved in
Date:Tuesday Evening - February 9, 1993
long, long time ago Jonathan Edwards, the first president of PrincetonUniversity, wrote an excellent book,
which he called “The History of
Redemption.” I cannot begin to talk about it as well as Mr. Edwards wrote
about it, but I have borrowed the title of my message from him. If the Lord
will enable me, I want to talk to you tonday about The History of Redemption. I have two texts I want you to
read with me.
·Job 33:24 - Redemption begins here.
Job 33:24"Then he is gracious unto
him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a
·1 Corinthians - Redemption is finished
Corinthians 15:24"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,
even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and
I am using the word “redemption” in a very broad sense. Sometimes the word
redemption is used in a very limited sense, referring to the purchase of
deliverance and salvation for God’s elect by the blood of Christ (Heb. ; Gal. ).
Hebrews "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but
by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained
eternal redemption for us."
Galatians "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"
But frequently the word “redemption” is used in a
very broad sense, and includes all the works of God by which sinners are
delivered from the ruins of the fall (Psa. 130:7-8; Rom. ; 1 Cor. ; Eph. ; ).
130:7-8"Let Israel hope in the LORD:
for with the LORD there is mercy, and
with him is plenteous redemption. (8) And he shall redeem Israel from all his
Romans 8:23"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
Corinthians "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God
is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and
Ephesians "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Ephesians "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
I am using the word
“redemption” in this very broad sense, as it refers to all the works of God by
which we are delivered from the fall of our father Adam.
Proposition:Everything that God does, or
allows to be done, he does for the redemption of his people. Everything is
subservient to God’s purpose of grace in redemption.
Mr. Edwards was exactly right
when he wrote - “God’s main work in providence is this of redemption...the
creation of heaven was in order to the work of redemption; as a habitation for
the redeemed (Matt. 25:34). Even the angels were created to be employed in this
work (Heb. ). As to this lower world, it was doubtless created
to be a stage upon which this great and wonderful work of redemption should be
transacted. Therefore...this lower world is wisely fitted, in its formation,
for such a state of man as he is in since the fall, under a possibility of
Scriptures reveal that God has a fivefold purpose in this
great work of redemption. Here are five things God is determined to accomplish
by the redemption of his people.
1.God is determined to put all his enemies under his feet (1 Cor. ).
Corinthians "For he must reign, till he hath put all
enemies under his feet."
goodness will at last be triumphant. He has sovereignly arranged all things so
that Satan shall be confounded and the works of Satan, all the works of Satan
shall be destroyed (Gen. 3:15; 1 John 3:8).
Genesis "And I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou
shalt bruise his heel."
1 John 3:8"He that committeth sin is of the
devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
2. It is God’s purpose to retrieve his creation from the ruins of the fall
Acts 3:19-21"Repent ye therefore, and be
converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing
shall come from the presence of the Lord;
(20) And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: (21) Whom the heaven must receive until
the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of
all his holy prophets since the world began."
Man’s soul was ruined by the
fall. The image of God in man was marred. Man’s nature was corrupted. He became
dead in sin. It is God’s design to restore the souls of his chosen to life, to
restore his elect to the image of his Son, in whose image we were created. This
he does by regeneration, conversion, sanctification, and glorification.
Man’s body was also ruined. By
the fall our bodies became subject to death. The design of God is to restore
the body. Not only will he deliver our bodies from death in the resurrection,
he will deliver us from mortality! He will make our bodies, like Christ’s
glorious body, bodies of immortality!
The world was ruined by the fall
too, as effectively as if it had been reduced to chaos again. But God has
determined to create a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth
righteousness (Isa. 65:17; 2 Pet. ).
Isaiah 65:17"For, behold, I create new
heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into
2 Peter "And shall receive the reward of
unrighteousness, as they that count
it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they
are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they
feast with you."
Satan shall be triumphant
nowhere! The slime of the serpent’s trail shall be totally expunged from God’s
3. Another great design of God in the work of redemption is to gather
together in one all things in Christ (Eph. ).
Ephesians 1:10"That in the dispensation of the fulness
of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are
in heaven, and which are on earth; even in
All elect creatures in heaven and in earth, elect
angels and elect men shall at last be perfectly united in the Lord Jesus
Christ, who is Head over all things (Heb. 12:22-24).
Hebrews 12:22-24"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and
unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable
company of angels, (23) To the
general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and
to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (24) And to Jesus the mediator of the
new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
4. God’s purpose is to perfect and complete the glory of his elect in
Christ (1 Cor. 2:9).
1 Corinthians 2:9"But as it is written, Eye hath
not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things
which God hath prepared for them that love him."
He is determined to make his people perfectly holy
and perfectly happy forever. God intends to bring us to perfect excellency and beauty in his holy image. He intends to bring
us into the highest degree of honor and glory and to raise us to ineffable
heights of pleasure and satisfaction with his dear Son.
5. In all this work of redemption God is determined to get glory to
himself (Eph. 1:6, 11, 14).
Ephesians 1:6"To the praise of the glory of
his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Ephesians "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated
according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his
Ephesians "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the
purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
God will be glorified in us and by us before
wondering worlds (Eph. 2:7; Rev. 5:9-12).
Ephesians 2:7"That in the ages to come he
might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Revelation 5:9-12"And they sung a new song,
saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for
thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred,
and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And
hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the
voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and
the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of
thousands; (12) Saying with a loud
voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and
wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."
Indeed, all things shall praise and magnify the name
of our God (Psa. 76:16; Prov. 16:4; Rev. 5:13).
Psalms 76:10"Surely the wrath of man shall
praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."
Proverbs 16:4"The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked
for the day of evil."
Revelation 5:13"And every creature which is in heaven,
and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that
are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the
throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
work by which God will accomplish this great and glorious purpose is
redemption, the deliverance of his elect from the fall by Christ. Follow me in
your Bibles as I show you The History
of Redemptionin seven great events.
I. THE HISTORY OF REDEMPTION BEGINS WITH OUR SURETY’S
COVENANT ENGAGEMENT ON OR BEHALF BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN(Job
33:24; Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Rev. 13:8).
Job 33:24"Then he is gracious unto him,
and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom."
Ephesians 1:3-6"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us
with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ: (4) According as he
hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be
holy and without blame before him in love:
(5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ
to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made
us accepted in the beloved."
2 Timothy 1:9-10"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according
to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in
Christ Jesus before the world began, (10)
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who
hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through
Revelation 13:8"And all that dwell upon the
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
the world was created, when God dwelt alone in the splendor of his ineffable
glory, the Lord Jesus Christ stood as the Surety of the covenant of God’s
grace, and guaranteed the accomplishment of our salvation (Psa. 40:6-8; Isa.
Psalms 40:6-8"Sacrifice and offering thou
didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering
hast thou not required. (7) Then said
I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it
is written of me, (8) I delight
to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is
within my heart."
Isaiah 50:5-7"The Lord GOD hath opened mine
ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that
plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (7) For the Lord GOD will help me;
therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be ashamed."
·There was an election of grace (2 Thess. ).
2 Thessalonians 2:13"But we are bound to give thanks alway
to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the
beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief
of the truth:"
·There was a covenant made (Heb. ).
Hebrews "Now the God of peace, that brought again from
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of
the everlasting covenant,"
·Christ stood as our Surety (Ex. 21:5).
Illustration: The Servant (Ex. 21:5
Exodus 21:5"And if the servant shall plainly
say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:"
Judah (Gen. 43:9).
Genesis 43:9"I will be surety for him; of my
hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before
thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:"
NOTE: It is the covenant of
God’s grace that restrains the hand of God’s wrath and justice from consuming
the earth immediately (2 Pet. 3:9).
2 Peter 3:9"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count
slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance."
II. The second great event in
the history of redemption was THE INCARNATION
AND BIRTH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (Gal. 4:4-5).
Galatians 4:4-5"But when the fulness of the time was
come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the
law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
was the dawn of hope for fallen man. Our Savior’s name is Immanuel! “God with us!”The Lord Jesus Christ is God in human
flesh, God in our nature, God come to save!
·The incarnation means hope!
·The incarnation means mercy!
·The incarnation means deliverance!
III. The third great event in the
history of redemption was THE TRIUMPH
OF CHRIST OVER SATAN IN HIS TEMPTATIONS.
·In the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11).
Matthew 4:1-11"Then was Jesus led up of the
Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was
afterward an hungered. (3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If
thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by
every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth
him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And
saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is
written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up,
lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (7) Jesus said unto him, It is written
again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (8) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high
mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world,
and the glory of them; (9) And saith
unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship
me. (10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship
the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (11) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and
ministered unto him."
·In Gethsemane (Matt. 26:38-39).
Matthew 26:38-39"Then saith he unto them, My soul
is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. (39) And he went a little farther, and
fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this
cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
temptations of our Lord demonstrate his oneness with us as a man. As a real
man, even under the pressures of real temptations, our Savior perfectly obeyed
the will of God for us, establishing righteousness in the earth.
NOTE: This Man, who is God, is
able to help tempted men and women, with a tender heart of sympathy (Heb. -18; ; 5:7-9; ).
Hebrews 2:17-18"Wherefore in all things it behoved him
to be made like unto his brethren,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people.(18) For in that he himself
hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
Hebrews 4:15"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the
feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 5:7-9"Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears
unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (8) Though he were a Son, yet learned
he obedience by the things which he suffered; (9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal
salvation unto all them that obey him;"
Hebrews 7:26"For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made
higher than the heavens;"
IV. The fourth great event in
the history of redemption was THE
CRUCIFIXION AND DEATH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SUBSTITUTE AT CALVARY(2 Cor. ).
2 Corinthians "For he hath made him to be sin
for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in
A. The cross of Christ is the critical, focal point of all history (John -32).
John 12:31-32"Now is the judgment of this
world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
B. The death of Christ gave satisfaction to the justice of God.
C. The death of Christ gives peace to the believing
heart, when we realize that his blood is an effectual atonement for sin and
trust it as such!
Complete atonement Thou hast
And to the utmost farthing
Whate’er Thy people owed:
On me God’s wrath shall find
I’m sheltered in Thy
And ransomed by Thy blood!
If Christ has my discharge
And freely in my room
The whole of wrath divine -
Payment God cannot twice
First at my bleeding
And then again at mine!
V. The fifth great event in the
history of redemption was THE
RESURRECTION OF CHRIST FROM THE DEAD(Rom. ; 1 Tim. ).
Romans "Who was delivered for our offences, and was
raised again for our justification."
1 Timothy 3:16"And without controversy great is the
mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received
up into glory."
·His resurrection is the proof of expiation!
·His resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection.
said, “Because I live, ye shall live
also!” When our Savior arose from the grave, the Lord God showed publicly
that our justification was accomplished. In as much as our Surety has been
raised from the dead, we also shall be raised (Job ; John -28; -26).
Job "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that
he shall stand at the latter day upon
John 5:25-28"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is,
when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall
live. (26) For as the Father hath
life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath
given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour
is coming, in the which all that are in the graves
shall hear his voice,"
John 11:25-26"Jesus said unto her, I am the
resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet
shall he live: (26) And whosoever
liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
VI. The sixth great event in the
history of redemption was THE
ASCENSION AND EXALTATION OF CHRIST AS LORD OF ALL(John 17:2; Acts -36).
John 17:2"As thou hast given him power
over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given
Acts -36"Therefore being by the right
hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy
Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (34) For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith
himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (35) Until I
make thy foes thy footstool. (36) Therefore
let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus,
whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
·Christ has all power!
·Christ rules the world to save his people!
·Christ makes intercession for us in heaven!
·Christ saves whom he will, by the power of his Spirit!
greatest joy my heart knows is that he who loved me and gave himself for me now
rules all the universe as my Representative and King!
VII. Each of these glorious
events in the history of redemption points to another. They all point to that
great consummating event that is yet to take place. Here is the seventh link in
the golden chain of the history of redemption - OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST SHALL COME AGAIN IN POWER AND IN GREAT GLORY,
WITHOUT SIN, UNTO SALVATION(John 14:1-3; Rev. 1:7).
John 14:1-3"Let not your heart be troubled:
ye believe in God, believe also in me.
(2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would
have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,
and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Revelation 1:7"Behold, he cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see him, and they also
which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.
Even so, Amen."
Christ comes again our redemption and salvation will be complete. When Christ
appears God will wrap up his work among men. All that he purposed in eternity
will be suddenly brought to completion.
not pretend to know much about prophetic things, but it appears to me, as I
read the Scriptures, that everything after Christ’s coming will happen very
quickly. The resurrection of the dead, the judgment, the conflagration of the
universe, the new creation, the final separation of the righteous and the
wicked, all appear to me to take place in a matter of moments.
much I know - When Christ comes again there will be...
A. AGENERALRESURRECTION(John -29).
John 5:28-29"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice,
(29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection
of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of
·The dead shall be raised.
·The living saints shall be translated.
·The earth shall be dissolved.
·All shall meet God in judgment.
B. A GREAT REGENERATION (2 Pet. 3:9-14). “Behold, I make all things new!”
2 Peter 3:9-14"The Lord is not slack concerning his
promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come
as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent
heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (12) Looking for and hasting unto the
coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? (13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be
diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and
5:13). This will be the time of the restitution of all things.
D. AGLORIOUSREST(Heb. 4:9).
Hebrews 4:9"There remaineth therefore a rest
to the people of God."
Application: “Then cometh the end!” (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
1 Corinthians 15:24-28"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,
even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and
power. (25) For he must reign, till
he hath put all enemies under his feet.
(26) The last enemy that shall be
destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under
his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted,
which did put all things under him. (28) And
when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be
subject unto him that put all things under him, that
God may be all in all."