Sermon #11 Hebrews Notes
Title: CHRIST THE CAPTAIN
OF OUR SALVATION
Text: Hebrews 2:10
Readings: Paul Windrel and Lindsay Campbell
Subject: The Necessity for Christ's Suffering and Death
Date: Tuesday Evening January 18, 2000
Tape # V-66a & V-67b
If you are taking notes, the title of my message is CHRIST - THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION. Our text will be Hebrews 2:10.
Notice the first word in our text - "For." It is important. This word, "for," is a connecting word. It connects verse 10 with what has been discussed in the previous verses. There the Holy Spirit sets before us the excellence and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, in verse 9, he tells us that Christ "was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death...that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
NOTE: As much as I cherish the Authorized Version, I have to tell you that the King James translators flat messed up here. The words "every man" simply should not be in verse 9. A far better reading would be "every son. Both the original language and the context will bear me out. To translate Paul's words as they stand in the King James Version would imply that Christ died to redeem and save all men, which is totally contrary to the Word of God.
To the Jews the death of Christ on the cross as the sinners' Substitute was a stumbling block and rock of offense. So when the inspired writer mentioned it, he immediately declared the necessity for it in our text. That is the connection.
Proposition: In this 10th verse he is declaring to us the necessity for Christ's suffering and death.
Divisions: As we look at this verse of Scripture together, I want to call your attention to five things in it.
1. The Greatness of Our God.
2. The Purpose of God.
3. The Captain of Our Salvation.
4. The Perfecting of Christ as Our Savior.
5. The Necessity for Christ's Suffering and Death.
I. First, our text speaks of THE GREATNESS OF OUR GOD.
"It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things." Here the Apostle declares that the Lord our God is the beginning and the end of all things.
A. THIS IS A DECLARATION OF GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY.
The Lord our God is glorious in his absolute sovereignty. This is what sets him apart from all his creatures and distinguishes him from all the gods men have invented. He who is God rules everything absolutely. All things are for him, to do his bidding, to accomplish his purpose, to set forth his glory. All things are for him because all things are by him. In their origin, in their preservation, in their purpose, and in their consummate end, all things are by him.
This is what the Scriptures universally declare. "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." -- Rom 11:36 "All things are of God." -- 2 Cor 5:18 This will be the subject of God's everlasting praise. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." -- Rev 4:11
1. This is a description of the Triune God.
2. This is particularly a description of God the Father, who made his Son perfect through suffering and death, in bringing many sons unto glory.
B. THIS DECLARATION OF GOD'S GREATNESS AS THE SOVEREIGN RULER OF ALL THINGS IS GIVEN TO ASSURE US OF HIS ABILITY TO SAVE.
In the matter of salvation, we need One "by whom are all things," because no one else can save. Who can create us anew, but the Creator of all things? Who can keep us from falling, but the Preserver of all things? Who can save us from the many perils we face in this world, but the Ruler of all things? If ever we are brought to glory, it must be by that God "by whom are all things. If you and I enter into glory it will be by the work of him "for whom are all things.
1. In heaven's glory we shall forever adore and praise our great God for the wondrous mystery of his grace, by which we are saved.
Everything in the great work of salvation sets forth the splendor of the grace of the Most High God.
· What do we see in election but his grace?
· What do we see in redemption but his grace?
· What do you see in regeneration and conversion but his grace?
· What do you see in preservation, perseverance and glorification but the grace of God?
In, salvation as well as in creation, all things are of God, all things are by God, and all things are for God. He works all our works in us, and unto him alone all praise must be forever!
2. The greatness of God in his absolute sovereignty assures us of his ability to do all his will.
The Psalmist David sang, "[Whatsoever the LORD pleased], that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. -- Psa 135:6 -- God himself says, "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand. -- Isa 14:24 -- "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. -- Isa 46:11
We know that God always does all his pleasure because he always, absolutely controls all things. If he did not, we could never be assured of any promise or prophecy made by him.
So this is the first thing taught in our text: THE GREAT GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, WHO HAS PURPOSED OUR SALVATION, IS ABLE TO FULLY ACCOMPLISH WHAT HE HAS PLANNED, BECAUSE HE IS THAT ONE "FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS, AND BY WHOM ARE ALL THINGS!"
We are assured that our God, having put his hand to the great work of our salvation, will not withdraw his arm from the work until he has fully accomplished his eternal purpose, to the praise of the glory of his grace. This we confidently declare to every believer, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. -- Phil 1:6
II. Secondly, our text asserts THE GLORIOUS PURPOSE OF GOD.
Read the opening lines again. "For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory. This is the great and glorious, eternal purpose of our God. He is "BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY. The Triune God undertook this great enterprise before the world began. Everything he does, has done, or shall hereafter do is subservient to this great work. This is what God is doing. He is bringing many sons unto glory!
The God of the Bible is a God of purpose. Everything he does is according to his eternal purpose. And his eternal purpose is the salvation of his people. There is a people in this world, a great multitude which no man can number, many sons, whom God is determined to bring unto glory.
Read the eighth chapter of Romans, verses 28-30. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
A. THERE ARE MANY THINGS INVOLVED IN THIS GREAT WORK OF GRACE.
As we read the Scriptures, we discover that this work of saving sinners involves many things. The more you study this thing called salvation, and the more you know of it experimentally, the bigger it gets. Salvation is a mighty big word. It is indeed a great work, a work which none but God could do. It involves...
· Election, Predestination and Adoption (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:2-5; II Thess 2:13-14)
· Redemption, Forgiveness and Justification (Eph 1:7; Rom 3:24-26)
· Regeneration, Faith and Holiness (John 3:5-7, 13-14; Heb 12:14)
· Preservation, Resurrection and Glorification (John 10:28-29; John 5:28; Rom 8:30)
B. In our text, this great work which God almighty undertook in eternity, the work which God is now performing and shall finish, is described as "BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY."
As the Lord God brought Israel out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, through the wilderness, over the Jordan, and into the land of Canaan, so he will bring all his chosen unto glory by his own mighty hand of grace. The ultimate destination of God's elect is glory, eternal glory! Not one of God's elect will fail to attain it. Not a hoof shall be left behind! Not one true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ will fail to attain perfect, complete salvation at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Wherever God gives grace he will give glory. As he does not give grace by degrees, so neither will he give glory by degrees! There are no back settlements in the heavenly Canaan, where "second class saints" live! There are no slums in the New Jerusalem! God is bringing his people into glory, not degrees of glory!
Whoever he was who devised that abominable notion that there are degrees of glory and degrees of heavenly reward to be given to the saints, depending upon their works on earth, knew nothing of the gospel of the free grace of God in Christ!
John Blanchard was exactly right when he said, "Heaven is not a conditional reward, but a consummated relationship."
1. Heaven is a Glorious Place.
The Holy Spirit uses the word "glory" interchangeably with the word "heaven." He makes the two terms synonymous. Heaven is a glorious place. Countless books have been written about it. We sing hymns about it and preach sermons about it; but really we know very little about it. "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." -- 1 Cor 2:9 -- We will never know the glory of glory until we are in glory.
2. In that glorious place everyone follows Glorious Pursuits.
What are the saints doing in heaven? I will not attempt to guess. But this much I know - THEY ARE SERVING GOD AND THE LAMB. "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads."-- Rev 22:3-4.
They cast their crowns at his feet. They sing his praise. They adore his grace. They make known to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God in redemption. They gaze upon the face of their beloved Redeemer, God, and Savior! All the pursuits of heaven are glorious. There will never be anything low, base, or selfish done in glory. There will never be any wearisome toil required. All is glory!
3. In that glorious place, with its glorious pursuits, there are Glorious Pleasures.
There we will understand the meaning of David's words: "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. -- Psa 16:11.
In heaven we shall live! Did you ever try to imagine what the pleasures of God must be? What is that which is called "the joy of the Lord?" What is the infinite satisfaction of the Eternal God? What can be the bliss of him who is Blessed God? I can- not imagine such things with my puny brain. Yet, I know that it is this very joy, bliss, peace, and satisfaction into which we shall enter in glory, when our Master says to each of his ransomed ones, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into [the joy of thy Lord]." -- Mat 25:21
· Chrysostom wrote, "If one man should suffer all the sorrows of all the saints in the world, yet they are not worth one hour's glory in heaven.
· Paul said, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. -- Rom 8:18
· Someone said, "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
· A. W. Pink wrote, "One breath of Paradise will extinguish all the adverse winds of earth.
I am talking about glory! Heaven is a place of glorious pleasure! As C. S. Lewis put it, "Joy is the serious business of heaven. There are no regrets in heaven, no remorseful tears, no second thoughts, no lost causes, no sorrows of any kind! It is written, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." -- Rev 21:4
4. This glorious place, with its glorious pursuits and glorious pleasures, shall be inhabited by Glorious Persons.
Look at 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, 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, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
· God is there, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
· Christ, the Lamb, is there!
· The Holy Angels are there!
· The Spirits of just men made perfect are there!
There all the saints of God shall be glorious, kings and priests unto God, arrayed as kings, holy as God himself is holy, glorious as Christ himself is glorious. Well does the writer of Hebrews use this word when he speaks of heaven - "glory." Heaven is GLORY!
C. OUR GREAT GOD WILL BRING ALL HIS SONS TO GLORY DESPITE ALL THE DIFFICULTIES THAT LIE IN THE WAY.
Every believer shall persevere unto the end because every believer is preserved by God himself. Though ten thousand hells lay between us and glory, though ten thousand Satans roared against us, not one of God's elect shall fail to attain unto glory, because the glorious God has undertaken to save us! As Israel was brought from Egypt into Canaan by a constant series of miracles, supernatural, unexplainable works of God, so the believer's path is a path of constant, miraculous grace! Ours is a miraculous life! God Almighty, himself, has undertaken to save us! Can you get hold of that?
Our path is not easy, but it is safe. Fight we must, but victory is sure. Temptations we must endure, but our God will uphold us. Trials we must face, but God holds us with the right hand of his righteousness. He feeds us, refreshes us, clothes us, fights for us, protects us, upholds us; and he will bring us unto glory!
D. PERHAPS THE GREATEST WONDER OF THIS GREAT PURPOSE AND WORK OF GOD IS THE MANY SONS HE HAS DETERMINED TO BRING UNTO GLORY.
"Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." -- 1 Cor 1:26-29
God has chosen for his sons and daughters those people whom most people on earth would be ashamed to call their children. Those who are passed by by society, the depraved, the debased, the fallen, are the very ones chosen by God, the very ones he is determined to bring unto glory!
Illustration: Johnny's # 60!
III. Thirdly, our text describes the Lord Jesus Christ as THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION.
God has purposed that he will bring many sons to glory; but he has determined that he will do so by a chosen Captain, a Captain greater than Joshua, who will fight for his people and bring them safely into the Canaan of glory.
The word that is translated "captain" in our text is in other places translated "author," and in other places "prince;" but time will permit us only to consider the word as it stands in our text. God will bring his sons to glory; but he will do so only by the Captain of our Salvation, Jesus Christ. You cannot come to glory but by this Captain (John 10:9; 14:6)
Why is Christ called "The Captain of their salvation?" Let me quickly give you seven answers to that question. Christ is called the Captain of our Salvation because...
A. THE CAPTAIN HAS ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER.
The captain of an army is invested with the authority and power of the king himself. The captain's word is the king's word. The king's treasures are the captain's treasures. Even so, the Lord Jesus Christ has all power and authority given to him for the saving of his people. "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. -- John 17:2
B. THE CAPTAIN MAKES ALL THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE ARMY'S MARCH.
He decides what path the troops will take, where they will camp, how long they will stay at any place. And he supplies all provisions for them. Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ mapped out our path in divine predestination, and supplies us with our needs and directs our steps according to his wise and good providence.
C. THE CAPTAIN'S WORD IS THE LAW BY WHICH THE WHOLE ARMY IS GOVERNED.
Soldiers are not allowed to do each one what he chooses. The troops do not make up their rules of conduct and principles of warfare as they go along. That is the Captain's business. In the Church and Kingdom of God Christ gives the marching orders. They are not optional. His Word is our law. He alone determined what our doctrine and duty is, what our faith and practice must be; and he has given these things to us in his Word.
D. THE CAPTAIN IS MORE THAN A COMMANDER, HE IS A LEADER; THE CAPTAIN LEADS THE WAY.
Illustration: Stonewall Jackson Leading His Troops
You will never go in any path of duty, walk through any fiery furnace, go through any deep valley, climb any high hill of difficulty, or endure any temptation, but where you will find the footprint of the Crucified One.
E. THE CAPTAIN ENCOURAGES HIS MEN.
When the Lord Jesus appears to us and we hear him say, "It is I, be not afraid, that is all that is required to calm our hearts and sustain our souls.
F. IT IS THE CAPTAIN'S DELIGHT TO REWARD HIS FOLLOWERS.
As David's spoils were shared equally by all the army, the brave and the timid, the strong and the weak (1 Sam 30:24), so the Lord Jesus Christ will bestow upon all the many sons he brings to glory all the glory he has won.
1. We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).
2. That means that all the glory which Christ now possesses as our Mediator shall be ours (John 17:5,22).
G. THE CAPTAIN IS RESPONSIBLE BOTH FOR THE ARMY UNDER HIS COMMAND AND FOR THE VICTORY.
It is true, we are engaged in a warfare. We must fight continually, resisting sin, contending with the world, the flesh and the devil. But the battle is not ours. It is the Lord's.
Christ, the Captain of our Salvation, is the One responsible for our salvation; and "he shall not fail!"
IV. Fourthly, our text says something about THE PERFECTING OF CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR, AS THE CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION.
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
Christ was the Captain of our salvation from eternity. He was our Savior from everlasting. But in order to save us, in order to bring us to glory, the Lord Jesus Christ had to be perfected as a Savior. He had to experience something himself if he would be a perfect and complete Savior. What does that mean?
Listen to me carefully. Christ was not made perfect in his character by suffering. He was always perfect, both as God and as man. But he was made perfect officially, as the Captain of our salvation. To perform the office of a Savior, to save lost sinners from their just and righteous condemnation, Christ had to possess three things: merit, power and sympathy. The only way he could obtain all three was by those things which he suffered, which consummated in his death as the sinners' Substitute.
The Savior of men must have such merit with God that God can, consistently with the perfections of his nature and the requirements of his law, reverse the sentence of condemnation passed upon those for whom Christ suffered and died. He must have such infinite merit that we can through his merit alone obtain all the blessings of grace and glory, without any works of our own, without any merit of our own.
The Captain of our salvation must possess all power, in heaven and in earth, so that he may, by the sheer power of his will make ignorant, depraved, helpless, miserable sinners, wise, and good, and happy. He must have such absolute control of all things that he can make all things work together for the salvation of his people.
Moreover, the Savior of men must be able to sympathize with, he must be able to enter into the feelings of, those whom he is to deliver and save.
All these things are necessary if the Son of God is to be a perfect Savior; and all these things were obtained by him through the things which he suffered.
A. BY HIS INCARNATION HE BECAME A SAVIOR OF INFINITE MERIT.
1. The Savior of men must be a man, because man had sinned and man must suffer.
2. He must also be God, because none but God has infinite merit to satisfy the claims of divine justice.
B. CHRIST OBTAINED THE POWER TO SAVE AS THE REWARD OF HIS OBEDIENCE UNTO DEATH AS OUR SUBSTITUTE (John 17:2; Heb 7:25).
C. THE SON OF GOD BECAME A SYMPATHIZING SAVIOR BY THE THINGS HE SUFFERED AS A MAN FOR US (Heb 2:18; 4:15).
D. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS A PERFECT SAVIOR.
1. He has made a perfect expiation of sin.
2. He has brought in a perfect righteousness.
3. His holy heart is filled with a perfect sympathy for his needy people.
4. He is a perfect example for us to follow.
5. He has perfect power, he is perfectly able to save!
V. Lastly, the Apostle indicates THE NECESSITY FOR CHRIST'S SUFFERING AND DEATH.
He suffered and died, he was made a perfect Savior by suffering and death, because "it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
It was becoming to God to save us in such a way. Indeed, this is the only method of salvation that is becoming to the holy and just Lord God. This method of salvation, through the merits of Christ's sufferings and death, is a salvation becoming to God because...
A. It glorifies all his divine attributes.
· Wisdom and Immutability
· Mercy and Truth
· Righteousness and Peace
· Love and Wrath
· Grace and Justice
· Kindness and Veracity
B. It will glorify him before Satan and all the demons of hell.
Salvation by a Man will forever glorify God and make a mockery of Satan who refused to be a servant to man.
C. It will glorify the triune God in the eyes of all the damned.]
You who perish under the wrath of God will yet be made to see the glory of God in redemption. You will yet see the glory of the gospel. You will forever acknowledge that your condemnation is just.
D. Salvation by Christ, the sinners' Substitute will forever delight the hearts and minds of the redeemed as we give glory to God forever in glory.
"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; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. 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; 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. 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. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever." -- Rev 5:9-14
Application: I call upon you now, one and all, to fall on your faces before this great God, our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance, faith and adoration. Glorify him now and forever as the sinner's perfect Savior, the Captain of our Salvation. Amen.
 Part 2 The Captain Made Perfect -- Tuesday 02/01/00