Sermon #14                                                      Hebrews Series


          Title:                               Five Truths

By Which God Saved This Sinner

          Text:            Hebrews 2:16

          Readings:     Bob Poncer and Buddy Daugherty – Romans 9:1-33

          Subject:       God’s Sovereignty in Salvation

          Date:            Tuesday Evening – February 22, 2000[1]

          Tape #         V-72a



          I want to tell you about five things tonight, five profound gospel truths that all men will learn sooner or later. Here are Five Great Gospel Truths By Which God Saved This Sinner, five things which God used to shut me up to Christ, by which the Holy Spirit brought me to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.


I.     First, God showed me that I am a sinner, guilty, depraved, and justly condemned, under the wrath of God.


·        By Imputation (Rom. 5:12)

·        By Birth (Ps. 51:5; 58:3)

·        By Practice (Job 15:6)

·        By Nature – At the Very Core of My Being!


Matthew 15:19-20  "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."


          I am a sinner. What a horrible thing to discover! Even my righteousnesses are as filthy rags before the holy Lord God! Yet, the discovery was made even worse when I was made to see that it was utterly impossible for me to change what I am.


II.  Second, God showed me my sin by making me to see the utter strictness and severity of his holy law.


Romans 7:9  "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."


Romans 3:19-20  "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."


·        God’s law considers nothing but holiness, justice, and truth

·        God’s law demands perfect righteousness.

·        God’s law demands infinite satisfaction.


III. Then, third, God caused me to understand that faith alone is the condition of salvation.


          Faith does not justify. Christ did that. But you cannot be justified without faith in Christ.


Mark 16:16  "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."



Romans 4:16  "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"


Romans 9:32  "Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;"


Luke 7:50  "And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."


          I saw my sin. I saw the strictness of God’s holy law. I saw that faith alone is the condition of salvation. Salvation comes to sinners only by faith in Christ. And, then,…


IV. Fourth, I was made to see that faith in Christ is the gift and operation of God alone, that God could either give me faith or not give me faith.


          I tried, but could not believe.


Ephesians 2:8  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"


Colossians 2:12  "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."


V.  The fifth thing God taught me, by which I was at last shut up to Christ and brought to him was this – God Almighty is absolutely sovereign in the exercise of his grace.


          I was made to realize that he could either save me or damn me; and that he would be perfectly righteous, just, and true either way. I was made to see that it would be right for God to send me to hell, and that if he saved me, it would be altogether a matter of free, sovereign grace.


Romans 9:16  "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."


This is the thing set before us most distinctly in Hebrews 2:16. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”


When our Lord Jesus Christ came to save fallen creatures, he passed by the fallen angels and laid hold upon the seed of Abraham. He did not take hold of the seed of Adam, but he took hold of the seed of Abraham, God’s elect, and delivered them from the bondage of death by the irresistible power of his grace.


          There are four facts plainly revealed in this verse which set forth the sovereignty of divine grace.


A.  It was never the intention, desire, or purpose of Christ to save the angels who fell. “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels.”


          The word “took” means “to lay hold of.” Paul’s language is very strong. Quite literally, he is saying, “Christ never took hold of angels to deliver and save them.” Our Lord did not come into this world as an angel. He came as a man. He did not come as a Surety for the angels who fell. He never took hold of them.


1.    There are some elect angels who never fell.


          The vast majority of the angels are elect. Two-thirds of those mighty creatures were chosen by God. Only one third fell (Rev. 12:4).


Revelation 12:4  "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born."


·        God would not allow those elect angels to fall.

·        Their preservation was a great act of mercy.

·        Their election by God preserved them.


2.    But for those angels that fell, God offered no mercy whatever. They are eternally reprobate, without hope (Jude 6).


Jude 1:6  "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."


          Here is a hard rock for the Arminian to grind his teeth on. This will give goats sore gums. -- If it is unfair for God to give mercy to some men, but not all men, would it not be equally unfair for God to give mercy to fallen men if he did not also give mercy to the fallen angels?


3.    Suppose for a moment that our Lord had taken upon him the nature of angels when he came into the world.


          Suppose that instead of coming into the world as a man, the Lord of glory had assumed the nature of angels. I think there is something here that will cause us to glorify God for his wisdom, love, and grace toward us in Christ. “He took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”


          If Christ had taken on himself the nature of angels:


·        He could not have obeyed the law of God for us or made atonement for our sin (Heb. 2:9-10).

·        He could not have left us an example to follow (1 Pet. 2:21).

·        He could not have been a sympathizing High Priest (Heb. 2:17-18; 4:14-16).

·        He could never have been one with his church (Heb. 2:11-12).

·        He could never have delivered us from the fear of death and given us the hope of the resurrection (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:51-58).


B.  It was never the intention of our Lord to save fallen angels. And, secondly, It was never the intention, desire, or purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ to save all men.


          Thank God! He does save some of Adam’s fallen race! “He delighteth in mercy!” He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin! But to say that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to save all men, tries to save all men, or provides salvation for all men is both absurd and blasphemous. Notice the wording of our text. It does not say, “He took on the seed of Adam.” It says, “He took on him the seed of Abraham!”


          I say, that doctrine which says that Christ wants to save those who perish, tries to save those who perish, and provides salvation for those who perish is nonsense, theological rubbish, and worse, it is utter blasphemy!


Jesus Christ is God almighty. He is not a whining wimp. What he wants to do he does (Isa. 46:10). He never tries to do anything. He simply does what he will. His power is irresistible (Ps. 135:6; Dan. 4:34-35). If he wanted to save everybody in the world, where is the force that could stop him from doing so?


Any man who worships a god who wants to do what he cannot do or tries to do what he fails to accomplish is a fool. Such a god, if he existed, would be as useless as a lantern without oil, or a bucket without a bottom. Failure is an embarrassment to man. How much more so it would be to the eternal God.


          The doctrine of universal redemption, that doctrine which says that Christ wants to save everybody, tries to save everybody, and provides salvation for everybody tramples the blood of Christ under foot, despises the work of Christ, robs the Son of God of all glory in salvation, and puts him to an open shame. Those who say, “Jesus loves everybody and died for everybody,” proclaim a love and a death that is totally useless for anything more than sentimentalism. They preach a redemption by which no one was redeemed. Universal redemption is no redemption at all!


1.     It says that there is no power, merit, or efficacy in the blood of Christ, without man’s faith to ignite the power.


2.     It makes the grace of God nothing but a frustrated desire in God to save.


3.     It makes the will of God subject to the will of man, and makes the power of God weaker than the power of man.


4.     It robs the Lord Jesus Christ of his soul’s satisfaction.


5.     It portrays the blood of Christ as a waste, shed in vain.


6.     It makes salvation nothing but a package God offers to man, rather than a work performed by God in man.


7.     It makes man his own savior.


          Universal redemption robs Christ of all glory in salvation. If everything is dependent upon man’s will, man’s power, man’s work, man’s faith and nothing is really determined by the righteousness, blood, and grace of Christ, why should any man worship and praise Christ?


          My friends, hear me well. Redemption was effectually accomplished by Christ on the cross (John 19:30; Heb. 9:12). And redemption is effectually applied by Christ on the throne (John 17:2).


          It never was our Lord’s intention, desire, or purpose to save all men.


C. But it is the intention, desire, and purpose of Christ to save all the seed of Abraham.


          He took not on him the nature of angels. And he took not on him the seed of Adam. “But he took on him the seed of Abraham.” The Son of God took hold of the seed of Abraham to save them. This expression, “the seed of Abraham,” does not refer to the Jewish race, Abraham’s natural seed. It refers to the whole company of God’s elect. We are Abraham’s spiritual seed (Rom. 4:16; 9:6-8; Gal. 3:7, 13-16).


Romans 4:16  "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"


Romans 9:6-8  "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed."


Galatians 3:7  "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham."


Galatians 3:13-16  "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: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (15) Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. (16) Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."


1.    Christ took hold on Abraham’s seed as their Surety in the covenant of grace before the world began, and agreed to save them (Gen. 43:9; John 6:39; Eph. 1:13).


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."


John 6:39  "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."


Ephesians 1:13  "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise."


2.    Christ took hold on his elect as our Substitute, legally taking our place under the wrath of God, dying under the penalty of our sins upon the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13).


2 Corinthians 5:21  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


          When our Substitute died, in so far as God’s law and justice were concerned, we died in him (Rom. 7:4). We were crucified with Christ.


3.    In the fulness of time the Good Shepherd comes to each of those sheep for whom he died. He takes hold of them by the hand of his almighty, irresistible, saving grace (Lk. 15:4-5).


Luke 15:4-5  "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing."


I was lost and undone,

Without God or His Son,

‘Til He reached down His hand for me!


          And blessed be his matchless name forever, our Lord, our God, our Good Shepherd holds us securely in the hand of his grace and will not let us go, until he has brought us safely into the heavenly fold (John 10:28, 16).


John 10:28  "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."


John 10:16  "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."


D.  Since Christ took on himself the seed of Abraham, you can be sure of this - All the seed of Abraham shall be saved (Rom. 11:25-26; John 10:16).


          “He shall save his people” (Matt. 1:21). “He shall not fail” (Isa. 42:4).


Romans 11:25-26  "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26) And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:"


1.     The purpose of God cannot be overturned.

2.     The covenant of grace cannot be nullified.

3.     The cross of Christ cannot miscarry.

4.     The grace of God cannot be frustrated.

5.     The seal of the Spirit cannot be broken.

6.     The intercession of Christ cannot be ignored.

7.     The hold of Christ cannot be broken.


Application: All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are the seed of Abraham! (Phil. 3:3).


Illustration: The Handkerchief


·        I did the falling. He did the lifting.

·        I did the running. He did the catching.

·        I did the wandering. He did the fetching.

·        I did the sinning. He did the saving.


1.     My friend, you must acknowledge and bow to the absolute sovereignty God’s grace. God can either save you or damn you. “Be ye reconciled to God.”


2.     All who believe rejoice to ascribe the whole of our salvation to the sovereign grace of God in Christ (1 Cor. 4::7; 15:10).


3.     If you will now take hold of Christ by faith, you can be sure of this - He has taken hold of you to save you.


Illustration: The Prodigal.

[1] See Sermon#689 Danville 3/9/86 – 7/12/92, Ashland 3/19/86, Jacksonville, NC 3/31/86, Belaire Reformed – Houston, TX, 10/26/89, Calvary Baptist – Richmond, KY 5/4/87