Sermon #28 Series: Pictures of Grace in Genesis
Title: A Surety For Benjamin - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 43:8-9
Subject: Christ our Surety
Date: Tuesday Evening - February 11, 1992
God the Holy Spirit, our Divine Comforter is anxious for every believer to enjoy the comforting assurance of salvation in Christ. He is the Comforter! That is the work he was sent to perform. His method of comfort is to take the things of Christ and show them to us (John 16:7, 13, 14). He knows that the more fully we know Christ and the more clearly we see him, the more we shall enjoy the comfort and assurance of our salvation in Christ.
Therefore, the Spirit of God always points us to Christ, especially in the inspired volume of Holy Scripture. He not only tells us who Christ is, what he has done, and what he is doing for us, he also uses metaphor after metaphor to show us pictures of our great Savior, pictures designed to assure God’s believing people that all is well between us and our God.
We have seen this repeatedly throughout the Book of Genesis.
1. When Adam and Eve were naked, God provided them with the skins of an innocent victim, and clothed them (3:21). Christ our Righteousness! Christ our Savior!
2. When the flood came, God saved Noah by an ark (7:15-16).
3. When Isaac was bound to the altar on Mt. Moriah, God provided himself a lamb for a burnt offering (Gen. 22:8, 13). Christ our Substitute!
4. When Jacob was alone, helpless, and afraid, God showed him a ladder by which he could ascend to God (28:12-13). Christ our Mediator!
In Genesis 43:8-9, the Spirit of God gives us another beautiful and instructive picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the grace of God in him.
As Judah became Surety for Benjamin, assuming all responsibility for Him, so the Lord Jesus Christ, who sprang from the tribe of Judah, became Surety for God’s elect in the Covenant of Grace, assuming total, absolute responsibility for the salvation of his people (See Hebrews 7:22).
The title of my message tonight is A SURETY FOR BENJAMIN - A PICTURE OF GRACE. In preaching this message, I want to show you what a Surety is and how the Lord Jesus Christ performs the work of a surety on our behalf.
1. What is a surety?
2. How did Christ become our Surety?
3. What did the Lord Jesus Christ agree to as our Surety?
I. WHAT IS A SURETY?
A surety, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “one who binds himself to stand good for another.”
A surety is one who approaches one person on behalf of another person. He is a representative man who lays himself under obligation to another person for the one he represents. In this sense, Christ is our Surety. He drew near to God the Father on our behalf, before the world began, and laid himself under obligation to God for us (Psa. 40:7-8; John 10:16-18).
A surety is one who strikes hands with another in solemn agreement. Suretyship, to a man of honor, is a voluntary bondage (Prov. 6:1-2). When Christ became our Surety, he voluntarily placed himself in bondage to his Father until his service was performed (Isa. 50:5-7; John 10:16-18).
This is what the Lord Jesus Christ did as our Surety, in the everlasting covenant of grace, before the world began…
A. He drew near to God the Father on behalf of his elect.
B. He promised to faithfully perform all that God required for the salvation of his people. Justice must be maintained (Prov. 17:15).
1. I will bring in an everlasting righteousness for them.
2. I will satisfy justice on their behalf - Put away their sins.
3. I will give them a new, holy nature.
4. I will raise them up in glorification and perfection.
5. I will present them to you, my Father, in the perfection of holiness, to the praise of the glory of your grace.
C. Upon this pledge of suretyship, our Savior, the Son of God, struck hands with his Father in solemn agreement.
1. God the Father trusted his Son to fulfill his suretyship engagements (Eph. 1:12).
2. God the Father entrusted his elect people into the hands of his dear Son, as their Surety. As Israel said to Judah, so God the Father said to our Surety, “Take them, and go! Bring them again to me in the perfection of holiness” (John 6:39).
3. The matter of our salvation was then and there settled forever (2 Tim. 1:9).
4. The experience of salvation is the reception of the promise of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised and gave his elect in Christ before the world began (2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 9:14-17).
NOTE: The blessings of grace come to us in the form of a testament, or a will, but they were promised as the reward of Christ’s obedience as our covenant Surety.
Illustration: The Reading of a will!
II. HOW DID CHRIST BECOME OUR SURETY?
With men a surety is a mere guarantor, a co-signer, who is jointly responsible with the principle debtor for the payment of a debt. This is not the kind of surety Christ is. He did not merely agree to meet our obligations to God’s law if we, by some circumstance or condition, became incapable of meeting our own obligations. Christ, as our Surety, took upon himself all responsibility for the whole of our obligation to God’s holy law and justice.
With men, a man may be legally forced into suretyship. A father is legally responsible for the debts and liabilities of his , minor children. A husband is legally responsible for the debts and liabilities of his wife. But Christ willingly, voluntarily, cheerfully placed himself in servitude to God the Father, to obey his will and fulfill his law, as the Surety of his elect. And the moment he became our Surety he became servant to God his Father (Isa. 42:1; 49:3; John 10:17-18).
NOTE: His subordination to the Father does not imply our lack of equality between the Father and the Son in the Godhead. It is a voluntary subordination.
The Lord Jesus Christ is an absolute Surety by voluntary consent.
Illustration: The one room school.
A. When Christ became our Surety, he took the whole of our debt upon himself.
He became responsible for our obligations to God. And, as soon as he was accepted as our Surety, we were released from all our debts and obligations to God’s holy law.
Illustration: The legal transfer of a note - Grider.
As soon as God accepted his Son as our Surety, he set us free. He ceased looking to us for satisfaction. He freed us from all the curse, penalty, and obligation we would incur by reason of sin, and looked to his Son alone for the satisfaction of our debts (Job 33:24).
Illustration: Paul became surety for Onesimus (Philemon 18).
B. When Christ became Surety for us, all the sins of God’s elect were imputed to him in the mind and purpose of God.
By divine imputation, our sins were placed to his account. He became responsible for them. Christ was made to be sin for us when he hung upon the cursed tree; but he became responsible and accountable to God for our sins when he became our Surety (Isa. 53:6; Psa. 40:12; 69:5; 2 Cor. 5:19). (Past tense!)
C. When Christ became our Surety we were then and there redeemed, justified, pardoned, and made righteous in the sight of God.
God’s forbearance, patience, and longsuffering with this world is due to the suretyship engagements of Christ. God’s eye has always been upon the blood. It is the blood of Christ, our Surety, that held back the hand of God’s judgment when Adam sinned.
1. The Old Testament saints were pardoned and justified upon the basis of Christ’s obedience as our Surety though he had not yet actually rendered that obedience (Isa. 43:25; 45:22-25; Rom. 3:24-26).
2. Those men and women back there had knowledge of and faith in Christ as their Surety (Job 19:25-27; Psa. 32:1-4; 119:122; Isa. 38:14).
The Lord Jesus Christ became our Surety by his own voluntary will. He was accepted as our Surety in the covenant of grace before the world began. And we were accepted of God in him (Eph. 1:6).
III. WHAT DID THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AGREE TO AS OUR SURETY?
When Christ became our Surety, he made certain promises to God the Father in the name of his covenant people, which he is honor bound to perform. The promises were voluntarily made, without any constraint or force, except the constraint of his love and the force of his grace. But now, having made the promises, he is bound, bound by his own honor, to perform them. What are those promises? What did Christ agree to do as our Surety? Basically, our eternal Surety agreed and promised to do two things.
A. First, Christ agreed to fulfill all our responsibilities to God.
Standing as our Surety, in an absolute sense, Christ did not simply assume part of our responsibility in a given area, leaving us to make up the balance. He willingly became absolutely responsible for his people in all things.
1. He agreed to render that perfect obedience to the law of God, which we were obliged to do, establishing perfect righteousness for us. Christ worked out and brought in an everlasting, perfect, legal righteousness for his people (Rom. 5:19; Jer. 23:6). “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). The work of establishing righteousness.
2. Our Savior also agreed to satisfy the penalty of the law as our Substitute (Gal. 3:13). “It is finished!” (John 19:30). The satisfaction of justice!
Illustration: “Why did Jesus have to die?”
By his perfect obedience, in life and in death, the Lord Jesus Christ magnified the law and made it honorable in the redemption of God’s elect (Heb. 10:5-14).
B. Second, Christ our Surety agreed to bring all his elect safe to glory (John 10:16-18).
This is the Father’s will which he came to perform (John 6:39-40). Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ became responsible to bring God’s Benjamins safely home. “If I bring them not to thee, and set them before thee,” he said, “then let me bear the blame forever.” It is because of his suretyship engagements for his elect that the Son of God says, “Them also I must bring.” What our Surety has sworn to do he must do (Heb. 2:13).
1. He reconciled us to God by his sin-atoning death.
2. He entered into heaven as our Covenant-Head, and claimed our eternal inheritance in our name, as our Surety.
3. He will, in the last day, present all of his elect faultless before the throne of his Father’s glory with exceeding, great joy (Eph. 5; Jude 1; Heb. 2:13).
· In that day, He will appear without sin!
· We will appear with him, without sin!
· His Father will say, “Well done!”
Application: Rowland Hill’s Dream - Christ is my Surety!
1. The whole of my acceptance with God is in Christ, my Surety.
My relationship with the eternal God does, in great measure, determine what I do; but what I do does not, in any measure whatsoever, determine my acceptance with the eternal God.
2. The whole of my assurance is Christ, my Surety.
In my Surety I am free!
His dear hands were pierced for me!
With His spotless garments on,
I am as holy as God’s own Son!
3. The whole of my security is Christ, my Surety.
· His covenant engagements - “I will!”
· His redemptive work - “It is finished!”
· His gospel promise - “They shall never perish!”
· His glory as my Surety and Mediator.
4. Can you trust Christ as your Surety?