Sermon #1086 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: The Yoke of Christ
Text: Matthew 11:29-30
Subject: Faith In and Submission To
The Lord Jesus Christ
Date: Sunday Morning ― April 18, 1993
My text this morning is Matthew 11:29-30. I want to talk to you about The Yoke of Christ. Let’s begin at verse 25. By way of introduction, let me call your attention to four things in these verses. Our Savior himself is speaking. In verses 25-26 he speaks to his Father in heaven. In verses 27-30 he speaks to men and women on the earth.
First, in verses 25-26, we are given a declaration of God’s sovereignty. Particularly, he is talking about God’s sovereignty in salvation, in the exercise of his grace.
(Matthew 11:25-26) "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight."
In these two verses the Son of God teaches us that…
1. Salvation comes by divine revelation – (2 Cor. 4:6).
(2 Corinthians 4:6) "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
2. God sovereignly reveals the gospel to some and hides it from others, as he sees fit.
· Grace belongs to God.
· None of us deserve God’s grace.
· He gives it to whom he will.
3. The Lord God reveals himself and gives his grace to “babes,” never to the wise and prudent of this world.
In other words, if you would be saved, you must receive the gospel and the things of God with a simple, childlike faith. If you are looking for explanations, God gives none. If you are looking for grace, he gives it freely.
4. Every servant of God must learn, by the example of Christ in this passage, to acquiesce in God’s sovereign will – “I thank thee, Father… Even so.”
Second, in verse 27, we are given a description of Christ’s sufficiency. Before he calls upon us to trust him and serve him as our Lord and Savior, the Son of God assures us that he is worthy of our trust. He is an all-sufficient Savior.
(Matthew 11:27) "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”
1. God the Father has put all things into the hands of his Son, the God-man, for the saving of his people – (John 3:35; 17:2).
(John 3:35) "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."
(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 him."
All Grace ― All Creation ― All Power ― All Righteousness ― All Redemption ― All Salvation ― All That God’s Law and your conscience Demands!
2. Jesus Christ alone is the Revelation of the living God. Salvation is found in him alone (John 17:3).
(John 17:3) "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
Third, in verse 28, The Lord Jesus issues a most gracious invitation to sinners.
· “Come unto me.” (John 6:35) “Believe On”
· “All ye that labor and are heavy laden.”
· “And I will give you rest!”
Now, look at our text, verses 29-30 – “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
In these verses the Lord Jesus gives us an explanation of faith and encourages us to surrender to him. To come to Christ, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is here described as voluntarily taking his yoke upon you, surrendering to his service and to his rule.
All who are enabled by the grace of God to come to Christ bow to Christ as their Lord. All who come to Christ experience a radical change of character, disposition, and behavior. (2 Cor. 5:17). Not only are we freed from condemnation, we are made to be partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Coming to Christ sinners are delivered from the slavery and yoke of Satan and are made to be willing servants to Christ, voluntarily taking his yoke upon themselves.
Proposition: The essence of faith is surrender to the rule of Christ – It is bowing to Christ as Lord and Master. All who truly believe on Christ as Savior bow to Christ as Lord, and in doing so find rest unto their souls.
I am today, as God’s ambassador, calling for you to surrender to Christ. I am calling for you to take his yoke upon yourself. May God the Holy Spirit now make you willing to do so. May he make this call from the Savior an effectual call to you.
I. “Take my yoke upon you.”
The Lord Jesus calls you to take his yoke upon you, because he will have no servants in his house but voluntary servants.
“The yoke of Christ includes all the dependency, obedience, and submission we owe to him as our rightful Lord and gracious Redeemer.” – (John Newton).
My brothers and sisters, hear me now. – The Lord Jesus Chris has a double right to us.
· He Made Us – (Ps. 100:3). He created us. He gave us our being. And he sustains us in life. As the creature belongs to the Creator, so we belong to Jesus Christ, our Creator.
· He Bought Us – (Acts 20:28). He pitied us in our fallen, sinful condition.
He poured out his life’s blood unto death to ransom us from the ruin of the fall, the misery of sin, and the curse of the law. We should therefore be his alone. We should live for him and cleave to him (1 Cor. 6:18-20). We should no longer live unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again. Certainly, these words are addressed to you and me who are believers. We must, day by day, continually take the yoke of Christ upon us…
But these words are also, and primarily, addressed to you who are yet rebels the rule of Christ. Here the Son of God calls you to take his yoke upon you. The yoke of Christ is a threefold yoke.
A. The Yoke of His Profession – Obedience to Christ begins with confessing him before men. The first act of service to Christ is to profess him. If God has given you faith in Christ, if you have come to him in faith, he calls you to voluntarily take up the yoke of his profession.
1. Profess your faith in him by believers baptism (Rom. 6:4-6).
(Romans 6:4-6) "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
2. Profess your faith in him by telling others what he has done for you – (Matt. 10:32-33).
(Matthew 10:32-33) "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
B. The Yoke of His Precepts – The believing heart approves of and delights in all the precepts of Christ. None of his commandments are grievous to them who believe. All who know him delight in his precepts.
1. His Precepts of Doctrine (2 John 9).
(2 John 1:9) "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."
2. His Precepts of Worship – The Ordinances of the Gospel.
3. His Precepts of Behavior – (Eph. 4:17-5:2).
(Ephesians 4:17-32) "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (19) Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (20) But ye have not so learned Christ; (21) If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil. (28) Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
(Ephesians 5:1-2) "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."
In a word, the Lord Jesus here requires all who come to him “to profess their faith in him, to embrace the doctrines of the gospel, to submit to his ordinances, and to walk according to these laws, commands, and orders which he, as King of saints, has made.” (John Gill).
C. The Yoke of His Providence – (John 12:28).
(John 12:28) "Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
Trials and afflictions do not change men; but they do reveal what we are. The hypocrite may keep up a fair show of godliness as long as things go smoothly; but troubles have a way of removing the hypocrite’s mask and exposing what he really is.
· The believer bows to his Master’s will.
· The rebel bucks his Master’s will when it crosses his own.
II. Next, our Savior says, “Learn of me; for i am meek and lowly in heart.”
This is the appointed means by which we are enabled to bear this threefold yoke. We must learn of Christ how to do so. It is as though our Lord had said, “I know you are not able to do this, but I will help you. Be not afraid of the prospect, but learn of me…
· Consider what I can do.
· Consider what I have done.”
Our Lord is not like the Pharisees (Matt. 23:4).
(Matthew 23:4) "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
He requires nothing of us but what he has performed before us and performed for us. The path that he calls us to follow has been marked out by his own footsteps.
A. Are you fearful of the difficulties you may meet with if you profess Christ before men? Consider Him, and follow his example (Heb. 12:2-4; 1 Pet. 2:21-24).
(Hebrews 12:2-4) "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (4) Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
(1 Peter 2:21-24) "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
B. Do you find the precepts of Christ to be opposed to your flesh? Consider Him, and learn from him (Rom. 15:3).
(Romans 15:3) "For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."
Our Lord did not please himself. He never considered what might be safest, or the least costly path to follow. He sought only the will of his Father (John 12:28; Pro. 3:5-6).
(John 12:28) "Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
(Proverbs 3:5-6) "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
C. Are you tempted to murmur and complain against God’s providence? Consider your Savior, and learn of him (John 18:11). Shall I presume to have a will of my own when he submitted to the will of his Father for me?
(John 18:11) "Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"
III. Third, if you come to Christ, if you take his yoke upon you and learn of him. The Lord Jesus promises “And ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
· The Rest of An Obedient Child.
· The Rest of A Faithful Servant. (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
(2 Timothy 4:6-8) "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
IV. Fourth, I want you to look at verse 30 – “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
At first, this seems to contradict much that is taught elsewhere in the Scriptures – (Matt. 10:34-36; John 16:33; 2 Tim. 3:12).
(Matthew 10:34-36) "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (35) For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (36) And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."
(John 16:33) "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
(2 Timothy 3:12) "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
Yet, every person in the world who takes Christ’s yoke will tell you that his yoke is easy. All who follow him will tell you that his burden is light. His yoke is like a wedding band to a devoted wife, easy and pleasant to bear. His burden is like wings to a bird.
Here is a test for your religion. Do you consider a life of communion with God and devotion to his service a dull, dreary, burdensome thing? If you do, you are yet a stranger to grace and to Christ. His yoke is easy. His burden is light!—How can that be? The yoke of Christ is easy and his burden is light because…
A. Those who live under the yoke of Christ live and act from a principle of love which makes all things easy (2 Cor. 5:14).
(2 Corinthians 5:14) "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:"
Illustration: Jacob’s love for Rachel (Gen. 29:20).
(Genesis 29:20) "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her."
It is easy for a person to perform arduous, costly tasks for one whom they love.
Illustration: Joyce and Danette.
When that love is mutual, it makes the tasks all the more easy.
1. The believer’s love for Christ produces in him a desire to please his Lord. Love does what it can and is sorry that it cannot do more.
2. Our Savior’s love for us assures us of our acceptance with him – Even the most insignificant service is accepted by him from us. (Mark 9:41).
(Mark 9:41) "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."
B. The yoke Of Christ is most agreeable to the inclinations of the believer’s heart (1 John 5:3).
(1 John 5:3) "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
That service is easy and that burden is light, which is agreeable to a person’s nature.
For Example ― Esau would probably have done anything to please his father that he might obtain the blessing; but when Jacob told him to go kill a deer for him Esau could not have been more delighted. He was a hunter (Gen. 25:27; 27:3).
Even so, the believer has been given a new, holy nature that is inclined to and delights in the Word of God and the will of God. It is true, we yet groan under the load of sin. This is a burden! But from our very heart we rejoice in every aspect of Christ’s service and every aspect of his yoke.
1. We rejoice to profess his name (Acts 8:36).
2. We rejoice in his precepts of doctrine, worship, and behavior.
3. We rejoice in his providence (Rom. 5:3-5).
(Romans 5:3-5) "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
C. The yoke of Christ is made easy inasmuch as he gives sufficient grace to all who take his yoke upon them. (The Blessing of Asher – Deut. 33:25; 2 Cor. 12:9).
1. He will give sufficient grace for every day of service – David can easily slay Goliath if God appoints him to it!
2. He will give grace sufficient for the day of sorrow and suffering – (Daniel 3:16; 6:22; Ps. 91:13; II Tim. 4:17).
(Deuteronomy 33:25) "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be."
(2 Corinthians 12:9) "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
D. Once more, the yoke of Christ is easy to bear and his burden is light when compared with the profit we gain by serving our Master.
Do not misunderstand me. God’s people are not mercenaries! We serve our God because we love him and because we love his service. Yet, it is impossible to serve him at a loss, or without profit. In the keeping of his commandments there is great reward, both in this world and in the world to come (Ps. 19:11; Pro. 3:9-10; Mal. 3:10; Lk. 18:28-30). Our God declares, “Them that honor me I will honor!”
(Psalms 19:11) "Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."
(Proverbs 3:9-10) "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
(Malachi 3:10) "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
(Luke 18:28-30) "Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. (29) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting."
Here is the reward of living under the yoke of Christ, of serving him in this world. It is a fivefold reward of grace.
1. A Good Conscience (1 Pet. 3:21; 2 Cor. 1:12).
(2 Corinthians 1:12) "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."
(1 Peter 3:21) "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
2. The Comforts of The Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30).
3. Sweet, Blessed, Habitual Communion With The Living God.
What can be compared with the blessedness of real communion with God? Nothing in all the world is as valuable to the renewed soul as harmony between it and God. Those who live in the yoke of Christ…
· Behold Him in His Word.
· Visit with Him in His House.
· Eat with Him at His Table.
· Walk with Him through His World.
· Talk to Him Freely and Regularly.
· Hear From Him Clearly, Personally, and Regularly.
5. The Mutual Communion His People Have With One Another.
6. The Blessed Hope and Happy, Comfortable Expectation of The World To Come. (2 Cor. 5:1, 8).
(2 Corinthians 5:1) "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
(2 Corinthians 5:8) "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
1. Here is the difference between true faith and the religion of the hypocrite.
· The Believer serves Christ from a principle of love with a prevailing desire to live in all holy obedience to his will.
· The Hypocrite serves the Lord as a slave serves a hard master, not with a willing mind, but of necessity, with a fear of punishment.
2. Has the Spirit of God now persuaded you to come to Christ? If he has, I call you now to take his yoke upon you – Only when you do so will you find rest unto your soul.