Sermon #1386[1]


          Title:            Tell Me the Story of Jesus

          Text:            John 1:1-14

          Reading:      Acts 13:14-41 – Matthew 2:1-23

          Subject:       The Gospel Story of Redemption by Christ

          Date:            Sunday Morning - December 26, 1999

          Tape            V-61b



          Many of the hymns we sing were written by Fanny Crosby. Two of those hymns express desires that ought to arise in our hearts every time we have the privilege of meeting with one another in public worship to hear the Word of God.


Pass me not, O gentle Savior,

Hear my humble cry!

While on others Thou art calling,

Do not pass me by.


Let that be our prayer every time we meet together in this place. And let this be the desire of every heart:


“Tell me the story of Jesus,

Write on my heart every word.

Tell me the story most precious,

Sweetest that ever was heard.”


That is what I have come here to do today. I am thankful that, in his good providence, the Lord God has given us this season of the year. At least today, everyone in the world is forced to acknowledge the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into this world. While our minds are naturally turned to the fact of our Savior’s incarnation, I want, by the assistance of God the Holy Spirit, once more, to tell you the old, old story. It is told throughout the Word of God and given in brief summaries in many passages. I want us to read John 1:1-14 together.


1        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2        The same was in the beginning with God.

3        All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4        4  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5        And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6        There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7        The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8        He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9        That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10   He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11   He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13   Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1 (AV)


          As a gospel preacher, this is my great desire. I want, every time I preach, to tell the same story over and over, again and again. In fact, I am determined to do so. This is my message. I have no other (1 Cor. 2:2). Wherever I go, to whomsoever I preach may preach, this is my responsibility and delight. I never tire of telling the story of Jesus Christ and his love (Phil. 3:1). I never tire of preaching Christ to you; and I hope you never tire of hearing him preached. Indeed, I know that...


          If you are a believer, if you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have seen in his blessed face the very glory of God, you never tire of hearing him preached.


“I love to tell the story, for those who know it best

Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.”


Christ is all to you. You never tire of hearing about the one you love. You never get tired of looking at pictures of one you love. You never get tired of hearing someone talk about the one you love.


          Our sons and daughters, and you who are yet lost, need to hear this story often. It may be that God will be pleased to bless it to your hearts, granting you life and faith in his dear Son. What a blessing that would be! I know this: If God is pleased to save you, if he is pleased to give you life and faith in Christ, it will be by the hearing of this story (1 Pet. 1:23-25).


          Those of you who are in your sunset years still need to hear this glorious old, old story often. We need comfort; and nothing can comfort like Christ crucified. We need strength; and nothing can strengthen our souls like the grace of God in Christ. We need assurance; and nothing gives assurance like the person and work of our Redeemer. These cold hearts need reviving; and nothing revives them like the love of Christ for our souls.


I have been preaching the gospel for thirty-three years now. But I never look for something new to preach. I have preached in almost every English speaking county in the world, and in some that are not, as well as the length and breadth of this country. I have preached to a lot of people, in a lot of places, in prisons and parlors, in hospitals and hotels, in houses and horse stables, in cow pastures, in tents, in school houses, and in churches, large and small. I have even preached in parking lots, street corners, and store fronts, to rich people and poor people, to highly educated people and totally illiterate people, to the upper crust and to the plain old crusty. I have preached to a lot of people in a lot of places. But I never look for something new to preach. My concern, when I sit down to prepare a message is to “know nothing among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.” I leave the complicated, moral, social, political, philosophical, and theological issues that trouble the minds of some men to those who enjoy such trivia. “As for me and my house,” the house in which I am the father, and the house in which I am the pastor, “we will serve the Lord.”

·        We will worship God in the Spirit.

·        We will rejoice in Christ Jesus.

·        And we will have no confidence in the flesh.

We will employ nothing but gospel preaching for the building of God’s church and kingdom.


          I make this solemn pledge to you: As often as we come together in this place, no matter where we open this Book, no matter what the reason for our gathering is (Worship Services, Weddings, Funerals), I will tell you the story of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Proposition: The message of this Book is Jesus Christ and him crucified. The story of redemption, grace, and salvation is the story of Jesus and his love.


Illustration: Acts 13 summarizes the whole history of the Bible as the story of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.


          As I tell you this story again, I will give it to you in six parts, or under six points.


I.                   THE PLOT


          The plot for this story was drawn up in the council chambers of almighty God before the world began. The story begins in the covenant of grace made between God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit before the beginning of time.


A. The Determination of God


          “I will be gracious...” (Ex. 33:19). What a blessed determination that was! Once the determination was made, an election was made (Eph. 1:3-6).


          We know that God does not and did not do these things in a sequential order. He is Go, before whom time is nothing! But to accommodate our puny, finite brains, such language is used. We cannot comprehend the fact that God’s everlasting love, determination to save, election, and predestination were and are instant, immanent, eternal acts of the Almighty!


B. The Dilemma of Grace


          As the Lord God planned and purposed our redemption, our fall in our father Adam was anticipated and planned by him, for “all things are of God.” And that fall presented the Almighty with a dilemma. How can God be just and yet justify the ungodly?


Illustration: Darius’ Dilemma (Dan. 4:14)


C. The Deliverance Found


          In the covenant of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ stood as our Surety and Substitute. And God the Father trusted him with all his glory and all his elect.

·        Job 33:24

·        John 6:37-40

·        Ephesians 1:12-13


24  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. Job 33 (AV)


37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 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. 40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6 (AV)


12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 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, Ephesians 1 (AV)


          Illustrations: Judah - Surety for Benjamin

                               Sheep Given to the Shepherd (John 10:16)


Genesis 43: 8-9 -- And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 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.


          Actually, when the covenant of grace was made, once it was established, the whole story of redemption was finished, written out in a book, and sealed (Rev. 5 and 10). When the story began, it was concluded, in so far as the mind and purpose of God is concerned.

·        Romans 8:28-30

·        Ephesians 1:3

·        2 Timothy 1:9


          The whole plot of the story was unalterably fixed from the beginning. No changes shall ever be made in the story.


1.     Who will be saved? God’s elect!

2.     How will they be saved? By the obedience of Christ!

3.     What will secure the salvation of every chosen, redeemed sinner? The sovereign rule of Christ (John 17:2).




          The entire Old Testament is the introduction to this story of redemption by Christ. When Paul tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,” he is talking about the Old Testament Scriptures (John 1:45). “To him give all the prophets witness” (Acts 10:43).

          Illustrations: Peter - Acts 2

                               Stephen - Acts 7


·        Genesis – Malachi – A Redeemer is coming!

·        Matthew – John – The Redeemer Has Come!

·        Acts – Revelation – The Redeemer is coming again!


Genesis - The Woman’s Seed                                      Exodus - The Passover Lamb

Leviticus - The Atoning Sacrifice                                Numbers - The Smitten Rick

Deuteronomy - The Prophet                                         Joshua - The Captain of Our Salvation

Judges - The Mighty Deliverer                                    Ruth - Our Kinsman Redeemer

Kings - The King of Peace and of Righteousness     Nehemiah - The Restorer of All Things

Esther - Our Great Advocate                                        Job - The Daysman

Psalms - Our Song                                                         Proverbs - Wisdom

Ecclesiastes -The Teacher of Wisdom                       The Song of Solomon - Our Beloved

The Prophets - The Coming Messiah                         The Gospels - The God-man

Acts - The Exalted Lord and King                                The Epistles - The Head of the Church

Hebrews - Our Great High Priest                                  Revelation - The Worthy Lamb


          This is what I want you to see: All the Scriptures speak of Christ (Luke 24:24, 45-47). Every law in Israel pointed to him. Every event recorded in the Old Testament had reference to him. Every priest, his garments, his service, his sacrifices, even his washings and his miter, foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ. The tabernacle, the temple, the ceremonies, and the covenants God made with men, all speak of Christ and portray him.

·        The Skins for Adam and Eve

·        The Ark of Salvation

·        The Mercy-Seat

·        The Rock in the Wilderness

·        The Manna


          Everything in the Old Testament speaks of Christ. His blood of atonement is the scarlet cord that runs through the pages of the Inspired Volume and binds it all together.


          The plot of the story was laid in the covenant of grace. The introduction was given in the Old Testament.


II.                THE BODY


          The body of redemption’s story was written in the incarnation, life, and obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ.

·        Galatians 4:4-5

·        Philippians 2:5-8


4  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. Galatians 4 (AV)


5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2 (AV)


A. When did he come?

          “In the fulness of time.”

B. Who sent him?

          “God sent forth his Son.”

C. How did he come?

          “Made of a woman.”

          “Made under the law.”

D. Why did he come?

          “To redeem them that were under the law.”

E. What is the result of his coming?

          “That we might receive the adoption of sons.”


III.             THE CLIMAX


          The climax of the story was the death which our Lord accomplished at Jerusalem.

·        Luke 9:31

·        John 12:31-32


31  Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. Luke 9 (AV)


31  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. John 12 (AV)


A. “Now is the judgment of this world.”


          The word “judgment” might be translated three ways.


1.     The Crisis of the World - (The Turning Point - The Crucial Time - The Climax)

2.     The Judgment of the World - (The Condemnation of the World)

3.     The Justification of the World - (The Justification of God’s Elect throughout the world - John 16:11)


B. “Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”


          As the death of Christ was the salvation of his people, so the death of Christ was the binding of Satan, the breaking of his power and dominion over the nations of the world.

·        Colossians 2:15

·        Revelation 20:1-3


C. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”


          Here the efficacy of our Lord’s atonement is declared. By the power of his blood applied to the hearts of chosen sinners, by the almighty grace of his Holy Spirit, the Son of God draws all men unto himself, irresistibly! Not all men Without Exception, but all men Without Qualification!

·        All Kinds of Men!

·        All Races of Men!

·        All Elect Men!


          This is the climax of redemption’s story. “In due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:8).

·        1 Peter 2:21-25




          The gospel is “good news,” the good news of redemption accomplished. The gospel is “God’s story,” God’s story of redemption and grace through his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is the conclusion of the story. It has three parts.


A. The Resurrection of Christ


          On the third day after his death the Son of God arose from the grave. He came forth triumphant over death, hell, and the grave. Thus he was “justified in the Spirit.”


1.     Our Lord arose to die no more.

2.     He arose to declare our justification accomplished (Rom. 4:25).


B. The Rule of Christ


          Having accomplished redemption for us, the Son of God ascended up into glory and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, and now rules all things in absolute sovereignty (John 17:2).

1.     His work of redemption is finished (Rom. 8:34; Heb.10:10-14).

2.     His rule is total.

3.     His Intercession is Effectual.


C. The Return of Christ


          Soon the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear in the brightness of his glory to consummate his redemptive purpose (1 Thes. 4:13-18).


1.     The Lord himself shall appear.

2.     The dead in Christ shall rise first.

3.     We shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the lord in the air.

4.     The world and all the wicked shall be destroyed, consumed with the brightness of his glory

5.     Christ shall make all things new.

6.     He shall come to the earth with ten thousands of his saints.

7.     “Then cometh the end” (I Cor. 15:24-28).


          This will be our Lord’s final act of obedience to the Father as our Surety and Mediator. “Lo, I and the children thou hast given me!”


          To the best of my ability, I have told you the story of Jesus, the Christ of God. I have shown you the plot of the story in the counsel chambers of eternity, the introduction of the story in the Old Testament Scriptures, the body of the story in the life of our Savior, the climax of the story in his death, and the conclusion of the story in his resurrection, sovereign rule, and glorious return. Now, let me finish by declaring to you...




          I love a story that has a message; and the story of Jesus Christ has a threefold message.

·        John 3:35-36


35  The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3 (AV)


A.   All things are in Christ.

B.    “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”

C.   “And he that believeth not the Son of God shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”


          Will you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; or will you perish? Will you trust Christ; or will you go to hell with your fist in God’s face?

[1] See Sermon #976 and 1214 – Danville (12/24/95)