Sermon #1815 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Made, Made and Made
Text: John 2:1-11
Subject: Made Sin and Made Righteousness
Legally and Experimentally
Date: Tuesday Evening — September 22, 2009
Tape # Z-73a
Reading: Bobbie Estes and Allen Kibby
The title of my message is — Made, Made and Made. We will begin in the 2nd chapter of John’s Gospel (John 2:1-11). Here we see the Lord Jesus performing his first miracle, turning water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. In performing this miracle, the Holy Spirit specifically tells us, in verse 11, that “Jesus manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” I take those words to mean that our faith in Christ is created and sustained by the manifestation of his glory to us. Oh, may he be pleased to manifest forth his glory in this place again this hour, by the preaching of the gospel, that we may believe on him!
(John 2:1-11) “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (2) And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. (3) And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. (4) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. (5) His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (6) And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. (7) Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. (8) And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. (9) When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, (10) And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (11) This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
The water we are told (v. 9) was made wine . — Pictures of water were not pasted on the water pots. The water was made wine. The water was not made to look like wine. It was made wine. — The water was not made to taste like wine. It was made wine. — The water was not treated as though it were wine. It was made wine. But I am not here to talk to you about water or wine. I have come here to tell you how the God of all grace takes sinners like you and me and makes us saints, how God makes one who is altogether sinful, and nothing but sin, and makes him righteous by his grace.
In the New Testament there are three distinct words that are translated “made,” and each word is used with reference to our redemption and salvation in and by the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, let me show what was done in a legal, judicial way by Adam and by Christ, by the first Adam and Christ the last Adam, the two representatives and covenant heads of the entire human race. — We were made sinners, legally constituted sinners, when Adam sinned in the Garden; and we were legally constituted righteous by the doing and dying of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Holy Spirit reveals in Romans 5:12-21.
(Romans 5:12-21) "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
(13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
(18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
The words “made sinners” and “made righteous” are legal terms. Here the word translated “made” is kayisthmi (kathistemi — kath-is’-tay-mee). Quite literally the might be translated “designated and legally constituted sinners” and “designated and legally constituted righteous.” By the disobedience of the first Adam all men in him (all the human race being represented by him) were designated and legally constituted sinners. By the obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, the last Adam, all who were in him (all God’s elect being represented by him) were designated and legally constituted righteous.
(20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
As all human beings were made sinners by Adam’s disobedience, so all God’s elect were made righteous before god by Christ’s obedience unto death (Romans 4:25-5:2).
(Romans 4:25) "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification."
(Romans 5:1-2) "Therefore being justified, by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Without question redemption is a legal matter. Justification is a legal matter. We could not be redeemed were Christ not our penal Substitute. Those who deny that redemption is by the penal sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ deny that which is plainly declared in Holy Scripture and deny the very core of the Gospel. But those who make redemption nothing but a legal transfer of debt, who make justification nothing but a legal declaration and make salvation nothing but doctrinal facts to which we must give assent, would take away “the joy of faith” in the blessed experience of grace.
So, let’s look at the second word translated “made” in the New Testament. This next word is not (ginomai — ginomai) a legal term at all. Many ignorantly rant about it being a legal term, but it is never used in a legal (forensic) way. This word speaks of that which is experienced.
Back in John 2:9, when the water was made wine, this is the word that is used. In John 1:14, when we are told of our Savior’s incarnation, this is the word that is used. The word ginomai translated “made,” is an intense word. It speaks of a transformation; and a transformation is something that is experienced.
Š When the water was made wine, it did not cease to be water. You have to have water to make wine. But it could never again be just water. The water was made wine.
Š In John 1:14, when the Word was made flesh, God the Word did not cease to be God; but he would never again be just God. He is for evermore the God-man.
(John 1:14) "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."
Now, look at 1 Corinthians 1:30 and see what the Lord God has made Christ to be to us in the sweet and blessed experience of his grace.
(1 Corinthians 1:26-29) "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) 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; (28) 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: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence."
(1 Corinthians 1:30-31) "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
Paul is talking about things we experience in Christ. He is talking about every believer’s blessed experience of grace. All true believers, all who are born again by the Spirit of God, are in Christ, vitally united to him by a living union of faith. As the branches are in the vine, drawing life from and entirely dependent upon the vine, we are in Christ Jesus. We are in Christ, not by an act of our own free-will, but by the work of God's free, sovereign, almighty grace. Meditate often, children of God, upon this glorious fact. What does it mean to be in Christ?
To be in Christ is to be blessed of God (Ephesians 1:3-6). In the everlasting covenant of grace, God blessed all his people with all spiritual blessings in Christ before the world began. All with which God can or will bless man, he has freely bestowed upon chosen sinners in Christ from eternity, in infinite fulness, and without measure. All who are in Christ have been blessed of God eternally with all spiritual blessings according to God’s electing love. In Christ, we are chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, and accepted of God!
But we knew nothing of this great blessedness until we came to be in Christ experimentally by God’s gift of faith, uniting us to our Savior.
To be in Christ is to be favored of God, the object of God's favor and pleasure. With whom is God well pleased? Only Christ (Matthew 17:5). If we are in Christ and one with Christ, God is well pleased with us for Christ's sake. He cannot be displeased with the body if he is well pleased with our Head. As the smile of the Father is on his Son unceasingly and justly, so it is upon us in him!
To be in Christ is to be complete (Colossians 2:10). In Christ Jesus we are complete, full, lacking nothing, perfect. He is all our Wisdom, all our Righteousness, all our Sanctification, and all our Redemption. All that God requires of us, all who believe on the Son of God have in perfect fulness in him. Being complete in him, there is no lack, no need and no room. The only way we can put anything else in is to push him out!
To be in Christ is to be free, freed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13); freed from the yoke of the law (Romans 10:4) and freed from all possibility of condemnation by the law (Romans 8:1). It is no more possible for a believer to be condemned by God than it is for Christ to be condemned again, for we are in him. Because we are in him, because God has imputed Christ's righteousness to us and will not impute sin to us (Romans 4:8), we can never be condemned. If the Lord God will not impute sin to us, he can never, for any reason, condemn us for sin. We are in Christ!
I repeat, when Paul tells us here that Christ is made of God to us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption, he is telling us what transpires in the experience of grace, when we believe of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now here me well — Our experience of grace does not make Christ our Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption; and our faith in Christ does not make him our Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption. — But you will never know that Christ is your Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctification, and Redemption until you trust him, until you believe on the Son of God.
That is what the Holy Spirit tells us, when he describes Abraham’s faith as an illustration of saving faith. When Abraham believed the record of God concerning his Son, the Lord Jesus, it was imputed to him for righteousness (Romans 3:24-26; 4:3-11; 6:11). — Make a mental note: When you run across the words “reckon,” “account,” “counted,” “charge,” “conclude” and “impute” in the Scriptures, all those words are different translations of the same word (logizomai — logizomai log-id’-zom-ahee).
As our Lord Jesus was “numbered” with transgressors when he experienced being made sin for us, we are numbered with him when we experience being made the righteousness of God in him.
(Romans 3:24-26) "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
(Romans 4:3-11) "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7) Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (9) Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. (10) How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (11) And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:"
(Romans 6:11) "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
It is in this experience of grace, as the sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, that all that Christ is is imputed to him consciously.
“The moment a sinner believes
And trusts in his crucified God,
His pardon at once he receives,
Redemption in full through Hid blood:
Though thousands and thousands of foes
Against him in malice unite,
Their rage he through Christ can oppose,
Led forth by the Spirit to fight.
The faith that unites to the Lamb,
And brings such salvation as this,
Is more than a notion or name: —
The work of God’s Spirit it is:
A principle, active and young,
That lives under pressure and load;
That makes out of weakness more strong
And draws the soul upward to God.
It treads on the world and on hell;
It vanquishes death and despair;
And what is still stranger to tell, —
It overcomes heaven by prayer,
Permits a vile worm of the dust
With God to commune as a friend,
To hope His forgiveness as just,
And look for His love to the end!
It says to the mountains, Depart,
That stand betwixt God and the soul;
It binds up the broken in heart,
And makes wounded consciences whole;
Bids sins of a crimson-like dye
Be spotless as snow, and as white,
And makes such a sinner as I
As pure as an angel of light!”
Joseph Hart — (1712-1768)
I have to tell you something else in this regard: — You will never be made to experience this grace, you will never experience what it is to be made righteous in the last Adam until you are made to know by experience what it is to be a sinner in the first. — Again, I quote one of Hart’s great hymns…
“When Adam by transgression fell,
And conscious, fled his Maker’s face,
Linked in clandestine league with hell,
He ruined all his future race.
The seeds of evil once brought in,
Increased and filled the world with sin.
But lo! The Second Adam came,
The serpent’s subtle head to bruise;
He cancels his malicious claim,
And disappoints his devilish views;
Ransoms poor sinners with His blood,
And brings the sinner back to God.
[To understand these things aright,
This grand distinction should be known:
Though all are sinners in God’s sight,
There are but few so in their own.
To such as these our Lord was sent;
They’re only sinners who repent.]
[What comfort can a Savior bring
To those who never felt their woe?
A sinner is a sacred thing;
The Holy Ghost hath made him so.
New life from Him we must receive,
Before for sin we rightly grieve.]
This faithful saying let us own,
Well worthy ‘tis to be believed,
That Christ into the world came down,
That sinners might by Him be saved.
Sinners are high in His esteem,
And sinners highly value Him.”
Alright, we were made sinners in a legal sense by Adam’s transgression; and we were made righteous in a legal sense by Christ’s obedience unto death as our Substitute. — Second, we are made the righteousness of God in Christ experientially, in the sweet experience of God’s saving grace when we trust Christ, being born again by his Spirit, who graciously creates faith in us. — But we could never have obtained righteousness, we could never have been made the righteousness of God in Christ had not the Lord Jesus been made sin for us. Turn with me again to 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Recently, I heard a man say, with regard to Christ being made sin for us, “I see nothing mysterious bout it. It is a legal matter.” I shook my head in disbelief. Is it possible for a person to see nothing mysterious, nothing wondrously mysterious about the Son of God being made sin for us?
The fact is the word translated “made” (poiew — poieo poy-eh’-o) in 2 Corinthians 5:21 means precisely that — “mysteriously, wondrously made, made in a profoundly mysterious way that is beyond explanation.” Our Lord Jesus was wondrously, mysteriously, profoundly caused to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (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."
Traditionally, it is said that Christ was made sin by imputation. I have said that many, many times myself; but the Word of God never says that. There is never a place, not even one, in this Book where a legal or forensic term is used with reference to Christ being made sin. It is certainly true that our sin was imputed to our Savior. Had it not been imputed to him, he could never have suffered the wrath of God for our sin. But he was not made sin by imputation. — Our sins were justly imputed to him because he was made sin for us! Do you remember what I said to you about the water that was made wine? The same thing is true here.
Š The Book does not say, Our sins were pasted on him in a legal, ceremonial way. — The Book of God says, “He hath made him sin for us!”
Š The Book does not say, He was treated as though he were sin. — The Book of God says, “He hath made him sin for us!”
Š The Book does not say, He was accounted a transgressor. — The Book of God says, “He hath made him sin for us!”
Here he manifests forth his glory! Mysteriously, profoundly, wondrously, in a way that defies explanation, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Darling of heaven, who knew no sin, did no sin and could not sin, was made sin for us. Once more, I refer to one of Hart’s hymns…
“Much we talk of Jesus' blood,
But how little understood
Of His sufferings, so intense,
Angels have no perfect sense.
See the suffering Son of God,
Panting, groaning, sweating blood!
Boundless depths of love divine!
Jesus, what a love was Thine!
Though the wonders Thou hast done,
Are as yet so little known,
Here we fix and comfort take,
Jesus died for sinners' sake.”
This is the good wine of the gospel. Truly, it makes glad the heart! When Christ was made sin for us, it was he and he alone who trod the wine-press of his Father’s wrath as our Substitute, when the Lord bruised him and put him to grief. This is the wine that cheers both God and men.
Š When God’s justice took the full draught of it for the sins of the redeemed, the Lord declared himself well pleased.
Š And when the poor sinner, by sovereign grace, is first made to drink of the blood of the Lamb, he feels constrained to cry,
“Hallelujah! I have found Him
Whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings,
Through His blood I now am saved.”
When our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, was made sin for us…
Š He was forsaken of God.
Š All the fury of God’s holy wrath and justice was poured out upon him, at once!
Š He was slain.
Š Justice was satisfied.
Š Our sins were put away!
Now, by the grace of God, upon the grounds of justice completely satisfied, upon the grounds of sin put away by the blood of Christ, every sinner who believes on the Son of God is “made the righteousness of God in him!”
“My faith would lay her hand
On that dear head of Thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.”
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