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Sermon #145 — Romans Series

 

Title:                                       Crucified, Risen, Crowned

 

Text:                                        Romans 14:9

Subject:                                 The Lordship of Christ

Date:                                      Sunday Morning — May 20, 2018

Reading:                   Psalm 2:1-12

 

(1) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

(2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

(3) Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

(4) He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

(5) Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

(6) Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

(7) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

(8) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

(9) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

(10) Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

(11) Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

(12) Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

 

Introduction

 

As God the Holy Ghost will enable me, I want to talk to you about my blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the crucified, risen, and crowned Son of God. My text is Romans 14:9. The title of my message is — Crucified, Risen, Crowned (Romans 14:9).

 

(Romans 14:9) For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

 

Proposition: Here the Apostle, writing by divine inspiration, teaches us that the purpose of God in the death of Christ was the sovereign dominion of Christ as Lord.

 

The Lord God declared in the second Psalm — “I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (vv. 6-8).

 

Gospel’s Claim

 

I stand before you today as God’s messenger to declare of Christ — “He is Lord of all.” This is the claim of the gospel. Christ is Lord! He who died at Calvary in the place of sinners, rose again on the third day, triumphant over death, hell, and the grave, and ascended as a King into heaven, and now he is Lord “both of the dead and the living.

 

Many years ago, Martin Luther stood against the current of popular religion. And he did so because of a stern conviction of the truth for the glory of God. Luther wrote…

 

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition of the truth of God except precisely that point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, then I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steadily on the battlefront besides is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

 

Here are the places where the battle rages today. Here let us be found faithful.

  • God’s Glorious Sovereignty
  • Christ’s Effectual Atonement
  • The Spirit’s Omnipotent Mercy
  • Christ’s Universal Lordship

 

Confronted not Coddled

 

Rebels are to be confronted with the crown rights of the sovereign Christ, not coddled and cajoled into “letting Jesus have his way” with them! Today, there are many who profess Christ. They profess fervently their faith in his death, burial, and resurrection. But, at the point of man’s rebellion and the point of Satan’s most constant attack they are silent. And, thus, their profession is but an empty, cowardly form of religion. The point of man’s most obstinate rebellion and Satan’s most furious attack is the sovereign dominion of Christ. Today, the church of Jesus Christ needs a clarion voice to declare that “He is Lord of all.”

 

Go to the New Testament, and you will find that the gospel of God’s glory has always been preached by faithful men with an emphasis upon the Lordship of Christ.

  • The fact that he died on the cross was not questioned. They knew that. But Peter declared, “that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
  • The love of Christ was never questioned. The issue was the sovereignty of Christ!
  • His mercy and grace were never questioned; but his right to show mercy to whom he will show mercy and to be gracious to whom he will be gracious was and is the issue.

 

Men and women are not being confronted in these days with the sovereign claims of Christ in the gospel. Men will quickly accept Jesus as a Savior, if we soft pedal his absolute authority over them. Nearly everyone claims Jesus as their Savior, but few bow before Jesus Christ, the sovereign Lord.

 

Pulpit Guilt

 

This is the day of revivals that do not revive, evangelism that does not evangelize, and salvation that does not save. And the cause is not difficult to find. The guilt is in the pulpit! The modern pulpit seeks men to be sympathetic with the meek and lowly Jesus. In the days of the apostles it was not so. In the days of our forefathers it was not so. Those bold giants authoritatively declared the rights of a sovereign Christ over the souls of men. It is high time that preachers quit offering men the blessings of salvation and demand surrender to the rule and authority of Christ the King in their lives. Read the promise again.“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). — No Surrender No Salvation!

 

Today men talk about accepting Christ as Savior, and then, as a sort of optional addition, accepting him as Lord. But the Apostle Peter declared his Lordship as the basis of his Saviorhood. “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince (Lord) and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Today men have reversed the Scriptural order.

 

They speak of Christ as Savior, and then try to persuade men to accept him as Lord. This persuasion is nothing less than a complete sell-out to the world and to Satan. Satan has employed every seductive and deceptive force at his command to cause modern “preachers” and “soul-winners” to by-pass, or altogether omit the Lordship of Christ. — What are the reasons for this perversion of the gospel? I can only mention a few.

 

1.    First, preachers crave popularity! They do their dead level best to preach a gospel that is popular to the world, a message that will attract people to them. Therefore, they set forth the joy of belonging to Christ, while deliberately omitting man’s total depravity. The emphasis of their evangelism has shifted from the Lordship of Christ to a message of easy believism.

 

2.    Second, preachers convince themselves that professed faith is possessed grace. — It isn’t! But in their feverish desire to get professions, they are ready and willing to compromise the truth of God and the glory of God. — “Just receive Jesus as your Savior, and everything will be alright.” — Hell is full of folks who have been led down the Romans road to eternal damnation!

 

3.    Third, in a feverish hurry to multiply results by mass production, most are willing to lower the standard of the gospel. Today, a preacher’s back is against the wall. He is expected to produce. His success is judged not by his faithful adherence to and proclamation of the gospel, but by the size of his audience. Unlike our Master, most preachers never warn their hearers to count the cost of following him. In John 6, the greatest preacher who ever lived, Christ himself, preached his crowd away, because he told them the truth.

Š      Sovereign Election

Š      Total Depravity

Š      Salvation by Faith Alone

Š      Faith the Gift and Work of God

Š      Irresistible Grace

 

Romans 14:9

 

Now, let’s look at Romans 14:9. In Romans 14 Paul is talking about meats, and drinks, and the observance of days. He tells us that God’s people are not to sit as judges over one another in these matters, for one simple reason. — We all have but one Lord before whom we stand or fall. — Read verses 7-9. — “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14:7-9).

 

Here, in verse 9, the Spirit of God tells us that the sovereign dominion and Lordship of Jesus Christ is the result of his death and resurrection in the place of sinners. Since he died and rose again, “He is Lord of all.”

 

Divisions: Let me raise and answer three questions and I’ll be done.

  1. What has Christ done for sinners?
  2. What is the result of Christ’s substitutionary work?
  3. How can sinners benefit by Christ’s death and exaltation?

 

Christ’s Accomplishments

 

1st — The first question that I want you to consider from this text is most important. — What has the Lord Jesus Christ done for sinners?

 

Our text says, “Christ both died, and rose, and revived.” This is the entire story of the gospel. There is more to the gospel than this; but these are the essential, elementary facts revealed in Holy Scripture. — “How Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Our text tells us three things that Christ has done for sinners, three great accomplishments of our Savior.

 

1.    Crucified The Lord Jesus Christ died.

 

If the Lord Jesus Christ were nothing more than a mere man, the fact of his death would be of little interest to us. All men die. Great philosophers, great leaders, and great heroes all must die. In their death they may be good moral examples. But the death of any mere man, at its best, is only death. In the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is something unique. Indeed, everything about his death was unique. His death was the vicarious, substitutionary, and expiatory sacrifice for sin.

 

The Person

 

The death of Christ was unique because of the Person who died.“Christ died.” This one who died is Jesus the Christ, the second Person of the blessed trinity. That one who died in the place of sinners is the eternal God. — “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). — He is that one “who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). — He is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). — “He is over all, God blessed forever” (Romans 9:5). — “He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3).

 

Let none rob Christ of his glory as God. He is equal with the Father in power, dignity, essence, and glory. He possesses all the attributes of the Godhead. Christ is the eternal, independent, self-sufficient, and immutable God. — “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the godhead bodily!

 

But, how could the eternal Son of God die? — Only by the marvelous and mysterious incarnation, whereby God joined himself to human flesh in the womb of the virgin, could this happen. You see, whoever undertakes to be the Substitute for guilty, fallen men and thus reconcile them to God must be both God and man. Our Substitute’s name is Emmanuel, God with us.

 

That one who is our Redeemer, though he is the eternal, glorious God, humbled himself and was made in the likeness of men. Yet, never was there a man like him, for he is the perfect God-man.

 

Š      He suffered like we suffer.“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10).

 

Š      He was tempted to sin in every point like as we are.“Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining unto God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

 

 

Š      His faith was tried just like ours is.“Who in the days of his flesh offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared” (Hebrews 5:7).

 

Š      Yet, he was without sin!“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). — “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). — Our Lord challenged those self-righteous Pharisees saying, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” (John 8:46). — “In him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

 

As our Representative, the Lord Jesus Christ lived as a man, with absolute perfection.

  • His eye was never enflamed with unholy anger.
  • His lips never uttered a treacherous or deceitful word.
  • His holy heart was never hot with lust, and it never grew cold with malice.

 

Our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ lived as the immaculate Lamb of God. He was replete with every virtue. Whatsoever is lovely, of good report, praise worthy, commendable, or desirous was in the man Christ Jesus with infinite fulness.

 

So pure is he that the Apostle tells us in one place, “He knew no sin.” He had no acquaintance with sin. He had no communion with sin. He had never experienced or come into contact with sin. He is the Lily of the Valley, the Rose among thorns. — “He knew no sin!”

 

The Circumstances

 

If you will pause to consider the circumstances of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will readily see that it must stand by itself.

  • The Time of His Death
  • Gethsemane
  • Judas’ Betrayal
  • His Trial
  • His Crucifixion
  • Three Hours’ Darkness
  • The Triumphant Cry
  • The Rent Veil
  • The Opened Graves

 

What is the death of Christ?

  • It is the death of sin.
  • It is the death of the law’s curse.
  • It is the death of God’s wrath against us.
  • It is the death of Satan.
  • It is the death of hell.
  • It is the death of death.

 

The Reason

 

Why did Christ die? — There can be only one answer to that question. “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

  • God almighty made his own dear Son sin for us. Being made sin for us the holy Lord God justly imputed the sins of his people to Christ his Son. All the sins of God’s elect, of every kind, of every age, were laid upon Christ.
  • The Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily took upon himself our sins. He says, “Innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psalm 40:12).

 

He was made to be sin for us, therefore he must die. Not only was he made a sin offering, but the pure, immaculate Lamb of God was made to be sin for us. Being made sin for us, Christ became the object of God’s just wrath. Being made sin for us, he must be slain by divine justice.

 

How

 

His death was altogether unique by considering how he died. The Lord Jesus died as a Substitute! — Sin must be punished. Justice must be satisfied. The law must be upheld. God must be honored. How then can sinners be saved? Only if God’s eternal Son becomes the sinners Substitute.

 

I stand amazed in the presence

Of Jesus the Nazarene,

And wonder how he could love me,

A sinner condemned, unclean.

 

For me it was in the Garden,

He prayed, “Not my will, but Thine,”

He had no tears for his own griefs,

But sweat drops of blood for mine.

 

He took my sins and my sorrows,

He made them his very own;

He bore the burden to Calvary,

And suffered and died alone!

 

Christ Jesus died for sinners. He died for rebels. He died for his enemies. He died for the guilty, the unclean, the helpless. He died for me. — “God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

 

He died the violent, shameful, ignominious, and cruel death of the cross. “He was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). — And this he did alone! “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me” (Isaiah 63:3). — “I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).

  • He was despised and rejected of men.
  • He was betrayed by one disciple, cursed by another, and forsaken by all.
  • He was even forsaken by his God and Father.

 

All of this Christ did, voluntarily, for us.“I am the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep….Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:11, 17-18)). — All of this our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, did for us, unasked, unsought, unwanted. He did it freely, voluntarily, simply because he loved us.

 

2.    Risen Not only did he die, Christ Jesus rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. “He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

 

What is the significance of our Lord’s resurrection? — By the resurrection from the dead, he was declared to be the Son of God with power. — By the resurrection from the dead, all of God’s people were justified.

  • The resurrection signifies that the law is satisfied.
  • The resurrection signifies that God is reconciled.
  • The resurrection signifies that sin is put away and forgiven.
  • The resurrection signifies the triumph and victory of Jesus Christ over sin, Satan, death, and hell.

 

Christ Jesus arose from the dead as our Representative.“Even when we were dead in sins, he hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).

  • We rose with Christ.
  • We were accepted in Christ.
  • His resurrection assures us of our own resurrection.
  • It was by virtue of Christ resurrection from the dead that we were born-again.

 

3.    Crowned Our text adds yet a third thing that Christ has done for us. — He revived or ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high as our High Priest and Representative. — “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them” (Psalm 68:18).

 

The ascended Christ has led into captivity all those that once held us captive (Isaiah 14:1-4; Colossians 2:13-15; Revelation 20:1-3).

 

(Isaiah 14:1-4 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. (2) And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. (3) And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, (4) That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased!

 

(Colossians 2:13-15) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

 

(Revelation 20:1-3) And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (3) And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

 

 

All of those things that held us in captivity, Christ has conquered.

  • We were held in the bondage of sin.
  • We were held in the bondage of Satan.
  • We were held in the bondage of the law.

Like a mighty victor returning from war, Christ made a public show of the spoils he had won in his ascension.

 

The ascended Christ has received gifts for men. Jesus Christ has received the gifts of grace to give to men.

  • He gives to men the gift of pardon.
  • He gives to men the gift of righteousness.
  • He gives to men the gift of peace.
  • He gives to men the gift of life.
  • He gives to men the gift of salvation.
  • He gives to men the gift of God’s presence. He ascended “that the Lord God might dwell among them.”

 

To whom does he give these gifts?“To the rebellious also.” Hear me, you who have rebelled against him. Hear me, sinner, Jesus Christ is the ascended Savior of rebels.

 

The Result

 

2ndWhat is the result of Christ’s substitutionary work? “To this end,” or for this purpose, for this result, for this reward, “Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

 

If we only preach the historical facts of the gospel and do not insist upon the enthronement of Christ as a result of his death and resurrection, we have not preached the gospel. It was for this end that Christ died, “that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living.” Salvation does not come simply by our agreement to some doctrinal and historical facts. Salvation is a living union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me show you several things from the Scriptures concerning this blessed revelation of God — “He is Lord of all.”

 

The first thing that needs to be noted is that God has exalted Jesus Christ to the position of supreme dignity and sovereign dominion as Lord of all, because of his substitutionary work.

 

God the Son, our ever-blessed Christ, is the eternal Lord by right of his divinity. This is not something that he had to seek after, ask for, or earn. In as much as he is God, he is King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

But, as the Substitute and Mediator of the New Covenant, he was exalted as Lord of all as the result of his perfect obedience to his Father’s will. — In his humanity, Jesus Christ was in all things subject to his Father. Therefore, his father crowned him with glory and honor. This is such a dominant theme in the Scriptures that I cannot now give you all the Biblical references that demonstrate it. But I will give you a few.

 

Paul states it emphatically in the book of Philippians. “Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

 

In Hebrews 10 we read — “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till all his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:12-14).

 

This was the message of Pentecost in Acts 2. — “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

 

We see that Jesus Christ is Lord, but what does this title and position represent to us?

 

This is a position of greatest honor. —– Jesus Christ sits upon the right hand of the Majesty on High. There is only one in the kingdom of heaven, who sits upon the right hand of the Majesty on High and that one is Christ.

  • He is pre-eminent in the creation.
  • He is pre-eminent in the church.
  • He is pre-eminent in heaven.

 

This is a title of dominion and authority. “He is Lord of all.” “Thou hast given him power over all flesh” (John 17:2).

  • Christ is Lord over all men, both believers and unbelievers.
  • Christ is Lord over all saints in heaven and on earth.
  • Christ is Lord over all things in creation and providence.

 

This is both a title and position of sovereign power. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).

  • Christ has power to save all his people.
  • Christ has power to subdue all his enemies.

 

Now, let me show you the gracious purpose of Christ’s exalted Lordship. Why does he rule as the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth? — “Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:2). — “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and the forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31).

  • Jesus Christ rules as the sovereign Lord to give dead sinners life eternal.
  • He rules as the successful Savior to give hardened rebels hearts broken in repentance.
  • Christ Jesus rules as the Prince of Grace to give to guilty sinners the forgiveness of sins. — If ever you have eternal life, you must take your case to Jesus Christ the Lord.
  • The Son of God rules as an absolute King, to bring glory to his Father.

 

Benefit Obtained

 

3rd — I want to raise one more question. I hope that it is a question that some of you are asking. — How can sinners benefit from the death and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ?

 

You must believe the report that God has given concerning his Son.

  • Believe him to be the Son of God.
  • Believe that by his shed blood your soul can be cleansed.
  • Believe that he is risen, and living, and able to save sinners.
  • Believe that you are a sinner, deserving of God’s severest wrath.

 

You must go to the King and plead for mercy.

 

Perhaps He will admit my plea,

Perhaps will hear my prayer;

But if I perish, I will pray,

And perish only there.

 

I can but perish if I go;

I am resolved to try;

For if I stay away, I know

I must forever die.

 

A guilty, weak and helpless worm,

On Christ’s kind arms I fall;

Be thou my strength and righteousness,

My Jesus and my all.

 

  • Confess your unbelief and ask him for repentance and faith.
  • Confess your guilt and ask him for forgiveness.
  • Confess your weakness and ask him for strength.
  • Seek mercy from the King! — Seek it now! — Seek it importunately!

 

You must bow before Jesus Christ the Lord.

  • Bow before him and lay down your weapons of warfare.
  • Bow before him and surrender your will.
  • Bow before him and submit yourself to him. Jesus Christ will not be your Savior if he is not your Sovereign.

 

Illustration: Chief give himself to Jesus!

 

Application

 

Every doctrine of the gospel depends upon this one thing. If this is true, all else is true. If this is not true, nothing is true. — “He is Lord of all!

  • Let us insist upon the claims of King Jesus in this day when men despise his authority (Isaiah 52:8).
  • Children of God, “He is Lord of all!” Then all is safe.
  • Sinner, when he comes again, the Lord Jesus Christ will slay all his enemies.
  • Here is the bliss of heaven. — “He shall reign forever and ever!”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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