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Sermon #2222[i] — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Christ Our Surety
Text: Hebrews 7:22
Subject: Christ’s Suretyship
Reading: Ephesians 1:3-14
The whole of our acceptance with God is in Christ. It is the Person and work of Christ alone, which makes sinners acceptable and accepted with the thrice holy Lord God.
The whole of our assurance before God is in Christ. Be sure you understand this. Our relationship with God does, in great measure determine what we do; but what we do does not in any way, or to any degree, affect our relationship with our God.
The whole of our security in grace is in Christ. We are in Christ. We are accepted because Christ is accepted. We are secure because Christ is secure. We are holy because He is holy. We have no sin because He has no sin. He put away our sins. Therefore, God will not charge His elect with sin, at any time or for any reason (Romans 4:28).
“Near, so very near to God,
Nearer I cannot be,
For in the person of His Son
I am as near as He.
Dear, so very dear to God,
Dearer I cannot be,
For in the person of His Son
I am as dear as He!”
Christ is our Good Shepherd. – As such, He gave His life for His sheep. He seeks His sheep, each one of them and every one of them, until He finds it. When He finds it, He lays it on His shoulders and carries it all the way home. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep. He calls them by name. He leads them, feeds them, protects them, and preserves them. He gives them eternal life and declares, “They shall never perish!” My heart rejoices in the knowledge that Christ is my Shepherd and I am His sheep (John 10:1-30).
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Substitute. He lived in righteousness and died in shame as the Representative of His people. Substitution is…
· the basis of hope for fallen man.
· the foundation and essence of the Gospel.
· the message God’s servants are sent to declare.
· good news for guilty sinners.
“In due time, Christ died for the ungodly…Who His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree” (Romans 5:6; 1 Peter 2:24). For my own heart there is nothing so deep and mysterious, so profound and awesome, so wonderful and inspiring, so full and joyful, so comforting and assuring as the glorious, God honoring, Gospel doctrine of Substitution. Indeed, Substitution is the very fabric from which all biblical truth is made.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “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.”
Christ is our great High Priest. – He has our names engraved upon His heart. With His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place, and obtained eternal redemption for us. The Lord Jesus Christ deals with God on our behalf. He makes intercession with the Father for us. He who entered into heaven as our Forerunner and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High is Christ, our great High Priest.
This great High Priest is God; but He is also a man, a man touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows our trials, temptations, and troubles. He knows our weaknesses and our woes. And He sympathizes with us. He intercedes for us, pleading our cause with the Father. Christ is a Priest we can safely trust. His sacrifice has been accepted in heaven (Hebrews 10:1-14).
The Son of God is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2). What could be more blessedly consoling to sinful men and women? The Son of God is our Advocate with the Father. — “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous!”
· A Gracious, Loving Advocate
· A Righteous Advocate
· A Full Time Advocate
· An Effectual Advocate
Do you see how anxious the Holy Spirit is for us to enjoy the comfort and assurance of our souls’ salvation? He not only tells us what Christ has done, is doing, and shall yet do for us, He uses metaphor after metaphor to assure God’s believing people that all is well between us and our God.
Among the many descriptions used in Holy Scripture to describe our Savior’s glorious person and redemptive work, none can be more instructive, consoling, and assuring than that which is spoken of in our text (Hebrews 7:22). Here, the Lord Jesus Christ is described as our Surety. Let’s read verse 19-25 together.
Hebrews 7:19-25 “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. (20) And inasmuch as not without an oath He was made priest: (21) (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec:) (22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: (24) But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. (25) Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
I want to talk to you now, for a few minutes, about Christ Our Surety. I want to show you what a surety is and how the Lord Jesus Christ performs the work of a surety on our behalf.
They say that one picture is worth a thousand words. So let me first give you a picture of a surety, and then try to explain a surety’s work.
Illustration: Judah became Surety for Benjamin — Genesis 43:8-9
Genesis 43:8-9 “And Judah (Not Rueben — Genesis 42:37-38) 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:”
Proposition: As Judah became Surety for Benjamin, the Lord Jesus Christ became Surety for God’s elect in the covenant of grace.
What is a Surety?
A surety is one who approaches one person on the 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 His Father on our behalf, and laid himself under obligation to God for us (Psalm 40:7-8).
Psalms 40:7-8 “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”
A surety is one who strikes hands with another in solemn agreement. Suretyship is, to a man of honor, a voluntary bondage (Proverbs 6:1-2).
Proverbs 6:1-2 “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, (2) Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”
When Christ became our Surety, He voluntarily placed himself in bondage to His Father until His service was performed. He snares himself with the words of His mouth (Isaiah 50:5-7; John 10:16-18).
Isaiah 50:5-7 “The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (7) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
John 10:16-18 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) 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.”
This is what the Lord Jesus Christ did as our Surety in the Covenant of Grace, before the world began.
· He drew near to the Father on the behalf of His elect.
· He promised to faithfully perform all that the Triune Jehovah required for the salvation of His people.
· He struck hands with the Father in solemn agreement.
God the Father trusted His elect people into the hands of His dear Son as our Surety, and the matter of our salvation was then and there settled forever (Ephesians 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:9-10).
Ephesians 1:12 “That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
2 Timothy 1:9-10 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
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. — Not so with Christ!
Our Lord Jesus Christ 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. Our blessed Savior, as our Surety, took the whole of our obligation before the law of God upon himself.
With men a surety may be legally forced into suretyship. A father is legally responsible for the debts and legal liabilities of his minor children. But Christ voluntarily, cheerfully placed himself in servitude to God’s law and will as the Surety of His own elect. From the instant He became Surety for His people, He became Servant to His Father (Isaiah 42:1; 49:3; John 10:17-18). The Lord Jesus Christ is an absolute Surety by voluntary consent.
Illustration: The One Room School
When He became our Surety, Christ took the whole of our debt upon Himself. He became responsible for all our obligations. As soon as He was accepted as our Surety, we were released from all of our debts and obligations to God’s holy law.
Illustration: The Legal Transfer Of A Note
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 bondage, all curse, all penalty, and all obligation; and looked to His Son for satisfaction of our debts (Job 33:24).
Job 33:24 “Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.”
Illustration: Paul became surety for Onesimus (Philemon 18).
Philemon 1:18 “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;”
When Christ became Surety for us, our sins were laid on Him and made His. Our sins were made His and 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 they were made His and He became responsible and accountable for our sins when He became our Surety (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:6; Psalms 40:12; 69:5).
2 Corinthians 5:21 “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.”
Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Psalms 40:12 “For 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.”
Psalms 69:5 “O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.”
When the Lord Jesus Christ became our Surety, we were then and there redeemed, justified, pardoned, made righteous, and accepted in the Beloved. God’s forbearance, patience, and long-suffering with this world is due to the suretyship engagements of Christ (2 Peter 3:9).
Illustration: Lot in Sodom
The Old Testament saints were pardoned, justified, and forgiven upon the basis of Christ’s obedience as our Surety, though He had not yet actually rendered that obedience (Isaiah 43:25; 45:24-25; Hebrews 11:13-16).
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Isaiah 45:24-25 “Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. (15) And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. (16) But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.”
Those blessed saints of old had knowledge of and faith in Christ as their Surety (Job 19:25-27; Psalms 32:1-4; 119:122; Isaiah 38:14).
Job 19:25-27 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: (26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”
Psalms 32:1-4 “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. (3) When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. (4) For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.”
Psalms 119:122 “Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.”
Isaiah 38:14 “Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake (be Surety) for me.”
The Lord Jesus Christ became our Surety by His own voluntary will. And He was accepted as our Surety in the Covenant of Grace, before the world began. God, the Triune Jehovah, trusted Him as the Mediator and Covenant Surety of His elect (Ephesians 1:12-14; John 6).
Ephesians 1:12-14 “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, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”
What did the Lord Jesus Christ agree to as our Surety?
When Christ became our Surety, He made certain promises in the name of His covenant people which He is honor bound to perform. These 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 those promises, He is bound to perform them, bound by His own honor, snared by the words of Hi mouth. What are those promises? What did our great Surety agree to do? — Basically, our eternal Surety agreed to do two things:
First, He agreed to meet and perfectly 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. He became absolutely responsible for His people in all things.
· He agreed to render that perfect obedience to the law, “establishing righteousness for us,” which we were obliged to do. He agreed to work out a legal righteousness for His people. — “I have finished the work.’
· He agreed to satisfy the penalty of the law as our Substitute. — “It is finished.”
By His perfect obedience, in life and in death, our great Surety magnified the law and made it honorable (Hebrews 10:5-14).
Hebrews 10:5-14 “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
Second, Christ, our Surety, agreed to bring all His elect safe to glory (John 6:39-40; 10:16).
John 6:39-40 “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 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ became responsible to bring God’s Benjamins safely home. — “If I bring them not unto thee, and set them before thee, then let me bear the blame forever.” It is because of His Suretyship engagements for His elect that our Lord says, “Them also I must bring.” What our Surety has sworn to do He must do (Hebrews 2:13).
Hebrews 2:13 “And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.”
1. He reconciled us to God in 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 Father’s glory with exceeding great joy.
· In that day, He will appear without sin.
· We will appear without sin.
· His Father will say again, “Well done!”
Illustration: Rowland Hill’s Dream
John Jasper – “He’d lose mo’ den me. I’d lose my soul; but he’d lose His glory!”
1. Christ alone is our Savior.
2. Christ alone must be praised.
3. Christ alone must be trusted.
Hebrews 7:22 “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.”
Isaiah 42:1-4 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for His law.”
· This is my salvation.
· This is my comfort and assurance.
· This is my motivation.
· This is my hope.
Illustration: Ed Solomon and Harvey Carroll at Southern Seminary — Dr. B. H. Carroll at Waco, Texas
“Christ exalted is our song,
Hymned by all the blood bought throng;
To His throne our shouts shall rise,
God with us by sacred ties.
Shout, believer, to thy God,
He hath once the wine press trod;
Peace procured by blood Divine,
Canceled all thy sins and mine.
Here thy bleeding wounds are healed,
Sin condemned and pardon sealed;
Grace her empire still maintains;
Love, without a rival, reigns.
In thy Surety thou art free,
His dear hands were pierced for thee:
With His spotless garments on,
Holy as the Holy One.
Oh the heights and depths of grace!
Shining with eternal blaze;
Here the sacred records show
Sinners black, but comely too.
Saints dejected, cease to mourn,
Faith shall soon to vision turn;
Ye the kingdom shall obtain,
And with Christ exalted reign.”
[i] Danville — (PM – 10/23/11)
East Hendersonville Baptist Church, Hendersonville, NC (10/17/11)
College Grove Grace Church, College Grove, TN (10/22/11)
Robert ST Baptist Church, Dudley, ENG — (FRI – 10/28/11)
Ballymony, N Ireland — (TUE – 11/02/11)
New Focus Conference — Knebworth Grace Church
Knebworth, England — Friday — May 22, 2015