Sermon #1254[1]


††††††††† Title:††††††††† The Pre-eminence of Christ in Salvation

††††††††† Text:†††††††††† 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

††††††††† Subject:††††† Christís Pre-eminence in Salvation

††††††††† Date:†††††††††† Sunday Evening - October 6, 1996

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Beth-EL Baptist Church - San Jose, CA

††††††††† Introduction:


††††††††† My text is 1 Corinthians 1:30-31. Read it with me. "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." In thes verses the Holy Spirit distinctly teaches three things. See that you understand them. They are vital.


1.     Salvation is Godís work. If you and I are in Christ we are in him by the work and operation of God almighty, not as the result of our own effort or decision (Rom. 9:16).


2.     The whole of Godís salvation is in and by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is made of God unto every believer, Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption. Everything we need, everything God requires of sinners is in Christ. Everything we need done for us Christ has done. And everything God gives to sinful men he has given to his elect in Christ (Eph. 1:3).


3.     The reason for this is that we might glory in Christ alone. If our knowledge of God, righteousness before God, sanctification in the sight of God, or redemption as the sons of God were in any measure, to any degree determined by or dependent upon us, we would glory in ourselves; and it would be right for us to do so. But God has made Christ alone our Savior and has given him all pre-eminence in the whole affair so that he might have all the glory for it. And so it shall be!


††††††††† Now when we think about this business of salvation we must never think of it as one thing, one experience, or one thing done for us. To do so is to greatly limit our understanding of Godís grace. When you think of Godís salvation, never limit it to your experience of grace. Salvation is the whole work of grace by which we are brought from the gates of hell into the gates of glory. It includes far, far more than any of us have ever imagined.


        I hve been saved in the purpose of grace.

        I am being saved in the experience of grace.

        I shall be saved in the consummation of grace.


And I know this...


Proposition: In the whole work of salvation, in the whole work of grace, past, present, and future, Christ is pre-eminent.


††††††††† As I said, none of us has ever imagined all that is involved in the saving of our souls. But there are at least ten things clearly revealed in the Scriptures as different aspects of salvation. And in all ten of these things Christ is pre-eminent. Letís look at them each briefly.


I. Election - Salvation begins with election. We were chosen in Christ unto salvation.


John 15:16"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."


Ephesians 1:4"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"


2 Thessalonians 2:13-14"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."


1 Peter 1:2"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."


II. Predestination - Having chosen to save us, the Lord our God then predestinated all things necessary to bring us unto the full enjoyment of the adoption of sons in heavenly glory. In love he predestinated us to be conformed to Christ.


Romans 8:29-30"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."


Ephesians 1:5"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"


III. Redemption - The basis of our salvation is the redemptive work of Christ. We have redemption through his blood. This is the very heart of the gospel.


Galatians 3:13"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"


Ephesians 1:7"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."


Hebrews 9:12"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."


1 Peter 2:24"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."


1 Peter 3:18"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"


††††††††† I want you to see three things about this matter of our redemption by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


        It is A Just Redemption.

        It is A Particular Redemption.

        It is An Effectual Redemption.


IV. Justification - We are justified freely by Godís grace through the redemption that is in Christ.


Romans 3:23-28"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) 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. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."


V. Forgiveness - Redemption, justification, and forgiveness go hand in hand. It is impossible to have one without the other two. How I love that word - ďForgiveness!Ē


Ephesians 1:7"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"


Colossians 1:14"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:"


1 John 1:7"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."


1 John 1:9"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


        We are forgiven freely!

        We are forgiven fully!

        We are forgiven forever!


VI. Regeneration - The new birth is having Christ formed in you by the power and grace of his Spirit.


John 3:3-8"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." The new birth is a resurrection from the dead!


Colossians 1:27"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." The new birth is having Christ formed in you!


2 Peter 1:4"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." The new birth is being made a partaker of the divine nature! I am talking about something that requires more than the excerise of your imaginary free will!


VII. Sanctification - Christ is our sanctification.


A. We were set apart in him in divine election as the objects of Godís grace, to be made holy.


Jude 1:1"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:"


B. We were declared to be holy when Christ washed away our sins at Calvary.


Hebrews 10:10"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."


Hebrews 10:14"For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."


C. And we have our Saviorís holy nature imparted to us in the new birth.


2 Peter 1:4"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."


1 John 3:5-9"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."


VIII. Preservation - Christ keeps and preserves his chosen, redeemed, called sheep in the arms of his almighty grace. Our preservation by him secures our perseverance in him.


John 10:27-30"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (30) I and my Father are one."


Ephesians 5:25-27"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."


Philippians 1:6"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"


Jude 1:24-25"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen."


IX. Resurrection - When Christ comes again we shall be raised up from the dead by the power of God. Every chosen, redeemed, regenerate sinner shall be raised up to glory in the last day.


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words."


Illustration: The Robinís Eggs


X. Glorification - When we have been raised up from the dead all Godís elect shall be glorified together, transformed into the very image of Christ, and made to possess that very glory that he now possesses as our glorified Mediator.


John 17:5"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."


John 17:22"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:"


A.   Christ will be our Crown of Glory, of Righteousness, of Life,and of Rejoicing!


B.   Christ will be our great Reward.


C.   Christ will be our Satisfaction.


        Total Communion with Him!

        Total Commitment to Him!

        Total Conformity to Him!




Illustration: The Leper - ďHelpme! Help me. Somebody help me!Ē


Psalms 115:1"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake."


Psalms 70:4"Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified."


Jeremiah 9:23-24"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: (24) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD."


1 Corinthians 10:31"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."


Revelation 5:9-10"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."


††††††††† The glory of God is paramount. Let us make the glory of God paramount with us in all things.


        In Our Faith.

        In Our Worship.

        In Our Preaching.

        In Our Homes.

        In Our Lives.


To God be the glory,

Great things He hath done!


1 Corinthians 10:31"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."



[1] See Ser#1246 for a Similar Message Preached at Danville on Tuesday Evening - August 20, 1996