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Category Archives: Midland Church

Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 13)

The following is Part 13 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

Peter would say this, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.”

Paul would say in Galatians, “Those of you who be of the seed of Abraham, those of you who be of Christ are Abraham’s seed.”

I’m not talking about Jews over Gentiles or Israel over you. I’m talking about you that are in Christ. You are God’s chosen one. You are God’s preferred seed. He’s not got His eyes on a piece of property on the other side of the globe. He’s got His eyes on you. You’re the seed of God that He’s interested in. A seed shall serve Him. And that seed shall be counted to the Lord as a generation.

31:

“They shall come. They’re not here yet, but they are coming.”

What are they called? Midland. They’re called you. Not just Midland, but those sitting here; you’re part of it. They shall come, and they shall declare His righteousness to a people that have not yet been born that He has died on that cross, and His hands and His feet have been pierced and His heart has exploded like wax. And the dogs wag their tongues at Him. Somebody’s going to go tell the world that God is righteous and that Jesus died on the cross. Church, don’t you want to be that person?

“They shall declare His righteousness unto a people that have not been born yet.”

God is righteous every time. When someone believes on Jesus, God proves He’s righteous because He says, “You’re righteous now.”

But Lord, I haven’t done good things.

“I don’t judge you based on what you do. I’ve judged my Son. My Son has paid for your sin, thus I call you good.”

 

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 9)

The following is Part 9 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

Pastor, are you saying that Jesus had sin? Absolutely not. He had none. But he had all of ours. Thank God. If he hadn’t had all of ours, somebody’s got to pay. But he took all of ours so we don’t have to pay.

Now, I want to bring it home with this:

Pastor, what about, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

At Calvary, Jesus said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
Matthew and Mark, both, cover the phrase, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Luke and John do not mention it.

I want to dig into that for just a moment because I want to show you what I believe, and it took the Lord stirring this in my spirit. I didn’t sleep very well for about two nights this week, as the Holy Spirit stirred in my heart: Clean up the picture of Daddy God. I want the people to know what I actually did at the cross in punishing their sins.

One of the first questions I asked was: Lord, help me deal with the scripture, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Mark 15:

[I’m going to read Mark’s version, but I’m going to read some context, and I want you to grab some of this stuff because it’s going to come back to you in a second.]

Here’s what the crowd at the cross says that day at Calvary, “Save yourself. Come down from the cross.”

Now, what the crowd doesn’t know is that if Jesus does this, every one of them will die. If He saves Himself and comes down from the cross, nobody gets saved. So by saving Himself, none of us would get saved. But because He didn’t save Himself, all of us can be saved.

“Save yourself and come down from the cross.”

31:

“Likewise, also, the Chief Priest, mocking, said amongst themselves, and with the scribes, ‘He saved others, but Himself He cannot save’”

Look at this smart-aleck comment. They stand at the edge of the cross and say, ‘He saved other people, but look at Him; He can’t save Himself.”

Listen to the sarcasm in the next verse:

“Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross that we may see and believe, and they that were crucified with Him reviled Him.”

There were people standing at the foot of the cross, mocking my Jesus saying, “If you’re Christ… Let Christ the King of Israel come down off the cross and save Himself if he’s really the King of Israel.” So there is anger being spewed; even the two criminals start out by reviling him. Remember what Isaiah said? “He was reviled, but He reviled not back.” Those that were crucified reviled Him.

Next verse:

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

This is very important because if a person is going to hang on a tree, he has to be removed before the sun goes down. Want to see a miracle? So that man can’t sneak Jesus off the tree before the sun goes down, God darkens the sun at noon.
‘At the sixth hour, which is noon, darkness came over the land until the ninth hour.’ During that three hours of darkness, something spectacular was happening.

The identification that something had to be hanging on that tree in the dark had to come to light to someone. But, at the ninth hour of the day, 3:00 pm, Jesus is still on the cross.

 

Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 7)

The following is Part 7 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

So, the Jew that’s reading Isaiah 53 doesn’t know when this is going to happen. But he knows that it’s going to happen. Someday, a guy is coming along that’s going to be acquainted with grief. We’re going to hide from him; we’re going to despise him. We’re not going to esteem him. This scripture is specifically written to those standing at the foot of the cross that day, who Peter said killed the Lord of Glory. And here’s how we know:

Look at the next verse:

“Surely He hath borne our griefs. He has carried our sorrows; yet, we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Surely He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him not.”

We esteemed him not. We didn’t know who He was. But I’ll tell you how we did esteem Him.

Next verse:

“Stricken, smitten of God.”

We didn’t know who He was. We didn’t realize who He was. But how we saw Him, was as God killing Him. What we – the Jews that were there that day – saw was that God was killing his son. We thought was that He was smitten of God.

Have you ever considered how a Jew was supposed to be executed under Jewish law? If you haven’t, this might be eye-opening.

Under Jewish law, people were stoned to death. They were taken outside the city, laid on the ground with a circle of people around them, and rocks were thrown at them until they were dead. Pretty tough way to die. But nothing like what Rome was going to come up with.

The Romans perfected an art of execution. They took two pieces of wood. They put one of them in the ground and then notched a hole in the middle of the other piece and laid it down on top of the first piece. This cross that we have in the Western world was not the cross they had the day Jesus died. The day Jesus died it looked more like a T. They would strip their victim naked, and they would hang him with nails in his hand and his feet from a piece of wood so he could die in one of three ways, or all of three ways – they didn’t care. He could either bleed to death, dehydrate, or suffocate because of his body’s inability to draw air into his lungs. They would leave a man there, sometimes for up to a week, until his body finally died. The Romans did this in glee. They had found a way to humiliate people as they killed them slowly.

Now, that mode of execution is so important is because there’s an obscure little verse in the 21st Chapter of Deuteronomy that says this:

“Cursed by God is every man that hangs on a tree.”

Israel knew this, so they never put people on trees. In fact, if they ever hung a victim, they would cut him down before the sun set because the caveat in that law was that a person couldn’t hang on a tree into the dark of night. So, before the sun went down, Jews would cut hanged men down from trees so their bodies wouldn’t be cursed of God.

The Romans had perfected an art of execution that put men on trees; however, Jews couldn’t put men on trees. They had to stone them to death. Have you ever wondered why the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees and the scribes, were so adamant on having Pilate convict Jesus to death, not Herrod? Remember how disappointed they were when Pilate said, “Take him to Herrod.” They needed the public to see Jesus as cursed by God. It was necessary to maintain the Jewish system. If they could make it look like this guy was a quack – sure he could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk on water, feed the hungry. But if God was mad at him, how could you love him? If God cursed Him, how could you approve of Him and still be a good Jew? So when they approached Herrod, they don’t go with excitement because all Herrod can do is stone Jesus to death. That isn’t good enough. They need him cursed. What excitement when Herrod sends him back to Pilate!

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 6)

The following is Part 6 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

So, whenever they reviled Jesus, made fun of Him, mocked Him, Jesus didn’t spew it back. He’s a good God. I say that because I don’t think many of us walk in this verse too often. Let me ask – If you get cornered and threatened, if you suffer and threaten not, I want you to come teach me a few lessons. Because if I get cornered, I’m probably going to fight back. When Jesus got cornered, He said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” What a guy. What a God.

He suffered. He threatened not. He committed Himself to Him that judges righteous, so He knew whatever Daddy’s going to do, I commit myself to the One that judges righteously. That’s why at Gethsemane, Jesus took that fictitious cup, it wasn’t a real cup, but He took that metaphorical cup and He said, “Father, if this cup can pass from me, let it. But if not, I’ll drink the cup of your judgement. I’ll drink the cup that you have assigned to me. If this is the only way to set these people free, I’ll do whatever I have to do.” So, Jesus goes to the cross and commits Himself to the One He knows is going to judge Him righteously. And then Peter says this, “Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the Tree that we being dead to sins should live under righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.”

Did you see in this verse that Jesus bore our sins in His body on the Tree? Peter has figured something out between Acts Three and I Peter 2. He has said not only did they kill him, but I can tell you why He died. He died having no sin but having all of our sin placed into Him. And by His stripes, you were healed. Now, if you will be careful as you read the Word, the Word of God will daisychain from one thing right into the next. It will simply walk you like tracking something through the woods if you’re good at it. Just watch where the twigs get bent, watch where the foot falls and you’ll find it. And God will lead you on a journey.

Remember where Jesus is raised from the dead on Resurrection Sunday? He’s walking from Jerusalem to Emaeus (?) when He comes up to two disciples, and they say, “Don’t you know what happened this weekend in Jerusalem? They killed the Lord of Glory.” The Bible says He blinded their eyes from seeing who He was so that He would reveal Himself to them. And He didn’t just look at them and go, “Check my hands out. See the nail scars? Check my feet out. Nail scars.” He could’ve done that. But if He did that, then we wouldn’t learn how to find Jesus. So, what He did was take them through the Scriptures. The Bible says, “…through the law and the prophets, revealing the scriptures concerning Himself.” And when they got to Emaeus, the blinders fell off their eyes and they went, “Oh my goodness, we didn’t even know who we were talking to. But we found Jesus through the scriptures.” So what the Old Testament does is actually walks you to Jesus.

Now, what is Peter quoting? Does this look familiar, the last part of the verse? “By whose stripes you were healed.” Peter’s quoting an Old Testament Scripture because he realizes at this point in his ministry that what happened when ‘by His stripes, we were healed,’ had a great effect on his Christianity and had a great effect on the New Covenant. We often think that these guys in the early church had it all squared away. That the minute they got saved – boom! They had it all. I don’t buy that for a moment. They put these pieces together as they went along, and the piece that Peter just connected, we are going to connect today, too.

Let’s go find this verse.

Isaiah 53:3:

“He is despised and rejected of men.”

Let me ask you, according to this verse: Is He despised and rejected of men, or is He despised and rejected of God? He’s despised and rejected of men.

“A man of sorrows acquainted with grief, we hid as it were our faces from Him, He was despised and we esteemed him not.”

Esteemed Him not is, ‘We acknowledged Him not.’ We did not acknowledge that He was who He said He was. We hid. He was despised. He was rejected. We wanted nothing to do with Him.

Now, the book is Isaiah. Isaiah is a prophet to Israel. This text happens hundreds of years before Jesus goes to the cross. And Isaiah is writing it to a group of people about the death of a coming Messiah. However, to my knowledge, having studied Isaiah 53 many times, there is nothing specific in the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah that would point someone in AD 33, standing at the foot of the cross, to read Isaiah 53 and say, “This has to be the guy.” It’s a general prophecy about the death of the Messiah, but it doesn’t say the words, “Jesus…Jesus of Nazareth… This is going to happen in 500 years…” It’s just a prophecy.

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 4)

The following is Part 4 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

Look at what Paul says about the Just God. “To declare, I say, at this time his…” [This is one of the only things I don’t like about the King James, is that the his should be a capital H. OK, I’m reading Old King James today because I’m in some old familiar verses for me. And I want to go back and dig out some of them out the way I learned them. But His is God.]
“To declare at this time His righteousness that He might be Just and Justifier of those who believe in Jesus.” Look at this, God declares how righteous He is two ways: that He might be both Just and Justifier. The word Just is the same as the word righteous, so God shows you His righteousness in that He is both righteous and makes righteous those who believe on Jesus. How can God prove to you He’s a righteous God? He is a righteous God when he declares sinners righteous by faith. Or I’ll say it this way: God proves He is righteous when He makes sinners righteous simply based upon their faith not based upon their performance.

Every person in this house today and every person listening around the world that claims righteousness can only claim it honestly if they claim it without works. Otherwise, God’s not a just God because He’d have to judge your works to give you righteouness, and the truth is He’s already judged your works in His Son; thus, God proves He’s righteous every time somebody believes on Jesus. God says, “You’re righteous.”

Pastor, how long would I have to come to Midland to be considered righteous? How many months do I need to sit through sermons? Do you have a righteousness class? How many good, passing grades do I need to make on our counseling sessions before I’m considered righteous? I will say to you: You don’t ever have to darken the doors of this church. The second you believe on Jesus as your Savior and the source of your righteousness, God declares that you are righteous. And only when God declares people righteous by faith is anybody going to believe God is good.

Say, “I’ll believe God’s good if He’ll give me money.” No, you won’t. “I’ll believe God’s good if He gives me healing.” No, you won’t. He did all that to the children of Israel, and they still didn’t believe it. He crossed you through dried ground in the Red Sea. He’ll give you food. He’ll give you water out of a rock. He’ll heal you from the snake bite. He’ll do it all, and you still stand and ask God if He’s Just. Accuse Him of not caring. You’ll never know how much He cares until you see the Cross and you realize that He actually judged something at the cross so that He wouldn’t have to judged it in you. It’s only then that I can prove to you that God is a righteous God. So, know today that you are God’s righteousness if you have believed in Jesus. Isn’t that Good News? Now, that’s the Just God. That’s what Peter said, “You killed the Just and the Holy One.” Now, Peter is saying, “You put him there. You denied Him and put Him there.”

Go back to Acts. Watch Peter’s accusation.
Acts 3:15: You killed the Prince of Life, whom God raised from the dead whereof we are witnesses.
Now, let me ask you, based upon Acts 3: 15, who did Peter think killed Jesus?
You killed – he’s pointing at the Jews standing in the street –You killed the Prince of Life whom God raised from the dead, and I’m a witness that God raised Him from the dead. That’s what Peter says.

Now, this is very important. I want everyone to hear this that ever claims ministry, and everyone listening by internet or watching on tv that ever claims ministry or that teaches the Word. I think this is one of those things that if we can learn this in the pulpit, it’ll help us in the pew. There is a difference between right and wrong and truth and error. You can sit and talk to a person and get into it about rights and wrongs. How many of you have ever done that? And you say, “I don’t think that’s right.” And they go, “Well, I don’t thing that’s right.” And you can just get in a big throw-down. But do you realize that right and wrong isn’t nearly as important and truth and error?

Let me explain: Two people can be talking about an issue, biblically, and one of them could be right and the other could be wrong, but they could both be walking in the Truth that God’s not mad and their sins have been judged at the cross and they are righteous based on faith. Is that possible? Is it possible to be wrong about a doctrinal issue, but right in Truth? Absolutely. Well, if that’s possible, then it’s also possible to be right in a doctrinal issue and be living in error when it comes to the Finished Work. Right? So, you have to ask yourself: Do I want to be right, or do I want to be in Truth? Well, I’d like both. But Truth’s most important to me. Which is why I’ve learned it’s okay to be wrong once in a while. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. If I think you’re wrong, I might tell you, “I think you’re wrong.” But that’s okay because as long as we’re in Truth, we’ll know the Truth is what makes us free – not being right.

We’ve confused that in the church. We always think if we’re right, we’ll be free. No, there are people who are wrong about a lot of things that walk in the freedom of Truth, and there are people that are right about a lot of things that don’t understand anything about freedom. So, what I want to accomplish today, is I want to let you know that I believe the Truth is that God punished sins at the cross. The Truth is that God’s not mad anymore. I believe that the Truth is that you are righteous based on faith. But I want to let you know that sometimes I might be wrong on the way trying to explain Truth. But I’m encouraged today that I’m not by myself. And I’m not even going to point at you. Although I probably could. I’m encouraged that according to Acts chapter 3, Peter doesn’t show a whole lot of knowledge about what happened at the cross.

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 3)

The following is Part 3 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

14: But you denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.
Now, before I go any further, this verse always kind of amuses me because, let me ask you a question – Go back to Sunday School 101 – The night Jesus is on trial, which was a sham of a trial by the way, you call no jury in the middle of the night and bring in with no witnesses and convict a man to death. That’s a pretty pitiful trial. Jesus brought on “trial” before Pontius Pilate, standing outside warming his hands over a fire is which disciple? Peter. Who is the guy talking right here? Ok, keep that in mind.

Peter – that night someone says to him, “Aren’t you one of those men that follow the Galilean? Your voice betrays you, it sounds like you’re one of the Galileans. What does Peter say? “That’s not me, I don’t know him…. I don’t know who you’re talking about.” That happens twice, it happens three times, thus fulfilling a prophecy Jesus made just a few hours earlier when He said, “Peter, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times. (You will what? Deny me.” Now, where does Peter get the gall to use in his sermon, “You denied the Holy One and the Just.”

If I were to say to you – who denied Jesus? What would your answer be? Peter. Then why does Peter turn the tables and say, “You denied the Holy One?” I think this is one of the most under-preached, beautiful scriptures about the New Covenant right here. Whenever you realize what has happened in you, you stop living in the guilt of the past, worried about being the guy that denied and you start standing up for the New Covenant of God’s grace and God’s peace. Peter is the one who denied Jesus, yet he stands there that day as if he never has. Man, I’m telling you, when you know how much God loves you, I want you to take your stand as if you’ve never sinned. I want you to walk through this world as if you’ve never failed. Why? Because when your sins were placed into Jesus, they were placed there past, present, and future once and for all, and you have the right to be like Peter. Not one person had the nerve in that crowd to go, “Wait a minute, we denied Him? You’re the one that denied Him!” Because he stood with the power of the Holy Ghost in the knowledge of forgiveness and preached this message. Now, Peter is identifying who Jesus is, “You denied the Holy One and the Just.”
By saying this, Peter is saying, “You guys denied that Jesus was everything He said He was.”

Let me introduce to you today a thought that we know but sometimes we forget –

The Jews did not put Jesus on the cross because He walked on water. They did not put Jesus on the cross because He fed the hungry, or he raised the dead, or he healed the sick. They put Him on the cross for one reason – Because He claimed that He and the Father were the same person.

Now, if you’re a good Jew, that’s blasphemy talk. A guy comes along and says – and I’ll tell you something else that got Him there: In John chapter 8, he said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” And do you know what words He used in the Hebrew? The exact same words that God used on Moses in the Land of Egypt when He said, “You go tell the people the I am has sent you.” And Jesus stands in John 8 and says, “Before Abraham was, I am.” And the fury came up in their eyes and they said, “How dare this guy say He’s the same as Our Father?” And Jesus said, “When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. I and the Father are one. Whatever I see the Father do, that’s what I do.” Let me tell you, that’s why He went to the cross. They had to eliminate this man that they thought was blaspheming their God.

And Peter says, “You have denied the Holy One. You’ve denied the Just One.” Now, let me present this to you, Peter is claiming in this verse that God and Jesus are one in the same. How do we know? Because when the Apostle Paul qualifies the message of grace in that powerful book of Romans, the most complete, thorough picture of grace the world has ever seen. If you’ve never unveiled (?) yourself to those sixteen chapters, they’re worth every second they’ll take you to walk through Paul’s journey through the message of grace. When he arrives at the third chapter, he’s trying to prove to you that you’ve been justified. He’ll work hard in that third and fourth chapter of Romans proving to you that you are justified. He makes one of the most powerful, poignant statements about the justice system of God in Romans Chapter 3.

We will jump out of Acts real quick, and we’ll come back.

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 2)

The following is Part 2 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

Isaiah said that Jesus was “…smitten by God and afflicted and that it pleased the Lord to bruise him…” (Isaiah 53: 4, 10). He also wrote that the Father would see the travail of Jesus on the cross and that He would be satisified (Isaiah 53:11). Why would God do this to his own Son? How could smiting Jesus bring God any pleasure? Didn’t he love Jesus? The answer to all these questions is summed up in one statement: God loves you and me so much that it pleased Him to punish our sins in Jesus so that He would not have to punish them in us.”

Now, I stop there because you caught the phrase in that opening paragraph, asking the question: Did God kill his Son? And then I try to make the point in John 10 that nobody actually killed him, Jesus laid his life down. And then come back to that thought that God punished and killed his Son. I cleaned it up a little bit with the statement: God loves you and me so much that it pleased Him to punish our sins in Jesus so that He would not have to punish them in us. So, that’s where we are. And I want to take it further today. I want to answer the question: Did God kill Jesus?

We’re going to talk about between the pieces, what really happened at the cross. To do that, we start from God’s point of view and to try to find out what God was accomplishing at Calvary’s cross, and to identify what He really did punish. If He punished anything, what did he punish at all? To do this, I think that the best way to start is to go to an eyewitness. You and I weren’t there, but we have people that were, who wrote the New Testament, who were actually standing at the cross, some who were at the foot.

John the Beloved is standing at the foot of the cross in the book of John watching Jesus die. Peter, James, Phillip, Bartholomew, all these other disciples, were in the vicinity. They were not necessarily standing at the foot of the cross. But they were eyewitnesses to the Resurrection. They saw the empty tomb. They watched Jesus walk through the wall that day in the upper room and present Himself to them, showing them the scars in His hands and His feet. They were standing there on the hill when He ascended up into Heaven, so they saw a post-Resurrection Jesus. We have a good eyewitness account.

I want to show you the eyewitness of Peter, a man who was at least in the proximity of the cross the day that Jesus died. He had spent some time the night before in the courtyard outside of where Jesus was being tried in front of Pontius Pilate. This is post-Pentecost.

In the Acts 3, when Peter and John come into Jerusalem and as they approach the Temple steps, they come in through the gate called ‘Beautiful,’ and they find a man lying on the steps who is lame and has been lame for many, many years. He shakes a proverbial cup asking for coins/alms. As Peter and John walk past him, Peter looks him in the eye and says, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give unto Thee in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Rise, take up your bed and walk…” This is the first instance in the New Testament of anybody vocalizing ‘In the name of Jesus’ and then healing someone – right there in Acts chapter 3.

Peter had already believed in the power of the Holy Ghost that he had received in Acts 2. So, he’s already having revelation. He’s already walking a little bit deeper into what he understands about God.

And we pick the text up right after the crowd goes ape. They go nuts. They see this guy stand up and get healed, and they think, ‘Oh man, we have a god in front of us.’ They think Peter and John are gods, and Peter says this (Acts chapter 3, verse 12): When Peter saw it, he answered the people, you (?) Israel, why do you marvel at this. Why do you look so earnestly on us as though by our own power or (?)
We didn’t fast enough or pray enough, give enough, do enough, it just happened because we used the right name. In the name of Jesus, rise up and walk.

13: The god of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob. The god of our fathers has glorified his son Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied Him in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Him go.
Peter gives us our first hint. He indicates who he believes is responsible for delivering Jesus to Pontius Pilate. We also get some insight right here: Peter knew Pilate was going to let Jesus go. But he knew that the Jews that were outside the hall that night were ready to throw a riot – the religious Jews – if he let Him go. So Peter says, “You delivered Him up, you denied that you even knew Him in the presence of Pilate. You denied that He is God, and you delivered Him up because Pilate was determined to let Him go.”

 

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Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross (Part 1)

The following is Part 1 of the transcript of the sermon by Pastor Paul White titled “Between the Pieces: What Really Happened at the Cross”. Check back each day as we continue to post the transcript to this exciting sermon.

I want to share some word with you today. I have to warn you I’ve got about two hours worth of material, so what I’m doing today is at 8:30 this morning, for the early service, I just felt the Lord pressing on my heart, “Son, I want you to slow down, take your time, do this right,” which, meant to me that sometimes He knows I don’t slow down, and then I do it wrong. “Son, I want you to take your time; dig down into this word and pull things out today.” So, I’m not going to preach everything I have prepared. I’m not going to cover every Scripture I have for you on the screen. In fact, I’ll tell you straight up, unless the Lord does something different in this session than He did in the first session, we’re going to break this up and preach it in two parts: this week and next week.

The title today is, ‘ Between the Pieces, What Really Happened at the Cross.’ But I set up my sermon titles, a lot of time, to actually hit the title at the end. So we probably won’t get to ‘between the pieces’ today. But we are going to talk about what really happened at the cross. We’ll finish that up next week.

I’ve never brought my book into the pulpit and read from it. I’ve never brought my book in the pulpit and preached from it. I’m not going to preach from it today, but I am going to read from it, and here’s the reading:

[I endeavor, what I want to do most in life is to preach, I want to see souls saved. I want to make Daddy look right. If God’s good, I want to make Him look good. And my Dad’s gotten a bad rap. Not my earthly Dad, but my heavenly Dad has gotten a bad rap amongst the world. Getting accused of killing people; He’s accused of being angry, He’s always making storms happen, giving people retribution, cancers and tumors, and paying people back for stuff. He’s always ticked off at your finances. He’s always ticked off at your parenting skills. He’s always ticked off at your laziness. Man, people just making my dad look bad. And I don’t like it when people make my family look bad. That’s my dad, and I can tell you something about my dad – He’s not mad. He’s loving. He’s compassionate. He’s gentle. He’s firm. That’s because He’s JUST. He does the right thing ALL the time. And He loves me unconditionally. The good news is He loves YOU unconditionally, and He’s done all of this for you and for me. And anytime that I might even make the edges of my Father’s picture soiled, I want to clean that up. I was really mulling over for about two days, a term, a phrase that I’ve used and I’ve preached several times where I would make the statement, “God killed His son at the cross. God punished Jesus at the cross.” And that began to stir in my spirit. And I began to pray, “Lord, is that right? Because, this is what I told the Lord, I’m pretty sure I even wrote that in my book. You know, once you publish a book, it’s out there. People can read that all the time. I said, “I want to KNOW whether that statement is correct, that you killed your son. If there’s something for me to pursue there, I want to find it in here (book) so I can see what I said.” And as God as my witness, I went over to the book rack and grabbed my copy of my book, and I just opened it. And my eyes fell on the very paragraph where I made the statement. And I’m not saying that’s how I knew it was the Lord, I’m just saying I asked, and I received. I said, “Lord, I want to find it in here” and he helped me find it. And then I closed it and said, “Now, Lord, I want to find it in the Word.” And then the journey has been this week in my heart, and I believe we are goin to turn over some deep soil today as we journey into the Word.

But to start with, I want to read to you from my book, I want to read to you what I’ve said here, and I want to go into the Word and find out if that’s the case. I’m going to read to you ‘From Revelation to Transformation: How Seeing Jesus Will Change Your Life.’ I published this last summer, summer of 2011. I’m going to read to you from the third chapter, twenty-sixth page, starting at the top of the page. I’m talking about the sword that was guarding the Tree of Life – the way to the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. And how Man was not able to eat from the Tree of Life because God put a cherubim with a flaming sword outside that Tree to keep people from eating it. Nobody was allowed access to it until the cross where Jesus became the Tree of Life, allowing access to the tree.

“Since the sword is representative of God’s anger and judgement, and is to smite the shepherd, Jesus, we must decide whether it is biblical to declare that God killed His own son. Of course, most Christians would nod their heads in approval that God offered up Jesus for us. But many feel that the Romans or the Jews actually killed Jesus, and that this just served God’s purpose. I propose to you that no man killed Jesus because Jesus himself told us, “…I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man takes it from me. But Iay it down of myself…” (John 10: 17-18). While Jesus had to offer up his life willingly as a sacrifice for sins, the punishment and pain He endured prior to that offering was placed on Him by the very hand of God the Father.

 

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Everyday Grace

Today is a bonus day on our calendars, added every four years as a corrective measure, because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days. Mankind learned this through reading and tracking the stars and the speed of the earth’s revolution around the sun. Thus, today is a man-made application to allow one day to correct 365 other days.

God had a correction plan of His own. At Calvary, the Son of God became the sacrifice for the human race, placing the sins of mankind into His body and taking the brunt of God’s anger against sin. The cross marked the justice system of heaven, and allowed the grace of God to flow freely into the world, uninhibited by a sin debt, for that debt had been paid. Now, due to the cross and the resurrection, we are able to tap into the favor of heaven by placing our faith in the finished work of Christ’s cross, and this gives us access to God’s grace in several ways.

My background in religion taught that God’s grace was available to everyone through salvation. After that, I knew very little about the grace of God. We believed that grace saved you, but then you had better go to work to “stay saved.” I call this form of grace, GRACE TO GET SAVED. Ephesians 2:8 bears this out by saying, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

There is another school of thought regarding grace that teaches that not only is there grace to get saved, but that no matter what happens after that, there is also GRACE TO STAY SAVED. I used to preach against this idea (remember, my religious paradigm only had room for one kind of grace!), but have since come to realize that if this type of grace was not available, then my salvation would have no eternal assurance, for my actions would interfere. Paul said of our salvation and our Jesus: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” (Hebrews 5:9)

Much of the church world falls in line with one of the above mentioned versions of grace, and many would agree with both. However, there are millions of believers that would then say, “I’m missing something regarding God’s grace.” I know, because many have said that to me. What are we missing?

I believe the answer to what we lack is an understanding of what I term GRACE TO LIVE or EVERYDAY GRACE. This is the kind of grace that teaches you how to live, guiding you into paths of righteousness, free from the influence of the law (Titus 2:11, 12). This is grace that causes you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, and in your knowledge of who He is (2 Peter 1:2). This is also the grace that motivates our service and our stewardship. It doesn’t drive; it leads. This grace permeates us and causes us to drop the hammer of judgment, and throw wide the doors of acceptance, laying a garment of “manifold grace” over the shoulders of the world (1 Peter 4:10).
You have an extra day; use it wisely. Revel in God’s love for you and recognize the grace He has provided to live this day to its fullest. Anything less than resting in God’s marvelous grace is an insult to the finished work. Let’s use everyday grace to live!

 

Constant Cleansing

1 John 1:7

When we come out of the darkness of sin and walk in the glorious light of Jesus’ truth, we not only fellowship with other believers, but we have a constant flow of the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all of our sin. His blood is a permanent fixture in the life of the redeemed, ever flowing to cover all of our failures and sins. This flow turns the scarlet sins, “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

Jesus stood on the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles and cried out for all to hear, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38). He timed this announcement to coincide with the High Priest pouring the water from the pool of Siloam over the altar in the temple. Every Jew that was gathered that day would not have missed the point of Christ, “I am the High Priest. Follow me and you will never need another”.

This is the same theme that Jesus delivered to the woman at the well in the Samaritan village of Sychar. She came to the well at the hottest part of the day, while all other women came at sunrise. She obviously had grown weary of hearing the whispers about her 5 previous husbands and her live-in lover, so she came to the well to draw water, alone. Jesus met here there, being led of the Spirit for this one woman, and told her that she would thirst again if she relied only on physical water, but if she turned to Him, He would give her, “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Jesus ever lives to make intercession for the believer (Hebrews 7:25), so His work, though finished at the cross, is ever ongoing in application. When we accept Christ as the payment for our sins, we receive the Holy Spirit as the evidence or “down-payment” of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22). The Comforter then goes to work in the believer, constantly reminding them of their place in Christ, with the blood of Jesus always washing over them to keep them pure.

Without the constant cleansing of the Spirit, you and I would be guilty nearly every moment of the day. This guilt would not be from breaking the 10 Commandments or some other moral law of God, but from the dietary and sanitary laws of God. Everything from sexual emissions to a woman’s time of the month would make Israelites unclean. These were things that they could do nothing about, but that did not lessen their guilt. They were always washing and re-washing in an attempt to stay clean.

Christ pours His blood over us every moment of every day so that we always remain non-offensive to God. Though we fail, the ever present blood of Jesus makes us appear in God’s eyes just as Jesus appears.

Some find fault with these statements, saying that Jesus can’t possibly cleanse us from future sins, because we have not confessed them yet. Confession is for the unbeliever, and Paul never tells the believer to confess in order to receive forgiveness. We do confess so that our loving Father can embrace us, but not so that we can receive of His goodness. If Jesus cannot forgive future sins, then none of your sins are gone, for He died 2,000 years before you committed them!

Rejoice in the knowledge that the blood of Jesus Christ is constantly cleansing you and you are as clean as Jesus in the eyes of the Father.

(For more information on this topic, contact the ministry and ask for Pastor Paul’s sermon titled, “Constant Cleansing”. We will send to you as our gift. Thank you.)

 

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