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Judges 20. The second appendix: The Benjamite War; Coming to know Christ fully through complete devotion.

JUDGES-20-171128
length: 63:45 - taught on Nov, 28 2017
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Title: Judges 20. The second appendix: The Benjamite War; Coming to know Christ fully through complete devotion.

 

In order for us to see the Lord Jesus Christ fully, we must suffer for His name’s sake when predetermined by the Father, and we must face it with His love.

 

EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

 

EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

 

EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

The suffering that we will endure for the sake of Christ has been prepared beforehand, indeed, so was the suffering of our Lord. If we choose to bring suffering upon ourselves, for whatever reason, then it is not Christ's suffering. Therefore, be wise and know what the will of the Lord is. If you are not suffering for His sake presently, then rejoice and enjoy the beauty of God's hand in everything you see and do. If you are suffering for His sake presently, then rejoice, for God is drawing you closer to Himself, for as Peter remarks, to you His glory is being revealed.

 

1PE 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;

 

1PE 4:13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.

 

While enduring the sufferings of Christ, this aspect of His glory will be revealed to us, and when you see it, you will rejoice.

 

The revelation of His glory might refer to the Bema seat of Christ, or it might refer to seeing what God does to deliver you from the suffering after it is all over, or it might refer to your seeing His glory in the midst of it, as you endure and persevere, and you find that you can through His power. I'm sure that Peter has all three in mind, but the context is the suffering itself, and I believe he is emphasizing the revelation of God's glory to those who are willing to maintain their trust in God and fellowship with God while enduring the undeserved suffering that had been brought upon them.

 

Suffering for bad decisions is not a part of this. We are to suffer according to the will of God and not our own will, 1PE 4:18.

 

1PE 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

 

1PE 4:15 By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;

 

1PE 4:16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not feel ashamed, but in that name let him glorify God.

 

1PE 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

 

1PE 4:18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?

 

Judgment does not refer to God's, but to those who persecute the Christian. Suffering begins with us first. Saved refers to deliverance in perseverance, not salvation.

 

1PE 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

 

Herein lies the difficulty. Despite the intensity of the suffering, we continue to do what is right by trusting God, His word, and His commands. Peter is forthright in admitting that it is difficult. He reasons that since this is true, it is impossible for the sinner or unbeliever to be delivered from his ultimate suffering apart from God. Judgment or persecution comes upon the church first, because Satan attacks the truth and the gospel first and foremost, while he tries to elevate the unbeliever, but Satan cannot protect his own, nor does he care to, and eventually the mocking, arrogant persecutor of the truth comes to a realization of his own inadequacy and hopelessness and he suffers long after. God in grace will holds out the hand of salvation. But if there is no change of heart towards the gospel of Christ, the unbeliever's final suffering in time is death, and yet still, his suffering is not over.

 

When Paul writes to the Colossians, he is in prison, suffering for preaching that Jesus was the Lord and Messiah of all men. But rather than being shamed by this suffering, he rejoiced in it, and by saying something astounding; that he was "filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

 

COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

 

When the suffering of the one Christ was completed for the salvation of mankind, His suffering goes on in bringing the gospel message to the nations.

 

He has left on earth the church, His body, to bring the gospel to all of the nations. The suffering Servant presented Himself to Israel, He became known, He died according to prophecy, and He was rejected by Israel. During this age, His body is formed from Jew and Gentile, and the two have become one new man in His body, EPH 2:14-16. The suffering of the Messiah was concentrated in our Lord alone, but now in His exaltation, His suffering has broadened out again and become corporate in His people. These people have been called to suffering.

 

There was a time in the first missionary trip of Paul and Barnabas that they were rejected by a synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, and Paul said to this congregation that he was turning to the Gentiles. He quoted ISA 49:6, where it was prophesied that the Servant Messiah of God would bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth. But Jesus Himself did not do this in person. He sent Paul, Barnabas, Titus, Timothy, you, me; His body was sent into the world.

 

ACT 13:46-47

And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For thus the Lord has commanded us,

 

'I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles,

That You should bring salvation to the end of the earth.'"

 

ISA 49:1 Listen to Me, O islands,

And pay attention, you peoples from afar.

The Lord called Me from the womb;

From the body of My mother He named Me.

 

ISA 49:2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;

In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me,

And He has also made Me a select arrow;

He has hidden Me in His quiver.

 

ISA 49:3 And He said to Me, "You are My Servant, Israel,

In Whom I will show My glory."

 

The Lord Jesus is called “Israel.” She is His corporate self, but she rejected the Law and rejected Him, and so He had to take all her sin upon Himself.

 

ISA 49:4 But I said, "I have toiled in vain,

I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity;

Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the Lord,

And My reward with My God."

 

This way of the Lord is something to be remembered by His family, the church. He did more than anyone could imagine for Israel and they still rejected Him, but He continued to do more in that He took her sins upon Himself. What is going to continue to motivate us to do good to those who throw it away is that we understand that our reward is not with them. Their positive response or gratitude is not our reward. Jesus knew as we should, that our reward is with our God alone.

 

ISA 49:5 And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him

 (For I am honored in the sight of the Lord,

And My God is My strength),

 

ISA 49:6 He says, "It is too small a thing that

You should be My Servant

To raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations

So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

 

"It is too small a thing" - that Israel should be the only object of saving grace, but that salvation will go to all nations.

 

Combining this with Paul’s declaration in the synagogue makes it crystal clear that we are Christ’s representatives on earth. The salvation of the Lord is to reach the end of the earth, and Paul realizes that he and all of his co-workers are the ones commissioned to do it.

 

COL 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body (which is the church) in filling up that which is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

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