Summary: Salvation message focused on 1 Peter 3:18
For Christ Died…
It’s baseball season, as you well know, and I am having a fine time listening to my Minnesota Twins win as they have been so far.
I should have warned you a long time ago, that sometimes, baseball will lend itself to sermon illustrations. And this morning is one of those cases.
In baseball, there is a thing called a “sacrifice.” It is when the batter hits a ball that is caught or fielded in a way to throw out the batter, yet the runners already on base advance to the next base or to home plate.
The batter is out, but the result was good for the team.
This morning we are going to talk about another kind of sacrifice. One that doesn’t contribute to the winning of a ball game, but one that accomplished infinitely more – salvation to all who will call on God.
We are going to look at one verse in Scripture. And while we will reference others, this will focus on this verse.
Please turn with me to 1 Peter 3:18. This is on page 858 of the Bibles in the seats.
Here’s what it says:
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
We are going to focus on the first three phrases of this verse as we seek to prepare our hearts to partake of the Lord’s Supper in a little while.
And the first part of our discussion is…
I. For Christ Died – The Who.
It seems pretty obvious to say that Christ died for our sins, but I can’t say it enough. No one else can make that claim with any credibility.
Jesus’ death is both bad news and good news. It’s bad news in the sense that the only sinless person ever had to die for you and me. It’s good news because of what it accomplished.
This verse says something else about Jesus. It says that Christ died for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. Jesus was perfect. He was perfectly righteous.
He wasn’t being punished for any sin that was His. He was being punished for our sin.
Listen as I read 2 Corinthians 5:21 –
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Isn’t that amazing? The righteous holy One who knew no sin became sin for us, so might become the righteousness of God.
Righteous God becoming sin.
Sinful creatures becoming righteous.
It blows my mind. It should blow yours, too. It’s hard enough to comprehend that God would act on our behalf. It’s beyond comprehension that God would take our place, spilling His blood so we could spend eternity with Him.
But that’s exactly what sets Him apart from other so-called “gods.” Buddha didn’t die to bring people to heaven. Krishna didn’t shed his blood to save people from their sins.
Religious leaders such as Mohammed or Confucius couldn’t offer their righteous in place of ours in order to pay the penalty for our sins.
Only Jesus. He was the only one qualified, and He laid His life down willingly.
Jesus, and only Jesus, is the Who.
Let’s move on, shall, we? I want us to next look at the fact that Christ died…
II. For Sins – The What.
Haven’t we already covered that, Brian?
Some – but not enough. I can’t emphasize enough that without the shed blood of Christ we are hopelessly lost. Lost in sin.
We don’t just do sin. We are sin. But we don’t have to remain that way. Jesus came to wipe out our sin, and make us a new creation in Him.
John the Baptizer (we don’t call him a Baptist around here!) cried out concerning Him: “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Here’s something we need to chew on sometimes: Jesus’ death was not just enough to cover your sins or mine. His death was enough to cover the sins of the entire world.
That’s good news, folks. That means that no matter who they are or where, Jesus’ blood covers them when they call on Him for salvation.
His blood covers our sin. Thank God for that. And His blood covers our sin…
III. Once for All – The How.
The HOW is once for all – on the cross.
And Jesus didn’t die twice or three times. He isn’t still hanging on that ol’ cross, dying over and over.
It’s done! It’s over! And in His own words as He hung there dying, “It is finished!”
And for that we can say, “Hallelujah!”