Summary: God’s plan of redemption cannot be thwarted.

The Infernal Jailhouse Rock

I Peter 3:18-20

1. A children’s Sunday School class was learning the Apostles Creed. Each child had been assigned a sentence to repeat. The first one said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” The second child said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son…” When he had completed his sentence, there was an embarrassing silence. Finally, one child piped up, “Teacher, the boy who believes in the Holy Spirit isn’t here.”

[adapted from Sermoncentral]

2. The Old Roman form of the Apostle’s Creed, probably composed about 140A.D., is a great statement of faith.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; (the life everlasting).”

The present form of the Apostle’s Creed probably developed about 460 A.D.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of Heaven and Earth; and in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven; and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”

3. Outside of a few details, the main difference between them was the addition of the clause, "He descended into hell," a clause not found in the earlier creed.

4. This additional clause was an attempt to include the material we are about to look at today into the creed, though I think it was ill-placed.

5. The transition from last week’s text is explained by David Guzik, “The just for the unjust: Jesus is a perfect example of suffering for doing good. He, the just, suffered for all of us, the unjust - and the purpose of it all was to bring us to God, to restore our broken and dead relationship with Him.”

6. The coming, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ are referred to by modern theologians as "The Christ Event."

7. So today we move into the realm of Christ’s suffering for our redemption – and then we will take some unique twists and turns as we examine some often neglected events that occurred along with the Christ event.

Main Idea: God’s plan of redemption cannot be thwarted

I. The POTENT Atonement (18)

A. Christ died for SINS

I Corinthians 15:3-4, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”


1. Hebrews 10:12 (speaking of Jesus), “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.”

2. To say that Christ has to be re-sacrificed day after day is to insult the potency of His work on the cross; when He said, "It is finished, " He meant just that.

C. For ALL

1. I John 2:2, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

2. 2 Peter 3:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them…”

3. illustration: our wedding celebration (RSVP, paid by the plate…some pals preferred to go to Geno’s pizza; we paid for them either way)…

4. remember, God is not into the "no waste" thing our European forefathers pounded into our heads…God does things lavishly….and He also does things for more than one reason…

E. To Bring Us to GOD

1. The idea of being saved but without a significant relationship to God is ludicrous

2. The word translated to bring is prosaga/gh, which means, "to lead to or bring to, to introduce, to provide access for, to bring about a right relationship. The word…could denote the bringing of a person before…a royal court" (R&R, p. 759)

3. When I was a boy, my sister, who is five years older, got a summer job at Brookfield Zoo….behind the scenes places, Olga the Walrus…manure truck…

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