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THE SIN OF MAN - AND THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, January 9, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).


This verse proclaims your lost condition, "We have turned every one to his own way." What could be clearer? I will ask two questions and answer them from this verse.

I. First, what is your own way?

1. Your "own way" may be a covetous way. You may have great plans, secretly in your heart, to become rich and prosper. But the Bible says,

"Riches profit not in the day of wrath"
     (Proverbs 11:4).

When God's wrath falls, your golden plans of great success will seem like a fool's dream to you. Ezekiel said,

"Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls…" (Ezekiel 7:19).

"The day of the wrath of the Lord" speaks not only of the Last Judgment, or the day when you die. Oh, no, it also refers to the day when God gives you up and your heart becomes reprobate, as hard as stone. If your life-plan, or as they call it, your "game plan," is to be wealthy, in the end you will find that Ezekiel was right,

"Their silver and their gold…shall not satisfy their souls" (Ezekiel 7:19).

Down life's road you go, turning ever increasingly to success, seeking riches and security. But they will not satisfy you in the end. Horrible traps have been prepared for you by the Devil - and you will fall into them. I see you marrying and divorcing. I see strife ahead of you in your home. I see a failed marriage. I see you alone afterward, turning into middle age bitter, then into old age, hopelessly grasping after the gold and silver that you lusted after. I see before you an empty, wasted life. I see you in old age, like Scrooge, counting your stocks and property, grizzled and deformed by a life of greed.

"Their silver and their gold…shall not satisfy their souls" (Ezekiel 7:19).

And it is early in life that you take the path of greed that leads to ruin.

"We have turned every one to his own way"
     (Isaiah 53:6).

Your "way" is the way of "prosperity." Your way leads to ruin and dissatisfaction.

"Their silver and their gold…shall not satisfy their souls" (Ezekiel 7:19).

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows"
      (I Timothy 6:10).

"We have turned every one to his own way"
     (Isaiah 53:6).

Your goals will not satisfy you in the end. In the end, you will be "pierced…through with many sorrows."

I can assure you of this - "He that trusteth in his riches shall fall." The Bible says so in Proverbs 11:28. If you trust in riches, some way, somehow, you will fall - if the pursuit of prosperity is your "own way."

"We have turned every one to his own way"
     (Isaiah 53:6).

2. Or, your "own way" may be the way of sloth and laziness. You may dislike studying hard and making something out of your life for God. "Your way," then, is the opposite of the one who goes in a covetous path for money and success. These are not at all interesting to you, for you are more concerned with playing than working, sleeping than studying, playing video games than planning for a life that will serve God and the church. You take "breaks," one after the other, from schoolwork and other work. These "breaks" are simply a cover-up of your own laziness. And the Bible asks to you,

"How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man" (Proverbs 6:9-11).

A lazy sluggard will not be corrected. The lazy person has turned to "his own way," and his way is laziness. If his parents, or his pastor, or his deacons and church leaders correct him for his laziness, he becomes angry at them, because he wants to go on in his "own way."

"A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise" (Proverbs 15:12).

My former pastor reproved me, and even rebuked me sharply. Sometimes I felt that he was wrong. But God made me see that this man was put into my life for a reason. I went to him again and again for advice. The laziness of my youth disappeared as I listened and obeyed his reproofs. I would not have the stamina and strength to pastor this church if I had not listened to him. But

"A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise" (Proverbs 15:12).

Instead, a lazy person will go on in his lazy ways and refuse to change. That is his "own way," and he will not be dislodged from it no matter how we try.

I knew one man like this. The last time I heard of him he was pushing a grocery cart down the street, picking things out of trash cans. In fact, I have personally known two people who ended up like this - because they were just too lazy to become real Christians. The Bible speaks sharply to you if you are as lazy as this. It says,

"Study to be quiet and…do your own business, and…work with your own hands, as we commanded you"
      (I Thessalonians 4:11).

The Bible says,

"If any would not work, neither should he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10).

If you "slug" along, taking a class in college here and there, making Cs and Ds, living off of your parents, or off of "help" that comes from the hard-earned taxes of working people - you are a lazy sluggard - and there is no hope for you if you go on in "your own way." You are a good-for-nothing, lazy "slug" in the sight of God!

"We have turned every one to his own way"
     (Isaiah 53:6).

3. Or, your "own way" may be a subtle, slippery way. You pretend to listen to your parents, your pastor, and deacons, but it is all a pretense. Your way is slippery and subtle. Your own thoughts and plans are what you follow in your "your own way." The Bible calls you "a fool."

"The way of the fool is right in his own eyes" (Proverbs 12:15).

No one can tell you anything, because you are a slippery "fool." You pretend to listen, but you really go on in "your own way."

"The way of the fool is right in his own eyes" (Proverbs 12:15).

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

II. Second, how can you escape judgment for going your own way?

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

The punishment for the sins of your "own way" fell on Christ.

1. Christ's appearance was marred more than any man when they beat Him and nailed Him to the Cross. Look at Isaiah 52:14.

"As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men" 
      (Isaiah 52:14).

It can be translated, "His appearance was marred more than any man." His appearance was marred when they beat Him in the face with their fists. His appearance was marred when they flogged Him half to death with a whip. His appearance was marred when they crushed a crown of thorns down on His head. His appearance was marred when they drove nails through His hands and feet. His appearance was marred when a spear was stuck into His side. "His appearance was marred more than any man."

Look down at the Scofield note at the bottom of the page. Mr. Mencia, please read that note in Spanish (he reads it). Let us stand and read that note in English. It's on the bottom of page 760 in the Scofield Study Bible.

The literal reading is terrible: "So marred from the form of man was His aspect that His appearance was not that of a son of man" - i.e. not human - the effect of the brutalities described in Mt. 26:67, 68; 27:27-30.

Dr. Ryrie says, "Messiah's appearance was marred so that He could scarcely be recognized as human" (The Ryrie Study Bible, note on Isaiah 52:13-15).

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

You may be seated.

2. Christ went through this horrible experience to pay the penalty for your sins. Look at Isaiah 53:5.

"But he was wounded [literally 'pierced through'] for our transgressions, he was bruised [literally 'crushed'] for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes [literally 'scourging'] we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Please look up. Christ went through unspeakable suffering to pay vicariously for your sin. "Vicariously" means "one person dying for the sins of others."

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

How can you escape from judgment for going your own way? Only through the suffering of Christ for your sin. That is the only way you can be justified in the sight of God.

But how do you receive this justification? What can you do to receive cleansing and righteousness through His suffering? Look at verse 11.

"He [God] shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge [i.e. "by knowledge of Him," Ryrie] shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:11).

You must "know" Christ to be purified and justified by His suffering. Look at Isaiah 55:3, the first half of the verse.

"Incline your ear [listen carefully], and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live…" (Isaiah 55:3).

Listen - and then come to Christ! The way His suffering connects to you is by you coming to Him. The way His death saves you from sin is by you coming to Him. Listen to Dr. Cagan's testimony of how he became a Christian when he was in college. Dr. Cagan had been going to church for over two years, but he continued to rebel against Christ. Dr. Cagan said,

I was lost and I knew it. I went to several churches seeking answers to my questions, but the sermons did not help me. Then one Friday night at UCLA I heard about a service being conducted by a [young man] who preached…that I needed Christ to forgive me and save me from the penalty of sin. But I continued to fight inwardly against Jesus. I didn't want Him…I was too proud to receive Him.

But I went back again and again to those evangelistic meetings. Each time the preacher spoke of the love of Christ for sinners and His atoning work to pay for sin on the Cross… I went back many times to those evangelistic meetings, knowing that I needed to trust Jesus Christ. Finally one Friday night I came to the meeting thinking, "I must either trust Jesus tonight or forget about being a Christian." Then I thought, "I'm going to trust Jesus tonight." I can remember, down to the exact couple of seconds, when I trusted Jesus. It seemed that I was immediately facing Him. No, I didn't see a picture or a vision or anything like that. But I was definitely in the presence of Jesus Christ, and He was definitely available to me. I knew that if I came to Him, His Blood atonement would cleanse my sins.

I became a Christian by trusting Jesus Christ in a simple act of faith. In that short time, in that single act of trust, which is so easy and yet so profound, I "crossed over" to Jesus Christ…I had been running away all my life, but I stopped running from Christ and came directly and immediately to Him. He forgave my sins and gave me a new life.

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

"Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live" (Isaiah 55:3).

This is serious business. This is adult business. This is why Christ suffered.

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

Are you thinking about coming to Christ? Are you thinking about becoming a Christian? We are available to speak with you about salvation through Christ. If you would like to talk with us about your salvation, please step to the back of the room now, as we stand together. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Isaiah 53:3-11.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"A Crown of Thorns" (by Ira F. Stanphill, 1952).

THE OUTLINE OF

THE SIN OF MAN - AND THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).

I.   What is your own way?

1. Your "own way" may be a covetous way,
Proverbs 11:4; Ezekiel 7:19; I Timothy 6:10;
Proverbs 11:28.

2. Your "own way" may be the way of sloth and laziness,
Proverbs 6:9-11; 15:12; I Thessalonians 4:11;
II Thessalonians 3:10.

3. Your "own way" may be a subtle, slippery way,
Proverbs 12:15.

II.  How can you escape judgment for going your own way?

1. Christ's appearance was marred more than any man
when they nailed Him to the Cross, Isaiah 52:14.

2. Christ went through this horrible experience to pay 
the penalty for your sins, Isaiah 53:5.

(Isaiah 53:11; 55:3; 53:6)

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