Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 29, 2017

“He was despised and forsaken of men, … But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; … And by His scourging we are healed.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah chapter 53.

“Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.”  Isaiah chapter 53.

—————————–

Other doctrine relies on man’s wisdom and will to choose Christ.  But, this false hope is repeatedly refuted by today’s Scripture.

“He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”  Verse 3.

“…  He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”  Verse 2.

“… Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.”  Verse 4.

“All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;  …”  Verse 6.

Reformed Doctrine relies on what Christ accomplished on the cross without any contribution from man.  This truth is repeatedly presented in today’s Scripture which describes what Christ accomplished on the cross without reference to any contribution by man.   

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.”  Verse 5.

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;  …”  Verse 4.

“… But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.”  Verse 6.

” But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, …”  Verse 10.

“…  My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.”  Verse 11.

“…  He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.”  Verse 12.

Reformed Doctrine summarizes this teaching as “Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  Christ’s atonement is limited in the sense that it was made only for God’s elect, but Christ’s atonement was unlimited in the sense that it provided all that God’s elect needed for salvation.

We see this truth summarized in the following Reformed Creed Canons of Dordt.  

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death;  should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing;  and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;  and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:44.

“And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”  John 6:65.

So then it (salvation) does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:16.

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