The Cross was always Gods plan

SERMON TOPIC: The Cross was always Gods plan

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 7 April 2023


Sermon synopsis: Revelation 13:8 KJV And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

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The Cross

God’s plan from the beginning.

We looked at:

The Horror of the Cross.

The unfairness of the Cross

The foolishness and offence of the Cross.

The Power of the Cross.

Objectively speaking, you can never condemn yourself too harshly or honour and love him too extravagantly. And when we do, the horror of who we are will be swallowed up in the glory of what he has done!

"I am a great sinner," said John Newton, "but he is a great Saviour!"

The Unfairness of the Cross was that the innocent died and the guilty were set free. Christ died for the ungodly, their sins paid in full, to be remembered no more.

Romans 5:6-8.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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.

Not only were the guilty spared from the punishment that they deserved, but they were chosen to be prepared to spend eternity as “The Bride of Christ”.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Galatians 5:11.

Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

Paul says, then the “offense of the cross has ceased’. For if Paul should preach the necessity of circumcision, as it has been alleged, the offense of the cross of Christ should be removed.

The necessity of depending on the merits of the sacrifice made on the cross would be taken away, since then the people could be saved by keeping the laws of Moses.

On the cross, Christ did not only conquer sin and death, but he conquered the spiritual forces of darkness.

He disarmed the power and authorities, putting them to open shame, and triumphing over them on the cross (Col. 2:14).

When Christ rose from the dead he was seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power (Eph. 2:20–21).

The Lamb slain from The foundation of the earth.

Revelation 13:8 KJV.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The Lamb chosen Before the creation of the world.

1 Peter 1:17-20.

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

He was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

The phrase appears a solitary time in the King James Bible

Revelation 13:8. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

When attempting to understand a verse, it always helps to look for other verses containing similar words or phrases. We see this mentioned in similar words in 1 Peter 1.

Scripture should be compared with Scripture; after all, every verse is related to at least one other verse. This method of cross-referencing increases the likelihood of exegesis (interpreting the text as Almighty God intended) and minimizes the possibility of eisegesis (interpreting it to fit our own biases and preconceived ideas).

Long before Adam was created and placed on the Earth, long before he sinned in the Garden of Eden, long before Calvary’s crosswork was ever accomplished to undo the damage of sin, that crosswork had already occurred in the mind of the triune Godhead.

Jesus Christ’s destiny was predetermined long before He ever became a man, and long before there ever was a creation. Nothing in His earthly life occurred fortuitously; even His miraculous birth and graphic death were in the Godhead’s eternal plan!

“Lo, I come to do thy will,” Messiah Jesus, quoting Psalm 40, told His Father at His incarnation (Hebrews 10:7-9). If you read verses 10-22 of Hebrews chapter 10, you will see the cross!! God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, in their omniscience (all-knowledge), could actually look into the future, down the corridor of time, to see that the Son would suffer and die on Cavalry’s cruel cross.

All three Persons would cooperate to work to that end. It was all settled fact in Heaven before it even came to pass on Earth.

Notice the Apostle Peter’s astounding sermon delivered in Acts 2:22-24.

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Luke 24:17-24.

He asked them, What are you discussing together as you walk along? They stood still, their faces downcast.

One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

What things? he asked. About Jesus of Nazareth, they replied. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.

Luke 24:17-24.

The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body.

Luke 24:17-24.

They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.

Luke 24:25-27.

He said to them, How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-47.

He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

He told them, This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Ephesians 3:9-11.

And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God not only had his plan of salvation prepared in advance, but he also made it known to man. From the very beginning, God started revealing this great plan in His Word.

The Bible is Christo-centric, that is, the main theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ. Right from the start, we see the promise of a Saviour. When the first man Adam sinned, God told him that He would provide a Saviour who would crush the serpent’s head. (IE: destroy Satan’s power)

Genesis 3:15.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.

As we go through the books of the Bible, we see a progressive revelation of Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament, as more details of the promised Saviour, referred to in Genesis are revealed.

God makes a covenant with Abraham that the Messiah would come through his lineage, which extends to Isaac his son and later to Jacob and Judah.

David received a promise from God that there would be a King in his lineage who will sit on the throne forever.

As we go through the books of the Bible, we see a progressive revelation of Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament, as more details of the promised Saviour, referred to in Genesis are revealed.

God makes a covenant with Abraham that the Messiah would come through his lineage, which extends to Isaac his son and later to Jacob and Judah.

David received a promise from God that there would be a King in his lineage who will sit on the throne forever.

There are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament regarding Christ coming as a Man, His death, burial and resurrection.

Christ has fulfilled all of these prophecies regarding His first coming and He will fulfill the rest during His second coming in the end times and subsequent rule over the Earth.

Christ made it known that His purpose was to die on the cross for the sins of the world.

Matthew 16:20-21.

Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Matthew 17:22-23.

When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.

They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.

Matthew 20:17-19.

Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them,

We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.

They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!

Jesus’ plan on Earth was not to overthrow the prevailing Roman kingdom (in fact Jesus Himself commanded that we obey authorities and rulers).

The main purpose of His earthly ministry was not to teach people God’s law, take care of the poor or even to heal them. Yes, He did all that, but most of all He was concerned with our spiritual condition.

Mankind is dead in their sins and separated from God. Yet His love for us is so great that He came to save us from our sins even though we do not deserve it.

He came to pay the price for sin, so that: Everyone who believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The “I Am” in whom Abraham rejoiced was Jesus.

John 8:56–58.

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. You are not yet fifty years old, they said to him, and you have seen Abraham! Very truly I tell you, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!

The Lord who motivated Moses was Christ.

Hebrews 11:26.

He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

The Redeemer who brought them out of Egypt was Jesus.

Jude 4,5.

They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

The Rock in the wilderness was Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:3-4.

They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

Isaiah 6:1-5.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.

The King of Isaiah’s temple vision was the Son.

John 12:39–41.

For this reason, they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn and I would heal them. Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

Jesus is not merely patterned and promised in the Old Testament; he is present.

This is vital since the essential character of neither God nor faith has changed from the first covenant to the new.

God has always worked in the Trinitarian pattern:

From the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, did they throw God’s plans into disarray? Or were His plans worked out from the very beginning, with one aim in mind: the final glory and reign of Christ, who is Wisdom incarnate?

Was Jesus’s death on the Cross a result of God’s best-laid plans gone wrong? Did human sin take God by surprise? Was there an emergency plan B forced upon the Creator of the universe after the Fall in Genesis?

The question might be restated this way: Did the Bible’s redemptive history in a fallen creation result from an eternally wise and powerful God’s purposeful plans, or was it His attempt to remedy an unforeseen tragedy?

The first time the gospel was preached was in Genesis 3:15. Right after Adam sinned, which separated himself and all his descendants from our Creator, God revealed He already had a plan to provide a way of salvation for sinners:

“ And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

God further illustrated His redemption plan when he made clothing for Adam and Eve from animal skins:

“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

This was the first blood sacrifice as a covering for their sin, a picture of what was to come in Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, who would die and be raised from the dead to TAKE AWAY our sin.

As you contemplate this truth, I want you to think about the fact that, as God killed these animals to cover Adam and Eve, He knew that this would happen to the Son of God one day, in fact, He knew this before He had created the universe, before there was time, God had predetermined that the Son of God would become a sacrifice for sin so that those who received the gift of salvation could be saved for eternity.

Acts 2:23 states:

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.

Revelation 13:8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Think about this: before the universe was created, before time existed, before man was created, God knew that we (in Adam) would sin. He knew we would rebel against our Creator. And in the wisdom and love of God, in eternity, He predetermined a plan so that we could receive a free gift of salvation.

In eternity, God planned for the Son of God to step into history to provide the ultimate sacrifice, the sinless Son of God would suffer sin’s penalty of death, be raised from the dead, thus providing a way of salvation.

As you think about the fact that in eternity, God had predetermined the Son of God would become a man to die for our sins, also contemplate these things:

a. When God created the heavenly bodies on day four of creation “for signs and for seasons and for days and years,” (Genesis 1:14), He knew that one of the signs would be for the time the Son of God would become a man, born of a Virgin in a town called Bethlehem.

b. When God made the trees (and all plants) on the third day of creation (Genesis 1:11), He knew that a tree would one day be used for the most evil event of history: when evil men would crucify the Son of God. And yet, by God’s foreknowledge and predetermined plan, this event would occur for the salvation of souls.

c. When God made the land animals on day six (Genesis 1:24), he knew that He would soon sacrifice at least one of those animals because of our sin in Adam, and He knew He had predetermined that this would one day happen to the Son of God, so we could receive the free gift of salvation

d. When God cursed the ground and caused thorns and thistles to grow because of sin (Genesis 3:18), contemplate the fact that God knew that one day, thorns would be used to pierce the brow of His Son as He hung on that tree paying the penalty for our sin.

Mark 15:17. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head.

The love of God is greater far

than tongue or pen can ever tell;

it goes beyond the highest star,

and reaches to the lowest hell.

The wand'ring child is reconciled

by God's beloved Son.

The aching soul again made whole,

and priceless pardon won.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

and were the skies of parchment made;

were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,

and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;

to write the love of God above

would drain the ocean dry;

nor could the scroll contain the whole,

though stretched from sky to sky.


O love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure—

the saints’ and angels’ song.

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