God Is Satisfied With Christ, Are You?
Elder Jeff Winfrey, Pastor
Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church
101 East Walnut Street
Dawson Springs, KY 42408
God looked upon the suffering, the travail, of His dear Son Jesus Christ’s soul and He was satisfied. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11). God is satisfied with the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Bible repeatedly speaks of the finished work of Christ. It points to it, declares it, and proclaims it. And this chapter in Isaiah is one of those places that teach about Jesus. We are not left to wonder about that. The Ethiopian eunuch asked, “Of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man?” And Philip preached Jesus from this chapter. Jesus is the One God is satisfied with. This 53rd chapter of Isaiah is talking about Jesus and it is talking about ‘substitution’.
And as we begin to think about substitution, aren’t you glad you had somebody that came into the “game” for you? You were going to lose the game, my friend. But, when Jesus came into the game for you, it was a sure win. This chapter teaches that Jesus took my punishment. He suffered for my sins; He bore my iniquities. He carried my sorrows. He took my whipping. And the whipping Jesus took was a sound whipping. It was equivalent to an eternity of hell for a multitude of people that no man can number. We cannot imagine how much hurt was in that whipping. And God didn’t spare a lash!
We see this theme of substitution throughout the Bible. In Genesis 22 we find Isaac bound and tied to an altar. According to God’s command Abraham had the knife raised. Isaac was to be executed. But suddenly a voice, “Abraham, Abraham lay not thy hand upon the lad.” There was a ram in the thicket and Abraham “took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” That is substitution and it is a picture of Jesus. That ram pictures Jesus in your stead, in your place taking what you should have gotten.
We come down a little farther in the Bible and we find Judah pleading for his brother, Benjamin. He thought he was pleading to a wicked governor, but truly he was pleading with his brother Joseph about another brother Benjamin. Judah said, “Take me as surety for this my brother. I’ll stay in his stead. I’ll take his place. Whatever you would put on him, put it on me, but let him go back to his father.” That is another instance of somebody taking somebody’s place. That is another picture of substitution.
In Exodus 32:32 we find another picture of substitution. Moses was a picture of Jesus in so many ways. In this passage God’s people were in trouble. It seemed that the wrath of God was about to be poured upon them. And look at this plea from Moses, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–;” Consider the strange punctuation that appears at this point in the King James Bible. I cannot even duplicate it in these writings. My keyboard has no such key. I have never seen it anywhere else. In the Bible it is sort of a triple dash or a long hyphen followed by a semicolon. We find the words, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin,” and then we have that strange punctuation. Maybe it indicates a long pause. Maybe it is there to indicate that Moses was giving God a chance to say something back. I do not know what it means. Perhaps I ponder silly things, but it must be there for a reason. If God had just spoken at that point and forgiven their sins that might have been the easy way out. But He did not and Moses continued with the words, “and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” It seems that Moses gave God the opportunity to just sweep the sins under the rug and ignore them. But if God would not do that [And He never just ignores sin.] then Moses was willing to be blotted out of God’s book for the sins of the people. Is that a picture of Jesus Christ, or what? God did not accept this offer from Moses, but the offer still represents the concept of substitution. And though God did not accept Moses’ offer, He would later accept a similar offer from Jesus for His people.
In yet another picture of substitution David said, “Oh, Absalom, my son, my son, would to God I had died for thee, Oh, Absalom, my son, my son.” David had the desire to take the place of his son and suffer in his stead. Earlier in the story about Absalom we can find that the Lord declared that He does devise means whereby His banished may come back to Him, but David did not have those means. Yet David’s desire to be able to take the place of Absalom is a picture of the One Who would be able to complete such a task. With love, Jesus said, “God, I would die for him; he’s my son, he’s my brother, she’s my sister, she’s my friend. I’ll take their place.”
Finally, just before the actual substitution that occurred on the cross, there is one last picture of substitution. On that dreadful day there was a man named Barabbas, and he deserved that third cross. He was the third thief that day. You might think that there were only two thieves, but in the writings of John it says that Barabbas was a robber. And the Bible declares that in the midst of the insurrection, Barabbas committed murder. So it seems that he was the worst of the three. But you know the story. Somebody took Barabbas’ cross. Isn’t that what happened? Barabbas’ name was on that third cross, but it would end up having “The King of the Jews” written on it. And the wonder of it all is that Jesus did not just take Barabbas’ place. He took your place. And when God looked upon that scene, He declared, “Good enough; I’m satisfied; job well done; mission accomplished.” “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.”
What was accomplished? It says in our text, “by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” That righteous servant Jesus Christ justified many when He bore their iniquities. The word, justify, is a legal term. It is a court term and it means to declare one to be righteous and innocent. Now if God justifies, I believe, that the one that God justifies would have to be righteous and innocent before God would declare him to be such. Do you suppose that God is in the business of declaring things wrong? So how can God look at something like me and declare righteousness and innocence? God’s vision is good. It is not that I have put on some kind of “fickle fig leaves” that God cannot see through. So how can He declare me to be what I am not?
But what if I am in the eyes of God truly righteous and innocent? The question surely becomes, how good is the blood? My friends, I want to tell you that the blood of Christ is good blood. I don’t understand it. God is past my understanding, and that is what is so glorious about Him. If I could understand God and figure Him out, then there would not be very much to Him. And though it is past my understanding, I sure do like the idea that God is satisfied when He looks at the suffering of Jesus. That suffering of Jesus removed my sins from me as far as the east is from the west so that the God that knows everything will never remember those sins again. I don’t ask you to figure it out, just rejoice in it. There is great joy in the thought that God declares me to be what I cannot see myself to be. But in order to do this God did not sweep any sins under any rugs. Jesus so efficiently paid for the sins that there is nothing left to be paid for. There are no demands left to be made. There are no accusations to be brought. There are no charges that can be presented.
So who shall lay any charge, some kind of crime or sin, iniquity or shortcoming against God’s elect? The answer to that question in God’s word, “It is God that justifieth.” (Romans 8:33) God has declared the ones that Jesus died for to be innocent and righteous. Can even the accuser of the brethren, Satan himself, bring a charge into God’s courtroom against one of these that God has justified through His satisfaction in the suffering of Jesus? Bless your hearts, it won’t happen. God is satisfied with Jesus Christ, and through that you have eternal life, even on-and-on, forever and ever salvation with God.
Are You Satisfied With Christ For Your Eternal Life?
So God is satisfied with Christ, but are you? Are you satisfied with the finished work of Jesus Christ? You should be, but so many are not. Many people do not think He finished what He said He finished. Many feel that there is still something left to do. What did Jesus come to do? “…God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem…” (Galatians 4:4-5). He came to redeem. Do you believe that He did it? The Bible says that He did. “Neither with the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood [that’s when God got satisfied—when Jesus shed that own blood] he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained [that is past tense. He came to redeem and now He has obtained] eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12) Are you satisfied with that—that He totally redeemed; that He has paid the price? You are bought; you are paid for; you are His. But are you satisfied with these things?
“…Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Mt. 1:21). That is a proclamation of what Jesus came to do. And then we find in 2 Timothy 1:8-9, “God; Who hath saved us.” The angel said, “He shall save.” And then we find it declared after the fact in the past tense that He “hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” What a plan! What a God! What a salvation! He came to save and He has saved. Are you satisfied that He has saved?
“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6) By your God appointed position in the beloved Jesus Christ, God has made you accepted. He has made a sinner like you and a criminal like me acceptable to Him. I won’t tell you some of the things I have done. Nobody knows some of the things I have done in my life. But Jesus knew all my wickedness and He marked every iniquity. And though it seems that I would be so unacceptable, God now looks at me through the blood of Jesus and I have God’s stamp of approval. Jesus’ robe of righteousness covers my sin. The blood of Jesus makes me acceptable.
One day God will let me into heaven because “Jesus hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14) In the judgment of God I have been perfected forever. Oh, if you have the assurance of this, you are so very blessed. If you are satisfied with the finished work of Christ and are persuaded of these things you can enter into the sweet rest of blessed assurance. Paul said it like this, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
Does God love you? He gave His Son for you. Does God want you? He has always wanted you. Before you were, He wanted you. Will He get you? Will He keep you? Amen, He will have you with Him someday. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). Do you think that anything can get one of His children out of His hand? No man can pluck you out of the palm of God’s hand. I want you to be satisfied with Jesus and with the work of Jesus. I’ll tell you what, if you are satisfied with Jesus, that will set you free! That will make you free. That will start your day off happy. You can start doing some “happy” if you are satisfied with Jesus and His finished work.
In Your Life Now, Are You Satisfied With Christ?
Oh, but there’s one more way that I want you to be satisfied with Jesus. And you might say, “What else could there be? What else could matter if I am satisfied that He has saved me eternally?” In addition to being satisfied with the eternal work of Christ, I want you to be so satisfied with Jesus in your life right now. Paul was “persuaded, that neither death, nor life…shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” If we have become satisfied that God is totally satisfied with the finished work of Jesus on the cross, then we can be fully persuaded that death will not separate us from God. We may be totally satisfied about the death part and feel like we are ready for that. But it is possible to be satisfied with Jesus concerning our death and not be satisfied with Him concerning life. Sometimes the life part is harder to deal with than the death part. I want you to be satisfied with Christ even in this life. I want you to be so satisfied with Him that even the struggles of this life will not separate you from Him. I want you to be so satisfied with Jesus that nothing else in life really matters.
When ere you need a friend
Who is all wise,
On whom you can depend,
The words of the song continue and declare, “Christ satisfies the soul.” Yes indeed, Christ satisfies the inner yearnings. G. K. Chesterton described a God-shaped hole in your heart that only God could fill. I want to tell you that nothing in this world satisfies like Jesus filling that emptiness in your heart.
Are you satisfied just with Christ in this world? I admit that that is a hard question. I confess to you that I am not satisfied just with Christ. So I am speaking on the authority of God’s word and not on experience. Are you satisfied with Christ and only with Christ? Is He all you want and need? Whether you know it or not, Christ is all you need and He is the only source of true satisfaction that you will find in life. Listen to these words, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
If you have Him, you do not need anything else. Be content with whatever you have. But you say, “How can I be content when I don’t have what I want?” The verse says, “…be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” If you have the promise of His presence, you have everything. Are you satisfied with just that—His promise that He will never leave you or forsake you? Are you content with His assurance that He will be with you even to the end of the world?
We may have the end-of-the-world stuff figured out, and we may be satisfied with that. We may be satisfied with His finished work and understand that our eternity is secure by Christ and Christ alone. But are we satisfied with having Christ and Christ alone in this life? Some people were. Mary was, but Martha was not. Martha was cumbered about with many things, while Mary found the good part. Jesus said that He would not take that good part from her. As long as she wanted it, I guess it was hers. Peter found the good part while he was walking on top of the waves, but oh how quickly he lost it when he looked away.
The Song of Solomon is such a sweet love story. The world’s wisdom appreciates this love story in that it is sometimes even used in college classes to teach about love. But I wonder if many college professors understand the depths of the book. I believe that the book goes far beyond describing the love between a man and a woman, for I believe that it proclaims the love between Jesus and His people. And as we think about it from that perspective, consider the words, “I found him… and would not let him go.” (Song of Solomon 3:4) If you as the woman in this story have really found Jesus, then you have found what this world cannot give you. And if you have truly found Him, then you must be truly satisfied and blessed above all men.
If you are truly satisfied with Christ and none other, if you can turn loose of everything else and cling only unto Him, then I envy you. I want to be continually satisfied with Him that way. Sometimes in the midst of a large worship service like this one where so many are gathered together in His name and when He is blessing me to preach His gospel, then He is all I want. But when I leave this place I will become distracted by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and a thousand other things that really do not matter. My earthly life takes the abundant life away from me. And I must admit that I oftentimes am not satisfied with Christ and Christ alone. Are you satisfied with Christ? God is.
Are You Satisfied With Yourself
And now, as I look out at you who are gathered here this weekend, I ask you another question. Are you satisfied with yourself? When these men who have preached before me delivered the messages God had given them my heart was pricked.
When Brother Vernis got through preaching, were you satisfied with your zeal? I wasn’t satisfied with mine. When Brother Andrew got through preaching, were you satisfied with your prayers? The harvest is so white. Were you satisfied with your concern for those sheep without a shepherd that Jesus had compassion on? When I heard that message, I was not satisfied with me. Instead of being satisfied, I felt very convicted. In Brother Norvel’s message he kept asking, “Are you poor in spirit?” When he repeatedly said those words I increasingly sensed my haughtiness and high-mindedness. I recognized my failure to feel humble, and contrite, and poor before a holy and righteous and just God. When Brother Tim preached, oh how I realized that I did not have that Spirit in the way that I should. I was made to see that I must not have wanted Him very badly and I was made to yearn for His presence more powerfully in my life. Oh, I fall so far short. And when Brother Zack talked of happy days, he caused me to see that my days don’t start out happy. I don’t have the joy that I could have; and I’m not satisfied without it; and I want it.
So it seems that the messages thus far in this meeting have had a humbling effect on me. I am feeling a little poor in spirit, but it is not so bad to feel that way, for in that state of mind I begin to yearn more fervently for the Spirit. And hopefully I will begin to pray more fervently for the Holy Spirit to empower me to serve my Jesus better. I want a “want to” like I do not yet have. I want sin to be out of my life and I want to be totally satisfied and only satisfied with Jesus in my life. But it continues to seem that my earthly life drags me away from a complete satisfaction with Him and Him alone.
But if you are struggling with these things as I am, let me leave you with an uplifting thought. I don’t want to leave you down. I want to tell you that one day you are going to be satisfied with Christ and on that same day you will finally be satisfied with yourself. When will that day be? “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with his likeness.” (Psalm 17:15) My friends, when we awake in His likeness we will finally be satisfied!!
But until you come to that final state of perfect satisfaction you can know from God’s word that God was satisfied with the suffering of Christ in your behalf. And when you understand that God is satisfied with the finished work of Christ, then you can find great peace and reassurance as you like God become satisfied with Christ work of redemption. And if you can go beyond just being satisfied with Christ concerning your eternal life, and become satisfied with Him and Him alone in this world, then you will have attained that good part that exceeds everything this world has to offer. True satisfaction for a child of God in this world can only come by a close relationship with your Friend and Savior Jesus Christ. And a child of God can never be satisfied with himself unless he is fervently striving to attain that fellowship with Christ. And by the way, if you have not already been baptized, then perhaps a good start would be to satisfy His command and to satisfy your conscience by professing your belief in Jesus through submission to baptism.