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It says, "By his wounds you were healed. It achieves what God designs for it to achieve.

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The cross does not merely create new possibilities; it creates new persons. Now Peter is not thinking here mainly of physical healing for cancer and arthritis and so on. As a matter of fact the cross will one day accomplish that in our lives whether here or in the age to come.

But that is not Peter's thinking at all here. He explains in verse 25 what he has in mind by the healing that the suffering and death and wounds of Christ accomplish: namely, a spiritual healing that sheds tremendously important light on what we have seen so far. Verse "For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. So here is the third statement of the design and purpose of the cross. The first in verse 21 was that Christ died so that we would follow in his footsteps.

The second in verse 24a was that Christ died so that we would live to righteousness.

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The third in verses 24b—25 is that Christ died so that he might bring straying sheep home to the green pastures of the Good Shepherd. Now I ask, is this good news? Is it good news that the design and purpose of the cross is not only to save us from the guilt of sin, but also from the power of sin? I hope you see that Peter wants you to feel it as good news by the way he describes it in verse the word of the cross brings us to a shepherd not a slave master. Yes, the Shepherd guides. He does not let sheep stray very far or very long. He uses a rod and staff when he must. He provides. He protects.

And he relentlessly pursues us with goodness and mercy all our days. His commitment to do this is signed with the blood of Jesus. It is the New Covenant, sealed with the blood of the Covenant. And I ask one other question before we leave this text. What does it mean to die to sin v. I wait until now to ask that question because I get the answer from Peter's word about the Shepherd in verse Verse 24a says that "Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross that we might die to sin.

How does that happen? I think it works like this: When the word of the cross breaks into our heart by the power of God's Spirit cf. We die to the power of sin's deceit which tries to persuade us that a better future can be had through sin than through righteousness. What causes our death to sin is the work of the cross convincing us in the depth of our heart that God is committed to us like a mighty Shepherd. We are alive to sin, and believing in sin, and following sin, until the cross unleashes on us the conquering love of God and constrains us to see that we are straying; we are erring; we are self-destructing in the path of sin.

And when the cross releases that power in us, we die to sin. And we awaken to the beauty of righteousness in the pasture of our all-satisfying Shepherd. Consider the design of the cross for your life this morning. Embrace it and return to the Shepherd and Guardian of your soul.

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And what we will find unleashed if we do this is the will and joy of all the "one another" commands of the New Testament, and the power to move forward out of our guilt and hurt as a church. About Donate. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. Introduction I told Tom before I left last week that I was eager for him to go ahead with the planning of the summer preaching series on the "one another" commands of the New Testament. Christ Died That We Might Live Righteously Three times in this text Peter tells us that Christ died and that the purpose of his death was to enable us to live differently.

Acknowledging God's Aim But notice again clearly what God's aim is in this guilt-lifting death of Jesus on the cross v. God's Aim Doubles the Good News Now there are all kinds of reasons for this, ranging from rebellion in the heart to painful memories from the past to theological misunderstandings. Is This Good News? Series Icon. Email Filled. Get Desiring God in Your Inbox A nightly brief of new resources, and peeks behind the scenes from our editorial team Subscribe.

It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.

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The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects.

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He has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the people of God.

These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. When the angel of mercy folds her wings and departs Satan will do the evil deeds he has long wished to do. Storm and tempest, war and bloodshed—in these things he delights, and thus he gathers in his harvest. And so completely will men be deceived by him that they will declare that these calamities are the result of the desecration of the first day of the week. From the pulpits of the popular churches will be heard the statement that the world is being punished because Sunday is not honored as it should be.

It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state, ought not to be tolerated; that it is better for them to suffer than for whole nations to be thrown into confusion and lawlessness. This argument will appear conclusive. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance.


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As Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon issued a decree that all who would not bow down and worship this image should be killed, so a proclamation will be made that all who will not reverence the Sunday institution will be punished with imprisonment and death Let all read carefully the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, for it concerns every human agent, great and small. The time of trouble is about to come upon the people of God.

Then it is that the decree will go forth forbidding those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord to buy or sell, and threatening them with punishment, and even death, if they do not observe the first day of the week as the Sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death.

Especially will the wrath of man be aroused against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and at last a universal decree will denounce these as deserving of death.

The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God's people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.

I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death.

If the people of God will put their trust in Him and by faith rely upon His power, the devices of Satan will be defeated in our time as signally as in the days of Mordecai. When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people. This small remnant, unable to defend themselves in the deadly conflict with the powers of earth that are marshaled by the dragon host, make God their defense. The decree has been passed by the highest earthly authority that they shall worship the beast and receive his mark under pain of persecution and death.

May God help His people now, for what can they then do in such a fearful conflict without His assistance! As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government, and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places.


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  • Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons.

    Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw.

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    Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups.