PHBC October 18, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #61
HE IS GONE INTO HEAVEN
Scripture: I Pet. 3:18-22
TEXT: 1 Peter 3:21-22 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
INTRO: I have taken on a great task this morning. I may have to spend a couple of weeks in completing it. In verse 18 of the passage I read, we see Jesus suffering, the just for the unjust. He was put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Holy Spirit. In verse 21 the resurrection is again mentioned as one aspects of the work of Christ by which we are saved. Then in verse 22 we are reminded that he is now in heaven, highly exalted and seated at the right hand of the Father, and the angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
Before I finish with this message I want to call these wonderful and glorious truths to your attention. First, I want to again remind you that we do not worship a dead Christ. As the angels said on the morning after his resurrection, "He is not here, he is risen, why seek ye the living among the dead?"
Second, I want us to fellowship in the wonderful fact that he is now gone into heaven, as Paul wrote in the Epistle to the Hebrews, to appear in the presence of God for us. We have and advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, who ever lives to make intercession for us.
Third, we will consider the high exaltation of Jesus Christ. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. There is no higher place of exaltation in heaven, in earth, in the sea, or in the deep places. The lowly Jesus who was despised among men and rejected by them is seated at the right hand of the Father, highly exalted and with a name that is above every name.
Fourth, we will consider his dominion, which is an everlasting dominion. All who opposed him are being made subject to him. They must yield to his will and bow to his majesty. Sooner or later every person who has ever lived and every angel whom he created will bow to his dominion. He rules now. He will rule in the millennium, he will rule for all eternity. Every enemy will be put under his feet and he shall reign as God all in all.
I ask for your prayers as I preach that I may proclaim these w these wonderful truths in such a manner that they will give Christ a little of the glory that is due him for what he has done, is doing, and shall do forever. He is the Lord God Omnipotent reigning.
I. HE IS THE RISEN CHRIST
A. By his resurrection we have a living hope. 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
B. By his resurrection we are saved as revealed in the figure of baptism. 1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
C. His resurrection is one of the means by which we are justified. Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
D. We were reconciled by his death and shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
E. We can be assured that we shall rise from the dead for God has promised to raise us by the same power that raised up Christ. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
F. Because death came by man, the resurrection will also come by man, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:20-21 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
G. The resurrection of precious Lord and Saviour is the grounds upon which we rest the hope of our resurrection. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
II. HE IS GONE INTO HEAVEN
A. He was received up into heaven according to Matthew. Mark 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
B. He was taken up into heaven according to the angels. Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
C. He is our great forerunner who has entered into heaven. Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
D. He is our wonderful high priest who sits on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.
E. He is our wonderful representative in heaven. Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
III. HE IS HIGHLY EXALTED IN HEAVEN
A. He is Lord seated on the right hand of the Father. Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
B. He is the Lord of David who was the son of David. Matthew 22:44-46 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
1. David called him Lord.
2. According to the flesh he was the Son of David. Romans 1:3-4 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
3. This question which Jesus asked was the questions that shut the mouths of all his Jewish interrogators. Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
C. He is the judge seated at the right hand of God. Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
D. He is seated in the heavenlies. Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
E. Because he is in heaven that is where our thoughts and desires should be. Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
F. He left heaven, came to the earth to purge us from our sins and has returned to heaven. Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
G. No angel in heaven has ever been exalted as Jesus has. Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
H. The validity and sufficiency of his one sacrifice for sins is attested by his high exaltation. Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.
IV. HIS DOMINION IN HEAVEN AND OVER ALL CREATION
A. Because of his dominion no angel, elect or fallen, nor any other created being is able to separate us from his love. Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 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.
B. All the heavenly powers, thrones and dominions are under his dominion. 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
C. His dominion is over all and his name above every name. Ephesians 1:20-21 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
D. His dominion is so all-encompassing that every knee shall surely bow to him. Philippians 2:9-10 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
E. Our completeness is in him who has dominion over all. Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
F. We wrestle with spiritual wickedness in high places but the victory is certain because our blessed Saviour has dominion over all our enemies. Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
G. He is the great King over all other dominions. Colossians 1:15-16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
H. He has triumphed gloriously over all other dominions. Colossians 2:14-15 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
CONC: We do not have to wait for him to reign. He reigns now. He will reign in the glorious 1000 years, and he shall reign forever and not one thing shall escape his rule. Satan will be imprisoned in hell; the wicked will be incarcerated with him. Each and every form of opposition to his rule will be gone. He reigns now; he reigns tomorrow; he reigns forever. The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
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