First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

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  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
Three Cups

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 2/29/04


I have many cups in the cabinet, on the shelf, and hanging on hooks on wall at home. But, there are thee cups that stand out in my mind. There is the cup that I use for my coffee almost every morning. It is the Portland Headlight, (lighthouse) in Maine, my favorite lighthouse. Then, there is the special cup that my grandmother gave me. She got it at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Finally, there is the grease cup that sits on the back of the kitchen store. When my wife cooks meat, she drains the grease into the cup. If we forget to empty the cup, it can get real rank!


There are many cups on the Bible as well! There is the cup of salvation; the cup of fury; the cup of trembling; the cup of consolation; the cup of the Lord’s right hand; cup of blessing; the cup of the Devil; cup of indignation, etc. In this message we are only going to look at three cups…

The Cup of Suffering – John 18:11

The Cup of Salvation – Psalm 116:13

The Cup of God’s Indignation – Revelation 14:10


  • The Bitter Cup of Suffering

John 18:11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

The first cup is a foul cup! Yet, Christ was determined to drink it. So, what was in this cup? It was filled agony, distress and suffering for starters. This cup is a metaphor signifying the wrath of God poured out on Christ, which was the punishment due sinners for their rebellion and sin against God!

Our sinless Savior did not want to drink this cup and who can blame him? Turn to Matthew 26:39 "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." Christ was in the Garden Gethsemane. He knew what the ingredients were in the cup; it was a cup of fury, trembling, abuse, physical & mental suffering, enduring the curse of the Law and separation from His Father. The sinless Savior became sin for the sinner (2 Corinthians 5:21). The anticipation of the coming events causes Him great agony. Turn to Luke 22:44 "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Christ prays a second time and a third time saying the same thing (Matthew 26:42-44).

The physical and mental suffering were prophetically described in Psalm 22:1-8 & 12-20.

The cause of the greatest agony for Jesus Christ was, being forsaken by his Father. As we mentioned already, Psalm 22:1 prophesied the Father turning his back on Christ. We see this fulfilled in Matthew 27:46 "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Christ had never spent one second out of fellowship with His Father in Heaven. But Christ bore our sins and therefore God had to turn forsake Him (1 Peter 2:24 & Habakkuk 1:13). Christ drank of the cup of suffering so that we might drink of the next cup.

  • The Cup of Salvation

Psalms 116:13 "I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD."

All sinners deserve to drink the cup God’s wrath! However, our Lord, who paid the sinner’s price by drinking the cup of suffering offers all a cup filled with his saving grace." What a cup this is! In his Treasury of David Charles Spurgeon writes, "Upon the table of infinite love stands the cup full of blessing; it is ours by faith to take it in our hand, make it our own, and partake of it, and then with joyful hearts to laud and magnify the gracious One who has filled it for our sakes that we may drink and be refreshed."

Turn to Isaiah 55:1 "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." You will note that all were invited to come, even they who were the most poor and needy, who had no money, as freely as to running waters and streams. Turn to Revelation 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

What’s in this cup? Living water! This is the water Jesus offered to the woman at the well (John 4:1-14). Turn to John 7:37-38 "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

Christ offers the Cup of Salvation. When you call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sins, you are drinking from this cup. And, you must know that the cup of Salvation never runs dry (Psalm 23:5 – "My cup runneth over…"). However, if you refuse to drink the living water from this cup, there is another cup waiting for you.

  • The Cup of Indignation

Revelation 14:10 "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:"

I know that the context of this verse refers to the unsaved in the Tribulation. However, I also know that the Scriptures are clear that the wrath of God is upon all those who reject His Son. John 3:18 & 36 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

We read in Psalms 11:6 "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."

Turn to Psalms 75:8 "For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them."

I must read you Spurgeon’s comments on this verse –

"For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup. The punishment of the wicked is prepared, God himself holds it in readiness; he has collected and concocted woes most dread, and in the chalice of his wrath he holds it. They scoffed his feast of love; they shall be dragged to his table of justice, and made to drink their due deserts. "And the wine is red." The retribution is terrible, it is blood for blood, foaming vengeance for foaming malice. The very colour of divine wrath is terrible; what must the taste be? "It is full of mixture." Spices of anger, justice, and incensed mercy are there. Their misdeeds, their blasphemies, their persecutions have strengthened the liquor as with potent drugs: ‘Mingled, strong, and mantling high: Behold the wrath divine.’

Ten thousand woes are burning in the depths of that fiery cup, which to the brim is filled with indignation. ‘And he poureth out of the same. The full cup must be quaffed, the wicked cannot refuse the terrible draught, for God himself pours it out for them and into them. Vain are their cries and entreaties. They could once defy him, but that hour is over, and the time to requite them is fully come. ‘But the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. Even to the bitter end must wrath proceed. They must drink on and on for ever, even to the bottom where lie the lees of deep damnation; these they must suck up, and still must they drain the cup. Oh the anguish and the heart-break of the day of wrath! Mark well, it is for all the wicked; all hell for all the ungodly; the dregs for the dregs; bitters for the bitter; wrath for the heirs of wrath. Righteousness is conspicuous, but over all terror spreads a tenfold night, cheerless, without a star, Oh happy they who drink the cup of godly sorrow, and the cup of salvation; these though now despised, will then be envied by the very men who trod them under foot."

Friend, if you refuse the Cup of Salvation, you will drink of the Cup of Indignation. Upon the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to drink deeply from the Cup of Salvation.

Finally, a few words to believers: Our Lord is worthy to receive our praise because he drank the Bitter Cup of Suffering so that we do not have to drink it. Thank you Lord.


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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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