Sometimes I’ll pick up a thing of keys and I’ll jingle them before the congregation. And I’ll say, “Does the sound of these keys bring you any joy?” Everyone goes, “No.”
Of course not, because you’re not locked away in a dungeon. If you were locked away in a dungeon, the sound of keys would bring you great joy. Your heart would leap with hope.
Preachers don’t preach about sin, and they are just about as moral as a doctor who will not tell his patient he’s dying.
[Prayer] Lord bring revival, please, in Jesus name, Amen.
Romans 3:23-28, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law.”
We have before us this evening what many scholars and preachers throughout the ages of the church have said to be ‘The Acropolis of the Christian Faith’ — The fortified city of Christianity; the great shining star in Scripture. I have heard some very godly men say that if they had to lose the entire Bible and could pick only one passage, this is the passage they would hold, because in this passage is found the very salvation of man. There are words here that are possibly the greatest words in all of Scripture, and we cannot understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ apart from understanding some of these words; some of these things that are said in this small text. And if you do not understand the glory of God in the Gospel, how then will you live? How will you live?
So many today, we call them gospel-hardened. They are not gospel-hardened, they are gospel-ignorant. So many today that are truly born-again who are looking for motivation and reason and zeal and a source of Christian life; and they do not understand that it is found only in the truths of the Gospel. And yet, they think they know the Gospel; but the Gospel in America today has been reduced down to – as I have said many times – four spiritual laws and five things God wants you to know. The Gospel is treated as a small truth – Christianity 101, something that you learn in 5 minutes and afterwards you pray a prayer and then you go on to the greater stuff. But there is nothing greater than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as it is laid out in this glorious text.
Those of you who are born again, those of us who are born again, upon hearing “all have sinned”, we ought to be falling out of our chairs at this very moment, worshiping God and giving thanks to God that He has saved us from such a terrible thing.
And those of you who are not born again, who treat the Gospel as something common, or maybe have gathered unto yourself a sort of gospel that doesn’t change life, you ought to fall on your face in fear, knowing that if God doesn’t move on your behalf, you will stand before Him in your sin, and that is a most terrible estate.
All have sinned. Why don’t we tremble? Why don’t we know how terrible this is? We don’t know how much we’ve sinned in the same way a fish doesn’t know how wet it is! We were born in sin, we were conceived in sin, we were born in a fallen world of sin. The only thing we’ve ever known is sin. Our society, as Scripture says, drinks down iniquity like it was water. We also live in a land that is rampant of the ignorance of God — they have no knowledge of God. We don’t know who God is. We treat Him as though He were some sort of Santa Claus or a buffoon of a grandfather. And we do not understand that He is the Lord of lords and King of kings.
Do you know that Hell is of infinite duration – the primary reason is because every sin you commit is committed against an infinitely worthy and good God. Sin is sin today, listen to the way we speak about sin: We talk about sin against man; we talk about sin even against nature and animals and trees; but no one realizes that all sin is ultimately sin against God.
David sinned against his people. David committed adultery with a woman. David murdered a man. But in the end, he said this, “Against Thee, and Thee alone, have I sinned.” Why is sin so terrible? Because it is committed against God. Why don’t we tremble? Because we don’t know what that means. And why don’t we know what that means? Because we do not know who God is. Such a Glorious and Blessed Being.
Imagine this for a moment. God stands there on the day of creation. And He tells planets to put themselves in certain orbits in Space, and they all bow down and say Amen and obey Him. He tells stars to find their place in the sky and to follow His decree to the letter, and they all bow down and obey Him. He tells mountains to be lifted up and valleys to be cast down, and they bow down and worship. He tells the brave sea, “You will come to this point and you will come no further,” and the sea adores. And God tells you to come, and you go, “No!”
How wicked is our sin. And if it were only an act, it would be terrible enough; but sin goes much deeper in the heart of a man. A man does not simply commit sin. A man is born in sin — vile and corrupt from the beginning.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5). Only evil continually. I simply read this text one time preaching at a University, and a young reporter came up to me and he said, “I don’t agree with your interpretation.” And I said, “Young man, I didn’t interpret the text, I read it.” And he said, “Well I don’t agree.”
And I said, “Young man, let me tell you something: If I could pull out your heart right now, if I could take every thought you have ever had, from your first waking moment until this very hour; if I could take every thought you have ever had, not just your deeds, but your thoughts, only your thoughts, and I could put them on a video, and I could show that video here in this auditorium tonight, you would run off of this campus and you would never show your face here again, because you have thought things so wicked and so perverted you cannot even share them with your closest friend. As a matter of fact, if your closest friend knew some of the thoughts you’ve had against Him, He would no longer be your friend. And young man, I do not know that because I am a prophet, I know that because it’s what the Scriptures say; and I know that, like you, I too am a man.
I can say the same thing about every one of you here tonight. You would spend every ounce of energy to hide from everyone in this room what has gone through your mind just in the last hour. Don’t tell me Scripture is not right when it talks about ALL men having sinned because ALL men are sinners.
Imagine for a moment an 18-month old baby that you are holding in your arms, and that 18-month old baby sees that shining watch on your wrist, and he grabs for your watch, and you pull his hand away and say, “No.” He begins to cry and move about in your arms. He reaches for the watch again, you grab his hand and say, “No.” He begins to scream and cry. He reaches for the watch again, you say, “No.” He begins to flail his arms even in the direction of your face. I submit to you that if that 18-month old baby had the strength of an 18-year old man, he would slaughter you there where you stand, father, rip the watch off your arm and walk across your bloody body, out the door without feeling an ounce of remorse.
You see, here is something you need to understand: Hitler was not an anomaly. Hitler was not a phenomenon. Hitler was what everyone in this room has the potential of being. And not only that, you need to understand, even in all the wickedness of Hitler, Hitler was still restrained by the common grace of God. And you need to know this, that if it were not for the common grace of God restraining you in your unconverted state, you would make Hitler look like a choir boy. What we do not understand is what Scripture teaches about men: Men are evil.
You say, “Well I don’t agree.” That’s because you’ve grabbed enough of Christianity to stand, but you don’t believe the Bible. The Scripture’s testimony against you, and all men, is that we are born with evil, and we are evil. Do you have to teach a child to lie? Do you have to teach a child to be self-centered? Do you have to teach a child to be selfish? Do you have to teach a child to be brutal to other children? They learn that on their own. Set them free, discipline them not, and see what you have in 10 years – a monster. Why? Because what Scripture says is true. And you hold your ears and you say, “I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear it!” In the same way that a person dying of cancer is in denial and says to the doctor, “I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear it!” That by cupping the hands over your ears, you close yourself off from any remedy.
The first thing you must embrace is this: All men are born in sin, and given over to sin; and all men are born hating God. You say, “Well, I never hated God.” Yes you do. If you did not, in your unconverted state, hate God, then the Bible is not true. Because the Bible calls all men ‘haters of God’ and ‘enemies of God’. You say, “But I loved God ever since I was little.” No, you loved an image of God that you created with your own mind and you loved what you made. But if someone would have come to you and pointed out the God of Scripture, you would have said, “I could never love a God like that.”
So many times I’ll go to people, and they’ll say, “Well, I’ve loved God all my life.” And I’ll say, “Can I sit down with you for half an hour and just explain from Scripture some of the historical Christian beliefs about God?” And after a half an hour, a good churchman would say, “That’s not my God.” And I have to say, “Of course it’s not, but it is the God of Scripture. It is the God of Scripture.”
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like filthy garments; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6). And let’s say that all you fine people say, “We must do something about this.” So you go to Kansas City to the most exclusive shop, and you buy the finest silk you can find. And you take that silk and you bring it back, and you wrap that man head to toe in that fine white silk, and you say, “Bravo! look what we’ve done; we’ve saved the day, we’ve made him presentable.” But that silk only lies on that flesh for a few seconds and the corruption of that man’s body begins to bleed through that fine silk. And that silk becomes as corrupt as the man himself. That is why all our good works are like filthy rags before God. Because we ourselves, prior to conversion, have a heart of stone, a God-hating heart, a heart of evil, born in sin, given towards sin. That is the testimony of Scripture.
But now it seems the new generations to follow cannot bear with truth. They would rather be deceived and think well of themselves. But a man who will not accept his illness cannot be healed. A man who does not have all his hopes crushed, with regard to his own self-righteousness, merit and worth, cannot turn to Christ. We must realize that we are destitute and there is only one Savior, and His name is Jesus.
The standard is God’s nature and God’s law; and the Bible says no one has conformed himself to the standard of God’s holy nature, the standard of God’s holy law. All of us have become twisted and dislocated. It says also, “There is none who understands; there is none who seeks for God.” If you have ever truly sought for God, it is only because God has sought you first. It says, “All have turned aside; together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” How many people, even those who set themselves inside the sphere of Christianity, will tell you they are going to heaven because they are not that bad. They are going to heaven because they are good. But what is the testimony of Scripture? “There is none good. No not one.” None. None. All have sinned.
You say, “But brother Paul, I haven’t sinned much.” How much do you have to sin? Adam and Eve sinned only one time, and the entire universe was cast into moral chaos and judgment. You have sinned more times than you can count on a calculator. If Adam and Eve, and even creation, could not escape the condemnation of one sin, how will you escape the condemnation of all the sins that are heaped upon your head? You say, “But I’m pretty good as far as humans go.” But you will not be judged by human standard. You will be judged by God — a righteous and holy God — and He has seen your heart.
So many people will say, “Don’t judge me, you don’t know what’s in my heart.” How foolish a statement! Because they would be ashamed if I knew what was in their heart. Why would they ever want to use their own heart as evidence they really are good? Because they hide their heart from everyone. “You don’t know me really.” Ok, then let me see you in secret. “No, I would never let you see that.” Just the thoughts of our own mind accuses us. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
And not only were you created by God, all your faculties, your very existence is sustained by Him. You owe every breath and every beat of your heart to God. And the breath is given only to return in worship, and the heart beats only to serve Him. And yet, look at the testimony against us… Our minds and our lives are filled up with searching for our purpose; searching for our dreams, our goals, our will, what we want. Even those who claim some form of piety would have to say that in their daily lives, they are practical atheists. God is far from their thoughts. When they’re at business, when they’re in the factory, when they’re in the field, when they’re working at home, is God the center of their thoughts? All their thinking and all their doing, are they doing it for the glory of God? You say to me, “But brother Paul, no one is that way.” That’s absolutely my point. ALL have sinned. All have fallen short of the glory of God.
Why are men so hollow and so miserable and so without purpose? Isn’t it amazing, Christians in America are the most wealthy, most protected Christians that have ever existed in history. And yet, you go into all those so-called Christian bookstores of yours, and 85 percent of the books are written about how empty we are. Do you want to know why we are empty? First of all, because the great majority of those calling themselves Christians are not converted.
You see, God does not need a PR man to make Him politically correct so that people will like Him. The Bible says, “God is an angry God,” and you ought to fall down on your knees in praise that He is. Not only is He an angry God, He is a God who hates. And you say, “Yes, brother Paul, you’re exactly right. God hates the sin and loves the sinner.” Well, that looks good on the back of a Christian t-shirt, but that’s not biblical. The Bible does not say that God hates the sin and loves the sinner. The Bible says God hates the sinner. Look in Psalms 5:5, “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. In another translation, “You hate all who do wrong.” Now does it say here that God hates the sin? Or that God hates the sinner.
You say, “Brother Paul, but what about John 3:16? It’s in the Book, ‘God so loved the world,’ ” Yes it’s in the Book but so is Psalms 5. “But God is merciful and a loving God. What about that?” Yes that’s true and we’re going to talk about it, but you can’t understand it until you understand the full counsel of God. God is love; but this loving God hates. God is merciful; but He is angry. You see, you can’t just take one side of the coin; not just one part of the story; and that’s the problem today.
Dear people, we are always getting a one-sided story. But doesn’t the Scriptures tell us that we need the full counsel of God? I am going to talk about the love of God tonight in a way possibly you’ve never known it. But in order for you to appreciate the love of God, you’ve got to understand something: His love is exalted in the same way the stars are exalted by a pitch black sky. Let me ask you a question: Where did the stars go this afternoon? Did someone put them all in a basket and carry them away? How come when you looked up you didn’t see them? Because there was so much light. You could not marvel at their beauty; you could not even see them, because there was so much light. In the same way, you cannot see the stars of God’s grace and His love with so much light, when preachers tell you that men are so good. The only way to truly appreciate the love of God and the grace of God is to see the pitch dark blackness of man. And when you see the pitch dark blackness of your own heart, and then you realize that God moved in love for you, it causes you to fall down on your knees with the greatest esteem, and worship God.
I have a point to all this madness. I’ve got to dig a hole and bury you deep. I’ve got to show you how dark your night and hopeless your situation is, so that when I begin to talk about Jesus, you are filled with admiration. Sometimes I’ll pick up a thing of keys and I’ll jingle them before the congregation. And I’ll say, “Does the sound of these keys bring you any joy?” Everyone goes, “No.” Of course not, because you’re not locked away in a dungeon. If you were locked away in a dungeon, the sound of keys would bring you great joy. Your heart would leap with hope. Preachers don’t preach about sin, and they are just about as moral as a doctor who will not tell his patient he’s dying.
I want to abase man totally. I want man to see what he is, so that when we talk about God’s love in sending His own Son, men cry out, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.” Several years ago when I was in Peru, someone sent me a tape – Amazing Grace – I was so happy, I love that song. And I put it in my little cassette player there, and it went around for the first verse, I grabbed it out of the cassette player and threw it right into the trash can. Do you want to know why? Because it said this, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a man like me.” You know, I think it said ‘sinner’ like me; and before that, it says ‘wretch’ like me, and ‘worm’ like me. Behold, every generation man just seems to be getting better. ‘Men’ don’t need Saviors. ‘Wretches’ do. And when you take away the darkness of man, you take away the glory of the Gospel.
Have you ever wondered why some men who were drug addicts, and women who were prostitutes and murderers and so on and so forth, when they are converted they seem to be filled with such a special zeal for God, it is because they didn’t come from a country club. They didn’t come from some religious denomination, or religious life where everyone pretends to be moral, upstanding and deserving of God’s love. They came out of the sewer, and when they heard about the love of God, their hearts exploded.
Every day He sees the wickedness of this world. Everyday He sees the filth and the murder and the crimes and everything else. But in your book, God has no right to be angry? I tell you, He is angry. He is so angry that on the day He pulls back His mercy and He comes to judge the world, the great captains of this world will cry out for mountains to be picked up and thrown on top of them to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb. Well, how much more angry should God be, but not just with the Hitlers of the world; with you? When it talks about the wrath of God in the Bible, it’s the flaring of the nostrils that Deity would be so angry. And it says that at the breath of His mouth, the mountains melt.
A young guy, one time, said, “I’ll stand there on Judgment day and I won’t be afraid.” And I said, “No, young man, you will melt before God like a tiny wax figurine before a blast furnace.” God comes with hatred against evil. God comes with anger against evil. You say, “God is love and therefore He can’t hate.” I tell you that God is love, therefore He must hate. Do you love Jews? Then you must hate the Holocaust. If I told you, “Hey, did you read about the Holocaust?” And you said, “Yeah, I’m pretty neutral about that. I mean, you know, what anybody wants to do, it’s Hitler’s idea. It’s okay with me.” I would think you are a monster. You’d probably be thrown in jail for a hate crime. If you love Jews, You must hate the Holocaust.
Do you love children? How many of you have said with your own voice, “I hate abortion!” Oh, so you have the right to hate because of all the great love in your heart. But you think it’s strange that God would hate because He loves. You see, God loves all that is beautiful and lovely and excellent. Let’s just wrap it up in one basket: God loves everything that is like Him. That’s where the problem comes from. We have the right to love everything we choose to love, but we think God ought to love everything that we love. God loves everything that is like Him because He is absolute perfection. And He comes with wrath against everything that contradicts His nature and will. And that is us. Everyone in this room has broken every law God has ever made; and if you don’t understand that, you don’t understand Christianity.
God the judge looks down upon the sinner who places his faith in Christ and declares that sinner to be legally right with Him. Now how does that work? Well, it says this: He says, “Being justified as a gift by His grace.” Now Paul is being redundant here – being justified – being justified as a gift by His grace. How are we justified? It’s a gift. It’s a gift.
Do you know where it says about the Messiah, “They hated Me without a cause”? Did Jesus ever give anyone a cause to hate Him? No. You would argue, “No, no, no, no, no.” Jesus never gave even the tiniest hint of a cause for someone to hate Him. They hated Him without a cause. That’s the same word used here; that the Christian is justified without a cause. That means, sir, ma’am, young person, you gave God absolutely no cause to declare you right. “I don’t know why God saved me.” Well, I can tell you this: It was not because of you, it was in spite of you. “What worth did God see in me?” Absolutely none. He said He declared you right even though you did not give Him a cause to do so. He justified you without cause.
He comes to the Christian, the true Christian, you have to keep saying that in America because everyone believes they are Christian. You come to the Christian, and the reporter says, “Sir if you died right now, where would you go?” “I’d go to heaven.” “Why?” “Well, I was born in sin. In sin did my mother conceive me. I have broken every law that God has ever given. Thoroughly found unrighteous and lacking in merit and worth. I deserve the deepest, darkest judgment of…” The reporter says, “Stop. The other guys I understand; they say they are going to heaven because they deserve to go to heaven. God owes them, God is their debtor. They’ve proved themselves worthy. God must give them heaven. But you I don’t understand. You’re telling me with joy that you are going to heaven, but then you are telling me you have no worth or merit to go there. How are you going to heaven?” And the Christian smiles, and he says, “Because I am going to heaven based upon the merit and the worth of another – Jesus Christ my Lord.”
He died. The Father gave His Son. When you say things like, “Jesus Died.” Shouldn’t you stop for a moment or something? One time I was preaching, and a young man came up afterwards, he was all excited, and he goes, “You’re right brother Paul, Jesus is all we need.” And I said, “Young man, Jesus is all we have.” Outside of Him, there is nothing.
In Christianity, you are either in one realm or the other. You must understand this. You are either in Adam or in Christ. You are either in death or in life. You are either in the flesh or in the Spirit. You are either condemned or set free. It goes on and on and on. The only thing we have is Christ. In Christ, in Christ; that is why Paul the apostle goes wild in the book of Ephesians. He doesn’t even know where to put the period. He just keeps writing and writing and writing, ‘cos it’s all in Him, in Him, in Him; in Christ, in Christ, in the Son, in Him. It’s all about Christ. It’s nothing about you. And that is why I love that old hymn singer who said, “Nothing in my hands I bring.” It’s Christ or nothing. And you better want it that way. Why? Because if it was 99.99% Christ, and 0.01% you, you’d go to hell. It is Christ and Christ alone.
Proverbs 17:15, the problem: “Anyone who justifies the wicked is an abomination to God.” Now think about Proverbs for a moment. Look what it’s teaching us. Anyone who justifies a wicked man is an abomination to God. But what have we been rejoicing in in the last few minutes? God justified us even though we were wicked. Does anybody see a problem? If God says that anyone who justifies the wicked is an abomination before Him, then how can God justify you, being wicked, without becoming an abomination. And that is the greatest problem in all the Scripture, and that is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.
The greatest Dilemma in all the Bible is this: If God is just, He cannot forgive you. Sometimes I have heard evangelists say this: “God could have been just with you, but instead of being just, He was loving.” You know what that means? God’s love is unjust. You see that? People say a lot of stupid things.
That one Man could suffer for a few short hours on that tree, and save a multitude of men from an eternity in hell, because that one Man was worth more than all of them put together. When theologians talk about the perfect sacrifice of Christ, they are not just saying He was sinless, they are also talking about the infinite value of the life given. You take a gigantic cosmic scale, you put everything in it that you can find, you put stars and galaxies, suns and moons and planets and earth, mountains and molehills, moths and men, crickets and clowns; everything you can find; dusts and rocks of granite, everything you can find of creation. And you put it in a scale, and you put Jesus on the other side, and He outweighs them all. It’s His value. He is God. His worth cannot be valued, nor can it be emptied or compared.
You see the preciousness of Christ. Someone had to die there that was a Man. Someone had to die there that was God. And Christ fulfills both of those.
If you’re saved here today, you are not saved because the Romans nailed Jesus to a tree. You are not saved because the Jews whipped Him or beat Him. If you are saved here today, it’s because when He was on that tree, He bore our sin, and His own Father crushed Him. We are not saved because of what the Romans did to Jesus, We are saved because of what God did to Jesus. He slaughtered His only begotten Son.
Under the Law, the nation of Israel, the leaders would come out, the elders of Israel and they would lay their hands upon a goat symbolically transferring, imputing the sins of the people to the head of the goat. One goat would be slaughtered. Another would be driven outside the gates of the camp to wander in the wilderness and die. So the writer of Hebrews said that Jesus Christ suffered outside the gates of the city, forsaken of God and forsaken of God’s people. The bearer of sin. The triage on the three times Holy One, don’t you understand? Have you ever read Isaiah 6? In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord high and lifted up, and His train filled the Temple. And above Him stood the seraphs, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. And one cried to another: “Holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the post of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke. John chapter 12 tells us that the God that Isaiah saw was the Son of God!
Isaiah saw His glory. And this glorious One that the greatest archangels in Heaven cannot even look at because of His loveliness and His beauty and His purity. The seraphs are called ‘burning ones’ in Hebrew. They do not burn by their own fuel, they are only a reflection of the burning holiness of the Son of God; the reflection of His beauty. And yet, this One left a throne, a throne where His entire robe filled everything that is to be filled; where His glory without measure filled everything in the earth and sky and even Hell. And He left that throne, and He became a Man, and He went to the tree, and He who knew no sin became sin for us.
Many of Jesus’ followers were crucified. Not only crucified, they were crucified upside down. Not only crucified upside down, they were covered with pitch and set on fire to provide lights for the streets of Rome. But many of those followers of Jesus in chains being taken off to be crucified, sang hymns full of joy. Do you honestly believe the Captain of our salvation is in a garden cowering because of a cross, even though His disciples went to the same cross with joy in their heart. Do you think that the Captain of our salvation is so weak? Think, man. Jesus wasn’t afraid of a cross or a nail, a spear or a crown of thorns. What was in the cup? Wrath, judgment and justice of God like blinding white light came crashing down on the head of His only begotten Son; have you never read, “And it pleased the LORD – YAHWEH – to crush Him. To grind Him to powder.
Imagine for a moment a dam 10,000 miles high and 10,000 miles wide, and you’re standing below the thing – a mile back from the wall. And all of a sudden, in a second, the wall is pulled away, and all that water come crashing down upon you. But right before it gets to your feet, the ground opens up and swallows it down. So the wrath of God destined for people, the Son of God took that cup out of His Father’s hand, and He drank every drop. And when He cried out, “It is finished!” He turned it over and not one drop fell out. He drank it all.
He is no longer this little accessory that you put on your life to make it better. He is your life. You are consumed by Him. You are constrained by Him. Every thought, every judgment, every word, everything you do. Why do you do this, sir? Why do you do that, sir? Because Christ has shed His own blood for my soul. The love of God in Christ constrains me. He died.
Christ died. Those words should be enough to break your heart into a thousand pieces and to cast you to the floor and worship. Christ died for you. But Paul tells us; Scripture tells us that He did not remain dead. It is not just the death of Jesus Christ that saves us, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ also that has a great part in this story. If He had remained dead, there would be nothing. There would be no hope. All things would be dashed to pieces. But God has vindicated His only begotten Son by raising Him from the dead. And in raising Him from the dead, God has set His seal and told us; declared publicly through the resurrection of Jesus Christ that His sacrifice was sufficient to atone for the sins of His people.
Christ died, Christ rose again from the dead, and Christ ascended 40 days later to the right hand of His Father. The old ancients, the patristics of the first 5 centuries – the patriarchs – they would always use the ascension Psalm, Psalm 24, to describe the ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven. And this is where we would bring this to a close.
As Evangelicals, rightly so, we are constantly defending the deity of Jesus Christ. But never forget this: Jesus Christ was God in the most complete and full sense of the term. But Jesus Christ was Man in the most complete and full sense of the term. There is one God and one Mediator between God and men: the Man Christ Jesus. A man has sinned. A race of men are fallen. A man must die and a man must rise again from the dead. And then that long awaited prayer of Job must be answered. You see, a ladder that reaches only to the top, Charles Spurgeon tells us, is no good. And a ladder that reaches only to the bottom would do us no help. We need a ladder that reaches from the bottom to the top, and from the top to the bottom. We need a Savior who is God and Man.