Standing Before a Holy God
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
II Corinthians 5:21
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?”
Impossibility of standing before God:
- Adam and Eve hid in the trees of Eden, because he was afraid of meeting God (Ge 3:9-10).
- God drowned all living creatures, including every man, for their wickedness (Gen 7:21-23).
- Moses could not stand before God with his shoes or look upon the bush (Exodus 3:5-6).
- God told Moses no man could see his face and survive the event (Ex 33:20; I Tim 6:16).
- The annual Day of Atonement was only for one man annually (Lev 16:15-17; Heb 9:7-8).
- God revealed to Israel that picking up sticks on the Sabbath deserved death (Nu 15:32-36).
- Joshua could not stand with his shoes before the Captain of the Lord’s host (Joshua 5:15).
- David was afraid of the Lord, after He killed Uzzah in the middle of a parade (II Sam 6:9).
- The prophet Isaiah could not stand before the thrice holy Lord of glory (Isaiah 6:1-8).
- Job was crushed twice by God’s display of glory, power, and holiness (Job 40:3-5; 42:5-6).
- David described God’s hatred and rejection of the foolish and wicked (Ps 5:4-6; 11:4-6).
- Jesus Christ declared that He will order the wicked out of His sight soon (Matthew 7:23).
- God will search through the visible church to expose and reject pretenders (Matt 22:11-14).
- God deserted and bruised the Lord Jesus Christ Himself for our sins (Matt 27:46; Is 53:10).
- The devils worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ with fear and trembling on earth (Mark 5:6-7).
- Peter could not stand in the presence of Jesus Christ, even with great favor (Luke 5:8).
- John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, fell at His glorified feet as if he were dead (Rev 1:17).
- The face of God on His throne of judgment will cause heaven and earth to flee (Rev 20:11).
- All sinners shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, for none can stand before Him (Rev 21:8,27).
- There is nothing you can change or that will change after the Judgment (Rev 22:11-12).
- Old Testament worship in the tabernacle and temple was a picture from the Holy Ghost that access into God’s holy presence was not available or known.
- But Jesus Christ entered into the holiest of all by Himself just one time with His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption for us for all eternity.
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
- The Old Testament Law worship was only a shadow of the good things we celebrate today!
- It was not even a proper image, because a picture is closer to reality than merely a shadow.
- Shadows of real sacrifices were not going to help anyone pay for their sins and be perfect.
- If there had been any benefit to the bodies of animals, then the sacrifices would have ended!
- But the Old Testament sacrifices merely forced the worshippers to remember their sins!
- It is impossible that the body and blood of stupid animals could please a holy God for men.
- Jesus needed a body and blood, so He could offer a sacrifice acceptable to God and save us.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
- Here is a glorious interpretation and application of Psalm 40:6-8 by the Holy Spirit of God.
- Ceremonial sacrifices are pitiful by (a) lacking internal religion and (b) not putting away sin.
- The Jews had in their adored scriptures a passage stating that God did not like their religion!
- It is the will of God that is the foundation of salvation – not your will or anyone else’s will!
- Let this message be declared throughout the earth (Matt 26:39; John 6:37-40; Rom 9:15-24)!
- In the volume of the book refers to the Holy Scriptures (Gen 3:15; 12:3; 49:10; John 5:39)!
- The inspired ambiguity allows us to apply “once for all” to time, sins, and the elect (10:12)!
- When we share bread at the Lord’s Supper, it is our communion of this body (I Cor 10:16)!
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
- Jesus Christ’s remitting sacrifice forever ended Moses’ remembering sacrifices! Hallelujah!
- The Levitical priests must STAND and make repetitious offerings of vain sacrifices forever.
- Jesus Christ through one sacrifice remitted all sins and can thus SIT down after total success.
- This is the Man Christ Jesus, the mediator between God and men, our Saviour (I Tim 2:5).
- The Lord Jesus Christ now waits with longsuffering for the day He can crush His enemies.
- His solitary sacrificial work is done: His one offering forever perfected the saints – even us!
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
- Paul again directs these Jews to consider their own scriptures and the prophecy of a change.
- What a glorious position Paul had! The Holy Ghost in the Old Testament confirmed him!
- Paul had quoted this passage for its covenant value, not he uses it for its sin value (8:6-13).
- The Holy Ghost witnessed that the new covenant included a total forgetting of elect sins.
- If this is the case – forgiveness forever by Christ’s blood, Moses’ sacrificial system is gone.
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
- Here is the summary to all that has been said about New Testament superiority (9:1 – 10:18)!
- Forget the figures of the Old Testament that reminded of sins and held men back from God!
- The blood of Christ allows us to boldly enter into the holiest compartment in heaven to God!
- With sins forgiven and no further offering required, we have free and open access to God.
- Rejoice in this blood, as you partake of the wine in the communion Supper of our Lord!
- The body of Christ is a new and living way that He has consecrated for us to go to God.
- Rejoice in this body, as you partake of the bread in the communion Supper of our Lord!
- But He has done more than give His body and blood for a sacrifice to reconcile us to God.
- He is also High Priest of our profession and the New Testament church of the family of God.
- Let us worship God like no others, with a true heart fully believing the whole gospel record!
- With our consciences made fully good by Christ’s blood and our baptisms in Him to prove it!
- The holiness of God precludes any man from ever standing before Him … except for Jesus Christ!
- While those under the Old Testament could not see clear access to God … we have it in Christ Jesus!
- They had animal sacrifices to remind of sin, but we have the Lord’s Supper to celebrate an end of sin.
For Further Study:
- Sermon Outline: “Hebrews: The Preeminence of Jesus Christ,” preached during the fall and winter of 1988.
- Sermon Outline: “The Precious Blood of Christ,” reviews His blood in the midst of a bloodless society.
- Sermon Outline: “Our Great High Priest,” considers the necessity of a priest and Christ’s exalted priesthood.