How Great Is Our God

by Louie Giglio

 

 

 

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I Was Found Guilty

After living what I felt was a ‘decent’ life, my time on earth came to the end.

The first thing I remember is sitting on a bench in the waiting room of what looked like a court house.

The doors opened and I was instructed to come in and have a seat by the defense table.

As I looked around I saw the Prosecutor. He was a villainous looking figure who snarled as he glared at me. He definitely was the most evil person I have ever seen.

I sat down and looked to my left and there sat my Attorney, a kind and gentle-looking man whose appearance seemed familiar to me, I felt I knew Him.

The corner door flew open and there appeared the Judge in full flowing robes. He commanded an awesome presence. As he moved across the room I shuddered.

He took His seat behind the bench and said, ‘Let us begin.’

The Prosecutor rose and said, ‘My name is Satan and I am here to show you why this person belongs in hell.’

He proceeded to tell of lies that I had told, things that I had stolen, times I had cheated others. Satan told of other horrible perversions that had been in my life and the more he spoke, the further down in my seat I sank.

I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look at anyone, even my own Attorney, as the Devil told of sins that even I had completely forgotten about.

As upset as I was at Satan for telling all these things about me, I was equally upset at my Attorney who sat there silently not offering any form of defense at all.

I know I was guilty of those things, but I had done some good in my life too – couldn’t that at least equal out part of the harm I’d done? No, I realized, not now.

Satan finished with a fury and said, ‘This person belongs in hell. He is guilty of all that I have charged and there is not a person who can prove otherwise.’

When it was his turn, my Attorney first asked if he might approach the bench. The Judge allowed this over the strong objections of Satan, and beckoned my Attorney to come forward.

As he got up and started walking, I was able to see him in his full splendor and majesty. Then I suddenly realized why he seemed so familiar – this was Jesus representing me, my Lord and my Savior!!!

He stopped at the bench and softly said to the Judge, ‘Father,’ and then he turned to address the court.

‘Satan was correct in saying that this person has sinned, I won’t deny any of these allegations. And, yes, the wages of sin is death, and this persoan deserves to be punished.’

Jesus took a deep breath and turned to his Father with outstretched arms and proclaimed, ‘However, I died on the cross in his place so that he might have eternal life. I received in myself on the Cross all the judgment due this person. He has accepted me as his Savior, so he is Mine.’

He continued, ‘His name is written in the Book of Life, and no one can snatch him from Me.

Jesus sat down, he quietly paused, looked at his Father and said, ‘There is nothing else that needs to be done. I’ve done it all.’

The Judge lifted his mighty hand and slammed the gavel down. The following words bellowed from his lips…

‘This person is free. The penalty for his sins has already been paid in full. Case dismissed.’

As my Lord led me away, I could hear Satan screaming, ‘I won’t give up, I will win the next one!’

I asked Jesus, ‘Have you ever lost a case?’

Christ lovingly smiled and said, ‘Everyone who has come to me and asked me to represent him has received the same verdict as you:

Paid In Full.

Author Unknown

 

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Why He Came – Our Predicament

Well …it all started out good…

In the description of the creation of the world as recorded in Genesis, God said several times that it was “good.”

Genesis, chapter 1:
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good…”

“And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together
of the waters he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”

But Obviously, Something Happened

If you’ve lived long enough in this world, you’ve noticed that it is no longer “good.”

Why?

When God created mankind and placed them on the earth, they lived in a state of perfection and walked with, and enjoyed God freely. He made only one demand on them, warning that if they disobeyed him, the result would be death. They were NOT to touch the fruit of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” If they did, they would die.

The Lie

Satan, a fallen angel filled with hatred for God and for all that God cares about, came to them and suggested that what God had said to them was not true:

“And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said,
“‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” 
Genesis 3:1

It is extremely important to remember this part of the story because this is always the way Satan lures mankind into sin: he tells them what God said is not true.

“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will NOT surely die. For God knows
that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,
knowing good and evil.'”  
Genesis 3:4-5

They fell for that and believed Satan’s suggestion that it would actually be to their advantage to disobey God. And so the first sin took place, the sin of UNBELIEF. They took the fruit. It wasn’t eating the fruit that was the first sin, the first sin was UNBELIEF. They were persuaded that what God said was not true. And this is the basis for all sin …the persuasion that what God said is not true.

And it wasn’t an apple. Satan has so distorted the story so as to make it sound ridiculous. No, the particular fruit had a property which opened them up to the knowledge of good versus evil. God had wanted them to remain in an innocent state, but now that was no longer possible.

The Horrific Results Of Sin

This act of rebellion brought the curse of death into the world, not only upon the two, but the death principle affected everything completely; death took over, even to their very genetic makeup. And that meant that it was to be upon everyone who would ever be born of them. It becomes obvious that it was a genetic curse because subsequent generations would come to show plainly that the original perfect genome (DNA) has mutated with each subsequent generation. In the very beginning, there was no law forbidding intermarriage within families because the DNA was still fairly healthy and it would take several generations before genetic diseases would become apparent. Later, when God gave the law, he mandated an end to marriage with family members. They couldn’t have known about genetics then, but it makes total sense to anyone reading about it now.

But death didn’t only come upon them. When sin brought death into the whole world, the death principle took over everything. So now, even animals, even plants came under its curse. No living thing is exempt from death. Death took over the entire world. God’s creation deteriorated to the point where sickness and death, violence and death, accidents and death, and all manner of death became the accustomed way of life on planet earth.

More Effects From The Curse

The worse effect, though, was that sin now stands between God and man, and mankind, being born IN sin, has lost fellowship with God. And upon death, man cannot enter God’s heaven because man is corrupted. And corrupt beings go to hell, Satan’s domain.

God Has A Problem

Satan thought he won in his effort to destroy God’s creation, and surely he had succeeded in causing the separation between a holy God and a corrupted mankind. So now GOD had a problem. Every human being’s destiny was no longer to walk with God, but to die and be taken by Satan to hell, a place that experiences no fellowship with God whatsoever. This was, it HAD to be, the fate of sinful mankind who had lost righteousness, lost sinlessness, lost holiness, and therefore was by nature unfit for heaven and cut off totally from God.

So WE had a problem without a solution.

And God had a problem because his creation was lost. Every descendant of Adam was sin-sick, under the curse of death, and separated permanently, in this world and in the one to come, from God.

 

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Why He Came – His Solution Offered

Adam Has A New Experience – Guilt, Shame, And Fear

When Adam realized things had changed after his rebellion, and for the first time he felt guilt and shame, he hid himself from God. He was exhibiting what was now the human condition that we all experience, guilt and shame.

Finally, God comes looking for him and asks, “what have you done???”

Adam Refuses To Acknowledge His Guilt

Now Adam exhibits another aspect of the human condition, he tried to blame it on someone else. He told God that Eve brought him into rebellion. And when God questioned Eve, she told him that Satan had caused her to rebel. What a picture of humanity! Out of our own human nature, we’ll always find someone else to blame for whatever sin we get caught in. But that is not acceptable before God, every person ALONE is responsible for his choices, whether there were extenuating circumstances or not.

They Try To Cover Themselves

Now comes a very important part of this story that a lot of people miss. As soon as Adam and his wife realized a great change had taken place in them, and for the first time felt the human emotions “guilt” and “shame,” they each took leaves and tried to cover themselves.

“…and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
  Genesis 3:7

 But what God did next, is one of the most important points we must understand in order to understand salvation.

The Covering Foreshadowing An Atonement

The coverings of leaves was not acceptable to hide their shame. Instead, Genesis 3:21 reports that God took skins of an animal and clothed them with them. There’s a VERY important point here, don’t miss it. Whatever we use to cover our guilt with, is not acceptable. The remedy God provided was animal skins thus showing that the cost of redemption is going to be the shedding of BLOOD. Sin brought death into the world, and the remedy for sin has to be another death. As reported in the Book of Hebrews, “without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Why is that so? Why does blood have to be shed to “cover” mankind?

God was showing mankind that there is NO OTHER WAY he can cover himself, or cleanse himself of the guilt of sin. Whatever mankind tries to cover himself with is useless. Redemption requires the death of another.

THE LAMB

A lamb? Really? What’s that all about?

God teaches us with pictures.

Throughout the Bible stories, the picture of redemption through the blood of a lamb was the only way of salvation. Here are a couple of dramatic stories portraying this:

Isaac and the Lamb

God called a man named Abraham to take his son Isaac up to a certain mountain and sacrifice his son. As they were walking up the mountain, Isaac sees the wood and realizes they’re going up to a sacrifice, but notices Abraham doesn’t have a lamb. So Isaac asks his father,

“Where is the lamb?”

“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said,
‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said,  ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where
is the lamb for a burnt offering?’”  
Genesis 22:7

Notice carefully the answer Abraham gives:

verse 8:
“My son, God will provide Himself the lamb…”

So Isaac walked up that hill, with the wood on his back (foreshadowing Jesus walking to Calvary with the cross on his back) and at the last minute, as Abraham goes to slay him, God tells him not to, but to sacrifice instead an animal that was nearby, showing that the death is going to be SUBSTITUTIONARY. God Himself is going to provide the lamb who will be slain, taking the judgment ON OUR BEHALF, and it will be a substitutionary sacrifice.

Another beautiful portrait of the same thing:

The Passover Lamb

Many years later, the Jewish people were in Egypt, slaves to Pharaoh who caused them much suffering. God sent Moses to bring his people out of that bondage. After Pharaoh many times refused to let them go, God told Moses that he would be sending judgment, an angel of death throughout all of Egypt, and every firstborn son of every family was going to die — EXCEPT the sons of the children of Israel if they followed carefully God’s directions. They had to do exactly what God told them. It required belief. It required obedience. He told them that each family was to take a lamb, slay it, and take a hyssop branch and dab the blood of their lamb on the doorposts of their homes. And when the judgment came, when the angel of death came through the streets of Egypt, every house that had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, would be PASSED OVER and spared the judgment of death.

That’s what the Jews celebrate to this day when they celebrate PASSOVER. Notice that the blood had to be dabbed onto the top piece of the doorframe, and then on each of the upper sides of the door frame. Picture it. What does that look like? It takes the form of a cross.

The Lamb Of God

If you understand the story till now, then you should understand the statement of John the Baptist who was baptizing one day in the Jordan river. Looking up, he saw Jesus coming, and he said,

“Behold! The LAMB OF GOD, who takes away the sin of the world!”
 John 1:29

There are many, many more picture-stories God has placed in the Bible. Jesus said,

“Behold, I have come; in the volume of the book it is written of me.”
  Hebrews 10:7

Summarizing:

. Abraham was pictured as a father giving his son as a lamb sacrifice.

. Moses taught that only the blood of a lamb would spare God’s people from judgment.

Those were to be pictures of another Father, the God of creation, who gave us his Son, so that if we put the blood of THIS lamb on the doorposts of our hearts, we are redeemed, and will not come into judgment – BECAUSE Jesus BECAME that lamb who was nailed on a cross IN OUR PLACE, to endure the judgment due upon the sin of each of us. Therefore, if the judgment of our sins was taken by HIM, there is no more judgment coming to us whoever will receive and believe him, because as Jesus said from the cross,

“It is FINISHED.”  John 19:30

The Final Solution:

Hitler tried to destroy every Jewish person in the Holocaust. His plan was called “the final solution.”

No. JESUS is “the final solution!”

Bringing life, not death.

 

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