The Mitre
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Leviticus, chapter 8, verse 1:

Leviticus 8

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;
3And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
4And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
5And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.
6And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.
7And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.
8And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.
9And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.

This passage of Scripture describes the garments of the high priest as Moses placed them upon Aaron. Now we come to the study of the last piece of clothing that was placed upon the high priest. Glance again at verse 9:

Leviticus 8

9And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Turn, please, to Exodus, chapter 28, to notice the instructions which God gave Moses and the compliance of Moses with these instructions related to this garment called the “mitre”. In Leviticus, chapter 8, we were simply told that Moses placed this garment on the high priest in its order. We need to know something about it. Notice with me, please, verse 36:

Exodus 28

36And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
37And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be.
38And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
39And thou shalt embroider the coat of fine linen, and thou shalt make the mitre of fine linen, and thou shalt make the girdle of needlework.

In this paragraph we are interested only in the mitre, though there are references to other garments because they were made of the same material. Turn, please, to Exodus 39, where we find the record of Moses' compliance with God's instructions. Notice in verse 27:

Exodus 39

27And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
28And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,

I think it would be well for us to notice what is actually said about the mitre. When the facts are firmly fixed in our minds, we will endeavor to learn their spiritual significance. First of all, the mitre was made of fine linen, which is significant in connection with the tabernacle. Nothing is said about the form of the mitre. We do know what it was like because the word “mitre” is the transliteration of the Hebrew word which means “to wrap around”. So we know that the mitre was in the form of a turban, a fine piece of linen that was wrapped around the head. A plate of gold was placed on this turban of fine linen over the forehead. On this plate of gold were engraved like the engravings of a signet–that is, deeply carved as they would have been carved upon the seal of a king–the words “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”. This gold plate was fastened to the linen bonnet by blue lace. This is the plate of gold that was put upon some blue lace and tied onto the linen bonnet.

Reasons for Requirement of the Mitre

The high priest, whenever he went into the presence of the Lord in the Most Holy Place, wore this turban. He never considered going into the presence of the Lord without wearing this turban. Why? Was this just because he was to be dressed up when he went into the presence of the Lord, or was there just a specific reason? Turn back to Exodus, chapter 28, and notice verse 38. Here are given two reasons why Aaron wore this turban in the presence of the Lord:

Exodus 28

38And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

In this verse are two reasons Aaron wore the turban. One is found in the statement that “Aaron may bear the iniquities of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts.” That may seem a bit difficult to understand, so let me paraphrase it simply and say that Aaron wore the turban in order to take upon himself any imperfections or any uncleanness in the worship of the children of Israel.

We need to recognize that exactly for what it is worth. The worship of the children of Israel was not perfect. Nothing can be accepted by God unless it is perfect. So Aaron, the high priest, wore the turban with the plate on the forefront in order that whatever was lacking in the worship of the Israelites could be borne by him and the worship would be accepted.

The second reason the turban was worn is found in the last statement of verse 38. It is a much simpler statement and easier to understand. It is the phrase, “that they may be accepted before the Lord”. He wore the turban not only that their worship might be accepted, but that they themselves might be accepted before the Lord.

Illustration of Spiritual Truth

We are studying the garments of the high priest not with the idea that the garments should be imitated in the ecclesiastical garments worn by certain men of the clergy, but in order that we may learn their spiritual significance. We will study the mitre from a twofold standpoint: first, in relation to Jesus Christ, our great High Priest; then in relation to us. What are we to learn from this turban in relation to Jesus Christ, our great High Priest? Why did the High Priest wear this turban? So that the Israelites might be accepted before the Lord. As Aaron wore the turban that the Israelites might be accepted before the Lord, so the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the presence of God at this very moment in order that we may be accepted before the Lord.

Turn, please, to Hebrews, chapter 9. Here the Holy Spirit makes reference to the Old Testament tabernacle as compared to the original tabernacle in the heavens. In verse 23, he said:

Hebrews 9

23It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Let us think for a moment about what we are reading. The Old Testament tabernacle, as we will see when we study the sacrifices recorded in the Old Testament, was purified by means of earthly sacrifice. But when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in Heaven, it was necessary that a better sacrifice be offered, a more valuable sacrifice. Of course, as you know, that sacrifice was Himself. Look at verse 24:

Hebrews 9

24For 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:

When we were studying the tabernacle in detail, we noticed the Most Holy Place. Aaron went into the Most Holy Place. The Holy Spirit is telling us here that it was an illustration of the true tabernacle which is in Heaven:

Hebrews 9

24…but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

The Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven now. He is at the right hand of the throne of God for a specific purpose. He is appearing in our behalf. Everything about the turban worn by the high priest of the Old Testament illustrates precious spiritual truths relating to this fact. Before the Lord Jesus Christ could appear acceptably in the presence of God for us, it was necessary for several things to occur. One of them is found in chapter 2 of the Philippian letter:

Philippians 2

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, [now notice] and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

This passage says that the Lord Jesus Christ, when He came to this earth and died on the Cross, was indicating His complete obedience to the Father. What has all this to do with the turban? What did the turban do? It covered the head of the high priest, did it not? Of what is a covered head representative in the Scriptures?

Head Covering Represents Obedience

Turn, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 11, and notice the subject of the covered head. We are studying these Old Testament truths from a new Testament standpoint.

I Corinthians 11

1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

Keep in mind that this is a New Testament regulation, not an Old Testament regulation.

I Corinthians 11

5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

Who is the head of the woman? The head of the woman is the man. If a woman prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, then she is dishonoring her head. Someone may say, “Do you mean at home, before you to to bed at night?” No. Look at the first part of the chapter and you will realize that Paul is talking about public assembly. The apostle says that if a woman prays or prophesies in public assembly with her head uncovered, she is showing disrespect to her husband: “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

I Corinthians 11

6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10[Notice] For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

The word “power” means “covering”. Why the translators translated it “power” instead of “covering” we do not know. The idea of this passage is that a covering represents subjection.

Going back to the Old Testament picture, when the high priest covered his head with a turban in the presence of the Holy God, he was indicating that the basic characteristics of a high priest who was to bear the iniquities and the imperfections of the people was obedience. If the Lord Jesus Christ had not been obedient to death (Philippians 2:8), He could not stand now in the presence of God for you and for me. Remember that the only reason we are accepted is because he was obedient.

You may say, “I thought that we are accepted because we are obedient.” No, you are accepted because He was obedient. As we will see, all the obedience it is possible for us to manifest would still not make us acceptable before the throne of grace.

Subject to the Will of God

Notice that emphasis regarding the turban is placed upon the fact that the forehead was covered. We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. We do not believe that any word should be passed over as unimportant. If the Holy Spirit thought to emphasize the fact that the forehead of the high priest was covered when he went into the presence of the Lord, we should recognize its importance. What is the significance of the forehead in the Scriptures? Turn, please, to Ezekiel, chapter 3. Here we find the first mention of the forehead in the Scriptures from a symbolic standpoint. It is not the first time the forehead is mentioned in the Scripture. The first time it is mentioned is in chapter 28 of the book of Exodus. Here is the first time it is mentioned from a symbolic standpoint.

Ezekiel 3

1Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
2So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
3And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

This is just a symbolic way of saying that when the Word of God is received and digested, it becomes sweet to the taste.

Ezekiel 3

4And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
5For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
6Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
7But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

God said to Ezekiel, “You are a prophet now. Go speak to the house of Israel. They will not pay a bit of attention to you. I am not sending you to people who do not understand your language. Perhaps if I had, those people would have listened to you. I am sending you to a people who understand your language but still will not respond to your message because they are hardhearted. They have not listened to Me, and they will not listen to you.”

Ezekiel 3

8Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
9As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Here is Ezekiel with the message of God. Here is the nation of Israel as they receive the message of God. What do they do? They butt their heads. Their foreheads are together. Literally? Well, of course not. How could one man butt heads with an entire nation? It is a symbolic representation of the conflict of wills–the will of the prophet as he declared the whole counsel of God and the will of the people as they refused to obey, the one opposed to the other. The forehead becomes representative of the will. There is not place for self will in the presence of God, even on the part of God's Son.

That is why, when the high priest entered into the presence of God, he was clothed with a mitre. A turban covered his forehead to symbolize that the will of the high priest was subject to the will of God.

Christ's Submission to God's Will

There are many passages of Scripture to which we might turn to verify that the will of the Lord Jesus Christ was subject to the will of God. We will turn only to the basic one, Psalm 40, because it is the source of a number of quotations in the Scriptures. It represents a conversation that was carried on in Heaven between God and His Son before the Lord Jesus Christ ever came to the earth. When the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking about His future entrance into the earth in verse 6, He said:

Psalms 40

6Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened:…

That is, “You have made me your bondslave.”

Psalms 40

6…burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

That is, the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament would not meet the demands of God fully. Something else had to be done. What could be done? The only thing that could be done would be for God's Son to come to the earth and be the perfect sacrifice for sin. So the Lord Jesus Christ said:

Psalms 40

7Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Perhaps you are saying, “I thought these were the words of David.” Well, remember that David was a prophet as well as a psalmist. If you should take the time to turn to chapter 10 of the book of Hebrews, verses 5-7, you would find the Holy Spirit telling us that David did not speak these words himself. He spoke these words for the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of the Messianic Psalms, a Psalm that speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does the Psalm say? The Lord Jesus Christ committed His will completely and fully to the will of God in order that we may be accepted before Him.

Do you realize that everything about the turban speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice on our behalf? I would like for us to think about this turban in relation to us as individuals, in relation to us whom the Lord Jesus Christ is representing in the presence of God.

We remember two reasons Aaron was appearing in the presence of God. He was appearing in the presence of God first that the worship of the Israelites might be accepted because even their very best worship was imperfect. He was appearing in the presence of God in order that they themselves might be accepted before the Lord. The acceptance of our worship and the acceptance of ourselves is portrayed in a striking way in the symbolism of this garment worn by the high priest.

Significance of the Golden Plate

Let us see whether we can recognize some of these truths. Think with me about the word “plate”. Remember that there was a golden plate upon which was engraved “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”, and the golden plate was fastened to the linen turban by blue lace. What was the significance of that plate? The word “plate” is a translation of the Hebrew word which everywhere else in the Old Testament is translated “flower”. That would mean that there is a symbolism related to the plate and the flower. What would it be? Turn with me to Isaiah, chapter 40, verse 3:

Isaiah 40

3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

Look at the word “flower”. It is a translation of our same Hebrew word.

Isaiah 40

7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

What does this paragraph teach us? If we should boil it down to one simple statement, we would say that it teaches us of the brevity of life in comparison with the eternity of God. Have you noticed how quickly a flower withers? Oh, how quickly it withers, almost as soon as it is plucked. That is life. Life is over almost before it is begun. What did God instruct Moses to do? He said, “I want you to make a plate using this word ”flower“. I want you to make it of something that is representative of the divine. I want you to make it out of gold, for gold is representative of that which is lasting, of that which is divine.”

Are you getting the picture? Our life by itself would last a brief threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength fourscore years (Psalm 90:10). But when one's life is touched and changed by the power of God, it does not last for a brief span; it lasts for all eternity. Even though you may die and your spirit may leave your body, if you are a born again believer, you do not die. You simply change location. That is brought to our attention by the golden plate.

Did you notice with what that golden plate was fastened to the turban? Blue lace. When we were studying the tabernacle, we found that blue was representative of heavenly grace, so we are reminded that our life is not dependent upon us; it is dependent upon the grace of God. The plate of gold was fastened by blue lace to a turban of linen. Linen is representative of righteousness. Do you remember what was written on that golden plate? HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. Do you remember that “sanctification” is another word for “holiness”? Do you remember what the turban covered? The head, the fount of wisdom.

Sanctification and Righteousness In Christ

Think back over what I have said. What words have I emphasized? Wisdom, grace, sanctification. Turn with me, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 1, where we find that everything that was represented by this headdress worn by Aaron in the Old Testament is made ours literally in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ:

I Corinthians 1

26For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Why are we going to Heaven? Is the fact that you are trusting Christ the only reason? Are you sure? Don't you have to do a little bit of something? Well, Beloved, if there is one thing for you to do to go to Heaven other than to trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, then everything I have said to you is without foundation or fact because the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the presence of God now for us, and everything about this mitre of the high priest indicates that it is all of grace and not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). We are boastful creatures. We like to boast so we say, “I believe you have to trust Christ, but I believe you have to do something yourself, too.” That is the flesh; that is boasting.

If you are talking about the fact that a born-again Christian should live a life yielded to Christ, you are exactly right, for every man who is born again is a new creature in Christ Jesus. But if you say that that new life is necessary for you to be accepted of Christ, you are denying what this portion of the Word declares.

Made Acceptable Through His Blood

Go back to Exodus, please, chapter 28, so there will not be any misunderstanding about it, and notice the second reason the high priest made his appearance before the Lord wearing the mitre:

Exodus 28

38And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Here are holy things, things that are consecrated to the Lord. Who consecrated them to the Lord? The children of Israel. But what are we reading in this passage? We are reading that even a holy thing which is dedicated to God is so imperfect that God cannot accept it unless it is covered by the blood of Christ. Who are we to talk about what we do making us acceptable in the sight of God? Turn, please, to the book of Job, and notice a speech that Eliphaz made to Job to convince him that there surely must be something wrong with Job:

Job 15

14What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
15Behold, he [God] putteth no trust in his saints;…

His saints are angels. You do think an angel is pretty good, don't you? Some people are so confused about the Scriptures that they think that when people die, they become angels. They think it is a step up because in the minds of men, angels have a connotation of that which is good. But did you see what we read in verse 15? God cannot trust even His angels. Why can He not? Well, some of them sinned. There is no record in the Bible that any more of them will sin, but there is nothing in the Bible that says they will not. This Scripture would indicate that maybe some of them do. God does not trust them. He said:

Job 15

15Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.

We talk about the pollution of our atmosphere because of all the fumes, gases, odors, etc., and it is polluted. It is not safe to live in some big cities where there is so much pollution in the air. Someone says we should go up into space because it is clean up there. Well, not as far as God is concerned. God said that even the space is polluted. How in the world did it get polluted? Did God not create it perfect? Yes, He did. But the Devil sinned and God cast him out of Heaven down through space, and he left a slimy trail through space. Even the heavens are unclean in God's sight. Look at verse 16:

Job 15

16How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

That does not please us, does it? It does not make us look too good. Why, if even the heavens are not clean in God's sight, if He does not trust even the angels, what makes us think there is anything that we could offer to God that would be clean and perfect?

Good Works Not Righteousness

You see, there is no need to talk about works. There is no use to talk about righteousness. How many times have people said, “I believe I will go to Heaven because I read my Bible and I go to church and I teach a Sunday School class and I do, I do, I do.” Well, we are glad you are doing those things if you are a born-again believer, but they will not make you acceptable before the Lord because even they are unclean in His sight. I think this whole truth can better be expressed by a story that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself told. Chapter 17 of the Gospel of Luke has in it a number of encouragements of faith. In verse 7 the Lord Jesus said:

Luke 17

7But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?

The Lord Jesus Christ was talking about an ordinary custom of that day. They had servants who worked in the field in the daytime, and when they came in at night, they served supper to their master and attended to his wants. After all the household chores were done, they could eat. We will not enter into a discussion of whether that was right or wrong, fair or unfair. It was the condition that existed and the Lord Jesus Christ recognized it as such. He said in verse 9:

Luke 17

9Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.

Does he say, “Thank you for doing what I expected of you; I appreciate it so much.”? Certainly not! That was what he was being paid for. He was not doing any special favors. He was still in debt to his master, no matter how much he served. Look at verse 10:

Luke 17

10So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

For the sake of discussion, suppose you have done everything you knew God wanted you to do. You did not fall in regard to one thing. You did everything He told you to do. Suppose that were true. I will be perfectly honest with you; I don't think it is true. If you were to stand up and tell me you had done everything that God had commanded you to do, I think I would pray for you. I could not believe you. If I were to stand here and tell you that I have done everything that God has commanded me to do, you had better pray for me and stop listening to me, because I am a liar.

But suppose you have done everything that God commanded you to do. You could strut in the presence of God and say, “Now, God, accept me. I have done everything you told me to do.” No! All you can do is to bow your head and say, “Lord, I've done everything you told me to do, but I am unprofitable still. I am still not worthy of Heaven. I am worthy of Hell.” If we are willing to admit that we have not done everything we have been commanded to do, how much more unworthy are we, and how much more do we need a great high priest with His head covered to appear in the presence of God in our behalf.

Eternal Security In Jesus

Someone may say, “Do you believe in eternal security?” I do. “You mean you think you are good enough for God to save?” No, that is why I believe in Him, because I am not good enough. “You believe,” someone may ask, “that a Christian is saved and saved forever?” Yes, I do believe that. If I did not believe that, I would have no hope because I have been talking about how unworthy I am and how unworthy you are, and how everything depends upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would like to leave you with two passages of Scripture. One is found in chapter 7 of the book of Hebrews. Keep in mind that the book of Hebrews is a commentary on the Old Testament section of the Word at which we have been looking. In this chapter there is a comparison and a contrast of the priests such as Aaron and the priest that the Lord Jesus Christ is:

Hebrews 7

24But this man [the Lord Jesus Christ] , because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

We need a high priest like that, a priest who is separate, harmless, undefiled, who is able to stand like that always in the presence of God for us. Listen to me: If the Lord Jesus Christ should for one little second refuse to stand in the presence of God for us, we would be hopelessly lost. If for one moment He refused to plead for us, we would be lost. That is why we read in the first part of verse 25 that He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.

Have you ever been to the uttermost? That is a word which describes the farthest lengths to which you can go. He is able to save from the beginning to the end. He is able to save all the way through if we are faithful, and if we are careful what we do, and if we don't grieve Him. Is that what it says? That is not what it says, is it? It says He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Turn, please, to Romans, chapter 5:

Romans 5

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

For when we were yet without strength for what? To save ourselves. We were unable to do anything about it.

Romans 5

7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Paul is amazed. He said that you will hardly find a man who will die for a righteous man. Do you know what a righteous man is? A righteous man is a man who says, “I owe you a dollar, and I will pay you a dollar. I will not settle for $.98. But believe you me, you owe me a dollar, and don't expect me to settle that for $.98 either–a dollar for a dollar.” That is a righteous man. You will not find very many people who will die for a fellow like that. When misfortune comes against him, whether you say it or not, you think it serves him right, the tightwad. That is what Paul is saying here.

He said, “Peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” What is a good man? A good man is full of mercy and kindness. He understands your faults and your failings. You owe him a dollar, and you to to him and say, “I don't have it.” He ways, “Oh, forget it, we'll work it out some way.” You find people who will die for a man like that.

His Gift of Love

Look at the next statement. God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners–individuals for whom no one would die–Christ died for us. You see, we did not deserve it. The only reason He can give is that He loved us. That is all. Look at verse 9:

Romans 5

9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10For 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.

What are we reading? Beloved, we are reading that even when we were enemies of God, God loved us enough to let His Son die for us. What happened to us when He died for us? We were reconciled to God. There was no more enmity. We became members of the family of God. How ridiculous can you get, then, to think that God would let one of His own perish? Why, He would die for you. And if He died for you and you were saved by His death, how much more you will be saved by His life!

How do I know I am going to Heaven? Someone says, “You have been preaching a long time, and I suppose you have helped a few people, and you try to do what is right. I guess you will go to Heaven.” If all of that were true, that would not guarantee me Heaven. Do you know why I know I am going to Heaven? One day the Lord Jesus Christ died for me. When I saw the truth in the Word of God, I received Him as my Savior. I said, “Lord Jesus, You did die for me. I believe it, and I accept you now.” He said, “All right, if you accept Me, from here on out I will take charge of your case.”

Every time I offer a prayer to God, all the holiness of Heaven wants to reject that prayer because it comes from an imperfect heart. But the Lord Jesus Christ says, “No, you have to listen to him, because he is praying in My name. When he prays in My name, you have to hear what he says.” “Oh, but Jesus, he is impure. He is unlovely.” “I know that, but he is praying in My name.”

Do you see what I am talking about? I have some money. I want to make an offering to the Lord. All of Heaven shouts, “Don't accept it; it is unclean money! It has been touched by unclean hands. He is an imperfect man.” The Lord Jesus Christ says, “ Wait a minute. He trusted Me. I am His Savior. I am burying the iniquity of his unclean worship. It has to be accepted.”

I am giving all the glory to Christ. It has to be His.


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