Title: Divine Visitations
Text: Hebrews 2:6
Campbell & Larry Criss
Subject: God’s Visitations
Date: Tuesday Evening – December 7,1999
Tape # v-59a
I am astonished that God, so great, so
glorious, so infinite, so holy, so majestic, should be mindful of men so
insignificant, so worthless, so sinful as we are. Yet, here is something even
more astonishing than that.
2:6 – “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man,
that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
O wonder of wonders, God Almighty visits men, and
visits us in mercy, love, and grace! That is astonishing beyond imagination! Here we
are brought down in the dusts of humiliation and challenged to the deepest
admiration and the warmest praise. “What
is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest
I can easily understand God visiting us in
wrath. We all deserve that. But our text is talking about God visiting men who
deserve his wrath in grace!
This word, “visit,” means much more than
just “dropping by.” It means to show mercy, to refresh, to deliver, and
to bless.” “Naomi heard how that the Lord
had visited his people in giving them bread” (Ruth 1:6). “The Lord visited Sarah” to fulfill his
promise (Gen. 21:1-2). The blessings of
God’s providential grace are called “visitations
of the Lord.” because:
1. In them God comes to us.
2. They are free. A visit is
the freest thing in the world.
A visitation is also an act of care,
instruction, comfort, and direction (Acts 15:36; James 1:27; Job
Job 7:17-18 "What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest
set thine heart upon him? (18) And that thou shouldest visit him every
morning, and try him every
Acts 15:36 "And some days after Paul said unto
Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have
preached the word of the Lord, and see how
James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God
and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,
and to keep himself unspotted from
Lord our God visits his people he comes to be merciful, to bless, to deliver,
to comfort, and to care for his people.
me show you, from the Scriptures, eight of our God’s visitations with
First, and foremost, The
Lord our God visited us with redemption by the incarnation of Christ
Luke 1:68 "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his
is the primary meaning of our text. It is a declaration of Christ’s
incarnation. It is a quotation taken from Psalm 8, which was a prophecy of that
great event for which the world was made. Look at the context (Heb. 2:6-9).
2:6-9 "But one in a certain place testified,
saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou
visitest him? (7) Thou madest him a
little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and
didst set him over the works of thy hands:
(8) Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he
put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put
under him. (9) But we see Jesus, who
was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned
with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every
A. The Lord of glory assumed our nature (Heb. 1:1-3).
1:1-3 "God, who at sundry times and in divers
manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto
us by his Son, whom he hath appointed
heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all
things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat
down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
came down here to dwell with men, so that men mighty forever dwell with God.
B. Christ Jesus came into this world so that he might
save his people by his obedience to God as our Substitute (Matt. 1:21).
Righteousness (Rom. 5:19).
Redemption (Rom. 3:24-26).
Regeneration (John 5:21, 25).
our Lord has now returned to heaven and sits upon the throne above, yet he has
promised to visit us continually with his grace. His visits are invisible, and
they are spiritual, but they are real visitations from our God.
II. So, second, Christ
our God visits his elect at the appointed time of mercy with his irresistible
grace in regeneration and conversion (Eph. 2:1-5).
2:1-5 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of
the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our
conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of
the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as
others. (4) But God, who is rich in
mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together
with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
as he once visited the tomb of Lazarus to give life to the man he loved, our
Lord visits his spiritually dead people to give them eternal life by the power
of his Spirit at the appointed time of love (Ezek. 16:6-14).
16:6-14 "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee
polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. (7) I have caused thee to multiply as
the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art
come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts
are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. (8) Now
when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my
skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered
into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. (9) Then washed I thee with water; yea,
I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. (10) I clothed thee also with broidered
work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine
linen, and I covered thee with silk. (11)
I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and
a chain on thy neck. (12) And I put a
jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon
thine head. (13) Thus wast thou
decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat
fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou
didst prosper into a kingdom. (14) And
thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which
I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD."
A. Christ gives life to whom he
will (John 5:20).
B. He gives life as a matter of
pure, free, sovereign grace (Rom. 9:16).
C. His life giving grace is
irresistible and effectual (Psa. 65:4).
Illustration: “Lazarus, come forth!”
III. Third, God graciously visits us in
the acts of his good providence (Psa. 17:3; 89:32).
Psalms 17:3 "Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast
visited me in the night; thou hast
tried me, and shalt find nothing; I
am purposed that my mouth shall not
89:32 "Then will I visit their transgression
with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes."
Affliction is the believer’s lot in this
world. It is a visitation from heaven. And it is a needful visitation of our
Father’s love (Psa. 119:67, 71).
119:67 "Before I was afflicted I went astray:
but now have I kept thy word."
is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy
Our hearts are
fashioned to this world
By strong and various ties;
But every sorrow cuts the
And urges us to rise.
Toplady said, “Afflictions are as nails, driven by the hand of grace,
which crucify us to the world.”
plows his fields and the gardener prunes his trees to make them fruitful. The jeweler
cuts and buffs his diamonds to make them shine brighter. The refiner
throws his gold into the raging furnace to make it pure. And God
afflicts his people to make them better (Heb. 10:5-11).
10:5-11 "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. (11) And
every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same
sacrifices, which can never take away sins:"
Trials make the promise
Trials give new life to
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me
IV. Fourth, our God constantly visits
us with his preserving, sustaining grace (Isa. 41:10).
41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea,
I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my
“I am with thee.”
“I am thy God.’
“I will strengthen thee.”
“I will help thee.”
“I will uphold thee with the
right hand of my righteousness.”
43:1-5 "But now thus saith the LORD that
created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have
redeemed thee, I have called thee by
thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the
waters, I will be with thee; and
through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the
fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave
Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and
Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast
precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee:
therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee."
V. In the fifth place, God visits us with daily renewing,
transforming grace, causing us to grow in grace in conformity to Christ
(2 Pet. 3:18; Phil. 2:13).
3:18 "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ. To him be glory both
now and for ever. Amen."
2:13 "For it is God which worketh in you both
to will and to do of his good
are commanded to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. But we
cannot grow in grace unless God supplies us with grace. We are commanded to
be transformed by the renewing of our minds. But we cannot be transformed
unless God renews us by his grace. We are commanded to put off the old man
and put on the new. But we cannot unless God subdues the old and strengthens
the new. And he will do it. In this world God graciously causes his
people to grow up and mature in conformity to the image of Christ.
Our sanctification is not a progressive work;
but it is a continual work. We do not grow more holy before God; but believers
do grow in holiness. Grace causes believers to grow…
The old man never gets better.
2. The new man never increases in
3. But we do grow in grace,
just as our Savior grew in
the perfection of his manhood (Lk.
Luke 1:80 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in
spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel."
Lord did not become more of a man, or even a better man, than he was in the
beginning of his incarnation. He simply grew in his manhood. So too, the
believer grows in grace; but does not become more holy, or righteous. Our
holiness, our righteousness, our sanctification before God is in Christ; and it
is perfect. We do not, by our works, add to Christ’s work, making ourselves
better in God’s sight. Perfect cannot be improved! But believers, those who are
in Christ, grow in him.
VI. Sixth, the Lord visits his people
in the ordinances of public worship (Matt. 18:20; Song of Sol.
18:20 "For where two
or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of
Songs 2:9 "My beloved is like a roe or a young
hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows,
showing himself through the lattice."
The Son of God visits us in our worship services by…
The Preaching Of The Gospel.
The Songs Of His People.
The Reading of His Word.
The Lord’s Table.
Sweet and precious beyond expression are those visitations
of God to our hearts by the influence of his Spirit, by which he seals to our
His Electing Love.
These sweet visitations, we
call, “times of refreshing from the
presence of the Lord.” They are seasons of revival for our souls. I never
come to the house of God, but what I come seeking and praying for such a
visitation from our God.
1. And in that day
thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me,
thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not
be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my
strength and my song; he also is
become my salvation.
3. Therefore with
joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
4. And in that day
shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the
people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5. Sing unto the
LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
6. Cry out and
shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is
the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
VII. Again, the Lord graciously visits
his saints when he calls them away from earth to heaven.
To the believer death is no more than a
friendly visit from the God of love. It is Christ coming to carry us home (John
John 14:1-3 "Let not your
heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my
Father's house are many mansions: if it
were not so, I would have told
you. I go to prepare a place for you.
(3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will
come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
bursts of joy, what scenes of glory, what beams of light, what revelations of
grace, what covenant promises, what blessed assurances flood the souls of God’s
elect when Christ, our Bridegroom, comes calling!
God smiles with everlasting love.
Christ beckons us to come.
The Spirit gently pulls our souls from our bodies.
The angels of God convey us home.
And the saints on the other side welcome us with shouts of joy, when we
enter the heavenly Jerusalem.
VII. Then, there is a day coming when
the Lord God will pay his people one more gracious visit (Isa. 43:5).
Isaiah 43:5 "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee
from the west."
the day of resurrection our great God and Savior will gather our dust and raise
us up in incorruptible glory (Rom. 8:11; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-58).
Romans 8:11 "But if the Spirit of him that raised up
Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall
also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."
Corinthians 15:51-58 "Behold, I show you a
mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of
an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this
mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall
have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then
shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in
victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin;
and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved
brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
Thessalonians 4:13-18 "But I would not have you
to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not,
even as others which have no hope. (14) For
if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in
Jesus will God bring with him. (15) For
this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord
shall not prevent them which are asleep.
(16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall
rise first: (17)
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to
meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with
the Lord God visited you in grace? Oh, how I pray that he may! May our great
God visit you with his salvation. If he does, you will never cease to be
astonished by his grace in doing so. You will say, with every saved sinner – “What is man, that thou art mindful of him;
or the son of man, that thou visitest him?” Amen.