Sermon #7                                                         Hebrews Notes


          Title:            Divine Visitations

          Text:            Hebrews 2:6

          Readings:     Lindsay 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.


Hebrews 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 him?”


          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 7:17-18).


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 moment?"


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 they do."


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 the world."


Proposition: When the Lord our God visits his people he comes to be merciful, to bless, to deliver, to comfort, and to care for his people.


          Let me show you, from the Scriptures, eight of our God’s visitations with his people.


I.     First, and foremost, The Lord our God visited us with redemption by the incarnation of Christ (Lk. 1:68).


Luke 1:68  "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people2"


          This 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).


Hebrews 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 man."


A.  The Lord of glory assumed our nature (Heb. 1:1-3).


Hebrews 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;"


          God 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).


          Though 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).


Ephesians 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;)"


          Just 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).


Ezekiel 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 transgress."


Psalms 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).


Psalms 119:67  "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word."


Psalms 119:71  "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."


Our hearts are fashioned to this world

By strong and various ties;

But every sorrow cuts the strings,

And urges us to rise.


          Augustus Toplady said, “Afflictions are as nails, driven by the hand of grace, which crucify us to the world.”


          The farmer 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).


Hebrews 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 sweet,

Trials give new life to prayer,

Trials bring me to his feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there.


IV. Fourth, our God constantly visits us with his preserving, sustaining grace (Isa. 41:10).


Isaiah 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 righteousness."


·        “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.”


Isaiah 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).


2 Peter 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."


Philippians 2:13  "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."


          We 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


·        In Faith.

·        In Faithfulness.

·        In Love.

·        In Commitment.

·        In Patience.

·        In Hope.


NOTE: 1. The old man never gets better.

             2. The new man never increases in righteousness.

3.    But we do grow in grace, just as our Savior grew in

        the perfection of his manhood (Lk. 1:80).


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."


          Our 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. 2:9).


Matthew 18:20  "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."


Song 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.

·        Prayer.

·        Baptism.

·        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 hearts...


·        His Electing Love.

·        Redeeming Blood.

·        Adopting Mercy.

·        Saving Grace.

·        Free Justification.


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.


Isaiah 12


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 14:1-3).


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."


          What 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."


          On 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."


1 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."


1 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 these words."


ILLUSTRATION:  The Robin’s Eggs


Application: Has 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.