Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 11, 1963
NUMBER 10, PAGE 1,12-13a

God's Answer To Man's Need

Homer Halley

The writer of Ecclesiastes has said, "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions" (Eccl. 7:29). It is declared further that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). And more than this, He created man for a divine purpose, that of ruling over and having dominion over the works of His hands.

But man failed of that majestic purpose, marring his own divine image by sin, and plunging the whole world into a state of death and decay by rebellion against his maker. Thus sinning against his Maker, man fell under just condemnation of sin. Deliverance from sin became his greatest need. Our theme is: "Jesus Christ, God's Answer to Man's Need."

One of the conditions prevalent when Jesus came was that of ignorance of God on the part of both Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were ignorant of His righteousness, though they had the law; while the Gentiles were ignorant of His unity and character. This condition among the Jews is stated by Paul as he writes of them to the Romans, "For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3).

That of the Gentiles is revealed by Paul's sermon to the philosophers in Athens, as he said, "Ye men of Athens, in all things I perceive that ye are very religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you" (Acts 17:22-23). From this, the apostle proceeded to show that the God who created the heavens and the earth, the sea and all things therein, is the same God who created man, appointed the bounds of his habitation, and provides for all his needs. God is one, and He is good. Hence, a revelation of the character and nature of God was needed by both Jews and Gentiles.

Another need existing when Jesus came was that of a Saviour. The Jews were, by the law, shut up under sin. The law could point man to what is right and declare the penalty for its violation; but it could not justify man when he had violated the law. Therefore because of violation, he stood under condemnation. The Gentiles are described as being at that time "separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). This brings both under condemnation and in need of a Saviour.

A third condition existing among both was that of proneness to sin, to fall short of God's glory; hence, both needed a high priest at the right hand of God continually; one through whom any one might come at every time of need.

A fourth condition was that we observe as existing then, and even till now, is that suggested by Jeremiah, the prophet, who declares, "0 Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). This being true, each needed, and needs today, a ruler over his life, a King to direct his steps and lead him In the warfare of life.

In considering Jesus Christ, we are led boldly to affirm that He is all-sufficient to meet every condition and need; that He is God's answer to all the spiritual and moral requirements of the human family.

Jesus Meets All Of Man's Needs

He has met the first need suggested, that of a revelation of God, by the complete revelation of the Father in Himself. When Philip made the request, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very work's sake" (John 14:8-10). If one would know God, see God in action, He must know and see Him in and through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul declared of Christ, "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power" (Col. 2:9, 10). Further, this inspired writer affirmed, "That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses" (2 Cor. 5:19). God is revealed in Christ: His righteousness and His unity; His love, mercy and longsuffering; His hatred for sin and love for the sinner. To know Christ is to know God, which according to Jesus is eternal life (John 17:3).

And now to the second need, that of a Saviour. In revealing the Father, Jesus was seeking to win men to the Father. He considered His supreme mission into the world to have been that of saving men from sin. Before His birth the angel said to Joseph concerning Him, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). His very name, Jesus, means "Saviour." Of His ministry He said, "For the Son of man came to seek and save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10); and upon another occasion, "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

This leads to the question of Sacrifice, which will receive a fuller treatment in another tract. Suffice it now that the writer of the Hebrew letter has declared ....And apart from shedding of blood there is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). All the old covenant types and shadows, whether in sacrifice or festivals, find their fulfillment in Him. In offering the one supreme sacrifice, that of Himself, He has perfected for ever all who will come to God by Him. "For this is my blood of the new covenant," said Jesus, "which is poured out for many unto remission of sins" (Matthew 28:28).

Many questions can be raised in connection with the sacrifice of Christ and the reconciliation to God effected by that sacrifice. The great subject of "The Atonement" has occupied the thought and study of the theologians through the centuries; many theological battles have been fought over the "why," "wherefore" and "how" of the atonement; but why not let us be satisfied with the "what" of it? Is it necessary that one know the "how" of a thing before he can appropriate it to his use? Consider electricity; who stops to ask HOW it works? Instead, we ask WHAT will it do? Then proceed to make use of it. This should be the attitude of every sinner toward God's offer of salvation in Christ. Weighted down beneath the burden of sin, grieved at the thought of being alienated from his Father and Creator, every son of Adam should be concerned, not with the "why" of God's plan, but with the "what." "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" was the question of him who claimed to be the chiefest of sinners. Then when God's reply comes back, clear and simple, let each one lay hold on that salvation by faith and obedience to the Father's will. "We walk by faith, not by sight," said Paul.

As quoted above, the apostle said, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation"; whereupon he continues, "We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness God in him" (2 Cor. 5:16-21). Wherefore, upon His resurrection from the dead, Jesus commissioned the apostles saying, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned (Mark 16:15-16).

But, as has been suggested already, there was a third need of man when Jesus came, that of a high priest through whom one can come to God at all times and in all places. A high priest who understands, and who is capable of making such intercession as is needed by erring man. This need God also satisfies in Christ.

Jesus, The Perfect High Priest

Under the old economy, when one sinned and needed pardon from God, he must needs bring his sacrifice to the high priest at Jerusalem, and there make his offering and petition to God. Besides, such a high priest as those of the Aaronic order were imperfect, needing sacrifices for their own sins. Men needed a perfect priest, one able to save to the uttermost. All of this Jesus Christ provides in Himself. Of Him the writer of Hebrews says, "Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:17,18). And again he says, "Having then a great high priest, who having passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest, that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:14-15). But this is not all, the same writer adds, "Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (7:25). What a High Priest! Tempted in all points as are we, yet without sin. Therefore, He understands, He can sympathize with us; He can make intercession for us with perfect understanding of our weaknesses and of the strength of temptation. And more, ever living to make intercession, He is able to save to the uttermost! No more does one need go to Jerusalem, or to look up a priest through whom to approach God. With Jesus Christ as High Priest, one may approach the throne of God from any place at any time; from the quiet nook in his own home garden to the remote corners of the far-flung battlefield. Jesus is all-sufficient as High Priest to all who will accept His sacrifice for sins obey His gospel, come unto God by Him.

And finally, as suggested, man needed a king to reign over his life, to guide him through life, and to lead him in the great battles against sin and temptation. "It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps." Experience has proved this over and over. Therefore, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, reigning on the throne of David at His Father's right hand, Christ Jesus leads the citizen of His Kingdom in the right way and through every battle, giving him victory over every foe.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). In following where He leads, one can make no mistake in life. Jesus is a captain who never lost a skirmish, much less a battle. In Him man finds his completeness; in Him one is made full. He is God's answer to man's every spiritual and moral need.

Let it be said in conclusion, that Jesus Christ fulfilled God's mission for Him into the world. He completely revealed the Father, giving a perfect conception of God. He offered Himself for man's sins, providing a means of reconciliation to God for all men. He qualified Himself as the all-sufficient High Priest for the entire human family; and in winning every battle fought with Satan, He has been crowned King of Kings at the right hand of the Father. He asks admission into every heart that He might there rule over the individual life. In Him every soul is complete; without Him no one is complete. The world's need when Jesus came was JESUS. The world's need today is JESUS. Will you not bow the knee to the King and let Him rule in your life? He asks that you believe on Him, "Repent and be baptized" in His name for the Remission of your sins (Acts 2:38), that He might add you to His kingdom and fill your every spiritual need.

— Tampa, Florida