Category Archives: Sermons

Samson: When “God” is the Hero of your Faith, then “You” become a Hero of Faith

Samson is one of the most slandered heroes in the Scripture. Even as a boy, I always looked up to Samson. Not only his strength, but his faith. Even as a child I saw the New Testament defining Samson as a hero of faith, along with David, Moses, Abraham and others as a person, whom the world was not worthy to have known. Samson is truly someone I can look up to and emulate, just as much as David and other heroes of faith.

However, growing up, I almost exclusively heard Samson used only to say, “don’t be like Samson, who went after a prostitute.” Well, obviously! But why do mere mortals only refer to Samson this way, when the Scripture and the Preacher only define him as a man to emulate as a hero of faith? Jesus says what men often priorities, God finds an abomination. What God prioritizes, men often put at the bottom of the list, if at all.

The first true positive teaching on Samson I ever read was by Vincent Cheung.[1] Some of my thoughts are based on this essay. See footnote for source material.

The gospel of John has this thesis statement, “I have written these things that by believing in His name, you will have eternal life.” After feeding the 5 thousand, the crowds ask Jesus what are the “works” of God that they need to do. Jesus answers them by saying the “work” the Father has commanded you to do is to believe in the Son, whom He as sent. This is in essence, the first and greatest commandment in application. Favoring God above all others and obedience starts at the epistemology level. Its starts with knowledge. Once man abandons himself as a starting point, and humbly receives God’s revelation, everything else flows from this, including the second greatest commandment. This is to say, the most important act of obedience is faith in what God as revealed. Indeed the gospel of grace is itself a commandment to all men, for Paul says in Acts 17 to the Greeks, that God has “commanded” all to repent. The gospel as wonderful as it is, is still a commandment. Christian ethics is God’s commands and precepts. Thus, obeying God by believing in Him to accept the good things Christ has purchased by His blood, is the height of Christian morals and ethics.

I say all this to point out how some very foolish people think Samson is a moral failure. They could not be more wrong. Because Samson’s faith was so strong, he is therefore, a super strong example of moral power, and ethical superiority. The point is not if one specific Christian has sinned, for we all stumble, even after being born from above. As John says, if we say we have not sinned, we are lairs.

Faith, is more than just receiving Jesus’ good news of forgiveness and sonship, it also includes believing God at every point of contact with reality, where the Scripture gives a truth claim. Whether it is simply believing a categorical claim about reality in general, or a promise that God will help in this specific way, all of it is faith. Since we struggle, and the world is often against us as Christians, our faith is often focused on our relation with our Father, and specific promises that deal with our situations.

Often our faith in what God has revealed is tested in our immediate context and struggle. Whether it is about believing God’s claim of creating the worlds in 6 days, God’s definition of male or female, or healing of a terminal sickness, our faith is tested in what we are facing. Therefore, to define a strong “faith” is more than looking at the bear basic gospel message, and if there is faith or unbelief. Paul and New Testament writers, often referred to their audience in confidence that they are part of God’s elect, but also rebuked them for their immaturity; they must feed them milk rather than solid food. Thus, they have faith, but it is immature and defective. They have gospel believing faith, but they are still categorized as immature. Their faith needs grow, because in the immediate context of their testing, they are failing.

Samson is a hero of faith, because in his immediate context of struggle and testing, he shown forth as a brilliant superstar of faith. His faith was not a flashlight in the dark, it was a sun breaking over the horizon. Oh, that Christians would be like Samson.

I have often used Samson as a test, when trying to evaluate other Christians. I want to see how they value faith, and if they value it like the Scripture and Jesus Christ does. I have often, been disappointed and angered. One missionary, with brutal honesty, told me he did not like that Samson was mentioned in Hebrews 11 as someone for us to emulate. At least he was honest that he did not like the bible. For people like him, the bible is not moral enough. Jesus is not moral enough for them.

I will not go over the story and major points of Samson, for that see the above essay by Vincent. I want to focus only on faith.

Samson after killing the thousand people with the bone, said this prayer,

Samson was now very thirsty, and he cried out to the Lord, “You have accomplished this great victory by the strength of your servant. Must I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of these pagans?”

First point. Samson spoken to God in a disrespectful way. This will be important later.

Second point, Samson acknowledged it was God who gave him the strength for this victory. Thus, even at the beginning of Samson’s victory over the Philistines, he was not doing it in unbelief. Samson from the start, was crediting God with his own strength and power. Samson was not stealing from God by saying he did it, not God. Samson must have heard the word his parents spoke to him that God gave them. He believed it. He believed God would strengthen him and would give him victory over the Philistines.

What lead up to Samson killing the thousand Philistines? His own countrymen, maybe people he even grew up with (his peers) freely handed him over to the Philistines. Remember Gideon? With only 300, he defeated an army. Here now are 3000 men from Judah! If they would, repent and believe, God could free them in an hour, no, in a minute.

The big idea is the context for Samson’s faith being tested. Imagine, being surrounded by 3000 Christians (some who you went to Sunday school with). You are surrounded by unbelief from those who say they believe. But it gets worse, they actively preach and encourage you to not believe God’s promise. The ones meant to help, persecute you. The ones meant to build you up, are demons who inspire unbelief. This is Samson’s test and context. Many fold in this situation. The 3000 Judah cowards show this. No friends and even your own church peers’ pressure you to not trust in God’s promise. Some might have just enough strength, to not renounce God’s promise as they are martyred, and by this, end their ability to help the church. However, would you have enough faith in God’s promise, to not only affirm but in faith acquire the promise to kill 1000 men with a bone, and advance the Kingdom of God? What would you have done? I will not answer that for you.

After Samson’s sin with Delilah (which is more about female companionship rather than just sex), has his eyes poked out and is a slave in the hands of his enemies.

Most in this context and testing avert to David Hume’s empiricism and make truth claims about reality with their observations, rather than, faith in God’s promise. Most use their observation about their circumstance and feelings to say, “It’s God’s will for me to be here, and so, either God has abandoned me, or God wants me to be die here for my punishment (and thus ending my ability to be a judge according to His promise).” All of these sayings are from spiritual losers, and spiritual perverts.

The sin and wickedness of this is manifold, but the foundation sin is rejecting God’s promise as a truth claim about reality and negating it with one’s observations. God’s promise for your forgiveness, or your healing, or help in trouble is a truth claim about reality, and so, to use your human observation to negate this truth claim, is to proclaim a human starting point is more foundation for truth rather than God’s revelation. Sadly, most who claim Christian give this testimony more than anything else. They have their reward.

Samson’s last prayer when like this,

“My Lord Yahweh, remember me!
Please give me strength this one time, O God, so that I can repay with one act of revenge to the Philistines for my eyes.

Samson not only acknowledges God as his strength, but did so in a respectful way. This was the greater of his moral mistakes. Delilah, was in fact the lesser of the two moral problems. The first commandment is always the greatest. Disrespect for God is always greater compared to sins committed against the second commandment. Samson thus, made the most important ethical repentance and change that faced him. However, this not the point I wish to focus on.

Look at His faith! Even with everything Samson could observe and calculate from his human observations, which said God was done with him, Samson did not approach God on this human foundation. Rather, Samson approached God on His promise.

Not our observation, but God’s promise defines reality as it truly is. By approaching God on the foundation of His promise, you are acknowledging God’s sovereignty over reality. This exalts Him and honors Him. You are acknowledging His sovereign word defines reality, and not what you can gather from inductive empiricism.

Samson’s faith rested on the fact that “GOD” defined Samson as a judge to the Philistine, not Samson. The sovereign Yahweh, said Samson was a judge, because Yahweh wanted it so. As Paul says in Romans 9, before they are born, before they had done “good or evil choices,” God chose to love one and hate another. Yahweh in love, before Samson sinned or did good, chose him to be judge; the only sovereign God chose him to be a hero of faith. It was about God’s choice. And God is still here. He is still sitting on His throne. His callings and gifts are irrevocable. His mercy endures forever.

So what, if Samson is a slave to the Philistines, by his own bad choices? What does this have to do with negating God’s callings and God’s loving choice to make Samson a judge? Nothing!

Some can see this in the gospel but fail to apply this correctly to all of God’s promises about reality. In Romans 5:9 Paul says on the foundation of Jesus blood, you are declared righteous by the Father. Thus, there is nothing “you” can do about it, because there was no “you” for how this justification happened. The ethical application, which is faith, is worked in you by God. This is true for all of God’s promises.

God is the only real cause for anything and all reality. There is no such thing as secondary causes, because “relative” to God, there is no other cause. There is no dualism in Christian ontology. Thus, every act of faith is caused by God in us. And every act of unbelief is equally worked directly by God in us, even if Satan is working it in the man, because God is the one directly controlling Satan’s mind and the man’s mind.

God’s sovereignty is arbitrarily in the sense of what God wants. It is not arbitrary in the sense of being fickle or constantly up and down. God has perfect control over His Mind. He only does what He wills.

God cannot lie and He is immutable, thus, God will not lie to us. However, this has nothing to do with God arbitrarily wanting to hate Esau and love Jacob before they had done any good or bad. This is why Paul says in the same chapter that human beings are like a lump of clay, and God arbitrarily grabs a handful of clay from the lump and then forms it into a pee pot and then another to be a beautify vase. It is God’s choice.

There is confusion over God’s sovereignty being arbitrary. Its arbitrary, in that God does what He wants, but not in the sense it is fickle, or that it goes up and down.
He is immutable. God cannot lie.

He gave promises in the Bible based on the demand of faith, and they are all yes in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, a Saint looking at a promise in the Bible, is all the confirmation they need that it is God’s will for them.

It is like a child playing with LEGOS. Would I be wrong for taking some blue colored LEGOS and some brown ones, and then treat the blue LEGOS as the bad LEGOS and the brown ones as good? Of course not. Therefore, men have no argument against God, for no matter what they say against His sovereignty they would condemn themselves in the same breath. I am the only sovereign over the LEGOS I am building. If I sovereignly decide, any LEGO man with “x” shade of brown on their body will be a strong judge, then it is so.

God created and put Samson with the brown LEGOS, with “x” brown shade for his upper body; He wrote on his t-shirt, “A judge to the Philistines.” This was based on what God wanted. It is final. It is irrevocable. It is reality.

Samson honored God by believing Him, even when everyone and everything said no. Samson said yes. Samson said, “God gets to define reality, not men.” “God is the true sovereign God. If God said I will be a judge, then it is so. If God’s choice was based on His own sovereign arbitrary choice, and had nothing to do with me, then even my own choices do not negate God’s choice to use me.”

And so, even in a besetting sin, God will give victory. Samson looked beyond human observation and saw that in God’s eyes, Samson was placed by God with the brown LEGOS, and God made him strong. God’s choice was arbitrary, but not fickle. And God still rules; thus, Samson was still with the brown LEGOS. This is God’s world. The world runs on His definitions and choices, not mans.

Peter in Acts 2 and Jesus in John 15 uses the doctrine of predestination as a way to encourage faith for baptism of the Spirit, and faith to ask for anything and receive this from God. They used God’s sovereignty to encourage and elevate faith. Someone who uses predestination to diminish the baptism of the Spirit (and speaking in tongues) and faith to ask for whatever you want and have God give it to you, is an anti-Christ and a liar. They have no idea what they are talking about. They have no clue what is God; they do not know what His sovereignty means. God’s sovereignty is too good, too spiritual and too intellectual for them to understand.

Hebrews 12 mentions besetting sins for Christians (which is so sensitive for many), and the encouragement is to look to Jesus who is the “author” and “perfecter” of our faith. On the ultimate level God does it, and He wants you to know it, and keep looking to the fact Jesus will sovereignty control your faith to victory. Vincent really helped me years ago, to dismantle the false use of God’s sovereignty the Reformed teach, in his essay, “Predestination and Miracles.” The bible uses God’s absolute control over our faith as an encouragement for power and victory, and not “if God wills,” and just let life roll over us.

This is how it is with all of God’s promises that are “yes and amen” in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV, “No matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.” Thus, If you are looking at a promise today that is a help for your situation, then that alone shows it is God’s will for you.

If you read a promise on healing it is your definition as much as God made plants being organic part of their definition. God’s promises for healing is having “z” shade of LEGO brown legs. God’s word tells you, that God has created you with “z” legs. It is your reality. Faith is simply agreeing with God’s sovereign right, authority, and power to create you this way in Christ. God is the only sovereign God.

Samson said Yes to God’s promise to use him as a judge. God honored Samson’s acknowledgment of His promise, by granting him the most powerful display of strength he had ever used.

In our lives, in the context of our struggles, Samson is a hero to be emulated in our faith. He serves as a shinning sun, that pushed aside every human starting point for knowledge, and only stood on God’s sovereign promise/definition of reality.

Considering God’s promise to always give a “yes” to our faith in His many promises in Christ, what excuse do we have? Jesus said we have been predestined to bear fruit for God, and this fruit includes asking and receiving whatever we ask for.

As a personal note. I remember back in high school, when my band (Kairo Music) was asked to play for a Church of God boys of Tennessee retreat. There were only about 20 boys, and most were from broken homes. Not your typical event a young Christian rock band plays at, for there is little return on such an event in the eyes of the world. However, God moved us to go and so we did. We were very busy that week, and could not prepare in way of playing and praying, as we often try to do. We were in the cafeteria, praying right before the event, and we all were filled with unbelief about the event. At that moment, my twin (Joshua) began to prophecy, “I want to bless these boys. Your effort to prepare, or not prepare has nothing to do with My own desire to bless them. I want to bless them, and so I will.” The Spirit of God came down that night and many boys were saved and baptized in the Spirit. Years later, the person in charge of this event stumbled upon on me. He then told me that for years they only had 20-30 boys show up, but something changed that night we played, when the Spirit fell. He said now hundreds of boys are now showing up and are hearing the gospel preached to them.

The truth of the matter is that it should not take God to give us a public rebuke to remind us that God’s promises are “yes” in Christ. His promises are based in His sovereign pleasure to bless all of His elect Children. If God says, “if you have faith to be forgiven or healed, then you will get,” then God has just told has us that HE WANTS TO BLESS US. He just defined us in this reality, as those who are healed by faith. It is God’s sovereign, arbitrary good pleasure to define us this way. It has nothing to do with us, and our performance.

Because God’s promises for healing, for example is a “yes” (James 5:15) just as much as forgiveness of sins by faith (James 5:15), then it is an accurate and precise definition of reality. In essence, when the Holy Spirit sovereignly opens your mind to see and believe God’s promise, you see that God as placed you with the brown LEGOS. It is God telling you, “I have defined clouds to float, and the sun to shine. However, I have defined you this way. You had nothing to do with why I put you here. I wanted to. I am still here. I am still on the throne. And so, you are still with the brown LEGOS. Your definition is this: if you ask for forgiveness, then you get it. If you ask in faith for healing, then you get it.”

This is God’s world, and His arbitrary choices. And He has defined you this way. It is who you are. It does not matter, where you are now. It does not matter if you have 3000 friends who cannot strain out one ounce of faith for God. It does not matter if you are being disciplined by God for bad choices. God’s arbitrary choices are immutable and irrevocable. You are still a child of God, and you are STRONG in Christ. You have the armor of God! You are predestined for baptism of the Spirit with power, you are predestined to get answers to your prayers. You are who God has made you; You are defined as God has defined you through Jesus Christ. There is no fear in a God who loved you so much that He saved you when a sinner, and who cannot lie. He promises to use His absolute and direct sovereign control over all reality to author a faith of victory for you. He will cause you to mature.

This positive doctrine of our faith by the predestination and sovereignty of God is seeing Jesus as the “author and perfecter,” of our faith, and therefore, He is the the “hero of our faith.” He will not fail in His love to cause us to bear fruit and remain in Him. He is our great hero who works in us faith to acquire these things. It is certain. God is the hero of our faith, in that we delight knowing God will sovereignly control and prefect our faith for victory over the world and acquiring the promises. Oh, what a hero is His to us!

When God becomes hero of your faith, then you become a hero of faith, whom the world was not worthy to have known.


[1] Vincent Cheung. Samson and His Faith. 2003.

WHO IS THIS KING OF GLORY? – Jonathan Edwards

Headnote to Ps. 24:7-10, #449

Jonathan Edwards sketched out this sermon, dated in Jan. 1738.

Edwards identifies Ps.24 as speaking of Christ’s ascension into heaven after his suffering; among other things showing that it is Christ who has clean hands to ascend the “hill of the Lord,” for he “alone is [worthy], who was perfectly free from all defilement of heart and hands,” and how this Psalm treats, “both the head and members of the church of Christ into heaven.”  Transitioning to Doctrine Edwards offers a sequence of contrasts from Christ’s humility on earth to his exaltation in heaven, from his divinity to his humanity (etc); this crescendos as Edwards demonstrates how this backdrop undergirds such a grand entrance when Christ entered into his glory, so that all heavenly beings cried out, “Who is this King of glory?”  Edwards ends this transition showing why Christ is worthy of being exalted with such greatness, and this for his sufferings on earth.

In Application there is contrasting rhetoric of heaven excepting Christ in all praises and joy to that of resisting, stubborn hearts for, “Instead of joining with the heavenly hosts that beheld Christ’s ascension after his suffering with such great admiration, and attended him into his glory with praises and acclamations of joy, you treat him with neglect and set him at naught, and spit in his face.” And so we are exhorted to give admittance to Christ who knocks on the doors of our hearts with the same joy that heaven received him, and open as wide as the Gates to heaven opened to him at the Father’s command.  J.E. ends with a series of rising encouragements for the saints to consider, such as, “Let our hearts be there where Christ is, in the same world of holiness and immortal glory. Let our souls mount up thither…  If we thus ascend in our hearts beforehand, it will be a sure token {that we will} ascend in person.”

*  *  *  *  *

The original manuscript consisted of 18 leaflets, and its longer length comes from Edwards preaching the Doctrine for the morning service and the Application that evening.  Interestingly, the application indicates a section was bracketed off for repreaching. [1]



Psalm 24:7-10.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.


The scope of the Psalmist in the first few verses of the Psalm is to declare the qualifications of those [who] shall ascend into the “hill of the Lord,” or into heaven. After the preface in the two first verses, then the inquiry is made in the 3d verse, “Who shall ascend onto the hill of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place?” The terms here used—“the hill of the Lord” and “his holy place”—is taken from the holy hill or mountain where the sanctuary in Israel was, which was called the holy place.  This in David’s time was Mt. Sion, where he had placed the ark, and afterwards in Solomon’s time was Mt. Mariah, the place where the temple was built, which Scripture calls “the mountain of the house of the Lord,” and was a type of heaven. And when the Psalmist here inquired, “who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall stand in his holy place,” we by the hill of the Lord, and his holy place, are to understood heaven.

After the Psalmist had answered this inquiry, and had set forth the qualifications of those that should {ascend the hill of the Lord},  in the 4th, 5th and 6th verses, then he proceeds and says, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory shall come in.”  The gates and doors here meant, are the gates and door of that sanctuary and holy place on God’s holy hill, spoken of before, which as we observed, is heaven.

And as by the king of glory is meant Jesus Christ, who we are told is the brightness of God’s glory, and is often represented in Scripture as the Lord of hosts or armies, as the captain of the Lord’s hosts and the captain of his people’s salvation, and the Lord mighty in battle; so it follows that the Psalmist is here speaking of Christ’s ascension into heaven, of which David’s carrying the ark out of the house of Obededom  and down into the sanctuary, which he had prepared for it in Mt. Sion—what is often spoken of as God’s holy hill—was a type: on which occasion the 68th Psalm was penned, in which, in the 18th verse it is said, “Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men,” which is applied to Christ’s ascension in the New Testament.

When the Psalmist in this Psalm had inquired who shall ascend “the hill of the Lord,” he makes answer: “he that has clean hands, and a pure heart.”  In one sense, all Christ’s sincere disciples and followers are such.  They are pure in heart and hands, with a purity of sincerity [and] universal obedience; but in another sense, Christ alone is so, who was perfectly free from all defilement of heart and hands.  This Psalm treats of the ascension of both head and members of the church of Christ into heaven.

When Christ ascended into heaven after his sore battle, or conflict with his enemies in his death and suffering, and his glorious victory over them in his resurrection, wherein he appeared to be the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, the word was proclaimed to the gates of that eternal city and doors of that everlasting temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, that they should be lift up, that the King of glory might come in: signifying with what joy and welcome Christ was received in heaven by his Father and all the heavenly inhabitants, when he returned thither after his victory over sin and Satan in his death.  When Christ ascended to heaven, he ascended in triumph in a most joyful manner: as the Roman generals, when they had been forth on any expedition and had obtained any remarkable victory, when they returned to the city of Rome, whence they were sent forth by the supreme authority of that city, used to enter the gates of the city in triumph, the authority of the Roman state gladly opening the gates to ‘em, and all the Roman people receiving them with shouting and the sound of the trumpet and with many such-like manifestations of joy, and their enemies that they conquered led in triumph at their chariot; which the Psalmist in the 47th Psalm, 5th verse, speaking of Christ’s ascension, says, “God is gone up with a shout. The Lord with the sound of the trumpet.”

And ‘tis probable that the day of Christ’s ascension into heaven, was the most joyful day that ever was seen there, when he ascended as it were leading principalities and powers in triumph at his chariot, which [was] attended with a glorious retinue of angels, and many saints that rose and ascended with their bodies into heaven with him.  When Christ thus joyfully ascended, this sight was beheld by the angels, and those holy ones that saw it, with great joy and admiration; and therefore, when that word was preached, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates,” they upon it inquired, “Who is the King of glory,” which is a note of their great admiration at the sight which they beheld.

The devil had been the instrument of Christ’s being put to death.  He put it into the heart of Judas to {betray Jesus}, and he stirred up rage and malice in the chief priests and scribes and elders of the people to use cruelty to him, so that their cruelty,[2] and the cross they used as the instrument of his death was as it were the devil’s sword he used in battle against Christ, that when Christ rose, he got the victory over him, and slew Satan as it were with his own sword, as David cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword.  And Christ ascended into heaven in triumph as it were with the head of Satan in his hand, as David  after he had slain Goliath, went up to Jerusalem with the head of this Philistine in his hand.

And as David after this conflict with Goliath, and victory over him, was beheld with great wonderment, and Saul inquired, “Whose son is this youth?” . . . “Whose son is this stripling?” [I Sam. 17:55-56], with such honor and glory, with the head of such a giant in his hand; so it is here inquired of Christ, “Who is this King of glory?”

And ’tis made answer, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” [v. 8]; which is like the song of the day laborers of Israel, when they came forth with songs out of the cities of Israel to meet David, when he came from the slaughter of the Philistines, saying, “David hath slain his ten thousands” [I Sam. 18:7].

We are not to take this inquiry, in this place, “Who is this King of glory?” as a note of the ignorance of the inquirers, but of their great admiration.  Such interrogations are often so used in Scriptures, as notes of admiration. So is that interrogation concerning Christ in Is. 63:1, which was made on the same occasion, viz., his coming from his sore conflict with his enemies: “Who is this that cometh from Edom with died garments from Bozrah, that is glorious in his apparel, travailing in the greatness of his strength?”

The interrogation is made twice over in this context, and the answer is twice made, the more livelily representing thereby the greatness of the admiration with which it was beheld. As when a person beholds that which they are very much filled with wonderment at the sight of, [which] they are ready to cry out with a repeated exclamation, “Oh! who is that, or what is that?”




Jesus Christ entering his glory after he suffered, was a sight worthy to be beheld with great admiration.


In speaking to this Doctrine, two things are to be considered.[3]

  1. That which is implied in it; and,
  2. That which is directly asserted in it.


  1. The proposition implied in it is that Jesus Christ, after his sufferings, entered into his glory; as in Luke 24:26, “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory.” In his sufferings he was in a very low, abased state, or state of great ignominity and reproach, and sunk into an abyss of contempt and torment. But when this was all past, he entered in a state of the highest glory; God highly exalted him with his own right hand, wherein the height of the exultation was answerable to the depth of the depression.  He was first made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, and then in that suffering of death was made lower, not only than angels, [but] was made lower than men, or than any other man on earth; so that he spoke of his suffering, [and] says, “I am a worm and not a man” [Ps. 22:6], but then he was crowned with glory and honor.  Because he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross, “therefore also God highly exalted and gave him a name that is above every name” [Philip. 2:9].  Many were astonied at him; “his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men”; but he in this state, as God’s servant, has[4] done prudently; he was “exalted and extolled very high” [Is. 52:13-14].

This was prefigured in Joseph, who was first appointed to death by his brethren, and was sold by ‘em as a slave, and was a servant in Egypt, yea, was cast down into a dungeon; and then was exalted, and set over all the land of Egypt, set at the king’s right hand with his ring on his hand, to be a savior to save the people from famine by feeding them with bread, and particularly for the saving the lives of his own kindred.

Christ’s humbled state and his state of conflict with his enemies was presaged in David, who was persecuted as “a partridge in the mountains” [I Sam. 26:20], and afterwards spent his life very much in war; he was a man of blood.  But Christ’s exalted state was[5] prefigured in Solomon’s reign that followed David’s, who God exalted to such exceeding riches and honor, and had a name according to the “name of the great men that are in the earth” [II Sam. 7:9], as God after Christ’s sufferings “divided him a portion with the great, that he might divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death” [Is. 53:12].

Christ thus entered into his glory not merely as man, but as the God-man and mediator.

The entrance into his glory was begun, and was accomplished in some measure, in his resurrection; but it was chiefly in his ascension into heaven and sitting on the right hand of God, which is more properly his entering into his glory, and is the thing chiefly meant by this expression in Christ, in what he said to his disciples, “[ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory],” Luke 24:26.

For Christ, after he had descended, ascended, after he had not only descended from heaven to earth, but descended into the lower parts of the earth; and then after that ascended up far above all the heavens, Eph. 4:10, and there sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high, [and] was vested with exceeding glory and honor.

I now proceed now, in the

  1. [Second] place to that which is directly asserted in the Doctrine, viz., that Jesus Christ entering into his glory after his sufferings, was a sight worthy to be beheld with great admiration.

And to manifest this I would show, first, that Jesus’ entry into his glory, was a very admirable sight, in itself considered; and secondly, that it was a sight worthy of great admiration, if we consider it with those sufferings that it was consequent upon; and third, it was so, if we consider[6] [it] with the end of it.

First. Jesus Christ entering into glory, was a sight worthy of great admiration, if we consider in itself: and that on account of the wonderfulness of the person that entered into glory, and on account of the transcendent degree of glory that he entered into, and on account of the glorious manner of entering into it.

  1. 1. On account of the wonderfulness of the person that entered into glory.  Jesus Christ, God-man, is a sight worthy of great admiration, in what circumstances or state soever he is beheld: whether in his conception and birth, or in his infancy or ripe years; whether in his private life or public ministry; whether in the course of his life, or his last suffering, or his resurrection, or ascension into heaven, or his sitting on the “right hand of the Majesty on high” [Heb. 1:3], or his coming to “judge the earth” [Ps. 96:13], or his eternal glory with his complete church after the “day of judgment.”

He is a wonderful person, however and whomever viewed.  His name is called “Wonderful” in Scripture, Is. 9:6.

He is a divine person, and so wonderful. All the persons of the Trinity are wonderful, because they are all persons of infinite glory; persons that can’t by searching be found out, being incomprehensible, whose glory is infinitely above the reason of all created understanding. But Jesus Christ, as God-man, has that which is peculiarly wonderful, because in him God and man are united in one person; God is become man. This is an admirable union, a wonderful mystery. I Tim. 3:16, “without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.”

This is such a union as none would ever have thought of, had not God revealed and effected it. How wonderful was this, that he that made the world should be himself a child born; that he that fills heaven and earth, and whom the “heaven of heavens cannot contain him” [II Chron. 2:6], should be a child, in bodily clothes, held in the arms and sucking the breasts of a woman, a truly human being. There is no other such wonderful person as this. Well might the sight of such a person excite those who behold it, to cry out with admiration, “Who is this, a worm of the dust, and yet the King of glory!”

When Christ was entering into his glory, then the divinity of this person had its manifestation. Before it had as it were the veil of his hot flesh, with the form of sinful flesh: for Christ, though he was in the form of God, did as it were empty himself of the glory of this divine form.

But now it was most gloriously manifested how that this very man, that had dwelt on earth in mortal flesh, was indeed a divine, for now he appears as the King of glory. God himself proclaims him the King of glory. The words of that proclamation in the context, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors that the King of glory shall come in,” may be looked on as the words of God the Father. He gives him the title of the King of glory, and commands the everlasting gates and doors of heaven to lift up their heads to him, as such, so that in this proclamation of God the Father, the Father declares his deity; as much as in Heb. 1:8, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom,” which are there spoken of as the words of God the Father to his Son. Well might the heavenly hosts, when they heard God thus proclaim, concerning one that was man, a child of the human race, and saw him coming in the state and significance of the King of glory, indeed, well might they be filled with admiration, and cry out as in the text, “Who is this King of glory?”

  1. Jesus Christ entering into his glory, in itself considered, was a sight worthy of great admiration, on account of the transcendent degree of glory that he entered into. Not only was the person that entered a very wonderful person, but the glory he entered into was wonderful glory.

Christ, after he had suffered, was exalted to a height of glory that is admirable and unspeakable: so great, that the beholding of it might well fill all the saints and angels that behold it with wonderment. For though he was truly man, and ascended in his human [form], yet when he approached heaven’s gates, God commanded and proclaimed to the gates that they should lift up their heads, as it were to acknowledge him to be the owner of heaven, and to receive him as the King of heaven.  The glory he entered into, was not the glory of an earthly prince,[7] that glory of a dominion over some[8] large part of the face of the earth or over the whole earth, it was not the glory of Domitian[9] over the Roman Empire, the biggest and mightiest empire that ever was set up in this earth, but it was that glory of being King of heaven, not only of part of heaven, but of all heaven. He entered heaven, to sit on the throne of heaven; thrones, dominions, principalities and powers being made subject to him, and God commanding all the angels of God to worship him, Heb. 1:6. [The] word was proclaimed to the gates of God’s palace, when Christ was coming, to lift up to their heads, to receive him as the owner of the palace, and him that was to be king in the palace, Heb. 3:3, “for this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he that hath built the house hath more honor than the house”; [and] v. 6, “but Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we.”

Yea, he entered there, not only to receive the glory of being king of heaven, but king of the whole universe, that he might have a name above every name that is named, both of “things in heaven and things in earth.”[10]

He had all power given him in heaven and in earth, and had “all things put under his feet, and was made head over all things” [Eph. 1:22], “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” [Philip. 2:10].  He entered into the glory of the King of angels, and King of saints, and King of kings and Lord of lords, God saying unto him, “Sit thou on my right hand” [Acts 2:34].

And the manifestation of the glory of his person, and the glory that was put on his human nature, was answerable hereto. If the saints shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom[11] of their Father, how brightly then does the man Christ Jesus shine forth in heaven in the glory he has entered into?

Christ is represented in the 21st chapter of Revelation, 23d verse, as the light of heaven, as the sun that serves the heavenly world was light. ‘Tis said they have “no need of the sun, nor of the moon,” because his glory is the light of the world.

If the material sun of this lower world be so bright and glorious, how glorious is the sun of the heavenly world in comparison, of which this world is but a dark dungeon? And if the very inhabitants there are enlightened there by the rays [of] Christ’s glory, do themselves[12] shine as the sun, how brightly then does He shine who is a Sun to them, and does as much exceed them in glory as the sun exceeds our bodies?

  1. Jesus Christ entering into his glory is {worthy of great admiration}, on account of the manner of his entering into this glory. He ascended and entered with heavenly pomp and magnificence, being attended with the heavenly hosts: for Christ ascended with the like glory with which [he] will descend at the last day. Acts 1:11, “Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” And doubtless, he ascended with myriads of angels attending of him, as when the ark was removed and carried from the house of Obededom up to the top of Mt. Sion, which prefigures Christ’s ascension: all tribes of Israel, the inhabitants of Canaan, were gathered together to attend it, who attended the ark with shouting, and with the sound of a trumpet, and the greatest tokens of joy, II Sam. 6:75. So we may suppose to answer this in the antitype: all the hosts of heaven, the inhabitants of the heavenly Canaan, came forth to meet Christ and attend him into his glory.  If one soul of a saint, when it goes out of the body at death, be attended to heaven by a convoy of angels, much more may we suppose that the King of saints and angels, when he ascended into heaven, was attended by an innumerable host of angels.  Thus, Jesus Christ entering into his glory was a sight worthy to behold {with great admiration}, in itself considered.

I proceed now to show,

Secondly. That it was so [worthy of admiration], considering those sufferings that it was consequent upon. His entering into glory was consequent on his sufferings: it did not only succeed them in order of time, but he entered into glory through his suffering; his suffering made way for his glory. So the Apostle says, Heb. 9:12, “He entered into the holiest of all by his own blood.”

Seeing he had undertaken to stand for sinners, he never could have entered into heaven but by going through those sufferings. His sufferings made way for his entering into glory, as the battle makes way for the triumph.  This glory was given him in reward for sufferings, for acquitting himself so well in his sore conflict, and the victory that he had obtained in it.  When we consider Christ entering {into heavenly glory} with those sufferings, it may well excite great admiration in us, both because that glory that he entered into shows the wonderfulness of his suffering, and also because the consideration of his suffering shows the wonderfulness of his glory.

  1. The glory that Christ entered into, shows the wonderfulness of his suffering.

It shows the wonderfulness of the suffering, because it shows how glorious a person he is that has suffered.  When Christ came to ascend to heaven, then he appeared as the King of Glory; he was then manifested as a divine person. And how wonderful might it then appear to all that were the spectators of this glory, and had also been the spectators of the sufferings that preceded, to consider that such a person, so glorious an one, had undergone such sufferings, had endured such disgrace, and made [himself] subject to the wrath of God.  When God commanded the gates to lift up their heads, and everlasting {doors to lift up}, well might the heavenly hosts say with admiration, “Who is this King of glory, who but just now appeared as a mean, despicable man, a poor, condemned malefactor that we beheld, buffeted and spit upon and scourged, and then put to death between two thieves, and crucified as a slave, and was buried in the grave, and so descended into the lower parts of the earth?”

The glory that Christ entered into, showed the wonderfulness of what was accomplished by his suffering, for this glory was an evidence that justice for men’s sins was satisfied, the law answered: and that without the sufferings of the sinner, which was a very wonderful thing.  This showed that God and man was reconciled, that were at such a wide distance, and were enemies the one to the other: for this glory that the Father gave Christ was a testimony of that, but this was a wonderful thing that was brought about by the sufferings of Christ, and which no other could ever have brought about.

This glory was an evidence that Satan was conquered, that Christ had obtained a complete victory, for it was the reward of that victory; it was his triumph.  But such a victory was a wonderful victory, and that which no other person but this King of glory was sufficient for. On this account, he is on occasion of his entering {on his glory}, proclaimed “the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.”

  1. On the other hand, the consideration of those sufferings that were past, rendered the glory that he entered into wonderful. How admirable a sight was it, to see one that so little a while ago, was so low, now exalted so high? What an admirable change was here: one that just now appeared as a malefactor, and was treated with such indignity and reproach, made a spitting stock for  the wrath of men; how wonderful was it, to see such an one now appearing as the glorious king of heaven and earth, the object of the worship of all the heavenly host. How admirable was this, that he that so little a while ago was treated as though he were a worm and no man, should now appear in glory, infinitely above the greatest of men, yea, and the most glorious of the angels. How wonderful was the transition, when he passed from being treated as the off-scouring of the earth, thrown out of this lower world by death, as though he were not fit to live in it, to be honored as the darling of heaven, its greatest ornament and glory, and to be worshipped by all the hosts of heaven as such.

He just now was treated as a slave on earth, and the meanest and worst slave in it, but now enters into heaven as its Lord, and as its supreme Lord.

In the

Third, and last place. Jesus Christ entering into {glory was worthy of great admiration}, considering the end for which he entered: for he did not enter into this exceeding glory only for himself, but for his people that he died for; for he was exalted at God’s own “right hand to be a Prince and a Savior,” Acts 5:31.

He went to heaven as the head of the elect.  He went into the holy of holies with his own blood for them, as the high priest {entered} for the people, {having obtained redemption [Heb. 9:12]}.  “He is gone to make intercession for the transgression” [Is. 53:12].  He is gone as the forerunner of believers, and to take possession of glory in their name, and to keep [it] for them, to [be] bestowed in due time.

Which was a thing exceeding wonderful, that he should enter into such glory, that those that had been rebels against God, {who} deserved eternal damnation, unworthy of the least mercy [should enter into glory as well]. To behold him as the King of glory, entering into such glory as the head of such, and as their forerunner, and to receive glory for them, was indeed a very wonderful sight.[13]




  1. [First] Use may be of Reproof to those that despise the Lord Jesus Christ. So do all unbelievers, those that han’t heartily accepted of him as their Savior. What can it be from else, but despising of him and setting him at nought, when he has been offered to ‘em so many times, with such arguments and entreaties to accept of him?

What can it be from, but despising him? That when Christ stands at their door, knocking and calling with many powerful persuasives, making suit to their soul, offering himself with all his glorious benefits, they regard not his calls, they make him no answer, but go on minding other things, as though there were no person at all at the door; or as though if there were any, he were one worthy of no consideration, and refuse to open the door to him.

And how light do they manifestly set by Christ that, notwithstanding all that they hear and read of him, take but little notice of him, concern themselves but little about him, but neglect him, let him alone, don’t seek after [them,] regard a thousand earthly trifles more than him. Yea, that instead of giving him honor above all things in this world, do spend their time in dishonoring of him and shamefully entreating him, living in a practical contradiction to his commands, casting contempt on his glorious gospel by the sins that they are daily allowing themselves in. Whereby they do indeed virtually say to Christ, “Depart from us, get thee hence; we desire not the knowledge of thee; we desire no acquaintance or concern with thee.”

Let such consider what they do in thus despising Christ, and how disagreeable their practice in so doing is to the Doctrine that we are upon. You despise that wonderful person that has in such a wonderful manner entered into such unspeakable glory, him that obtained this glory by meriting of it by suffering for such sinners as you are, the benefits of which sufferings have often been offered to you. Him that God has exalted and given him a name above every name, is the very person that you, instead of exalting of him, do in your heart and practice thrust him down; instead of exalting him up to honor and far above all heavens, you cast him down under your feet.

Instead of joining with the heavenly hosts that beheld Christ’s ascension after his suffering with such great admiration, and attended him into his glory with praises and acclamations of joy, you treat him with neglect and set him at naught, and spit in his face.

How must this needs be resented by the great God, the God whose beloved Son he is, and who from love to him hath thus exalted him. Surely his wrath abides on such despisers of Christ, and he will set them at nought, as they set his beloved glorified Son at naught; they shall be trodden down of him, as they trample on Christ. God will make them Christ’s footstool, and he shall rule over them with a rod of iron and as the vessels {of wrath}, and they shall be trodden down as the mire of the streets, as Is. 10:6.


  1. [Second] Use may be of Exhortation in several branches.[14]

First, If Christ has entered into such wonderful glory, and his entrance into it be a sight worthy of such great admiration, then be exhorted to give him entrance into your heart.  Shall Christ have such abundant and glorious entrance in heaven, and will you refuse to give him any admittance into your heart?

Shall he be received there as the King of glory, and shall be shut out by you as a poor, vile, abject vagabond, not worthy to be admitted within your doors?

Shall the gates and everlasting doors of that glorious palace of the most high God, when he approaches, lift up their heads to him, that he may come in; but when he comes to the doors of your heart, shall they remain shut, without any manifestation of readiness to receive him?  But instead of opening to him while he is yet coming at a distance, lifting up their heads and standing open ready against he approaches, that there may be no obstacle to his entrance, shall they remain fast shut, even after he be put to it to stand and knock and wait there before he can have entrance?  Yea, and the doors remain still closely shut and hard against, after he has stood long there knocking and waiting, and graciously calling and wooing, and using many winning arguments and persuasive, and promising that if you will hear his voice and open the door, he will come in and {sup with you, and you with him} and waiting there till his head is waters, {and his eyes a fountain of tears [Jer. 9:10]}.

Christ, after his sufferings, comes to two kinds of doors. One is the doors of the highest heavens, that glorious and magnificent seat of the great Jehovah. And when he came there, he was received with abundant welcome and exceeding joy. He was joyfully received by the Father who, when he approached, commanded the gates {to lift up their heads}; he was joyfully received by all the many thousands and millions of heavenly inhabitants.  When Christ ascended into heaven, his chariots were thousands of angels. And he went up with a shout: and probably that was the most joyful day that ever was seen in heaven. Then was it said to that heavenly Zion, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem, behold, thy King cometh to thee,” [Zech. 9:9].

And another door that he comes to after his suffering, is the door of sinners’ hearts.  After he has gone through his dreadful passion, waded through a sea of blood, he comes to this, to the door of your heart, with that glorious salvation he has in his hand, and there stands and knocks.  And is your heart a more worthy and honorable seat than heaven itself, that he should be so readily and joyfully received there into heaven, and you should think it too much to admit him into your heart, and should continue obstinately to refuse it?  And therefore, here particularly consider the following things:

  1. Your heart, unto which Christ so earnestly seeks entrance, is a sink of all manner of filthiness and abomination. Instead of being a more honorable

seat than heaven is, [15]that world of light and perfect purity and glory, that palace and throne of Jehovah, it is a hold of every foul spirit, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird,[16] a rendezvous of devils and nest of hateful serpents, or a seat and fountain of those abominable lusts that are a thousand times as hateful and poisonous as the most venomous serpent,  a grave full of dead men’s bones and crawling worms and all manner of nauseous putrefaction, a jakes of filthiness and abominable stench. Such a heart is it, the door of which it is that this King of glory graciously comes to, and knocks and waits, that he may come in and sanctify and cleanse it, enlightens it and perfumes it with divine sweetness, and purges away its filthiness and makes it a lightsome, beautiful and blessed habitation for himself, [that he] may honor it, and beautify and glorify it with his own presence, and have it for his happy and glorious habitation to all eternity.

Having made provision for it by shedding his own blood, he having passed through an extreme death, brings his blood to the door of your heart, that he may sprinkle it and sanctify and cleanse.[17]

But you refuse:  no, you don’t look upon him worthy to be admitted; you won’t hearken to any such proposals; you despise the offer that he makes; you shut up your heart fast against the Lord of glory.

Christ entered into heaven as the owner and King of heaven. He entered there to set on the throne of heaven, and was most joyfully received to it; but you don’t look upon him worthy to be admitted, to set on the throne of your heart.

What, is the throne of this sink of sin more honorable than the throne of the heaven of heavens? Are you more worthy than those glorious angels and archangels, all of which God commanded to worship him, when he brought in the first begotten into that world, and who received him with such gladness?

Are you more worthy than the glorious God, the eternal owner of that heavenly house, who commanded the gates of his house, his palace, to lift their heads when Christ approached, that you won’t let him come to you, but bolt your door against him?

Is Christ worthy to be admitted as the owner of and possessor of all heaven, and as its lord and king: and is he not worthy to be admitted as the possessor of your heart?

What great thing will it be for Christ to be admitted to dwell in your heart. Does he now in his glorified state, stand in any need of it? Now he has heaven for his throne, and the earth for his footstool. Will it be any great thing for him to be admitted into such a polluted heart? Does he stand in need of such honor?

No, it is your honor that he mercifully and graciously seeks it. ‘Tis that you may be advanced and glorified, and not that he needs your heart for a habitation he would enter into, to adorn you. He brings crowns of glory and precious jewels in his hands, whereby to beautify and honor your soul.

  1. Consider that your soul is miserable, and the end why Christ seeks entrance into, it is that he may make it happy. Heaven, that he has entered into and where he has been received with such welcome and joyful praise and adoration, is an habitation of glory and happiness; but yet he is admitted there as the bright light of that world, as the darling of that world, and the fountain of its happiness.

But your soul is miserable; it is in a ruined condition; all things in it lie in ruins: there are the woeful devastation of the great adversary to be seen in it, and nothing else. Christ comes to your door and seeks entrance into your soul to restore it, to raise up the ruins of it, to bring order out of confusion and peace out of war, and quietness out of tumult and uproar, rest and comfort from trouble and perplexity, light out of darkness, and to make of a poor, wretched, miserable child of hell a holy and happy child of God.

  1. Consider what an evidence Christ’s entrance into his glory is of the excellency and sufficiency of that sovereign that stands at your door and knocks. It shows his excellency, for in this his exaltation, his glory appears without a veil. When he was on earth, his glory was veiled; but when he came to ascend into heaven, he appeared as the King of glory indeed. In this, he appears with all the angels and hosts of heaven proclaiming his excellency, and God the Father showing forth his glory.

This is a glorious evidence of the sufficiency of Christ to be your Savior, to deliver you from God’s wrath and to bring you to the eternal enjoyment of his love, as it was given of the Father. It was as it were the Father saying to him that it was enough, he desired no more; his declaring his perfect acceptance and great delight in what Christ had done and suffered, as being perfectly sufficiently for sinners’ redemption. Because he did that which was so sufficient, therefore God highly exalted him, and so gloriously rewarded him.

  1. Christ makes suit to you for entrance into your heart, that you may have entrance with him into his glory in heaven. It is for no less a benefit to you, that he may bring you, as far as you are capable, to be partakers with him in the glory of his ascension into heaven. For he is gone into heaven to set on the throne of heaven, in the name of all such as will truly admit him into their hearts. He in his intercession before the Father represents it as his will, that all such should be with him where he is, that they may behold his glory, John 17:24; and tells the Father that the glory that he has given him, he has given them, v. 22.

And consider, is not such a benefit as this worthy of regard, to be a partaker of such a glorious ascension as you have heard, and that, as a member is a partaker with the head, or as a spouse is partaker of the honor and glory of her husband?

Will it not richly recompense you for opening the door of your heart to Christ, to have heaven’s gate opened to you, for it to find free and abundant entrance administered there, and to set there on the throne with Christ?

Therefore, hearken to the call of God to you: for the same God who called to the gates and everlasting doors of heaven to lift {up their heads} when Christ was approaching, that the King of glory might come in, calls also to your heart to lift up and open its doors, that the same King of glory may have entrance there.

Second.[18] Let us all be exhorted from this Doctrine to give glory to our ascended Redeemer. Seeing God hath so glorified him and exalted him for what he hath done for us, let us extol him for what he hath done for us.  Who does he deserve glory from by what he hath done and suffered more, than for those for whom he hath done and suffered it?

Our Redeemer, that is entered into his glory, should be glorified by us in these following respects:

  1. By admiring of him with an exalting thought of his wonderful glory. This is a proper way of glorifying Christ, in that consideration of that which is worthy of so great admiration, in which we have shown that Christ entering into his glory in [heaven]. Let us seek that we may behold this admirable sight with an eye of faith. Though we can’t behold it as the disciples on Mt. Olivet did, in the beginning of it, with a bodily eye, nor behold it as the heavenly saints and angels beheld him actually enter into the highest heavens with an immediate sight; yet we may behold it spiritually by faith, which is the evidence of things not seen.

Let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and how he, after he had endured the cross, set down on the right hand of the majesty on high. Let us behold him clothed with his heavenly glory there.  And let our hearts be lifted up with exalting, admiring thoughts of him, therein joining with the disciples who beheld him with admiration as he ascended; and joining with the heavenly hosts who, when Christ was ascending and God proclaimed, “Ye gates lift up,” and they saw [him] coming in so glorious a manner, cry out again and again, “Who is this King of glory!”  The same that was answered to them, is made known to us: “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, the Lord of hosts; he is the King of glory,” that we may entertain a high and admiring esteem of him, worthy of such an one. As God hath exalted him above all, so let us in our honor, esteem and love [him] above father and mother, above our dearest enjoyments, above ourselves, [above the] whole world, [and] above our own lives, [counting them as] loss and dung.

  1. Let the people of Christ rejoice in and with their exalted Savior. All that are Christ’s, both in heaven and earth, are called upon to rejoice on this occasion, as in the 68th Psalm, that is concerning Christ’s ascension. V. 3, “Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God, yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.”

How did all Israel rejoice on occasion of the carrying the ark into Mt. Sion, which was a figure of Christ’s ascension into heaven, with music and dancing and all manner of manifestations of joy.  And shall not the spiritual Israel rejoice in the antitype?

God’s people, seeing they are one with Christ, should rejoice with heaven.  The day of Christ’s ascension was a day of great rejoicing with Christ, whereby a glorious joy followed his deep sorrow and dreadful sufferings. As David rejoiced exceedingly, His disciples should rejoice with their Master; his people should rejoice that their King, the spiritual David, as all Israel rejoiced with David, “has gone up with a shout.”  The Apostle says, I Cor. 12:26, “when one of the members is honored, [the rest should rejoice]; but much [more] when the head is honored, should all the members rejoice with the head.”

Herein we should join with the heavenly hosts, who greatly rejoice.  ‘Tis fit when the Captain of our salvation, having conquered his people’s enemies, gloriously triumphs over them, that all his people should rejoice: because he ascends for them, whose enemies are conquered,[they] should triumph. John 16:6-7, “It is expedient that I should go away.” John 14:28, “[and so] ye should rejoice together with him.”

  1. Let the people of Christ extol their ascended Savior in their praises. In this also, let us join with the heavenly hosts, who praised and extolled. Therefore the Psalmist speaks of Christ’s ascension, Ps.47:5, saying, “God is gone up with a shout.”

Those that are truly Christ’s people belong to the same society {with him}, for all is but one family. Eph.3:15, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth are named.”  They should therefore join their praises.

Herein, the people of Christ should do with respect to the ascension of Christ, as the people of Israel did on occasion of the carrying up the ark {to Mt. Sion}, who all united in praising God on that occasion. I Chron.15:28, “Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting. and with the sound of the cornet and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.”

  1. Another way that we should glorify our Savior, who is entered into his glory, is by submitting to him. If Christ be exalted so high, then we ought to be low before him; if he be exalted as so glorious a King, then we should exalt him by being willingly and joyfully subject to him.  When the Lord said unto our Lord Christ, “Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool,” Ps.110:1-3, he said to him at the same time, “thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.”

{Therefore}, let this be verified in us.  Let us approve ourselves his willing people joyfully, obeying and serving this King of glory.  And let us set him high on the throne of our heart, every thought and imagination and inclination and affection, and every power and faculty, and every member of our bodies being made subject unto him.


Third.[19] I would exhort [the people of Christ] earnestly to seek that they may be fitted to enter into glory with Christ. This is a benefit bestowed on some. Eph. 2:6, “raised us up together, and made us sit together.”

But God’s manner is first to fit persons for so great and unspeakable a blessing, before he bestows it upon them.  I will here mention two things that are needful, in order to our being fit to be made partakers of the exaltation and glory of Christ:

  1. In order to this, it is needful that we should be of an humbled, lowly spirit. This we are often taught is a preparation for, and the way to glory and exaltation, Luke 18:14. Job 22:29, “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, [There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.” Jas. 4:6, “God resisteth the proud.” I Pet.5:5, “Humble yourselves under [the mighty hand of God].”

The connection there is between humility and glorious exaltation remarkably appears in Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart; who with respect to humility was least of all and lowest of all, “humbled himself and became obedient unto death.” And we see what glory and exaltation was the consequence of this: “God hath highly exalted him [Philip. 2:28-29].”  So you, if you would be partakers of {Christ’s exaltation}, you must be a partaker of Christ’s humility: seek to be of a meek, humble spirit, a lowly heart, contrite [and] poor in spirit. “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” [Matt.5:3]. Walk humbly with God, humbly amongst men.

  1. In order [to being fit, we] should in our hearts and affections leave this world and ascend up with Christ to heaven, [be] weaned from the world and be heavenly minded. Christ, when he entered into his glory, he left this world, all of it, with all its glory, all its wealth; all its honors and possessions and splendid shows were left far below, under his feet. So let us in our hearts ascend, and leave the world and all worldly vanities in like manner, as far below our feet as Christ did when he ascended into the highest heaven.

And let not our hearts only leave the world as Christ did, but to go where Christ did, viz., to heaven.  Let our hearts be there where Christ is, in the same world of holiness and immortal glory. Let our souls mount up thither on spiritual wings, even the wings of the heavenly graces of the Spirit of God.

If we love the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be thus. Our hearts will be where he is, in heaven, and not in this world, because Christ is not here.  If we thus ascend in our hearts beforehand, it will be a sure token {that we will} ascend in person


III. [Third] and last Use, may be of Consolation to those who are humble, contrite, heavenly minded Christians, and so are in some measure meet {to ascend with Christ}.  It may well be matter of great comfort and exceeding joy to you, that Christ [has ascended to heaven.]

Examine yourself, whether you are of such a spirit.  Are you {humble and lowly}? If it be thus with you, you have cause to rejoice with exceeding joy.

For such as you is it, that Christ is ascended. He brought your name, written in his heart, when he came down {from heaven}; and he carried your name again [when he ascended].

It may be a great comfort to you, in whatever case you are, that you have a Savior that is entered {into glory}.

You have an advocate in heaven.

He has received gifts [for you].

He has taken possession of glory in your name, prayed that you might be with him, promised that he will come and take you to himself.

Whatever your case, it need not sink {your spirit, for} God will exalt you in due time.


————-END NOTES ————

[1] Transcribed, edited & Headnote provided by:

Jonathan Edwards Center @ Yale University (,

Oshea Davis, Kenneth Minkema.  2011

For permission use see the Jonathan Edwards Center website:

[2] MS: “cruel.”

[3] M.S. “Considering”

[4] MS: “have.”

[5] MS: “as.”

[6] MS: “considered.”

[7] MS: “the glory.”

[8] MS: “something.”

[9] An Emperor of Roman who conquered Britain; his reign, AD 81-96.

[10] [Philippians 2:10 & see Ephesians 1:10; 1:21]

[11] M.S. “R.”

[12] M.S. “Hims.”

[13] This is the end of the first preaching unit, whichJE probably preached in the morning, and then preached the remainder (the application) in the afternoon.

[14] JE’s shorthand reads, “From here to the bracket the second time.”

[15] MS: “it.”

[16] M.S. “brids”

[17] In revising for repreaching, JE drew a closed bracket, indicating the end of the repreached section.

[18] MS: “3.”

[19] M.S. “4.”