The Best Seat In The House

From Paul Tripp Ministries

I don’t know about you, but I need more than help.

What I grapple with most in life is not the evil outside of me but the evil within my heart that magnetizes me to the temptations of the world.

I need more than help; I need rescue. I need someone to do for me what I could not do for myself.

I need redemption. And so do you.

Two biblical passages illustrate the need for our redemption and God’s divine solution. The first passage, Genesis 6:5, is devastating in its portrayal of the comprehensive and internal nature of our struggle with sin.

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Let these words sink in. Sin is about something more foundational than doing what is wrong or failing to do what is right. Sin dyes every cell of the heart and twists everything we do toward evil.

We struggle to believe that diagnosis. We want to hold on to the delusion of a pure and untainted intention. Proverbs 16:2 says, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.”

Genesis 6 rips open our hearts and reveals the sin at the depths of our every thought and every intention. But there is hope; there is a second passage the must be included in the biblical narrative of redemption.

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Hebrews 1:3)

With three words – he sat down – the writer of Hebrews captures the completeness of Christ’s work. Jesus did everything that was needed to deal with every one of sin’s effects. He did what the Old Testament priests could never do: to stop.

The Old Testament priests were called to sacrifice for the ongoing sins of God’s people. Exhausted and knee-deep in blood, they offered sacrifice after sacrifice, day after day.

If we viewed the scene, we would find it nauseating. It wasn’t just the daily offerings but dozens of daily, weekly, and seasonal sacrifices offered according to the religious calendar. Thousands of animals would be slaughtered every year.

Yet, it was never enough. Before one layer of blood dried, more was sprinkled. The stench of burning flesh never abated. This sacrificial labor was never permitted to stop because the power of sin was never broken, and the penalty for sin was never fully paid for.

It is an amazing thing to read that after Jesus did his work, he sat down! The only reason he could have possibly sat down is that he had done everything that needed to be done to deal with every aspect of sin.

Put Genesis 6:5 and Hebrews 1:3 together, and we should be the saddest and the most celebrant people on earth. We must be honest and devastated about the totality of our depravity, but we must never stop celebrating the completeness of Christ’s provision.

Absolute redemption has been delivered. God is satisfied, Christ has sat down, and there is hope for us—a practical hope stretching from now to the ends of eternity.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. Where have you experienced evil, brokenness, and temptation recently?

2. What can you practically do to flee from this evil and temptation?

3. Is there evidence that Genesis 6:5 is an accurate diagnosis of your spiritual condition? What thoughts and desires of your heart are magnetizing you to what God has declared is wrong?

4. Use Proverbs 16:2 as a prayer prompt and ask the Lord to expose any impure motives. What God-honoring opportunities are you facing that could be distracted by selfish gain?

5. Do you live with the joy and confidence that God is satisfied and that Christ has sat down? Consider the daily implications of that practical hope. What might change in your life?


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The Best Seat In The House

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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