Posts Tagged ‘gospel’

The Gospel and Judgement of Isaiah 9

December 13, 2012

These are the sermon notes from 12/9.

I.  The Gospel

A.  A Great Light Isaiah 9:1-2

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Jesus, was of Nazareth, from Galilee.  Galilee did not enjoy a good reputation.  In fact, one of the disciples, when first told about Jesus, asked “Does anything good come out of Galilee?”

Jesus did come out of Galilee and Jesus is most certainly good.  These verses in refer to the Christ who is the “light of the world.  We are reminded in John, that “the light shown in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

B.  The Eternal Kingdom Isaiah 9:6-7

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

These verses are often read at Christmas time.  Truly Jesus is wonderful,  He is a counselor, able to direct our lives.  He is the Mighty God, co-eternal with the Father, Everlasting Father, this can be confusing, since Jesus is not the same as our heavenly Father, but we are reminded, that Jesus said, “I and the Father are One” and “he who has seen me has seen the Father”.  So, we recognize that the Father is revealed in Christ.  Prince of Peace:  Christ gives to us a peace that is not of this world and that this world cannot take away.

The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.  People are able to enter into His kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ.  People are continually being added to His kingdom throughout the years.  His kingdom will never end.

So far we have enjoyed the gospel of Isaiah 9, but there is more to come.

II.The Judgement

A.  Pride and Arrogance:  Isaiah 9:8-10

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
All the people will know—
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria—
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 “The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars.”

On September 12, 2001 in response to the destruction of the Twin Towers,  Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, in a speech to congress quoted verse ten.   It sounds nice except that in Isaiah it is a message of rebuke.  The people of Samaria had been afflicted because God had sent judgement, and instead of repenting of their sin, they stubbornly rebuilt.

This prophecy was originally for Samaria, but it is common for prophecy to have multiple applications.  The similarities to the Twin Towers are easy to see.  The original towers of brick and steel were knocked down.  When the Freedom Tower was began to be built on the site, there was a large granite stone, lowered into the foundation.

There was also a sycamore tree a short distance away that had been destroyed by debris.  It was later replaced with an evergreen tree, a tree for which the Hebrew word translated as cedars in the NKJ, could also be translated.

B.  Consequence:  Isaiah 9:11-13

Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them,
Nor do they seek the Lord of hosts.

The people in Isaiah did not repent.  So, God sent additional punishments upon them.  The people still did not respond.  Since 9/11 there have been numerous natural disasters, that in an earlier age, people may have interpreted as the judgement of God.  Now, I am not saying that these various disasters over the last eleven years are the judgement of God, but I am saying that they could be the judgement of God.

Do we have any reason as a nation to need to repent?

C.  Leaders:  Isaiah 9:14-17

Therefore the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel,
Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
15 The elder and honorable, he is the head;
The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
And those who are led by them are destroyed.
17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,
Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;
For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,
And every mouth speaks folly.

For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

There is no question that there is much sin in our land.  Abortion, gay marriage, sexual immorality of various kinds,  greed, oppression, hatred and much more are tolerated and even celebrated by many.  There are both political and religious leaders who support and encourage things that are declared evil by God.

Could our land be in danger of judgement?  The answer is yes, it could be in danger of judgement.

However, there are also many godly people in America.  It is very important that Christians continue to maintain their faith in God, to pray for our country, and to seek to live lives of righteousness: to be the salt and light that we are called to be in this world .

There might be some turbulence ahead, but we need  to remember that God will not forsake us, He is with us always.

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A Simple Choice

February 6, 2012

Here are the notes from the sermon Sunday.

Introduction:  Today is Superbowl Sunday.  As the playoffs were underway there was a lot of discussion over a commercial that had aired during one of the games.  The commercial featured children reciting John 3:16.  Apparently some people found that to be offensive.  I thought it was cute.  I just think that some people don’t get it.

I.  John 1:1-5  The Light Shines in the Darkness

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  Jesus is the Word.  Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness, but some people do not comprehend it.  They don’t understand.

II.  John 3:14-17  The Good News

Almost certainly someone in the crowd today at the game will be holding up a sign with John 3:16 written on it.  Many people will know the reference.  Some will not.  The good news is that Jesus came into the world to save the world, not to condemn the world.  It is the ultimate demonstration of the love of God for the people in the world.

III.  The Sad Truth

There are those who do not believe.  In not believing, they are condemned already, for they have not accepted the forgiveness offered by God in Christ.  The truth is that they prefer the darkness over the light, because their deeds are evil.

This does not mean that we are saved by our works.  Rather we are saved by our faith in Jesus, which in turn, will produce lives marked by righteousness.  (See I John 5:3-5)

Conclusion:  This past week I had been reading in Leviticus.  In chapter 26 there are two conditional statements.  If you obey me, I will bless you; and if you disobey, I will punish you.  This idea of a simple choice is set before us over and over again in scripture.  Belief and obedience are rewarded.  Disbelief and disobedience are punished.

Which will you choose?