Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sinners & Saints Saved - Isaiah 56-57

03/20/2016 am Isaiah 56-57 Sinners and Saints Saved

Thoughts on sermons at Andover Baptist

1) warning to the wicked
2) comfort to the contrite

1) There are both religious and secular sexual sins mentioned in this passage. Also mentioned are idolaters and those who do not keep the Sabbath.

And there are also those in the church who have private sins:

“The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

They were offering infants as human sacrifices to their idols. Much like today in America we kill babies for convenience and we are doing this for our idols of comfort, beauty, and for more money.

“you who burn with lust among the oaks, under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The next time you are about to sin ask yourself who you are afraid of? The answer is yourself or the idol in your heart. The idol says, "I want this for me; and I want it now!"

It is worrying that many times only the grosser forms of sin have outward symptoms which are unattractive to society. Meth addicts are a good example of these outward signs. But we can't see this so easily with sins such as pride or gossip. But haughtiness and covetousness are just as internally destructive as alcoholism.

Lying successfully strengthens wickedness. Sin feeds it's own destructive behavior and leads to a downward spiral. 

The shepherds have no understanding ... Sin leads to a lack of understanding. We believe that our hard work and education will deliver us but they actually won't! Maybe our personal idol is our accomplishments or our children. But these things will not deliver us and will be eventually destroyed.

One day everything we trusted in will be stripped away except for what God has given us. 57:6 God gives the wicked some land and stones that will be destroyed. And all of these things will be burned...

Hell is a place of no peace! There is no sleep. There is itching and thirst and fire but no scratching, water, or light.

2) but the LORD offers peace!

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God saves those who are contrite, humble, and lowly.

“Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant,”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Let not the foreigner or eunuch feel that God will reject them! No these are the ones He saves. God does end up saving those who offer children to idols and the sexually immoral but they must be contrite! The humble and contrite sinner is the one God loves.

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It only makes sense to worship God. When people don't rightly worship and relate to God they also don't relate to other people correctly either. So we must set aside the time to worship God on the Lord's day and only miss Sunday Service for providential reasons. We don't avoid the meetings of the church for our own convenience! This isn't a legalistic approach to life but rather the logical outworking of God's greatness, His commands, and our love for Him - the King and Savior of the world. 

“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭56:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The word minister above references the priestly service. But this seems to reference the new covenant where all true believers are made priests. The contrite hold fast the covenant and receive God's blessings. But clearly children are a lesser blessing than salvation and the relationships we have in the church can fill the relationship that children would fill.

Application question: Are you contrite? 

When a righteous man dies he is united to Christ. We will most likely die in a bed in our day and age (unless you are "Mountain Man") - but this is not a problem for the believer. They know they will receive the fulfillment of their hoped for salvation.

God gives His people the land that will last forever. Gods promise is that all of this (the "world of the seen") will burn up and God will bring us to a house of great feasting! As discussed in Isaiah 25.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God offers peace to the humble contrite repentant sinner.

Again - are you contrite?

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