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Summary: Encountering God, Experiencing Change – Isaiah chapter 6 verses 1-8 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• Principle 1: God Uses Circumstances to Make Us Aware of His Presence (vs 1).

• Principle 2: God Reveals His Character to Make Us See Our Need.

• Principle 3: God Gives Us Hope to Make Us Know We Are Useful (vs 8).

• Principle 4: God Expands Our Vision to Make Us Evaluate Our Availability.

• Principle 5: God Tells Us the Truth to Make Us Focus On Reality.

SERMON BODY:

Ill:

• Soren Kierkegaard was an 18th century Danish philosopher, theologian, poet,

• Social critic and religious author;

• Who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.

• He was a very clever man; his books will baffle you and in every way strain your brain!

• But he had the gift of being able to use very simple stories/illustrations/parables;

• I like this one:

• He tells the story of a community of ducks;

• Each Sunday they waddled off to duck church to hear the duck preacher.

• The duck preacher spoke enthusiastically and eloquently of how;

• God had given the ducks wings with which to fly.

• With these wings there was nowhere the ducks could not go,

• There was no God-given task the ducks could not accomplish.

• With those wings they could soar into the presence of God himself.

• Shouts of "Amen" were quacked throughout by the duck congregation.

• At the conclusion of the service, the ducks left,

• All of them commenting on what a wonderful message they had heard;

• And each one waddled back to their homes!

• TRANSITION: So often I think we are a lot like the duck church.

• We come to church...we sing the songs........we hear the message.......

• But when the service is over........we leave the same way we came in.

• We leave unchanged! We leave unaffected !

• The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

• I believe that each time we come to church, each time we gather,

• Our concept (belief/information) that God has something for us,

• Can become a reality, an encounter, something real.

• It may not always be emotional or intense;

• But he still has something he wants to do in our lives;

• And if we don’t get it or experience it, then it’s our fault, and not his!

Question:

• “How would you describe God?”

• e.g. Almighty? Loving? Eternal, Merciful, Wise, Gracious, Faithful, Just?

• He has so many attributes we could probably all come up with a different one!

• But what if you could use just one word to describe Him?

• I wonder if you would be able to do it?

• I couldn’t!

• Even the Seraphs in verse 3 of our reading could not!

• They got close in they found one word;

• But then they had to repeat it three times!

Note:

• Repeating a word in Hebrew is to emphasize something.

• ill: it is kind of like you using a highlighter to mark something.

• And magnitude is made by the doubling up of a word.

• You don’t see that in the English translation;

• But it is there in the Hebrew text.

• The Hebrew Old Testament contains many double words,

• Which are used to highlight the size, the magnitude of something.

• i.e. Genesis chapter 14 verse 10:

• Your English translation might say’s; ‘full of tar pits’ or “very, very big pits”;

• But the Hebrew text actually says; “Pit, pit”

• i.e. In 2nd Kings chapter 25 verse 15:

• Your English translation might say; ‘the purest gold’;

• But the Hebrew text actually says; “Gold, gold”

• TRANSITION: So magnitude is made by the doubling up of a word.

• But nowhere in the Hebrew Bible except here is any quality ever trebled!

• But it is here, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’.

There is no other characteristic of God that gets the emphasis that His holiness does.

• e.g. We are never told in scripture that God is wise, wise, wise,

• e.g. And we are never told that God is strong, strong, strong,

• e.g. And we are never told that God is powerful, powerful, powerful,

• e.g. We are not even told that God is love, love, love!

• Only one attribute of God is repeated again and again and again,

• That is his holiness!

Quote:

• If you want holiness defined;

• Then R.C. Sproul gives us a simple way to remember the definition of holiness,

• He says; “The first prayer I learned as a child was the simple table grace:

• "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for this food."

• The two virtues assigned to God in this prayer, greatness and goodness,

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Ruben Rivis

commented on Nov 22, 2017

I read your sermon and it blessed me beyond words. Thank you so much for such an inspired sermon.

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