Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Exposition of Isaiah 9:1-7 about God’s plan to reconcile and forgive Israel and graft in the Gentiles with a baby who would be a Wonderful Counselor, etc.

Text: Isaiah 9:1-7, Title: For Unto Us a Child is Born, Date/Place: NRBC, 12/23/07, AM

A. Opening illustration: elaborate on choosing a name for Mackenzie: the daughter of a wise leader

B. Background to passage: This prophesy is given to the northern nation of Israel as the Assyrians moved in for the final kill. The northern Galilean regions have already been overtaken and oppressed by the invading armies of Tiglath-Pileazer I. And far worse that the oppressors themselves in God’s economy was the sin, idolatry, and spiritual adultery that plagued God’s people. But after much judgment, and two references to the Messiah in 7:14, 8:10, God gives them a ray of hope.

C. Main thought: Not only for Israel, but for S. Georgians who continually ignore God and turn to idols created in their own image, God gives hope through a child to be given.

A. What the Lord Did (v. 1-5)

1. The main thing from which all the other acts that He performed in this passage was that 1) He did not leave the people who had committed such atrocities against Him hopeless. This was a people that absolutely deserved what they were getting, but God rich in mercy, did not leave them that way. In fact, not only restoring them back to the land and forgiving their sin was in order, but also 2) increasing their number. Again it is implied in scripture (and subsequently we know because of hindsight) that God would graft in the Gentiles into the promises and covenants of Israel. Being a large nation in number was very important during this time. And at the same time God was fulfilling His promises to Abraham to make him a great nation and bless all the families of the earth through his seed. And because of this restoration and increase for the nation, 3) joy was exponentially increased. And if that weren’t enough, then God declares that He will 4) break the yoke of burden upon them; giving them freedom, and would do it miraculously; so that only God could be credited with this deliverance. And it was not only from physical oppression, but from the dark night of sin and all the consequences that they had racked up. THEN, He declared that 5) there would be and end to war, so decisively in fact, that all the implements of war would be used for fuel for fire.

2. Mic 7:8-9, Rom 11:17, Ps 118:1, Mar 2:7, Rom 5:1

3. Illustration: Tell about Erika getting in trouble with her Dad, and the next day him relenting and reducing or releasing her form the consequences of her actions, talk about us being removed from the wild place subject to be whims of weather and animals to the controlled environment with ample provisions kinda like that movie Madagascar, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him” “Freedom from war is not the only thing implied here, but freedom from the things that cause war—sin in the human heart, is what is implied and potential for the reign of Messiah,”

4. The mercy of God compels Him to reach out to those under His discipline and the consequences of their own sin. Thank God that we don’t get what we deserve. Thank God that no matter how much we fail, He never forsakes His people, nor the world. Praise God for His infinite mercy in which He called us to be a part of the covenant with Judah/Israel. We had no claim or heritage with His people, until He grafted us in. And as God grafts in, and increases our borders, He increases our joy. How? He increases revelation and illumination so that we might see Him clearly, be satisfied with His sufficiency, and find our joy in Him. We are free from sin if we are in Christ. We are no longer a slave to old desires, lusts, and appetites. We are free indeed! Why? Because Christ paid the debt, opened our eyes, prompted our hearts, applied the blood, cancelled our account, and set us free, sin is no longer our master. And when He reigns in our hearts, there will be peace in our hearts, and that should work its way out in our relationships. So, especially during this time of year, remember the peace that Christ brings in our world, but also in our hearts and relationships with others.

B. How He Did It (v. 6-7)

1. God did not abandon His people, us, or the world in our sin and well-deserved consequences, grafted in the Gentiles, multiplied and increased the nation and its joy, broke the yoke of sin and physical bondage, and set in motion peace between God and man, and man and man, all by the giving of His Son on our behalf. All these things come together in the story of a virgin bearing the God-Man Jesus Christ, Immanuel. In this text He is given four names that indicate His nature, role, and power to accomplish these things. 1) He is called the Wonderful Counselor. The word wonderful indicates His supernatural wonder-working power. It also implies the attractiveness, beauty, or value of that power. As the counselor, he is the one that provides wisdom, direction, and perfect knowledge or every situation, every problem, every motivation and reason. It also implies that He is our intercessor, benefactor, and great Shepherd of our Souls. 2) He is called the Mighty God. The word might means “exceeding champion.” Isaiah proclaims the Messiah’s status and the champion of God, but he also calls Him God. Real simple: Jesus is God! And He is not one of many, or the bosom pal, He is Sovereign Master, reigning and ruling over every aspect of earth and eternity. He is the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity. 3) He is called the Everlasting Father. Jesus Christ would have no beginning and no end. There was never a time when He was not. He possesses every attribute of God including eternality. But this title also emphasizes His attributes of fatherly love, compassion, provision, and discipline. And 4) He is called the Prince of Peace. Other princes rule through the overcoming of others through war, but this Prince fought and won the battle for the glory of God and the souls of men on the cross of Calvary, and so his kingdom advances through the reconciling of man to God, and the transformation of lives, families, cities, and nations through His own blood as payment for their/our sin.

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