Summary: PENTECOST 13 (A) - Our gracious God gives righteousness both to enjoy and also to share.
GOD GIVES RIGHTEOUSNESS (Outline)
August 22, 2010 -
Pentecost 13 -
INTRO: Human beings have a certain need to belong. In our day and age we have all sorts of groups and organizations, clubs and societies that one can join to fulfill that sense of belonging. But even all these social units do not always satisfy the deep-seated need to belong. We find greater satisfaction in belonging to that which provides a more meaningful, lasting relationship. We find great joy as a valued member in our families. Even greater than our family ties is our connection to the Lord God Almighty. "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" (EPHESIANS 2:19,20). Today we gather around that very word of God to be built up as members of God’s household with Christ Jesus as our Cornerstone.
GOD GIVES US RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I. To enjoy. II. To share.
I. GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OURS TO ENJOY
A. Verse 1a. The words that follow are the very words of God. They are not Isaiah’s thoughts or words.
B. Verse 1c. The Lord will rescue Israel. The Lord’s salvation and righteousness are close at hand.
1. Verse 3. This message is a dramatic direction change. Foreigners will be saved.
2. Untouchable unbelievers will come to serve, love, worship and obey the Lord God of Israel.
3. How strange these words sounded in the ears of God’s chosen nation, Israel.
C. Verse 7a. By his grace and mercy the Lord God would bring these outsiders into his kingdom. Joy!
1. Verse 7b. The offerings and the sacrifices of those once outside would be acceptable.
2. The ears of the Israelites really questioned what they heard. How could outsiders believe!?!
D. That is truly the mystery, miracle question today. How do or can anyone come to faith? Believers are believers simply, only by the free gift of God’s grace. God’s undeserved love changes stony hearts into hearts of flesh – faith. All are born as enemies of God. On our own we are completely lost and totally condemned creatures. Praise God for his boundless love and unending grace! The Lord God Almighty sought us when we sought him not. The very same all powerful God who created all things at his command has now made his light shine in our hearts in order to give us the knowledge of the glory of God through his Son, Christ Jesus, our Savior. "Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 PETER 2:10). Joy!
E. We are not struck by a thunderbolt so that we might believe. The Lord uses his means of grace to bring all nations into his kingdom. God’s means of grace (= way of salvation) is God’s word and sacraments. It is by the very living and active word of God that we are saved. Faith comes by hearing the message and that message is the word of Christ. With practice and by growing in the knowledge of salvation the word of God becomes our joy and delight. This is another great miracle of God on the behalf of mankind. Satan wants us to avoid God’s word. The world denies the power of God’s word. Our own sinful flesh fails to feed on the word as often as we should. This takes work and practice. "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty" (JEREMIAH 15:16). Yes, we are CHRISTians. Christ is part of our name and our joy in life.
F. Believers we belong to Christ! This brings us great joy in our wicked world of sin and evil. God gives us his righteousness. We who are sinful have our sins forgiven. We who think, speak, and live unrighteous lives are freely given righteousness. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 JOHN 1:7). God’s free forgiveness is our reason to continue to walk in God’s light. We have many reasons to rejoice.
GOD FREELY GIVES US HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS to enjoy here on earth and eternally in heaven.
II. GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OURS TO SHARE
A. Verse 7. The untouchable unbelievers would be acceptable worshippers in God’s kingdom.
1. Isaiah speaks of the “house of prayer”. He means the temple or synagogue.
2. The Jews looked at the temple as a house of sacrifice. It was a house of worship or prayer.