Summary: God does not change, and his truth is always true; our perception of the truth either improves or declines. The New Testament doctrines we embrace are not new: God, who is the God of both testaments, inspired Paul and others to develop them for us.
God’s Truth Stays the Same, Our Understanding Changes
1. The English language began as Anglo Saxon, a Germanic language similar to Friesen. When the Vikings conquered England, they brought in their words and grammar. Then the French Normans conquered England and mixed in French.
2. Show video Lord’s Prayer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wl-OZ3breE
3. Today, we are going to go back about 700 years before the Apostle Paul and examine the early version of what he taught, and suggest he took these very verses and adapted them for New Covenant believers.
4.Context: Isaiah has prophesied the rise and fall of Babylon; although the Babylonians assumed their gods were thus superior, Yahweh predicted all this in advance. When the Babylonian gods could not deliver them from the Medo-Persians, then they would recognize that their idols were powerless. But Yahweh, having predicted all these things 100 years beforehand, would be vindicated.
Main Idea: God does not change, and his truth is always true; our perception of the truth either improves or declines. The New Testament doctrines we embrace are not new: God, who is the God of both testaments, inspired Paul and others to develop them for us.
I. God’s Desire for ALL People to Know Him (22)
A. The word for “turn” means to REPENT and believe
1. Repentance floats God’s boat
2. If God has a weakness—and he does not – it would be that he cannot resist repentance. Nineveh was about to be destroyed…Jonah…
B. All the ends of the earth means people of all NATIONALITIES
• It is not that the God of Israel expanded to become the God of all nations and creation; rather, the God of all specially called Israel, but his love is for all.
C. Paul probably developed several MIDRASHIM from this verse
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth, I Timothy 2:3-7.
D. God INVITES you and your family and friends to turn to him
• All heaven rejoices when someone repents and comes to Jesus
• God will not forgive you grudgingly, but freely
• He then transforms you from the inside out
II. The Recognition by All CREATION that Jesus is Lord (23)
A. Every knee will BOW
1. Bowing the knee to Yahweh means not bowing the knee to others
2. Elijah depressed: 7,000 had bowed the knee to Baal
3. God demands us to view him as exclusive; submission, obedience (worship)
4. The one to whom you bow the knee is the one you worship (self/money)
B. Every tongue will swear ALLEGIANCE
C. The content: “Jesus Christ is LORD” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
D. WHERE will you confess the Lordship of Jesus?
• Here on earth, in heaven above, or below the earth
• Rahab the Harlot heard of Yahweh; she was a pagan, but she came to believe
• The other Canaanites feared Yahweh, but would not ally themselves…
• To those who trust him, he transforms them from the inside out (Rahab)
[note for those interested: The Targums (Jewish paraphrases) clearly attribute many things God did to having been done by his “Word,” thus tying in with the idea of John 1:1, that the Messiah is the incarnate word. The Targum of Isaiah reads, ““I have sworn by my Word, the word is gone forth in righteousness from my presence, and shall not fail, That before me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” Thus the idea of God sending “a word that shall not return” could imply the sending of the Messiah, which is why we must confess that the Messiah, Jesus, is Lord].
III. The CONDEMNATION of the Rebellious (24b)
A. This is about God’s JUDGMENT of the lost
1. Mankind would rather be lost than know the true God
2. C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
B. This theme is found in BOTH testaments
Daniel 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt…”