Summary: Pentecost 1 (B) Holy, holy, holy IS the Lord Almighty. Believers confess: Woe is me! I am unholy. Thankfully, our Lord makes us holy.

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May 18, 2008 --


Isaiah 6:1-8

INTRO: We enter God’s house of worship with praise, honor, and glory

in our hearts and on our lips. It is only be God’s grace that we come

to worship the Lord God Almighty. The Holy Spirit has changed our

hearts of stone into hearts of flesh in spite of ourselves.

Knowing, believing, and confessing this undeserved love of God (= grace)

is one reason we come with praise, honor, and glory. "Therefore I tell

you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed,"

and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit"(1 CORINTHIANS 12:3).

We agree with God’s angels in our text today:


But with Isaiah we also confess: I. Woe is me! I am unholy.

Thankfully, II. Our Lord makes us holy.


A. Isaiah was God’s prophet for 45 years. Isaiah would live through a good number of Israelite kings.

1. Verse 1 tells about the death of Uzziah. The experts estimate this event to be about 740 BC.

2. At this time Isaiah is given a vision of the Lord. The Lord is on his throne with all his glory.

B. Verse 2. Seraphs are present to praise God. Seraph in the original means “to burn” or “burning”.

1. The seraphs are described. Two wings hide their faces. They feel unworthy to look at the Lord.

2. In great humility two wings cover their feet. They carry out their purpose of praise in verse 3.

3. They praise the Lord. This hymn of praise is thunderous and full of power, verse 4.

C. Isaiah confesses, verse 5. He is unclean, unholy, and sinful yet standing in the presence of the Lord.

D. Here is our challenge today. In our day and age not too many feel like Isaiah felt. People do not

want to admit to any kind of shortcoming or failure. This means that many will not confess being bad –

sinful. Some have tried to dismiss sin by re-defining it as disease or sickness. Others even reject the

idea of sin as an outdated teaching of the Bible. The fact is, none of us here like to hear that we are

sinful. Though we do not want to hear about our sinfulness, our sinfulness still clings to us. There is

no escaping sin on this side of heaven. "The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become,

and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time"(GENESIS 6:5). All the

time man’s hearts are evil. Every inclination (= leaning) is evil. We cannot escape sin.

We dare not deny it.

E. Day after day we commit evil acts against God and his word. But sin is not only action. Wicked words

that so quickly flow from unholy lips also are sins against God, not just our fellow man. Evil thoughts

condemn us before the Lord Almighty. Our sinfulness adds up day after day after day and every year after

every year of our earthly life. "Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your

ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?"

(PSALM 130:1-3). We can only confess with Isaiah: Woe is me! Unholy – I cannot stand.

F. Sin entered God’s perfect world of creation through the willful disobedience of our first parents, Adam

and Eve. In the next generation a brother kills his brother (Cain and Abel, Genesis 3:8ff). How quickly sin

multiplied. Thousands of years later our world has not grown closer to God. Sin has greatly increased.

This fact is not unexpected. "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be

lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful,

unholy"(2 TIMOTHY 3:1,2). (There are two more verses {3,4 not included here} that con-tinue this list of evil.)

These words can be put under the headlines of any news story today. These verses fittingly fill in the rest for

today’s headlines of man’s inhumanity to man. Woe is me! I, too, am unholy.


Even though we are totally and completely unholy

our Lord Almighty remains holy, holy, holy.

Thankfully and freely: II. Our Lord makes us holy.


A. Isaiah’s excitement in seeing the Lord quickly changed to something overwhelming and dreadful.

1. Isaiah was standing in the very presence of God and his angels. How could he now live?

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