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Summary: A sermon with an evangelistic edge

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Precious Cornerstone Is 28:14-22. (esp v16-17)WBC 15/7/01

The lie (17b)

The land was under threat from the Assyrians

= “we’ll be okay. We’ve made a deal with death/grave v15

- either the Assyrians, or necromancy

- some ‘talisman’ to protect: “It’ll pass us by”. V15 “it cannot touch us”

but it’s a lie (v17)

- none of us will cheat death. They wouldn’t avoid the Assyrians. Running to something else as refuge wouldn’t help as they are false

- hopes

- refuges

- lies. And lies will let you down

Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing

a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy

machine. The message "He’s lying" was placed in the copier, and police

pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed

They are clutching at straws… cobwebs

USA. ’Human fly’. man who would climb up buildings etc. Eventually fell and was killed- found in his hand a wodge of cobwebs. He had grasped at something not real, solid.

…and their refuge will be swept away. Their hiding hole filled with water

- because God is the only refuge- particularly w.r.t life/death

- particularly as that’s what He’s trying to teach them!

The plum-line (v17)

The classic reason for thinking one can cheat death is:

- “God and I have this thing going”

- “I’m a good person. It will be okay”

- by the human measuring-line I am okay. Not a bad person

or, to the Jews: “I keep the law”

- that was their refuge/security/hiding place

(but, interestingly, here = shown to be a childish understanding v10

- it’s ‘baby-talk’.

- Rules are for the immature

- Instead- god wants a change from inside that writes it on the heart

But v17-18 make it clear what the measuring line will be… is, by God’s standards… the plumb-line by which something is measured as being acceptable before God or not

- And it’s a bit shocking! Because it’s not about being ‘nice’… good enough… better than others

- In fact it’s very shocking! V19b says:

- Understanding it brings terror!

- “The bed is to short to stretch out on..”

- “blanket to narrow”

- what you’ve thought would cover you doesn’t. It’s not adequate

- and it’s of primary importance!

- (hence imagery of bed + covers!)

- you can’t cheat death… & the measuring line is not niceness, being good

- IT’S PERFECTION

If you want to be acceptable to God on your terms you have to be perfect

- anyone perfect, here?

 “righteousness will be the plumb-line”

Oh, God help us! What are we to do? WE’re all gonna die… and we’re all gonna die wanting in this area.

- “sinners”, if you like

- even the proud “I’m a good person” people will

 scary!

The Stone.

God does help us! He comes to our rescue. To our ‘redemption’ (from the penalty of sin). To our salvation

- to save us, because we can’t save ourselves… be perfect

- “all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God”

- God’s standard of perfection

- “the wages of sin are death”

- but the gift of God is eternal life

- to save us- from all the


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