Romans in Isaiah 48
1. This has been an eventful week. We were shocked by the Boston Marathon bombing; floods reminded us of 2003, and many of you had flooded basements and streets.
2 The church had a number of water issues.
4. Our motto this week was “Let’s get it over with!”
5. Yet sometimes we feel opposite: we have good times & want to extend them.
6. God is to extending the good; he does it in particular with the truth of the Word
7. Today we will examine extended truths, truths that speak of God’s character
Main Idea: Much of what Paul writes in Romans comes from Isaiah: God’s truth is eternal, so it is no surprise that we see the major tenants of the Christian faith are found in the Old Testament.
I. The Stubbornness of the Ancient Jewish PEOPLE (1-8)
A. The people did not TRUST God alone despite fulfilled prophecy
• They had some faith in God, but also trusted in pagan gods…
• Some people say they are 60% Christian and 40% something else
• We need to put all our eggs in one basket; that basket is Jesus
B. God KNEW they would be stubborn when he chose them
Deuteronomy 9:6, ““Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”
Sometimes a guy or gal marries a stubborn person and then complains they married a stubborn person; we say, “Duh!” But this is exactly what God did!
C. This FORESHADOWED their widespread rejection of Messiah (Romans 11:7-10)
Romans 11:7, “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened…”
By not forsaking the people who have stubbornly and repeated rejected him, God has a great opportunity to showcase his Sovereign Grace…
• God passes over the unwilling and seeks those whose hearts are soft
• Pastor friend: small, dead church…. Build around people rather than coerce
D. CONVICTION differs from stubbornness
1. Conviction is grounded in God’s truth (sure about some things)
2. Stubbornness is grounded in personality (yours or others) and self-referenced, usually tied in to emotion
4. Conviction helps us resist the lures that dangle themselves before us
• The lure of unbelief
• The lure of the world (conformity)
• The lure of religion and gaining a sense of security through it (idolatry)
• The lure of complacency
Application: God loves stubborn people, and so must we. It is hard to love people who get on our nerves, who have attributes that irritate us. Some of us are introverts and easily over stimulated; some of us are extroverts and find introverts boring; others are ambiverts (both) and can’t understand why everyone is trying to make everyone else like them. But however we are, we are called to love. God loves even the stubborn.
II. God Continues to REFINE and Preserve the Jewish People Nonetheless (9-15)
A. The Lord continues to APPEAL to Israel (9-11) -- he has and is refining them…
Historically, especially in ancient times, the way to remove the dross was to crush the raw ore and then heat it to the melting point of the metal. This requires a really hot fire. Silver melts at around 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and gold at almost 2000 degrees. At those temperatures the impurities, the dross, either burns up or floats to the surface to be removed. One of the techniques for separating silver from lead was to use a series of pots all heated up to high temperature. The lead that floated to the surface was skimmed off and moved to the next pot on the left while the silver was moved to the pot on the right so that the silver in the far pot was quite pure.”
[Chip Blackshear, Sermoncentral]
B. God is the mighty CREATOR and can therefore accomplish his plans (12-15)
C. Of the three servants, Messiah, Israel, and Cyrus, CYRUS is “him.”
D. Romans: God is still working with Israel
Romans 11:11-12, “So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!”
1. Jealous (Romans 11:11)
2. Preparing to re-attach the branches (Romans 11:12-29)
3. We think in terms of years or decades: God –centuries and millennia!
E. God’s stubborn determination to KEEP his Word despite ourselves
God is patient with us, despite how we let him down. Like this motel owner:
A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation.
He wrote: I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?"
An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who wrote:
"I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too." Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.
III. Trinity: God Will Send the Incarnate WORD and the Spirit (16-19)
The Doctrine of the Trinity is not merely a New Testament harmonization of all the things the Bible says about God. We see the idea – although less clearly – in the Old Testament as well.
A. The Incarnate Word is referred to as “ME” (16)
In 42:1 and 61:1, the Spirit is clearly associated with the Messiah (a clue)
B. Yahweh sends HIM (16), but he is Yahweh
C. Yahweh sends his SPIRIT (16)
D. He does so to REDEEM and lead us (17)
(See Romans 8:1-17, God did by sending his Son, sent his Spirit)
Romans 8:3, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh…”
Romans 8:9, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
E. Israel’s MISSED Opportunity (18-19)
F. God is amazingly interested in YOU