Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
January 12, 2003 PM
ISAIAH: COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER
INTRO: When one thinks of the written prophets of the Bible, I would imagine he thinks first of the book of Isaiah. And there is probably very good reason for that. There is little doubt in my mind that Isaiah is among the most read of the books of prophecy in the Old Testament. It may also be true that the book of Isaiah is among the most controversial of the prophetic books. Liberal scholarship has insisted that there are two distinct sections of the book and that there must have been two Isaiahs. That is not the end of what liberal scholarship has hypothesized about this wonderful book of prophecy. Among the discoveries in the Dead Sea scrolls was an ancient copy of the book of Isaiah ... which I understand confirms the accuracy of the book we know by that name.
I. SOME OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THIS BOOK
A. Its author is Isaiah, the son of Amoz
1. his name means, significantly, salvation of the Lord
2. he was married and had at least two sons
3. he was a friend of kings, of common people - a statesman, a prophet
4. his life spanned the reigns of four kings of Judah (1:1)
B. Isaiah is quoted in the N.T. more often than any other O.T. prophet
1. most of us remember Mt 1:22,23 which quotes from Isa 7:14
2. quotations come from all sections of the book and are attributed to Isaiah (not to some second Isaiah)
3. at Lk 4:16-21 Jesus is reading from Isa 61:1,2 ... and applies that which He reads to Himself!
4. indeed, Isaiah is, in a profound sense, the Messianic prophet
1. the book is set against the background of great apostasy - Isa 1:2-4
2. early in the book we see the constant threat of Assyria - Isa 8:6-8 (ultimately, Manasseh was captured by them - 2 Chron 33:11)
3. there are also the prophecies of Babylonia captivity - Isa 39:5-7 (cf. 5:13)
4. but the great restoration under Cyrus would be glorious - Isa 44:24-28
II. SOME OF THE GREAT MESSAGES OF ISAIAH
A. Gods pleasure in willing obedience
1. Isa 1:18-20 - If ye be willing and obedient...
2. point: they had been bringing their sacrifices and keep the special days of the Mosaic covenant ... but it had been a rote exercise; it had not been of faith
B. Calling evil good does not make it so
1. Isa 5:20,21 - Woe unto them that call evil good...
2. at v. 21 is the problem so many people have ... they permit their human wisdom to supercede all else
C. Only in God is salvation to be found
1. Isa 12:2,3 - God is my salvation; I will trust...
2. in the book of Isaiah the prophet over and again warns against trusting in alliances other than in a trusting relationship with Jehovah
D. The great danger of pride
1. Isa 14:12-17 - ...I will be like the most High...
2. pride is a problem for people of all degrees - rich and poor, powerful and lowly, all can be affected by pride
E. The wisdom of waiting upon the Lord
1. Isa 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord...
2. this little expression occurs several times in Isaiah ... and refers to trusting God for His blessings (again, contrasted with placing trust elsewhere)
F. The folly of idolatry
1. Isa 44:8-10,19,20 - He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him...
2. I wonder, though, how many people of our own time are feeding on ashes because of their idolatry
G. The wicked can expect no peace
1. Isa 57:20,21 - There is no peace...unto the wicked
2. but there is a contrast we need to see: Isa 26:3,4 - in my humble judgment, this is one of the great, vivid messages of the book of Isaiah
CLOSE: So, I come to Isa 66:1,2 as a sort of summing up passage. Are we people still sensitive and sensible enough to tremble at the word of God?
Cecil A. Hutson
12 January 2003
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)