“Bind up the Testimony”

Isaiah 8:16

 

Isaiah gives every prophet and preacher the instructions God gave him as His prophet (Isaiah 8:11-16). — Standing in the pulpit to speak to eternity bound sinners in the name of God, as God’s ambassador, it is every preacher’s responsibility to faithfully deliver the Word of God without addition, without subtraction,  without  adornment.  With simplicity and plainness of speech,  he is responsible under God to give you His Word. This is God’s commandment to every preacher. — “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.”

 

      “The Testimony” is the Word of God. It is the Word He had given to His prophet, particularly the Word He had just given Isaiah concerning the Person and work of His dear Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (7:14; 8:14-15). The Testimony of God is the Gospel of Christ (2 Tim. 1:8-12).

 

      The preacher is responsible to “bind up the testimony” as something indescribably valuable, taking great care that no part of it be neglected or lost. By diligent study, prayer, and preparation, he is to bind it up in his own heart and mind like a priceless treasure.

 

      Then he must, by his preaching, “seal the law among my disciples.” — “The law” here does not refer to the ten commandments, or to the ceremonial law of Moses, but to the whole Word of God. It is the whole doctrine of Christ. It is the responsibility of every Gospel preacher to establish God’s saints in the doctrine of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-14; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). — “To the law and to the testimony” (to the doctrine of Christ revealed in the testimony of God given in the Book of Holy Scripture) “if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is not light in them!

 

Here are nine, stubborn, irrefutable statements. They go right to the heart of true Christianity. You will either accept or reject these nine statements. There is no middle ground; and you will find it impossible to be indifferent regarding them. There is no room for compromise on any of these nine points.

 

      1. Either the Bible is in its entirety the holy, inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, or it is in its entirety a lie, by which the souls of men are eternally deceived and damned. If the Bible is not the Word of God, throw it away. But if it is, as it claims to be, God’s Holy Word, we better pay attention to it. It claims, as such, a total sway over our lives.  It must be our only rule of faith and practice (Psalms 138:2; 119:128; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21).

 

      2. Either God almighty is absolutely sovereign, in total control of all things, at all times, or there is no God. Again, there is no middle ground between these two poles, between God’s absolute, total sovereignty and absolute, total atheism. To speak of a god who is not totally sovereign is utter nonsense. Atheism is far more sensible than Arminianism. If God is, He is sovereign! (Psalms 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 45:7; 46:9-11; Daniel 4:35-37).

 

      3. Either man is totally depraved, utterly dead in trespasses and in sins, or there is nothing wrong with him and he needs no Savior. There is no such thing  as  partial  depravity  or partial goodness before God. Either we are totally sinful and depraved, or we are totally righteous and good. There is no middle ground. Fallen man is utterly corrupt and utterly without ability to change his ruined condition before God (Psalm 14:2-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 5:12).

 

      4. Either God chose some of Adam’s fallen race to salvation and eternal life in Christ before the world began, as the Bible says He did, or there is no possibility of salvation for anyone (Romans 9:13-18; Ephesians 3:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Salvation is God’s prerogative, not man’s. Grace is God’s gift, not man’s choice. If God does not choose to save and choose whom He will save, no sinner can ever be saved.

 

      5. Either the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God is altogether and alone the effectual Redeemer and Savior of His people, or He is a fraud and a failure (Isaiah 53:8-11; Hebrews 9:12; Galatians 3:13). Again, there is no middle ground, no room for compromise. Either Christ did what He came to do, or He is a failure. If the Son of God died to redeem and save any who are not actually redeemed and saved by His blood, He is a miserable failure; and if He is a failure, He is not God, and we have no Savior. The Lord Jesus Christ died for and effectually redeemed God’s elect. His blood was not shed in vain for anyone!

 

      6. Either we are regenerated and called to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and grace of God the Holy Spirit, or there is no such thing as salvation (Psalms 65:4; 110:3; John 6:63). The only hope for a dead sinner is free and sovereign grace, grace that asks for nothing and gives everything, grace that waits for nothing and does everything.

 

      7. Either God’s people are entirely free from the law, as the Scriptures declare us to be, or we are yet under the bondage of the law and entirely obligated to keep it perfectly. There is no such thing as being partially under the law and partially free from it, not in biblical terms. The only way a sinner can satisfy, fulfil, and establish the law is by faith in Christ (Romans 3:31). — “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). — “We are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:15). The Scriptures are crystal clear in asserting the fact that all who trust Christ are dead to the law and free from the law (Romans 7:4; 8:1-4; 10:4; Galatians 3:24-25; 5:1-4).

 

      8. Either every sinner who comes to Christ is saved by Christ, or none are saved by Him (Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37). To be saved by Christ is to be completely forgiven, fully justified, perfectly holy, and utterly secure before God.

 

      9. Either every saved sinner shall persevere to the end, being preserved and kept by God’s infallible, immutable grace, or none shall. The perseverance of the saints is demanded by the purpose of God, the purchase of Christ, and the power of the Spirit (Philippians 1:6; Jude 1:1, 24-25).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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