Seven Things Every Saved Sinner
Knows and Confesses before God
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:6-8).
All who are born of God are taught of him; and being taught of God, all who look to Christ alone as Savior and Lord know and confess that which Isaiah here confesses.
1. The Sinfulness and Utter Depravity of Our Own Hearts before God — “We are all as an unclean thing.” This metaphor is taken from the Levitical law of the Old Testament. A person who was unclean could not go up to the house of God. He was unfit for worship, unfit to make sacrifices, unfit to be in the company of others. Everything he touched became unclean. That is our condition by nature; and all who are taught of God confess it. Believers know that their hearts are evil and confess it. There is no possibility of salvation apart from the honest acknowledgment and confession of our sin (1 John 1:9).
2. Even Our Righteous Deeds are Abhorrently Evil — “All our righteousnesses are filthy rags.” Our best thoughts, noblest aspirations and most holy deeds are, in and of themselves, on their own merit, nothing but filthy rags, rotting, horribly smelly, corrupt, discarded menstrual cloths, no more acceptable to God than such filthy rags are to us!
3. Our Utter Helplessness and Spiritual Inability — “We all do fade as a leaf.” We have no ability whatsoever to help ourselves. Like the dead leaf hanging on the tree in winter, we are utterly powerless to make any change in ourselves.
4. Our Utter Alienation from God by Nature — “Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” By nature we are all far off from God, lost, undone, and incapable of bringing ourselves back to him (Ephesians 2:11-14). And every believer also knows that he has no power in himself to resist temptation (Romans 7:14-24).
5. Our Total Inability with Regard to All Things Spiritual — We cannot even pray. “There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.” No man by nature can or will call upon the name of God (Romans 3:9-10). Not even true believers can, by their own strength, stir themselves up to take hold of God in prayer. True prayer must be put in the heart by God the Holy Spirit (2 Samuel 7:27).
6. The Justice of God in the Judgment of Our Sin — We take sides with God against ourselves. We say, “Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.” We deserve God’s wrath. Therefore, we justify him in our own condemnation (Psalm 51:1-4).
7. “Salvation is of the Lord!” — That is the meaning of verse 8. “But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our Potter, and we are all the work of thine hand.” God taught souls understand, believe, and confess that salvation is God’s work alone (1 Corinthians 15:10). We are the sons of God by divine adoption (1 John 3:1). We are vessels of mercy by divine predestination (Romans 8:29-30; 9:11-24). We are believers, new creatures in Christ by divine operations of grace (Ephesians 2:8-10).
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