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Sermon #14[i] Isaiah Series
Title: “The Lord Alone shall
Text: Isaiah 2:17
Subject: Christ’s Exaltation in Grace
Let’s read Isaiah chapter 2 together.
(Isaiah 2:1-22) “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (2) And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (4) And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (5) O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
(10) Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. (11) The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (12) For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.
(17) And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. (18) And the idols he shall utterly abolish. (19) And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (20) In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; (21) To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (22) Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”
You will find my text and the title of my message in the last line of verse 17. — “The Lord Alone shall be Exalted”
When God dwelt alone, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in his own ineffable glory the Lord alone was exalted. He had no rival. He had no enemy. There was no evil. God dwelt alone in unrivaled excellence and glory. And when the Lord God began his mighty works, the Lord alone was exalted.
Š When He made the Covenant Ordered in All Things and Sure
Š When He Created the Angelic Hosts to Minister to His Chosen People
Š When He Created the World
Š When He Made Adam and Eve
After the Fall
I do not know how long the day of man’s innocence lasted. And I am sure we have no idea what myriads of creatures the Lord God made for the pleasure of Adam and Eve in the Garden. But I do know this: — In the day of man’s innocence in the Garden, the Lord alone was exalted.
Š At some point Lucifer, the son of the morning, made war with the Lord our God in heaven, and was expelled (Revelation 12).
Š Then the prince of darkness deceived our mother Eve, and she enticed Adam to rebel against God.
Š And sin entered into the world.
How man has fallen! — God is no longer exalted in his thoughts. God is no longer exalted in his heart. God is no longer exalted in his desires.
But our text speaks of a day, before the drama of the world’s history comes to a close, in which the Lord alone shall be exalted again. — “THE LORD ALONE SHALL BE EXALTED IN THAT DAY!”
Proposition: The great object of God, in all his works of creation, providence, and grace is the exaltation and glory of his own great name; and God will accomplish his purpose. — There is a day in which “The Lord alone shall be exalted” (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; Isaiah 63:12-13).
What is the day which Isaiah is here describing? Without question, the prophet is talking about a great day of grace, when “the mountain of the Lord’s house is established.” But it would be difficult, if not impossible, to pen-point a single, specific day, when that has been, or shall be done. The day Isaiah is describing is the whole day of God’s grace, the whole of this Gospel Age.
Illustration: The Unfolding Drama of Redemption
1. It began with the incarnation of Christ (Hebrews 10:5-10). In that day the Lord alone was exalted (Matthew 1:18-25). In the days of our Savior’s humiliation the Lord alone was exalted by him.
2. In the day of our redemption by Christ the Lord alone was exalted (Isaiah 59:16; 63:5; Romans 3:24-26).
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” (Isaiah 59:16)
“And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.” (Isaiah 63:5)
“24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24-26)
3. In the day of Christ’s resurrection and exaltation, the Lord alone was exalted (Isaiah 45:20-25; Psalm 24).
“20 ¶ Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.” (Isaiah 45:20-25)
“1 ¶ «A Psalm of David.» The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. 3 ¶ Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. 7 ¶ Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Psalms 24:1-10)
4. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Lord Jesus poured out his Spirit upon his Church, the Lord alone was exalted (Acts 2:1-47).
5. In this Day of Grace, every time God’s saints meet together in the name of Christ, by the preaching of the Gospel, the Lord alone is exalted (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). — Christ has pre-eminence in all things (Colossians 1:9-22).
(Colossians 1:9-22) “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (20) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled (22) In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
The gospel of the grace of God declares that everything is in Christ, and the Lord alone is exalted by it.
“17 ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-31)
6. In that last great day, at the Great White Throne judgment, the Lord alone shall be exalted (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
Š The Second Coming!
Š The Resurrection!
Š The Judgment!
Š The Restitution!
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under” his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
In each of these great days in history, the Lord alone is exalted. And we rejoice to know it. If the text had nothing else to say, that would be enough. But, if I read the chapter correctly, and I am sure I do, our text is referring to the experience of grace which God’s elect enjoy in this world. — “The LORD alone shall be exalted in that day,” in that day that you and I experience his grace and mercy toward us in Christ Jesus.
1. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day of your first convictions (John 16:8-13).
(John 16:7-13) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
2. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day we see Christ crucified upon the cursed tree (Lamentation 1:12; Zechariah 12:10).
(Lamentations 1:12) “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”
(Zechariah 12:10) “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
(Zechariah 13:1) “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
3. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day when Christ draws us near to himself in sweet communion (Song of Solomon 2:4-11).
(Song of Songs 2:4-11) “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. (5) Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. (6) His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. (7) I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. (8) The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. (9) My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice. (10) My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (11) For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”
4. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day he causes our souls to hunger and thirst for him (Song of Solomon 5:1-16).
(Song of Songs 5:1-16) “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. (2) I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. (3) I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? (4) My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. (5) I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. (6) I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. (7) The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. (8) I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. (9) What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us? (10) My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. (11) His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. (12) His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. (13) His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. (14) His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. (15) His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. (16) His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
5. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day that he restores us from our wanderings and from our falls (Song of Solomon 7:10-12).
Š Peter — “Thou knowest that I love thee!”
(Song of Songs 7:10-12 (10) “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. (11) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. (12) Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”
6. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day when our Lord assures us of his love (Song of Solomon. 8:6-7).
(Song of Songs 8:6-7) “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. (7) Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.”
7. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day of great trial and trouble, when we have no strength, hope, or comfort but our God (Isaiah 43:1-5; Psalm 73:25-26).
(Isaiah 43:1-5) “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.”
(Psalm 73:25-26) “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. (26) My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
8. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day when our Lord calls us to gather our feet into our bed and die (Psalm 23).
(Psalm 23:1-6 (1) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
9. “The Lord alone shall be exalted” in the day that we get to Glory (Revelation 5:9-10).
(Revelation 5:9-10) “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
Men talk much about revival and write books about the signs of revival. But most of what I have read and heard is very little more than emotionalism, legalism, and will-worship. Here is one sure, infallible sign of heaven sent revival — “The Lord alone will be exalted in that day!”
[i] Danville — Sunday Evening — November 13, 2016
Grace Baptist Church, Dingess, WV — (11/12/16)
Readings: Mark Henson and David Burge