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Sermon #71 — Isaiah Series

 

Title:                           Christ is All

 

Text:                            Isaiah 25:1-4

Subject:                     Christ All-sufficient

Date:                          Tuesday Evening — February 5, 2019

Readings:     Lindsay Campbell and David Burge

Introduction:

 

Here are three words that describe all doctrinal, all practical, and all experimental religion. These three words contain the essence of everything I believe, everything I have experienced, and everything I endeavor to preach. Do you know what they are? Some of you do — “Christ is All.” Sooner or later, we’re going to learn that “Christ is All.” And when we have learned it, we’re going to begin learning that “Christ is All.” — That is the title of my message. That’s my subject. — Christ is All.

 

If we do not yet understand that everything God requires of sinners, everything God gives to sinners, and everything God does for sinners is in Christ, we have not yet understood the message of Holy Scripture, our religion is meaningless, and our faith is vain. When I declare with the Apostle Paul, that “Christ is All,” this is what I mean —

 

1. Christ is all in the purpose and decrees of God (Ephesians 1:3-6).

2. Christ is all in the Book of God (Luke 24:27, 44, 45).

3. Christ is all in the salvation of God’s elect (1 Corinthians 1:30).

4. Christ is all in the church of God.

Š      He is our Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Š      He is our Unity and Peace (Colossians 3:11).

Š      He is our Message (1 Corinthians 1:23).

Š      He is our Hope (1 Timothy 1:1).

 

5. And Christ is all to meet the needs of his people in this world (Isaiah 25:1-4).

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is all to meet the needs of his people in this world. I want to camp right here. — Christ is all to meet the needs of his people in this world. — Have you found Isaiah 25?

 

(Isaiah 25:1-4) “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. (2) For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. (3) Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. (4) For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

 

Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ is a suitable, satisfying, all-sufficient Savior, able to meet all the needs of his people in this world. — That is what I want to talk about in this message.

 

Divisions: I direct your attention to five things here spoken of which, I trust, will be blessed of God to you for your souls’ present and everlasting good.

1. The Lord Jesus Christ is my God (v. 1).

2. He has done wonderful (v. 1).

3. His “counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (v. 1).

4. God’s people in this world are a needy people, poor, distressed, often in storms, and often oppressed with burning heat (v. 4).

5. The Lord Jesus Christ, God our Savior, is our help in time of need. — He is all we need (v. 4).

 

My God

 

1stThe Lord Jesus Christ is my God. — “O LORD, thou art my God” (v. 1). — When our minds are perplexed and distressed, when our hearts are heavy and troubled, we ought to immediately turn to God our Savior, cast our care upon him, and rely on him. In every time of trouble run to Christ, take hold of him as your God, and tell him that you do. That is exactly what Isaiah did. — “O LORD, thou art my God!

 

Even the smallest troubles overwhelm us, if we do not flee to him. Blessed Savior, whatever trials, troubles, and temptations may disturb me, you are my God. — The Lord, Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, he is God. And he is my God. I mean by that that…

Š      He is the Lord, the Sovereign Monarch of the universe.

Š      He is God over all and blessed forever, the one true and living God.

Š      He is my God, the one I worship and trust.

Š      He is my Lord and my God, the one to whom I freely and willingly surrender the rule of my life.

 

O LORD, thou art my God!” — This is the cry of a man whose heart was overwhelmed with grief and trouble, overwhelmed by God’s providence. — “O LORD, thou art my God!” — This is not a doctrinal statement, but the cry of a man greatly distressed and troubled, the cry of a broken but believing heart. — “O LORD, thou art my God!” — There are many, many things I could and should say about this fact. — “O LORD, thou art my God!” But as I began preparing this message last week, I received Pastor Bruce Crabtree’s bulletin for January 27th. Some of you have seen it. As you know, his wife (Jo) has brain cancer and is not expected to live much longer than another year or so. Let me read Bruce’s note to us, his friends. As I read it, I want you to understand that this is exactly what Isaiah meant, when he said, “O LORD, thou art my God!

 

“Thank you, dear brothers and sisters, for all the manifestations of the love of Christ in your hearts for Jo and me. Thank you for all your prayers and visits and cards and phone calls. Thank you, ladies, for the abundance of food you have provided for us the last few weeks. — What a relief this has been.

 

Jo and I are leaving our present circumstances of her illness in the hands of our heavenly Father who cares for us. You and I have heard it said many times that our God is too wise to err and too good to be unkind. Jo and I are living in the faith and experience of that truth.

 

We are not bitter because we are blessed. As long as our God is reigning, we will not complain. We are not afraid, the Lord is our light and our salvation. We are of good courage because we are waiting on our sovereign Lord. Our hearts are broken but not despairing. — The Lord is the strength of our hearts.

 

I see no wrath in what Jo and I are suffering. — All comes from the hands of our loving Father. — God is love. We have put our fingers of faith into the prints of the nails of our blessed Savior and we see nothing in God to harm us. We have thrust our hands into the hole in his side and we are trustful.

 

We look behind us and see the footprints of mercy. We look around us and believe the Angel of the Lord to be encamped there. We look ahead, beyond our present troubles and uncertainties, and see a bright and certain hope that will soon be realized. — The hope of being with Christ which is far better. — The hope of the resurrection of these frail and vile bodies. — ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all people most miserable.’ No, our hope is beyond this life, when our covenant God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.

 

We are looking beyond death, where there is no more death. A time and place where there is no more sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. A time and place where our Creator and Redeemer makes all things new.

 

What a wise instrument sickness is — brain cancer is. — The shadow of death is when God uses these things to teach us. How can we trust in ourselves while facing such devastating things? What is God teaching us, but that we dare not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead?

 

The Holy Spirit strips us down to our very nakedness to teach us we must be clothed in the garments of salvation. — The robe of the Savior’s own righteousness. He proves to our consciences that we are guilty before God to show us that salvation is of the Lord. — That we are justified freely by his grace. He brings us to the dust of nothingness that we may find Jesus as our all and all. He weakens us only to give us the strength of the grace of Christ. And he sends these messengers to whisper in our ears that our time is short only that our souls may answer, ‘Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise for the help of his countenance.’ — Oh, God teach us!

 

Jo and I are not discouraged, for we are hopeful. We can face this and whatever else God has ordained for us. — Not because our faith is strong, but because our Lord is strong. — Not because we have been so faithful. — God forgive us, we are unprofitable servants. But our God is faithful. Not one promise will fail or fall. We are hopeful because Jesus, the Son of God, who died for sinners’ sake is risen and is at the right hand of God, and where he is we soon shall be, to our great delight and comfort.

 

To the one eternal God, in the trinity of his Sacred Persons, God the everlasting Father, God the eternal Son, and God the eternal Holy Spirit be praise and glory forever, world without end. — Amen.

Bruce”

 

That is precisely what I mean when I say to you, my Savior, — “O LORD, thou art my God!

 

Done Wonderful

 

2ndHe has done wonderful. — “For thou has done wonderful things” (v. 1). Notice that our translators have placed the word “things” in the text to make it read more smoothly. And we rejoice in the many wonderful things our God has done, is doing, and shall hereafter do.

Š      Election Love

Š      Absolute Predestination

Š      God’s Wonderful Creation

Š      Christ’s Effectual Redemption

Š      The Holy Spirit’s Regeneration

Š      Gracious Preservation

 

But Isaiah’s statement ends with the word “wonderful,” referring to all God’s wonderful works as one and considering his immediate work as but a part of the whole. — He uses the word “wonderful,” in the singular number instead of the plural.

 

The Prophet does not here confine his view to the present appearance of things or even to the things that presently appear. He looks at everything as one thing and looks to the end.

 

The Lord God, our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, orders all things, performs all things, and regulates all things in the best manner possible and to the most valuable end possible, for the glory of God and the everlasting good of his people.

 

(Romans 11:33-36) “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

 

His Counsels

 

3rdHis “counsels of old are faithfulness and truth (v. 1). — With God nothing is sudden, unexpected, or surprising. All things were ordained by him before the creation of the world (Acts 15:8). Those things that are unexpected and surprising to us are precisely according to the all-wise purpose of God, our heavenly Father and are the result of that regular order by which he maintains and governs the universe, precisely as he arranged all before time began.

 

Because we do not know and cannot understand his secret decrees, because our minds are so time oriented, we must wait for our God to perform his purpose and reveal his secrets, and wait for him to give us understanding hearts...

  • By His Word.
  • By His Spirit.

 

But of this we are sure, even when our lives are turned upside-down, faith is weak, unbelief is rampant, and darkness is everywhere! Thy counsels (decrees) of old are faithfulness and truth! — Everything that comes from God our Savior, everything decreed by him from eternity and everything that is declared by him in his Word, is firm and unchangeable, faithful and true, steadfast and sure. — His name is “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11).

  • God our Savior is faithful
  • His purpose is unalterable.
  • His promises are sure.
  • It is our greatest wisdom and our greatest strength to trust him (John 14:1-3).

 

(John 14:1-3) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

 

Poor and Needy

 

4thGod’s people in this world are a needy people: poor, distressed, often in storms, and often oppressed with burning heat (v. 4).

 

(Isaiah 25:4) “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

 

In our text God’s saints are described as men and women who are “poor,” “needy,” and “distressed,” a people who suffer “the storm” of trouble, “the heat” of affliction, “the blast” of persecution, and “the storm” of adversity. All who live in this world of sin must suffer. — “Man that is born of women is of few days and full of trouble.” — That is just reality. — If you live, you will suffer. But, in addition to those things which we must suffer in common with the unbelieving, in addition to temporal calamities of life in this world, there are many painful sorrows experienced by God’s saints that the ungodly never experience in this world.

 

Let me briefly talk to you about five things that every believer experiences in this world which often cause us to be in great distress.

 

1.    Every saved man and woman in the world has experienced the guilt and danger of sin.

 

I know that there is much more involved in Holy Spirit conviction than a sense of legal fear. It takes more than the fear of hell to bring a person to faith in Christ. But I also know that no one will ever seek mercy at the throne of God who has not been found guilty in his own conscience. And guilt always brings fear.There is nothing in all the world more tormenting to a human being than a guilty conscience.

 

But, O, how I pray that God will make you know your guilt before him and the danger you are in. Guilt is the forerunner of grace. Conviction is the earnest of conversion.

 

If God ever saves you, he will make you to know your guilt before him (John 16:8-11; Romans 3:19; Romans 7:9). It does not matter how stout-hearted a person is, when God begins to write the sentence of death upon his conscience, like Belshazzar, his loins are loosed with fear and his knees buckle beneath him. Like the Philippian jailer, he will tremble as he cries, “What must I do to be saved?

 

Let me tell you something about Holy Spirit conviction. — Holy Spirit conviction

  • Deals with sin, sins, and righteousness (Luke 18:13; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 64:6).
  • Shows you that you are without excuse before God (Romans 3:19).
  • Takes sides with God and justifies him in the punishment of sin (Psalm 51:4).
  • Causes a sinner to look to Christ alone for mercy and grace.

 

2.    Every believer is engaged in a warfare in his own heart, which never lets up and never ends until the death of this body (Romans 7:14-25; Galatians 5:17).

 

The believer is a person with two natures, the flesh and the spirit, sin and righteousness, the old man Adam and the new man Christ. The new man reigns. But the old man will not surrender. The new man governs. But the old man will not be governed. The spirit will never surrender to the flesh. But the flesh will never surrender to the spirit — So the warfare goes on.

  • The outcome of this warfare is sure. — We will be triumphant!
  • But the warfare is as real as if victory or defeat hung upon the next move.

 

3.    Every believer suffers from the persecutions of an ungodly, God-hating world.

 

As Cain persecuted Abel his brother and Ishmael persecuted Isaac his brother, those who are born of the flesh always persecute those who are born of the Spirit. As Satan hates Christ, so the seed of the serpent hates the seed of the woman. Those men and women of whom God says “the world was not worthy” are made by the world to be the filth and off-scouring of all things.

  • Persecution comes from the religious world (John 16:2).
  • Persecution comes from the secular world (Matthew 10:22).
  • Persecution comes from your own flesh and blood (Matthew 10:36).

 

4.    Every believer must endure the temptations of Satan (Luke 22:31).

 

Satan walks about the earth as a roaring lion, stalking and seeking to devour every ransomed soul. And our flesh, like a monstrous traitor within, is in league with the devil. Every snare and temptation by which he seeks to destroy us is most naturally appealing to us.

  • The Pleasure of Sin
  • The Deceitfulness of Riches
  • The Cares of the World

 

5.    And every believer in this world suffers great distress by the hidings of God’s face from us.

 

Perhaps the most distressing of all earthly trials for one of God’s saints is the hiding of his Father’s face. For wise and gracious reasons, known only to himself, God frequently hides himself from his people for a season (Song of Solomon 5:1-8; Isaiah 54:7-10).

 

(Isaiah 54:7-10) “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. (8) In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (9) For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. (10) For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”

 

Our blessed Lord Jesus never complained of the cruelties with which men tormented his body. But even he cried out with inexpressible anguish when his Father forsook him. — “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?” — Oh, what pain he must have felt in his soul! Many a believer has, in a measure, experienced that same tormenting sorrow (Isaiah 49:14; Psalms 77:7-9; 22:1; Lamentations 3:1-26).

 

This is the lot and portion of every believer in this world. God’s saints in this world are, by God’s wise and gracious design, poor, needed, and distressed. One reason for this is that we might ever be compelled to look to Christ and find our all in him. Our bitter experiences of providence are sweet experiences of grace by which we are learning that…

 

Christ is All.

 

5thThe Lord Jesus Christ, God our Savior, is our Help in time of need. — He is all we need. Truly, “Christ is All.” And he graciously teaches us that it is so by forcing us to look to him for all and cast all upon him (v. 4). — Read verse 4 again.

 

(Isaiah 25:4) “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”

 

Christ is our Strength. Christ is our Refuge. Christ is our Shadow. Christ is our Protector. Christ is all we need. To God’s poor, needy, distressed, troubled people “Christ is all.” Do you see that?

 

I have been talking to you about the things I experience. But I want so much for you to know one more thing I have experienced in my soul — Christ is the Help I need. — Read Hebrews 2:16-18.

 

(Hebrews 2:16-18) For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (17) Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

 

Look to Christ and find your help in him. When you are in trouble the world, the flesh, and the devil say, “Look here,” or “Look there,” or “Look anywhere except to Christ.” Christ says, “I am thy Help.”

 

(Isaiah 41:10) “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

 

Christ my God is suitable help. — Whatever it is that we need, we find our help in him and receive out of his fulness the help we need.

Š      Are you guilty? Christ is Pardon.

Š      Are you tempted? Christ is Strength.

Š      Are you needy? Christ is Fulness.

Š      Are you distressed? Christ is Comfort.

 

Our Lord Jesus is always seasonable help (Psalm 46:1). He always interposes at the right time. He comes to help at the moment help is needed.

 

(Psalm 46:1) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

 

Illustrations: Abraham on the Mount

   Jehovah-jireh.”

                                                                                                            “I’m afraid I don’t have dying

grace.

 

Our blessed Savior is our sufficient help (Isaiah 43:1-5).

 

(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.”

 

Illustration: “My grace is sufficient for thee.

 

Š      No matter what your need is.

Š      No matter how strong our enemies are.

Š      No matter how great our weakness may be.

Š      No matter how severe our trial.

Š      No matter how great the storm.

 

Christ is your sure help (Psalm 89:33). Never yet has there been a child of God who needed help who did not have help from God our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 37:25).

 

(Psalm 89:33) “Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”

 

I’ve just got to say one more thing. This is something that can be said only of Christ. — Christ is satisfying help (Psalm 73:25-26).

 

(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.”

 

Š      David found him so.

Š      Jeremiah found him so.

Š      Paul found him so (Philippians 4:11-13).

Š      I pray that you may find him so.

 

Application

 

God’s people in this world are a needy people. Make it your business to help them. They need…

  • A Little Kindness.
  • A Little Sympathy.
  • A Little Encouragement.
  • A Little Understanding.
  • A Friend — Someone to help them cry.

 

Christ is our Help in time of need. Take your need to him. He urges you to do so. He will help (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:16).

 

(Matthew 11:28-30) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

(Hebrews 4:16) “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

O LORD, thou art my God!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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