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Sermon #113 — Isaiah Series
Title: The Way
Text: Isaiah 35:8-10
Subject: Christ the Way
Date: Sunday Morning — December 8, 2019
Reading: Psalm 67:1-7 and Jeremiah 50:1-6
I am here to show you The Way. That is my subject — The Way. I want to take you by the hand and show you — The Way. You will find my text in the 35th chapter of Isaiah (Isaiah 35:8-10).
Job cried, “Oh that I knew where I might find him! That I might come even to his seat!” (Job 23:3). Thomas said, “How can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Are you interested in the way? Do you desire to know the way to God, the way to heaven, the way of salvation?
Isaiah, describing the coming of Christ and salvation by him, declares…
(Isaiah 35:8-10) And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Proposition: Blessed be God, there is a way to God, there is a way to heaven!
It is with great joy that I come here today to declare to you from Holy Scripture that there is a way from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. There is a way by which you and I, separated from God by a great gulf of sin, may come to God himself and live forever.
Divisions: May God the Holy Spirit grant his anointing as I endeavor to describe,
1. The Way
2. The Happiness of Those Who Walk in the Way
3. And the Responsibilities That Are Ours Concerning the Way.
1st — I want to show you the Way itself, as it is described in our text and in the whole Volume of Holy Scripture. This is by far the most important part of my message. So I am going to spend most of my time this morning talking about The Way. May God give me your attention.
1. The Way is Christ himself (Isaiah 62:10-11; John 14:6).
(Isaiah 62:10-11) Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. (11) Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
(John 14:1-6) 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. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (5) Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? (6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Be sure you understand this at the start. To go wrong here is to go to hell! Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
(Ephesians 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There is no other way. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we enter upon the way. Receiving his Spirit we stand in the way. Following our Redeemer’s footsteps we walk in the way. And holding fast to him we reach the end of the way. When we find Christ, we find the way of truth, the way of life, the way of peace, the way of holiness. The only way of salvation is Christ.
· His Righteousness
· His Blood
· His Grace
There is no other way! — Many roads lead to destruction. Only one road leads to salvation. — “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Any who direct you to any way other than Christ or any way in addition to Christ, direct you in the way to death and eternal destruction in hell.
· Christ is the Way, not legal works!
· Christ is the Way, not religious rituals!
· Christ is the Way, moral reformation!
· Christ is the Way, not the “Romans Road!”
The Way never changes! — I know we are living in modern times. But Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God does not change. Grace does not change. The Way of salvation does not change. — “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
Those who pretend that God changes with the times are idle dreamers. They know nothing of the grace of God. — Christ alone is the Way!
· We cannot be washed from sin, but by his blood.
· We cannot be made righteous, but by his righteousness.
· We cannot be made holy, but by his holiness.
· We cannot have access to God, but by his intercession.
2. The Way to God is the way of grace. — If Christ is the Way, we must be in him or we cannot be saved. And the only way sinners can get in Christ is to be put in Christ by the work of God’s free and sovereign grace. — “Of him are ye in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:30). You do not get in Christ by your freewill, by your decision, or by your works. If ever you find yourself in Christ, you will rejoice to confess, “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). — I am preaching grace…
· Sovereign, Electing Grace (John 15:16).
· Effectual, Redeeming Grace (Hebrews 9:12; Galatians 3:13).
· Irresistible, Regenerating Grace (Ephesians 2:1).
3. The Way described in our text is a costly way. — Isaiah said, “An highway shall be there.” It might be read, “a cause way shall be there,” a raised highway that spans the deep ravines of the wilderness, the shifting sands of the desert, and tunnels through the mountains. The building of highways is a costly work, requiring detailed engineering. But the greatest feat of engineering in the universe is God’s purpose of grace, which made a way from sin to holiness, from death to life, form condemnation to salvation, from degradation to perfection! Who could make a highway over the mountains of our iniquities, the depths of our depravity, and the dark ravines of our sins? Who could make a highway across this desert, called humanity, reaching to heaven itself, but God Almighty?
· None but the Lord of love would have desired it.
· None but the God of wisdom could have designed it.
· None but the God of omnipotent power could have done it.
And this highway cost the great God the very Jewel of heaven, his own darling Son. Yes, God emptied himself of the treasury of his own heart, for he spared not his own Son, but freely delivered him up to die that we might live. What a highway this highway of grace is!
· It was designed in eternity.
· It’s foundations were laid in divine predestination.
· It was built upon the obedience of Christ as the sinner’s Substitute.
This road has lasted now for thousands of years. Untold millions have walked across it. Yet, it is still in good traveling condition. It never needs repair. And it shall never be closed, until the last chosen, wayfaring pilgrim has reached his mansion in the skies.
This is an open highway, built by the appointment of the King of heaven. And all who travel this road are under the protection of the King.
· This is not a toll road, but a freeway!
· The highway is open!
The way of grace is a high and holy way. — Our text calls it a highway, for it is a way that is above the low, groveling paths of the world. Those who walk this road have been raised together with Christ (Colossians 3;1-3).
(Colossians 3:1-3) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4. It is called “the way of holiness.” — It is founded upon holy truth, holy justice, and holy grace. God never lowers his holiness, not even in the salvation of his elect. No sinner can be saved apart from justice being executed fully. Eternal holiness will not allow God to wink at sin. And he has not done so. Justice was fully vindicated and satisfied by the Lord Jesus Christ. “The way of holiness” is the way that is paved with the blood and righteousness of our Substitute. We walk to God and walk with God upon the ground of holiness vindicated and justice satisfied, in the new and living way, through the blood of Christ!
Our faith is a “holy faith” (Jude 20). We are called with a “holy calling” (2 Timothy 1:9). And God’s saints are a “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9), “a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
Those who walk upon the highway of grace walk in “the Way of holiness.” — Grace is not contrary to holiness. Grace produces holiness. Grace makes sinners holy (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:1-10).
(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(Ephesians 4:24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
(Hebrews 12:14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
(2 Peter 1:4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
(1 John 3:1-10) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (7) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (8) He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (9) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Yes, “the Way of holiness” is the strait and narrow way. I know the whole world applauds those who are liberal and broad minded. I know that I am out of step with society. I know that I am accused of being bigoted and narrow minded. But I also know that the Son of God declares, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which open thereat” (Matthew 7:14, 13).
· Christ alone!
· Grace alone!
· God alone!
5. Look at our text again and you will see that the way here described is a way reserved for a specific, select people.
Our text says, “The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those.” Who are those?
· “The Wayfaring Men”
· “The Redeemed.”
· “The Ransomed of the Lord.”
All that God does he does for a specific, select people: His Elect, The Redeemed. The works of God are never haphazard. The highway of grace is reserved for those upon whom the miracle of grace has been performed, those whose souls have been touched by the healing hand of the omnipotent, saving Christ (vv. 5-6).
(Isaiah 35:5-6) Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (6) Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
“The unclean shall not pass over it.” — We are all unclean by nature, but God has made us clean “by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
The word “unclean” might be translated “uncircumcised.” But those who are called of God and born again by almighty grace are circumcised in their hearts by the Spirit of God. (Colossians 2:11; Philippians 3:3).
(Colossians 2:11-15) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (14) Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
(Philippians 3:1-3) Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. (2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. (3) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Those who are “the redeemed” of the Lord shall walk upon the highway of grace into the glory of heaven. — This text of Scripture plainly asserts the sweet gospel doctrine of particular and effectual redemption, limited atonement. According to this text, all the redeemed of the Lord shall be saved. — “The redeemed shall walk there.”
This word “redeemed,” as it is used in the Scriptures implies four things. All who have been redeemed by Christ have been…
· Next of Kin
· Purchased by the blood of Christ.
· Ransomed from the prison of Gods law and the sentence of the law, the penalty of sin, death, by Christ’s sin-atoning sacrifice.
· Loosed, or freed, from sin by the power and grace of God in Christ Jesus.
“The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” — Those who walk upon the highway of grace are all pilgrims, wayfaring men, passing through this barren, desolate, perishing wilderness.
This world is not my home,
I’m just a passing through,
My Savior pardoned me
And now onward I must go,
Upon the highway of His grace
To heaven’s blissful shore.
My Savior will yet lead me there,
Though I am weak and poor.
6. The way spoken of in our text is a safe and secure way.
If you have a marginal reference in your Bible, you will notice that these words should properly be added to verse 8. — “for he shall be with them.” That is our safety and our security as we make our pilgrimage through this world upon the highway of grace. — The Lord God himself is with us (Isaiah 41:10-14; 43:1-7).
(Isaiah 41:10-14) 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. (11) Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. (12) Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. (13) For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (14) Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
(Isaiah 43:1-7) 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; (6) I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; (7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
7. Once more, the way to God is plain and simple.
“The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” — Nobody will err about the way to God who really seeks him. The Holy Spirit will guide, infallibly guide, those to Christ who seek to be saved by Christ. The wiseacres of this world will stumble and perish, refusing to be saved by grace through the merits of the crucified Savior. But the fools of this world will be found wise at last, being saved by grace through simple faith in Christ (Matthew 11:25-30). As simple, little children.
· They hear the Shepherd’s voice.
· They receive God’s Revelation.
· They believe God’s Word.
· They obey God’s command. — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
· They follow their Savior’s lead.
· A stranger they will not follow.
· Following Christ in the Way, they will enter into heaven at last.
(Matthew 11:25-30) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (26) Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (28) 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.
2nd — Briefly, let me show you the happiness of those who walk in the Way (vv. 9-10).
(Isaiah 35:9-10) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: (10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
(Deuteronomy 33:29) Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.
(Psalm 144:15) Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
Those who walk in the way of grace are a happy and blessed people throughout all their journey. — “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there” (v. 9). “There shall no evil befall thee” in the way. Nothing shall ever meet you in the way that can harm you. Therefore, there is nothing you can meet in the way that should frighten you.
“No lion shall be there!” — Satan roars, but can never devour.
Illustration: Pilgrim and the Lion
“Nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon.” — There are some ravenous beasts you will never meet with once you have entered upon the way.
· No Unpardoned Sin!
· No Temptation too Great for You!
· No Death!
· No Enemy Who Can Overcome You!
· No Trial that Can Destroy You!
And those who walk with God in the way of grace shall find everlasting happiness at the end of the way (v. 10; Revelation 7:9-17).
(Isaiah 35:10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
(Revelation 7:9-17) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. (11) And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, (12) Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (13) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? (14) And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. (16) They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. (17) For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
3rd — I will send you on your way, in “the way of holiness,” when I have shown you the responsibilities that are ours concerning the Way.
· Carefully discriminate between the Way and every false way (1 John 4:1).
· Scrupulously keep yourself in hhe Way. — “Hold on you way” (Job 17:9).
· Earnestly tell sinners about the Way.
· Come now, enter into the Way.
Ø Consider your misery.
Ø Consider the blessedness of the Way.
Ø Consider the end of the Way.