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Sermon #13 Isaiah Series
Title: In the Day of Grace
Text: Isaiah 2:10-22
Subject: GodÕs Operations of Grace
Date: Sunday Evening — October 23, 2016
Readings: Allen Kibby and Mark Daniel
The title of my message tonight is — In the Day of Grace. Isaiah has been talking about the day of the Lord, this blessed Gospel Age, when GodÕs elect are gathered from the four corners of the earth unto Òthe mountain of the LordÕs house.Ó And in the LordÕs house men and women who are natural enemies dwell together in harmony, peace, and brotherly love (v. 4).
(Isaiah 2:4) ÒAnd 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 anymore.Ó
GodÕs prophet calls for sinners to walk in the light of the Lord (v. 5).
(Isaiah 2:5) ÒO house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.Ó
He warns us of the danger of despising the light of the Gospel (vv. 6-9). — And in verses 10-22 the prophet of God shows us the method of GodÕs saving operations of grace upon sinners in the day when the arm of the Lord is revealed to his elect. — (Read vv. 10-22).
(Isaiah 2:10-22) ÒEnter 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: (13) And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, (14) And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, (15) And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, (16) And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. (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?Ó
There is a day appointed by God when those he has chosen in everlasting love and those Christ has redeemed by his precious bloodÕs atonement shall be effectually called to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and omnipotent grace of God the Holy Spirit.
á It is called Òthy time,Ó because it is the time appointed by God for you to be saved.
á It is called Òthe time of love,Ó because it is the time when the love of God is revealed in the hearts of his elect (Ezekiel 16:8).
á And it is called Òthe day of the Lord,Ó because it is the day when the Lord God reveals himself to his people in the Lord Jesus Christ in all the glory of his saving grace.
In this message, I want to show you what God does for sinners in the day of his grace. I do not mean to suggest that you must experience these things before you can be saved. But I do mean for all men to understand that whenever God comes to his own elect in saving power he does convert and change them by his almighty grace. And in our text Isaiah describes that change.
I do not suggest that these changes are all instantaneous. Conversion continues throughout the day of grace in this world. But the things Isaiah describes are changes which always accompany GodÕs saving grace.
Proposition: The grace of God is always effectual, causing those whom he calls to enter into the Rock, Christ Jesus.
Divisions: Here is the method of GodÕs gracious operations in the hearts of his elect, as described by the Prophet Isaiah. If God has chosen you as the object of his grace, if Christ has redeemed you by his precious blood, sooner or later, he will get you, he will save you by the power of his Spirit. And this is how he will do it. — In the Day of Grace. . .
1. The Lord God calls guilty sinners to enter into Christ, the Rock of Refuge (v. 10).
2. If God calls you, he will break your pride and destroy your peace (vv. 11-17).
3. In the day of GodÕs saving power Christ alone will be exalted in your eyes (vv. 11, 17).
4. Once Christ is exalted in a sinnerÕs heart, all false religion will be contemptible (vv. 18-21).
5. In the day that a sinner finds refuge in Christ, he ceases from all creature confidence (v. 22).
May God be pleased now, even as I preach the Gospel to you, to awaken you who are dead in sin and graciously cause you to enter in the Rock, Christ Jesus.
Enter the Rock
1st — In the day of GodÕs grace, he calls guilty sinners to enter into the Rock, Christ Jesus.
(Isaiah 2:10) ÒEnter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.Ó
I am speaking to you in GodÕs name, by the authority of his Word and his Spirit. But I cannot awaken you. I cannot give you life. I cannot give you faith in Christ. Yet, I know this, if God speaks to you by the word that I preach, he will not speak in vain. When he calls, you will ÒEnter into the Rock.Ó
á There is a General Call.
á But there is an Effectual Call (John 5:25, 6:63; Psalm 65:4, 110:3).
Christ is the Rock of Salvation (1 Corinthians 10:4). — ÒThe Lord is my Rock and my Salvation!Ó
á He is the Foundation Rock laid by the Triune Jehovah for our souls.
á He is the Rock smitten for us.
á He is the Rock of Refuge.
á He is the Rock of Revelation (Moses).
á He is the Rock of Salvation, the Rock gushing with the Water of Life!
á He is, to many, a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of Offense.
All who come to Christ come as poor, needy, broken, contrite sinners, pleading for mercy. — ÒHide thee in the dust.Ó If God ever reveals himself to you, if he ever shows you your sin and his holiness, your guilt and his greatness, your filth and his glory, your emptiness and his fullness, your condemnation and his grace in Christ, you will fall before him as a condemned man whose only hope is mercy. — Why?
á ÒFor fear of the Lord.Ó — Fear of His Wrath! — Reverence of His Being!
á ÒAnd for the glory of His Majesty.Ó
Illustrations: Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
Isaiah (Chap. 6).
Daniel (Chap. 10:8).
(Daniel 10:8) ÒTherefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.Ó
Do you see the glory and majesty of God revealed in Christ? Do you see your need of such a Savior as he is? Then, ÒEnter in the Rock.Ó — ÒHide in the dust.Ó — Seek his mercy whose wrath you cannot bear.
Illustration: Cities of Refuge (Hebrews 6:18).
2nd — If God calls you by his grace he will break your pride and destroy your peace (vv. 11-17).
(Isaiah 2:11-17) ÒThe 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: (13) And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, (14) And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, (15) And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, (16) And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. (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.Ó
You may now feel very comfortable and secure. Nothing much disturbs you. You are young. You are strong. You have material security. You have both a peaceful life and a peaceful conscience. You see yourself as a fairly good person, and have no real fear of GodÕs anger or displeasure. But in the day of GodÕs grace that will change.
He heals those that have need of healing and saves those that have need of saving. God will never force you to come to Christ against your will. But if he has set his heart upon you, he will make you willing in the day of his power.
á Those whom God saves, he humbles.
á Those he lifts up, he first brings down.
á Those God exalts, he first abases.
á Those he fills, he first empties.
á He always wounds before he heals.
á He always strips before he clothes.
á And he always kills before he makes alive.
Spurgeon said, ÒWhatever God does or does not do. There is one rule of procedure from which he never deviates, namely, to cast down the proud and those who boast themselves, from their high places.Ó
This humbling, breaking, abasing work of God is always terribly painful in the process. But it is always profitable in the end.
Illustrations: Hosea and Gomer
á Vv. 11-12 — The lofty looks of men must be humbled and the haughty spirit of man must be broken. — Pride and Rebellion.
á Vv. 13-14 — The Cedars of Lebanon — The straightest, most stately, and most impressive men.
á The Oaks of Bashan — The strongest and most stout-hearted men.
á The High Mountains — The firm, well established, highly praised and exalted men.
á V. 15 — High Towers and Fenced Walls — represent the fortresses men make for the security of their souls and the peace of their consciences — religious works — ceremonies — good deeds — morality.
á V. 16 — The Ships of Tarshish — represent economic security, wealth — ManÕs Imaginary Spiritual Wealth.
á Pleasant Pictures — are the desirable, pleasant, ornaments of that wealth by which men and women please themselves.
Whatever it is that you set up in opposition to God, whatever it is that keeps you from Christ, whatever it is that you have made your refuge of lies, whatever it is that you set your heart upon, God will destroy it that he may save you. — What great love! — ÒThe loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made lowÓ (2:17).
In the day of his grace God will both humble your pride and break down your rebellion. —— He will do it by a work of his providence (Psalm 107:1-31).
(Psalm 107:1-31) ÒO give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. (2) Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; (3) And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
(4) They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. (5) Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. (6) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. (7) And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. (8) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (9) For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
(10) Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; (11) Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: (12) Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. (13) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. (15) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (16) For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
(17) Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. (18) Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. (19) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. (20) He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (21) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (22) And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
(23) They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; (24) These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. (25) For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. (26) They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. (27) They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. (28) Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. (29) He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. (30) Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. (31) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!Ó
But providence alone will never save a sinner. It takes more than outward things to make the heart new. God saves chosen sinners by the mighty operations of his grace, by the work of his Son at Calvary and the work of his Spirit in conviction, calling, and conversion (John 16:7-11).
(John 16:7-11) ÒNevertheless 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.Ó
Christ Alone Exalted
3rd — In the day of GodÕs saving power and grace Christ alone will be exalted in your eyes (vv. 11, 17). — ÒThe Lord alone shall be exalted in that day!Ó — I do not know whether God has chosen you or not. I do not know whether Christ has redeemed you or not. I do not know whether the Spirit of God will call you or not. But I do know this — If God is pleased to save you by his grace, in that day, Christ alone will be exalted in your eyes.
á Exalted as the sinners only, all-sufficient Savior (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
á Exalted as your only rightful and sovereign Lord (Luke 14:23-35).
á Exalted as your only necessary desire (Psalm. 73:25-26). — The one thing needful (Luke 10:42).
Gracious Lord, incline Thine ear,
My request be pleased to hear;
Hear my never ceasing cry —
ÒGive me Christ, or else I die.Ó
Wealth and honor I disdain,
Earthly comforts all are vain;
These can never satisfy —
Give me Christ, or else I die.
Lord, deny me what Thou wilt,
Only ease me of my guilt;
Helpless, at Thy feet I lie,
Give me Christ, or else I die.
False Religion Contemptible
4th — And I know this — Once Christ is exalted in a sinnerÕs heart, once you see Christ, all false religion will be utterly contemptible to you (vv. 18-21).
(Isaiah 2:18-21) ÒAnd 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.Ó
When Christ arises to shake the earth and destroy all the foundations of sand upon which you have built your soul, you will see the vanity, uselessness, and obnoxiousness of all false gods and false religions. — You will gladly destroy your idols, be they ever so costly, with your own hands. — Idols of darkness are fit only for the pits of darkness where moles and bats, blind creatures of darkness dwell! — It is always costly to renounce the religion of family and friends, but Dagon cannot stand beside the ark of the Lord. — ÒThe fear of the Lord and the glory of his majestyÓ compel us to abolish every idol.
á Every False God
á Every False Christ
á Every False Spirit
á Every False Hope
á Every False Righteousness (Philippians 3:4-10)
(Philippians 3:3-10) ÒFor we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (4) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: (5) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (7) But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, (9) And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (10) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.Ó
á Every False Refuge (Isaiah 28:1-20)
(Isaiah 28:14-20) ÒWherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (15) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (17) Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (18) And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (19) From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (20) For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.Ó
Creature Confidence Gone
5th — In the day that a sinner finds refuge in Christ, he ceases from all creature confidence (v. 22).
(Isaiah 2:22) ÒCease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?Ó
ÒCease ye from man!Ó ——
á From Yourself.
á From the Religion of Man.
á From the Fear of Man.
á From the Approval of Man.
Let your hope be in the Lord your God. — Let your allegiance be to the Lord your God. — Let your strength be the Lord your God.
(Isaiah 2:10) ÒEnter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.Ó