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Sermon #42 — Isaiah Series

 

Title:                           What a Change Grace

has Made!

 

Text:                            Isaiah 11:1-9

Subject:                     Christ’s Kingdom and His Grace

Date:                          Sunday Evening — February 4, 2018

Readings:     Bobbie Estes and Rex Bartley

Introduction:

 

In 10th chapter of his prophecy, the prophet of God assured Israel of the sure and complete ruin of the Assyrians, whom God had raised up to be a rod in his hand to chasten, afflict, and purge his church, assuring his redeemed of the certain deliverance and salvation his elect remnant. He promised to gather his elect to himself and take away the yoke of the oppressor.

 

That temporal deliverance of his church from the Assyrians was intended by God to be a prophetic picture of the great, spiritual deliverance of God’s elect from sin and Satan by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Woman’s Seed, the Messiah.

 

In chapter 11 Isaiah moves from the temporal to the spiritual. This entire chapter speaks of our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a prophesy of the coming of Messiah, the Prince. It describes both the character of Christ as the Messiah, our Savior and King, and the blessed efficacy of his grace upon chosen, redeemed sinners. In the 16 verses of this chapter God the Holy Ghost identifies God’s Messiah, his kingdom, and his people.

 

Proposition: The kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom of grace in the hearts of men.

 

This passage is a prophesy not of some earthly, material, millennial kingdom to come at the end of the world, but of the Gospel Age in which we now live and of the kingdom of God into which men and women are born by grace (John 3:3-7).

 

(John 3:3-7) “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

 

Divisions: There are five things revealed in these first nine verses of Isaiah 11 to which I call your attention.

1.    The Advent of God’s Messiah (v. 1).

2.    The Anointing of Christ (vv. 2-3).

3.    The Administration of Christ’s Government (vv. 3-5).

4.    The Amazing Grace of God (vv. 6-9).

5.    The Advance of the Gospel (v. 9).

 

Christ’s Advent

 

1st — Isaiah describes the advent of God’s Messiah in this world (v. 1).

 

(Isaiah 11:1) “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

 

Isaiah has already shown us the Divine nature of the Christ. He who is the Christ of God is himself God the eternal Son. He is the Son given by means of his incarnation and virgin birth to redeem and save his people (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7).

 

(Isaiah 7:14) “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

 

(Isaiah 9:6-7) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

 

Here Isaiah is describing our Lord’s earthly parentage and his ascent from among men. The Messiah, the Christ of God, must be a Man who in due time arose out of the house of David (Romans 1:3-4).

 

(Romans 1:3-4) “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

 

In our text, Isaiah is speaking of our Lord’s humiliation. God did not send his Son with pomp and pageantry, but in humiliation. Yet, he came from the royal house of David, as a direct, lawful heir to the throne of Israel (Acts 2:30).

 

(Acts 2:30-36) “Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; (31) He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (32) This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. (33) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (34) For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (35) Until I make thy foes thy footstool. (36) Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

 

Our Savior is here called “A Rod” and “A Branch. — Both words represent a weak, small, tender stem, a twig and a sprig that might be easily broken (Isaiah 53:2). This speaks of our Savior’s real humanity.

 

Here Isaiah tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ arose from the stem of Jesse rather than David. Jesse lived and died in obscurity. His family was of no importance or significance in the world (1 Samuel 18:18). David was ridiculed by his enemies as “The son of Jesse” (1 Samuel 22:7).

 

The Lord God sent his Son into the world through the stem, or stump, of Jesse’s house. At the time Christ came into the world the royal family of David had been reduced to a lifeless, hopeless, insignificant stump. Joseph and Mary, though they were heirs of David, had nothing to inherit. They were in utter poverty.

 

God sent his Son into the world in such circumstances to teach us that

Š      The wealth and honor of this world are contemptible to him and should be to us.

Š      His kingdom is not of this world.

Š      Earthly power and riches have nothing to do with the success of his cause.

 

Christ’s Anointing

 

2nd — Isaiah describes THE ANOINTING OF CHRIST as our Prophet, Priest, and King (vv. 2-3).

 

 

(Isaiah 11:2-3) “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (3) And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.”

 

In chapter 10 Isaiah told us that the means by which God would accomplish the salvation and deliverance of his elect would be “The Anointing” (10:27). Here he tells us what that anointing is. No prophet, priest, or king in Israel was qualified for his work without special anointing from God. And Christ’s qualification for his work as our Prophet, Priest, and King arose from his anointing.

 

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. — God the Holy Spirit with all his power, gifts, and graces came upon Christ without measure and abode upon him (Matthew 3:16; John 1:29-34; 3:34-35; Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

 

(John 1:29-34) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (30) This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. (31) And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. (32) And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. (33) And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (34) And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.?

 

When he began his public ministry, he proclaimed himself to be the Messiah, saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1).

 

It was and is by this special anointing and unction of the Spirit that Christ executes judgment in his kingdom (John 5:22, 27).

 

(John 5:22) “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.”

 

(John 5:25-20) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

 

As a man, our Lord Jesus needed the ministry of the Holy Spirit as much as we do, that he might know and do the Father’s will perfectly. And he received all the fulness of the Spirit as our Head and Representative that we might receive the Spirit of his fulness. The Spirit of God abode upon and in Christ throughout his earthly life as…

Š      The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.”

Š      The Spirit of Counsel and Might” (Isaiah 42:4).

Š      The Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord” (Hebrews 5:7).

 

We who believe on him receive the Spirit in exactly these same areas from the fulness of Christ our Lord, to order our steps in this world. It was this special anointing of the Spirit which gave our Savior, as a man, such wisdom and understanding in this world (v. 3).

 

(Isaiah 11:3) “And (The Spirit of the LORD) shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.”

 

Š      He grew in wisdom and stature as a man.

Š      As a boy he disputed with the elders in the synagogue.

Š      He knew his Father’s will.

Š      He judged and reproved with supernatural, spiritual discernment.

 

How much more must we, who are but weak and sinful worms of the earth, seek to be filled with the Spirit of God at all times (Ephesians 5:18), that we may honor God in all things!

 

Christ’s Administration

 

3rd — Isaiah describes THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHRIST’S GOVERNMENT as Lord and King over all things (vv. 4-5).

 

(Isaiah 11:4-5) “But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (5) And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

 

Our Lord judges nothing according to appearance. But his judgment is always righteous as well as wise, equitable as well as prudent. In the administration of all the affairs of providence and grace, and judgment and wrath, Christ always does what is right.

 

With righteousness he judges the poor of the earth.

Š      The poor in spirit.

Š      Not according to outward appearance, but according to the heart.

 

With equity he reproves, argues and makes intercession, for the meek of the earth, those poor sinners who acknowledge and confess their sins (1 John 2:1-2).

Š      He reproves us for sin.

Š      But he will never cease to be our Advocate.

 

(1 John 1:7-10) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (2:1) My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2)And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

And he shall smite the earth. — “With the rod of his mouth (The Word of God), and with the breath of his lips (The Spirit of God), shall he slay the wicked.

Š      Slay them in mercy to save.

Š      Slay them in wrath to punish.

 

In all things, our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is both righteous and faithful (v. 5).

 

(Isaiah 11:5) “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

 

Š      Righteousness is the strength of his work.

Š      Faithfulness is the strength of his rule.

 

These divine perfections of our Savior seem to be spoken of here to assure God’s elect of their perfect security in, by, and with our Savior. And as a man’s girdle was wrapped about his body, and might be laid hold of from any direction, from beside him, or from behind, or from before him, so the a poor trembling believer, who fears to come before the face of the Lord by reason of any renewed transgression, or if in returning to his God in prayer the Lord seems to turn the back and not the face, in either case and in every case, he is commanded by faith to lay hold of the girdle of Christ’s loins, encircled as it is with righteousness and faithfulness (Isaiah51:8; Psalm 89:27-35).

 

(Isaiah 51:6-8) “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. (7) Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. (8) For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation.”

 

(Psalm 89:27-35) “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. (28) My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. (29) His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. (30) If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; (31) If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; (32) Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. (33) Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. (34) My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (35) Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.

 

God’s Grace

 

4th — The prophet Isaiah describes the effects and results of THE AMAZING GRACE OF GOD upon the hearts and lives of men (vv. 6-9).

 

(Isaiah 11:6-9) “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (7) And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (8) And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. (9) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

 

Here Isaiah describes the peace and tranquility of Christ’s kingdom in this world. Grace produces peace. Grace makes sinners peaceable.

 

Robert Hawker wrote…

 

“Spiritual blessings are (here) promised, under figurative expressions. Such are the blessed effects introduced into the circumstances of mankind by the gospel of Christ, that, like the beasts of the forest tamed and brought under order, the passions of our fallen nature shall be regulated and restrained. A little child shall lead them. That is, the Lord’s people shall be so much under the blessed influence of grace in the heart, that they will need nothing of human learning to guide them.”

 

Where the Prince of Peace reigns there is peace. The church and kingdom of God is a peaceable kingdom. Christ who is our peace has slain the enmity that once existed between his people in this world and he makes us one (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:10-11). The wolf no longer threatens the lamb; and the lamb no longer fears the wolf. — “Behold,” said the saints of Saul, “he prayeth!

 

Those who are in the Ark Christ Jesus, like the creatures that went into the ark with Noah, live together in peace.

Š      They lie down together in the church of God.

Š      A little child (pastor) leads them.

Š      They feed upon the green pastures of gospel truth.

Š      The sucking child, the newborn babe of God’s kingdom shall not be harmed by the old serpent.

Š      The weaned child, weaned from his own righteousness, shall not be harmed by the den of iniquity — self-righteous religion.

 

And God’s church in this world is as safe and secure as it is pleasant and peaceable. — “They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain” (Romans 8:28-39).

 

(Romans 8:28-39) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

What a change grace has made in our lives!

Š      We were and are, all of us by nature, wild and dangerous brute beasts.

Š      Grace has changed us into peaceful, helpful, pleasant children of God.

 

The means of this change is the knowledge of the Lord (v. 9).

 

(Isaiah 11:9) “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

 

Š      Gomer

Š      Onesimus

Š      The Gadarene

Š      The Prodigal

 

Gospel’s Advance

 

5th — Isaiah assures us of THE ADVANCE OF THE GOSPEL in this world. —   For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (v. 9). We do not yet see this prophecy fulfilled. There is today a great famine in the world, a famine for the Word of God (Amos 8:12). Today gospel preachers and gospel churches are few and far between. But, if I read the Bible right, it shall not always be so. In the latter day the glory of God shall be seen everywhere. Gospel churches shall be found in every place. Gospel preachers shall be heard in every street. And Christ shall be known and worshipped in every corner. — “The knowledge of the Lord” shall one day cover the earth (Revelation 11:1-11).

 

(Revelation 11:1-11) “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. (2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. (4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (5) And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (6) These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. (7) And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (9) And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. (10) And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. (11) And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”

 

Unless I am greatly mistaken, we are experiencing what God by his prophet Isaiah spoke nearly 3000 years ago. In the midst of the greatest religious apostacy the world has ever known, in this age of antichrist, will-worship, works religion, the knowledge of the Lord is spreading through all the earth!

Š      The Internet — Freegrace Radio — In just the last month (January 2018) we had 11,355 messages downloaded in all 50 states and in 73 countries! —To Date a Total of 1,456,112

Š      Churches Springing Up

Š      Missionary Works — Mexico — New Guinea — The Philippines

Š      Babylon shall fall! — Babylon is falling!

Š      Christ shall be triumphant everywhere by his two witnesses — His Church and His Gospel!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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