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Sermon #81 — Isaiah Series
Title: A God Wrought Salvation
Text: Isaiah 26:12
Subject: Salvation the Work of God Alone
Date: Sunday Evening — April 14, 2019
Readings: Mark Medley and Mark Henson
I want to talk to you about A God Wrought Salvation. My text is Isaiah 26:12.
(Isaiah 26:12) “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”
What a humbling confession this is! It ascribes everything to God in the matter of salvation, and nothing to man. Self-sufficiency and self-satisfaction are the tendencies of proud human hearts the world over. We all like to think, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17). But we are not! Since God has wrought all our works in us, we have nothing to boast of (1 Corinthians 4:7).
(1 Corinthians 4:7) “For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”
This text proclaims two things emphatically:
1. Salvation is something that is wrought in a person.
“Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” — Do you see that? Salvation is internal, not external. All human religion is external. God’s salvation is internal. Our Lord says to self-righteous Pharisees of every generation, — “Ye make clean the outside of the cup and platter, but within are full of extortion and excess” (Matthew 23:25). All carnal, human religion is on the surface.
Š God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
(1 Samuel 16:7) “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Š God deals with the heart (Hebrews 10:16).
(Hebrews 10:16) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.”
Š God hears the heart (Romans 10:9-10).
(Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
2. This salvation that is wrought in the heart is God’s work alone.
“Thou also hast wrought all our works in us!” — I contend that every true believer gladly makes this acknowledgement of grace. — “Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” Every person taught of God is taught what Jonah was taught down in whale-belly seminary — “Salvation is of the Lord!” This is the universal testimony of Holy Scripture (Psalm 37:39; Galatians 1:15-16; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; Hebrews 9:12; 13:20-21; Romans 9:16; 1 Corinthians 15:10).
(Psalms 37:39) “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.”
(Romans 9:16) “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”
(1 Corinthians 15:10) “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
(Galatians 1:15-16) “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, (16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
(Philippians 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
(Philippians 2:13) “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
(Hebrews 9:12) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
(Hebrews 13:20-21) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (21) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
It does not matter how you study it or from what angle you look at it, salvation in the Bible is described as the work of God alone. Whenever salvation is discussed in Bible terms, it is acknowledged that “Salvation is of the Lord!”
Š It was planned and purposed by God the Father for his elect before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-6).
(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Š Salvation was earned and purchased for all the chosen by the holy life and vicarious atonement of God the Son (Ephesians 1:7-12).
(Ephesians 1:7-12) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
Š And this salvation is revealed to, performed in, and preserved in every chosen, redeemed sinner by God the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 1:13-14).
(Ephesians 1:13-14) “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
In its planning, in its purchase, in its performance, in its preservation, and in its perfection, “Salvation is of the Lord!”
Proposition: This is the doctrine of our text and the message of the entire Bible. – “Salvation is of the Lord!” Ours is a God wrought salvation! — “For thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”
Divisions: Let me raise four questions about salvation and show you the answers from the Scriptures.
1. Who are the people in whom God works?
2. What is it that God works in his people?
3. Why has the Lord God wrought all our works in us?
4. Is my salvation a God wrought salvation?
1st — Who are these people in whom God works? Let me answer that question three ways.
1. God works his grace in his elect, his chosen, the people ordained to eternal life before the world began (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Grace always travels a predestined road to a foreordained house, and gives life to a chosen sinner in the house. Grace never goes where election and predestination do not send it.
2. God’s saving grace comes to every sinner for whom there is a High Priest and a Sacrifice in heaven. Grace comes to all those, but only to those for whom the Lord Jesus Christ…
Š Was Made Sin and a Sin-offering (Isaiah 53:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
(Isaiah 53:10-11) “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him
Š Obtained Eternal Redemption (Galatians 3:13-14; Hebrews 9:12).
(Galatians 3:13-14) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
(Hebrews 9:12) “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Š Makes Intercession (John 17:9, 20).
(John 17:9) “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”
(John 17:20) “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”
3. Grace always comes to the most unlikely, unexpected, and undeserving of sinners (1 Samuel 16:12; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
Those who have no claim whatever on God, who are utterly destitute of merit, who are completely unworthy of his favor and altogether deserve his wrath, miserable failures, corrupt sinners, depraved rebels, vile, wretched, undone condemned, worthless worms, — These are the people to whom God is gracious! Where sin abounds, there grace does much more abound!
(1 Corinthians 1:26-29) “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.”
2nd — What are the works that God works in his elect? — Our text declares, “Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” Do you see that? Whatever works there are in us that are related in any way to God’s salvation are works that the Lord God has wrought in us.
Š In this Book nothing is ascribed to man but sin.
Š Everything relating to salvation is wrought of God. Let’s look into the Book of God and see if this is not so.
1. Regeneration, the New Birth is wrought in every chosen, redeemed sinner by the sovereign power and irresistible grace of God the Holy Ghost (John 1:11-13; 3:8; 6:63; James 1:18).
(John 1:11-13) “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
(John 3:8) “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
(John 6:63) “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
(James 1:18) “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
2. Repentance is the gift of God, wrought in his people by his free grace in Christ (Acts 5:31; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:25).
(Acts 5:31) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
(Acts 11:18) “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
(Romans 2:4) “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
(2 Timothy 2:25) “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”
Repentance is an abhorrence of self and sin, caused by a saving view of Christ (Zechariah 12:10). It is a change, a change of mind, a change of masters, a charge of motives. — Whitefield said, “No man has truly repented until he has repented of his sins — his sin — and his righteousnesses.”
3. Conviction, that conviction which precedes and always causes repentance, is the work of God the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-14).
(John 16:7-14) 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. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Š “Of Sin” — My Sin!
Š “Of Righteousness” — God’s Requirement of It — My Lack of It — and Christ’s Fulfillment of It!
Š “Of Judgment” — God’s complete judgment of sin in Christ — The satisfaction of justice in his death.
NOTE: Because conviction is a never ending, continual increasing thing, repentance is a never ending, continual increasing thing.
4. Faith in Christ is the gift of and operation of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:12).
(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.”
(Colossians 2:12) “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.”
Faith is something we must exercise. And the faith we exercise is our faith. But it is altogether the gift and work of God! It is something God works in us. — “To you it is given in the behalf of Christ to believe on him” (Philippians 1:29).
5. Spiritual Understanding is the gift of God the Holy Spirit, granted to every true believer (1 John 2:20-27; 5:20).
(1 John 2:20-27) “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
(1 John 5:20) “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
Spiritual understanding has nothing to do with I.Q. or mental aptitude, or education. All who are taught of God are well taught and, having the mind of Christ, discern all things (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
(1 Corinthians 2:9-14) “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
6. Good Works, which we must carefully maintain, are the result not of creature effort and diligent reformation, but of God’s purpose and gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14).
7. All Works of Service to Christ and his church are the results of God’s purpose and grace and the gifts of his Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Illustration: Paul, Apollos, and Peter
Š Gifts for the ministry come from God.
Š Success in the ministry comes from God.
Š Gifts of service (ministry) come from God.
8. Spiritual Fruit is the produce of God the Holy Ghost (Galatians 5:22-23).
9. Perseverance in Faith is the result of our being preserved by God’s grace (Malachi 3:6; 1 Peter 1:5).
10. Even Prayer is found in the heart only when God puts it there (2 Samuel 7:27).
Whatever aspect of salvation you look at, if you consider it as it is revealed in this Book, you must confess, “Salvation is of the Lord!” — Completely! In its entirety (1 Corinthians 1:30). — “Of Him” (There is the Source of all Grace. — “Are ye in Christ Jesus.” (Christ is the Place of all Grace.) — “Who of God is made unto us…” (This is the Method of Grace.)
Š “And Redemption!”
3rd — Why has the Lord God wrought all our works in us? — We should never ask why God does anything, or why he does anything the way he does, unless he has given us the answer. Regarding this question, God has given us three clear answers, as to why he has wrought all our works in us.
1. Had God not wrought all our works in us we never could have been saved.
Š We were dead. – We could never have given ourselves life.
Š We are sinners. — We could never make ourselves holy.
Š We were lost. — We would never have come to Christ. — It is true, all men are responsible to believe. — But no man can believe God. — It is true, the gospel calls and commands all the obedience of faith. — But no man can obey the call.
Š Only grace makes sinners willing to trust Christ (Psalms 110:3; 65:4).
(Psalms 65:4) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”
(Psalms 110:1-3) “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (2) The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (3) Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.”
Š We are depraved. — We could never make ourselves righteous!
2. The Lord God has wrought all our works in us so that our salvation might be effectually and securely accomplished. — Were anything left up to us, we would perish. But this is God’s work. It is forever. — “My salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished” (Isaiah 51:6; Ecclesiastes 3:14).
3. The Lord God wrought all our works in us so that he alone might have all the praise, honor, a glory for all our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 1:3-14).
(1 Corinthians 1:29-31) “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.”
4th — I have been talking to you about A God Wrought Salvation. Now I have one more question to consider. I hope you will consider it with me. — Is my salvation a God wrought salvation? — Is my salvation something I have done, something I have been talked into, something produced by the flesh; or is it a God wrought salvation? This much I know — If you have a God wrought salvation, if I have a God wrought salvation…
1. A God wrought salvation puts a new nature in a person – (“Christ in you” 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4).
Illustration: The Warfare (Romans 7:14-24).
2. A God wrought salvation produces an increasing abhorrence of self (Job 42:6).
Illustration: The Publican (Luke 18).
3. A God wrought salvation renounces all creature confidence and looks to Christ alone (Isaiah 45:22; 1 Corinthians 1:30).
Š Not My Righteousness – His!
Š Not My Suffering – His!
Š Not My Experiences – His!
Š Not My Works – His!
Š Not My Baptism – His!
4. A God wrought salvation causes a person to truly love the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 16:22).
Š To Love Christ is to seek perfect, perpetual communion with him! — Perpetual Commitment to Him! — Perpetual Conformity to Him!
Š To Love Christ is to love his people!
(2 Corinthians 13:5) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
(Acts 16:30-31) “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
Illustration: Happy Jack