Sermon #1667                                                                     Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:                     No Assistance Needed

      Text:                     Isaiah 63:1-6

      Subject:   Salvation by Christ Alone

      Date:                    Sunday Morning — January 14, 2007

      Tape #     Z-18a

      Reading: Isaiah 63



Two weeks ago, I received a letter from Bro. John Okpisz. John and his wife, Ellie, live in Fairfield, CA. They have been friends to this congregation for many years. Ellie now has Alzheimer’s; but I still hear from John every month. His letters are always an encouragement and close with reference to a portion of Scripture. After signing his name to his last letter, he referred me to Isaiah 63:3 and said, “I sure would like to hear you preach on that text.” I immediately turned to Isaiah and read the text, then the chapter, then those surrounding it. I’ve been studying it and rejoicing in it for the past two weeks; and I believe the Lord has given me a message for you. Let’s begin by reading Isaiah 63:3. Then we will look at the first six verses, focusing on verse 3.


(Isaiah 63:3) “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”


The title of my message is No Assistance Needed. This blessed, delightful chapter speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ and his great salvation.


Proposition: The thing that immediately jumps out from this third verse is the fact that the whole work of redemption and grace is his work alone. — “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me.”


In God’s great work of grace, in the salvation of our souls, no assistance is wanted, needed, required, or allowed. It is altogether the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, “traveling in the greatness of his strength, mighty to save.”


A Mighty Savior


That is exactly what Isaiah tells us in the opening verse of this chapter. — Our Lord Jesus Christ is “mighty to save.”


(Isaiah 63:1) “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”


If we read the last two verses of chapter 62, it is obvious that the Holy Spirit is here giving us a prophetic description of our Lord Jesus Christ and our salvation in and by him seven hundred years before his incarnation.


(Isaiah 62:11-12) “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. (12) And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”


In those two verses the prophet of God declared Christ’s coming to redeem and save his people. Now, in chapter 63, the prophet describes how he would accomplish that salvation.


He seems to have in his minds eye a vision of the incarnate God, our Savior, as he was performing the work. When he saw him covered with blood, as one coming up out of a great battle, yet full of great strength, he cried, as though he was astonished by what he saw, — “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?”


Edom and Bozrah are, I think, an allusion to the ancient enmity of Esau, the head of the house of Edom against Jacob, his brother. They are set before us here, and throughout the Scriptures, as the unrelenting enemies of God’s elect. Edom and Bozrah are all those who are born after the flesh, the persecutors of those who are born after the Spirit (Galatians 4:29).


“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?” — Do you see him, as he comes “in the greatness of his strength”? Behold, the Man of God’s right hand, coming up as the Captain of our Salvation, returning from war; but he appears not as one who is tired, weary with battle. He comes forth to his redeemed “in the greatness of his strength.” That is how Christ always comes to his people, “in the greatness of his strength” (See John 17:2).

·      In Salvation

·      In Providence

·      In Restoration

·      In Forgiveness

·      In Consolation


And he is “glorious in his apparel.” He comes in the apparel of a servant, but he is “glorious in his apparel.” His garments are the garments of one who is a lowly servant. Yet, he is glorious in his garments. They are “dyed garments,” drenched in blood, drenched in his own blood, yes; but here Isaiah sees him coming forth as one glorious in his apparel because his garments are drenched in the blood of his enemies and ours! Oh, what a gallant man our Lord Jesus Christ is!


(Revelation 6:2) “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”


·      He is Jehovah’s Servant!

·      He is a Servant who was sent to Deliver his people from the hands of their enemies.

·      He is glorious in his apparel, because he has delivered us, having conquered all our enemies.


We might ask, with the astonished prophet, “Who is this?” Immediately, the Man who is both Jehovah and Jehovah’s Servant speaks in great grace, — “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save!” It is as though he said, “Fear not, little flock, I come not to hurt but to heal. I come not to do battle, but from battle. I come to you as he who is mighty to save!”

·      He speaks in righteousness by the gospel (Romans 3:24-26).

·      He speaks in righteousness as our Advocate and Mediator in heaven (1 John 2:1-2).

·      He speaks in righteousness when he speaks peace to believing sinners.

·      He will speak in righteousness when he says, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”


Because he speaks in righteousness, our all-glorious Christ is “mighty to save.”


(Psalms 89:19) “Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.”


(Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”


An impotent savior is no Savior at all. Those who cry up a god who cannot save without the consent of man’s free-will or the assistance of man’s works, cry up a god who is nothing but the useless figment of man’s perverted imagination. An impotent god is no God at all. An impotent god is as useless as a bucket without a bottom. If your god wants to save everyone, if your Jesus died to redeem everyone, if your spirit tries to save everyone, and some people go to hell in spite of all that your god has done to keep them out, you need another God, a God who is God!


We worship, trust, and preach an almighty, all-sufficient, effectual Savior. Our Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. And he is “mighty to save!” He does not merely provide salvation, offer salvation, or try to get sinners to be saved. He saves his people from their sins by his almighty, irresistible grace (Matthew 1:21; 11:27; John 17:2; Romans 9:15-16). He cannot fail to do so (Isaiah 42:4).


·      Every sinner who was chosen of God in eternal election was given to Christ before the world began (John 6:39;17:2). When Christ stood as the Surety of his elect in the covenant of grace, it became his responsibility to save those whom the Father put in his hands (John 10:16).

·      In the fulness of time Christ died in the place of his elect (Isaiah 53:8; John 10:11,15). He died as our Substitute under the wrath of God, to redeem us from the curse of the law. And all for whom Christ died are infallibly redeemed (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:12).

·      The Son of God makes intercession in heaven for his elect, redeemed people (John 17:9, 20). He does not pray for the world, but for those who believe on him by virtue of his intercession.

·      All for whom Christ died and makes intercession, at God’s appointed time are called (John 10:3). By the effectual power of his Spirit, through the preaching of the gospel, Christ calls his people.

·      All who are called by the Spirit of Christ come to Christ (John 10:3-4,27). His people are made willing in the day of his power, and he causes them to come to him (Psalm 110:3; 65:4).

·      All who come to Christ by faith are saved by his grace (John 6:37). It is not possible for a sinner to come to Christ and not be saved.

·      And all who are saved by Christ are kept unto eternal glory by him (John 10:28). “They shall never perish,” because he is “mighty to save!”


What a blessed gift of grace it is to see the Lord Jesus “glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength,” and to hear him “speak in righteousness,” as our great God-man Mediator, as One who is “mighty to save!” When he is revealed to us, we will cry like the lepers in Luke 17:13, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”


Read on…


Bloody Garments


Encouraged by the gracious and condescending answer we have received to our first question (“Who is this?”), we venture a little further and ask, “O mighty Savior, why are your garments so bloody? How is it that one so great, so glorious wears such garments?” That is the question in verse 2.


(Isaiah 63:2) “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?”


His garments on the Mount of Transfiguration were white as snow. His robe of righteousness is fine linen, clean and white. The garment of his human nature was white and ruddy. But now his garments are covered with blood. They were dipped in blood and made red, by the scourges he received, the crown of thorns he wore, the piercing of his hands, feet, and sides, with the nails and spear, as he suffered and died for us, as our Substitute. That is exactly how John saw him in Revelation 19:13.


(Revelation 19:11-13) “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”


(Revelation 19:16) “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”


This will be the subject of everlasting wonder, praise, and joy among the redeemed in heaven. Oh, the wonder of his grace!

·      The Lord Jesus in emptied himself and took the form of a servant, that he might fill us and make us princes with God!

·      He who was rich became poor for our sakes, that we through his poverty might be made rich!

·      He abased himself, that he might exalt us!

·      He dipped his vesture in blood, that he might clothe us with the garments of salvation!

·      By his obedience and death as our Mediator, Surety and Substitute, he magnified the law and made it honorable.

·      In him righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

·      Mercy and truth meet together in him who wears garments dipped in blood.

·      And, thus, by mercy and truth iniquity is purged” (Proverbs 16:7).


Behold him, and rejoice! His garments are “like him that treadeth in the winefat.”


The Winepress


Now, look at verse 3, and hear the Lord Jesus Christ describe how he accomplished the redemption of our souls by the sacrifice of himself.


(Isaiah 63:3) “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”


The winepress which our Savior trod, was the winepress of the wrath of God. — “he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15), the very winepress into we would be thrown with all the damned forever, had he not trodden it alone for us (Revelation 14:19).


Blessed be his name forever, he trod the winepress alone! — Our Savior says, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me.”

·      He bore our sins and carried our sorrows alone!

·      He drank the cup of wrath alone!

·      He was forsaken alone!

·      He died alone!

  • He satisfied just alone!
  • He put away our sins alone!
  • He brought in everlasting righteousness alone!


“To the howling mob He yielded;

He did not for mercy cry.

The cross of shame He took alone.

And when He cried, “It’s finished,”

He gave Himself to die;

Salvation’s wondrous plan was done.


He could have called ten thousand angels

To destroy the world and set Him free.

He could have called ten thousand angels,

But He died alone, for you and me!”


A Trampled People


None could have been with him in his great work, “for,” he declares, “I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury.” — Perhaps, our Lord is here telling us that he would tread all his enemies and ours in his anger and fury. He certainly did that, “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). But I think the context, particularly verse 4, demands that we also understand our Savior to be declaring that he acted both as our Judge and Executioner and as our Redeemer and Savior, when he died at Calvary. — Jeremiah said, “The Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress” (Lamentations 1:15).


·      When Christ our Mediator died as our Substitute, we died in him and with him.

·      When he was trampled beneath the feet of divine justice, in all the fury of God’s holy wrath, we were trampled with him, until the Lord God declared, “Fury is not in me!”

·      From the moment that he pierced the serpent, “even leviathan that crooked serpent,” and slew the dragon, he began to sing unto his ransomed Bride, as “a vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. Fury is not in me…He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isaiah 27:1-6).

·      We were his enemies; but he took up our cause, slew the enmity, and made peace and reconciliation for us by the blood of his cross (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 1:21-22).


Defiled Raiment


Punishing our sins to the full satisfaction of justice, slaying his elect under the furious wrath of his holy justice, our blessed Savior sprinkled our blood upon his garments, and stained all his raiment. — “Their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” That word “stain” is a very strong, expressive word. A garment might be stained and yet be clean. But the word translated “stain” in this verse means “defile, pollute, and desecrate.” — Oh, how he stained himself, when he who knew no sin was made sin for us!


Illustration: The Dying Leper — “Help me! Somebody, please help me!”


The Day and Year


Read the fourth verse, and I am sure you will agree that I have accurately interpreted verse 3.


(Isaiah 63:4) “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”


The day of vengeance,” our blessed Savior says, “is in mine heart.” Notice, this is not a day of vengeance, but “the day of vengeance.” Those specific words are only used three times in the Word of God, here and in Proverbs 6:34 and in Isaiah 61:2. In all three places, the reference is to the redemption of our souls by Christ.


(Proverbs 6:34) “For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”


If you will compare Proverbs 6:34 with Zechariah 8:2, you will see the connection.


(Zechariah 8:2) “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.”


(Isaiah 61:1-3) “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; (3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”


There was only one day that can be called “the day of vengeance.” —— (Not the Flood!) —— (Not Sodom!) ——There is only one day when the vengeance of God was so fully poured out that the cup of his wrath was completely emptied. That was the day Immanuel died in our place! It is here called “the year of my redeemed.”


The year of my redeemed is come!” — From everlasting the precise time of our redemption was determined, and the appointed time could not tarry. Every event from the dawn of creation until “the day of vengeance” and the year of Christ’s redeemed, paved the road to Calvary and pointed sinners to that day for which God created this universe.


Israel was in Egypt four hundred and thirty years, and in Babylon seventy. But we read of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, “the self-same night” the Lord brought them out by blood and by power. And they did not remain in Babylon one hour past the hour of their promised deliverance. So when the fulness of time was come, the Son of God came for the redemption of his people, to save his people from their sins. When the day that was in his heart from everlasting, that day for which he came into the world, finally came, our Savior said…


(John 12:31-32) “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”


When that day came called “the day of vengeance,” and our Savior suffered all the horror of God’s furious vengeance, until God had emptied his wrath upon his darling Son, our Savior cried, “It is finished!” Then, he said, “The year of my redeemed is come!” Our jubilee began when he died. And, blessed be his name, the year of his redeemed, this blessed jubilee of grace, shall never end!


My Redeemed


I cannot fail to call your attention to those two, sweet, instructive words by which our Savior here speaks of his people. — “My Redeemed.”

·      He called us “My Redeemed,” in the covenant of grace and love from everlasting.

·      He calls us “My Redeemed,” when the time arrived called “the time of love,” and saved us by his grace.

·      He calls us “My Redeemed,” when he intercedes for us in heaven.

·      He calls us “My Redeemed,” when we fall.

·      He will call us “My Redeemed,” when he presents us faultless before the presence of his glory at the last day.


Our dear Savior calls us “My Redeemed,” claiming us as the gift of his Father and the purchase of his blood. O blessed jubilee! Are thou living as the redeemed of the Lord? If so, plead with our Redeemer for the holy renewed visits of his love to your soul, and for the year of jubilee to be given all his redeemed who are yet unawakened by his grace.


Single-hand Salvation


Now, I want you to read verses 3 and 5, and let me read two other passages to you.


(Isaiah 63:3) “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”


(Isaiah 63:5) “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”


(Isaiah 40:10-11) “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. (11) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”


(Isaiah 59:16) “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”


Hear what our Lord says of himself: “I have trodden the winepress alone. I looked, and there was none to help; therefore mine own arm brought salvation (Isaiah 63:3,5). — Hear what a prophet says of his Lord: “Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule; He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and he shall carry them in his bosom” (Isaiah 40:10-11). Notice that all partners and helpers are excluded from this work. Both the Lord Jesus and his prophet declare, with regard to redemption, grace and salvation, “No assistance needed!” The Lord Jesus, our God, who is “mighty to save,” performed the part of a shepherd and laid down his life for his sheep. And, by treading the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God alone, he made atonement without the aid of another. Now, he gathers and feeds the flock, and carries his lambs in his arms, and in his heart, home to himself. The Lord Jesus Christ does not help us to help ourselves. He does the whole work himself! — “Therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me” (Isa. 63:5).


Sustained by Fury


That which sustained our Savior in all the work of our Redemption was his own fury. — In the last line of verse 5, he says, “my fury, it upheld me.” In chapter 59, verse 16, the prophet speaking by the Holy Spirit says, “his righteousness, it sustained him.” In Isaiah 9:6 we read, “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” And in Psalm 69:9 our Savior says, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”


I repeat, that which sustained our Savior in all the work of our Redemption was his own fury. — “My fury, it upheld me.” His zeal for the salvation of his people, and his indignation against our enemies, excited his almighty power on our behalf, and carried him through the work of our redemption, deliverance and salvation.


(Isaiah 44:23) “Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.”


Be Warned


Everything in verses 1-5 is grace! Everything we have seen is cause for joy, singing, praise, and gratitude. But in verse 6 the subject is changed. Here our Savior warns all his enemies of his sure wrath, and assures all his people that he will, in the last day, destroy forever all his foes and ours.


(Isaiah 63:6) “And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”


·      This he will do, either in his saving mercy or in his furious wrath.


(Revelation 16:6) “For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”


“Ye sinners seek His grace,

Whose wrath ye cannot bear;

Fly to the shelter of his cross,

And find salvation there.”


(Isaiah 45:22) “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”


Be assured, my brother, be assured my sister, be assured every tried, tempest tossed, assaulted believer, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”






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