The Perfection of the Servant's Salvation

December 26, 2009 Isaiah 61:

 

Introduction:

-a couple weeks ago I was taking the opportunity to head down to Indy early in the morning to visit and pray with my aunt prior to her surgery

      -I got about ten miles south on I-65 when traffic started slowing down to about 20 miles an hour

      -realize, it was one of those odd “first bad weather days” where it did not look really bad, but as you drove you realized the interstate was a sheet of ice

            -does not happen a great deal, but really messes things up

                  -there was a candy apple red 2010 mustang off the road, in the ditch and dented…

-after a couple minutes traffic came to a total halt

      -that is not the way the interstate is supposed to work

            -and, after a few minutes I, like everyone else, began to look around

            -thoughts go through your mind….and we have a choice to make with those thoughts

            Godly or ungodly

            -so, you may think

                  -ok, I have to get to my destination

                  -some ladies think it affords more time for necessary beautification

                  -others figure it’s time to catch up on news

                  -some may believe that increased anger and worry will speed up the process

                  -others begin to make a strategic plan for getting out of the situation

      -in the midst of all this I happened to have a little device in my pocket

            -yes, I must admit, despite not being pleased about not being able to see my aunt that      

            Morning, this little phone device radically altered the way I viewed the difficult situation

                  -so, after taking care of some e-mail on this little device I went on to Facebook

                        -I decided to update my status…

                        -Now, Facebook is a social network media  

 

-Part of the challenge of FB for many, and I am in this boat, is…

            -why does anyone care about my status

                  -this is kind of vain….

-I am going to write on my status and all my “however many friends” are going to...

                              -what, just run every morning and check to see what Andy is doing…Right….

 

                              -kind of like the “posting wall” at work or on a college campus

                                    -you have something to say or promote…post it to get word out

                                    -you want to catch up on how others are doing…go read the wall

 

            -once you get passed all that, you realize that       -on FB      

                              -you catch up with friends quickly, inform them how you are doing,

                                    Share video, other helpful information,

-like anything else

                                    -it can be used to promo godliness and ungodliness

                              -it is simply a tool….how you use it is up to you

                 

           

So, as I am stuck in traffic at 7:11 a.m. I put on my status line “stuck on I-65 in traffic     

                        -I made some phone calls, did some other work type things

                  At 7:48 a.m. I updated my status again “Still stuck on I-65”

Now, based on the time of year, based on the reality of Scripture, and the topic at hand I have two key questions for you this morning to get us started:

 

  1. Do you know what it’s like to be or feel stuck spiritually?
  2. What is your status? 

 

-with that in mind I want you to think with me through a quick review of the series we have been engaged in since the end of Nov.

 

- Our pastoral staff is presenting a series: Finding Hope in God’s Servant at Christmas Time

- Each week we have been looking at one of the four Servant Songs in the book of Isaiah, beautiful passages that predicted various aspects of the Person and work of Jesus Christ (the Messiah)

- The subtitle for this series is – Portraits of Perfection…(i.e. an ideal … a PERFECT example of God’s expectations in order for God to be glorified among His creation!)

-Let’s take a few minutes and review what we have learned:

      -and if you are just joining us this morning, this review will bring you up to speed

1.The book of Isaiah warns of coming judgment against Judah (southern kingdom) and comforts His people by communicating God’s future plan.  Up until 931 B.C. the northern and southern kingdoms were one – the Nation of Israel. Right after Solomon’s death, under the reign of Rehoboam, it split into two kingdoms - northern and southern (I Kings 12).

      -about 200 years after the division we have Isaiah’s words      

2.  Isaiah was called to primarily speak to the southern tribes. He was a prophet of God who ministered during the reigns of 4 different kings in Judah- Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah…this was between the years 739-686

-Isaiah was written after the fall of Israel (northern kingdom) to the Assyrians

- and even though they witnessed their brothers and sisters to the north being taken captive by Assyria because of their disobedience, for the most part they continued in their rebellion and idolatry and eventually met the same fate when God allowed them to be conquered by the nation of Babylon…

.

3. Israel, as God’s chosen people, had failed to fulfill their responsibility and be a light for God to the pagan nations.

 

  • They failed to live out Exod 19:6 and be a nation of priests.  So the servant songs provide a portrait of one who was to come, the ideal “Israel” who would accomplish the mission of taking God’s salvation to every tribe and tongue. 

- What we are studying this Christmas occurred 100 years or so earlier than what Jeremiah wrote…

  • Jeremiah 13:11'For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,' declares the LORD, 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.'

> so the sin and idolatry was present…it just had not yet been completely judged…

- In reality, the very people to whom they were supposed to be ministering (who worshipped false gods) and telling them about Yahweh (the covenant keeping God of Israel) …

  • Israel’s status at the time – Stuck worshipping false gods! 

-just like their gods, they were walked on, broken, dissatisfied, hurt, deaf, blind

-  it was in that setting that God the Holy Spirit inspired Isaiah to write 4 Servant Songs which provide a portrait of One who was to come (referring to Jesus the “Perfect Servant”, the ideal “Israel”)

4. The Perfect Servant will “bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” 

-as we have studied….Here is the Picture of the Perfect Servant Songs:

 

 (#1) Isaiah 42:1-13 The Perfection of the Servant’s Purpose - 3 appropriate responses to the promised Messiah.

(#2) Isaiah 49:1-13 The Perfection of the Servant’s Mission - 5 truths that help us (1) find hope in the perfect mission of our perfect Savior, and (2) understand our role in his mission today.

(#3) Isaiah 50:4-11 The Perfection of the Servant’s Trust - 4 Lessons we can learn

(#4) Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – The Perfection of the Servant’s Suffering – (Christmas Eve)

 

To summarize this series…Now that you know our Perfect Servant’s purpose and mission, and you know you can trust Him and what He has suffered for you

 

-I want to talk to you today -The Perfection of the Servant’s Salvation

      -although Is. 61 is not noted as one of the Servant’s Songs

-you will notice, it functions in much the same way

 

-One other question for you…If God was on FB would you be interested in His status?

      -I want to suggest to you, God does has provided us with His very own FB account

            -I want to invite you to join me this morning in looking at His status in Isaiah

 

-please turn in your Bibles to Isaiah 61

-if you do not have a Bible, please reach under your seat and turn to page 530 (about the middle of your Bible).

While you are turning there, I want to tell you up front the main idea of the message today:

Main idea:  The perfect Servant brings the possibility of a significant status change

 

Read Is.61

 

Main idea:  The perfect Servant brings the possibility of a significant status change

 

-this morning I want to give you

 

4 Reasons why the Status Change offered by the Perfect Servant must be heeded:

 

I.Because of the Perfect Servant’s credentials

 

  1. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me

 

  • “Spirit” – Identifies this Person as the “Servant” previously mentioned in Isaiah (42:1) – God’s Holy Spirit is upon the Servant

-In Isaiah the Spirit is especially associated with the power to bring justice and righteousness on the earth, often through the spoken word (11:2, 32:15-16; 42:)

            -this Perfect Servant, when He comes, will bring justice and righteousness to the sinner.

- and this is the Spirit of…

 

  • Adonai/Yahweh – Master, Pre-existent One

      -the Spirit of the Ruler of all and Eternal Creator is upon Him

      -we see in the N.T. the connection and arrival of this servant in

 

Mark 1:10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

 

  1. “Anointed” by the LORD (Yahweh) 

 

-like that anointing of the kings mentioned in I Sam.10:1, 6-7

-this servant has a mission….a purpose...

 

      C.The Perfect Servant speaks in the N.T. (with these words) Luke4:14-22 (quoting Is.61:1-3)

     

            Turn to page 47 in the back of your Bible

        14  And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district. 15  And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16  And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

     18    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.

He has sent Me to proclaimrelease to the captives,

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To setfree those who are oppressed,

     19    To proclaim the favorableyear of the Lord.”

     20  And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”  22     And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

 

      -can you imagine that

      -This is better than Michael Jordan saying let me show you how to shoot the ball

      -better than Martha Stewart saying to you ladies…I will show you how to make that pie

      -better than showing you how to operate a microsoft program

            Better than _____showing up at your door to say you are going on vacation

                  We are going to build you a new home…Extreme Home Makeover

            - it is wonderful when something is real, genuine, authentic, and long-lasting…

- and it’s frustrating when things easily break, or fail, or disappoint…

-Jesus says to those around Him

                  -I am the one Isaiah is talking about…..I have a message for you.

 

      -which brings us to the 2nd reason why the Status Change offered by the Perfect Servant must be heeded:

 

II. Because of its content

      -this “status” is good news

-the text points out clearly

      The Perfect Servant who brings the good news is the good news. 

-He is not just delivering the package,

-He is not just telling you about the package

-He is the package

            -like the soldier at the door that says “I am home”

            -Like the woman who says “yes” to the man who loves her and proposes

            -like the baby that proclaims his or her arrival with a loud gasping cry

            -the one giving the good news is the good news

 

Not all news is good news, let’s face it….even though it is promoted as good news

      -click here for your free trial of “teeth whitening, car polish, night light, whatever”  right…

      -the Perfect Servant shouts – Proclaims….I have good news (and I am the good news)

      -I will come…

 

  1. “To bind up the brokenhearted”

-have you been there

-the weight of life, disappointment, hard-ship, shock, trial…

-trying to handle life on your own has gotten you nowhere

Psalm 34:18-19 says The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.

 

Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

              But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

 

Get this – the Perfect Servant was CRUSHED for you….to heal you.

      -for any who are broken hearted, ever….or now….

 

-money, power, success, and materialism only masks pain for so long…

- eventually the whip of their cruel lordship over your life reveals the captivity of your soul

-and, to those who are captives due to another’s sin and wickedness, or their own, the Perfect Servant came

  1. “To proclaim liberty to the captives”

-those who Isaiah was speaking to were going to experience captivity (due to their sin)

-God was letting them know ahead of time…the Perfect Servant offers liberty

-What about the person here today, maybe you, who is bound up by your additions

            -you can’t seem to break free…you have tried every “step program there is”

            -you have can’t seem to break free

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

 

  1. Freedom to prisoners”

-those in prison have clearly done wrong and are paying the price

-the Perfect Servant wants to change this person’s status as well

-though guilty, the message is one of paying the penalty for your guilty sentence

 

Colossians 2:13-14  When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 

-The Perfect Servant changes the status of the prisoner, greater than the President of the US granting a Presidential Pardon,

            - The prisoner of eternal punishment bound by sin, is set free to live and serve…

 

  1.  “To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD”

Warren Wiersbe points out-The background of this passage is the “Year of Jubilee” described in Leviticus 25:7ff. Every seven years, the Jews were to observe a “sabbatical year” and allow the land to rest.  After seven sabbaticals, or forty-nine years , they were to celebrate the fiftieth year  as the “Year of Jubilee”.  During that year, all debts were canceled, all land was returned to the original owners, the slaves were freed, and everybody was given a fresh new beginning.  This was the Lord’s way of balancing the economy and keeping the rich from exploiting the poor. (Be Comcorted.  An Old Testament Study.  Wheaton, Ill.; Victor Books)

 

-Although this was a direct prophecy for Judah, the provision of the Perfect Servant’s salvation falls upon the believer with the same level of excitement…

-like the year of Jubilee, the believer experiences the freedom…

-God’s wonderful favor is available to you today:

-like a gift offered at Christmas, free…

Romans 5:15  But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

           

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but  is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

  1. “To comfort those who mourn”

-in context, those who mourn for their sin and for the ruined state of Zion will hear the words of comfort from the Messiah; but more than that, they will be comforted by Him. (chapter 12)

-and the mourner is described here as

            -one commentator explains

 

“The picture of the mourner, with ashes on the head, wrapped in sackcloth, with a spirit crushed by despair, is replaced by the picture of a party goer with a beautiful headdress, smelling of costly oil, and wearing a garment of praise.” 

     

F.To those in the New Testament

 

Luke 1:19

 

 

The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.

Luke 2:10

 

 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

Acts 8:12

 

 

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.

Acts 13:32

 

 

“And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,

Rom 10:15

 

 

How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

 

               

-Let’s talk about that for a minute

      -this time of the year is a great time to evaluate

      -most take time to ponder how the last year went and think through how to approach the next year

-I realize some choose not to write their goals down, why???

      - because then you will be accountable for them

            -exactly why you should write them down

-Others may say, I has been a rough year….I need to take a year off

      -I am hurting

      -I want answers

      -I am tired

      -When is Jesus returning???? 

 

Let’s remind ourselves of some truths:

  • Is.40:29-31 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

 

  • Ps. 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.

 

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13 Do not grow weary in doing good.

 

Sit down sometime in the next couple days, when it’s quiet and you are at your optimal brain power time…and

      -write down what you believe God would have you accomplish for this next year

            -these goals/initiatives need to be clear, measurable, and obtainable

            -I challenge you to have something on there about how you plan to improve your walk with Christ

-Read and study God’s word daily by following a read-thru the Bible plan (have them in the lobby) and taking some notes each time.

-Student – I plan to spend two hours studying for every hour in class to improve my studies

-Spend two hours or more every week intentionally serving God through my local church

-Take Intro. to Faith and get baptized

-for some, it may be…Faithfully attend and participate in an Adult Bible Fellowship, PBF, Student Minsitry

 

            -For some you may be saying, I’m ok, I don’t need Jesus….God’s people….or serving

            -YOU ARE DEAD WRONG….I MEAN “DEAD WRONG”

 

Let’s return to Is.61 to see what I am talking about

 

III. Because of its needy recipients

 

-on Facebook when you go in to set up an account you fill out your “Status”

            -

-married or single, dating, want to be dating, don’t want to be dating, whatever

            -birthdate (doesn’t change, sorry)

            -school you went to/go to

      -there seems to be an issue now that some couples are updating their status during their wedding

            -can you believe this, there have even been couples that update their status to “married” before the “you may kiss your bride” 

            -forget that…get on with the kiss

 

-God is talking about something far more important through the prophet Isaiah

      -and through me this morning

 

-you may try to say…I am fine.  I can do life on my own

      -really??? And how is that going…

-The prophet Isaiah gives two categories for your status

      -You are poor and in need of the “good news”, or

      -you have the “good news” and….

-let’s talk for a minute about the

 

A. Description of the poor

- Read vv.2-3  Who are the poor?

 

“Those who are so broken by life that they have no more heart to try; those who are so bound up in their various addictions that liberty and release are a cruel mirage; Those who think they will never again experience the favor of the Lord; those who think that their lives hold nothing more than ashes, sackcloth, and the fainting heaviness of despair.  These are they to whom the Servant/Messiah shouts “Good News!” (John Oswalt, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, pg.565)

 

         Rom.3:10  as it is written, “There is nonerighteous, not even one; 11 There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12  All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”

 

Rom.3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God

 

Col.2:13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,  He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms. 2destitute of wealth, influence, position, honour. 2alowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches. 2bhelpless, powerless to accomplish an end. 2cpoor, needy. 3lacking in anything.

 

-Without the Perfect servant, that is the world we live in spiritually

-Some of you may say, I have received the Good News, but I can relate to the “poor”

      -It is time to remember and refocus on the….

 

B. Hope for the poor

       

  • Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?  And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?  And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 

 

-something to consider….

-the content of this message is all about hope for the person who sees no hope

-provision for the one who believes there is no provision

 

-and the question for many is…ok, so if I go after this good news, then what?

            -that’s a good question…

-that brings us right to the 4th reason for heeding the salvation offered by the Perfect Servant…

     

IV. Because of its product

      -what does this “good news” offer to the one who listens and receives it?

      -that’s a part of the good news

            -not like a fake coupon for a free TV

            -not like the piece of fitness equipment that offers a Chuck Norris muscle structure or a Kristi Brinkley figure….and after two weeks people give up…

      - this is real…this is good news….

      And it produces…

 

  1. Oaks of righteousness (Psalm 1)

-what does this mean…here are a few quick comments from Psalm one about the mighty oaks of righteousness

 

  1. Knows who should and should not be his company
  2. God and His word is his delight
  3. Endures hardship
  4. Produces fruit

 

 

  1. Glorifying God    

 

I Corinthians 10:31 “…Do all to the glory of God”

 

-the Bible says we all need this status/life change!

      - we are filthy rotten sinners who need  Jesus Christ, the Perfect Servant, to wash us whiter than snow….take our sins away. 

-this is not a new years resolution either…#4 on the list  - “Check Jesus out”

We are talking about permanent status update that changes everything

 

  • From Dead to alive – Romans 6:11-13
  • From enemy of God to friend of God – James 4:4; 2:23
  • From poor and needy to rich and full of grace – Eph.2:4-5
  • From living for self to living for Jesus Christ, your Lord/ruler and Savior – Matthew 16:24; Phil.2:13-15

 

-hopefully, you have one really nagging, burning question right now if you don’t know have a personal relationship with the God of all Creation and His Son, the Perfect Servant

 

-in the terminology of modern day language  “How do I update my status to say ‘I have the good news’”? 

-or,   

 

Key Question:  How do I claim this Good News?

 

  • Acts 26:20  says…”Repent, and turn to God”…
  • Acts 16:31  says believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved
  • Romans 10:9-10 Confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved

 

 

-for those of you who have been a believer for a while….or a long time

 

C.J. Mahaney puts it this way “Never be content with your current grasp of the gospel.  The gospel is life-permeating, world-altering, universe-changing truth.  It has more facets than a diamond.  Its depth man will never exhaust”.  Cross Centered Life, 67.

 

-it never gets dusty, fades, or fails…

 

Conclusion: 

 

-You know, the reality of me being stuck on I-65 two weeks ago was because of terrible auto accident involving several cars and a semi-trailer.

      -which resulted in the death of a 21 year old man

-We could say it this way….as a result of a death my status changed for one hour of my life

      -I was stuck in traffic

 

Question:  What is your status this morning?

-some of you here today are not just stuck, the scriptures say you are dead spiritually

[salvation]

-Some of you have placed your faith in the Christ for your salvation, but you are stuck spiritually….

      -like being in a traffic jam

 

If God made our forehead a “status report line” like on Facebook, what would be on your forehead status today?

      -“spiritually dead”

      -“searching”

      -“stuck”

      -“Free and Cruisin”

      -“Rejoicing and responsible”

 

Jesus Christ the Messiah, The Perfect Servant, stands ready to change your status

      -he died on purpose, not on accident

      -he died willingly for your sin and mine

      -He died to lead you, not have you think and feel like you are just stuck behind Him     

-He died to change your life forever, not just for two hours

-He did not die to have you be stuck, but to set you free. 

 

I have given you 4 Reasons why the Status Change offered by the Perfect Servant must be heeded:

  1. Because of the Perfect Servant’s credentials
  2. Because of its content
  3. Because of its needy recipients
  4. Because of its product

 

 

Your Invited:

 

-I want to invite you today….TODAY….TODAY…

      -Talk to God…Pray to Him and let Him, through the death, burial and resurrection of the Perfect Servant, Jesus Christ the Messiah, change your status today.

 

      -Ask Him to forgive you of your sin

      -Decide today to put your faith in Jesus Christ

      -Commit to living for Him

 

      Let Him change your status…

            -From following your idols to living for Him

-From Trusting in self to trusting Him for your salvation

            - From being a son of disobedience to being a Child of God

            -From being an enemy of God to being a friend of God

 

For those on FB if there is a significant change in your status….you post it.

 

For those who become believers in Jesus Christ…It’s a permanent status change

And on the status of your heart…and countenance of your face

 

The Perfect Servant, the Messiah said in John 10:10 I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

 

I challenge you and invite you today to end the year by embracing the Good News of the Perfect Servant that will give you abundant life now and forever.

 

Let God change your status - Today.