Isaiah 6 is God’s plan for His servants reaching each of their dying cultures for the past 2,700 years—including ours today.
We live in a nation that is consumed with its grasping materialism.
Has there ever been a society in the history of the world as materialistic as ours?
Has there ever been a society more given over to pleasure, madness, partying, drunkenness, drugs?
Has there ever been a society more defiant in its sinfulness, quicker to shake its fist in the face of God?
Has there ever been a society more morally perverted where marriage is bad and living together is noble, where a relationship between a man and a woman is only one of many options?
Telling the truth doesn’t matter, honesty doesn’t matter, virtue doesn’t matter; style matters.
Isaiah chapter 6, God’s plan for His servants, reaching each of their dying cultures they’ve lived in for the past 2,700 years, including ours today. This is John Barnett, inviting you to look with me at the book of Isaiah. We live in a nation that’s consumed with its grasping of materialism. Has there ever been a society in the history of the world as materialistic as ours? Has there ever been a society more given over to pleasure and madness and partying than ours? Has there ever been a time in history where the world is more defiant in its sinfulness? It seems like people shake their fist in the face of God every day. Has there ever been a society more morally perverted where marriage is bad and living together is noble? Where our relationship between a man and a woman is just one of many options. Telling the truth doesn’t matter. Honesty doesn’t matter. Virtue doesn’t matter. It’s just style that matters today. Amazing.
Welcome, we’ve come to our third class, Exploring the Book of Isaiah. Welcome to class three. As we explore the book of Isaiah, the purpose of this class is to look at how God reaches a dying culture. You can see, as you look down on the slide, the answer is consecration. That’s how God reaches a dying culture.
My question to you is, has there ever been a more arrogant society of people, who have more of their own answers for everything? Has there ever been a culture with more personal opinions that are given weight and spread and given merit? That’s really what this class is all about. We live in the social media driven world that people in the Bible would not even have comprehended possible, where someone can send forth their false opinion and it can go to 2 billion people. Have you thought about that? Have you thought about how we’ve come to a place where instantly around the world, everyone can be thinking the same thing?
Take for instance, the current pandemic we’re in. The COVID-19 virus time, the lockdown time, the time of wearing masks, and everything else we’re doing. Did you know, this is the first truly global event in history? Have you ever thought the implications of that? Now, we’ve had the Olympics, that a couple of billion people watched, and we’ve had the super bowl that a billion or a billion and a half watched, and the huge world cups. We’ve had world wars. We’ve had all kinds of global disasters. But we’ve never had everybody all the way around the world doing the same thing at the same time, ever in history. This whole idea of national isolation, of all of the medical choices that nations are making from the largest, from India to America, to Russia, to China is unprecedented. All of it is driven by the fact that we have a culture that is connected and they’re seeing, and hearing, and believing the same things. Much of what they’re believing is a lie, and that’s what the book of Isaiah teaches us. We’re living in a dying world, headed toward the antichrist ruling all humans, with them worshiping him as if he was Jesus Christ. That’s the ultimate dying culture.
Isaiah was living in a time 2,700 years ago. 2,700 years ago, as he is looking at a culture so much like ours. He was confronted with, how do you reach a culture that’s immersed in the occult, and false eastern religion, and materialism, and sensuality, and in lies that they’re believing. The answer is what we find in chapter 6. Let’s open Isaiah chapter 6, and you follow along in your Bible as I read Isaiah chapter 6. See how God wants to consecrate us to reach our culture. How does God prepare us to reach an unholy culture? Verse 1, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” Now pause for a second, did you know in the gospel of John chapter 12, verse 41, Jesus said that Isaiah saw His glory. It’s very possible that this is the moment Jesus was talking about. Now it could be this, Isaiah 53, that could be when Isaiah saw Jesus suffering on the cross. I personally think it’s more likely chapter 6. This is the descriptor of the throne upon which the Ancient of Days sat. Verse 2, “Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” Verse 3, “And one cried to the other and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole Earth is full of His glory!’ And the posts of the doors were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” Verse 5, “So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!’ “ That always happens the closer you get to the Lord, whether it’s Job seeing Him for the first time and repenting, whether it’s Peter when Jesus still the sea, or when He gave the great catch of fish he says, I’m an unclean man, or right here with Isaiah. Whenever we get close to the Lord, we instantly can see our sinfulness more clearly than ever. I hope that through this third class, as we come into the throne of God, that’s what chapter 6 is about; it’s humans getting up close to God, near His throne. Do you know what the effect is?
Number one, we realize our sinfulness. “Woe is me, for I am undone!” ” I’m a man of unclean lips.” “I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Most likely John 12:41, that’s what Jesus said, Isaiah saw Him. Verse 6, “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.’ “ What is that? Number one, that’s Isaiah receiving God’s cleansing. What’s it, based on? That alter. That alter is a picture in Heaven of the sacrifice of Christ. It was a Heavenly picture of what Jesus would do on the altar of the cross when He offered Himself as the One who would take away the sin of the world. On the basis of that, he was cleansed.
Now you say, wait a minute. Isaiah is here. Isaiah is actually seven centuries, he’s the seventh century BC. So, seven centuries before Christ. Here’s the cross. Then here’s us today. Now, look at this 700 years, 2000 years. So, Isaiah lived 2,700 years ago. Isaiah was cleansed looking forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. That’s what the seraph taking tongs, taking a burning coal, touching his mouth was all about. You and I today are forgiven, cleansed, saved, looking back at that event. There’s only one offering that was offered for all of time and for all of sin and that was 2000 years ago on the hill of Calvary by one sacrifice. Jesus Christ has paid the atoning work that was needed to be done for the penalty of the sin of the world. As John 1:29 says in other words, it was sufficient for everyone that’s ever lived and that all who look to the cross either forward or back can be saved by the grace of God, through faith. That is the most amazing picture, the cleansing of Isaiah, looking forward to the death of Christ, the same cleansing you and I can experience this very moment as we look back and say, thank you Lord Jesus for dying in my place and cleansing me of my sin. So, he was cleansed and “your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”
In verse 8, ” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” So, Isaiah realized his sinfulness, received Christ cleansing with that hot burning coal, but look what verse 8 is. He responds to God’s calling. The Lord says, “whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” He said, look at the end of verse 8, “Here am I! Send me.” That is the most important part of this whole hour. Have you ever come to the place that you have realized your sinfulness, received the cleansing of Jesus Christ by faith? If that’s happened, do you know what the next thing we’re all supposed to do? We’re supposed to respond to God’s calling. We’re supposed to say, thank you for saving me, here I am, send me. What do you want me to do? What He wants us to do is, start sharing the gospel. As we live the gospel in our dying world with the people around us, did you know there are a group of people that right now you know that no one else on Earth knows quite like you do. There is a group of people that you could reach today, that you’re connected to, right where you are. You don’t have to go somewhere. You don’t have to fly to Mumbai, or to Paris, or to Moscow, or New York City, right where you are there’s a group of people that you just need to tell; I realized my hopeless sinfulness, I cried out to the Lord and He saved me.
Bonnie and I, my wonderful wife is sitting right over there behind all the equipment, between these cameras and lights recording everything. We just got the most amazing note from a member of the armed forces of the United States. It said that they’re just a wonderful soldier serving our country, raised in a typical American home, Roman Catholic, and they were serving with an empty heart. One day they just were fiddling on their phone and they typed into Google, forgiveness. I don’t know what words they put in, they didn’t tell me, but they said for some reason one of the videos on YouTube of these classes popped up. They were so fascinated that they came to the class and watched it. What they said in this email to us is, they said a year and a half ago I got saved. I called on the name of the Lord. Then I, like you said, I looked for a local church and found a local church. I went to them, told them I’d gotten saved watching a video, trusting the Lord. On the video it said, if you’ve been saved you need to publicly confess that, through the waters of baptism. Baptism doesn’t save us, it doesn’t cleanse us, but it is a public declaration and it’s an act of obedience. By the way, only believers can be baptized. According to the Bible, you don’t baptize babies, you don’t baptize people to save them. It’s an event that follows. It’s an external event that follows the internal transformation. This soldier got saved watching their handheld device, went to a local church, started attending, got baptized at that local church. A year has gone by of them attending faithfully. They’re still watching classes and studying the Bible with us. You know what they said, they said we’re going into seminary. This soldier and their family are entering Bible School to prepare to go where the Lord wants them to go.
What did Isaiah say? Here am I, Lord send me. He said, “Go, and tell this people,” verse 9, “keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but don’t perceive.” What the Lord says is go out no matter how hard the opposition is and share the gospel.
So, back down at your slides, you and I live in a dying culture. Has there ever been a more arrogant society of people who have more of their own answers and personal opinions? No. So, what does the Lord say?
How does one, see right here… this a picture of my Bible, how do we prepare to reach a society? By remembering what God said in His word. That’s what the Lord wants us to do, remember God’s holiness, realize my sinfulness, receive His cleansing, and respond to His calling. That’s what God wants us to do. So, this class is looking at how each of us can prepare to reach our culture for Christ.
This page out of my Bible is what I would like to explain to you, verse by verse. These five, what I call the five secrets of serving God.
- We always remember His holiness.
- We always realize our sinfulness.
- We always need to receive His cleansing.
- We need to be constantly responding to His calling.
- We need to just remain faithful to the end.
That’s what God says, and you notice, what it says in verse 11, “until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitants.” If you look up from that slide, you know what the Lord says? We’re supposed to serve Him to the end. Even if we’re in horrible times. Even if COVID-19 becomes a global lethal pandemic. Right now, 200,000 people have died in America, but that’s actually only about three times worse than normal flu season. We haven’t yet seen anything like Revelation 6 says. Where one out of every four people die. Now that’s a pandemic. A fourth of the population. So, what the Lord is saying is, right now, no matter how bad it is and all the way until He comes or calls, we’re supposed to, look back down to the slide, remain faithful. The Lord is going to use our ministry for Him.
In the next slide, I remind you, we’re just right here, we’re in hour three, how God reaches a dying culture. We’ve already seen that the book of Isaiah, that we’re studying, is the same book that Jesus read from in the synagogue. The same book that Jesus believed and said was true. That’s something we need to consider. Do we believe the Bible as much as Jesus did? Then we saw in the next class, what a culture that abandons God looks like, and we saw God’s description. Now, we see how the Lord wants us to reach our dying culture, just like Isaiah reached his. Then, you can see the other classes we go through. The Messiah. The coming wrath of God. This one is fascinating, cosmic warfare, how this whole huge battle between the angels and the demons began. Then very practically, how does God respond to the sins we see all around us, all the injustices. This is fascinating, Hezekiah, Assyria, and the destroyer from the pit.
Then, we’re going to see more about the power of the word of God. We’re going to take a theology course, a prophecy course, a soteriology course. This one is about prayer and fasting. How to rest in God and not get over committed and wasted in our lives. We are going to see the description of the new world that’s coming, when the creator Himself returns to Earth, rules on Earth, restores the Earth to being perfect. Then we conclude our time together learning to listen to God daily in His word.
In the next slide, I’d like to show you something. You can look up from the slide and I’ll preface it with this, every time I read the Bible, I am so aware that it is true, that it is real. People that had real problems that God transformed. That Isaiah was a person so much like me that struggled and needed to look forward as I needed to look back at the work of Christ and was saved. I believe all of that because I’m a Christian. I believe all of that because I’ve been born again. Is there any way that we can help others understand that the Bible is true? That’s another benefit, look over here. Isaiah is filled with archeological proof that the Bible is true, and I’d like to share just one of those with you.
As you look at this slide, and we’ll read it together, does archeology matter? By the way, this is an article written by Eilat Mazar, a famous Israeli archeologist. It certainly does, archeology can clarify or correct our assumptions and conclusions about the past. Sometimes archeology confirms the events described in ancient narratives. This is especially so in the case of biblical archeology. The discipline called biblical archeology, for more than a century precisely, because the Bible and archeology have a mutually clarifying relationship. The Bible provides helpful information for the archeologists. Such as where to dig and how to understand what’s on Earth and archeology provides helpful information for the Bible scholar.
Now look up for a second, basically, Eilat Mazar took the Bible and she said, the Bible says that in the land of Israel that there was a town, Ai. Bethel was near it. That Jerusalem was here. That in Jerusalem, at the highest point, there was a place that was David’s home, his Citadel. So, she took the Bible and the cities that we’re in the Bible, she excavated those. Then, she went to Jerusalem and went to the area that is the city of David. She said, if I go to the highest point of the city of David, I’m going to find his Citadel. About 30 years ago, she started digging and about 20 years ago, she found it. Now, look back at this article because this is what she found in there. Ongoing archeological digs in the land of the Bible continue to yield important discoveries. One team working in Old Jerusalem is uncovering what appears to be the palace and administrative buildings of King David and his successors, just last year. This team, and this is very current, this team found a clay seal called a bulla. They call these seals bullas, and it appears to read, Isaiah, the prophet, right there. So, this it’s a broken, just half piece of clay, this is the clay seal, the bulla. Two years earlier, just three meters from the very spot where Isaiah the prophet’s bulla was found, another seal read Hezekiah was discovered.
Look at the next slide, the Isaiah bulla, a 2,700 year old clay seal impression which probably belonged to Isaiah. This is the wording right here. It’s broken off right there, so they filled in what’s missing. It’s worn off right there, so they filled that in, and it says, Isaiah, the prophet. It was right next to the clay seal that said Hezekiah, the king of Israel. Now, look up for a second. What’s a clay seal? They had this little seal in their pocket and whenever they were mailing something or making something verified, they would take soft clay and they’d take their seal, and they’d push it down. When they lifted it up, it left their signature. So, Eilat Mazar has found the signature of Isaiah, the prophet and the signature of Hezekiah, the king. It joins the signature of dozens of other people mentioned in the Bible, that are in the Israel Museum. Amazing, the archeological verification.
Look down at the slides, not only do we have that, we have to interpret that. Just real briefly, I’d like to share my personal biblical framework for understanding the Bible. So, look up. When I look at Isaiah 1 to 66, the book we’re studying, we’re on class three: how God reaches a dying culture. You notice, that into this Isaiah course, I have brought the crucifixion. I have brought the archeology. I am talking about prophecy. I’m talking about the Trinity, theology, the virgin birth. All as I’m talking about Isaiah. There’s a reason for that. It’s called our world view or what I call my framework. So, let me give you, so you understand in these videos and in this course when I open the Bible, how do I see the things that I’m teaching you about God from the Bible.
Look back at this slide, here’s my framework. There are eight parts of this, my personal biblical framework to understand the Bible. I would encourage you to really think deeply about each one of these.
Number one. I’m an evangelist. What that means is, I think every individual needs to be saved. I think that people aren’t saved because they’re in a Christian family or because they have gone to church. I believe that everyone was born a sinner and have to respond to the gospel. They must be saved by calling personally on the Lord Jesus Christ, not by association. It’s salvation by reception.
Secondly, I’m an imputationist. What does that mean? Look up for a second, I’ll show you. I tell people this all the time when I witness, this is what I tell them. I say, this is you and this big dark object is your sin. This is Jesus. If you die you with your sin on you, you’re going to sink down into the lake of fire forever, never surface, and you’ll be suffering endless punishment for your sin. If you die with sin on you, the wrath of God is forever going to be burning in His indignation against that sin. So, here’s the gospel. Here’s Jesus. Here’s me with my sin. Jesus comes to me and offers to me salvation. He does that by His Spirit, convicted me of sin. John 1 says He’s the light. The light of every man that cometh into the world. That’s John 1. Acts 17 says, Jesus comes an arm’s length away, I can touch this board, it’s an arm’s length away. So, Jesus comes this close and He bumps me with conviction. He knocks. You can put it this way, He knocks on the door of every person that’s ever lived. If they will, Paul said, grope in their blindness, in the dark and say, who is that? You’re the God of the universe, I want to know who you are. He offers salvation to all of us sitting in darkness, on the edge of the cliff, ready to plunge into the lake of fire. How does He save us though? What is imputation? Look back at the side, imputation, this means Christ alone saves. Look up at my illustration, this is how Jesus saves us. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us.” Jesus comes to me, my sin goes on Him, and all my sins are gone. That’s what imputation is about, that Jesus takes all of my sin on Himself. On the cross, right here, Jesus did something remarkable. Jesus took the penalty for my sin and the record that I had sinned, and He put all that, imputed, that means it was divinely placed in His account. Now, you know about electronic money transfers. Money is here and blip, it goes over and it’s here. It’s not here anymore, it’s over here. It is electronically transferred. Imputation is God transferred, offering the penalty of my sin onto Jesus, and transferring the record of the sin.
Those events are the doctrine of justification. Justification is that Jesus was treated by God on the cross, God treated him like He committed all of my sins. God punished Him and put the record of all of my sins on Him, 2000 years after the cross. That shows the divine nature of salvation. He put all of Isaiah’s sins 700 years before the cross, all of my sins 2000 years after the cross. He put onto Jesus the penalty and record of the sin, and look, so my sin goes on Jesus, but that’s not all the gospel, there’s two parts of the gospel. I’m justified freely by His grace through the redemption that’s in Christ but then it says, so that we, this is 2 Corinthians 5:21 “might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus places on to me, His righteousness, and He’s still holding my sin. That makes Him the one that justified me. What does it make me? The Bible calls us saints. That’s what happens when we are imputed the righteousness of Christ.
Look back at the slides, or we’ll never get through this class. Number three, I’m an, inerrantist. That means the scriptures are completely inspired. That means every word, every doctrine, everything in the Word of God is completely inerrantly inspired.
Fourthly, I’m a creationist. That means I believe what God said and what Jesus believed. That God made everything in six solar days.
I’m a catastrophist because the Bible says Noah’s flood really happened and Jesus believed that the waters covered all the Earth. You can just go anywhere, and you can see hydrological damage to this planet and flood damage.
I’m a cessationist. Now, clearly, I want to state this. The revelation of scripture has ended. That means that, no longer is God speaking through people that are on the same level as the scriptures.
I’m a maximalist. That means all of the historical and scientific facts are true. Not just some of them, not the spiritual ones, but all the scientific and all the moral ones.
Finally, I’m what is called a dispensationalist. Which means Israel has not become the church.
Now look up, you say, what on Earth is all that? That, completely affects how you see this book. I see the Bible as one complete message from God and that’s what I present. Those are my personal biblical convictions about the Bible.
Look back at the slides, that’s the framework, that’s how we interpret.
So, chapter 6, that we’re looking at right now has one original intention. The meaning of that portion of scripture. It’s only found, that’s the proper interpretation, is only found by understanding the history, the geography, where it fits in scripture, and what the words say.
So, the next slide, Isaiah 6 is part of this. Look, God, sin, culture, and consecration. This was a message God was giving to His people. See up here, His people Israel. Israel when? Israel 2,700 years ago. Now look up, so it doesn’t have any message for me today? Yes. There’s only one interpretation of any passage of scripture, only one. But there are endless applications. So, there’s only one interpretation. That’s, what did God mean by what He wrote and said to that target audience, but there are many applications. That’s taking the doctrine, the truth, the principle, the theology, whatever you want to call it, what God meant, interpretation is what God meant not what I think it means or what it means to me, it’s what God meant, but then I apply it to my life. Of course, in chapter 6, it’s God meant, that we’re sinful He’s holy, I can be cleansed, and He wants to call and use me.
Looking back at the slides. The next thing we see is that we’ve just hit one of the key chapters. Now, by the way, those of you taking this course for credit. You need to know those key chapters. You’re going to see a matching question about that in your exam. We’re on the throne of God, that’s chapter 6. Next class, we’re going to be on the Messiah. We’re going to soon get to this cosmic warfare. We’re actually going to see a long presentation on the tribulation, but those are the key chapters that are here in this book.
Again, I remind you the chronology when this happened. Isaiah was written between 740 and 680, and that gives it a historic marker which, look at this, it’s right here in this timeline.
We’ve gone from creations fall, through the patriarchs, into Moses and the Exodus, into what we call the kingdom period where there was one kingdom of Israel under King Saul, King David, Solomon, then it became divided with Solomon’s son Rehoboam, taking the southern, Judah and Jeroboam leading the nation astray in the north, and Isaiah is right there.
In the next slide, this is a summary of this time period. There was the northern kingdom called Israel. There were 19 kings, who reigned 250 years, with seven different dynasties. They were wiped out by the Assyrians and never returned to the land. The southern kingdom is Judah. There were 20 kings in the south, they reigned a total of 370 years, one dynasty, the Davidic: King David. They were carried off to Babylon for 70 years and then returned. So, that’s a quick overview of Israel’s history.
Another way to see it is by the books of the Bible. 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel. 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles. 1 Kings, 2 Kings. So, Isaiah is right there in 2 Chronicles 32 and in 2 Kings 18. It’s just before his ministry starts, just before the Assyrians take the northern kingdom and quite a bit before the Babylonians take the southern kingdom.
The next slide shows the ministry of Isaiah in a different way, with the kings of Judah and the kings of Israel. The Israelite kings go from bad to worse, and then they’re taken away in captivity. These are all the kings of Israel. Remember when King Uzziah died, right there that was 740 BC right here, all the way through 680, that’s the timeframe of Isaiah.
Now, real quickly look up from your slides for a second, I want to confess something to you. I was a history major in school, and I got my degree in history. I even did my doctorate in Church history, so that’s why I have to put all these in, but everything happened sometime, that’s history. So, look back at this slide, this is the time period from Uzziah through Manasseh. Manasseh was the king that killed Isaiah, martyred him. Uzziah was the king, when he died, Isaiah’s ministry started. So, this is the timeframe of Isaiah’s ministry.
If you go to museums around the world, look at all of these objects here. All of those exactly corroborate and verify the historic events that are mentioned in the book of Isaiah. I’m not doing Bible history, so I’ll just tell you that, but we won’t look at all of them.
This is the big, big bully. Remember, the geography matters. The Assyrians who were from right in this area, spread down and took over all the way to the Persian Gulf. Then they started arcing around, went to Egypt, and then they did a cleanup back, and started conquering all the stuff in between. Look what’s in the middle, Jerusalem. That’s the backdrop for this book.
Isaiah 6 is our insight into the throne of God.
Isaiah 6, God called Isaiah to consecration and that call gives secrets to a life that God can use. That’s what I’d like to walk through with you.
I call it, God’s desire for each of us is consecration. What that means is, God wants to make us a tool useful in His hands. God wants us to know the power of His Spirit and He wants us to experience every day, His desire for consecration. What does that mean?
Look at this next slide, number one, we are to remember God’s holiness. Now, what we can do is, turn back to Isaiah chapter 6, and I’d like to just point out all the ways God illustrates His holiness from the Old Testament. We find our unchanging, immutable God. Now look over here, Isaiah teaches us so much about theology. When we get to Isaiah chapter 40, what we’re going to find is the doctrine of God, which in theology tells us that God is immutable. What is that? That’s a big word, isn’t it? It means unchanging. So, that’s one of the key chapters, chapter 40. Our immutable God has the same plan to reach a godless society. God called Isaiah in a special way and that, see the interpretation is what did God mean, God literally called Isaiah. Literally. This isn’t an illustration. It’s not an analogy. It’s not a metaphor. It’s a historic event. God called. That’s the interpretation. How can we apply that? In fact, all of you that are in this course have to do 10 chapters, I hope one of them will be Isaiah 6. Remember your devotional journal? That you need to write down and then type up and send in, those of you that are taking this for credit. This would be one of the best chapters. I hope everyone does one on chapter 6. I’m giving you right here, as much as I have found. Our immutable God gives us a timeless truth, more than anything that we do God is interested in who we are. The key to usefulness in life is doing what God designed us to do.
Now, look at your slides. Remember God’s holiness. There’s a song about that, coming right from this 6th chapter. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty! God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Number two. Isaiah 6:5 tells us we need to realize our sinfulness. Look back at the scriptures with me. What we see, that God wants us to see what Isaiah saw in verse 5. “So I said: ‘Woe is me, for I am undone!’ ” What Isaiah said is, he felt like he was disintegrating. “I’m undone!” meant, I’m falling apart. Why? Because sin in the light of other sin, doesn’t look very bad. In other words, I’ll show you what I do when I’m struggling with something, I look over and I say oh, my wife does that too. I’m not any worse than she is. What am I doing? I’m comparing myself with another human. Sin, my sin, in the light of someone else’s sin, doesn’t look very bad. We excuse each other. That’s called rationalizing. That’s called me making excuses for myself. Do you know what I’m supposed to do? I’m supposed to look at how holy God is and instantly I see how painfully sinful I am. Number two on the slides, I need to realize my sinfulness.
There’s a great song about that. There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunge beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. That’s our hope in Christ.
Point number three is receive God’s cleansing, Isaiah 6. You can look back in your Bibles there, do you remember the seraphim? “One of them flew […] having the live coal,” and Isaiah said in verse 7, Isaiah heard God say, “behold, this has touched your lips. Your iniquity is taken away.” Receive God’s cleansing. That’s Isaiah 6:6-7.
Here’s the testimony of John Newton. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. For just a minute, think about what salvation does to us. We were born blind. You understand that? That’s what Jesus said. He said, all of you are blind. When He healed the blind man He said, until I give you sight, you can’t see. Lost people are blind spiritually, they can’t see God. They can’t see where they’re going. They have no idea of the prophecy, that God has a plan for the future. God says when we get saved, we who are lost are found, we who are blind now see.
The next slide, after John Newton’s testimony, gives us this final truth. What I call the secrets that God has for us, for being useful to Him. That is that we need to respond to God’s calling now. I’m going to read Isaiah 6 in just a minute but look on the slide. Do you see the other passage there? That’s Romans 12:1-2. So, let’s go to Isaiah 6 and I want to rehearse with you again, the ending of Isaiah’s calling here. Then “I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ “ What does that say? Who will go for me? What does your Bible say? Us. Look over here, Isaiah is filled with verses about the Trinity, remember. Why is Isaiah so vital? It’s quoted more, has more about salvation, more about the virgin birth, more about the furthest mystery, and more about the Trinity than any other book in the Bible. “Who will go,” look at this, “for Us?” God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. “Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ ”
Turn now to chapter 12 of Romans. This is where we’re going to conclude the class today, with this appeal from the apostle Paul. He says in chapter 12, I beg you, that’s what beseech means. Verse 1, “I beg you therefore.” The therefore means, on the whole truth of chapters 1 through 11, because of all that God has done, the work of God on the cross, that we had right here, imputation, justification. On the basis of all that, what He did for us, look at this. “By the mercies of God, that you present.” If I was going to give you my Bible, I would hold it out. If I was going to give you my journal, I would present it to you. How do you present your life to God? How do you do what Romans 12:1-2 says? Here’s a simple way, every time I teach, I always pull my car keys out of my pocket and I say, when you’re driving a car and there’s someone in the passenger seat, if you want them to drive instead of you, you have to pull the car over to the side of the road. You have to take it out of gear and put it in park. You have to reach down to the key and turn the key off and pull it out. You get out of the car, you walk all the way around to the other side, open the door and say, here; you can drive, and you give them the keys. Then you get in the passenger seat and they drive the car. That’s what Romans 12:1-2 says God wants from us. “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies,” the car keys, God becomes the driver, He becomes the one in charge, He becomes the one that is taking us through life. You know what happens with me? I wake up, grab the keys, start driving and forget. I have to stop and literally I stopped in the day and say Lord, I have so much to do, I forgot to renew my consecration. That’s what chapter 12:1-2 is about, consecrating, presenting my body as a living sacrifice, which is my reasonable… that word reasonable means, my spiritual offering of worship. The greatest worship is not singing the songs, it’s presenting my life. That’s true worship.
What does the Lord do? He changes my mind. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How do you get your mind renewed? By giving yourself, consecrating yourself.
How does God reach a dying culture, like Isaiah lived in 2,700 years ago and like we live in the western society, the eastern society, the whole world? The whole world is dying. How do we reach it? By presenting our life back to God. That’s why we, look down at the slide, we need to respond to God’s calling, because consecration of me is how God reaches a dying culture.
Let’s take a moment to bow together and to pray.
Father in Heaven, I pray that your word, you’re living and abiding word, forever settled in Heaven, will by the power of your Spirit touch each heart of those who are watching and listening. And that you will begin a work of either deepening their consecration or starting it today. For some who are watching like that soldier on their digital device and realized they weren’t even saved, I pray that someone today hearing your word will say God, be merciful to me a sinner. Save me for Jesus’ sake. And that all the rest of us will present ourselves back to You so that You can use us to reach our dying world. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. And all God’s people said, Amen.