“Hope In His Faithfulness” out of Isaiah 50:4-11 was preached on December 9th, 2012 by Pastor Josh Grandstaff at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #2 in Ekklesia’s An Old Hope; A New Hope Advent sermon series.
4 The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6 I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9 Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire,
and by the torches that you have kindled!
This you have from my hand:
you shall lie down in torment
We have failed in so many ways, and because our voice of self-perfection is so strong, we live in shame. As long as religion is just another way to protect yourself, just another way to find yourself and groom yourself, you will never be free of your shame. But when Jesus becomes your God, then you begin to experience his touch that makes you clean.
The gospel is not for those who are shameless, but for those who have been confronted with their shame because of their sin. The gospel is for those who feel the constant sense that they are a disappointment to somebody. The gospel is for those who feel like they don’t measure up. On our own, this is all true and goes no further than shame. But, in Christ, God touches our shame and makes us clean. Because of God’s faithfulness in Jesus, we are no longer counted sinners but saints; because of God’s faithfulness we are counted and made faithful. For those who trust in Jesus: In His life- perfectly upholding the Law of God- He lived for our righteousness. For those who trust in Jesus: On the cross- satisfying the wrath of God by becoming the sacrifice for sin- Jesus became the owner of our shame. When Jesus died, so died the very ground on which satan stands to try and make us feel shameful. Jesus wore our shame on his sleeve so we could wear his white robes of righteousness. Now, because of Jesus’ faithfulness, through faith in Jesus we are adopted into God’s family. As children of God He now bends down to us and says, “Hey, I like you. You’re my child and I love to do good to you.”
Do not walk alone. If you are in Christ, God has placed a burning torch in your hand to light your way- this torch is Jesus! Do not hope in your faithfulness to Jesus; hope in Jesus’ faithfulness to you.
Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s sermon or the big idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
Q.2 Because Jesus paid for this sin, I can confess that I _____________________ ( <- fill in the blank ).
Q.3 In our culture, how do people typically deal with shame? How does this view differ from the way the Christian deals with shame?
Q.4 Outside of the gospel, why is it a failure task to convince people they shouldn’t feel shame?
Q.5 As an adopted child of God in Christ, how has God affirmed you lately?
Matthew 8:1-3 “When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. 2 And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’ 3 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Jesus can make us clean, but before he answered the leper, he touched the unclean leper and made him clean. We have to make contact with our savior with all of our uncleanliness. This is beauty of confession. This act of God touching our uncleanliness and making us clean. What grace! Glory to Christ! Amen.