A great age shall come, an age of peace and righteousness. But this peace and righteousness is ours now based on His Finished Work. Let His living grace be our assurance. A perfect and complete salvation is ours on the basis of His mercy. Isaiah 32:1-17; Isaiah 1:4-5, 18; Isaiah 53:6-7
Speaker(s): John Love
7:00 PM on 7/13/2022
P. Love –
Okay. Praise the Lord. Good job. Didn’t he do a good job? Talented. Another one from the Myers family so
talented. So, I thought I would try and edify you tonight. There’s a part in me that says no, no,
no. Rebuke them! No, I’m kidding! No. No. I want to edify.
I was thinking and I’m finding that more of a challenge all the time, maybe like some of you! I
was thinking about Camp Life. We have Camp Life Europe this week in Finland, and the Camp
Life here up in the Poconos next month. And it’s going to be for me – I can hardly believe it but
40 years. Next year, it will be for me 40 years at Camp Life. I know. So, they told me they have
already purchased a wheel chair that will be there for me when I get there, and I appreciate
that but I was thinking I’m so grateful for that to be able to be a part of that and see young lives
touched by God through that ministry.
But I was thinking there are people in our midst that have been there even longer than that. I
just want to recognize one of those couples tonight, because this couple has just poured their
lives out into young people, not only here in our ministry but also overseas as well and have
always done such an outstanding job. I don’t have a gift certificate. I don’t have flowers. I don’t
have a prize but I just want to say thank you and we can just recognize them and express our
appreciation to them. That’s Marty and Sue Veader right over there. Stand up for a moment.
Just stand right up. Stand up. I got to tell you how much I love working with him with young
people because of how much he loves young people. He loves them enough to tell them the
truth, and sometimes that gets him into trouble. But that’s okay.
He’s been wrestling with trouble his whole life and always comes out on the winning side of things. They are precious.
We thank God for them. When you have Veader’s in your ministry, you’re always thankful
because if they are not in your ministry, they might be against you! And that would be flat out
terrible. So, praise God! (Prayer).
If you would open your Bible to Isaiah 32. We’ll talk about the work of righteousness. The work of
righteousness. As we sang that song earlier – Sebastian did a great job singing that song, “God
is so Good.” I thought to myself you could come in here maybe on a Wednesday night or a
Sunday morning or a Sunday night and be a little bit tired. Be a little bit weary. Even be a little
dull and think to yourself you could almost kind of like sing the words. Yeah, God is so good. I
thought maybe what we should say a couple lines before that is God, I’m so bad. God, I’m so
bad. God, I’m so bad. I’m the “baddest” of them all. And then sing, God, but you are so good.
Right? Wouldn’t that put it more in perspective? Sometimes we’re like yeah, yeah. God is so
good. God is so good. I’m pretty good, too. No, we’re not. But God is so good to us, so much
better than we deserve. Amen. Amen.
Isaiah 32, and this passage written by Isaiah speaks of the future kingdom of Israel. He’s talking in
these passages about the Millennium reign, when the king comes. Vs. 1. And he goes on and
really outlines for us what the nature of the Millennium reign of Christ is going to be like here on the earth. Contrary to what some people believe, we are not in the kingdom age right now.
Far from it, amen. And there are those who believe that only as we finish the work of
evangelizing the world will we then be able to usher in the kingdom. That is not true as well.
The kingdom will come when the church age is over and God raptures the church and removes
her in her entirety from the earth and that will usher in the Tribulation period. At the end of
that Tribulation period, we will have the onset of the Millennial reign of Christ.
Now, you say, will we be here? No, we will be gone. As the Body of Christ, we will be raptured.
But we will return with Christ to the earth during that glorious reign and we will reign together
over the earth with Christ. Isn’t that amazing? To think that God is going to employ us in the
work of his kingdom. That’s incredible. So, he talks about the kingdom, the Millennial reign of
Christ, but I want you to look specifically at vs. 16-17. How long? How long? Forever. Imagine.
What a promise from God.
And it’s interesting because during the kingdom age, two words in Scripture that characterize
that Millennial reign of Christ are these two words: righteousness and peace. And even though
we are not yet in the kingdom age, guess what God has given to us through the work of the
Cross? Righteousness and peace. We have it now in our relationship with Christ and how long
does he give us this assurance for? He says forever. He doesn’t say I will give you this peace and
assurance for a few days or a few weeks, a few months or even a few years.
Not even for a lifetime. He says forever. Forever. Assurance. And this is what God desires to impart to all
believing souls, the blessed assurance that really belongs to those that belong to him. That’s us.
And we have to ask ourselves that question because we often speak to believers that don’t
have that blessed assurance. And I think it’s worth noting that there is a difference between
eternal security and the believer’s assurance of his or her salvation. Eternal security is the work
of God. That’s a finished work.
The believer’s assurance well sometimes they question it. They
doubt it. They wonder about it maybe because sin has interrupted their fellowship with God.
Maybe they have a, kind of a bad period of life or they go through a period of backsliding and
they lose that assurance. They wonder where they stand before God. They wonder if they are
now maybe second class Christians or if they were to return to God by faith and be restored
perhaps they would be in some form of probation.
But the Bible says this assurance comes to us forever. Too many believers today, they don’t
know the effect of righteousness which is what? Peace and assurance. And again, don’t get me
wrong. These are people that are very disciplined in terms of their religious obligations. They
read their Bibles. They say their prayers. They support the cause of Christ worldwide in some
cases. They’re upright in all their dealings with their fellow Christians. They fulfill all of their
civic duties. Yet, they have no lasting peace. No real definite assurance of their salvation. And
God does not want us to go through this life without having and experiencing the effect of
righteousness which is peace and assurance forever.
It's amazing, isn’t it, when you consider that the prophet who wrote these words even lived
seven centuries before Christ came. Yet he sets forth the righteousness of God as it’s described
by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. And that’s why many scholars actually think that the
book of Isaiah is sometimes referred to as the fifth gospel because of its declaration of
righteousness and how often the prophet speaks of this righteousness which, by the way, is
required by God for anyone who will live in his presence forever.
Tonight, if you are here and you never trusted Christ in a personal way, never believed on him
as your Savior, then you do not have the righteousness of God. And you need to trust God
because the moment you trust Christ and his work on the cross on your behalf, God gives you
his righteousness. That is incredible when you stop and think about it. I mean what a blessed
word to meditate on, amen. Righteousness. And not to meditate on it in the sense that well I
guess I have to work to that end. I guess I have to make sure that every moment of my life is
right. No. It’s to look at what Christ has accomplished and to realize and recognize that we are
at this moment no matter what kind of a day you had before you walked into this chapel
tonight, you are the righteousness of God in Christ.
That is incredible. I mean when God looks upon you, he sees the very righteousness of his own Son. And this is why this assurance that comes from this kind of righteousness is so important for us to understand.
Isn’t it amazing to think that, and actually it’s wonderful to think that God himself, he’s the one
that devised a way, a righteous way, to save unrighteous sinners. Because is he or does he ever
gloss over our sin? Does he ever just kind of say oh, don’t worry about that. That’s not as bad as
you think it is. No, a holy God, a righteous God who cannot even look upon sin cannot gloss it
over. If a sinner is going to be saved, then it’s got to be God doing the saving.
And I’m so grateful that we have always been in a ministry that has nothing to do with self-
salvation. It always has had to do with a message that proclaims that God alone saves. In fact,
Christ came into the world for that very purpose. It’s amazing when you talk to unsaved people,
isn’t it? And they talk about their own goodness and they talk about their own works and you’re
thinking to yourself well I hope you realize that your own good works are like as filthy rags. And
sometimes that comes out in the conversation although they don’t comprehend it because they
cannot even imagine that God would ever look upon some of the good things that they have
done and see them as unrighteousness.
But when we talk to these people, they don’t recognize the fact that you’ve got to be perfectly
righteous to enter into the kingdom of God. If you have committed one sin, then you have
violated the holy character of God and now you are a candidate for salvation. Now you are a
candidate for redemption. Now you are a candidate to let God step into your life and save you
and redeem you.
I mean we know that God yearns to have all men saved. Amen. He’s not willing that any should
perish. 2 Peter 3 brings that out.
In fact, that’s why we have what the Bible calls an unlimited atonement. He is the propitiation
for our sins to be sure, those of us that are believers; but not only our sins but the sins of the
whole world which is why we take so much pleasure in proclaiming this gospel to the world
because Christ is the propitiation. He’s the payment in full for their sins and their failures and
their transgressions, because if God doesn’t save us, I got news for us. If God doesn’t do the
saving, we are lost forever. We are lost forever.
There’s no way we will be able to save ourselves. There is no way we will be able to make up for
all the mistakes. Pay personally for all of the sins. In other words, there is no power that we
possess to be able to cleanse ourselves. Sunday morning P. Schaller asked the question, does
God want us to remember what we once were? And you know, I think part of us wanted to say,
no. That’s forgotten. That’s in the past. But another part of us says, yes, yes. And we want to
remember that to, don’t we?
I love the passage Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 6 and when you read it, it just kind of
makes me chuckle sometimes because he creates this whole list of sinful people. And he says
these words. He says, don’t you know that the following groups of people will never inherit the
kingdom of God. And he lists them. Adulterers, fornicators, extortioners, effeminate,
homosexual, – and he goes just a whole list. And as you read that list, part of us, maybe the little
Pharisee in all of us says that’s right. Don’t let them in. That’s right, Lord. Don’t let that group in.
That’s right. They should be punished. That’s right. Judge them.
And then he gets to the next verse and he says, and such were some of you. And then it just
strikes you in your heart. And you say, I’m not in any of those categories that he outlines in 1
Cor. 6. That’s alright. You’re just in a different category. You’re just in a different category that
he didn’t mention. But it’s good to remember what we once were because it gives us a chance
to glorify God and to live in the joy and the reality of our salvation. Because we were once in
darkness. No, let me restate that. We were once the darkness. That’s what Paul said to the
Sometimes you hear testimonies. People say I was in the darkness once. One time honestly I
had a conversation and a man came up and said, yeah. I once was in the darkness but now – I
said I used to be the darkness cause Paul said that. You were once darkness but now you are
light in the Lord. And not only light in the Lord but you are the righteousness of Christ. So, think
about it. Yeah. How would God save us? How would he do it? How could he remain perfectly
righteous without compromising his holy character and nature and somehow find a way to take
unrighteous, sinful people and to declare them righteous? Well, Paul tells us how he did it.
Through the cross. Through the finished work of his Son. It says in Romans 3:26, God found a way
where he could remain perfectly just and at the same time justify anyone who does nothing but
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s not our work. We didn’t contribute to that. We
didn’t add anything to that. This was the entire work of God. It was the undertaking of God and
the holy Trinity to bring us a perfect and complete salvation. Amazing.
I think this is exactly what stirred the soul of Martin Luther and brought new light and help after
these long and weary months of groping in the darkness and trying in vain to do what? To save
himself. It is incredible that we live in a world of people and most often we talk to these people.
They are caught up in what? Trying to save themselves. And I have to say and I think we can all
say “amen” because we’ve been there, what a weary process that is. Remember what that was
like? Remember trying to be good? Right. Instead of trying to be good, what did we sing
tonight. God, you’re so good. We changed our song. We changed our tune. We listen to a
different kind of music now. It’s not about our goodness. It’s not even about our attempts. It’s
not about trying. I like what P. Stevens used to say. It’s not about trying. It’s about triumphing in
Christ. We can let go of trying and recognize that we are the righteousness of God in Christ
Think about it. David wrote this. I was reading today Psalm 31 and then in Psalm 71, two times, David
said this: “God save me in your righteousness. And I read that and I thought to myself, what
does that mean? I could perfectly understand how God could damn us in his righteousness. I
could completely understand how God could condemn us in his righteousness. But David didn’t
say either of those two things. David cried out and he said, God, save me in your righteousness.
That’s exactly what Christ has done for us. And if he’s going to save you in his righteousness,
then you know it’s going to be done on the basis of his mercy. Because what does mercy do in
James 2:13? Mercy always triumphs over judgment.
That’s why Go delights in mercy. That’s why in Psalm 126 he says it in every single verse: “His mercy endures forever.” And if his mercy endures forever, you and I can have the hope of having assurance in our souls forever.
You know, Martin Luther meditated upon that mercy and little by little the truth dawned upon
his soul, and he just rejoiced in the fact that God found a righteous way whereby he could
justify unrighteous sinners. That’s the glory of the gospel. That’s the gospel message that we
proclaim to this world, that God can only justify one class of people. What class of people is
that? The ungodly. They’re the only candidates for salvation. If anybody approaches God
believing in their own righteousness then they are disqualified from becoming a candidate for
eternal salvation. And they will although they seek for assurance throughout the course of their
lives, they will never experience it; yet you and I who are not seeking for it have found it,
because we humbled ourselves at the foot of the cross and it was given to us as a gift of grace.
What a difference! God did that.
Turn over to the first chapter of Isaiah. As God gives us a real glimpse into the nature of
mankind. It’s not a pretty picture. I mean, everywhere else in Scripture we read about it, right? Jeremiah says the heart is deceitful, desperately wicked. No one can fathom the depths of it,
but I like the way Isaiah describes all those in this world without Christ. He says in vs. 4 and
again, he’s speaking to Israel, but this practically speaking this is applicable to all of us. Vs. 4.
“offspring of evildoers.” Don’t tell that to your parents! Vs. 5-6. That’s the condition of the
human heart without God. And yet, I’m sure if we shared that with people who believed that
they’re pretty good, they would be greatly offended by that. But that’s God’s declaration.
That’s what God says. I mean, that’s a revolting picture, isn’t it, but nevertheless true of all
unsaved individuals as God sees them. No one can free himself from the pollution of sin. No
one can deliver themselves from its power.
I often think of those days before I was a believer. I was so grateful because in my
denomination we were given this provision every Saturday where we could go to the church
and we could confess our sins. I got to tell you something. I mean, I sinned up a storm from
Monday through Friday and I looked forward to Saturday because it was a way that I could
remove the weight of my guilt. I could experience some measure of freedom in my soul. My
mother always had to tell me, you’re going to church, and I would always fight it. But not one
time did she ever say, you’re going to confession because I was already there. She never had to
tell me you need to go to confession. I knew I needed confession.
I would go into that confessional box and I would tell the priest my sins. Of course, I didn’t
necessarily tell him the truth. You say why would you – that’s the epitome of hypocrisy. Why
would you go into the confessional booth and not tell him the truth? I’ll tell you the answer to
that. He knew my mother! That’s why. And I did not fear God and I did not fear the priest. I
feared my mother! I know that’s not scriptural but it was in my life at that time.
So, I would lie. I would make up sins because I just wanted to have him tell me you need to see
– and there were times, I mean, I felt like he told me I needed to pray a lot more than other
people, because I could hear what the other priests where saying to some other people. They
get three prayers. Why do I get ten? Is what I did that bad? And of course, it was! So, I would do
that. I remember, I remember going down the stairs after my confession. I felt pretty good, but
yet at the same time, there was this understanding that I was going to go back out and do all of
those things that I just confessed all over again. There was no power to free me from sin. I was
under its dominion. I was under its control. I was able to shake off that guilt for a few
temporary moments, but the fact of the matter was I couldn’t deliver myself and no prayers
served to deliver me as well.
But Christ has delivered us not only from the penalty of sin but he also delivers us from the
power of sin through the Holy Spirit’s ministry. And God has the answer. That’s a pretty dark
picture in Isaiah the first chapter, but when you get down to vs. 18, listen to what God says.
After he tells the nation of Israel and frankly speaking, tells all of us just how bad a condition we
are really in. What does he say? He says, “come now, let us reason together says the Lord.
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though red like crimson, they
shall be like wool.” God says, we need to get together. We need to talk. We need to be
reasonable with each other. Approach me. I have an answer. I’m the God of salvation. Salvation
is my idea, and when I create salvation, it’s full. It’s complete. And there’s nothing left to be
added to it. All you have to do is embrace it and accept it as a gift which is what Paul wrote to
the Ephesians. “For by grace you are saved through faith, not of yourselves, not of works, lest
any man should boast.” It’s God alone who can cleanse the leper from his leprosy. It’s God
alone who can cleanse and justify the ungodly from their guilt. God alone does that, not us. And
he does it – think about it – not at the expense of his righteousness, but he does so in a
perfectly righteous way. Wow!
A poem. I wrote it down. It goes like this: “Tis in the cross of Christ we see, how God can save
yet righteous be; Tis in the cross of Christ we trace his righteousness and wondrous grace. The
sinner who believes is free, and can say the sinner died for me. Can point to the atoning blood
and say that made my peace with God.” It’s beautiful.
Again, it’s the prophet Isaiah who sets forth above all others the work of the cross in the 53 rd
chapter of the book of Isaiah. When he says these words, Isaiah 53:5-6. God did that. And by his
sacrifice he paid to outrage justice that which meets every charge against the believer. What is
God trying to say through these Scriptures? What is he trying to say through the 5 th gospel, the
book written by Isaiah? I want you to have peace forever. I want you to have assurance forever
so that the troubled conscience can finally be at rest.
Is it any wonder that Jesus said the words he said in Matthew 11:28-30. When he said and gave us
that invitation, come unto me all you that labor. What was the nature of the labor? It was trying
to earn our salvation. It was trying to earn – to get our salvation the old fashioned way. Even if
we made a deal with God and we were making payments on the installment plan. I’ll find a way
God. And it was just work and it was just effort and it was trying and it was attempting and then
failing and getting up and again and saying, I will be better. I know I have not kept God’s
commandments. I know I have violated God’s laws, but I know if I can stay at it.
it’s like asking someone, do you know if you are saved? What do they say sometimes? No, but
I’m working on it. I’m hoping to be. Or you hear words like this: not yet, but I know I’m moving
in that direction. Well, if they are not moving in the direction of the cross, they will never find
salvation because that’s where God wants to lead every unbelieving soul so that they can
experience the work of righteousness. Why? Because it will be peace, and the effect of
righteousness quietness and assurance forever so that the troubled soul can finally rest and the
conscience can finally be at peace.
Another poem I read goes like this: “The trembling sinner feareth that God can never forget,
but one full payment clears his memory of all debt. Returning sons he kisses, – the prodigal –
and with his robe invests, his perfect love dismisses all terror from our breast.”
It’s true. He does that for us. And he says to every believing soul, again the prophet Isaiah
44:22, what a promise. And again, in Isaiah 43:25, God says I’m not going to remember your
sins, so I don’t want you to have a recollection of them either. Maybe you are not able to forget
the years of wandering. Maybe you can’t stop thinking of the many sins that have made you so
guilty because of your past, but again the peace that God offers is this understanding that God
will never recall them again.
You say, does God have a bad memory? No. God says I will never charge you for one single sin
or failure that you ever committed. I am promising you that I will never hold one of those sins
against you because I want you to realize that I nailed your sins on the cross with my Son. And
don’t look for them because they are gone forever. They have been cast into the depths of the
deepest sea. I cast them behind my back and I’ve separated you from your sin as far as the east
is from the west. And he’s done all of that in his righteousness.
Do you know what that means? That means that the account is completely settled. Have you
ever heard that before? Have you ever gone into a store or maybe you have gone to pay a debt
and they turn to you and say, well, this account is completely settled. I mean, you know,
hopefully you don’t argue with them. No, it isn’t. And you must accept my money or else! No, if
they say the account is settled, I might say, are you sure? And they say, yes, absolutely your
account is settled. Then I say, praise God! And I walk out.
Well, God says at the cross, your account has been completely settled forever, and I want you
to have that assurance in your heart and I want the peace of God to govern your lives forever.
And put on a robe of righteousness. We wear a robe of righteousness, at least we wear it
before God. How we look tonight, that’s another story! No! No! We wear the robe of
righteousness, right? I love this, this little clip. It says, “clad in this robe how brightly I shine.
Angels have not a robe like mine.” They don’t. They do not have a robe. They do not have the
glory that the sinner enjoys. Their glorious because of God who made them, these elect angels
in his presence that serve him and worship him around his throne. But the robe that they
possess is nothing like the robe that has been placed upon us, the robe of righteousness.
And what’s the effect of the work of the cross. Quietness. Assurance. Again, forever. Quietness.
Why is that important? Because the voices of condemnation are silenced because of the cross
in Romans 8:1. Quietness because the voice of the accuser of the brethren is silenced in Revelation
12:10. Quietness because the voices of our own conscience and the voices of others who would
attempt to condemn us. And that’s addressed by Paul in Romans the 8 th chapter when he
comes out and says, “who is he that dares bring a charge against one of my elect?”
Who is such a person? That’s why we heard it Sunday morning from P. Schaller. The pointing of the finger.
No. No. No. Take the finger away. Judgment is not – we have no place in relationship to judging
others not when we consider the nature of our debt before God. No, we are not pointing the
finger at anyone. If anything, we are looking in a mirror, looking at ourselves. And as we do, we
should see that we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
In closing, I read this story about a pastor who visiting a dying woman. He went to her bedside
in the hospital. She was greatly troubled. She was looking for some – she was looking for dying
grace from her pastor. So, he quoted several Scriptures and she listened, but one really spoke
to her heart. This is what it was, Titus 3:5. She said, that will do. That will do. No works of mine
to plead, just to trust his grace. That will do. And she said, I can rest there. Well, as it turns out
contrary to her physicians prediction, she did not die.
A few weeks later she was happy, rejoicing, had all kinds of assurance in her heart and she
again called the pastor and said, well, God gave me this dying grace and now I am well again.
What am I to do with it? You know what his answer was? He said, just simply claim it as living
grace and abide in the joy of it. Yes, living grace.
Will he give us dying grace when we need it? Yes. What about in the mean time? How about
living grace. How about grace for our daily lives. How about grace for our challenges. How
about grace for our struggles. How about more grace if we humble ourselves before God. How
about God telling us to be strong in his grace. How about God asking us to expect that grace.
How about God telling us make sure you appropriate that grace so that bitterness doesn’t
sneak into your heart and corrupt your soul and others around you. Yes. Grace. Mercy. Peace.
Assurance. For how long? Forever. Amen. Let’s pray.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.
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