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Author:Rev. Kent Compton
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 Free Church of Scotland - FCS
Title:The Glorious News of Salvation
Text:Isaiah 53 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:Our Salvation

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Kent Compton, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.

(This sermon was originally delivered as a radio broadcast.)

The Prophesy of Isaiah is one of the most majestic book in all the bible. It begins by describing for us the glory and holiness of the God of the universe and concluding with a colorful unfolding of the glorious salvation which he has provided for all who turn to him in faith.

There is a certain extravagance we might say to the salvation which we find before us in this prophesy. We hear of streams in the desert, the desert blooming with vegetation. The glory of the Lord flooding over his people to the point where it is said that the sun itself will be rendered obsolete.

These verses which are before us are no less glorious in what they tell us of the richness of salvation and the God who gives it.

But all of this richness has a foundation. As glorious as God is, forgiveness must have a foundation. There is still the question of sin which God cannot over-look. When a house is built, a strong foundation must be laid to support the structure which will rise up. It is impossible for God to unfold such a glorious salvation to us while remaining in rebellion against him.

Something must change in our relationship with God-for the Bible tells us that by nature we don't love God and that God is angry with us because of our sinful condition. Again we are drawn back to the awesome spectacle unfolding for us in this book and find even the answer to this dilemma there.
While in these verses we find God gives the great invitation, we find in a couple of chapters before God laying the great foundation-for there we are told of a man who while not having any sin of His own is made a sin offering-lets read it in Is 53 1-4.......

Lets turn then can consider together these great verses from God's word.
He begins with this word HO-at firsts it may seem insignificant-but the prophets and more imp the Lord through the prophets, is trying to get our attention because what has just taken place through the one whom we read about in chapter 53, is so wonderful. He is heralding good news. It is the greatest news this world has ever heard.

He is really wanting our attention-he is calling for it this morning. Indeed in verse 2 he says "Listen carefully" The Hebrew there carries with it the Idea of "Listen! Listen" So we know it is a serious matter when God chooses to speak to us in this manner. He also speaks in this manner because like children we often become dull of hearing and hardened in our hearts and are in need of such a wake up call as this.

We are told of Jesus when on the last great day of the feast, he stood up and CRIED out saying "If anyone thirsts let him come unto me" Pointing of course not only our need and its availability but to the one who offers it. Jesus claims to give what the God of the OT offered-the implications are plain, that Jesus is the same one who speaks to us in these same verses in Isaiah.

Let us turn to the second observation- He sets the condition upon this great gifts which he offers. We might think that anything that God offer us would come with many conditions-something great we had to do to please him.
The only condition that he gives is that we are thirsty-strangely enough the only condition is realizing we have nothing to bring but our own need. To realize that we can never satisfy such a god with our own works-it is a salvation which must be accepted as a gift. So Jesus says in Matt Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness-for they shall be filled. What a wonderful statement-to think that all we need is a realization of our need.

The Psalmist as well cries out to God- "I stretch forth my hands unto you: my souls thirsts after you-again he comes unto the Lord with nothing but a thirsting. This is all he has and all the Lord requires-It might be hard for us to accept but nonetheless true.
There is strangely no discussion of what sins have been committed-how many or who great!

The Lord calls us to come and buy of what he offers. Again, strangely the only requirement is in what we don't have rather than what we do. How strange to hear someone tell you to buy without money-it is a contradiction in terms-and yet God wants to impress the glorious irony of it upon us.

Spiritual Poverty friends is no reason to stay away from God but is the very reason for coming to him. Again this God who would later come in the flesh would says "I have come to call sinner to repentance." Do you consider yourself a sinner? Do you feel you have nothing to offer God and that you have absolutely no Way of being right with such a holy God? You have failed in a million different ways and find no way out? Well I have news for you-Jesus has come to call people, just like you to him.

The Problem is of course is that God is often the last place we look. The Lord says in Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Here he speaks of forsaking the only life they have and eternal life at that for that which is worthless..

I remember doing a paper in Univ on 3rd world debt and discovering that children in some parts of the world would eat newspaper soaked in water because, though it had no nutritional value, it gave them the sensation of being full. This is what many people do today. Our lives are consumed with that which in the end of the day doesn't satisfy, least of all can make us right with God. In the story of the prodigal Son we find that the son when he had lost all ,was fighting it out in the swine's trough for the husks of corn.
John Lennon, in his diary not long before he died, wondered when he would really start living. This man who had some much and did so much and yet he came to the cold realization that he never lived.

So the prophet asks "Why do you spend on that which does not satisfy.?" God knows these things are not satisfying us-they may excite us for a time but lose their luster.

But what does God call us too? Verse 2 Let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Again we get a sense of the extravagance of God's salvation. For he doesn't speak in plain one dimensional terms but speaks of abundance, overflowing joy peace and love. He doesn't just says water but WATERS . He says in Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water: not just waters but milk and wine(which in the Bible is the great symbol for joy) So when the prodigal returns we find the father saying "bring here the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: We get a picture of the heart of God and the great delight he takes in the salvation of sinners like you and I and with what passion he loads us with his unmerited love.

We are told of a woman in the NT who Jesus meets at the side of a well on a hot day. Jesus says to her If thou KNEW the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink-Again this is her only requirement is to see her need and believe in the one before her. Jesus knew all about her wicked life style and yet it didn't for a moment cause him to waver in his offer of eternal life rather it made him all the more compassionate and desirous that she know all about the forgiveness and love of God.

So Jesus is the very one whom God calls us to partake of here. He is God's great and indescribable gift to the world. Jesus said I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.......he say flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. It is not just a some commodity that God offers us like bread or wine-these are pictures or something greater-It is Jesus himself that we come to and find life in-this is why he himself said I am the way the truth and the life.

We are coming to something but someone-When we come to God through faith in Jesus we have come into a relationship with the God of the universe who cancels our debt of sin and gives us His holy Spirit that we might have the victory over sin and ultimately death. We come into an unbreakable relationship with the God who in these verses pleads with you to turn from your sin to find eternal life.

- So Let me ask you a simple question. Do you know anything of spiritual thirst? Do you want to know the forgiveness of sin and guilt and know you have a peace with God? God simply asks you to look to the provision he has made in Christ. Jesus said the Thief has come....but I have come that you might have life and that to the full. The invitation stands and indeed closes out the last book of the Bible where the Spirit and the Bride says come And let him that is a thirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Kent Compton, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
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