January 14, 2018 Sermon - RBC
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Scripture Reading: Isaiah 59

Justice—justice results in peace. Justice for many is “getting even.” Rarely does “getting even” bring peace. WWI to WWII.

-- Christians are not here to reform society. It’s why Jesus and His disciples said nothing about taking over government. It’s why Philemon says nothing about eliminating slavery.

-- Christianity reforms the person, as people reform; societies reform.

Isaiah 59:1-4

Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity [chaos, desolation, confusion], and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

 

Although Israel is in rough shape, it’s not because God has no power to save! It’s their sin that brought on the ruin. Perverse—unrighteousness, injustice, words not consistent with God’s will. Instead of finding righteousness and truth, they turn to their lying vanities.

Isaiah 59:7-8

Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

 

They are in a hurry to sin. Their thoughts and bodily actions are all evil. No justice, no peace! Peace and a desire for righteousness go together.

Isaiah 59:12-15

For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

 

Lying and sin go together. Truth and justice go together. Truth faileth—banished, a lost and missing thing. Himself a prey--The one doing right gets in trouble!

Isaiah 59:16-17

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

 

God saw there was none to deliver, no man—no champion, so He had to step in. Messiah is seen as a warrior going to vindicate the wrong doing. Salvation to His people and vengeance on His enemies.

Isaiah 59:19-21

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.

 

God will keep His Covenant with His Messiah and all who are identified with Him. God will remove evil and establish righteousness, which brings peace.

 

Righteousnes will reign in Kingdom and New Heaven and New Earth. Peace will result physically and actually.

 

We don’t see this yet as a world-wide reality, but we can as individuals in Christ, and then in the Church

Romans 5:1-2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

Justified—made right, brought to the side of truth and justice. Thus we can have peace with God. No longer enemies, no longer giving in all the time to unrighteousness. Righteousness results in peace, joy, grace, hope, and glory!

 

Christianity reforms the person, as people reform; societies reform. Preach the Gospel.

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