Sermon #12 Series: Isaiah
Title: In the Day of God’s Grace . . .
Text: Isaiah 2:10-22
Subject: The Method of God’s Operations of Grace
Date: Sunday Evening - June 4, 1989
The title of my message tonight is - In the Day of God’s Grace . . . Isaiah has been talking about the day of the Lord, this blessed gospel age when God’s elect are gathered from the four corners of the earth unto “the mountain of the Lord’s house.” And in the Lord’s house men and women who are natural enemies dwell together in harmony, peace, and brotherly love (v. 4).
· He calls for sinners to walk in the light of the Lord (v. 5).
· He warns us of the danger of despising the light of the gospel (vv. 6-9).
And in verses 10-22 the prophet of God shows us the method of God’s saving operations of grace upon sinners in the day when the arm of the Lord is revealed to his elect (Read vv. 10-22).
There is a day appointed by God when those whom he has chosen in everlasting love and those whom Christ has redeemed by his precious blood’s atonement shall be effectually called to life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power of his Spirit. It is called “thy time,” because it is the time appointed by God for you to be saved. It is called “the time of love,” because it is the time when the love of God is revealed in the hearts of his elect (Ezek. 16:8). And it is called “the day of the Lord,” because it is the day when the Lord God reveals himself to his people in the face of Jesus Christ, in all the glory of his saving grace.
Tonight, I want to show you what God does for sinners in the day of his grace. I do not mean to suggest that you must experience these things before you can be saved. But I do mean for all men to understand that whenever God comes to his own elect in saving power he does convert and change them by his almighty grace. And in our text Isaiah is describing that change.
I do not suggest that these changes are all instantaneous. Conversion continues throughout the day of grace in this world. But the things Isaiah describes are changes which always accompany saving grace.
Proposition: The grace of God is always effectual, causing those whom he calls to enter into the Rock, Christ Jesus.
Divisions: Here is the method of God’s gracious operations in the hearts of his elect, as described by Isaiah. If God has chosen you as the object of his grace, if Christ has redeemed you by his precious blood, sooner or later, he will get you, he will save you by the power of his Spirit. And this is how he will do it. In the Day of God’s Grace . . .
1. He calls guilty sinners to enter into Christ the Rock of Refuge (v. 10).
2. If God calls you, He will break your pride and destroy your peace (vv. 11-17).
3. In the day of God’s saving power Christ alone will be exalted in your eyes (vv. 11, 17).
4. Once Christ is exalted in a man’s heart, all false religion will be contemptible (vv. 18-21).
5. In the day that a sinner finds refuge in Christ, he ceases from all creature confidence (v. 22).
May the Lord be pleased now, even as I preach the gospel to you, to awaken you who are dead in sin and graciously cause you to enter in the Rock, Christ Jesus.
I. In the day of God’s grace, HE CALLS GUILTY SINNERS TO ENTER INTO THE ROCK, CHRIST JESUS.
I am speaking to you in God’s name, by the authority of his word and his spirit. But I cannot awaken you. I cannot give you life. I cannot give you faith in Christ. Yet, I know this, if God speaks to you by the word that I preach, he will not speak in vain. When he calls, you will “Enter into the Rock.”
· There is a General Call.
· But there is an Effectual Call (John 5:25, 6:63; Ps. 65:4, 110:3).
A. Christ is the Rock of Salvation (I Cor. 10:4).
“The Lord is my Rock and my Salvation!”
1. He is the Rock smitten for us.
2. He is the Rock of Refuge.
3. He is the Rock of Revelation (Moses).
B. All who come to Christ come as contrite sinners, pleading for mercy - “Hide thee in the dust.”
If God ever reveals himself to you, if he ever shows you your sin and his holiness, your guilt and his greatness, your filth and his glory, your emptiness and his fullness, your condemnation and his grace in Christ, you will fall before him as a condemned man whose only hope is mercy. Why?
1. “For fear of the Lord.”
· Fear of His Wrath.
· Reverence of His Being.
2. “And for the glory of His Majesty.”
Illustration: Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
Isaiah (Chap. 6).
Daniel (Chap. 10:8).
Do you see the glory and majesty of God revealed in Christ? Do you see your need of such a Savior as he is? Then, “Enter in the Rock. Hide in the dust,” seek his mercy whose wrath you cannot bear.
Illustration: Cities of Refuge (Heb. 6:18).
II. IF GOD CALLS YOU BY HIS GRACE HE WILL BREAK YOUR PRIDE AND DESTROY YOUR PEACE (vv. 11-17).
You may feel very comfortable and secure. Nothing much disturbs you. You are young. You are strong. You have material security. You have both a peaceful life and a peaceful conscience. You see yourself as a fairly good person, and have no real fear of God’s anger or displeasure. But in the day of God’s grace that will change. He heals those that have need of healing and saves those that have need of saving. God will never force you to come to Christ against your will. But if he has set his heart upon you, he will make you willing in the day of his power.
Those whom God saves, he humbles. Those whom he lifts up, he first brings down. Those whom God exalts, he first abases. Those whom he fills, he first empties. He always wounds before he heals. He always strips before he clothes. And he always kills before he makes alive.
Spurgeon said, “Whatever God does or does not do. There is one rule of procedure from which he never deviates, namely, to cast down the proud and those who boast themselves, from their high places.”
Note: This humbling, breaking, abasing work of God is always terribly painful in the process. But it is always profitable in the end -
Illustration: Hosea and Gomer
vv. 11-12 - The lofty looks of men must be humbled and the haughty spirit of man must be broken - Pride and Rebellion.
vv. 13-14 - The Cedars of Lebanon - The straightest and most
stately, impressive men.
The Oaks of Bashan - The strongest and most stout-
The high mountains - The firm, well established,
highly praised and exalted men.
v. 15 - High towers and fenced walls - represent the fortresses
men make for the security of their souls and the peace of
their consciences - religious works - ceremonies - good
deeds - morality.
v. 16 - The ships of Tarshish - represent economic security.
Pleasant pictures - are the desirable, pleasant,
ornaments of worldly wealth.
Whatever it is that you set up in opposition to God, whatever it is that keeps you from Christ, whatever it is that you have made your refuge of lies, whatever it is that you set your heart upon, God will destroy it that he may save you - what great love! “The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low” (2:17).
In the day of his grace God will both humble your pride and break down your rebellion -
· He will do it by a work of His Providence (Ps. 107:1-31).
· He will do it by a work of His Grace (John 16:8-13).
III. IN THE DAY OF GOD’S SAVING POWER CHRIST ALONE WILL BE EXALTED IN YOUR EYES (vv. 11, 17). “The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day!”
I do not know whether God has chosen you or not. I do not know whether Christ has redeemed you or not. I do not know whether the spirit of God will call you or not. But I do know this - If God is pleased to save you by his grace, in that day, Christ alone will be exalted in your eyes.
A. Exalted as the sinners only, all-sufficient Savior (I Cor. 1:30-31).
B. Exalted as your only rightful and sovereign Lord (Luke 14:23-35).
C. Exalted as your only necessary desire (Ps. 73:25-26). The one thing needful (Lk. 10:42).
Gracious Lord, incline Thine ear,
My request be pleased to hear;
Hear my never ceasing cry -
“Give me Christ, or else I die.”
Wealth and honor I disdain,
Earthly comforts all are vain;
These can never satisfy -
Give me Christ, or else I die.
Lord, deny me what Thou wilt,
Only ease me of my guilt;
Helpless, at Thy feet I lie,
Give me Christ, or else I die.
IV. And I know this - ONCE CHRIST IS EXALTED IN A MAN’S HEART, once you see Christ, ALL FALSE RELIGION WILL BE CONTEMPTIBLE (vv. 18-21).
When Christ arises to shake the earth and destroy all the foundations of sand upon which you have built your soul, you will see the vanity, uselessness, and obnoxiousness of all false gods and false religions - you will gladly destroy your idols, be they ever so costly, with your own hands.
Idols of darkness are fit only for the pits of darkness where moles and bats, blind creatures of darkness dwell!
A. It is always costly to renounce the religion of a family and friends - but Dagon cannot stand beside the ark of the Lord.
B. “The fear of the Lord and the glory of his majesty” compel us to abolish every idol.
· Every false god.
· Every false hope.
· Every false righteousness. (Phil. 3:4-10)
· Every false refuge.
V. IN THE DAY THAT A SINNER FINDS REFUGE IN CHRIST, HE CEASES FROM ALL CREATURE CONFIDENCE (v. 22).
“Cease ye from man” -
· From yourself.
· From the religion of man.
· From the fear of man.
· From the approval of man.
Let your hope be in the Lord your God.
Let your allegiance be to the Lord your God.
Let your strength be the Lord your God.
Application: (v. 10)