Sermon #1308 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: THE BLESSED CHARACTER OF OUR SAVIOR
Text: Isaiah 9:6-7
Readings: Office: Bobbie Estes Auditorium: Larry Criss
Subject: The Incarnation, Character, and Exaltation of Christ
Date: Sunday Evening - December 21, 1997
Tape # U-39
Our great and glorious God, in his adorable wisdom and indescribable sovereignty has often used unbelieving men to proclaim his truth. Frequently, the most blasphemous men are unwitting voices by which he proclaims his name.
· Caiaphas (John 11:49-52)
· “He saved others. Himself he cannot save.”
· “Surely, this man was the Son of God!”
Two weeks ago, there was a meeting of frog kissing, tree hugging new agers in Orlando, Florida. Walking around the Harley Hotel in Orlando, hundreds of these left over hippies were wearing T-shirts with these words written in large bold letters across the front - “I AM.” In smaller letters, underneath the words “I AM” the shirts read, “and that’s all that matters”. They did not have enough sense to know it, but in their proud, self-centered egotism, they were proclaiming the one thing that they most despise. The Lord our God, our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is the I AM, and that’s all that matters!
I want, by the grace of God to proclaim him to you this evening. My text is Isaiah 9:6-7. Here the prophet of God shows us The Blessed Character of Our Savior.
This is the One whose name is I AM. This is my Savior. This is the Christ upon whom I rest weight of my immortal soul. This is the One I want you to know, trust, love, and worship.
In the opening verses of this chapter, Isaiah told us of a time of great spiritual darkness and trouble, a time when God would send blindness to the nation of Israel, a time when that apostate nation would be cut off and left desolate. But he also spoke of an elect remnant scattered among the nations of the world to whom this would be a time of great mercy. Upon that elect remnant the Lord God promised to pour out his superabundant grace. He promised to…
· Give light to those who sat in darkness (v. 2).
· Multiply and increase the number of his people (v. 3).
· Give joy unspeakable to his elect (v. 3).
· Bring liberty to those who were in bondage (v. 4).
· Give victory through grace to all his people (v. 5).
Though he threatened wrath to a nation that would not hear his voice, in wrath our God remembered mercy and promised great mercy to all who hear his voice and believe his Word. But how can these promises of mercy and grace be fulfilled? No doubt, these great, comprehensive promises of grace must have sounded too good to be true when Isaiah first proclaimed them. Those who did believe must have wondered, “How an these things be?”
Proposition: In verses 6 and 7, Isaiah proclaimed that God would fulfil his word of grace by sending his own dear Son into the world, by the incarnation, virgin birth, extraordinary character, and exaltation of our all glorious Christ.
Divisions: In verses 1-5 God promised to bring salvation to his elect. In verses 6 and 7 he shows us how he would accomplish his great purpose of grace. Let me show your four things revealed in these two verses about our great and glorious Savior.
1. The Incarnation And Virgin Birth Of Christ
2. The Amazing Character Of Our Dear Savior
3. The Glorious Exaltation Of Our Redeemer
4. The Infallible Security of God’s Purpose
I. Our text opens with a prophetic declaration of The Incarnation And Virgin Birth Of Christ. - “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder”
Without question, Isaiah is here expanding and elaborating upon the prophecy he gave earlier in chapter seven, verse fourteen.
He is telling us that in order to save us, in order to accomplish his promised grace in us, God himself must come into this world and assume human flesh!
In this opening sentence the prophet of God tells us three things about the Messiah, the Prince, the Savior who must come at God’s appointed time.
A. First, Isaiah speaks of the humanity of Christ - “For unto us a child is born.”
Behold the humiliation of our Savior. Though he comes to reign as King forever, he is born into this world as a little child! In this state of humiliation, our Redeemer was as helpless as any other baby, requiring the sustenance of his mother’s breasts, the care of her hands, and the warmth of the blankets in which she tenderly wrapped him.
1. Our Savior is a man like us, touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
2. Because he came to suffer the wrath of God and die in our stead, he assumed a nature capable of suffering and death.
3. Because he came to redeem and save chosen men, not fallen angels, he took on him the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8).
B. Second, God’s prophet poke of the eternal Deity of this child born at Bethlehem. - “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
As the Son of Man Christ was born of the virgin’s womb. But as the Son of God, he was not born. He was given. This little child born from Mary’s womb is himself the God the eternal Son who made Mary’s womb, the second Person of the holy Trinity. He is Immanuel, God in our nature.
1. Man broke God’s law and a man must repair it; but no man’s obedience to God’s law could be of any value to other men unless that man who obeys is also the infinite God.
2. Man sinned and man must die; but the death of this man could never put away a single sin or satisfy the justice of God for sin, unless he is himself God. It is the Deity of Christ that gives infinite merit and efficacy to his sacrifice as the sinners’ Substitute.
3. This man who is God, Christ Jesus, our Savior is the gift of God’s love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10).
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son given…
· In the covenant of grace (Isa. 49:8).
· In the incarnation.
Illustration: There is a place in London, England called Trafalgar Square. In the square there is a colossal column which stretches upward to the sky. On top of that column there is a statue of the famous British admiral, Lord Nelson. The sculptor, in a effort to give Lord Nelson the place of highest possible honor, placed his statue so high that no one can make out what the man looked like. His elevation above the earth precludes any revelation of his character. However, some years after the statue was erected, at the 1948 ideal Home Exhibition in Olympia someone made an exact replica of the Lord Nelson statue with plaster and displayed it at eye level on a slightly elevated balcony. Then, for the first time, men and women could see clearly the features which before they could not perceive. That is what Christ did in his incarnation. He brought God down to eye level and made him known in human flesh. In Christ God Most High is God most nigh! “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!”
· Into the hands of justice (Zech. 13:1).
· In the new birth.
· In heaven’s glory.
C. Third, Isaiah proclaims the exaltation of our Savior. - “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.”
Remember, Isaiah is talking about Christ as the God-man, our Mediator and Redeemer. He tells us here that, as the result of his obedience to God, “The government shall be upon his shoulder.” This is the result and reward of his redemptive work (John 17:2; Phil. 2:9-11). But what government is Isaiah talking about?
· The Government of All Creation.
· The Government of All Providence.
· The Government of His Church and Kingdom.
· The Government of All Grace.
“As in the days of his flesh he exercised the most unlimited authority over diseases, devils, and the very elements, so now everything fulfils his unerring counsels.”
II. In the next few lines of our text, Isaiah describes by divine inspiration The Amazing Character Of Our Savior. “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Here are five names by which our Savior is called. He is called by these five names because they represent to us what he is. They represent and describe his blessed character. You who know him ill bear me witness that our all glorious Christ is…
1. In His Person.
2. In His Works.
3. In His Accomplishments.
4. In His Love.
5. In His Grace.
1. He stood as our Counselor in the Covenant of Grace before the world began.
2. He gives wise and gracious counsel to his people in this world.
3. He is our Counselor at the bar of God in heaven.
C. The Mighty God!
Quite literally, this name is God the Mighty One. Sometimes in the Scriptures both angels and magistrates are called “gods” because of their God-given authority. But Christ is God the Mighty One.
1. Though he assumed our nature, he never ceased to be the mighty God.
2. Though he died as a man, as our Substitute, under the wrath of God, he who died upon the cursed tree was and is the mighty God.
3. Though he sits in heaven today in human flesh, that Man in glory is himself the mighty God.
4. Because he is God the Mighty One, he is able to accomplish all that he undertook to accomplish as our Mediator.
· Righteousness (Rom. 5:19).
· Redemption (Heb. 9:12).
· Salvation (Heb. 7:25).
D. The Everlasting Father!
Isaiah was not confused about the Persons of the Godhead, or the doctrine of the Trinity. He wrote by Divine inspiration; and his words are precisely accurate.
It was common among the Jews as it is with us to call a man who is the inventor of something, or the original founder of something, the father of it. For Example: Jubal is called “the father of those who play the harp and flute” (Gen. 4:21). Jabal “was the father of those who dwell in tents” (Gen. 4:20). Socrates is called “the father of philosophy”. Galen has been named “the father of medicine”. And Herodotus has been known through the centuries as “the father of history”. It is in just that sense that Isaiah calls the Lord Jesus Christ “The Everlasting Father”.
1. He is the Father of his spiritual seed (Eph. 3:15).
2. He is the Father of an everlasting age.
3. He is the Father of the world to come.
4. Christ is to us The Everlasting Father, or the Father of Eternity!
a. We are born of his Spirit.
b. We have been given his nature.
c. We wear his name.
d. We are under his care.
e. We live upon his provision.
f. We are sons in his house.
g. We shall possess his inheritance.
E. The Prince of Peace!
Jesus Christ our Lord is the Prince by whom peace comes.
1. He purchased peace for us.
2. He promised peace to us.
3. He works peace in us.
Wherever the Prince of Peace rules, there is peace. And the more willingly and fully we submit to his rule, the greater our peace is.
I told you, our Savior’s character is amazing. It is more than amazing. It is astonishing! His name is what he is Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace!
III. Look now at verse seven. Here Isaiah proclaims The Glorious Exaltation Of Christ.
It was hinted at earlier. Here it is more fully described.
Here the prophet is describing the sovereign rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, as the Prince of Peace, the Governor of the universe, and the Governor of his Church and Kingdom. (Compare Ps. 2:6; Isa. 45:22-25; Phil. 2:9-11; Acts 2:32-36).
A. Christ’s Kingdom is a constantly increasing kingdom.
B. His government is a blessedly peaceful rule.
1. Christ Jesus rules in the hearts of men.
2. He rules by the force and power of his love.
3. He rules by the gospel of his grace.
C. Christ’s rule is established in the hearts of men by Divine wisdom (judgment) and justice.
1. He makes us to see the wisdom of God in redemption.
2. He causes us to know the justice of God in grace.
3. Thus, he establishes his rule in our hearts, making chosen sinners rejoice to bow before him.
D. Our great Savior’s Kingdom is also an everlasting, eternal kingdom. - “Of his government and kingdom there shall be no end.”
IV. Now, look with me at the last sentence of our text. Here Isaiah assures us of The Infallible Security of God’s Purpose. - “The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”
God himself, the eternal, omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe, the triune Jehovah has undertaken to perform all these things. He cannot fail!
A. God’s zeal for his own great and glorious name will perform these things. He will accomplish all his purpose!
B. God’s zeal for his people’s eternal good will perform all his purposed works and promises of grace.
1. You can trust this great and glorious Savior.
2. How we ought to admire and adore him who is Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
3. How grateful redeemed sinners ought to be for such a Redeemer as Christ is.
· A Man Like Us!
· God in Our Nature!
4. How devoted we should be to our God and Savior.
Illustration: The Preacher and The Business Man
5. If this is my God and my Savior, how content I ought to be at all times, in all circumstances.