Sermon #1670 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: Afflicted, Saved,
Redeemed, and Carried
Text: Isaiah 63:9
Date: Sunday Evening — January 21, 2007
Tape # Z-19b
Readings: Bob Pruitt and James Jordan
The title of my message is — Afflicted, Saved, Redeemed, and Carried. That is how the Holy Spirit describes all the people of God in this world in my text — Isaiah 63:9.
(Isaiah 63:9) “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
I like that description of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Brother born for adversity, the Messenger of the covenant, our Redeemer, and the blessed Carrier of our souls. — Don’t you? This is the Savior I need. Let me, once more, remind you of a few of the most prominent things in this very precious and instructive portion of Holy Scripture.
The previous chapter closes with the promise of Christ Jesus coming as God’s Salvation to save his people.
(Isaiah 62:11) “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”
And, then, we are told what the reward is that he brings with him. His people shall be called…
· The Holy People!
· The Redeemed of the Lord!
· Sought Out!
· A City Not Forsaken!
Glorious in Apparel
Then, in Isaiah 63:1-5, our Lord Jesus Christ is described as one “glorious in his apparel” as our great Substitute, Redeemer, and sin-atoning High Priest, travelling in the greatness of his strength, mighty to save. Where did he obtain this glory, this strength, this might to save? — At Calvary! There he…
· Trod the winepress of the wrath of God alone.
· Stained his raiment with our blood.
· Satisfied all the vengeance of God against us.
· And brought in everlasting salvation by his own arm.
In verse 7, all this great grace, all this great salvation in and by our Lord Jesus Christ is traced to its Fountain.
(Isaiah 63:7) “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.”
This portion of the Gospel According to Isaiah refers to the achievements of our blessed Lord and Savior upon the cursed tree, the mighty conquests of the Captain of our salvation over sin, death, and hell, and the consequent works and operations of his grace in us by his blessed Holy Spirit in this gospel age, which he calls “the year of my redeemed.”
Here is our mighty Savior, who has made an end of all our sins, brought in everlasting righteousness, and now, before the face of his Father, speaks in righteousness for us, and by his Holy Spirit reveals to us the precious fact that he has obtained eternal redemption for us, by the sacrifice of himself.
On the ground of his own perfect obedience, he speaks to the Father for us; and speaks to us for the Father, saying, “It is finished!” This is he who is “mighty to save!”
· He saved us in his sovereign purpose before the worlds were framed, according to 2 Timothy 1:9 — “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling; not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
· He saved us in his substitutionary performance when he bore our sin in his own body on Calvary’s cursed tree and died for us under the fury of his Father’s holy wrath.
· He saved us, experimentally, by his saving power and grace, when he was revealed in us by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and our hearts were comforted with a sight of his bleeding wounds, precious blood, perfect righteousness, and all-prevailing intercession.
Mighty to Save
Are there any here deep down in the dungeon of despondency? Christ is mighty to save! — Is there one here crushed beneath the horrid load of guilt and sin? Christ is mighty to save! — Is there one in our midst harassed with doubt and fear? Christ is mighty to save! — Is there one in this house in trouble, tossed upon the billows of a raging sea of trouble? Christ is mighty to save! — Is there one here who cries, like the patriarch of old, “All these things are against me”? Christ is mighty to save! — Is there one in our midst, fallen, like Peter? Christ is mighty to save! — Are there any here who are compelled to confess, with the Bride in sorrow, “I sleep.” Christ is mighty to save!
The Lord Jesus Christ is mighty to save us from all our sins, sufferings, and sorrows — from all evil that would grieve us, from all error that would deceive us, and from all the corruptions that rage within us!
His is, as one described it, “A salvation which God could not mend and devils cannot mar.” It does not depend upon us in any way. It carries with it no conditions. It is his work alone!
· His salvation is not bestowed according to the measure of our faith, but according to the measure of his grace.
· His salvation is not given by the merit of our works, but by the merit of his blood.
· His salvation is not sustained by the length of our faithfulness, but by the length of his faithfulness.
· We are not saved by our goodness, but by his “great goodness.”
· We are not kept by our power, but by his power.
I am weak; and you are weak. I am sinful; and you are sinful. I can do nothing; and you can do nothing. — “But” my brother, my sister, “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). He who is mighty to save says to every believing soul, “My grace is sufficient for thee!” And he has proved it a thousand times a day in our experience. Has he not?
Will not Lie
Then we come across a strange statement in verse 8. — “For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie; so he was their Saviour.” You may think, “That is not me;” and you are right, if you look at yourself in Adam. From the womb we went astray, speaking lies, and our hearts are altogether deceitful. The man in the pulpit, and you in the pews are all liars, all the time. There are no exceptions.
What, then, are we to understand by these words, “Children that will not lie”? We are not to look at these children as they appear in union with Adam, or when left to themselves, but as they stand in blessed union with him who is “The Truth,” and as they are guided by the Spirit of Truth into communion with the God of Truth. They are “children that will not lie,” as they bow before him confess what sinners they are, owning the sovereignty of his grace that plucked them as brands from the burning, and gave them a place among the children, and the efficacy of his blood that has put away their sin, and the perfection of his righteousness that makes them “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” That is exactly what the Holy Spirit declares in 1 John 1:7-10. Every heaven born soul walks in the light and will not lie before God.
(1 John 1:7-10) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Therefore, because he has declared, “Surely they are my people, children that will not lie,” we read, “so he was their Savior.” Now, let’s look at our text. — “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
First, we see that all God’s people in this world are afflicted. But, “In all their affliction he was afflicted.” Here is affliction, with great sympathy! God’s elect, redeemed, and regenerate sinners are called by the Lord himself, “an afflicted and poor people” (Zephaniah 3:12).
“In all their affliction.” — We must look at this in its widest possible sense. “In all,” not in some. To understand this correctly, we must know this Sympathizer, Savior, Redeemer, and Carrier. He who is God in undivided union with the Father became one with his tempted and tried brethren. He who lived in the heights of glory descended to the depths of our doom. He who is the Object of angelic acclamations and the songs of the glorified, came into this world in human flesh to be greeted with the sighs of the sorrowful and the groans of the oppressed. He whom all heaven praised from eternity became the object of cruel scorn and derision. He who is the delight of his Father’s heart came down here to be made the sport of hell and to be assaulted by all the powers of Satan.
Why was this? He, as God, could never truly sympathize with the objects of his love. For a person to sympathize with another it is necessary for him to be brought into their circumstances and walk in their shoes. Sympathy can only come from one who has endured what I have to endure. God could not suffer, therefore God could not sympathize. But he who is truly God became truly Man. — God and Man, one Christ, one glorious Person. From Bethlehem’s manger to the bitter cross of Calvary, he spent a life in suffering and sorrow, and “in all (our) affliction he was afflicted.”
I emphasize that word “all.” — “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are; yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). O how our hearts ought to leap with love to him! — “Though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, that ye through His poverty might be made rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Allow me to pass by the lesser to get to the greater. What poverty was this? It was our Lord Jesus Christ putting himself into the very same poverty his children are brought to experience by the convicting power of God the Holy Spirit. There is no spiritual poverty that I am brought into, but my precious Christ was there before me.
· Do I know and feel myself to be stripped of everything through the transgression of Adam?
· Do I know by painful experience that I am wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked?
· Do I know what it is to be made sin before God?
· Do I know what it is to be without God?
· Do I know what it is to be justly cursed of God?
What a mercy it is for me to be taught by the Holy Ghost that the Lord Jesus endured all this for me, that he might lift me out of it all, and put me into the possession of those unsearchable riches of grace he has treasured up for me in himself from eternity.
Oh, how the sinless soul and sensitive nature of our blessed Lord and Savior must have shrunk from the approach of the evil one! We can glean a little about this from the gospel writers. — Matthew tells us (4:1), “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” — But Mark writes, “And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.” Led, brought, taken, driven by the Spirit to be tempted in all points like as we are. In all points afflicted. Was he really? Yes, he was, really. He was hungry, and his hunger was associated with the vilest temptations from the evil one. See him in dark Gethsemane, praying, crying unto God in fear, sweating blood in agony! Behold him as he thirsted on Calvary’s bloody tree, and his thirst was accompanied with mockery and derision from a devilish mob. His friends forsook him in the moment of his deepest distress. His foes defamed him in the hour of his bitterest grief. His Father forsook during the time of his deepest agony.
“In all their affliction he was afflicted.” — It is a spiritual privilege, rich and rare, to know that in every pain and perplexity, temptation and tribulation, anxiety and care, in every sorrow of our souls, our Advocate, yonder in heaven, has a sympathetic heart, “touched with the feeling of our infirmities!”
I passed by the lesser of all our afflictions and have spoken to you about the greater, because the greater assures us of the lesser. If our Savior was afflicted with all our afflictions as our Substitute, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities when we bow before him as needy sinners, we can be sure that he is touched with our lesser troubles.
· Being Forsaken by One We Love.
· Being Misunderstood by Family.
· Having our Motives Misrepresented.
“In all our affliction he is afflicted.”
Next, we read, — “And the Angel of his presence saved them.” I love that salvation which is brought from the presence of the triune God by the Angel of the everlasting covenant. Who is this Angel?
· He is the Messenger of the covenant of grace in whose hands the pleasure of the Lord prospers.
· He is the Angel of his presence in whom all to whom he is sent find sweet acceptance.
· He is the glorious Mediator between God and redeemed men, by whom all covenant communications are made.
What is the meaning of the word Angel? One sent with a message. In Jesus Christ we see the Sent One of the Father. — “For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34). — “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). The Father sent his own Son, who stood in the presence of his glory from all eternity as the Representative of the covenant, to save the world of his elect, to save every sinner throughout the world for whom he stood as Surety from everlasting.
By the obedience and death of the Sent One, sin was put away, righteousness was brought in, Satan was defeated, death was destroyed, God was glorified, salvation was accomplished, and grace is brought home to the hearts of redeemed sinners. “The Angel of his presence saved them”…
· By His Purpose.
· By His Promise.
· By His Purchase.
· By His Power.
When danger is near, when temptations abound, when sins distress, Christ is mighty to save, and at hand to bless.
“The Angel of his presence saved them.” — As God, he stands in the presence of the Father eternally (John 1:18). — As the God-Man, he came forth from the presence of the Father to reveal the Father’s smiling face to his elect brethren (John 17:25). — As the Father’s faithful Servant, and the Surety of the covenant, he brings poor, vile sinners into the presence of the Father. — “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). — “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). — “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Ephesians 2:18).
The next line of our text speaks of our redemption. — “In his love and in his pity he redeemed them.” How I love that word, “Redeemed!” The loving sympathies of the Son of God slumber not, but are ever active. They are neither selfish, fickle, or partial. Who can comprehend the wonders of redeeming love?
Of such love, our poor souls can know but little. But the little we know is glorious. As is the love of the Father to his Son, so is the love of the Son to his people. — “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9). — “Thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me....for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:23-24). This much I know — The Love of Christ is…
· Without Cause.
· Without Beginning.
· Without End.
· Without Change!
And “in his love and in his pity he redeemed” us!
Love delights in us as we appear in all the glorious perfections of our Covenant Head and Husband. Pity finds and feels for us in our fallen, sinful, and helpless state. Our blessed Savior says, “None eye pitied thee.” But blessed be his name forever, he did! — “Now, when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.” That is the love and pity of our Redeemer for us! — It is effectual, saving love and pity!
By nature we are sold under sin, and the willing bond-slaves of Satan. We hug our chains, kiss our bars, and love our prison, with all its filth! We defy our Deliverer. In Adam we were sold to slavery. Who can buy us back? Who can pay the price of our redemption? — Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer. And what is the price?— “The precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-20).
(1 Peter 1:18-20) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”
“In his love and in his pity he redeemed” us…
· As Boaz redeemed Ruth.
· As Hosea redeemed Gomer.
By the virtue and power of his precious blood, he ransomed us from hell, freed us from the curse of the law, and met for us all the demands of holiness. With this eternal redemption, Satan cannot hold you, sin cannot damn you, death cannot destroy you, and hell cannot devour you. — “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68).
Illustration: The Two Black Birds
Now, look at the last line of our text. — “And he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” How thankful I am that he who saved us redeemed us, and he who redeemed us carries us! Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is mighty to save, carries us!
If I take a single step without the strength and support of his arm, I am sure to fall. But the Father sent him, and he came willingly to redeem, to save, to sympathize, and to carry our poor, weak, needy souls. As a gentle Shepherd, he carries his sheep upon his broad shoulders of sovereign power, and folds his lambs in his sympathizing bosom of unfaltering affection. Like a nursing mother he carries his poor weak children through every danger and difficulty until he lands them safe in glory (Isaiah 46:3-4).
(Isaiah 46:3-4) “Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: (4) And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
Come what may from earth, from hell, from within, or from without, our Savior and Redeemer assures us, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
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