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Series: “The Manifold Wisdom of God”
The Revelation of God’s Glory
Text: Isaiah 43:21
Subject: How Redemption Shows
The Praise Glory of God
(Isaiah 43:1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; (6) I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; (7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
(8) Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. (9) Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
(10) Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (11) I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (12) I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. (13) Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
(14) Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. (15) I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. (16) Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; (17) Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.
(18) Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (19) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. (20) The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
Verse 21 is my text.
(Isaiah 43:21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
The Lord God has made all things for himself, for his own praise and glory. And all things in creation and providence serve that purpose, in one way or another. All his works praise him. God’s glory is revealed in them all. But as one star differs from another in glory, so the glory of God shines more brightly in some of his works than in others. All God’s other works are stars of light, for which we are very thankful. But redemption is like the sun shining in its strength to show forth the great glory of God.
In Ephesians 3:10 the Spirit of God declares that the redemption of our souls is the showing forth of “the manifold wisdom of God.” Here is the manifold wisdom of God…
Proposition: Redemption reveals the manifold wisdom of God, for our redemption in and by the Lord Jesus Christ secures God’s universal and eternal praise as the greatest possible revelation of his glory.
In Ephesians 1 the Apostle Paul tells us three times that the whole purpose of God in the covenant of redemption is that we who are redeemed should be to the praise of his glory (vv. 6, 12, 14).
Here, in Isaiah 43, we see Israel in captivity and bondage. But their bondage was not by accident. Yes, it was the result of their unbelief and sin. God brought Israel under the yoke of the Babylonians because of their sin. But long before Israel sinned against him, and long before the king of Babylon captured them, God determined to glorify himself in the redemption of his elect nation from Babylonian captivity. This is what he says in verse 21…
(Isaiah 43:21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
Now hear the message of our text. There is an elect multitude of men and women in this world, whom God has formed for himself. They are, like all other people, fallen, depraved, condemned sinners by nature, in bondage to sin and Satan, “Children of wrath, even as others.” But God says, concerning this elect multitude, “They shall show forth my praise.” God’s saints show forth his praise in many ways…
· Faith in Christ
· Manner of Life
· Consecration of Life
· The Witness of the Gospel
But our text is not talking about us showing forth God’s praise by something we do for him. That fact is made obvious in verses 22-26.
(Isaiah 43:21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. (22) But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. (23) Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. (24) Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. (25) I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (26) Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.
Here the Lord God declares that we show forth his praise by the great work he does for and in us — Redemption! The redemption of sinners in, by, and for the Lord Jesus Christ shows forth the praise, honor, and glory of the triune God.
First, redemption is the work of God alone. — Redemption signifies “the obtaining of something by paying a proper price for it” (John Gill). Generally, when we talk about redemption, we limit our thoughts to the price that Christ paid for our ransom upon the cross. We think only about the suffering and death of Christ. But that is a mistake. Redemption is a term that is almost synonymous with salvation. Certainly, our redemption was obtained by the precious blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:12). But redemption is more than the death of Christ for us. It encompasses all the glorious consequences of Christ’s death, which are effectually and infallibly applied to God’s elect by his grace. This redemption, from beginning to end, is the work of God alone.
In the New Testament three different words are used to describe our redemption by Christ. Please excuse me for making reference to the Greek words that are used in the New Testament, but these three words, often translated the same way, have different shades of meaning that will help you to understand what the Bible teaches about redemption.
Note: A man may buy a piece of property. Once he pays the price it is his, though he takes possession later.
Put these three words together, and you have the New Testament doctrine of redemption. God’s elect have been redeemed, not with silver and gold, the ordinary ransom price, but with the precious blood of Christ. The price was paid at Calvary, when Christ died. At that time, the curse was removed from us. We were purchased out of the hands of the law and freed from condemnation. And in the fulness of time, we were set free, delivered, and released from the guilt and dominion of sin by the application of Christ’s blood to our hearts in regeneration.
Three O.T. Types
Our redemption by Christ was typified in the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Jews were made to serve the Egyptians. Their bondage was long, bitter, and hard. When Pharaoh required them to make bricks without straw, their slavery became intolerable; and they cried to God for mercy.
Those Jews in Egypt are a good picture of our state and condition by nature. By reason of sin, we are weak and feeble, helpless before the law of God, incapable of fulfilling it. Yet, the law requires perfect, sinless obedience. And it curses and condemns all who fail to meet its requirements.
And the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt portrays our redemption by Christ.
The ransom was made by paying half a shekel, called the atonement money for their souls, by which they were preserved from any plague that might come.
Redemption, as it is portrayed and taught in the Word of God, is an effectual work of God’s almighty grace. It is not the work of man’s will, or man’s decision, or man’s obedience. It is the work of God alone.
Second, this redemption glorifies God in all his attributes. — Here is the manifold wisdom of God. He found a way to redeem and save his people that would exalt, magnify, and glorify every attribute of his holy Being (Psalm 85:7-13).
(Psalm 85:7-13) (7) Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. (8) I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. (9) Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. (10) Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. (11) Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. (12) Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. (13) Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
Our redemption by Christ glorifies the holiness of God. God cannot compromise his holiness. He cannot save sinners at the expense of holiness. But never was the holiness of God more fully revealed than it was when God found sin upon his own dear Son. When God found sin upon his Son…
Our redemption by Christ glorifies the truth of God.
Heaven and earth will pass away before one word of God falls to the ground. Indeed, his own beloved Son will be slain before one jot or tittle of his word shall fail. Perhaps this is the meaning of that text which says, — “Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2).
The redemption of our souls by the blood of Christ glorifies the righteousness and justice of God (Romans 3:24-26).
(Romans 3:24-26) (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
God is so strictly and immutably just that he will not save the people he loves without the satisfaction of his law and justice. And God is so strictly and immutably just that he would not spare his own dear Son when he took our sins upon himself and became the sinner’s Substitute. God would not release his Son of one debt, spare his Son one requirement, or relieve his Son of one obligation. Justice must be satisfied, though it cost God his Son and cost his Son his life by the extraordinary, indescribably painful, shameful death of the cross.
Illustration: The Chief and the Chicken Thief
The accomplishment of redemption by Christ glorifies the great power of God too. Every aspect of redemption reveals the power of God. God’s great power in creation and providence fades in comparison with the power of God set forth in our redemption.
And our redemption by Christ shows, as nothing else can, the praise of the glory of God’s mercy, love, and grace (1 John 3:1). — Hear me now, the great God of heaven and earth so loves sinners who fully deserve his wrath that he found a way both to forgive our sins and make us the sons of God! He so loves sinful man that he has given fallen man a gift greater than he ever bestowed upon all the holy angels. God gave us his Son (2 Corinthians 9:15)!
Glorifies the Trinity
Our redemption is the work of God alone. It glorifies all the attributes of God. And, third, our redemption by Christ glorifies all three persons in the holy trinity (Ephesians 1:3-14). Christ is our Redeemer. And, by God’s own will and decree, Christ has all pre-eminence as our Redeemer. But in the work of redemption each of the Divine Persons in the Godhead are distinctly glorified for a specific work.
God the Father is glorified in redemption.
God the Son is glorified in our redemption.
God the Holy Spirit is glorified in our redemption. He communicates to us all the blessings of grace which Christ purchased for us. In fact, the Holy Spirit is the sum of all the blessings Christ purchased for his elect (Galatians 3:13-14). The blessedness of the redeemed is that we are made partakers of Christ’s fulness, which consists in being partakers of the Spirit given without measure to Christ.
Note: To speak of a believer who does not have the fulness of the Spirit is to say that the redeemed do not partake of redemption!
By virtue of Christ’s redemption, we have the Spirit of God, the Spirit of life, the Spirit of adoption. He is…
“This is the oil that was poured upon the Head of the church, which ran down to members of his body, to the skirts of his garment.” —— Jonathan Edwards.
(1 John 2:20-27) (20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Fourth, this redemption inspires and motivates saved sinners to praise and glorify God (1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 12:1-2). Those who know the grace of God in redemption seek to praise him and glorify him in all things.
Before Christ redeemed us, we were, like Israel in Egypt, in a state of captivity and bondage.
Now, in and by the Lord Jesus Christ, we are redeemed!
John Gill wrote, “Redemption by Christ is nothing more or less than buying his people out of the hands of justice, in which they were held for sin, and that with the price of his blood, which is therefore paid into the hands of justice for them. Hence, they are said to be redeemed, or bought unto God by his blood…Redemption is a deliverance from the law, from the bondage of it, and from the curse and condemnation by it; so that there shall be no more curse; and from eternal death and wrath to come. Life is forfeited into the hands of justice by sin, which life is redeemed from destruction, by Christ giving his life a ransom for it. (Christ), by redeeming his people, has delivered them from wrath to come; being justified through the redemption that is in Christ, by his blood, they are, and shall be saved, from everlasting wrath, ruin, and destruction.”
Redemption by Christ is complete freedom and deliverance from sin.
Illustration: A. J. Gordon and the Black Birds
God has greatly glorified himself in the redemption of sinners by Christ. Now, I am calling upon you to glorify the God of redemption.
Blessed be his name, there is a day soon to appear when we shall by our redemption show forth to wondering worlds “The manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 2:7).
(Ephesians 2:1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
In that great, eternal day, we shall be a people “wondered at” (Zechariah 3:8).
[i] Danville — Sunday Evening — August 3, 2014
East Hendersonville Baptist Church — Hendersonville, NC (08/05/14)
Readings: Cody Henson and Rex Bartley