But Not in Truth
Isaiah 48:1, 4, 8 ESV
“Hear this, O house of Jacob,
who are called by the name of Israel,
and who came from the waters of Judah,
who swear by the name of the Lord
and confess the God of Israel,
but not in truth or right…
“Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass…
“You have never heard, you have never known,
from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
and that from before birth you were called a rebel.”
We who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives are Israel. We are the only Israel, the Israel of God. For, when Jesus died on that cross, he destroyed the barrier between Jew and Gentile and he made us both one in Christ, by faith in Jesus Christ.
So, the division is no longer Jew and Gentile, but it is saved and unsaved, or believer in Jesus and non-believer in Jesus. So, whether Jew or Gentile by birth you are either a follower of Jesus or you are not, and if not, then you are not a child of God, and you don’t believe in the one true God.
[Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22]
So, when we talk about Israel today, this is speaking of those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. They have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and reborn of the Spirit of God to walk in newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
But not all who call themselves “Israel” or “Christian” are so in truth. Not everyone who confesses Jesus as Lord or claims to believe in him is true Israel – is truly a follower of Jesus. Many are obstinate, stiff-necked, hardheaded, and rebellious idolaters who have never truly ever known Jesus as Savior and Lord. They are Christians in name only, but not in truth.
Isaiah 48:12-14 ESV
“Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
and I am the last.
My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.
Assemble, all of you, and listen!”…
So, to all those who claim to be followers of Jesus, but who are not so in truth, Jesus is calling to you to listen up to what he is saying to the churches. We all need to listen to him, but this is a special call to those who have ears to hear but who whose ears have not been opened to the truth.
For, many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are just that, professers only. They have not died with Christ to sin and they are not living to him and to his righteousness. They give lip service to him only, but their hearts are far from him, for they are following the teachings of man in place of God.
For, the teachings of man tell them that they can make a mere confession of faith in Jesus Christ and that it guarantees them heaven as their eternal destiny regardless of how they live while still on the earth. It tells them or it implies to them that their sins no longer matter to God, so they can keep on sinning, only now without guilt.
But, the Word of God says the opposite, and the Word is truth, so this teaching of man is thus a lie.
The Way We Should Go
Isaiah 48:17-18, 20-22 ESV
“Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
‘I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea…’”
“Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
send it out to the end of the earth;
say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!’
They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock;
he split the rock and the water gushed out.
“’There is no peace,’ says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’”
So, here we have the truth. The Lord teaches us, and he leads us in the way we should go. And, that way is the way of his commandments to us, his church (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
He teaches us that to have faith in him means to die with him to sin and to live to him and to his righteousness, not just once, but for forever until our Lord returns. This faith is a gift from God, and therefore it submits to Christ as Lord (owner-master).
Those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ have left their sinful lifestyle behind them, they have been reborn of the Spirit of God, and now they are living for the Lord and for his purposes, and they are no longer under the control of Satan, sin and the flesh, for Jesus set them free.
We have peace with God because Jesus bought us back for God with his blood so that we are now God’s possession, and so that we now honor God with our lives. And, peace with God means we are no longer living as enemies of God and as enemies of the cross of Christ.
So, if you have not been living like this, but if you have still been living for the sinful pleasures of this world, then Jesus is calling out to you to repent of your sins and to turn to him to now walk in obedience to his commands for the rest of your days on this earth.
He is calling you out of Babylon, i.e. out of the world, and the world’s system, and the worldly flesh-driven and market-driven church, too. For Jesus has bought you back for God with his blood so that you would now honor God with your lives. And, he will provide for your every need.
For, there is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked. For, those who keep walking in their sin do not have eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).
Knowing You Jesus
By Graham Kendrick
All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.
Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.
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