Isaiah 42:5-9 ESV
“Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
‘I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.’”
Savior of the World
This was a prophecy concerning Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior (See also Isaiah 49 and 61). The part about Jesus being the covenant for the people is exclusively about Jesus Christ, but some of the rest of this was given to Paul as his calling (Acts 26:16-18), and to us, too (1 Pet 2:9).
Jesus Christ, God the Son, was called (anointed, chosen) in righteousness – in justice, morality, decency, uprightness, and honesty – to be the Savior of the world. So, he left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, came to earth, took on human form, and he willingly suffered and died for us so that we would be free from our bondage (captivity, addiction) to sin (Php 2:5-11).
It was the will of God from the beginning that Jesus Christ should be our sacrificial Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. He was with God in the beginning, he is God, and he is our creator God (John 1).
And he came, not just to forgive us our sins, and not just to deliver us from hell so that we can go to heaven when we die, but to die on that cross so that through his death and resurrection we would be delivered from our slavery to sin and so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (Rom 6:1-23; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
To Set the Captives Free
Jesus came to open blinded eyes, but not just the eyes of the physically blind, but primarily this is speaking of him opening the eyes of the spiritually blind, for they are blinded by sin’s deceitfulness and now by the lies that tell them that they can continue to live in their sin and that they can still be God’s children, and that heaven will still be their eternal destiny.
And he was called, not to release literal prisoners from literal physical dungeons and prisons, although he did that, too, but to release us, to bring us out from underneath our captivity to sin and to set us free. And this is not just about freedom from the punishment of sin, but this is about freedom from addiction to sin. Our salvation means we are no longer to live as slaves of sin but we are now to live as slaves of righteousness. Amen!
The Gospel Message
The gospel message can be summed up in several different passages, but one of them is in Acts 26:18. Jesus was sending Paul “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Jesus had the same calling. So do we.
Another one is Ephesians 4:17-24. I will only quote part of it, but basically it says that we are to no longer live like the ungodly, like those who have never believed in Jesus. They are alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. For they have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
“But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:20-24).
And another passage which summarizes the gospel is Titus 2:11-14:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
And that famous passage that everyone loves to quote from Ephesians 2:8-9 that says we are saved by grace, through faith, it is a gift of God, not of ourselves, not of works lest any of us should boast, concludes with verse 10 that says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Jesus Christ did not die on that cross so we could “get saved” and then live our lives however we want and then when we die we get to go to heaven. What an insult to the spirit of grace!
He died to deliver us out of our prisons, out of our chains, out of our addiction, our bondage, and our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and so we would now honor God with our bodies, and so that we would walk in holiness and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands. He came to change us! Praise Jesus!
New Lives in Christ Jesus
He came to give us new lives in him not like our old lives. And Jesus said:
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:23-26). Please take this seriously!
So, if you are of this opinion that believing in Jesus just means your sins are forgiven and now you get to go to heaven, then you are believing a big fat lie, especially if you believe your sins no longer matter to God and that God requires nothing of you. For if you walk in sin, you will die in your sins. If sin is what you obey, it will end in death, not life. And if sin is what you practice, and righteousness is not your practice, you will not inherit eternal life.
Worship of God involves surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is our acceptable worship of him. We are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in the renewing of our minds so that we can discern the perfect will of God for our lives. So, if this is not your experience, then please surrender your all to Jesus today and it will be well with your soul.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10]
Matt Redman / Jonas Myrin
The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes
Bless You Lord
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore
Bless the Lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name
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