Isaiah 63:7-9 ESV
“I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord,
the praises of the Lord,
according to all that the Lord has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
For he said, ‘Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.’
And he became their Savior.
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;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
To the House of Israel
In the Messianic era, those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sins and to give them new lives in him to be lived for his glory and praise, are the house of Israel. For the promises of God which were spoken to Abraham and to his seed were spoken to Abraham and to his seed, Jesus Christ. So all who believe in Jesus Christ by God-given faith in him are true Israel. All those who do not are not true Israel.
For not all who are physically descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham just because they are his physical offspring. For it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise. And if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and we are heirs according to the promise. For in Jesus’ death he destroyed the barrier that stood between Jew and Gentile and he made us one in Christ, via genuine faith in Christ.
So the physical nation of Israel is not true Israel, God’s chosen people, his beloved. And the physical city of Jerusalem corresponds to Hagar, the slave woman, for she is still in slavery with her children, and the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son. So physical Jerusalem is no longer the Holy City. The church, the body of Christ, is our Lord’s Holy City. We are his holy people, his called out ones. For the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. And whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ is the antichrist, according to Scripture.
[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22]
Jesus, Our Savior
Now the Lord God sent Jesus Christ, God the Son, to the earth to become our Savior. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit to a human mother and so he was born as a baby in a human body. And he lived on this earth for about 33 years, I think, as both fully God and fully human. And he suffered and he died on a cross, taking our sins upon him, in order that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24).
[John 1:1-36; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Isaiah 53:1-12]
So, when Jesus suffered and died on that cross to free us from our slavery to sin, and to give us new lives in him to be lived for his glory, he became sin for us, taking upon himself the sins of the world. And he put our sins to death with him so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him and for his righteousness. For he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now honor God with our lives.
[Romans 6:1-23; 2 Corinthians 5:15,21; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20]
Now, God knew before he even created us who we would be and who we would become, and he knew the things that we would do and say, for evil and for good, so he knew that we would sin against him. Even when he chose the Jews to be his holy people, he knew that many of them would turn against him, and that they would betray him, and that they would put Jesus to death, and that many would reject Jesus as their Messiah. But he chose them just the same. For his goal was to save them from their sins.
And the same applies to us. Jesus Christ was crucified on that cross for us that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin and serve him with our lives. And he did this even knowing that many would reject him, and that they would turn against him, and that they would come against his servants and his messengers, and that they would put many of them to death. And many of them who are against Jesus, sadly, are those who profess him as Savior and Lord. For they give him lip service only.
Isaiah 63:10 ESV
“But they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit;
therefore he turned to be their enemy,
and himself fought against them.”
But They Rebelled
Things are not much different today than they were then. Many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are living in open rebellion against the Lord Jesus, doing what their sinful hearts desire, while refusing to bow the knee to Jesus in humble surrender and in obedience to his will for their lives. The lives they are living are barely distinguishable from the people who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ at all. So they, too, are giving lip service only to God.
Even though Jesus died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so that we can now walk in his holiness and righteousness, in the power and wisdom of God, many who are professing faith in Jesus have not left their lives of sin behind them but they are continuing in habitual and deliberate sin against God, many of them without conscience and without remorse. And some of them are fully convinced that they have God’s approval, too.
But since God’s design and purpose for our lives, as his followers, is that we submit to him as Lord, that we follow him in obedience to his commands, and that we forsake our lives of living in sin to now live holy lives pleasing to him, he is sending out his messages to the people who profess his name, and he is letting them know that he is not pleased with them. He is letting them know, too, that if they continue in sin, eternal life will not be theirs.
And just like in the days of old, those who reject the truth of God’s word and his gospel message are maligning those who are giving out the Lord’s messages. And they are fighting against those who are bringing forth the truth, because they are fighting against the Lord. And this is because they refuse to submit to Christ as Lord and to do what he says. But the Lord has a day when we will all have to give an account for what we have done.
Judged by God according to our works
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Suffering for the Sake of Righteousness
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12]
My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a steppingstone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for a while;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
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