Isaiah 62:1-3 NIV
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”
Before we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are separate from God, unable within ourselves to be acceptable to God or to share in his holiness and righteousness (Romans 3:23). For there is nothing we can do in our own selves to be made right with God. No amount of good works we do in our flesh will ever be enough to earn or to deserve our own salvation. Only by the grace of God, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, can any of us be made right with God (Ephesians 2:8-10).
But let’s take a look at that word “faith.” The faith required of us for salvation from sin is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2), so it comes from God. And it is gifted to us by God, and it is not of our own doing (Ephesians 2:8-10), not of the flesh or the will of man (John 1:13). So we don’t get to choose what that faith looks like. God does!
And we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ (John 6:44), i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of (turn away from) sin to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And the word “faith” means “to be persuaded.”
So, since this faith is authored and perfected by Christ, it is gifted to us by God, it is not of our own doing, and it means to be persuaded by God, then this faith is going to align with God’s moral character and with his expressed will for our lives. And all throughout the New Testament we get glimpses of what this faith looks like and what it doesn’t look like. So we need to be diligent about reading the Scriptures in their context and learning what God-given faith in Christ looks like for us.
But let me give you a few snapshots from the Scriptures. Jesus died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). He died that we might live for him and no longer for ourselves (2 Corinthians 5:15). And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we would now be God’s possession, and so we would now honor God with our lives (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of the name of Jesus we are crucified with Christ in death to sin that we might be raised to walk in newness of life in him, and so we walk in obedience to his commands, then we have eternal life in him (Luke 9:23-26; cf. Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14; Ephesians 4:17-24).
So, when we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given (not man created) faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him. Our old self is crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. So we are to let not sin therefore reign in our mortal body, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, and not obedience, it leads to eternal death, not to eternal life (Romans 6:1-23).
Isaiah 62:4-5 NIV
“No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.”
But this isn’t about just being delivered out of our slavery to sin so that we can walk in newness of life in Christ. But by God-given faith in Jesus Christ we are married to Christ. We are his bride, and he is our husband. But this marriage is more like the Jewish marriage as described in the Scriptures. It is a marriage contract (covenant agreement) but it is more like an engagement period, for the couple are not living together, and the marriage is not consummated until the groom makes a home for his bride and then one day he comes to get her to live with him.
When Jesus Christ was about to leave this earth he told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them and that one day he was going to come back and get them and take them to be with him forever (John 14:1-3). So this parallels over to the Jewish marriage covenant. And when he does return, and he takes us to the home he has been preparing for us, only then will our marriage (Beulah) to him and our salvation from sin be complete (consummated). And this is why the Scriptures teach that we must walk according to the Spirit to have eternal life with God.
Isaiah 62:6-7 NIV
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.”
Now, if we are truly in Christ, by God-given faith in him, we have now become members of his body, the church (not the institutional church) which is a spiritual building comprised of us believers as its living stones, with Jesus as the cornerstone. And we are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (see 1 Peter 2:5; cf. Romans 12:1-2).
But we as the body of Christ are to be the Lord’s witnesses in taking the gospel message to the people of the world, and we are to be ministering God’s love and grace in its various forms to the rest of the body of Christ. And we are to be using the spiritual gifts we have been given to edify, urge, exhort, instruct, and encourage one another in our walks of faith and in obedience to the Lord, in the body parts assigned to us by God.
And this is a lot like being watchmen (and women) on the spiritual walls (our salvation) of this spiritual building. And we should not be silent day or night, too. And we should not think our time on this earth is for ourselves to do whatever we want. For we have a moral responsibility to the rest of the body of Christ to help her, along with ourselves, to grow to maturity in Christ. And we have a moral responsibility to get out the message of the gospel, too.
[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom. 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 3:17; 1 Co 5:1-13; 1 Co 6:19-20; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 1:4,22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18-22; Col 2:19; Col 3:12-16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2 Tim 2:21; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-31; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Pet 1:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:4-9,21]
There’s a Stirring
By Annie Herring
There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?
I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At his wounded feet
Is that His voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
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