HOW TO ENJOY YOUR SALVATION
Isaiah 43:1-7 (NKJV)
The Redeemer of Israel
43 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, “What do you put on your face to make it shine?” With surprise the man of God answered, “I don’t put anything on it!” His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, “Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus Christ seem to have it. I’ve seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay.”
Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, “Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It’s not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It’s the reflection of the light of God in our hearts.”
Far too many Christians lack the “shine” of joy on their faces. So many of us seem to believe that to be truly spiritual, one must wear a sad expression and be gloomy. For some reason, we equate frowns with spirituality. Many seem to allow life’s troubles, other people’s insensitivity and personal misunderstanding hinder their joy. It seems that some have forgotten what God has done in their life.
This evening, as the Lord gives liberty, I would like to preach from these verses on “How To Enjoy Your Salvation.”
Now, these verses have a primary interpretation to the nation of Israel. Here God is promising to sustain them, deliver them from captivity and ultimately gather them together in His millennial Kingdom. Even though these verses were written for them, there is still tremendous application here for you and me as believers in Jesus Christ. In these verses, we encounter reminders and promises that are designed to teach us How To Enjoy Our Salvation.
Let’s take a few minutes this evening to see what these things are.
You can enjoy your salvation because you have:
I. v. 1, 3-4 A PAST
A. Most of us would just as soon forget our pasts. None of them are anything to brag about! However, it is the very past that we wish we could forget that makes the present so wonderful. (Ill. The Context – God reminds Israel of what He has done for them, Ill. verses. 3-4!)
B. Notice 3 things God has done for every believer in his past.
1. Redemption – Ill. The great price the Lord paid to save our souls Rev. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.) Ill. We are saved because 2,000 years before we were even born, the Lord Jesus willingly died on the cross of Calvary to save (redeem) our souls. And, when we came to Him by faith, He was willing to receive us just as we were and through pure grace forgive us and save us.
2. Renewal – When God says He called them by their name, that implies and intimate knowledge of who they were and are. When they became His, He changed their name because He had changed their character. (Ill. Jacob – Trickster (deceiver) to Israel – Prince with God) (Abram – High Father to Abraham – Father of a Multitude)
When we came to Jesus in our past, He did the same thing for us. (Ill. What we were called – lost, children of the devil, sinners, the wicked, the children of wrath, the damned.) (Ill. What we came to be called – Saints, Children of God, The Redeemed, Saved, Citizens of Heaven, etc.) When we think of what we were and what Jesus has made us, it ought to cause us to enjoy our salvation!
3. Reception – God reminds the Israelites that He has taken possession of them and they are His alone.
(Ill. When we came to Jesus, we were received just as we were, John 6:37! At the very moment of salvation, Jesus took possession of our lives and now, we belonged to Him – 1 Cor. 6:20) (By the way, nothing can ever change that status – 2 Tim. 2:13)
C. When we take a moment and look back at where He brought us from, it should have the power to encourage us and give us great joy in our salvation. (Ill. This may be why Isaiah reminds us to look to the pit from which we were dug – Isa. 51:1.) (Ill. Eph. 2:11-13)
II. v. 2 A PROVIDER
A. In this verse, God reminds the Israelites that He has met their need since day one and that He has pledged Himself to continue to do just that. (Ill. These circumstances reference famous events in the history of the Israelite nation when God intervened and provided their need.)
1. Pass through the waters – The Red Sea – Ex. 14
2. Pass through the river – The crossing of the Jordan – Deut. 4
3. Walk through the fire – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – Daniel 3 (the Three Hebrew children through the furnace fire).
B. What does this mean for us? Just that God has not changed! What He did for Israel, He can be counted on to do the same for you and me! After all, He is no respecter of persons – Eph. 6:9.
C. There is not an area of life in which God won’t work to fulfil His promises to you. As you face the storms of life, walk through the valleys, endure the dark nights of life, remember that He is the same God now as He was then and He will never fail you! He will, however, meet every need you have for His own glory – Phil. 4:19.
D. There are several reason why we can count on God to supply us.
1. He is Able – Eph. 3:20 (Ill. His great exploits in the past )
a. In clothing Israel in the wilderness for 40 years – Deut. 29:5
b. In feeding Israel Manna in the wilderness – Ex. 16 (Ill. Their daily provision was approximately 240 box car loads of Manna per day!)
c. In feeding the widow of Zarepath and Elijah for 3 years during a famine in the land – 1 Kings 10:10-17.
d. In feeding the 5,000 miraculously by the Lord – John 6
e. In doing the same kind of things more times that we can even begin to mention!
2. He is Willing – Luke 12:32 – God wants to meet your need more what you want Him to! (Ill. His great promise – Matt. 6:25-33)
3. He is Faithful To His Word – 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 6:18; Rom. 4:21.
4. He Is Always Near – (Ill. v. 2; 5) Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5.
E. Whatever the need, God stands ready, willing and able to take care of that situation. We should be able to enjoy our salvation and we can when we learn to leave the worrying to Him – Phil. 4:6-7!
III. v. 5-7 A PROMISE
A. In these verses, God reminds His people that they have a bright future. He promises to gather them together and bring them back to their promised land. In the millennium, this will become a reality. Israel will again rest in peace and the chosen people of God will occupy all that is theirs. What a day that will be for them.
B. While these verses speak primarily to Israel, again, there is application for you and me. We too live under the hope of His promises.
1. There will be a Gathering – 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; John 14:1-3. One day, Jesus will return in the clouds and receive His people unto Himself. That day, a day known only in the omniscience of Almighty God, Jesus is going to come again and all His people will be leaving this world to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. (Ill. In light of His coming, what are we to do?)
a. Be Ready – Matt. 24:44
b. Be Looking – Luke 12:37; 2 Tim. 4:8
c. Be Pure – 1 John 3:3
d. Be Telling (witness) – Mark. 16:15
2. There Will Be Glory – Verse 7 reminds us that God’s purpose in the creation of man and again in his redemption is to bring glory to Himself. However, one of the greatest ways that God will ever bring glory to Himself is by bringing us to glory!
a. We Are Heaven Bound – John 14:3; Rev. 21:4; 1 Cor. 2:9
b. We Are To Be Glorified – 1 John 3:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:53. (Ill. Heaven is a city said to be transparent in its appearance – Rev. 21:11, 18-23. Imagine that city with all those multi-colored stones and materials with the glory of the Father and the Son shining through it. Then, add to that, the same brilliance bursting forth from the glorified bodies of the redeemed! Truly, God will glorify Himself in us!) Amen!
c. We Shall See Him And Be With Him Forever – Ill. The Atmosphere of that city. Our world is a world of trials, depressions and anxieties. Heaven, however, will be a place of endless praise and ceaseless worship of a worthy God. (Ill. Rev. 4:2-11) (Ill. What will Heaven be like? Notice the 24 elders – Rev. 5:8, 14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:4. Heaven will be about the praise and worship of the King!
C. Are you ready for this promise to become a reality? I hope so, because it will not be long from now.
Let’s think back over what we have heard this evening.
1. God saved us in the past.
2. God provides for us in the present.
3. God has a beautiful plan for us in the future.
With these thoughts in mind, don’t you think we have the right to enjoy our salvation? I certainly do!
When I look behind me, around me and ahead of me, I see many reasons for joy in the Christian life. So, today in the present, let’s get on with the business of enjoying this wonderful thing called salvation that God has so graciously given to us. Are you enjoying your salvation this very moment?
Praise the Lord!