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The Lord’s Day

April 12, 2015

Saturday’s Men’s Bible Study (Colossians Part 3) and today’s sermon, “The Chosen Remnant” are available on SermonAudio.

Sermon Summary: In this section, Paul teaches us that God never forsakes His people. What we must learn regarding Old Testament Israel is that they were not God’s spiritual people; God forsook the nation and sent them to captivity. But for those within that nation who trusted God, He promises to never forsake or leave them. That promise applies to believers of both testaments.

Sermon Title – Text: “The Chosen Remnant” – Romans 11:1-6

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. (NKJV)

Call to Worship: Psalm 37:23-29

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends;
And his descendants are blessed.
Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell forevermore.
For the Lord loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell in it forever.

Reading of the Law: Isaiah 1:7-9; 16-18

7 Your country is desolate,
Your cities are burned with fire;
Strangers devour your land in your presence;
And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.
8 So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard,
As a hut in a garden of cucumbers,
As a besieged city.
9 Unless the Lord of hosts
Had left to us a very small remnant,
We would have become like Sodom,
We would have been made like Gomorrah.

16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.”

Commentary: Isaiah prophesies of a coming time when Judah herself would be left desolate. Judah’s greatest sin is her hypocritical and futile worship of God, having degenerated into empty ritual. Because of her sins, Judah would be destroyed by the Babylonians – except for a small remnant of faithful people. To them, God calls for repentance, with the promise that He would was her sins as white as snow and wool.

Reading of the Gospel: Micah 4:1-7

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
And rebuke strong nations afar off;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid;
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all people walk each in the name of his god,
But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
Forever and ever.
“In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.”

Commentary: Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah, and prophesied about the coming destruction of the Kingdom of Israel (the northern ten tribes), and also of the restoration of Israel in the days of Messiah. Here, he speaks of a time when Zion (“the mountain of the Lord’s house”) will be on top of all other mountains. This figurative language is meant to depict a time when God’s people will honor and exalt the worship of God more than they do the gods of the nations. In this time, God’s people are noted as peaceful and secure, and made up of Gentiles from all nations. Even a remnant from Israel and Judah, both of whom were to go into captivity, would be included. Though this remnant were “lame” – that it, helpless and the lowest of the low – yet God would make them His remnant, His chosen people, and would reign as king over them forever.

Benedictory Reading: Revelation 7:9-10

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (NKJV)

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