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The Lord’s Day

May 24, 2015

sermonaudioerbc“The Family-Part 11” (CE lesson) and “Grace Available For Gospel Rejecters” – Romans 11:24-27 (sermon) are available on SermonAudio. This morning’s Scripture readings and sermon details follow.

CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 107:10-22

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.
Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing.
(NKJV)

READING OF THE LAW: Isaiah 59:15b-19
In order to understand what Isaiah is saying in Isaiah 59:15b-19 from the third section of the chapter, we need to consider the two previous sections. The first section, verses 1-8 is a description of Israel’s wickedness and the separation from God that has resulted from it. Verses 1 and 2 of chapter 59 summarize the situation.
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.

2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.

The second section of the chapter, verses 9-15, describe what life is like in the midst of Israel’s wickedness and separation from God. Here are a few excerpts.
9 Therefore justice is far from us,
Nor does righteousness overtake us;
We look for light, but there is darkness!
For brightness, but we walk in blackness!

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And as for our iniquities, we know them:

15a So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
There is no justice and things are so bad that if anyone tries to live righteously in the midst of all this wickedness, he will surely become a victim of it.

There is no justice and things are so bad that if anyone tries to live righteously in the midst of all this wickedness, he will surely become a victim of it.
15b Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.

16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.

“The LORD was aware of Israel’s tragic condition and of the absence of any ton to intervene on His behalf. The LORD took it on Himself to change Israel’s condition through the intervention of His Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:12).” John MacArthur Study Bible
17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.

“Figuratively speaking, the Lord armed Himself for the deliverance of His people and for taking vengeance on enemies who would seek His destruction. Paul drew on this terminology in describing a believer’s spiritual preparation for warding off the attacks of Satan (Eph 6:14,17; 1 Thess 5:8)” John MacArthur Study Bible
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,
Fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies;
The coastlands He will fully repay.

“In the process of delivering the faithful remnant of Israel, the LORD executes decisive judgement against all rebellious nations (“coastlands”) as well as the wicked Israelites.)” John MacArthur Study Bible
19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,

“The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
“All surviving peoples throughout the world are to have added reason to worship the Lord, seeing how He defeated all enemies by the power of His Spirit in bringing salvation to His people Israel. All over the earth, submission to Him is to be the only path to survival in the coming kingdom.” John MacArthur Study Bible

READING OF THE GOSPEL: Isaiah 59:20-21

“The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord. “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.” (NKJV)

Commentary: Isaiah 59 begins with this statement: “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.

Then verse 2 begins with the infamous word But. And from there Isaiah tells them why they have been separated from God and the fact that sin has hidden His face from them. For the next few verses, Isaiah tells them things like “Your hands are defiled with blood, your tongue has muttered perversity, their works are works of iniquity, their feet run to evil, and on and on he goes.
When we get to verses 20 and 21, Isaiah brings much more encouraging words from God to those who will turn from their transgressions. He allows that God has not deserted them, but that His grace is abundant to pardon.

Part of Calvin’s commentary on these 2 verses is this:

It is certain that many returned from Babylon, who were not moved by any feeling of repentance, and yet who became partakers of the same blessing. But the Prophet speaks of the complete redemption which the elect alone enjoy; for, although the fruit of external redemption extends also to hypocrites, yet they have not embraced the blessing of God for salvation.

So, even though there are Jews who have rejected God, there are still those Jews who are part of the elect and will repent and believe.

SERMON: “Grace Available For Gospel Rejecters” – Romans 11:24-27

For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
(NKJV)

Summary: Paul shows that those Jews who had rejected Messiah, and as a result of their unbelief had been cut off from True Israel, were still capable of being grafted in again. The Gentiles who had believed were not to think of them as beyond reach of grace. Indeed, the most natural thing (from man’s perspective) is that one raised with information about God, sin, and salvation should be brought to repentance and saved.

BENEDICTORY READING: Psalm 117:1-2

Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!
(NKJV)

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