SN 10 July 2022
Last week we explored the issue of God’s righteousness…
… contrasting it with religion
That indeed God’s righteousness is based on faith
… and not on obeying the law
… and is dependent on God’s amazing love, amazing mercy & amazing grace
- …Consider Abraham, Jacob vs Esau, Cain vs Abel….
…E.g. salvation is a free gift, received by grace through faith, and not by works, so that none may boast
This is contrary to religion
… that focuses on performing works of the law as the basis of righteousness (my ability) >> Self-righteousness
… and misses on developing a loving relationship with the Lord
… which requires pleasing faith, believing in God and in His ability to do anything, especially for those who diligently seek Him & His ways
- Consider the Pharesees and the Saducees
The righteous shall live by faith…
… by faith in Jesus Christ
… who is our righteousness
… which is revealed to us in the gospel
… as the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes
We gain access by faith into His amazing grace
… indeed grace that helps us persevere in a life lived through faith
… in order to preserve our souls
… and not fall from grace and be destroyed
… and God’s grace in our lives reigns (is sustained) through a life lived in righteousness
- e.g. consider King Saul
We concluded with Galatians 3, that told us, among other things, that
… all things confined by sin, so that by faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe.
….the law became our guardian to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
And now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace…Romans 4:16
With part of our concluding prayer asking
… that the Lord may give us grace to submit to His righteousness
… a righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ.
This week we explore an example of God’s righteousness
… the right way to live by God or basically how He expects us to live
… that is given to us in Isaiah 58
Welcome all and be blessed by today’s Manna for Thought…
Submitting to God’s Righteousness, and not our own >> Isaiah 58
Previously in our SN series, we have consistently seen that
… we should not be ignorant of God’s righteousness
… or seek to establish our own
… but that we should submit to God’s righteousness
… or risk perishing or going into captivity for lack of knowledge or understanding
That indeed every time we approach the Lord God
… we should walk prudently, with a transformed and renewed mind in the spirit
… able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of God
… rather than labor in vain and offer the sacrifice of fools
… where our enthusiasm for God is not according to knowledge
True worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and Truth
… and present delightful sacrifices offered in righteousness with a humble and contrite heart
… holy and pleasing to God
Isaiah 58 gives an example of God’s expectations when we
- Take time or a day out to fellowship with the Lord ( the Sabbath rest??)
- … e.g. through fasting and prayer
- … while seeking to worship Him in spirit and truth
It exposes our sin and hypocrisy in our vain attempt at pursuing God
… not according to His righteousness but according to our own
… where we concentrate on the outward appearance and forget the inside (the heart)
… where we seek His Hand rather than His Face
… seeking the blessing before or rather than the blessor
The basics of taking time or a day to fellowship with the Lord, is a demonstration…
… not only to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength
… but also to love our neighbor as our selves
… by honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy
… and doing what is pleasing to the Lord
And the promise becomes that…
… the Lord will hear our prayer
… answer our cry for help
… our light will rise in darkness
… and our obscurity and gloom become like the noonday
… the Lord will guide, satisfy and strengthen us
… ensuring that we are well watered
… with success and prosperity following us
There will be as well healing and restorations to our foundations
… for if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Romans 10:2-3 (KJV)
- For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
- For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Isaiah 58 (AMPC)
- – CRY ALOUD, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins!
- – Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways].
- – Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor. [Lev. 16:29.]
- – [The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
- – Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
- – [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? [Acts 8:23.]
- – Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house–when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?
- – Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. [Exod. 14:19, 20; Isa. 52:12.]
- – Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, [Exod. 3:14.]
- – And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
- – And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
- – And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
- – If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words,
- – Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. [Gen. 27:28, 29; 28:13-15.]
- Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
- Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
- Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
- For who can discern his own errors? Cleanse me from my hidden faults
- Keep me also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed of great transgression.
- May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight,
- O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.