5/25/2015

What Isaiah 1 Challengers People To Do

Three sermons on Isaiah chapter 1:
  1. Let's Talk 1: How Stupid Can You Be (1:1-9). A message of Sin.
  2. Let's Talk 2: Stop Your Church Activities (1:10-20). A message of Repentance.
  3. Let's Talk 3: Care For Whom I Care For  (1:21-31). A message of Redemption.
The message of Isaiah 1 serves as an introduction to the rest of Isaiah. The message of Isaiah challenges people to decide which of the two groups they wish to belong to:
  1. the rebellious people who forsake God.
  2. the redeemed people who trust God.
Isaiah's goal is to open the eyes and heart of both groups to:
  1. God's view of sinners who continue in iniquity and rebel against God (Isa 1:2-8, 11-15, 21-23);
  2. God's offer of grace (Isa 1:18);
  3. the seriousness of God's judgment on those who rebel/do not worship God (Isa 1:20, 28-31).
Isaiah wants his listeners to make a choice, take a stand, make a decision by asking ourselves questions such as:
  • Is there a spirit of rebellion in you (Isa 1:2; 66:24)?
  • Does justice and care for the oppressed characterize your Christian life (Isa 1:17, 23)?
  • Is your heart attitude and worship acceptable to God with no hint of deceptive rituals (Isa 1:11-15)?
  • Do you need to ask God for forgiveness of any particular sin (Isa 1:18)?
  • Do you understand the consequence of not following God (Isa 1:20, 28-31)?
  • Are you willing to brutally and honestly examine your own heart (Isa 1:16-20; Jer 17:10)?
  • Do you think that because you keep some identity as a Christian that you're basically fine (like the people in Isaiah's day)?
  • Does God's holiness and his standard of justice and righteousness uncover a veneer of piety and religiosity hiding a life of selfishness, rebellion, and unwillingness to trust God?
There are two ways to live and two destinations. All paths do not lead to God. Isaiah 1 presents choices that everyone of us must face as it did for the people during Isaiah's time:
  1. Being God's children or rebelling against God (Isa 1:2-3).
  2. Continuing to receive God's punishment or having the wars stop (Isa 1:5-9).
  3. Offering prayers and sacrifices that please God or having God hide his face and reject useless ritual (Isa 1:11-15).
  4. Making efforts to remove the stain and guilt of sin or allowing that stain to bring a curse (Isa 1:18-20).
  5. Acting like faithful and righteous people or behaving like harlots and murderers (Isa 1:21).
  6. Accepting God's redemption or being burnt up with fire in disgrace (Isa 1:27-31).