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Upheld By Thy Righteous Right Hand

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2021 8:00 am

Upheld By Thy Righteous Right Hand

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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August 1, 2021 8:00 am

Listen as Jay Krestar preaches from Isaiah 41-a message about the sovereign and present hand of God.

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If you would open your Bibles to the book of Isaiah, we will be reading from chapter 41 verses eight through 10 here God's word but you Israel, my servant Jacob whom I have chosen the offspring of Abraham. My friend, you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners saying to you. You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off. Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Let's pray heavenly father we thank you this evening for your word in a word that that declares your sovereign work that we can rest in tonight father as we dive into these verses. I pray that the Holy Spirit teaches us what Isaiah was offering to the people of Israel and offering to us. That is only upon you that we can find our rest are repose, it is only you that can uphold us. Father I pray this evening as as your word is preached, that it is your word not mine and father. I just pray that it brings to our heart, our desire to glorify your name. More and more it's in Christ Jesus that I pray.

Amen. You may be seated. If I were to ask at work, as compared to the church. What is it that you rest in what upholds you, hour by hour, day by day, week by week. I think we would get a huge difference in answer from the culture around us, but sometimes I wonder if in the charge, the answer wouldn't come somewhat the same because of how often through a week.

We are attacked by the culture drive me driving us more to their thinking than focusing in on the word that is before us always the last few weeks in Sunday school, I've had the opportunity to teach and I use the text from Philippians 489 where Paul instructs them, whatever is true, whatever, whatever is worthy of praise. Whatever is excellent. Those are the things we should think on it tonight when I want us to do is do the same thing with this text here. Our text tonight is penned by the prophet Isaiah, and in its immediate context. He is writing to the Israelites to provide them kind of consolation because they are suffering the boat Babylonian exile. He is giving hope and encouragement because of judgment that is come upon them for their stiff neck NIST towards God, but verse eight identifies his audience for us if we look at verse eight we see that it says, but you Israel, my servant Jacob whom I have chosen the offspring of Abraham. My friend and so if we walked down through that audience we see the nation Israel. We see the chosen by the line of Jacob who God chose over Esau and finally we see the offspring of Abraham. The question that would pop to my mind is Abraham penned these words 700 years before Christ. So now close to 2700 years ago was did he realize he was writing to us also. Even in his identification of his audience. If we would look at Galatians 3 spur I'm sorry.

Ephesians 36 in Galatians 329 we read this this mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow errors. Members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Galatians 329 and if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring errors. According to promise as Abraham wrote these words he's writing to a specific group, but that group by the this text of Scripture that I just read include us tonight. We are Abraham's offspring.

So as as Isaiah wrote these things down. We can learn and take from them.

As we look at the text we are going to see that Isaiah. If you read the preceding and the following after these verses, Isaiah is contrasting the way in which the culture or pagans turned to useless idols in the face of difficulties and trials and how the Israelites and us should turn to God and God alone in the Sunday school class the first week, a week ago I talked about the idolatry that befalls even us. I use the example of a bank account. We live in a society that that drives us and tells us that if we have a certain number in an account, then we are safe and secure in the foolishness that lies in that when we realize, and I shared the example on my business partner trades in what's called crypto currency and as I researched it, it's really nothing that even exists but trades at a value of the dollar based on people's desire or not desiring. We put our hope in our trust in the things that that have no meaning. Further on in Isaiah Isaiah tells about the pagans who the silversmith in the Goldsmith overlay and they even use nails to strengthen the idol so it will not fall over. But it at last, God laughs at it because it can do nothing. It cannot speak. You cannot act he can do nothing in Isaiah's calling the Israelites and us to to turn to the only God. The only being the only power that truly can intercede or act on one's behalf, I hope. As we look at this text that we do a few things. First of all see where we are to find our rest. The see where we find our security to truly believe that it is God alone who upholds us, but also I hope that it builds our faith is sin listening to the prayers.

And when Dan prayed, he prayed specifically for that for God to drive out fear and to increase our faith. So as we work through tonight. That is what from this short small piece of text. I hope that we can do from these truths. I'd like to look at two truths that I see from this text. First, that the righteous right hand of God upholds us through his use of election his sovereign choice. And secondly, that God's righteous right hand upholds us by his real presence with us. These two verses just offer an overwhelming amount of peace to us when we see how God is portrayed to us.

The first point that I would like us to look at is that we are upheld through God's sovereign work of election. I grew up United Methodist.

I grew up hearing that I had to make a choice. I grew up understanding that Christ and his work at the cross, build a bridge halfway across, and now as I hear the word I have to not only build a bridge halfway to him. But then I have to come to him on the part that I built and find my salvation in Christ. I do not pick on the United Methodist Church. I do not pick on the free will or Arminian view, but I find it very lacking as to what Scripture teaches us about the work of God the father about the work of Jesus Christ, and about the work of the Holy Spirit.

When we opened the text of Scripture and one of the reasons I came to the reformed faith is check a verses like Ephesians chapter 1 or Romans chapter 8 where we deal with this predestination and election and God is not shy in his revelation about how he works salvation the other day my daughter texted me she was in a conversation with a friend from school and as they conversed back and forth. Emily answered a question a certain way, and the friend type back wall isn't that Calvinism and isn't that election and Emily went on with her conversation and she got me involved because she wanted to run an answer by me and her friend type back. I struggle with this.

I know it's in the Bible but I'm not sure is that paraphrased right.

There are many that struggle with the doctrine of election that is clearly taught in the Scripture. I have heard, as I've come out of the Arminian or free will. Thought of theology from family members, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ to struggle with it.

These types of protests they say if the type of election that you say is found in the Bible when that make God unfair or even yet monstrous. You have to think about it. Some argue a good friend of mine argued if what you're saying about election is true, then doesn't that make me a robot and I have no no way your choice of my own to do anything. How how is that possibly what God has planned out. And finally, I've heard the argument even from some who come to the camp of God's sovereign election. They claim there is no need for evangelism because of God's gonna save you. God's gonna save you so even within our own camp. There are hyper people that go to an extreme.

With this doctrine, but Isaiah uses it as a form of consolation or comfort.

How could something that is so difficult be a form of consolation or comfort as we study the Scripture as we study the doctrine of election, it becomes clear that it is our only hope.

When we realize that there is nothing of me and it is all of Christ that I have nothing that I can bring to God that can make me ride, but Christ brings everything that I need and more. Not only to be right, but to be his child. If we take a look at a few answers to those questions that pop for people. Scripture teaches us not only that election is truth, but it is also necessary if I want to take the tractor and say, is there something in me that God can find good Romans chapter 3 verses nine through 18 eradicates that rather quick in that passage, Paul says there is none that are good, no not one. No one seeks God. They all turned their own way.

There's nothing left there to say but sometimes you can. He makes it very clear there is nothing that you and I can do that will cause us to one God. Romans one teaches that left to ourselves without Christ, we will suppress the truth that God has revealed even in his creation the creation that speaks of his divine attributes of his eternal power and his glory. We will suppress that truth and even to the point where we will be given over to a debasement of our mind that we will turn to idols as it says in Romans, which is an amazing truth when you look at it.

How Isaiah is giving consolation to Israel because the pagans all around them are turning to what idols they are suppressing the truth around themselves. They are driving themselves to idols that they believe in some form or fashion, with enough merit given to them will give them some relief. And God scoffs at that they will be lost. His wrath will fall upon them. God's election secures us in him. Verse nine says you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its five furthest corners saying to you.

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off. Ephesians chapter 1 verses three through five which caused me to start trying to understand the limited view of God and his salvation as an Arminian, says this Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as stepsons through creek. Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will. Romans 829 and 30 for those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and those whom he predestined he also called and those whom he called he also justified and those whom he justified he also glorified brothers and sisters. We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. We were set apart by God himself and Christ came and worked on our behalf and that work is in a halfway work.

There isn't half a bridge or rope with it, a life vest or lifeline in the water and we have to swim to it. There is a completion in these verses, saying that God not only chose us, but if he chose us. He called us and if he called us. We will respond and he justified us and if he justified us. We will be glorified and are glorified through Christ Jesus. The work is complete.

Though we do not live in the completion of the work at this moment in full consummation with God. That's how Isaiah is using the election of God to the people of God as a comfort as arrest as a consolation, you know, when we talk about comfort and that is what Isaiah is doing. He's talking to a group who were exiled under pagan people who who serve pagan gods and idols, and they have been on acted by that like we are infected by our culture constantly and he is continually calling them back to know who their God is over and over in the Old Testament that the though the word says, though I am God the father. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is for them to know over and over who this God is the redeeming God the one that brought them out of Egypt, the one that has saved them as Exodus 20 says I have delivered you out of bondage, the Lord your God. I you shall have no other gods before me. This doctrine of election brings great security assurance and peace because salvation is God's work, not mine. His ways are not thwarted. If you are saved you are saved to the utmost.

Completely there is no chance of you being lost, Paul tells the Romans.

There is nothing that can remove you from the hand of God. You are his and his fully and you can rest there when you are in Christ Jesus, salvation is assured he will not cast us out Isaac Watts in the book voices from the past wrote it this way before God made the world he chose some persons of his own free grace to become his children to be made happy and holy, holy, and happy.

From the beginning. His son, Jesus Christ, was appointed to the be the medium of exercising all this grace this work of God in the heart of man is attributed in Scripture, not to any foreseen merit in man, but to the free grace of God. God toward his people works and merit are inconsistent with an election of grace. The choice to salvation is before the foundation of the world or from maternity. We are blessed in Christ Jesus, who is chosen by the father be to be the glorious head of this holy and happy number of mankind.

This sacred transaction between the father and the son before the foundation of the world is called the covenant of redemption, a glorious covenant with sacred and divine engagements which are fulfilled on both sides with perfect honor and faithfulness. What ineffectual security is derived in this for the salvation of all that believe in Christ, what an assurance is hereby given that none of his chosen ones should perish. Let us take comfort in it.

Rejoice in it live upon it and walk worthy of so divine a privilege, the doctrine of election used in Isaiah chapter 41 verse 89 is a place that we can find rest as the world of the culture try to rip us apart away from God by their proclamations of we believe in science.

We believe in this we can stand fully and say we believe in God we believe in Christ the only Redeemer, the only Lord and God, and we can make that statement. Not because it's a statement of our own, but it's because the Holy Spirit witnesses that are spirit, and we truly commune with him. The second point I'd like us to look at night is God's righteous right hand upholds us with his real presence.

I think too many times. Even in my own worship and meditation. God is far off for Jesus is far off.

I'm reading an objective text about something that occurred in the past and I'm not placing myself in the story that is being unfolded around me. If we look at verse 10.

In chapter 41 God reveals fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The very first phrase in verse 10, fear not, does it ever run through your mind. How are we not to fear and I'll take you back there to my childhood we can look at things like I jotted a few down here political turmoil and war.

I'm 52 years old. I remember one time in the second grade we had what was called a nuclear bomb drill what happened.

I went to a small school in a small town called Dunn low Pennsylvania and at a certain time the fire halls siren would go off and we were instructed when that siren goes off, you were to close everything place it.

We had those desks that you could shove your books in and you are then supposed to climb underneath your desk and curled in a ball or the fetal position probably when I was 12 or 13 years old.

The media put out a movie and I think the name of it was the day after and it was a miniseries about when a cataclysmic nuclear event occurred between the United States and Russia. We turn on the TV. And even if you're trying to avoid news, the politics, the wars, the issues like that, natural disasters, I turn on the weather Channel just to see the weather and it's a continual let's go to the hurricane desk and what's been great this year's when they go to the hurricane desk. They show a picture over by African there's been no storms. I love every minute of it. But this is one of the few times because there always circle in these little disturbances in their given like this one has a 20% chance of this one has a 40% chance they already have plot.about and I don't know about you guys but because of my job and I have to go in and look at every one of those plots and if it comes in at hits where I have patients on equipment at home. I have to figure out if it does make it here in the next 10 days. What do I have to do to make sure those patients are taking care of. It's just constant stress pushed at you by even the simple things. The weather Channel.

Finally, the illness we can we can hide from it.

We don't want to dodge talking about it but Cove in 19 as of the first one in my lifetime.

In the mid-70s there was news reports of this disease that was ripping through it allegiant convention and it was called legionnaires pneumonia and the fear that was brought forth by this mold being in the air conditioning system, and if it's anywhere else. The chances of people getting and dying we move on. I entered the hospital in 1988 and 82 aides really just started to be diagnosed and even in 1988 there was no treatment or cure. When you walked in and you were walk working with the known AIDS patient. One of the first things that occurred to me I was doing compressions on a patient that they put a tube in his throat, bloodied frothing secretion shot out went into my mouth. My eyes and my nose.

I've been married for three months I was pulled out of the room. I was sent for immediate testing. I was told I could not know my wife for the next six months I was told that I would have to be tested every week. I was told that if it would occur.

There was some medications they could try but they do not start them until they would have a positive test so Cove. It is not the first disease that's come along that has a scare to even in the early 2000's. The SARS virus, which is a form of the covert virus that caused a very terrible respiratory pneumonia was really put out there. Thank God. God contained it very quickly but we see we read these words do not fear, but the culture the world continually just throws at us things to cause us to stress and the fear Isaiah has a solution for that God does when he writes fear not for I am with you. Have you ever thought of those words, for I am with you.

It's not a statement that I'll be there when you need me. It's not a statement you can turn to me if you have an issue. It is God saying I am with you. That should be mind-boggling to us when we realize our position, our rebellion are blatant sin against the creator and he loves us so much that not only does he say I will make things okay in your standing with me, but I will make you my child and I will be with you. We are not to be dismayed. Yahweh is our God, and how does this comfort.

Let's put into comparison. The pagans around the Israelites. The pagans around us are looking to idols for their security, whether it be a bank account, whether it be a position whether it be the size of my portfolio or or my home and my homestead we can make idols out of most anything that is around us. That is temporal Jeremiah chapter 10 verse 10 says these words, but the Lord is the true God.

He is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath, the earthquakes and the nations cannot endure his indignation when we look and realized that this is the God that reveals to us that he will be with us, then those those following, be not dismayed, for I am God.

I will strengthen you, I will help you. He promises in his word that he will be with us in all circumstances. Psalm 23 verse four to read it just so I don't mess it up. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me. Even in the worst of situations. The worst of times it doesn't say that God is there that we can turn to and hopefully he'll do something for it says even though I walk through this now you are with. I was trying to think of a great illustration for that and the only one that came to my mind was the scriptural illustration on the book of Daniel book of Daniel chapter 3 verses 24 and 25 says this then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste he declared to his counselors. Did we not cast three men bound into the fire. They answered and said to the king true okay. He answered and said, but I see four men unbound walking in the midst of the fire and they are not heard and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods. The Scripture itself gives us the best illustration, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me that text taken from Daniel Shadrach me shack and Abednego they have defied the king the earthly king who has the power to cast them into a burning furnace. We would all agree that a burning furnace wins all the time against human flesh and close.

That is the choice put before Shadrach beat me shack and Abednego bow your knee to my idol or I am going to throw you into that fire and you will burn most assuredly, they said, oh king. We cannot and the king in his fury fired the furnace seven times hotter than normal that when the door was open. The men who were guarding the door were consumed by they bound Shadrach me shack and Abednego they carried them up to that door and they drop them in and they were the king, I'm sure was fully convinced that at the moment they were dropped and they were dead and what we read in verses 24 and 25 is astounding to us. It's probably astounding to Shadrach me shack and Abednego because even in their answer they said our God can save us, but if not we will not serve you, so they were not 100% convinced that God would spare them the consequences of being obedient, but when God does spare the consequence. He doesn't spirit by magically saving them, but he walks with them in the midst of the fire and protects them that when they exited the furnace they were not even singed or smelled like the fire that they were in. Do we realize God with us. Do we realize as we are attacked as we are persecuted as things come, God will deliver us, not because he's off in the distance and will come running but because in Christ, he is with us at this very moment. John 1416 and 15, 320, if you love me you will keep my commandments and I will ask the father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him or knows him.

You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. First Corinthians 316 do you not know that you are God's temple that God's Spirit dwells. Excuse me, the God Spirit dwells in you. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy and you are that temple. These words that are put out to us in this text is quite amazing when God declares when Isaiah tells the people fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. As we sit and look at what God drives us to understand that we only have our being. Through him, your very breath. This second is determined by him your very next heartbeat is determined by him are you resting in that sovereign God who chose you. Are you resting in that sovereign God who is with you at this very moment we can step out Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday boldly only if we find ourselves in this word feeding on God by faith feeding on Christ and Christ alone. You can figure out by now that this text was written to those who were chosen by God and so if you were looking for an application for tonight's text, I would make it a simple one. We being called by God, or to rest in him.

We are to rest in his sovereign grace is mercy, his way of salvation and we are to strive to honor Christ by our obedience to him.

If you love me you will obey my commandments.

If you are here tonight and you do not know Christ. My heart hurts for you. If you are outside of Jesus Christ. We studied in Sunday school this morning a little bit that the sermon of John and Jonathan Edwards sinners in the hands of an angry God.

God's wrath is stored up for you and it will be poured out in one violent fast judgment, and separation for eternity were all that there will be as weeping and gnashing of teeth. I pray tonight that no one here or no one who hears this is outside of Christ.

But if you are the application is run to him.

He will in no wise cast you away if you are called income to him.

If you are coming to him to be the Lord and Savior of your life. That is our prayer for those or the pagans looking to idols and not to the one true and living God. Let's pray heavenly father, we praise you for who and what you are. We praise you for your salvation. We praise you for your work. Lord, most of all, we praise you that if you're a God who communes with us, who dwells in us father give us an understanding of tonight's text, that we may find rest, that we may find assurance, but moreover father of us an understanding of tonight's text that drives us to desiring to obey you more and more to be more like Christ so that we honor and glorify your name and it's in Christ Jesus, that we pray. Amen

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