Summary, Part 4 (final) THREE SOBER CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE WONDERFUL ANNOUNCEMENT OF IMMANUEL [52:15]: 1. Since Immanuel has been given to us, all who have not embraced Him as Lord and Savior are without hope and thus without God in this world. 2. Since Immanuel was born exactly as prophesied, we may be assured that the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish all the future prophecies of Christ. He is coming again, this time for judgment. Ahaz and Judah werenât ready for their siege. Are we? 3. Since the zeal of the Lord of Hosts has accomplished the sending of Immanuel, we may be certain that the God who is with us is also for us.
Summary, Part 3 4. PRINCE OF PEACE. He purchased our peace with His blood and authored our eternal peace. C. HIS MARVELOUS EXALTATION: HIS SOVEREIGN DOMINION [43:36]. Immanuel was born a King, and His Kingdom rests on His shoulders. 1. HE POSSESSES A RIGHTFUL DOMINION. His Kingdom rightly belongs to Him. 2. HE POSSESSES AN EXPANDING DOMINION. Where are the great kingdoms of history? In history. But the gates of Hell will never overcome Christâs Kingdom. 3. HE POSSESSES A PEACEFUL DOMINION. Contrast His Kingdom with that of Islam. 4. HE POSSESSES A RIGHTEOUS DOMINION. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? 5. HE POSSESSES AN EVERLASTING DOMINION. He will expand His rule until all His enemies are under His feet. III. THE DIVINE FORCE ACCOMPLISHING THIS WONDERFUL ANNOUNCEMENT [50:00]. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
Summary, Part 2 In chapter 8, Isaiah instructed Judah that the things of God would undo them if they didnât look to their deliverer. But in chapter 9, he offers a promise from Galilee of Immanuel, âGod is with usâ, the great liberator. II. ITS GLORIOUS OBJECT [27:26]. We can infer a number of things about Him from Is 9:6-7: A. HIS HUMBLING ENTRANCE: HIS LOWLY BIRTH AS GODâS SON. 1. HE IS BORN. Immanuelâs coming had been foretold since Gen 3:15: the one who would crush the serpentâs seed. 2. HE IS GIVEN. He is mercifully given of God Himself to save us from our sin. B. HIS DIVINE IDENTITY: HIS MANY GLORIOUS QUALIFICATIONS [33:58]. Mary didnât name him Immanuel; an angel had told Joseph what to name Him. âJesusâ means âJehovah savesâ. Christ has become one with us in order to save us. Immanuel is more a title than a name: without âGod is with usâ, there would be no Jesus. Note Immanuelâs titles: 1. WONDERFUL COUNSELOR. It marks every aspect of His name. Immanuel is the living word of God. 2. MIGHTY GOD. What is more wonderful than âGod with usâ, us sinners, as the almighty God? 3. ETERNAL FATHER. One with the Father, Christ is a father to His people, not just an elder brother. Earthly kings come and go, but the King of kings is eternal.
Summary, Part 1 In Is 9:6-7, we see the beginning of the âGospel of Isaiahâ: the promise of Messiah. This message will examine three characteristics of this wonderful announcement. I. THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND [starting at 5:57 of the audio]. The announcement came in the midst of trouble. The kingdom of Judah was under the ominous threat of an alliance of nations surrounding it, including the kingdom of Israel. In chapter 7, God sent Isaiah to king Ahaz with a message of comfort of His covenant promise, and then an offer to ask for a sign of it. But Ahaz refused, thinking he could handle matters himself. Further, he allied with Assyria instead of trusting Godâs promise of a coming Messiah. We can learn a few things from Ahazâs folly: 1) It is foolish to tempt God; there are blessings in obedience and faith. 2) Our most powerful enemies arenât necessarily physical, but spiritual (the world, the flesh, and the devil). Godâs Son is the greater spiritual power. 3) Threats that donât lead us to seek Godâs help will lead us elsewhere and hurt us. Judah sought Assyriaâs help, only to end up being invaded by them. 4) God sent Christ to our hearts so that we may experience the help God promised Ahaz.
Summary, Part 4 (final) E. BEHOLD GOD INCARNATEâS IMMUTABILITY AS MEDIATOR: HIS MEDIATORIAL PERMANENCY [47:30]. 1. HEB 1:10-12. God the Son is the incorruptible creator of the universe. As in the entire book of Hebrews, this stresses the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant. 2. HEB 13:8 [50:30]. A simple, direct statement of Christâs permanency. The God-manâs focus is His intercession for His people, and it continues unabated. It rests on His perfect life and atoning death. Verse 9 reveals the point: that all the strange ideas about Christ that keep appearing defy the fact of the unchanging Christ.
Summary, Part 3 1. MAL 3:6. In addition to what we gleaned from this passage earlier: His stiff-necked people were not consumed due to this attribute. Here, He promises to reform His people. His covenants unite Him to us. Because of His covenant with us in Christ, He will never forsake us, even despite our remaining sin. 2. HEB 6:13, 17-18 [33:45]. As God swears by Himself, His people can hold to His covenants with certainty. There is nothing greater by which God can swear than Himself. 3. JAS 1:16-18 [38:48]. Light enables us to see in the darkness; to see reality. God sheds light by revelation and illuminating grace. It begins at regeneration and progresses through sanctification. The author of regeneration never turns around and authors temptation. He will never lead us into darkness. And so we must not be deceived or blame Him when we stumble back into darkness and temptation. We must also understand that He never changes His position toward us once He turns His heart toward us.
Summary, Part 2 2. 1 SAM 15:29 [11:02]. Saul was not going to override Godâs irreversible decree and pick his own successor. Let this teach us to accept our own limitations. We must cling to His promises. 3. JOB 23:13-14 [13:12]. God performs in history exactly what He decreed before time. Our prayers often do not receive the answer we seek because God has decreed otherwise. At those times, we must submit to His sovereignty and fear Him. He decrees our thorns to teach us the sufficiency of His grace. He is not in our hands; we are in His. 4. PS 33:11 [16:53]. Godâs decrees are certain. This is not fatalism, but biblical determinism. We are to set our hearts on those things that bring Him glory through His people. 5. PR 19:21 [20:00]. We should commit our plans to the Lord and acknowledge Him in all our ways. C. BEHOLD GODâS IMMUTABILITY AS OUR CREATOR: GODâS INCORRUPTIBILITY [21:45]. 1. PS 102:25-27. God never grows old or deteriorates. This calls us to trust the creator, not the creation. 2. IS 40:28 [23:35]. God never faints or fades. We are never beyond His reach for help or blessing. This is great encouragement for us. D. BEHOLD GODâS IMMUTABILITY AS OUR REDEEMER: GODâS INDEFECTIBILITY [25:35]. He will never abandon His promises to His people.
Summary, Part 1 [Pastor Nutter credits his former professor, Pastor Greg Nichols of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the outline of this message, which can be found in Pastor Nicholsâ book, *What does the Bible say about God?: The Biblical doctrine of God*.] We move on to PART II: THE BIBLICAL DISPLAY OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY. Immutable does not mean inert; it means unchanging (Mal 3:6). A. BEHOLD GODâS ABSOLUTE IMMUTABILITY [starting at 3:40 of the audio]. 1. HIS SIMPLICITY IS IMMUTABLE. He is love and light always, and this is true of all of His attributes. 2. HIS SUPREMACY IS IMMUTABLE. His attributes are always perfect. 3. HIS SPIRITUALITY IS IMMUTABLE. He remains incorporeal, indivisible, impassible, and indissoluble. He never tires or fatigues. He never changes in mind, will, or affection. He is always holy, just, and faithful. He will never cease being personal or triune. B. BEHOLD GODâS IMMUTABILITY AS OUR SOVEREIGN: GODâS IRREVERSIBILITY [7:20]. This entails that His decree is irreversible. 1. NUM 23:19. In prophecy, God pulls back the veil a bit. Prophecy is not necessarily about the future, but is often a revealing of the decree that explains His faithfulness. His decree guarantees that persecution will never destroy the church.
Summary, Part 4 (final) But the focus of our attention today is our Saviorâs thankfulness to God: not simply for the elements that picture His sacrifice, but for the privilege of being that sacrifice. What was the joy set before Himâthe salvation of Godâs electâevoked heartfelt thankfulness in our Lord. Imagine the scene: His arrest, His trial, His being mocked, His scourging, and Godâs wrath being poured upon Him. He foresaw all things as He distributed the bread and passed the cupâthe very emblems of His suffering and shame. Yet they are also the foretokens of His once-for-all sacrifice for sinners, accepted by His Father, to expunge their record and to render them righteous. Jesus saw all these things in the bread and the cup. Each time we approach the table, let us grow in gratitude for all of this.
Summary, Part 3 THIRD, we should be especially thankful that Jesus prevails in His prayers for usâand that God answered Himâwhen the accomplishment of our salvation was at stake. Despite all the forces gathering against Christ at His Passion, He still prayed for us, and the Father answered. We remain Christians because He continues to pray for us. III. JESUS WAS THANKFUL TO GOD FOR APPOINTING HIM THE SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [38:04]. At the Last Supper, letâs underscore here that Jesus did not transubstantiate the bread and the wine, nor does it ever happen at the Lordâs Table. The bread and wine remain what they are: a sacred meal that commemorates the New Covenant and His welcoming of the New Covenant family, and reminders of the price He paid to win our ransom and the forgiveness of our sins.
Summary, Part 2 3) We especially have no room to complain that certain sinners are not saved if we are not actively praying for them and faithfully witnessing to them. âHow shall they hear without a preacher?â THIRD, we should also thank God for His sovereign saving grace toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, not just privately, but also publicly. The disciples heard and saw Christ thank the Father for their saving grace. He taught by word and by example. Paul did the same for the churches. Are you thankful for Godâs sovereign grace toward you and your brethren? Our Lord is thankful for us. Imagine that! II. JESUS WAS THANKFUL FOR GODâS HEARING AND ANSWERING OF HIS PRAYERS, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [29:08]. In Jn 11:37-41, we see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Note His gratitude to the Father for answering His prayers. What lessons can we take from this? FIRST, we should be thankful that Jesus continues to pray for His people. He still does it in Heaven. SECOND, we should be thankful that God always hears and answers Jesusâ prayers. We prevail because Jesus prays.
Summary, Part 1 Ingratitude is a characteristic of unbelievers, and will even characterize professing Christians in the latter days. Gratitude to God is both a grace and a duty. I. JESUS WAS THANKFUL FOR GODâS SOVEREIGN, DISTINGUISHING GRACE IN SALVATION, AND WE SHOULD BE, TOO [starting at 3:55 of the audio]. In Mt 11:25-27, we see that the Gospel was hidden from some and revealed to others, but that Jesus was not shy in expressing publicly His thankfulness to God for His sovereign saving grace. We cannot come to Christ but by grace from on high. Implied in Jesusâ thanksgiving is His unity with the Father in the matter of sovereign grace in salvation. Christ did not note this with passive resignation, but proclaimed it proudly as pleasing to His Father. What lessons can we take from this? FIRST, we should be thankful to God for His sovereign saving grace; none would otherwise come to be saved. He had to will to reveal Christ to us. SECOND, we should not quarrel with God as to why He saves some and doesnât save others: 1) Salvation is Godâs business. We are saved by His will, not ours. 2) No one deserves to be saved, least of all us. Grace and mercy are emptied of meaning otherwise.
Summary, Part 3 (final) 5. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT UNYIELDING OR UNAPPROACHABLE [44:35]. He is easy to be entreated. He can suspend blessings until we approach Him in prayer (note this in Ex 32:10-14). God not only ordained the ends, but also the means to the ends. 6. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT THAT DOES NOT PROHIBIT DEVELOPMENT IN HIS COVENENTAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS PEOPLE [48:14]. The sacrificial system was temporary, the Levite priesthood was temporary, and Jer 31:31-34 foretold our present, better covenant of faith in Christ. 7. GOD INCARNATE HAS IMMUTABLE DEITY, NOT IMMUTABLE HUMANITY [51:19]. He is mutable in His human nature. He grew from childhood to manhood in body, mind, and soul, yet He never set aside His divine nature. IN CONCLUSION [56:57], Godâs immutability is a source of comfort for the Christian.
Summary, Part 2 3. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN CHRISTâS INCARNATION [13:45]. Jesus is God incarnate. He can never undo His humanity. He is forever the God-man. This is His mediatorial permanency. He took our humanity upon His deity. B. SEVEN IMPORTANT QUALIFICATIONS OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY [15:49]. 1. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT INACTIVE OR LIFELESS. He is the eternal fountain of life. He is constantly at work in His creation. 2. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT ANTI-SOCIAL OR IMPERSONAL [18:28]. He doesnât avoid contact with His creation. 3. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT APATHETIC OR INEXPRESSIVE [20:27]. He is not the pagan âunmoved moverâ, but a responsive God. He responds to prayer, sin, and righteousness. Throughout Scripture, we God being sorry, moved, regretful, etc. However, nothing catches Him by surprise. He decreed everything, even His own responses. 4. GOD IS IMMUTABLE, BUT HE IS NOT MERCILESS OR OBSTINATE [31:00]. He actually can and does relent. He does not always keep His anger. When men repent, He can withhold His judgments. This isnât illogical, but super-logical: beyond our ability to understand. He is not wishy-washy, but immutable in His integrity and kindness. That He deals with men conditionally does not negate His immutability.
Summary, Part 1 [Pastor Nutter credits his former professor, Pastor Greg Nichols of Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the outline of this message, which can be found in Pastor Nicholsâ book, *What does the Bible say about God?: The Biblical doctrine of God*.] If God were like the temperamental Greek gods, we would have no certainty or hope. His immutability is an attribute: He doesnât change and cannot change. He is the eternal I AM. I. THE BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY [starting at 7:47 of the audio]. A. THE THREE BASIC ASPECTS OF GODâS IMMUTABILITY. 1. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN HIS PERSON [8:35]. In eternity, when only God was, He was immutable. All He ever was, all He now is, and all He will always be is summed up in His assertion, âI, the Lord, do not change.â This marks every aspect of His personal and spiritual nature. 2. GOD IS IMMUTABLE IN HIS DECREE [10:57]. Ps 33:11 declares that what God decides is permanent and unchangeable. This is Godâs irreversibility. Ps 102:26, 27 compares the unchangeable Creator with His changeable creation. The creation is corruptible, but the Creator is not. This is Godâs incorruptibility. Mal 3:6 exalts God as the unchangeable redeemer. This is Godâs indefectibility.
Great Sermon! THE ABIDING MESSAGE: 1. We are reminded of Godâs astonishing grace and mercy to send His Son into the world to save sinners. None of us deserve it, but God is a God of mercy. 2. No sinnerâs case is beyond the scope of Jesusâ saving grace and power. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, yet proclaimed his salvation to the end. 3. Every Christian should reflect often and deeply upon his sin in light of Jesus Christâs saving grace. The grace that saves us should humble us. Paul used the present tense when calling himself the chief of sinners. Godâs people in Ezek 36:31 had already been converted. The Bible doesnât teach us to forgive ourselves, but forgive others as Christ forgave us. 4. How dreadful is the case of those who refuse to believe and be saved. The wrath of God abides upon them. 5. If we believe the Gospel, we will share it with other sinners and urge them to believe the only savior of sinners. Note Paulâs joy in delivering the Gospel to sinners. Someone did this for us; we must do it for others.
Summary, Part 2 3. THE SAVING MISSION HE ACCOMPLISHED [22:20]. It cost Him agony, suffering, and His life. The work He accomplished was a perfect life, and under the penalty of the law He paid the price for our sins. By that, we are born again and may continue the sanctifying work that He enables us to do through the Holy Spirit. B. ITS ASTOUNDING IMPORTANCE [29:57]. We examine this in three facets: 1. IT IS COMPLETELY RELIABLE [30:30]. It is a trustworthy statement. It isnât theory, but fact. Men are not reliable, but God is utterly reliable. 2. IT IS UTTERLY PHENOMENAL [34:05]. We wouldnât have believed it if God hadnât said it or if others hadnât lived it. Note Paulâs self-depreciation 1 Tim 12:14, and the testimony that follows in the very next verse. Paul truly was a lion who laid down with the lambs. 3. IT IS FULLY ACCEPTABLE [41:18]. We should believe the Gospel because God wrote it in the blood of His Son. What more could He have done for us? It is so wonderful and glorious that it deserves acceptance. His grace is greater than our sin. Jn 1:12: it may sound too good to be true, but because it comes from God, it is true.
Summary, Part 1 Two of Paulâs favorite topics were the glory, power, and faithfulness of Christ, and the great things He did for Paulâs soul. A. THE ASTOUNDING MESSAGE [starting at 6:30 of the audio]. God the Father sent His Son into the world to save sinners. We can break this message down into three parts: 1. THAT JESUS CHRIST CAME INTO THIS WORLD [8:40]. Who is Jesus Christ? He is God the Son who became the God-man, fully both natures, qualified by God to redeem sinners. Paul delighted in reflecting on the person of the Savior. 1 Tim 3:16 may have been a confession of faith in the early church. Our London Baptist Confession of 1689 offers a compact, yet rich proclamation of His person in chapter 8.2. 2. THOSE WHOM HE CAME TO SAVE [16:30]. He wasnât born in a place, but a stable for animals. From there, He was rejected, hated, and despised without cause (contrast this with Jn 1:1-11). Thatâs quite a life for the one by whom all was created. Not one of us is good, yet He came for the sinners, not the ones who think themselves righteous.
Summary, Part 3 (final) B. THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS SPECIAL PRESENCE IN TIME [33:30]. 1. It encourages us in every season and in all difficult service. He hasnât left us as orphans. By His spirit we cry âAbba Fatherâ. We donât just labor in the Lord, but with Him as well. Remember all the trials that Paul faced: when he realized his weakness, he had need for Godâs strength. 2. It summons us to a life of holiness and hope for Christâs return [39:00]. Instead of asking how long the Lord will tarry, let us be holy in an unholy world. The holier we are, the more hopeful we are. And let us remember that He will come like a thief in the night: without expectation. Even the wicked recognize the power of a holy life. 3. It summons us to appreciate and sanctify the Lordâs Day [42:20]. Do you love the Lordâs Day? Or is it an interruption in your schedule? Is it the best day of the week that you spend with the Lordâs people? What we think of this day reflects what we think of the Lord and whether weâre fit for Heaven. If we donât like church, weâre going to hate Heaven. To parents: be wary of teaching children that church is fun. It is joyful, edifying, and meaningful, but be clear about that.
Summary, Part 2 2. 2 PETER 3:10-13 [12:50]. That day is known as the Day of the Lord, and also as the Day of God. It is the day of consummation. But it is also the day of the resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the day of recreation. This passage calls us to two things: first, holiness. How holy can we be when we live for that which is to be destroyed? Second, hope. Without holiness, there is no living in hope. What hope is there in things that will be destroyed? We look forward to a utopia of a world to come, not a âperfectionâ of this world. 3. REVELATION 1:10 [19:30]. Even in these last days, God has appointed a time as His own: the weekly Sabbath. It is a creation ordinance, a moral duty, and a sign of the new covenant. Where God entered His rest on the seventh day (Saturday), Christ entered His resurrection rest on the first (Sunday), and His people received the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost, also on the first day. As Christians, we are to hallow the Sabbath. How we typically spend that day reflects our communal state with God. III. SUMMARY OF THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS RELATION IN TIME [NOTE: part A, THE PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GODâS ETERNITY AND EVERPRESENCE, was covered in the previous message].