Lecture 78- The Gospel According to St. Isaiah- Chapter 1 Part 1

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The Gospel According to St. Isaiah- Chapter 1 Part 1

Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier

The Gospel According to St. Isaiah opens with these words, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah” (Isaiah 1:1). In this lecture, we take a look at these sons of David. We compare them to the promised Son of David who would sit on the throne and usher in the eternal kingdom.

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Isaiah- Chapter 1 Part 1

5 thoughts on “Lecture 78- The Gospel According to St. Isaiah- Chapter 1 Part 1

  1. Dear Pastor, thank you for the Gospel of Isiah. In our Church here the Sermon was Acts 8 /26 about the Ethiopian. The Way our Pastor taught us, was not so clear. Is it possible for you to clearify it for me?
    Can you Tell me about baptism, because I want to know if children can be baptised.
    Another question: can you also teach me about repentance in Psalm 51 And the Story of Zacheus

    Thank you And God bless you!
    Chris

    • Chris,

      In Acts chapter eight, we learn that the Apostolic message about the person and work of Christ includes the instruction about baptism. Thus, when the Ethiopian Eunuch heard about Christ he was also told about the work of Christ in baptism. For this reason, he asks to be baptized by Philip. How would the Eunuch know about baptism unless Philip including the teaching on baptism when he was teaching about Christ? The Evangelist Luke writes, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Behold, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”” (Acts 8:35–36). Earlier in the same chapter we had previously learned about the preaching of the gospel and the direct connection to the teaching about baptism by Philip to the people in Samaria. Luke writes, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12). In fact the book of Acts teaches us that as soon as the Apostles began preaching about the person and work of Christ they immediately connected Christ’s work in the gift of baptism.

      Notice that on the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter ties the words of Joel about Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to the work of Christ in baptism. Peter preaches, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). Then when the hearers hear the message about Christ they ask what they are to do. Immediately, Peter says be baptized. Peter says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:38–39). They way that people call on the name of the Lord to be saved is by being baptized into the name of the Lord. Luke then states, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Likewise, the Apostle Paul recounts his baptism when he was told to call upon the name of the Lord. Ananias told him, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). Throughout the book of Acts, when people hear about the saving name of Jesus they are baptized into Christ. The whole household of Lydia was baptized (Acts 16). The Philippian jailer and his whole family were baptized in the middle of the night (Acts 16). The entire household of Crispus was baptized (Acts 18). Nobody in these entire houses was excluded. The promise is for parents and their children.

      Baptism was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, we must begin our conversation by looking to the place in the Holy Scriptures where Christ has instituted baptism. We find the institution of baptism in the last chapter of Matthew. Christ our Lord speaks to the Apostles and says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) From this passage, we learn that the Lord sent out the Apostles to make disciples. How are disciples made? Disciples are made by being baptized and being instructed in the words of Jesus.

      A disciple is a student who learns from Christ. A disciple is a sheep who hears the voice of the Good Shepherd who laid down His life and took it up again. Christ directly connects baptism to being made a disciple. Now He could have said, “Make disciples by teaching them My words.” Instead, He clearly states that disciples are made by being baptized and being taught His word. Also, Christ makes it clear that disciples are to be made from all nations. There are no restrictions. Christ does not forbid anyone from being baptized. Both Jews and Greeks are to be baptized. Slave and free are to be baptized. Men and women are to be baptized. Adults and children are to be baptized. Christ has not forbidden the baptism of infants. Christ instituted the sacrament; therefore, we must cling to His institution. Man cannot forbid what Christ has not forbidden.

      In fact, that is exactly what the Apostles did when they tried to forbid infants from coming to Jesus. The Holy Spirit reveals this event to us for a reason. St. Luke writes, “Now they were bringing even infants (βρέφος) to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such is the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:15–17). In this passage, I have shown you the Greek word “βρέφος”, so that, we can be clear that we are talking about infants. In fact, this is the same Greek word that St. Paul uses when he rejoices that Timothy has believed since the days of being an infant. Paul writes, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from infancy (βρέφος) you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).

      Likewise, Jesus uses the infants being brought to Him as an example of how one is to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:17). Jesus does not use an adult as an example of faith; rather, it is the infant. Faith is a gift from God. Just as an adult cannot make himself believe, an infant cannot make himself believe. Conversion is God’s action in both adults and infants. Thus, Jesus says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5–6). Here Jesus shows the work of the Holy Spirit in the waters of baptism bringing about the spiritual birth. Just as physical birth is not accomplished by the act of the will, spiritual birth is not accomplished by the act of the will. An infant does not decided to be born, just as an infant does not decided to be born from above in the waters of baptism. The Apostle John writes, “But to all who did receive him, those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12–13). God is the one who gives us natural birth as a gift through are physical father and mother. Likewise, God is the one who gives us spiritual birth as a gift. Echoing Jesus, Paul writes, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ” (Galatians 3:26–27). Again, the work of the Holy Spirit is connected with baptism. Paul goes on to state, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6). Here we have the promise of the gift and gifts of the Holy Spirit with baptism.

      Thus, on the Day of Pentecost when the Apostles began to publicly proclaim the message of the cross, those who heard the word wanted to know what they needed to do to be saved. St. Peter responded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:38–39). Again, we have water and the Spirit at work bringing the new birth. Instead of forbidding infants, Peter makes it clear that the promise tied to baptism is for parents and their children. There are no exclusions.

      In baptism, it is God who acts. Baptism is not our action. In fact, we have to passively received baptism from somebody else. Paul tells us that God acts in this way, “The Father saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5–7). Notice that Paul refers to baptism as the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Previously, we noted that Jesus refers to baptism as being born from above by water and the Spirit.

      In the letter to the baptized in Ephesus Paul calls baptism the washing of the water and the word. Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25–27). The Holy Spirit works through the water and the word in order to make us holy, that is, sanctify us.

      In unison with Paul, Peter declares that baptism saves. Instead of a mere empty symbolic act, it actually saves. In fact, Noah and his family were saved by water in the flood from physical death and this was a figure of baptism which saves from eternal death. Peter writes, “when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being built, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20–21). When an infant is baptized, it testifies to the reality that it is God who does the action and not the individual. An infant is brought to the waters by somebody else and receives the gift from God. Baptism gives a good conscience. Thus, the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with the hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and the body washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19–22, ESV). Here baptism is called pure water that cleanses the conscience.
      Furthermore, St. Paul tells us about God’s action in baptism in this way in the letter to the baptized in Rome, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Thus, we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3–4). In baptism we are crucified with Christ and we are raised with Christ. And again Paul, “We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6). Thus, as a baptized believer Paul can say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And now the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

      In a similar way he states the following to the baptized in Colossae saying, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11–12, ESV) Paul compares baptism to circumcision. As infants were circumcised under the Old Testament, infants are baptized under the New Testament. In baptism we are buried with Christ and raised with Christ to newness of life. Thus, Paul writes to the baptized in Corinth saying, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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