THE NEW COVENANT

The Book of Isaiah is considered as one of the major Prophetic Book in the Holy Bible. The book of Isaiah was recorded around 700 years before Christ. The common theme of this Book is the message of salvation. Prophet Isaiah foretold about Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace and the blessing of redemption because Jesus will be exalted from the lowly place by His death on behalf of the sins of all mankind. So Isaiah 53 talks all about His suffering, and Isaiah 54 declares the blessings reserved for everyone who put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. But today sadly many people including some faithful believers just made no used of these blessings or the gifts simply because they are unaware of it. When I first looked on Isaiah 54 through the lens of Grace, I was blown out by its beautiful revelation and I fell more in love with Jesus. And I can’t just stop sharing this good news to all the people around me, and that joy brought me to share today’s message to you all. Let me try to dig out the revelation of Isaiah 54 in today’s context by bringing up few points.

1. The gift to Increase (Isaiah 54:1-3): When I read Isaiah 54:1-3, I strongly felt “the gift to Increase” for us. In my case, my earthly father disagreed to own me when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior few years ago, but today he is standing on my favor, even defended my faith when someone fingered on me. These are not happening accidentally nor it’s just a co-incident, but I believe it is the unmerited favor of God, which is “the gift to Increase” I received. Today my family members are standing on my favor (even though they are not a believer), they are no longer against my faith. I remember what the Scripture says in Romans “When God is for us, who can be against us?” Today I am no longer a lonely believer in my family but God blessed me with His beautiful daughter as my beloved wife, and she is also addicted in the Grace of God. Praise the Lord! So, if you are persecuted by your own people, struggling on your job for promotion or unable to prosper your Ministry, my beloved brothers and sisters, believe that “the gift to Increase” is already yours when you keep your faith on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. So instead of trusting on your self-effort, put your complete trust on Jesus and His finished work and start enlarging your tent by faith, you will definitely see the manifestation of this gift.

2. The gift of Restoration (Isaiah 54:4-6): Isaiah 54:4-6 assure us that through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross we freely receive “the gift of restoration”. Jesus gave Himself to us as our Restorer of life and Nourisher of our old age. When the Restorer of life is in our lives, what we have lost can be restored (Joel 2:25−26). The restoration of our looking young and strong is possible because He restores our soul as well (Psalm 23:3). My friend, God is outside of time and your faith in Him brings you into this timeless zone. There, what the years have stolen will be restored. And even as your years increase, you will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and Nourisher of your old age is in you! Will there be more painful situation than a young woman lost her husband which is mentioned in Isaiah 54:6? Church! “The gift of Restoration” from every situation is already yours by putting your faith at the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Simply receive it! Please turn your neighbour and say, “You are young and strong!”

3. The gift of No Condemnation (Isaiah 54:7-10): Hiroo Onoda, an Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer who fought in World War II, chose not to believe broadcasts announcing the end of the war. For the next 29 years Lieutenant Onoda hid in the jungles of the Philippines refusing to come home. Many letters and family pictures were dropped from aircraft urging Hiroo and his soldiers to surrender, but they concluded that this was a trick. In 1974 a Japanese college student found the old soldier, but he could not convince him to surrender. Eventually, the Japanese Government sent Onoda’s former commanding officer into the jungle with orders for him to stand down. Finally, Onoda emptied the bullets from his rifle and turned in his weapon. For him the war was finally over and he returned home. For three decades Lieutenant Onoda was engaged in a war that existed only in his mind against an imaginary enemy he both feared and distrusted. This is how some people relate to God. They’re opposed to God in their minds or they think God is punishing them on account of their sin. They have not heard nor believe in the Gospel of Grace that the war has been won and the Prince of Peace now sits on the throne. My dear brothers and sisters! God is now no longer angry, all His anger has been quenched at the Cross, He even sworn that He will never be angry with us nor rebuke us (Isaiah 54:7-10). We can also see in John 8:10-11 how Jesus demonstrated “this gift of No Condemnation” to a woman who was caught on adultery. Many people like to quote the last phrase, “go and sin no more.” But it does not release the power to go and sin no more if you first do not receive the gift of no condemnation. That is why Jesus gave the woman the gift of no condemnation before He told her to “go and sin no more”! Today if you are in Christ Jesus, “the gift of No Condemnation” belongs to you, Romans 8:1 confirms it so!

4. The gift of Unshakable foundation (Isaiah 54:11-15): When I meditate Isaiah 54:11-15, I remember the book of 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 which talked about building our foundation on the Grace of Jesus. Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and straw are few examples of foundation mentioned which we are building on, and we will be tested by fire. Wood, hay and straw will obviously be failed the test because they will easily burned as they are sometimes signify the self-righteousness (Isaiah 40:6-8), however the more gold, silver and precious stones are burned, the more they are polished and shiny, that is the picture of Grace and the righteousness of God. God promised this “gift of Unshakable Foundation” for us in Isaiah 54:11-15 in the form of colorful gems, sapphires, rubies, crystal and precious stones. So our foundation will be established in His righteousness which is unshakable and no longer in our fallible conducts. He also promised that His righteousness will reign in our life (Romans 5:17; Psalms 23:3), and when we understand this fact that we are His righteous because Christ becomes our identity, we live a victorious Christian life. Matthew 6:33 also says that if we seek His Kingdom by understanding His righteousness, all the materialistic requirement in our life on this earth will be added unto us. Hallelujah! How good our God is! He understands our needs even before we asked Him, we are no longer His slaves but His beloved sons and daughters in Christ Jesus. Knowing this, our foundation will never be shaken and this is called “the gift of Unshakable foundation”.

5. The gift of Victory (Isaiah 54:16-17): Verse 16 of Isaiah 54 says that God created the spoiler to destroy. But don’t conclude by saying that God is responsible for the destruction around you. On August 28, 2016, a suicide bomber’s explosives failed to detonate in a packed Church in western Indonesia but a bomb in his backpack only burned without exploding that led him injured his back. I don’t see God as a destroyer from this incident but as a Protector. You can also take an example of Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5:1-11, many people raised a question if God is a loving Faher then why He killed Ananias and Sapphira. My understanding is God being our Heavenly Daddy protects His Church from every scheme of the evil one and that’s the reason He says in Isaiah 54:17 that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. I believe Ananias and Sapphira were not believers, they are corrupted with lies and they are the weapons of satan as they tried to cheat the Holy Spirit and corrupt the Church. But God didn’t let this happen and protected His own. Because God considered His people as His righteous. Wow! Such a good Father He is. This is the Gospel and through Him we have “the gift of Victory”.

All the above treasures are applicable for those who put their faith at the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. If you feel that the fruit of these treasures are not bearing in your life, then there is a big chance that you may have forgotten or may not have taken seriously that all your sins (past, present and future) are forgiven and cleansed completely at the Cross of Calvary (see 2Peter 1:9). So I’d suggest to start all over again and understand the forgiveness of sin which is found only in the Blood of Jesus Christ. Believe that all your sins and your lawless deeds God remembers no more (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17). My dear friends, let’s be Jesus-conscience instead of sin-conscious. Let’s cling to the Good News instead of listening to the bad news.

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News of Christ.

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