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Christ in All of Scripture – Isaiah 11:1-5

 

 

Isaiah 11:1-5

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.”


God never abandoned Israel, promising that amid the apparently destitute land there remained “the holy seed” found in a stump (Isa. 6:13). Coming forth from the line of David (Isa. 11:1), this “root of Jesse” would signal to the nations a new reality (Isa. 11:10).

At Jesus’ baptism, as he rose out of the water, the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and the Gospel writers appear to connect this event with the messianic expectations of Isaiah (see Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; cf. Isa. 11:2, 61:1). Here is the true fulfillment of this expectation, as the one conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35) grows in wisdom, understanding, and counsel, so that “his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord” (Isa. 11:3; cf. Heb. 5:7–9). These words provide one of the most profound definitions of “the fear of the Lord” in the Old Testament. We hardly have a modern word equivalent to this Hebrew word for “fear.” The word cannot simply mean “terror,” because God’s people are called to love their Lord—impossible if they only live in terror of him. Many theologians, therefore, substitute words such as “awe” or “reverence” for this Old Testament use of “fear.” Such words help our understanding, but this passage (Isa. 11:2–3) reminds us that Christ will “delight” in the fear of the Lord. So, we are made to understand that the loving regard that the eternal Son has for his Father is the fear of the Lord. This is not merely reverence for divine power but is proper regard for all that God is: just, holy, powerful, wise, loving, compassionate, and merciful.

Contributing to this “proper regard” are Isaiah’s prophecies of the new world order. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, all who believe in him become a part of this promised new creation. With the coming of this “stump of Jesse” a radical shift in the way of the world is expected: chaos will turn to harmony, fear to laughter, death to life (Isa. 11:6–9). We who are new creatures in Christ joyfully participate in the work of the kingdom that we anticipate (Isa. 11:4–10), seeking reconciliation in Jesus’ name by pursuing peace, justice, creation care, and life-promoting goodness (cf. Deut. 26:13). In part we do this by putting on the full armor of God, first truly worn by Christ (cf. Isa. 11:5) but now given to us by his Spirit. In so doing we wage the battle not against foreign political powers but against “the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). Echoing the words of Isaiah, we are encouraged to stand, to put on the “belt of truth, and . . . the breastplate of righteousness,” being ready “by the gospel of peace” to hold up “the shield of faith” and the “helmet of salvation,” fighting back with the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:13–17).


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

April 21, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Books,ESV,GTB | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:36 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Leviticus 5:14-16

 

 

Leviticus 5:14-16

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unintentionally in any of the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring to the Lord as his compensation, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued in silver shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for a guilt offering. He shall also make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing and shall add a fifth to it and give it to the priest. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.’”


A guilt offering was brought when Israelites sinned by defiling something belonging to the Lord. Such possessions included holy food items (Lev. 5:14–16; cf. Lev. 22:10–16; Num. 18:8–13) or even the Lord’s own holy name (Lev. 6:1–7; v. 3 assumes a false oath in the Lord’s name). This offering was to be brought even when people suspected they might have committed such an offense (Lev. 5:17–19). In either case (of actual or suspected sin), to sin against what belonged to the holy King was to show disrespect to the King himself, while to show respect to what was his was to respect him.

Paul applies this principle to believers when he exhorts us to be sexually pure, in this way acknowledging that we belong to the Lord and have been bought at a great price: Jesus’ lifeblood  (1 Cor. 6:18–20; cf. Eph. 1:7). When we revere God’s holiness and the greatness of the redemption he has accomplished for us, we are spurred to live holy lives as an act of reverential worship before our holy and redeeming King.


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

March 17, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,Old Testament | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:15 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – Ephesians 2:4-7

 

 

Ephesians 2:4-7

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”


The heart of the gospel pumps bright red in the first two words of verse 4. In verses 1–3 we see that mankind was dead, disobedient, demonic, and destined for destruction. We were prodigals, scoundrels, vile, impure, unholy, treacherous, lecherous, self-absorbed, self-exalting, out-and-out rebels. That’s the bad news. And then this good news: “But God!” We were dead, but God made us alive in Christ. We were not strugglers in need of a helping hand or sinking swimmers in need of a raft; we were stone-cold dead—spiritually lifeless, without a religious pulse, without anything to please God. But he loves the loveless, gives life to the lifeless, and is merciful to those deserving no mercy.


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

March 10, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,New Testament,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

Christ in All of Scripture – 1 Kings 3:5-14

 

 

1 Kings 3:5-14

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”


Without a doubt, this is one of the most remarkable passages in all of the Old Testament. The tale of Aladdin’s lamp pales in comparison! Here, the true and living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, stoops down and offers Solomon anything that his heart might have desired.

Solomon’s request for wisdom was certainly admirable, but it is even more important to note that he understood that the wisdom he needed to navigate life was from God. Apart from God’s provision, a blessed life would be unknowable —a point consistently reiterated in the wisdom literature of both the Old and New Testaments (cf. Prov. 2:6; James 1:5). Solomon’s request for wisdom embodied the important kingdom ethic that Jesus would later set before his disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). And so it was. Solomon’s request was kingdom-centered, and God added to it (1 Kings 3:13–14).

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this account is Solomon’s description of what motivated his request for wisdom: the “steadfast love” of the Lord (twice in1 Kings 3:6). Solomon’s humble request for wisdom was grounded in the reality that he had already received the greatest treasure in life—the steadfast love of his covenant Lord. Those who seek first the kingdom of God are those who first realize that they have been made members of that kingdom by God’s grace. The same steadfast love of the Lord that Solomon experienced some three thousand years ago has been made ours, all through the work of the human embodiment of this steadfast love: Jesus Christ.


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

March 3, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,Old Testament,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 1 Comment »

Christ in All of Scripture – Psalm 1

 

 

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.


This psalm could be seen as introducing key concerns of the whole Bible, since it describes the two fundamental classes of mankind—sinners and righteous. It also addresses concepts ultimately revealed in the perfectly blessed man, Jesus Christ, who stands at the crossroads of two ways (Ps.1:1; Matt. 7:13). He is anticipated in the first word of this psalm because “blessing” in Scripture references the redemptive presence of God. That presence was perfectly realized when Mary was called “blessed . . . among women,” because Jesus, “God with us,” had finally been conceived in her (Luke 1:42).

The “righteous” man is blessed when he consciously lives in the presence of the Word, which we, on this side of the cross, know would become flesh and would cause his “law” to be written on our hearts for our instruction (Ps. 1:2; John 20:31; 1 Cor. 10:11). Thus the believer’s life is blessed by the presence and care of Christ, bearing eternally significant fruit by being grafted into the “tree of life” (Ps. 1:3; Rev. 2:7; 22:2).

On the other hand, those who follow the broad way that “leads to destruction” become hollow persons whose lives count for nothing beyond the grave, and who perish at the judgment day (Ps. 1:5; Matt. 25:41–46). But even in the Old Testament context of this psalm, what separates the righteous from the wicked is not ultimately good works but the grace of the Lord, who “knows” the righteous (Ps. 1:6; Matt. 7:23).


This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.

 

February 24, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Biblical Studies,ESV,Gospel Transformation Bible,GTB,Life & Doctrine,Old Testament,The Bible | Author: Lizzy Jeffers @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »