15 Dec 2013 by Jason Law CM –
In last Sunday’s worship service at FGA KL, the church was blessed by the teaching of the Word by Jose Philip. Philip is part of Ravi Zacharias’ team from his renowned apologetics ministry, RZIM, and specializes in Apologetics, Christian Ethics, and Gospel & Culture, teaching them at various colleges and seminaries like the Singapore Bible College, Baptist Theological Seminary and Bible College Malaysia. A Christian since he was fourteen, Philip was the first student in the history of the Singapore Bible College to have secured two masters simultaneously. He completed both his Masters of Divinity in Biblical studies and his Masters of Theology from Singapore Bible College in May 2008.
Jose Philip taught about what it is to rely on God, basing his message on the text of Isaiah 50. Apart from being instructed by God, and making Him sovereign in our lives, there are two more lessons we can learn from Isaiah 50 about what it is to rely on God.
3. The Servant of God was Empowered by God (v7-9)
The third thing to note is that the Servant of God was empowered by God.
7Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who is my accuser?
Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.
Verse 7 of this passage states that the Servant of God was not ashamed. He set his face like a flint. This indicates a position of determination and no turning back. The Servant of God will not be ashamed, being already justified by God. Throughout this passage, there is a state of mind of ‘If God is with us, who will be against us?’ (Romans 8:31) The Servant of God placed confidence in God, not on circumstances. He had confidence that the God who never fails will not let us fall.
Jose Philip shared that there is no one who prays who doesn’t want an answer to their prayers, but God often has a different reason for answering our prayers than ours. When we pray, we often hope for a result in a cause-and-effect way. We want God to do something with us or for us. God is most of the time more interested in what is happening in us. Nothing matters to God more than our growth, who are predestined to be conformed to His image. God is doing His work daily in us.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Nothing compares to the plans God has for us. When we are empowered by God, we learn to celebrate our salvation and sanctification, leading to much fruitfulness, glorifying God. This is the privilege of every believer.
4. The Servant of God Lives a Life that is Approved by God (v10-11)
The fourth thing to note is that the Servant of God lived a life that is approved by God.
10 Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from my hand:
You will lie down in torment.
This whole passage speaks of a desperate trust in God. It is the reason why we take His word into the world, and why we challenge the world to come to Christ. This often is not a comfortable posture, but it is very important. As Christians, we know that Jesus is the only answer to many of the problems in the world, and that salvation lies only with Him. We need to depend, wait, and trust in God in everything, even in dark times. Play our parts by encouraging the faithful and warning the wayward. Seek for God’s approval and no one else.
The Servant of God found what it truly means to rely on God, and in the process, learned
- What differentiates lasting faith & fleeting feelings.
- What it is to come before God as weak sinners and leave with God’s mark
- How to celebrate the Salvation and Sanctification given by God
- How to live a life approved by God.
References for pictures