October 4, 2015
This Week: The Glory of God, the Lostness of Man, and the Gospel of Christ
As we study Isaiah 6, we can get a glimpse of God’s glory and of His holiness; but too often we give the lostness of man a passing glance. To fully appreciate God’s complete love for His children, we must fully embrace the absolute corruptness and rebellion that rules in the heart of man. We often hear it said, God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. The Bible argues against this theology. We are so corrupt in our sin that the Bible tells us God hates the sinner, yet at the same time He died for us. How do we reconcile these polar opposites?
This Week’s Resources:
This Week’s Take Home Truth
Gospel truths permeating Isaiah 6 reveal deafening realities that compel us to lead our churches and give our lives—and lose them, if necessary—for the spread of the gospel among unreached people groups. Indeed, the glory of God among the nations is not simply a reason for a conference or a book; the glory of God among the nations is the reason for which we have breath.
- Think for a moment about the most incredible tasting food you have ever tasted. Describe this food or meal to your group members.
- What is a metaphor? Can you use a sentence with a metaphor in it? What is a simile? Can you use a sentence with a simile in it?
- Using just language with metaphors and similes, can you develop a description of what baking bread smells like for someone who has no concept of what bread is or how bread is created?
Read the Text (Isaiah 6:8-13)
Too often, when we read the incredible narrative of Isaiah’s vision of the Lord, we stop at verse 8 with Isaiah’s solemn response to the Lord’s question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Isaiah responds, “Here I am! Send me.” The remainder of Isaiah 6 tells us more about the message the Lord wants to get to the people. This awe-inspiring narrative reveals life-altering realities that, if we really believe and actually embrace them, change the trajectory of our lives and our churches, particularly regarding our focus on those not yet reached with the gospel. Read Isaiah 6:8-13.
- We speak of “the glory of God,” but this is an attribute of God that is nearly impossible for us to understand or appreciate. As an attribute, God’s glory refers primarily to his majestic beauty and splendor. Using some of the selected scriptures below, what can we learn about God’s glory
- Romans 3:23 Refers to the expression of God’s character.
- Nehemiah 9:5 The Scriptures record praise to his glorious name.
- Ephesians 1:17 Describe him as the glorious Father.
- Psalms 57:5 & 11 He is exalted above the heavens, and his glory is over all the earth (also Psalm 108:5; 113:4).
- Acts 7:2 He is the God of glory who appeared to the patriarchs of the OT.
- Isaiah 42:8 He is jealous to maintain his glory and unwilling that it be given to another.
- Psalm 79:9 and Isaiah 48:11 He acts to bring glory to himself.
- Psalm 19:1, 97:6, and Romans 1:20 The glory of God is proclaimed by the Creation.
- Psalm 24 Describe him as the King of glory
- In addition to God’s glory, we must try to understand his holiness. As a group, develop a working definition of God’s holiness.
- What does Romans 3:10-18 say about man’s lostness? Read this text as a group.
- Do you think mankind collectively has any concept of what is described as “the lostness of man”? Why or why not
- What is God’s judgment against mankind that has openly rebelled against Him as creator and God?
This is why Isaiah said, “Woe is me, for I am lost.” His lostness is not his own. It is shared by all humanity, including hundreds of millions of unreached men and women. They—and we—are sinfully lost apart from Christ. Cut off from God, condemned by God, enemies of God, slaves to sin, dominated by Satan, children of wrath, lovers of darkness, with depraved minds and disordered emotions and defiled bodies, morally evil, spiritually sick, continually perishing, and destined to hell. This is the condition of man before God.
- How is it possible for a holy God (who does everything right and is in all ways just) to look at a guilty sinner completely lost in his open rebellion against God and say, “You are innocent”? Does this seem right?
- As a group read Isaiah 53:4-6. In this later chapter in Isaiah, what is the prophet describing?
- We often hear the statement, “God hates sin, but not sinners.” David Platt argues that this is not biblically true. What do you think?
- Based on your answer to the question above, what would you say to the feel-good preacher who teaches that “You’re good! You’re fine!”
- Does God hate sinners or does God love sinners? How do we reconcile this question?
- As you read the Scriptures and study God’s Word this week, what do you hear God saying to you?