Monday, August 5, 2013

Old Testament Commission

When we think of our purpose on earth, many of us think of John Piper's motto:
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” 

But most of us think of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:

Let's go instead to the Old Testament, and allow me to show you the Great Commission before Christ walked the earth. Come with me to Isaiah 43. It is always a bit tricky to exposit a chapter, because I can only hope that you will actually read the context, and not simply take what I cut and paste here. The meat of this passage is in the Word. What I write here is merely connections being made within context. Without the rest of the chapter, the power of these connections I make is lost. The importance here is God's Word, not mine. So please prioritize what He has written over what I have written. 

Once you have read the passage, I will present a few questions about this commission, and answer them with scripture. There are five questions this passage provides answers to. 
~Who is being called?
~What is their identity/status?
~What are they being called to do?
~What must they say?
~Why do they speak?

So lets get started. 

Who is being called? Isaiah 43:6-7 
"I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

Also, the first verse is critical as well.
"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine."

What is their identity/status? Or perhaps, a better wording: How does God (the Caller) see them? Isaiah 43:4
"Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you..."

What are they being called to do? Isaiah 43:10
"“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me."

and verse 12b
"and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am"

What must they say? Isaiah 43:11-12
"I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God."

Why must they say it? Isaiah 43:19
"Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."

So what can we draw from these truths?

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