Sunday: Buy Something Free?
Read this text: “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!” (Isa: 55:1, NRSV). What contradiction do you see there?
Suppose you took food and stood on the street in a big city and announced to the hungry and homeless there: “Yo, you who have no money, come, buy and eat!” But how can they buy if they have no money?
However, if you add the words, as Isaiah did: “without money and without price” (Isa: 55:1, NRSV), the point becomes clearer. Isaiah appeals to people to accept forgiveness (Isa: 55:7) freely. Yet, the word buy emphasizes that what God offers people to meet their needs and desires is valuable; so, receiving it requires a transaction (transfer of something of worth). God freely offers forgiveness within the framework of a restored covenant relation with His people, but not because it was free for Him: He bought it at the terrible, blood-drenched price of His own Servant. Though free, it came with an astonishing cost to Himself.
What was the price for our salvation? See 1 Peter 1.18-19.
How does Isaiah’s approach to salvation compare with that of the New Testament? Ephesians 2.8-9.
Isaiah encapsulates the gospel in the Old Testament, and it is the same as the gospel in the New Testament. There was no “old-covenant” salvation by works, to be superseded by “new-covenant” salvation by grace. Ever since God’s promise of a Deliverer to Adam and Eve (Gen: 3:15), there has been only one way to salvation: by grace through faith (Eph: 2:8); “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom: 6:23, NRSV). From the ancient Gilgamesh, who did heroic exploits in a vain search for eternal life, to modern actors who believe in reincarnation, people have tried all different routes to salvation, but all are fruitless. This is why they need to know about Jesus and what He has accomplished for them at the Cross.
|Salvation is free in that there’s nothing we can do to earn it. Our works can never be good enough to save us. Yet, at the same time, it can cost us everything. What does that mean? See, for instance, Matt: 10:39, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:26, Phil: 3:8.|
I was once offered a free holiday for two weeks in Tahiti, but I couldn't take it because the offer did not include the cost of the plane tickets to get us there. All too often "free" means there is a catch. And perhaps, we need to think about this salvation thing a bit before we buy into it. First of all, what is it. many of us think of salvation in terms of eternal life, the certainty that we will be resurrected or translated to heaven and the new earth where we will live forever. If that is true, where is the evidence. Do you know anyone who is saved and living in heaven? I suggest that that view of salvation is much the same as the cargo-cultism we saw grow in some Pacific Islands after the war - the expectation that they will get something for nothing.
There is a spiritual dilemma here. Salvation might be free, but in the end it will cost you everything. Consider two parables that Jesus taught:
Here we have the enigma: How can salvation be both free and cost you everything?
We should be able to find out the answer this week.
Here is the reason why salvation is for both free and cost.
In the book of Isaiah 55:7 it say each man must forsake the wrong way and return to the lord that he shall gain mercy, this is first that salvation is for cost,
why? because you forsake your way of doing evil, and start other way of doing good.
Sir Maurice, I thought you were giving us the answer.
Well, Sarah, maybe! but answers don't make a lot of sense sometimes if we don't understand the question. The process is often as important as the answer. I hope I'm not being too cheeky.
I believe that first we have to understand what we’re being saved from. Like you said Maurice, we look at Salvation as something in the future, but it is also for us, right now. 2 Corinthians 6:2 and Romans 13:11 are just two texts that tell us that “Now is the day of salvation “. For me, the freedom from being selfish, the freedom from fear, the freedom that comes from knowing that at a thought I can have the power to overcome whatever Satan can throw at me. That is how we can experience salvation now. The only thing required to receive that is to hold fast to Jesus and follow His leading, Revelation 14:4.
My understanding of the LORD's message in Isa 55 is that He is offering to restore my relationship with Him, by changing my heart and mind to be like His character.
It reminds me of David's prayer in Ps 51 - create in me a clean heart and renew my mind
Also Jesus said in Matt 5 - have a character that is like your Father in heaven, plus in John 10 I came to give you an abundant life.
How will the LORD achieve this miracle of changing me to be like Him - through entering into a mutual commitment with me to be soul mates and to love each other.
We are going to spend the whole of next quarter studying the Everlasting Covenant which I believe is the Everlasting Gospel and central to understanding the 3 Angels message which is our mission.
Salvation was paid for for us by the blood of Jesus. I can do nothing to save myself but follow that same Jesus,take up His cross,do His will and forsake my worldly pleasures. If this is what I lose then Jesus help me to give this honor and walk closer with Him.
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26
Buy Something Free?
I heard people preach saying- come to Jesus, get baptize and everything will be ok, you dont have to worry anymore. All of your worried will be gone. Is this statement true?
When people come to Jesus our worries starts. Now the people who we hold so dearly we start understanding that we have to place them on the 'second burner', not in the driving seat but on the passenger side. We love them so much but we have to decide to choose Jesus in front of them. The places we once attended with them, or things we did with them, or ate with them we can do no more if they refused to accept Jesus as their Savior.
But the greatest is to hate ourselves. This means, we have to love Christ more than how we love ourselves. He must be first in our lives. It is no more 'I' but Christ. What he says we do, where he sends we go. Spouse and family might not understand but if we are listening to his voice we will know when he calls.
Have we ever been in a conflict and a voice says to us, let it go although we know we were right but we cont to follow it up because we were right. We have to let it go.
I understand the question, "Is this statement true?" But the previous statements, which are often promised by those who adjure others to accept Christ, are simplistic in nature. I think that you gave a correct answer, partially, with "We have to let it go."
1. At what point to life is the promise made that all will be ok? For Christ said: "Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you." John 15:20 We have to remember that this world, currently, is not the kingdom of God. We are on enemy territory until Christ restores the earth to its original intention. This is why we need to put Christ 1st, He knows things we do not. He has a better perspective. He has already overcome. By choosing Christ's ways, His life is lived through us and He will also overcome . . . our selfishness.
2. Christ has also promised that He will work for those for whom we pray. But we have to leave others free to make their own choices. They are the owners of the responsibility, not you. We are only responsible to love them as Jesus loves and willing be His workers.
3. We don't just let it go though, we give our concerns to God and then we trust Him. He will do all he can to help you live His will and He will do all He can to turn loved ones toward Himself. But again, we have to leave the ownership of the decision to love God to those who have to make the decision. Just like no one could make the decision for you.
4. Therefore our burdens are lifted and put onto Christ's shoulders and we take on His lighter yoke. We are to trust Him and know that even if someone does not decide for Christ, He DOES do all He can to plead His case with your loved ones. This will sometimes be through your demonstration of your life lived and changed by Him. Therefore, your worries are no more.
Like in the story of Noah, which is sometimes so simplified that we lose the whole. Noah prophesied and built for about 100 years before the floods came. I believe God REALLY tried to get more people aboard the boat, don't you?
Life wasn't made easier for Noah because He believed God's word. Now, he not only had to provide/shepherd for his family but he chose to be God's instrument so that God could maintain a way for the coming Messiah.
No, concerns do not get easier; but by "[Being] thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 These 5:18), we learn to look at the positives and turn the 'worries' over to Him because He is trustworthy.
I coudnt agree with you more. We give it to Jesus, and we let him take care of the rest. We don't look back, we trust that He is faithful. When we begin to look and Jesus and the plans he has for us, all the things of this world grows dim. I have this example. At an outdoor campaign, the clouds were gathering and it looked certain to rain. the prayer team was in prayer, but the Evangelist was neither worried nor perturbed - He was getting ready to mount the pulpit. When he was approached by his team on this concern, his response was, I'm doing Jesus's bidding. If He desires that it should rain today, thats His plan for us, and we need not worry. He knows what He is doing. If only we will have that childlike faith and trust in Him. Our worries will not be over bread, butter and shelter.
The price of salvation for some of us has a different outward effect, I was left adrift to complete the final high school level until I met someone who wanted to pay for it because my family did not believe in the Lord Jesus by keeping the Sabbath holy, for my friend it was losing the shop because it was burned in the majority neighborhood. For us it doesn't matter, there is nothing precious in our lives other than the Lord Jesus, we felt joy when we first learned to follow the Lord Jesus until baptism and some time after that. The problem we experienced was that as time went by, we focused on ourselves, started thinking about the world so that we didn't evangelize and finally there was no change. Thanks to God, He still gives us the opportunity, at this time we are trying hard to deliver this good news every day with friendship, material assistance as well as private discussions. We don't know exactly how to evangelize but we believe as long as we focus on God we focus on the happiness of others because He has made us happy. Give in the midst of limitations to make ends meet every day, do not have insurance or other savings.
It took some reflection-time to learn from this lesson's topic. Maybe, instead of the word “buy”, a less confusing word might be “receive or purchase” to express the meaning of ‘receiving something desired without the use of currency’. Usually, purchasing goods is either done through bartering or through some type of currency exchange. But here, Isaiah points out that what God offers cannot be done in this way. Something non-material, something spiritual is being offered and asked for, something which man’s daily toils cannot produce or be purchased by that which reflects only material value.
The Prophet refers to this exchange in Isa.55:2-3KJV - ”Wherefor do ye spend(or, weigh) money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and ‘eat’ ye that which is good, and let your soul (your inner being) delight itself in (its) fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: *hear*, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. David loved his LORD/God/Father with all his heart and repented of his sins, and he was forgiven of his iniquities.
The ‘Same One’ who loved David and accepted his repentance is pointed out by Isaiah as the Holy One of Israel “for He has glorified you”.
Isa.55:5-7KJV: ”Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man (or the man of iniquity) his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Mercy and Grace is what the LORD, the God of Israel offered his children and asked for a repentent heart in return! The price He asked was: ‘for the wicked to forsake his way, and for the unrighteous man to forsake his thoughts and to return unto the LORD’.
God’s Words spoken by His prophet Isaiah point to the most important aspect in man’s life: ‘Man cannot find life outside God's Plan of Salvation as established by the Will of God, His Creator.’ It does not matter how much man toils, accumulates wealth, establishes his name through power or prestige, how many 'good works' he does – all is meaningless if it is not done within the Providence of our heavenly Father.
It is the Creator who established the standards by which man’s value of his life was to be measured, using HIS ‘Balances' to assess the value of man’s life based on his deeds. It is by God's standards that the spiritual value of man’s deeds will be measured and compared to His Righteousness. Like Nebuchadnezzar, man will be weighed in the balances and is either found wanting or satisfying the requirements.
Salvation comes to those who accept Heaven’s system of establishing value to trump that of man. It is the spiritual impact/effect our actions have on all that our life encounters which is being measured. The man whose works are not done in the Spirit of God’s Law of Love is likened to chaff, “which the wind driveth away, but the godly man is likened to a “tree planted by the rivers of water” – Psalm 1:1-6KJV.
Paul speaks to the faithful: Phil.3:7-10KJV - ”But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8)Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. (9)And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the followship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Wow, a lot of posts already. It is a challenging thought that you buy with no money, no bartering, or good deeds. No one has an advantage over the other, rich, comfortable or poor. Christ says come unto me all you who labor, emphasizing the all, I do believe He meant, rich, comfortable, and poor, those who can't labor, even they labor under the burden of sin. So how are we to buy without money? We give of ourselves to Christ without reserve. We ask for and accept forgiveness, then surrender our bad habits to Christ. We cannot buy salvation, but we can give up our sins, being overcomers, in willing obedience. Revelation 3:8,18. Yes, not in our own strength but through Christ. Philippians 4:13. We must buy(believe) into all these facts. There's a song that says trust and obey. Maybe it should say love and obey. John 14:15.
Yes I to am hoping MTWTF will have more light on today's study.
If we could have a right estimate on the value of eternal life with God(meaning: we become holy as He is Holy), we would realize that the "cost" to us is FREE. We are simply called to forsake sin, which means to deny our sinful nature(repent), and believe in "the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes"(Rom 1:16).