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Sermon #5263

The Terms of the Judgement

"Come now, let us reason together"- a Sermon on Isaiah 1:16-18


Isaiah 1:16-18 ESV KJV
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like …

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Sermon Description

What a truly awe-inspiring thought that the God of the universe, the Creator, has called sinful humans to come to Him. In this sermon on Isaiah 1:16–18 titled “The Terms of Judgment,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds of the incredible offer from God Himself to come before Him. In this passage, God calls sinners to reason with Him, to have a discussion about their sins. Yet there is another element to this— a challenge. Because He is the maker, God is just to demand what He does. Because people have disobeyed Him, the punishment for their sins is just. What silences this, though, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones makes note, is the grace of God’s offer that follows this challenge. All need clean hands and a pure heart to stand before God, yet because every one has the guilt of sin staining them, they cannot merit this forgiveness on their own. But, as Isaiah states in this passage, Jesus has offered to take sins that are as red as scarlet and make them as white as snow. As the old hymn communicates so poetically, there is a fountain filled with blood that is drawn from Emmanuel’s veins. Yet, sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. Trust in Jesus today for forgiveness from sins.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. God addresses an appeal to man through the prophet Isaiah. There is nothing more astonishing than God appealing to and calling upon men.
  2. God says "Come now, let us reason together." This is an invitation to a debate, discussion and to state our case before God. It shows God's fairness, reasonableness and condescension.
  3. "Come now, let us reason together" also contains an element of challenge. God will allow us to say anything but then He will answer and we must answer Him.
  4. The first principle is the rightness of God's demands on us. God made us and has the right to lay down conditions for us. His demands are right and good.
  5. The second principle is the justice of God's punishment of our failure and sin. God has the right to judge and has told us He will punish sin. We deserve punishment according to God's judgment.
  6. The third principle is the grace of God's offer. Though we deserve punishment, God offers forgiveness, justification, renewal and blessing.
  7. God made this offer possible through sending His Son Jesus Christ. Christ's life, death and resurrection enable God to forgive and justify us.
  8. We cannot meet God's demands on our own. We need God's mercy, grace and the blood of Christ to cleanse us.
  9. If we accept God's offer, though our sins are as scarlet they shall be white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. We will be cleansed and made righteous in Christ.

Old Testament

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.