From Gloomy to Glorious

Dear Church Family,

The coming Sunday, December 2, we will begin a new sermon series in our Sunday morning worship from the book of Isaiah. This series will last for the five weeks in December, so obviously we will not be looking at the entire 66 chapters of Isaiah! Here is the planned outline of this series:

Sermon Series: From Gloomy to Glorious

(Dec. 2)  A Gloomy Saying (Isaiah 6:1-13)
(Dec. 9)  A Glorious People (Isaiah 9:1-3)
(Dec. 16)  A Glorious Battle (Isaiah 9:4-5)
(Dec. 23)  A Glorious Child (Isaiah 9:6)
(Dec. 30)  A Glorious Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7)

In this series, we will be examining first how God, through the prophet Isaiah, gave a gloomy saying of judgment for His people. That is, Isaiah was commissioned to preach the gospel (the good news of salvation) to the people of Israel, but because of their failure to believe that gospel and repent of their sins, the people would receive Isaiah’s message as a judgment and condemnation against them.

We don’t usually consider this side of the gospel: that the preaching of the gospel either redeems or condemns. However, that was the nature of Isaiah’s ministry and as we will see this Sunday that was actually the nature of Jesus’ ministry, as well (Matthew 13:11-17).

But, as you may see by the outline of this forthcoming series, Isaiah’s message was not all gloom. Isaiah also foretold of a day when the people who walk in darkness would see a great light, a day when the Gentiles would be gathered in to God’s work of redemption. In that day, Isaiah prophesied that there would be a great battle in which the enemies of God’s people (sin, death, and the devil) would be defeated by a child. And, this child would be a royal son who would sit on the throne of King David, and that child would rule with justice and righteousness.

Of course, we now know who that royal son is: Jesus Christ, the Son of God! When you finish reading a detective novel, you can look back at the story you just read and say, “Oh, the butler did it!” In a similar way, we can look back at what Isaiah prophesied and say, “Oh, Jesus did it!” In His incarnation – in His earthly and heavenly ministry – Christ accomplishes all that Isaiah prophesied. The good news for the people of God is this: Your God reigns! (Isaiah 52:7) That is what we celebrate at Christmas, and it is that good news, as prophesied through Isaiah, that we will be examining in the month of December as we are reminded of the Lord’s glorious provision in His only begotten Son!

The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch