Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
12 March 2023
“The pears ripened and became sweet and juicy! As we Christians mature more and more in the Lord, we the more reflect His beauty and holiness.”
If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.Isaiah 7:9
This text comes in a passage in which God is testing His people, and the king of Judah, Ahaz, in particular, as to who do they trust. Do they trust Yahweh or is their trust in human powers and kings. God will even give them a sign: before a child conceived at that time reaches the age of 12 or 13 years of age, both Syria and Israel, the two nations that the king of Judah is terrified of, would be laid waste by Assyria (Isaiah 7:17).
Again, in the remarkable economy of God, a prophecy of a child being born then, was to have a long-term and much greater fulfilment, the birth of Jesus Christ (Immanuel) to the virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14). This was the way the Lord was going to create His image anew in people, all people, broken by sin,
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Eph. 2:10
Throughout the Scriptures we see the Lord’s desire to create a people who reflect His image, His character e.g.
Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness’. So God created humankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number’.Gen. 1:26-28
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”‘Lev. 19:1-2
In the future, when your son asks you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?’ tell him:
‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders – great and terrible – on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. But He brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that He promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us, that will be our righteousness’.Deuteronomy 6:21-25
Warning: when the Lord blesses us so, we have a duty to respond in righteousnss – see Isaiah 5:1-7;
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.Romans 8:29
As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ … But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.1 Peter 2:4-5,9
Part of the Lord creating anew His image in His people is that He will test them, discipline and refine them. A major part of our succeeding in the test is to stand firm in our faith, to trust God above all others! Even though the whole world might be saying this and that, we have to stand firm on what the Lord, Himself is saying, Amen!
Quote of the week
“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.”
Verse of the week
For nothing is impossible with God.Luke 1:37
Heavenly Father, strengthen us by Your Spirit that we may be people of faith that ask no other evidence than Your written word in and through our LORD Jesus Christ, Amen!