The Invitation of the Savior
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: In our final study of Isaiah, we are again reminded that only God can save. The book began with God calling the heavens and earth as witnesses against sinful humanity, and it ends with a new heavens, and a new earth prepared for sinless humanity. Isaiah also begins with a sinful nation forsaking the Lord, but ends with people from all nations coming to worship the Lord. In sum, God responded to Israel’s sinfulness by allowing them to experience the consequences of His temporal judgment, but then reclaimed them, restored them, and comforted them. Israel’s experience of God’s wrath, followed by God’s grace, opened their eyes to a greater work of salvation that would remove all barriers between God and His people through the work of His suffering servant. The fact that God’s gift of salvation extends beyond the people of Israel and into the present day is evidenced by a mandate for missions, a universal invitation, the promise of restoration, the gift of transformation, the power of proclamation, reversal of desolation, experience of redemption, the joy of expectation, and the reality of new creation.
01. God is a missionary God who provides salvation to all people everywhere at all times with the same conditions of repentance and faith; therefore we are called to embrace the gospel for ourselves and share the gospel with everyone.
02. God is a gracious God who restores our relationship with Him and transforms our lives to walk in obedience and love; therefore we are called to be gracious to all by forgiving wrongs directed toward us.
03. God is a finishing God who completes what He begins; therefore we are called to continue walking with Him until the work of salvation is completed with the new creation.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Are you able to summarize the message of Isaiah in three minutes or less? Can you outline the gospel using the book of Isaiah? What grand themes about God have emerged from this book in our studies together?
2. In what ways is it evident from the New Testament that God is a missionary God? In what ways is it evident from the Old Testament that God is a missionary God? Why is it important to affirm that God is a missionary God using both testaments?
3. How are you currently supporting mission work for the nations? Are you praying for any people group or countries to be open to the gospel? Are you supporting missions work financially? What other ways are you currently involved in spreading the gospel?
4. Read through chapters 54-66 and note the frequency in which God takes the initiative to save or rescue His people. How might these examples help you to pursue peace with others who have sinned against you?
5. In what way does the promise of a new creation bring God’s work of salvation to an appropriate conclusion? How does the promise of a new heavens and a new earth shape your understanding of the life we will live after this life is over?
For Further Reading: Christopher Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative (IVP, 2013).