Isaiah: Forgiven & Fit For Service

Peter Barnes: Isaiah 6:6-8

(21 October 2018)

Christ does not convert Isaiah here, but confirms him.

1. Cleansing from the altar.

– 6:6-7. Why was the fire taken from the altar? It is the language of the Old Testament sacrifices – Lev.16:11-14. That is a shadow of a great truth – Heb.13:10, 11-13.

– Gal.2:20. In 1738, just before Charles Wesley was converted, he wrote: ‘I spent some hours this evening with Martin Luther [i.e. with Luther’s commentary on Galatians], who was greatly blessed to me, especially his conclusion of the second chapter. I laboured, waited, and prayed to feel “who loved me and gave himself for me.”‘

2. God uses signs.

– 6:6-7. Calvin: ‘And such is the use of the sacraments, to strengthen us in proportion to our ignorance; for we are not angels, that can behold the mysteries of God without any assistance, and therefore he raises us to himself by gradual advances.’

– Jer.1:6-9.

– Luke 22:19-20. We are so weak that we need signs which are added to the word.

3. Cleansed for service.

– 6:8. God refers to Himself as ‘us’ i.e. in the plural – Gen.1:26; 3:22; 11:7. See too John 12:40-41 and Acts 28:25-27.

– he Lord lifts up the downcast, and not only forgives but uses them in His service. See Psalm 51:12-15; Mark 5:8-9, 13, 19-20.

It is a goal for all of us, to be forgiven and fit for service.