Isaiah 41:8-10 ESV
“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
the offspring of Abraham, my friend;
you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
and called from its farthest corners,
saying to you, ‘You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off’;
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Ever since Jesus Christ, God the Son, died on a cross for our sins, was resurrected from the dead, appeared to many people, ascended back to heaven, then sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, we who follow Jesus Christ with our lives, whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth, are true Israel, the children of promise, the spiritual offspring of Abraham.
All who reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are not the chosen of God. They are not the Lord’s servants, even if they are physical descendants of Abraham, and even if they make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. For rejecting Jesus as Lord and Savior is more than just a verbal or physical rejection, but it is rejecting all that he is and all that he stands for.
Thus, the chosen of God, who are the true servants of Christ, the spiritual seed of Abraham through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, the friend of God, who God has not cast off, and whom he is with, and for whom he is our God, and for whom he will strengthen and help and uphold with his righteous right hand are the Lord’s sheep who are following him wherever he leads them.
So, we can only claim this promise as ours if we have biblical faith in Jesus Christ, which means we’ve been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we’ve been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And we can only claim this promise here as our promise from God if we are walking in obedience to his commands and if we are forsaking our sins, proving our faith to be genuine.
And this isn’t “replacement theology.” And this isn’t “legalism” or “works-based salvation.” And these are not my words, i.e., I am not making this up out of my own mind. This is what the Scriptures teach.
True Israel: Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22. Genuine Faith: Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23.
So, if you are the Lord’s true servants, by genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and you have died and you are dying with him to sin daily, and you are walking according to the Spirit in walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus, then you never have cause to fear anything or anyone, other than to have a respectful fear of God whereby you take him and his Word seriously and therefore you walk in the truth of God’s Holy Word in the power of His might.
But we don’t have to fear enemies or opposition or famine or sword or anything that might come our way in order to test our faith to see if it is genuine. For our God is watching over those who are his via genuine faith in Jesus Christ – a faith which originates with him and is gifted to us by God, and thus it submits to Christ as Lord and it walks in obedience to him.
We do not have to fear what is going on in the world or how that may impact us, for our God is fully sovereign over all that he has made, and he is absolutely in full control over what happens to us. He has allowed in our lives whatever it is we are going through or it wouldn’t be happening to us. Thus, he also has a plan for it, so we need to submit to his plan.
We have no reason to fear it all because our Lord is with us, and he will give us everything we need to endure whatever is coming next or what we are presently having to endure. He will strengthen us, and he will help us, and he will uphold us when we feel as though we can’t go another step, or as though we do not have what it takes to endure and to keep pressing on.
So, we who are following Jesus Christ with our lives, in walks of obedience to him, should find great encouragement in this. Yet, this is not saying that we are perfect people. We are still clay vessels being molded by the master. He is still working on us to make us who he wants us to be. But we should be walking in obedience to our Lord and not in deliberate and habitual sin.
Isaiah 41:11-13 ESV
“Behold, all who are incensed against you
shall be put to shame and confounded;
those who strive against you
shall be as nothing and shall perish.
You shall seek those who contend with you,
but you shall not find them;
those who war against you
shall be as nothing at all.
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.’”
If we are walking in the fear of the Lord, in honoring the Lord with our lives, in walking in faithful obedience to his Word, and if we are going wherever he sends us, and if we are saying all that he commands us to say, and therefore we are sharing the full gospel truth of our salvation, the whole counsel of God, and we are NOT sharing a diluted half-truth gospel meant to appease the flesh, then we are going to be strongly opposed.
We are going to have a lot of people incensed against us, and many of them will be professers of faith in Jesus Christ, and many may be pastors or elders of church congregations (or in the false church), and some may even be friends and family members. For remember what Jesus said? He said our family members will come against us, too, and will be our enemies.
I can still remember the day vividly when a fellow professer of faith in Jesus Christ, a man, a friend, and one with whom my husband and I were in fellowship, stood in our living room and screamed at me and told me that the majority is right and so I need to go with the majority. He was angry with me because I was testing what I was hearing against the Scriptures.
So, when you stand on the truth of the Scriptures, and when you challenge what you believe is false teaching, expect to have even friends, family members, and church people incensed against you because you are “rattling cages,” i.e. you are upsetting them because you are challenging what they believe, and they don’t want their beliefs challenged, even if they are wrong.
And if you are on social media sharing the truths of the Scriptures and you are challenging false teaching, and you are countering the lies with the truth, expect some of your friends to unfollow or to unfriend you, either without a word, or after they first of all blast you with hateful comments. Some people just don’t want to have their beliefs challenged.
But then be encouraged that this is all temporary. This will not last forever. One day we will be forever with our Lord and all this will pass away. We will no longer be hated, rejected, and mistreated for righteousness’ sake. And then just trust the Lord with your life and keep following him in obedience.
An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.
They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.
He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.
By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.
Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.
Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.