The Bigger, Better Story of Redemption

The story of Ruth in the Old Testament teaches a great truth that God has not forgotten His people. He provided a husband and son for Ruth, a redeemer for Naomi, and a King for His people. But the bigger, better story of redemption that Ruth teaches is that God has provided a Savior for the world.

The bigger, better story of redemption that Ruth opens as it closes, is that not only has God not forgotten us, but that God is with us, through the One True King – Jesus! And that bigger, better story of redemption has three implications for us: it upsets the values of the world; it removes our labels; and it gives us our ultimate rest in Jesus.

Scripture: Ruth 4:18-22; Matthew 1:1-25; Galatians 4:4-7

The Promised Servant

700 years before the birth of Jesus, God promised to restore justice to the world and bring healing to the nations. He would do that through His Servant in Isaiah 42.

When you look at the world, it’s apparent the world needs saving, people need a Savior, and God sent His servant into the world that the world might be saved through Him. Jesus is God’s Servant. The Jesus of Christmas is an adorable baby, born in a stable, to poor parents. But He is more; He came to restore all things, to make all things new, to undo everything that sin had undone!

And as God’s servant, Jesus suffers for us. He takes our bruises on Himself and in return, heals our hurts, forgives our sins, and sets us free to be His people until He comes again and the world is made fully new.

Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9: Matthew 3:17; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:27

The Promised Son

The people to whom Isaiah speaks, the people of the northern Kingdom of Israel, have turned their backs to God. They remain spiritual people, but they no longer seek God’s will from His word, they trust in other sources, to the extent that they ask mediums to “speak to the dead about the living.” They are suffering and will suffer as a result of God’s discipline – being taken into captivity as a people. They have no light in them, they walk in darkness.

But God gives Isaiah a message of hope, that this people will not always walk in darkness. A light will come, not only for them, but also for the nations! The One who comes will be a child, a child born, a child given to them. And this child will bring them light as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. He will bring a Kingdom that will never end.

Scripture: Isaiah 8:20-9:7; Matthew 4:12-17

The Promised Sign

Christmas is proof that God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. This is the first message in a series of four for Christmas as we study some of the promises God made and kept about the coming and work of Jesus from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7-12 is one unit of thought, but we will study it over three sermons. In Isaiah 7:1-8:10 the big idea is that in the midst of our greatest crisis we can experience the saving presence of God through faith in Jesus. But unbelief leads to lonely ruin.

In the midst of a terrible crisis, the King is anxious and working to save himself. God graciously promises to secure him and encourages the King to ask for a sign, an assurance that God will be faithful. But the King refuses and makes a faithless decision. God gives him a sign anyway. The promised sign is a son. “Behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Immanuel…” This Son, proving to Ahaz that “God is with us” would be born in the King’s day. In the end, the Son would be a sign that God is with His people, not only in salvation, but also in judgement. 700 years later, Matthew, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, sees the ultimate fulfillment of that sign in the birth of Jesus, the Son of God with us, saving us from our ultimate crisis.

Scripture: Isaiah 7:1-8:10; 2 Kings 16:1-9; Matthew 1:20-23; Romams 8