The Book of Isaiah

Friday: Wonderful Impact and Love for Sinners

Isaiah 9:6 In this week’s lessons, we consider some of the many ways that the Lord Jesus Christ is wonderful.
Theme
Wonderful Impact and Love for Sinners

Ninth, Jesus’ influence in the world is wonderful. Can you think of anyone in the whole history of the world who has had such a beneficial influence as Jesus Christ? Yes, there have been people who have been an influence in other ways. There are people in history who have made a name for themselves by bringing misery on millions. But the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ led to millions upon millions of men and women becoming followers of Him and have, by their own testimony, been brought out of death into spiritual life, brought out of sin into righteousness, and brought out of ignorance into the knowledge of God’s truth. This truth has set them free, not only from the enslavement of their sin, but also free to help other people. Orphanages, hospitals, social service works, and other institutions that provide compassionate care have followed from the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was wonderful in His influence on the world and He still is.

Lastly, Jesus is wonderful in His love for sinners. His love for sinners was so evident in His own day that His enemies chastised Him for it, calling Him “a friend of sinners.” Imagine that, a friend of sinners! They meant that He associated with them instead of being with upstanding and respected people such as the religious leaders. Jesus did not gravitate toward those who were rich and influential. Instead, He went to the people who were lonely, to the people who were downcast, to the people who were despised, to the people who were rejected. He went to those who were sick, and He went to those who had spiritual needs and who knew that they were in need of God’s grace. He befriended them, He loved them, and He ministered to them where they were in their need, going to the greatest length for them by dying on the cross for their salvation.

Paul writes in Romans 5:8 that God demonstrates His love for us by Christ’s death on our behalf. But more than that, Paul said that God’s love is shown in the fact that Christ died for sinners. He did not die for the good or the righteous, but for those who offended God’s character by breaking His law. Jesus did not die for the morally and spiritually lovely, but for the utterly unlovely, those who did not deserve His wonderful love at all.

Well, I’ve given you ten reasons why Jesus is wonderful, and there are many more. But let me say one additional thing. Not only is Jesus wonderful for all those reasons, He is also wonderful because He is willing to dwell with us, to be in us, and eventually to take us to be with Him forever. That perhaps is the most wonderful thing of all, because we are sinful and He is holy. By all accounts, the holy can have nothing to do with that which is unholy. And yet the Lord Jesus Christ, by His death atoning for our sin, made it possible for us to be with Him in heaven forevermore.

I commend this wonderful Jesus to you, and I ask, are you His follower? Do you know Him? Is he your Savior? If not, don’t let Christmas go by without making what is the greatest decision anyone can possibly make in this life, the decision to follow Him faithfully as your Savior and your Lord.

And if you are a Christian, rejoice over the wonderful Savior you have. Moreover, don’t merely rejoice privately, although we all need to do that. But go out and tell the world that the wonderful Savior, indeed, has come!

Study Questions
  1. How has the person and work of Christ, and the Christian Church that resulted, benefitted the world, even people who are not Christians?
  2. Contrast Jesus’ view and treatment of sinners and sufferers with the religious leaders of His day.
Application

Application: Whom do you know right now who is hurting in some way? Are they sick, lonely, discouraged, struggling financially, or spiritually needy? What will you do before Christmas to show them the love of Christ, which He so abundantly lavishes on you?

For Further Study: Download and listen for free to Donald Barnhouse’s message, “The Christmas Names of God.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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