Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eye To Eye And Faith To Face

This is a message I tackled last week at the Gospel Mission. I was intrigued by a phrase in Isaiah, which reminded me of other similar phrases - and it turned into a neat message (at least to me). I added more verses to flesh this study out.

1) Eye To Eye

Isaiah 52:8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

The watchmen of Zion were to preach about the coming Messiah, to lift up their voice, to even sing about Him. And then we come across this little phrase: for they shall see eye to eye.

The preachers of the Gospel would see eye to eye - they would all be gazing at the same glorious object.

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

In the New Testament, we have the life of Christ written down by four different authors, from four different perspectives, yet the message of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the same. They saw eye to eye and recorded for all time their eyewitness accounts of the Saviour.

2) Grace For Grace

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:16-17 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ - in fact, He was full of these two attributes. To be filled in the Bible means "to be controlled or influenced by" something; therefore we see that not only was Jesus the source of grace and truth, everything He did was influenced by these two characteristics.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

One little phrase above intrigues me: grace for grace.

Grace is God's unmerited favour; it is God giving to us what we can never earn or deserve. This starts with grace for salvation:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

But it doesn't end there. We need God's grace every day for living, for serving, even for dying.

Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

In Christ, grace is available for the asking - whatever we need, God's grace is there for us: whether strength, comfort, power, provision, and anything else we need to do God's will for our lives - we simply need to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and seek Him for it. If we are too proud to ask for His help, we will not receive the measure of grace He has for us that day.

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Grace for salvation, grace for living - grace for grace. Someone has used the illustration of waves upon the shore - before the first wave ends, the next wave is already coming in and overrunning the first one. God's grace is like that - grace upon grace - a never ending supply.

3) Faith To Faith

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Saving faith and living faith - we are to grow from one to the other, day by day. If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation - if you have placed your faith in Him - don't stop there. Learn to trust Him more day by day. Get into the Word of God and watch your faith grow - then take what you have learned and apply it to the situations you face each day.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

One verse used to puzzle me until I realized why God was repeating Himself:

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

With the same exercising of belief and faith that you originally trusted Christ to save you, now believe and trust Him day by day. Go from faith to faith.

4) Face To Face

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

I believe that the primary context of this passage is referring to seeing the Lord Jesus Christ face to face in the Scriptures (see this study for an explanation of this: 1 Corinthians 13:8-12), with all the Old Testament types and prophecies opened up to our view, in light of the New Testament. Though now I want to make a secondary application that one day we will see Jesus face to face in Heaven, face to face in the flesh (so to speak).

It is interesting to look at some of the other passages where this phrase is used:

Genesis 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Judges 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.

When OT believers saw the angel of the Lord, they were seeing an incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself - they saw the Lord God face to face, but only temporarily.

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

Both Moses and Joshua dwelt in the Lord's presence. Imagine the joy they had fellowshipping with Him face to face.

Numbers 14:14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

Ezekiel 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.

In the tribulation period, God will speak to the nation of Israel face to face, and call them to Him, pleading out of love for them to repent and turn to Him.

2 John 1:12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

If the Apostle John considered it joy to speak with his brethren face to face, what a fulness of joy will be ours when we see Jesus!

5) Glory To Glory

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

As we gaze steadfastly into the Word of God, digging into it, studying it, peering closely into its sacred pages, we see the Lord Jesus Christ - and as we receive His Word and let it renew our minds, the Holy Spirit will take and transform us into the image of Christ, conforming us more and more to be like Him.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

As we see the glory of the Lord, we are transformed and changed - from glory to glory.

6) Seeing Jesus' Face

Revelation 22:1-4 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

In the new Heaven and new earth, there will be no more sin to mar our fellowship with our Saviour. We will see Him face to face, walk with Him, and be like Him. We will be with Jesus forevermore! What a day that will be!

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.
(from the hymn, What A Day That Will Be by Jim Hill)

But for now, we are living from faith to faith, looking forward to when we will see Jesus face to face.

Faith To Face

Looking through a glass darkly,
I find many things hard to explain,
But as I steadfastly gaze within God's Word,
The Lord makes all things plain.

Faith to faith is what I'm living.
Day by day, I learn to see,
In a life that's so uncertain,
I know that Jesus still walks with me.

Faith means I learn to trust Him
And forget walking by sight.
As I'm filled with His peace and wisdom,
God's Word lights up the night.

Faith to face, it's a tiring journey,
Walking through this pilgrim land.
Though I cannot see around every corner,
I'm clinging tightly to my Saviour's hand.

He's preparing me for service,
Enabling me to walk through open doors;
I fight the battles that Christ gives me,
Knowing that He's already won the war.

Face to face, the day of His return is coming,
Until then, there are mountains to climb.
I will keep looking for that blessed hope -
Someday soon - It's just a matter of time.

Faith to face, I look forward to seeing Jesus -
What a glorious day that will be.
It will no longer be by faith,
Because, face to face, my Lord I will see.

Faith to face.

Poem written November 23rd/02
Study written December 13th/07
Jerry Bouey

1 comment:

Bro Tim said...

Amen Bro Jerry good to see you have posted again. Thanks for the study on these words they were a blessing.

Bro Tim

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