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Sep 08, 2019

We must love one another or die

We must love one another or die

Passage: Isaiah 1:1-20

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Isaiah: The Story Beneath the Story

What can an ancient word of prophetic challenge speak to a modern world? More than we might imagine--more than we might prefer. But the same voice that issues a stern challenge also offers a stronger hope--and that hope is timeless.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Micah 6:8
Call To Worship: Based on Psalm 91:2, Romans 10:9, 13
New Testament Reading : Romans 6:1-4
Sermon Title: “We must love one another or die”
Central Text: Isaiah 1:1-20
Benediction: Jude vv 24-25
Post-Service Text: Isaiah 1:18

09.08.19 Sermon Notes


YouTube - Uncertain & Afraid

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Call To Worship: Based on Psalm 91:2, Romans 10:9, 13
LEADER: Let us worship God!

PEOPLE: “He is our refuge and our fortress, our God, in whom we trust.”

LEADER: Let us confess with our mouths, “Jesus is Lord,”
and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead.

PEOPLE: “Everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

ALL: Let us call upon our true God, believing him in our hearts, confessing him with our mouths, worshiping him in spirit and in truth.

New Testament Reading : Romans 6:1-4
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Central Text: Isaiah 1:1-20
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

Is. 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the LORD has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”

Is. 1:4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the LORD,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.

Is. 1:5 Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.

Is. 1:7 Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
8 And the daughter of Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.

Is. 1:9 If the LORD of hosts
had not left us a few survivors,
we should have been like Sodom,
and become like Gomorrah.

Is. 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
11 “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.

Is. 1:12 “When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.

Is. 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Benediction: Jude vv 24-25
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Post-Service Text: Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.”

Related Scriptures

  • Deuteronomy 10:12, 13
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 19; 32:1
  • 1 Samuel 16:6,7
  • Psalm 51:7
  • Micah 6:8
  • Matthew 23:25-28
  • Acts 13:24
  • Romans 6:1-4
  • Galatians 4:12-20 (cf. “children I have reared and brought up in Is 1:2, and Paul’s words of being “in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you”)
  • Titus 3:5
  • James 1:27

Discussion Questions & Applications

  1. Resist trying to be cute or clever, but what would you say most plagues our world? What few things most trouble it, and if swept away, would mean renewal? Put a little differently--what makes you feel “uncertain and afraid?”
  2. Now, ask yourself those questions again--this time, though, as it pertains to what most plagues the whole church of Jesus Christ, what makes it uncertain and afraid, what it needs for a new birth?
  3. How is Isaiah best interpreted--as a word that might apply in our day to the nation(s) in which the church finds itself, or a word to the church itself? Why do you think so?
  4. What in the first several verses of the passage is Isaiah decrying in Judah? What do you think are symptoms and what are causes?
  5. What about Judah’s worship practices is Isaiah railing against? Why? 
  6. What is the Lord through Isaiah calling Judah to repentance of? What promises are attached to that call?
  7. Where do you see Jesus in the New Testament saying things similar to Isaiah here? About unrighteousness, self-deceived worship, repentance, and forgiveness?
  8. How do Jesus’s actions offer both a confirmation of Isaiah’s words and also a greater fulfillment?
  9. So how do Jesus’s actions on our behalf both free us and inspire us to repent of whatever your answer to number 2) was?


  • I sit in one of the dives
    On Fifty-second Street
    Uncertain and afraid
    As the clever hopes expire
    Of a low dishonest decade:
    Waves of anger and fear
    Circulate over the bright
    And darkened lands of the earth,
    Obsessing our private lives;
    The unmentionable odour of death
    Offends the September night. . . .
    All I have is a voice
    To undo the folded lie. . .
    We must love one another or die.
    - W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939 (read here by Dylan Thomas)
  • . . .”justification by faith” is not a “Sunday” truth bearing only on our relationship with God but also a “Monday” truth for the conduct of life in all its challenges. - Alec Motyer
  • It is religion which leaves iniquity unchallenged and unchanged that the prophet, and, more importantly, God detest. - John Oswalt