Proper 15 • Isaiah 56:1, 6–8 • August 17, 2014
Editor’s note: The following homiletical help is adapted from Concordia Journal, July 1999.
By Robert W. Weise
Salvation Is for All
A. Most people detest any form of discrimination or exclusionary activity. It is no fun being left out of the group or not being invited to the birthday or graduation party, as well as to the wedding of a best friend. And usually, there is a price, financial or otherwise, to be paid if you want to be part of a club or organization. Being left out of the inner circle results in depression and the real sense that no one cares or appreciates you for who you are. Aloneness is no fun!
B. God’s word in Isaiah assures you that as God’s chosen people you are not left out. He does not discriminate or exclude anyone, regardless of race, (previous) creed, or ethnic background. God seeks and rescues even foreigners and outcasts. Salvation is for all.
II. Salvation is God’s work.
A. God brings salvation (v. 1).
1. It is what he did for his chosen people.
2. It is what he accomplished in Christ for all nations.
B. The Christian responds to God’s work of the salvation that is revealed (v. 1).
III. Salvation is for all (v. 8).
A. Indentifying marks of those whom God has bound to himself from all nations through his gospel (vv. 6–7).
1. They serve God.
2. They love the Lord’s name.
3. They keep the Sabbath (hear God’s word).
4. They hold fast to the covenant.
B. Indentifying marks of the God who binds all people to himself in Christ.
1. He sends glad tidings to captives (Is 52).
2. He provides a lamb to be slaughtered for transgressions (Is. 53).
3. By his baptism we are buried with Christ and made alive in him (Rom 6:4).
Salvation by grace through faith is for all. Unfortunately, many people live on the dark side of life, rejecting the gift of salvation. They are bound to themselves and therefore prefer to save themselves. Those whom the Lord has bound to himself through the waters of baptism, establishing the Christian’s identity, serve him and love the name that is above every name—Jesus Christ. By faith, they hold to his covenant and receive the joy of their salvation.