Translations: Chinese GB Big5


Isaiah 43:1-3
 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.


Here surely is God's grace. For he had just characterized these people as blind, not understanding nor taking to heart the discipline he had brought upon them in the form of the violence of war. In this section God uses perhaps the most significant word in the Bible, namely "BUT". In fact we see this same phrase "but now" used in Romans where Paul transitions from speaking of the utter sinful state of mankind to the grace of salvation found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, saying,
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Rom 3:21-24
God saves us from the guilt of our sin and ultimately from our innate sinfulness that we may be acceptable in His sight. We are delivered from God's wrath in these two illustrations of water and fire.

Consider the waters of Noah's flood. The waters represent the wrath of God. Noah was saved by being immersed into the ark which was Christ, the ark being immersed in the waters just as Christ takes the brunt of God's wrath while we rest safely in Him. "once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us——baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" 1Pet 3:20,21 (nkjv)

So also fire is representative of God's wrath as in Rev 20:15 "If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." We see in Daniel chapter 3 that three of Daniels friends who refused to worship an idol were thrown into a fire, but not burned. Rather the king said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods." Daniel 3:25 This 4th represents Christ who walks with us into the fire and prevents us from being harmed. The earth along with the ungodly will be destroyed by fire as it is written, "the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." 2Pet 3:7 "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." 2Pet 3:13

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