Salvation Promised

Key Verse: “Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.”
—Isaiah 49:8

Selected Scripture:
Isaiah 49:1-13

THE WORDS “THE LORD hath called me from the womb” in verse one of today’s Selected Scripture indicate a predetermined vocation for Isaiah as God’s prophet. Similar expressions are used concerning others of God’s mouthpieces, but it was more eminently true of Christ, who was called to the great office of man’s redeemer. (Luke 1:26-38) Though Isaiah often prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem, in our lesson he proclaims salvation far beyond Israel. Looking down the stream of time to the redemptive work of Christ, Jehovah says through the prophet: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”—Isa. 49:6, New International Version

In Isaiah 61:1-3, the prophet details some of the features associated with salvation which would be fulfilled through Christ. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” While this prophecy was primarily fulfilled in Jesus, we understand that it applies also to the anointed members of his “body.” This symbolic anointing of the Church is by means of God’s Holy Spirit, which flows down from Christ, the Head, to all the body members during this present Gospel Age.—II Cor. 1:21,22; I John 2:27

The Apostle Paul interprets the “acceptable time” found in our Key Verse as it applies to the anointed body of Christ. “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (II Cor. 6:1,2, NIV) To this, the Apostle John adds, “This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.” (I John 4:13, NIV) Thus we understand by the words of the prophets and apostles that the body of Christ is assisted by the power of the Holy Spirit during the Gospel Age, its “day of salvation.”

God’s promised salvation for all spoken of by Isaiah is dependent upon the body of Christ being completed, for the prophet says that the Lord will give “thee,” the entire anointed class, “for a covenant of the people.” Once complete, the Christ, head and body, will bring about for all mankind “times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21) Let us, therefore, be faithful so that the body of Christ can be brought to completion, and thus bring about the end of “earth’s weary night.”