“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

In this one verse, Paul gives a personal testimony regarding his identity and what motivates him in his daily life. Our identities are shaped by a variety of ways such as family experience, a traumatic event, etc. Once those identities are defined, they motivate our daily decisions. In the movie, saving Private Ryan, an elderly Ryan visit a grave site remembers the sacrifice of Captain John Miller and his men. Ever since the rescue, Private Ryan decided to live a life worthy of their sacrifice. Paul felt the same way. Paul remembers Jesus who came from heaven on a rescue mission to save him and all mankind (Galatians 1:4). However, it is easy for the cross to lose its meaning in the busyness of life. It is easy for this foundational message to become white noise in our lives. I pray we may grasp and renew the message of the cross so that we may be truly changed people and a source of transformation around us.

Isaiah 5:1-7, 1, 4 (1-7, 8-25, 26-30) Sermon Powerpoint. [Reading of Isaiah 5:1-7 with pictures - 1 min)]

"I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside." "What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?" (Isa 5:1, 4).

Theme: What more can God do after all that he has done for the people he loves?

Recap: The Actual and the New (Isaiah 3-4). God will humble the proud and arrogant and God alone will be exalted. Despite man's pride and rebellion, God's plans will never be thwarted.

The genius of Isaiah is that chapter 1 alone, or chapters 1-5, or 1-6 have all been regarded by various OT scholars as the introduction to the entire book of Isaiah. Also, in chapters 1-5 we can identify three majestic movements or overtures:

Isaiah 3:1-4:6; 4:2

"In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel" (Isa 4:2, NIV).

Theme: Are you going to remain proud and trust in man/yourself, or are you going to humble yourself and exalt God alone?

Recap: The Ideal and the Actual: Walk in the Light (Isa 2:1-22, 5)

* Salvation is not a position. It is a ____ (Isa 2:3, 5), a way of life.

* The evidence of our faith is not just what we say but how we live.

* Be brutally honest with yourself before the light of truth (1 Jn 1:5; Jn 8:12). Refusing to face the truth guarantees that one will remain in permanant and incurable self-deception (Jer 17:9) and slavery (Jn 8:32).

* God desires that we live a ______ life (Gen 17:1; Eph 1:4).

* To trust God requires that we STOP ___________ (Isa 2:22).

* Fight against _____ which God always opposes and learn _______ which God always blesses (Isa 2:9, 11, 17; Prov 15:33; 18:12; 22:4; 29:23).