"they shall be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the lord that He may be glorified" Isaiah 61:3
Who are 'they' in this verse? The preceding verses tell us. It is the poor who have welcomed the good news; the broken hearted who have been made whole; the captives who have been set free; and the prisoners who have been released. It is they who shall be called 'oaks of righteousness'.
It is God who 'calls' them this in the sense that this is what He declares them to be - Oaks of righteousness, and by His declaration, that is what they are!
What is an oak of righteousness? It is someone whose life is full of the righteousness of God, which, like an oak tree, makes them strong and established in godly things, set apart for God.
What's the purpose? Our verse tells us, it is that they might display righteousness to the glory of God while they live in this world.
But how can we as sinful people be declared righteous by a holy God? Well of course the verses in Isaiah 61 are messianic. Jesus quotes them in Luke Ch4. He is the one who binds up the broken hearted and sets the captives free. Through faith in Christ, God attributes Jesus righteousness to us and by the Spirit of Christ in our hearts He sanctifies us to transform our unrighteous lives into oaks of practical righteousness.
This is the work of God the Spirit, for we are now a planting of the Lord, and the purpose of our Lives is for the display of His splendour.
So are you a planting of the Lord? Make sure you are by asking Jesus to be your Saviour and let God fashion you in this world for the display of His own glorious being. Now there's a vision to live by! (GW)
IMPORTANT NOTICE During the building works, apart from the All Age Service, all our other activities will take place as usual in Bethesda. For information about our events please see the calendar.