Sermon #37 Exodus Series
Title: How is Deliverance
Text: Exodus 4:25-31
Subject: God’s Method of Grace
Date: Tuesday Evening — February 6, 2007
Tape # Exodus 37
Readings: David Burge and Rex Bartley
The Scriptures instruct us in the gospel by prophecy, by type, and by illustration. The Old Testament gives us the prophetic and typical revelation of the gospel. In the Gospel narratives, our Lord Jesus declared the gospel and illustrated it by numerous parables. And in the Book of Acts and the New Testament Epistles, God the Holy Spirit expounds the things of Christ to us by the writings of the Apostles.
Tonight, I want us to go back to the basics, the very abc’s of the gospel. Using the typical deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, I want to show you God’s method of grace as it is set before us throughout the Book of God. The title of my message is How is Deliverance Accomplished? You have my text before you in Exodus 4:25-31. On his way to Egypt God met Moses in an inn and sought to kill him, because he had not circumcised one of his sons…
(Exodus 4:25-31) “Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. (26) So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. (27) And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. (28) And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him. (29) And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: (30) And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. (31) And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”
Here we are given a clear, instructive picture of how the deliverance of our souls is accomplished, a picture of God’s method of grace toward sinners. I want to show you seven things in this passage that are essential to the salvation of our souls.
A Gracious God
Salvation begins with a gracious God. Salvation starts with the will of God, who declares, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” Indeed, everything begins with the will of God.
Israel went into Egypt according to the will of God. They remained in Egypt for 400 years according to the will of God. And they were delivered from Egypt according to the will of God. Indeed, that is exactly how God the Holy Spirit explains this whole affair, applying it to the salvation of our souls in Romans 9:8-24.
(Romans 9:8-24) “They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (9) For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. (10) And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (11) (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) (12) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (13) As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (14) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (15) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. (17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (18) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19) Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? (20) Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (21) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (22) What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23) And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (24) Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
Salvation begins with God’s eternal purpose of grace to sinners in Christ in election and predestination (Ephesians 1:3-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Psalm 65:4).
(Ephesians 1:3-7) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: (14) Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Psalms 65:4) “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”
A Blood Sacrifice
But the will of God in election and predestination is not all there is to salvation. The second thing required for the salvation of our souls is a blood sacrifice, the bloody sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is written, “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
If we could have been saved without the sacrifice of God’s Son, we would have been. Christ did not die for nothing. He died in our place upon the cursed tree because there was no other way God could save us. Justice must be satisfied; and the only way justice could be satisfied and mercy extended was by the sacrifice of Christ (Romans 3:25-26).
(Romans 3:25-26) “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
Illustration: Darius’ Dilemma — Daniel 6
This necessity of a blood sacrifice is portrayed in verses 24-26 by the rite of circumcision. Moses could not deliver Israel from Egypt until the sentence of death had passed upon him experimentally. He must have the sentence of death inscribed by the hand of God upon his very nature. He had learned deep lessons at “the backside of the desert.” Here he is called to learn something deeper still, “by the way in the inn.” It is no light matter to be the Lord’s servant. No ordinary education will qualify a man for the work of a prophet. Nature must be put in the place of death and kept there.
Paul wrote, “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). Every servant of God knows something about this. Moses was about to declare this solemn message Pharaoh. — “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-born: and I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” His message to Pharaoh was a message of death, a message of judgment. At the same time, his message to Israel was a message of life and salvation. But, the man who will speak on God’s behalf, of death and judgment, and life and salvation, must, experience these things in his own soul.
That is what Moses experienced here. — “And it came to pass, by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” It is very evident that Zipporah had, up to this point, shrunk from the application of the knife to that around which the affections of nature were entwined. She had avoided that mark which had to be set in the flesh of every member of the Israel of God. She was not aware that her relationship with Moses was one involving death to nature. She recoiled from the cross. This was natural. But Moses had yielded to her in the matter; and that explains this scene “in the inn.” If Zipporah refused to circumcise her son, the Lord God was going to kill her husband. If Moses allowed the feelings of his wife, to prevent him from circumcision his son, the Lord was about to kill him. The sentence of death must be written upon everything about our lives.
Zipporah is an instructive picture of the Church. She was married and united to Moses, but their union could not be complete until she was reconciled to him by blood. He must be made “a bloody husband” to her. So it is with us. Though espoused, married, and united to Christ from eternity, we must be conformed to his death, and conformed to him in his death (Philippians 3:10).
(Philippians 3:10) “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
We must mortify our members which are on the earth, take up the cross daily, and follow him. Our relationship with Christ is founded upon blood, and the manifestation of the power of that relationship, necessarily, involves death to nature (Colossians 2: 10-12).
(Colossians 2:10-12) “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: (11) In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
The sin-atoning, blood sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross is that “circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” by which the filth of our flesh, “the body of the sins of the flesh” have been put away. In him, by his blood, we have the perfect remission of sin, we are made the righteousness in him, given complete acceptance, everlasting security, and full fellowship with Christ in all his glory. In a word — “Ye are complete in him.”
Nothing can be added to one who is “complete in him.” Can “vain philosophy,” “the tradition of men,” “the rudiments of the world,” “meats, drinks, holy days, new moons,” “sabbaths” “touch not” this, “taste not” that, “handle not” the other, “the commandments and doctrines of men,” “days and months, and times, and years,” can any of these things, or all of them put together, add a single jot or tittle to one whom God has pronounced “complete in him”? By no means!
This completeness by our “bloody husband” is not something for which we must diligently strive. No, it is the present and everlasting portion of every believer. The very weakest saint is included in the apostolic “ye.” All the people of God “are complete in Christ.” The apostle does not say, “ye will be,” “ye may be,” “hope that ye may be,” “pray that ye may be.” No, he says, by God the Holy Spirit, in the most absolute and unqualified way possible, — “Ye are complete in him!” This is the starting point of faith and the end.
Some may ask, “Bro. Don, are you saying that have we no sin, no failure, no imperfection?” Of course not. — “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). We have sin in us, but no sin on us. Our standing before God is not in ourselves, but in Christ. It is “in him” that we “are complete.” God says the believer in Christ, is one with Christ, and exactly as Christ. This is our changeless condition, our everlasting standing.
“The body of the sins of the flesh” has been “put off by the circumcision of Christ.” The believer is not in the flesh, though the flesh is in us. We are united to Christ in the power of a new and an endless life, and that life is inseparably connected with the righteousness of God in which we stand before God. The Lord Jesus has put away everything that was against us, and he has brought us nigh unto God, in the self-same favor as that which he himself enjoys.
Near, so very near to God,
Nearer I cannot be;
For, in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He!
In a word, Christ is my righteousness. That fact settles every question, answers every objection, silences every doubt. — “Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified, are all of one” (Hebrews 2: 11).
Until we have the sentence of death passed in us in the experience of grace, until Christ becomes “a bloody husband to us,” we know nothing about these things. But once we experience in our souls the “the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ…wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God,” we are brought out of Egypt’s darkness and bondage, and are made free from sin.
A Revealing Prophet
This sweet experience of grace comes to us by a revealing Prophet. Moses was that prophet. Moses was that prophet of God who typified our Lord Jesus Christ, in his prophetic office (Deuteronomy 18:15-18).
(Deuteronomy 18:15-18) “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (16) According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. (17) And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. (18) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is that Prophet who has made known the will of God to us, without whom we could never know God or his will (John 1:14-18).
(John 1:14-18) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (18) No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
If we would be saved, we must have a gracious God, a blood sacrifice, and a revealing prophet.
A Mediating Priest
Fourth, we cannot be saved without a mediating Priest; and that Priest who is the God-man, our Mediator, is the Lord Jesus Christ, typically portrayed in Aaron, the High Priest of Israel. You will notice that Aaron, the mediating priest, met Moses who symbolizes the law of God, in Mt. Horeb, and kissed him (v. 27).
(Exodus 4:27) “And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.”
That is what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us. He met God’s law, magnified it and made it honorable at Calvary. There Mercy met Justice, and kissed each other. And upon the basis of his finished work at Calvary, he mediates between God and men. He speaks to God for us and speaks to us for God (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2).
(Hebrews 7:25) “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
(1 John 2:1-2) “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (2) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
A Preached Gospel
Still, something more is required. Deliverance must be proclaimed. Israel did not come out of Egypt until Moses and Aaron, the Law of God and the Priest of God, were sent to proclaim deliverance by the power of God (vv. 29-30).
(Exodus 4:29-30) “And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: (30) And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.”
There is no salvation bestowed upon men except by a preached gospel. — “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed.” Every gospel preacher knows that he has no power to deliver anyone. Yet, the preaching of the gospel is, by the will and decree of God, the means by which God saves chosen, redeemed sinners (Romans 1:15-17; 10:13-17; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23-25)..
(Romans 1:15-17) “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
(Romans 10:13-17) “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
(Hebrews 4:12) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
(1 Peter 1:23-25) “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
A Believing People
Salvation involves a gracious God, a blood sacrifice, a revealing prophet, a mediating priest, a preached gospel, and (sixth) a believing people. In verse 31 we are told that when they heard the message of deliverance from the mouths of God’s servants, “the people believed.”
Now, I want you to hear this and hear it clearly, — There is no salvation apart from faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is as essential to salvation as God’s decree, Christ’s obedience and the Spirit’s efficacious grace. You cannot be saved, except you believe on the Son of God. — “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). — “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
(John 3:18) “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
(John 6:47) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
(1 Peter 2:6) “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”
A Divine Visitation
One more thing is absolutely essential to the salvation of our souls. One more thing is necessary for the accomplishment of deliverance. There must be a divine visitation, a visitation of grace. The power of God must be performed (vv. 30-31).
(Exodus 4:30-31) “And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. (31) And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”
No sinner will ever believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, until God comes to him in the power of his Spirit. But when the day of visitation comes, deliverance, salvation follows (Isaiah 12:1-6; 25:9).
(Isaiah 12) “And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. (2) Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (3) Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. (4) And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. (5) Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. (6) Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”
(Isaiah 25:9) “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
Deliverance is accomplished by…
1. A Gracious God,
2. A Blood Sacrifice,
3. A Revealing Prophet,
4. A Mediating Priest,
5. A Preached Gospel,
6. A Believing People,
7. and A Divine Visitation.
That is God’s method of grace.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com