Sermon #55 Exodus Series
Title: Three Felt Things
Text: Exodus 10:21-23
Subject: Holy Spirit Conviction
Date: Tuesday Evening — September 11, 2007
Tape # Exodus 55
Readings: Jim Grant and David Burge
I want to talk to you tonight about Three Felt Things. I must begin by making three statements.
1. The basis of our faith is the Word of God, and the Word of God alone.
I fully agree with Martin Luther who wrote…
“Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving.
My warrant is the Word of God;
Naught else is worth believing!”
With David, I say, “My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy Word.” — “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” — “Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.” — “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope” (Psalm 119:81, 114, 49). Our feelings are no basis for hope. Our hope is in that which God has caused to be written in this Book. If I have a good hope through grace,” I ought to be able to turn to some text, or fact, or doctrine of God’s Word, as the source and basis of it. Our confidence must arise from something that God has said in his Word, that we have received and believed with our hearts.
· “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).
· “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).
· Good feelings are deceiving, unless we can point to “Thus saith the Lord” as the basis of our hope. — My hope is found in, arises from and is based upon the Book 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.”
(Romans 15:4) “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
(1 John 5:1) “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
(1 John 5:6-13) “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (9) If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. (10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. (11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (12) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
2. The basis of hope is the Word of God. And, second, that which is revealed in the Word of God which gives me hope is the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Substitute.
Christ is the Foundation upon which we are built. — “Christ is our Hope” (1 Timothy 1:1). — We “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). — “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24). — I hope in him…
· My Covenant Surety!
· My Blessed, Sin-atoning Redeemer!
· My Righteousness!
· My Advocate and High Priest!
“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
(Romans 8:34-35) “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
3. The basis of our hope is the Word of God. — That which is revealed in this Book that gives us hope is the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. — Third, I want you to see that the good hope of grace and salvation that God gives to his elect is something that is felt in us, felt inwardly, in our hearts.
The Apostle Paul speaks of God’s saints as people “rejoicing in hope” (Romans 12:12). We read in Romans 5:5, “Hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
I wouldn’t give you a nickel for any religion that is nothing but feeling. Emotionalism and religious excitement is not grace. But I wouldn’t give you a penny for religion without feeling. That religion that has no feeling, that is all intellect, is always cold and dead. That hope that has been begotten in us is called “a lively hope.” And I say with Peter, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
· When Lazarus was raised from the dead, he felt it!
· A prisoner released from prison, delivered from the hole of the pit in which no water could be found, feels it.
· You may not feel a pardon; but if ever you experience forgiveness, I assure you of this: — You will dead sure feel forgiveness!
Christianity is a matter of the heart. A man believes with his heart. He repents in his heart. Prayer is found in and comes from the heart. And those things that are found in the heart are felt things. It is “Christ in you” whom the Spirit of God calls “the Hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27). And if Christ is in you, he will stick out! And if he sticks out, you will feel it!
Now, turn with me to Exodus chapter 10. Tonight I am going to talk to you about three things every heaven born soul experiences and feels. There are three things specifically spoken of in Holy Scripture as things people felt. All three are things experienced and felt. They are all physical things; but they are physical things that vividly portray spiritual things. The first is found in Exodus 10:21-23.
(Exodus 10:21-23) “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. (22) And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: (23) They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.”
When the Lord God brought his ninth plague upon the land of Egypt, by which he destroyed the land, that is to say by which he destroyed the strength and confidence of the Egyptians, it was a plague “of thick darkness…even darkness which may be felt.”
And when God the Holy Spirit comes in the mighty operations of his grace to save a sinner, his first task is to destroy all creature strength in the sinner. And he does so by bringing into the soul of the chosen sinner the thick darkness of guilt. When he comes to convince a sinner of his sin, he brings into the land of man’s soul “thick darkness…even darkness which may be felt.”
The conviction of sin is something felt in the soul. (Lamentations 3:2).
(Lamentations 3:1-2) “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. (2) He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.”
Before God shows mercy he causes grief, and both works of grace, the grief and the mercy that follows are according to God’s sovereign, eternal purpose. Read on, and see how Jeremiah describes the darkness he felt in his soul (vv. 3-20).
(Lamentations 3:3-20) “Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. (4) My flesh and my skin hath he made old: he hath broken my bones. (5) He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. (6) He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. (7) He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. (8) Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. (9) He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. (10) He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. (11) He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate. (12) He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. (13) He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. (14) I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day. (15) He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. (16) He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. (17) And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity. (18) And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: (19) Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. (20) My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.”
I cannot tell you how I pray that God will do this for you! — “He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death!” — He makes “darkness his secret place.” — “Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne!”
(Psalms 107:10-16) “Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; (11) Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: (12) Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. (13) Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. (14) He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. (15) Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (16) For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.”
When he was, by these things, brought to utter hopelessness in himself, he found hope in the Lord God. (Lamentation 3:21-31). Oh, blessed, blessed, blessed are those sinners who have been brought down to utter hopelessness in themselves that they might find hope in the Lord God.
(Lamentations 3:21-31) “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (22) It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (24) The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (25) The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (26) It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. (27) It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. (28) He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. (29) He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. (30) He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. (31) For the Lord will not cast off for ever:”
(Isaiah 9:2) “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
(Isaiah 29:18) “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”
(Isaiah 42:5-7) “Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: (6) I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (7) To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
(Isaiah 50:10) “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.”
(Matthew 4:16) “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.”
(2 Corinthians 4:6) “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(Ephesians 5:8) “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
(Colossians 1:12-14) “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
The first thing the Holy Spirit does in the sinner in the experience of grace is to bring felt darkness into his soul by the conviction of sin. Then, he brings felt healing by the conviction of righteousness. He convinces the sinner of righteousness, because Christ has returned to the Father, having accomplished what he came into the world to accomplish. He brought in everlasting righteousness. The bringing in of righteousness involved two things: — Obedience and Satisfaction.
(Romans 5:12) “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
(Romans 5:17-21) “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21) “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(Galatians 3:13) “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.”
(1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
(1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
If ever God gives you faith to touch the hem of his garment, you will feel the healing of his grace in your soul, when you discover that he has made you whole, righteous before God. We see this beautifully illustrated in Mark 5:25-29.
(Mark 5:25-29) “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, (26) And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, (27) When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. (28) For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. (29) And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”
Felt No Harm
But there is a third thing that I cannot yet enter into. Turn to Acts 28.
(Acts 28:1-5) “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. (2) And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. (3) And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. (4) And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. (5) And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.”
When Paul was bitten by that viper, “he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.” Like Paul, you and I have been bitten by a viper, the viper of hell, that old serpent, the devil. What pain the viper’s bite has caused us and is causing us! But soon (And it can’t be too soon!) we will shake off that beast into the fire of hell, so and thoroughly triumph over him that we shall fell no harm!
(Revelation 21:4) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Isaiah tells us the same thing. — “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa. 25:8).
Notice the very slight, but very significant difference in the way the two texts (speaking of the same promise) are worded. Isaiah tells us that God will wipe away “tears from off all faces.” He promises us that God will wipe tears from the faces of all who possess eternal life with Christ in everlasting glory. But in Revelation 21:4, the apostle John tells us that, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” By divine inspiration, he gives an added touch of grace. He tells us that our God is not only going to wipe tears from the eyes of all his people, but also that “God shall wipe away ALL TEARS from their eyes!” — In other words, when we have at last shaken the serpent into the fire, we shall feel no harm from his bite!
Put the two texts together and you have the glorious promise of God in the gospel to every believing sinner. It is just this: — When our great and glorious God is finished with all things, he will have so thoroughly and completely saved all his people from all sin and from all the evil consequences of sin forever that there will never be a tear in our eyes again!
Imagine that! Who can grasp the fulness of this promise? It is too great, too broad, too incomprehensible for our mortal brains. Yet, it is gloriously true! Our great God shall, in heaven’s glory, remove us from all sin, remove all sin from us, and remove us from all the evil consequences of sin. He will remove us from every cause of grief. He will bring us at last into the perfection of complete salvation and every desire of our hearts will be completely gratified. God’s salvation is so perfect and complete that when he is finished, we will not even have the slightest tinge of sorrow for anything. We will feel no harm!
In heaven’s glory our God will wipe all tears from our eyes. Impossible as it is for us to imagine, there is a time coming when we shall weep no more, when we shall have no cause to weep, when we shall feel no harm from the serpent’s bite! Heaven is a place of sure, eternal, ever-increasing bliss; and the cause of that bliss is our blessed Christ!
· Heaven is a place of joy without sorrow, laughter without weeping, pleasantness without pain!
· In heaven there are no regrets, no remorseful tears, no second thoughts, no lost causes, no sorrows of any kind!
If God did not wipe away all tears from our eyes, there would be much weeping in heaven. We would surely weep much over our past sins, unconverted loved ones forever lost in hell, wasted opportunities while we were upon the earth, our many acts of unkindness toward our brethren here, and the terrible price of our redemption! But God will wipe away all tears from our eyes – all of them! In heaven’s glory there will be no more death to part loving hearts. There will be no more sorrow of any kind. There will be no more crying for any reason. There will be no more pain of any sort. Why? How can these things be? — “The former things are passed away!” — We will feel no harm!
Our great God shall, in heaven’s glory, remove us from all sin, remove all sin from us, and remove us from all the evil consequences of sin. He will remove us from every cause of grief. He will bring us at last into the perfection of complete salvation and every desire of our hearts will be completely gratified. Then we will be like Christ. We will be with Christ. We will see Christ. We will love Christ perfectly. We will serve Christ unceasingly. We will worship Christ without sin. We will rest in Christ completely. We will enjoy Christ fully. We will have Christ entirely. These things shall be our everlasting experience, without interruption! And we will feel no harm!
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