Sermon # 45 Leviticus Sermons
Title: Seven Links in the Chain of Grace
Text: Leviticus 22:31-33
Subject: The Experience of Grace
Date: Sunday Morning—October 13, 2002
Tape # X-25b
Reading: Ephesians 1:3-2:7
3. 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;
8. Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16. Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7. That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
In the 8th chapter of the Book of Romans the Apostle Paul sets forth the great purpose of God in grace, showing us that the purpose of God is the salvation of his people. In verse 28, he tells us that all the works of providence are brought to pass by his all-wise omnipotence in the pursuit of that purpose.
(Romans 8:28) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
When David thought upon this great, glorious, soul cheering fact, the fact that our God rules the universe in absolute sovereignty for the salvation of his people, he said, “O God, my soul trusteth in thee. Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge. I will cry unto God most high, unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me” (Ps. 57:1-3).
Paul sets before us the great mystery of providence in Romans 8:28. Then, in verses 29 and 30, he shows us how God accomplishes the salvation of his people, according to his sovereign, eternal, unalterable purpose.
(Romans 8:29-30) "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
Here we have the grace of God set before us in five great works. These works of grace Matthew Henry compared to a golden chain with five unbreakable links, reaching from the everlasting past to the everlasting future, from eternity to eternity.
1. Divine Foreknowledge—“Whom he did foreknow.” God’s foreknowledge is his everlasting love for his elect (Jer. 31:3).
2. Sovereign Predestination—“He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
3. Effectual Calling—“Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called.”
4. Eternal Justification—“Whom he called, them he also justified.”—In His Eternal Purpose—At Calvary!
5. Everlasting Glorification—“And whom he called, them he also glorified.”
In response to this great revelation of God’s sovereign purpose and saving grace in Christ, the Apostle Paul raised five bold challenges of faith. Because he believed what God revealed, he lifts his eyes to heaven, scans the experiences of time, and peers into the very depths of hell and says (Rom. 8:31-39).
1. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
2. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
3. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.”
4. “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.”
5. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In Romans 8 Paul describes God’s great purpose of grace. It is eternal, absolute, unalterable, and shall be accomplished. “He shall not fail!” When time shall be no more, God’s elect in glory shall be exactly those whom he loved with an everlasting love, chose, and predestinated before time began.
But there is another aspect of grace that is just as important as God’s purpose of grace. In fact, it is this other aspect of grace that makes God’s purpose of grace glorious in our eyes and gives just the confidence to raise such bold, confident challenges of faith as we have just read. That other aspect of grace is the experience of it.
Today, I want to talk to you about that experience of grace. I want to show you what happens when God saves a sinner. You will find my text in Leviticus 22:31-33.
(Leviticus 22:31-33) "Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. (32) Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, (33) That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD."
Here is a picture of grace in experience, a picture of that which every chosen sinner experiences when God saves him by his omnipotent mercy. As we look at these three verses together, I want to show you seven things experienced by every sinner in this wondrous thing we call “salvation.” Seven Links in the Chain of Grace. As Matthew Henry saw Romans 8:29 and 30 as five links in the golden chain of grace purposed. I see Leviticus 22:31-33 as setting before us seven links in the silver chain of grace experienced.
God’s purpose of grace is a theme of worship and praise. But God’s purpose of grace will never motivate anyone to worship him until grace is experienced.
Proposition: In these three verses the Lord our God uses our experience of grace to motivate us in his worship and praise.
Hold your Bible open at Leviticus 22:31-33 and you will see this clearly in these seven links in the chain of grace.
The first link in the chain is revelation, God’s revelation of himself. Here, in verse 31, he says “I am the Lord.” As the Lord God spoke to Moses out of the bush and revealed himself to him, as he revealed himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so he must reveal himself to us, if ever we come to know him in the glorious experience of grace. There is no salvation apart from the knowledge of God (John 17:3); and there is no knowledge of God apart from God’s revelation of himself. Do you ask, “Bro. Don, how does the invisible God reveal himself? How does God savingly reveal himself to sinners?” – Three Ways…
God is known and reveals himself in and by creation, providence, judgment and the written Word, so that all are without excuse. But the Lord God savingly reveals himself only in these three ways.
A. The Man Christ Jesus, the God-man our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of the eternal God (John 1:14, 18; 14:6-9).
(John 1:14) "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."
(John 1:18) "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."
(John 14:6-9) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (8) Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. (9) Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"
B. The Lord God reveals himself to men and women by the preaching of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-7; Eph. 1:13-14).
(2 Corinthians 4:3-7) "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. (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. (7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
(Ephesians 1:13-14) "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
But it takes more than hearing me or another man preaching the gospel for a sinner to know the living God. It takes more than the preaching of the gospel to save an immortal soul.
C. If ever you are saved, if ever you come to know God, the Lord Jesus Christ must be revealed in you, not just to you (Gal. 1:15-16; Col. 1:27).
(Galatians 1:15-16) "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, (16) To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:"
(Colossians 1:27) "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
Let’s go back to Leviticus 22:32. Once the Lord God makes himself known, if ever the Lord God is pleased to reveal himself, that sinner to whom and in whom he is revealed will reverence him as God. “Neither shall ye profane my holy name.” So the second link in this chain of grace is…
This has something to do with what the Bible calls “the fear of God.” When the Lord God comes in the saving operation of his grace, the first thing, the very first thing that happens is fear, reverence for God, because he is holy.
· Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus Road
(Isaiah 66:1-2) "Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? (2) For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word."
(Ezekiel 1:28) "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake."
(Daniel 8:8-10) "Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. (9) And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. (10) And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them."
(Revelation 1:17-18) "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
The third link in this chain, the third thing involved in the experience of grace is worship. The Lord God declares, “I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.”
Once God makes himself known, those who know him worship him. They not only fall on their faces acknowledging and confessing their guilt and sin, utterly withered, without strength, and helpless before his august majesty and holiness, they worship him alone as God and as God alone.
Then comes the blessed experience of sanctification. Look at the last line of verse 32—“I am the Lord which hallow you.” Only when we are made to know who God is…
And worship him will we hear him declare—“I am the Lord which hallow(sanctify and set you apart) you.”
· By Eternal Election.
· By Special Redemption.
· By Effectual Calling.
Now, put that last part of verse 32 and the first part of verse 33 together, and you will see the fifth link in this chain of grace as it is experienced. —“I am the Lord which hallow you. That brought you out of the Land of Egypt.” Here is the declaration of deliverance by grace. When you find yourself at the footstool of his throne worshipping him as God, you will here God declare deliverance to your soul. You were in bondage, in darkness, in the land of the cursed, but I brought you out…
· By The Blood of the Lamb.
· By My Mighty Arm.
Now, look at the next line. “I brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God.” Once a sinner hears God’s declaration of salvation, of deliverance, he is made to experience the wondrous, life changing blessedness of…
If ever God makes himself known to you in grace, you will have no other God. When you hear the law cry, “Who is on the Lord’s side,” you will take your place on his side with great delight and gratitude, renouncing every false way and every false god.
Now, look at verse 31 again, for just a minute, and I will send you home, and I hope send you home rejoicing in the knowledge and worship of our great God. Here is the seventh link in the chain of grace. Once a sinner experiences this mighty operation of grace that we call salvation, he is forever more a man of…
All who know God, all who experience his grace in Christ, all who have been delivered by him from the curse of the law and the bondage of guilt and sin, all who have been snatched as brands from the burning are forever God’s. He says, in the light of all that he has done for us…
(Leviticus 22:31) "Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD."
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11) "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
(Romans 12:1-2) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(1 Corinthians 10:31) "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."