Volume. XXXI, No. 37
Sunday, 12 March 2017


The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The Old Testament - Part 1


Text: Ephesians 2:8,9
“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

(This edited message was preached by Elder Michael D Lee on The Lord’s Day 15 January 2017.)

Introduction
Two weeks ago, Pastor Ki preached on “Grow in Grace” and provided detailed definitions of “grace”. I hope you still have a clear memory of that message.

“Grace” is a short simple word with just five letters. It may be a short and simple word, but many people do not understand the full meaning of it. To understand this word fully requires a lifetime of patient and careful Bible study and to learn and experience the application of it. To learn and experience the application of it is the challenging part.

I am not talking about the word “Grace” used in our pre-meal prayers or used to describe the smooth and agile mobility of movement like that of a galloping horse or ballet dancer. I am not talking about “Grace” as a name that some women call themselves. I am talking about something greater and more wonderful than that.

Someone put the definition of grace in this way: “Grace is also God not giving us what we do deserve”. What do we deserve?

We deserve “hell”.

No one deserves to go to heaven because there is none perfect and righteous before God. We delude ourselves when we say we never make any mistakes in our work, decisions, relationships or in our lives. We delude ourselves when we say we are forgiving people. We sin and make mistakes regularly. Therefore, we are not perfect and we will never be perfect, and that is because we are sinners.
This is what the Word of God says about us: Romans 3:10 “10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” and Romans 3:23 “23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” This is what the Word of God says about you and me. Our report cards look so awful. Take a look at ourselves! We look clean, tidy and respectable, and we look friendly and good people, but what is God saying about us? Isaiah 64:6a “6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” God looks at our hearts. We are not as perfect and as good as we think. God says “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”. Those words that describe us are in fiery red ink.

There is only one Person who is perfect. He is our Lord Jesus Christ! He has the only perfect report card.

Let us face this: we are all sinners and we deserve to go to hell. We are doomed, but God comes and helps us! Isn’t this wonderful? God gives us the grace for Salvation!

By the Grace of God, we who do not deserve it are saved from God’s wrath and punishment and hell. Our Scripture text, Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us this: “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We are saved by the Grace of God through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the gift from God. It is free. It costs us nothing.

When we read the Old Testament, God appeared to be fearsome, rewarding and punishing His chosen Israelites. The grace of God for salvation seemed to be a rare commodity, but in the New Testament He is awesome, loving and gracious to His people.

In fact, the grace of God for salvation was revealed and present in the lives of individuals and the Israelite Nation in the Old Testament period.

For this message, I would like to share with you about “The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The Old Testament” in these two areas:
The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in Individuals’ lives.
The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in the Nation of Israel.

At a later date, I will give a message on “The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The New Testament”.

The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in Individuals’ lives.
Adam and Eve.

Soon after the creation of Adam, God commanded him not to eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (in Genesis 2:17). It was a command and a test. God said to him that eating it would bring death (Genesis 2:17).

After Eve was created (out of Adam’s side), Adam would have told her about this command because when the devil came to her as a serpent she told the devil that they were not to eat the fruit of this tree “which is in the midst of the garden” (Genesis 3:3). Obviously, Adam like all good loving husbands would warn his wife about this.

The devil tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:5). Adam did not stop her from communicating with the devil. He should have done it, but he did not. So with Satan’s cunning persuasion, Eve ate the fruit. Adam loved Eve so much that he would not even stop or reason with her about God’s command. The beauty of Eve melted his heart and he could not bring himself to stop Eve from listening to the devil! The first Adam loved his bride so much that he would die for her! (The second Adam, the Lord Jesus, loved His bride, His church, so much that He would die for her). When Eve gave the fruit to Adam, he ate it (Genesis 3:6). He therefore sinned by disobeying God. At that very moment Adam ate the fruit, something disastrously strange happened. Both Adam and Eve died spiritually. Their physical bodies changed. The whole universe changed! Then God came to the garden and said to Adam in Genesis 3:9 “Where art thou?” Adam answered that he had heard God’s voice in the garden but was afraid because he realised he was naked and so hid himself. Adam, as our federal representative, had brought the curse on us. Generations from then on become sinners.
God could, and in fact, should have punished them right at that moment and placed them in hell straight away. Instead, God saved them. He showed the grace of salvation to them. This is the first time we see God’s grace for salvation in the Bible.

By His grace of salvation, Adam and Eve lived. They were given a promise in Genesis 3:15 “15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This verse is the “Protevangelium” – the “first Gospel”. Adam and Eve were promised the ultimate coming and future victory of the Saviour and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. This prophecy looked forward to the time when Satan would be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed, who is the Lord Jesus.

The next step in God’s grace of salvation was that God took an animal and killed it, and clothed them with the skin of the animal (Genesis 3:21). By killing this innocent animal in front of them, there was shedding of blood.

God showed Adam and Eve that the sacrifice of an innocent victim with the shedding of blood was required for the remission of their sin. From this, they learned that an atonement (or covering) could only be provided by God through the shedding of blood on the altar. There was no description of the animal that was sacrificed. It would be safe to assume that it was a lamb, because in the New Testament our Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect Lamb that was sacrificed for our sins.

God used the skin of the sacrificed animals to cover Adam and Eve, God showed grace. Basically God was saying to them, “I told you not to eat that forbidden fruit and you had disobeyed me, but I will let you live. Things will no longer be the same. It will be hard for you. You will have to work and leave the Garden. There will be pain, suffering, sickness and death”.

By revealing to Adam and Eve that their sins were remitted by the sacrifice of an innocent animal, which involved shedding of blood, God was pointing to the future when the second Adam, His Son the Lord Jesus, would sacrifice Himself on Calvary’s cross, which involved His shedding of blood and ultimate death.

God reveals to Adam and Eve, their descendants, and us, the grace of God for salvation in the coming Saviour.

Adam and Eve were able to raise up children. Their first two sons were Cain and Abel. The Grace of God for Salvation was revealed to Abel.

To be continued next week...

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bros Jaehoon Mun & Lucas Yiew; Sis Natalie Cheng. Helpers next week: Bros Rick Kim & Phil Surman; Sis Lucy Kim.
*31st Thanksgiving & Dedication Dinner at Empress Restaurant on Sat, 29 April at 6pm.
*Forms for church camp registration, special diet (camp) & ECM proxy forms (for members unable to attend) are available at the Sanctuary entrance foyer.
*AV/IT Ministry requires more co-labourers. If willing/interested/available, please see Dn Wai Kin Wong or any other AV/IT team members within this week.
*Those who have completed Basic Bible Knowledge course & are interested in Baptism, Re-Affirmation of Faith or Transfer of Membership, please see Elder Michael D Lee.
*ECM for by-election of Dn Colin Gan for Elder & Bro Kevin Low for Deacon in the 8th Session; presentation of mini-budget 2016-17 on 26 March, 2017.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
New premises for Providence BPC.
Healing- Sis Kristy Low.


Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); & others in affliction.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions.
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for Task Force & congregation.
Ebenezer BPC (Melb) - Working visa for Rev & Mrs Mathews Abraham & family.
God’s guidance for our theological students - Dn Sung Hyun Ma & Bro Kevin Low.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
Journey mercies: All who are travelling.
Post-natal recovery & health for Sis Tabitha Tan & newborn baby, Joy. 
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
God’s help with preparation for 31st Anniversary Thanksgiving, Dedication & Ordination Service.
God’s guidance for Covenant, Ebenezer, Hope & Providence BPCs to form an Australian B-P Presbytery.
Family Bible Camp speaker: Bro Paul Cohen.
Thanksgiving, Dedication & Ordination Service speaker: Dr Bob Jones III.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063