Volume. XXXI, No. 38
Sunday, 19 March 2017


The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The Old Testament - Part 2


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.)

The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in Individuals’ lives.
In last week’s article, under this main heading, we discussed Adam and Eve. Now, we continue with Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve.

Abel
Abel sacrificed “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof” (Genesis 4:4) and God accepted it because this was what God had wanted in the first place. God wanted animal sacrifices to appease His wrath and for sin offering. That means the offering was to be a substitutionary atonement. Hebrews 11:4a “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,”Therefore, God showed the grace of salvation to Abel when He accepted his sacrifice. This pointed to a future day when the Lord Jesus Christ would be sacrificed on the cross at Calvary, for the remission of our sins.

God also showed His grace of salvation to Noah.

Noah
As time progressed the people in this world became more wicked. In Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

The people were so evil. God pronounced punishment on them. Genesis 6:7 “And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” In view of the appalling wickedness, God wanted to destroy everything above the waters.

The world was to be destroyed, but God did not do it. This is because of God’s grace. By God’s grace of salvation, only eight people would be saved from this destruction. Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” The grace of salvation of God fell on Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives.

God commanded Noah to build an ark to save himself and his family, and also animals and fowls. If no ark were built, no one would have survived the greatest flood that the world has ever seen and we would not be here today. God showed the special grace of salvation to the eight people by providing an ark and from these, the whole world’s population descended! It was because of God’s grace of salvation to Noah and his family that we are here today.

Does this Ark have any meaning to us? Yes. The Ark points to the Lord Jesus! The Ark was provided to Noah by God to save him and his family from the devastating global flood. Just like the Ark, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, our Ark, to save us from eternal damnation.

The Ark was the grace of God for salvation for Noah and his family, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the grace of God for salvation for us.

2 Peter 2:5 “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

The next important person that the Grace of God for salvation was revealed to was Abraham.

Abraham
After the great and worldwide flood, of all the different peoples in the world, God chose an old man, Abraham. He was a nobody. Why did God choose him? This is God’s grace of salvation on Abraham. Genesis 12:1 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” God asked him to leave his country, his people, and his family. Abraham never asked God “where to?” He left without knowing where he was going (Genesis 12:4). He had complete trust in God!

God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” Through Abraham’s son, Isaac, a mighty nation would rise and innumerable descendants, and One of them would be a blessing to all nations.

God’s grace for salvation was revealed to his descendants. Indeed, God promised Abraham a son, Isaac (Genesis 17:16; 18:10). From Isaac, God’s promise was passed to Jacob, and from Jacob (later called Israel) to his twelve sons, and from his 12 sons, down many generations, to King David, and eventually, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah. It was by God’s grace of salvation that His Son, our Lord Jesus, was descended through the tribe of Judah. He was also known as a son of Abraham and a son of David. It was through the Lord Jesus that many came, and will come to God.

God chose a nobody, Abraham, and no one else. It is all of God’s grace of salvation that God’s promise was then passed to his son, Isaac, instead of Ishmael, Jacob (later Israel) instead of Esau, and Judah instead of the other 11 sons, for the Lord Jesus to be born. Our Lord Jesus was of the seed of Abraham. See Galatians 3:13-18.

Galatians 3:13-18 “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: (Our Lord was made a curse for us) 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (The promise given to Abraham is passed to the Gentiles by the Lord Jesus, and anyone who believed on Him by faith is saved) 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. (This promise cannot be cancelled or altered) 16 Now to Abraham and his seed (the Lord Jesus) were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance (that is the promise) be of the law (observing the law), it is no more of promise (that is, no longer a promise): but God gave it to Abraham by promise (God made a promise of this free gift).”

However, by God’s saving grace, as nobodies ourselves, we are delivered from the bondage of sin and saved through a descendant of the tribe of Judah! Through a Son of Abraham and Son of David! That Person is the Lord Jesus Christ! This is truly God’s grace for salvation!

Another person that God granted His grace of salvation to was Lot.

Lot
Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Of all the places to live, he chose the most wicked place in the world, Sodom. (Genesis 13:10-12). He was not a discerning person. We get a glimpse of what Sodom was like in Genesis 13: 13 “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” The word “exceedingly” tells us that Sodom was a wicked crime-infested city, filled with all sorts of immoral activities. It was an unsafe place to be. Homosexuality was rampant amongst the inhabitants of this city of Sodom. That is where we get the name “sodomites”. Homosexuals are called sodomites. This was the place where Lot wanted to live.

This place, together with Gomorrah (Genesis 18:20), was destroyed by “brimstone and fire” (Genesis 19:24). Because of such wickedness and evil, God wanted to destroy everything in these two cities, but God’s grace of salvation was upon Lot (Genesis 19:19).

2 Peter 2:7,8 reveals that Lot was affected and exasperated by the environment he was living in. 2 Peter 2:7,8 “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”

God could have punished Lot for choosing this place to stay. Instead, by His grace of salvation, God brought Lot and his two daughters to safety (Genesis 19:16).

Like Lot, we are saved by God’s grace from our depraved, wicked, “filthy rags” state. God delivers us and saves us.

The next important person that God showed the grace of salvation to was Moses.

To be continued next week...

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bros Rick Kim & Phil Surman; Sis Lucy Kim. Helpers next week: Dn  Sung Hyun Ma; Bro William Song; Sis Seong Yeng Chu.
*31st Thanksgiving & Dedication Dinner at Empress Restaurant on Sat, 29 April at 6pm.  Tickets: Adults $30; Students/Unemployed/Retired Senior $12; Child 6-12 years $8; Children under 6 years FREE. Tickets are limited. Closing date for ticket sales - 16 April or earlier.
*Catered Fellowship Lunch today. Adults: $3; First time visitors, pre-primary & primary children: FREE.
*Forms for church camp registration, special diet (camp) & ECM proxy forms (for members unable to attend) are available at the Sanctuary entrance foyer.
*New Basic Bible Knowledge Course starts 2 April. Please register with Elder Michael D Lee if interested.
*Cambodia Missions, 3-18 July. If interested, please let Elder Michael D Lee know ASAP.
*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: Elder David & Sis Giok Yeo (Melb/Adl); & others arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
Brisbane B-P Church’s 10th Anniversary.


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.
Special Prayer: Bro Yick Ho Lam’s father (cancer & salvation); Sisters Peng Moi Gan (Sis Peng Ha Yeo’s sister), Alice Graham (knee replacement) & Christabelle Selvanayagam.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions: Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Preacher Zhang & Ministry (Sihanoukville).
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.  
Those working away: Bro Houston & Sis Jen Xin Li (Riverland); Bro Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo).
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
God’s wisdom & guidance for the Building Committee in making decisions for the use of new premises.
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