Volume. XXXI, No. 39
Sunday, 26 March 2017


The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The Old Testament - Part 3


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.)

I. The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in Individuals’ lives.
In the previous two articles, we discussed Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah, Abraham and Lot.  We will now discuss Moses.

F. Moses
In Exodus 33:12,13,17 we find grace mentioned four times - “12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people...17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” In all these verses, God gave grace to Moses. This was the grace of salvation.

Through God’s grace of salvation, Moses was chosen to lead the Israelite nation when he was 80 years old!

It was through this grace that Moses was able to meet the pharaoh of Egypt, which was a powerful empire in those days; pronounced the ten plaques on that nation; coped with rumblings and discontentment from the Israelites, led them out of Egypt, performed miracles on the way such as crossing the Red Sea, water gushing out of rock, and many more.

Moses, by God’s grace of salvation, delivered the Israelites from the bondage of slavery. The Law, different obligatory offerings and festivals were given to Moses and through him to the Israelites. All these point to the future Saviour.

In contrast, our Lord Jesus, who is greater than Moses, delivered us from the bondage of enslaving sin (our Egypt) and fulfilled the Law, thereby abolishing the ceremonial offerings and the obligatory festivals.

Read John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” God gave the Law to Moses, and Moses passed it to God’s chosen. Our Lord came and gave “grace and truth”.

G. Others
There were many other individuals like Job, Naomi, Ruth, Esther, Elijah, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others to whom God gave the grace of salvation. It is not possible to mention them all in this message.

Suffice to say, that, even though it is not obvious, God’s grace of salvation was revealed in the other Old Testament saints.

Apart from the grace of salvation of God shown on individuals, the grace of God for salvation was also upon the nation of the Israelites.

We come to the second main point:
II. The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in the Nation of Israel.
There are many instances when God showered the grace of salvation, as well as preservation, on the Israelite nation. I will just consider three areas.

A. The Grace of God for salvation in the time of Judges
The period of Judges was between the time of Joshua and the time of the prophet Samuel. This period covered a time frame of over 300 years, before the kingdom stage, that is, between 1380 BC and 1043 BC approximately.

In this period, the nation went through cycles of compromise, apostasy, oppression, repentance and deliverance.

It was a period when the Israelites were on probation: God had been faithful to the promises He made. Would the Israelite nation remain faithful to God? The Israelite nation did not.

After the death of Joshua, the people turned away from God: Judges 2:11 “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:” They turned to worshipping idols.

At that time the society was described in Judges 17:6; 21:25 as “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Everyone did his or her own thing. If they felt it was right to do, if it did not harm them, it was acceptable. They wanted to believe what they wanted. When God’s chosen people turned against God, punishment was meted out. Judges 2:14 “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.” God then made the Israelites suffer subjection by the Philistines, Canaanites, Sidonians, Hivites and others (Judges 3:3).

God was gracious. Even though the Israelites were weak and infirm spiritually, God did not forsake them. By God’s preserving grace the Israelites were delivered from their sufferings. In Judges 2:16 “Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” Every time the Israelites got themselves in trouble and when they repented and cried to God, He sent them Judges who were gifted men and including one woman (Deborah) to lead, deliver and govern Israel.

After the death of a judge the people fell into sin again. The whole cycle was repeated.

Despite their repeated disobedience, compromise and apostasy, He delivered them. Even though the Israelites were weak and fell into sin repeatedly, God still showered them with the grace of preservation by not turning away from them. He preserved them, and then saved them so that they remained His chosen.

There are times when our family commitments, our work, our friends, our idleness, our obsession with money, our anxiety about everything under the sun and our recreation occupy us so much that we turn away from God, from reading and studying His Word, from fellowshipping with His people, and from doing His work. We become like the people in the time of Judges. To bring us back to Him, God has to do something drastic (such as a failed business, death of a loved one, or sickness) to bring us to repentance, then deliver and save us from the quagmire we are in. For God to do that is His grace of deliverance, preservation and salvation.

God did not stop there. He was gracious to His people when they wanted a king to rule over them. God loved the Israelites and would do anything for them ONLY if they would obey Him. There was this grace of salvation of God.

Even when the Israelites asked for a king to rule over them, God still had the grace of salvation on the nation.

Let us look at:
B. The Grace of God for salvation in the Kingdom Era.
When the elders of Israel asked the prophet Samuel for a king (1 Samuel 8:5) because his own sons were a disappointment and shame, he was upset. He felt that the Israelites rejected him. God told Samuel that the Israelites did not reject him but God Himself. 1 Samuel 8:7 “And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” God was the King who reigned over the Israelites, and it was a theocracy (that is, a government by God). By asking for a human king to rule over them, the people not only rejected God but they had, in rejecting Samuel, rejected God’s rule through the prophet Samuel.

Did God get angry with them and pour His wrath on them?

By God’s grace, the Israelites were not reprimanded or cast away but instead, God allowed kings to rule over them. This was due to God’s patience and His Kingship over them. Let us turn to 1 Samuel 8:9 to see the response of God: “Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.” God asked Samuel to listen to the people, but at the same time he was to make a protest about their request. God even instructed Samuel to tell them what a king should be. This request for a human king was not what God wanted, and yet He allowed them to have a king. This is grace! God loved His people and showed them the grace of salvation by allowing them to have a king to rule over them. Even though a human king ruled Israel, God was still the true King!

God chose a Benjamite, Saul, as their first king, who was then followed by David who was from the tribe of Judah, and then his son, Solomon.

To be continued...

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Kitchen Roster - A new roster system has been drafted to start next Sunday. All helpers please refer to list in the dining hall for group allocation. Helpers this week: Dn Sung Hyun Ma; Bro William Song; Sis Seong Yeng Chu. Helpers next week: Team A.
*ECM: All members are requested to stay back immediately after Worship (unless proxy forms were submitted to Dn Colin) for by-election & mini-budget presentation.
*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. Limited places left as tickets selling fast. 
*Forms for church camp registration & special diet are available at the Sanctuary entrance foyer. Early bird discounts end today.
*Daylight savings ends next Lord’s Day. Please turn your clocks back 1 hour before retiring on Saturday. 


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Dn Aaron Tan (Syd/Adl); those arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
God’s guidance for last week’s Session Meeting.
Working Bees yesterday.


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); Rev Sun Sokha’s wife (Cambodia), 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. 
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