Volume. XXXI, No. 40
Sunday, 02 April 2017


The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in The Old Testament - Part 4


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.)

II.The Grace of God for Salvation Revealed in the Nation of Israel.

B. The Grace of God for salvation in the Kingdom Era.

David was a great king and God gave him a good reference in Acts 13:22 “And when he (that is, God) had removed him (king Saul), he (God) raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” God said of David, “a man after mine own heart”. This was by the grace of God of salvation that David was provided with such a good reference and in turn was a blessing for the kingdom.

Solomon, the son of David, started well with great wisdom, but he did not end well. It was God’s grace of salvation on the Israelite nation that the kingdom was still united even when Solomon had sinned against Him. 1 Kings 11:29 - 37 “29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam (this Jeroboam, son of Nebat, was from the tribe of Ephraim, a servant of king Solomon, and a son of a widow) went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: 30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve* pieces: 31 And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: 32 (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:) 33 Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father. 34 Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: 35 But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes. 36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there. 37 And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel”. This was a prophecy of the division of the united Israelite kingdom. After Solomon’s death, because of his sins of idolatry, the kingdom was divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. It was by the grace of salvation of God that the son of Solomon, Rehoboam, still had a throne in Jerusalem and was able to govern Judah. It was for “David’s sake” (verses 32, 34), that is, because of God’s covenant with David. This is God’s grace of salvation for the Israelite nation of Judah.

The kings and Israelites in these two kingdoms sinned against God repeatedly, the North worse than the South. When the kings sinned, God judged them according to their sins. This judgement resulted in punishment of the people, and consequently, they suffered. These times were followed by repentance and revivals.

The northern kingdom went through many dynastic changes, but the southern kingdom had descendants of David on the throne till the end. God was long-suffering, gracious and merciful by sending many prophets to both kingdoms to bring them back to Him.

There were more good God-fearing kings in Judah than in Israel. Despite this, the people sinned just like in the time of Judges. Eventually, God took away the Northern kingdom by sending the Assyrians in 722 BC.

By God’s grace of salvation the kingdom of Judah was permitted to continue until 586 BC when the Babylonians came and destroyed it.

God kept on giving the Israelites opportunities to repent and to return to Him. God’s long-suffering has a limit. This is due to the grace of salvation of God.

When the Israelites were taken captive and transported to foreign lands, God continued to show the grace of salvation to them. In due course, many would return from their captivity. This demonstrates that by the grace of God for preservation and salvation, God had never denied their privilege as His Chosen people.

Looking at the lives of the kings in the united kingdom and divided kingdoms, we can take important lessons from them: observance of God’s law produces blessings, but apostasy is rewarded by judgement. By God’s grace of salvation, if we live a life that is in obedience to God’s law, we receive countless blessings. If we turn away from God we will be judged.

How did God show the grace of God for salvation to the Israelites?

In sacrifices and observances of the Law!

III. The Grace of God for salvation in Sacrifices and Observances of the Law.
God revealed to the Israelites how they were to worship Him. The grace of God was revealed in the religious life of the Israelite nation. God gave them the Law and Ordinances.

In Sinai, God gave the Law or Commandments to Moses, which included a set of “Thou shalt not” (Exodus 20:1 – 17) in The Ten Commandments. These were commands on things that the Israelites should not do. This included offerings and festivals that the Israelites had to follow.

The Law and Ordinances were a system of works that God’s people, the Israelites, had to do. The Law condemned them. It placed a curse on them.

God knew that no one could keep that Law perfectly. The Word of God has many references of the innumerable times the Israelites disobeyed God. God would then send them prophets to seek their repentance, and when they did not He would punish them. Not for nothing the Israelites were described as a “stiff necked” people (Deuteronomy 31:27, Psalm 75:5 and Jeremiah 17:23). Only when they were punished, when they were scattered and taken captive by another nation would they turn to the Lord. When they repented, God delivered them from their sufferings. So, God gave them the grace of salvation (and preservation as well) under the Law.

Where is the grace of God for salvation under the Law?

God provided the Israelites a way out. (Exodus chapters 25-30) When an individual sinned, God gave a way for that sin to be remitted. That was by sacrifice. God instituted a series of ceremonial sacrifices and offerings that the priests and people had to perform. The Grace of God for salvation was in that sacrifice.

Grace is when an individual brings a sacrifice – a lamb. It could also be a goat, a ram or a bullock. If this animal was killed and the blood shed – there was forgiveness. All the sins of the past were forgiven. This was achieved through the blood atonement of the animal. However, future sins required more sacrifices. They therefore required regular and frequent sacrifices for the remission of their sins. Hence, under the Law, despite the complex system of sacrifices and offerings, and obligatory observances of the festivals, there was the grace of God for salvation for the Old Testament Jews.

All these sacrifices and offerings, and observances of festivals by the Israelites were only a foreshadow of something greater to come. See Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” The Mosaic Law was only a shadow of good things (our Lord Jesus Christ) to come.

God commanded all these so that the individual could experience forgiveness of sin. They all point to the future Saviour and Redeemer. The blood of animals could not obtain redemption, but only a temporal covering of sins. The animal served as a substitute. The animal died in place of the sinner. This, however, was temporary and that was why the sacrifices were required to be offered frequently. This was the grace of God for salvation for the Israelites in the Old Testament era.

Only the perfect sacrifice by our Lord Jesus can remove the sins of the people permanently. This will be the grace of God for salvation revealed in the New Testament.

Conclusion
The God that was revealed in the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament.

In Old Testament times, God appeared to be fearsome and somewhat lacking in love. This is not true. In fact, God did give grace for salvation in those days and this was revealed to individuals, such as Adam and Eve, Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Moses and many others.

God also gave His grace for preservation and salvation to the nation of Israel in the times of the Judges, kingdom, captivity, and restoration.

God showed His nation and His people the grace of salvation in the Mosaic Law, which included animal sacrifices when past sins would be forgiven. These sacrifices were required to be repeated as they only cover sins. The ultimate grace of salvation that God showed to His people and their nation was the promise of a coming Saviour. When the Saviour came and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice, His blood would remove all sins - past, present and future – permanently.

Amen.
May God bless you.

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements


*Kitchen Roster - A new roster system has been drafted to start this week. All helpers please refer to list in the dining hall for group allocation. Helpers this week: Team A. Helpers next week: Team B.
*Elder-elect Dn Colin Gan & Deacon-elect Bro Kevin Low will be ordained on 30 April.
*Reminder: To avoid hefty fines, please do not park your car over the kerb, near driveways & on council property.
*31st Thanksgiving & Dedication Dinner at Empress Restaurant on Sat, 29 April at 6pm. Ticket sales closing soon, only a handful of tickets left. For details, please see Sisters Xandrea Cai, Yvone Kam & Piah Buey Yeo.
*Forms for church camp registration & special diet are available at the Sanctuary entrance foyer.


Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: All those arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in past week.
Sis Alice Graham– successful knee replacement.
Good attendance at ECM, election & mini-budget.
Newcomers Dinner & good fellowship.


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.
Those working away: Bro Houston & Sis Jen Xin Li (Riverland); Bro Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo).
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.
Cyclone Debbie: Those who lost their loved ones or property.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063