Notes on the Exodus (115)

“Exposing the Exodus” 

The way, the truth and the life!

The Call for Reformation of Doctrine  (Chapter 12 Verses 11-20)

For seven days v15, v19. This is the biblical number of completion in the covenant of grace. It is an entire period, in other words for the entirety of our lives Israel, we, are called to walk in the practice holiness. None of the leaven of old Egypt, of our past way of living. This not in order to be saved but because they have been saved. Of course, none of us are perfect, “for we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man” (James 3:2). Our failures do affect the security of our salvation, or the divine affection towards us, God’s love never alters towards his people, never. But it does bring a cloud over our fellowship with God, our communion with him is spoiled, until we are restored to fellowship (1John 1:5-2:2). In order to preserve our walk in holiness and communion with God we need the pure word of God to be continually reforming our minds and thus our walk also (Matthew 4:4).The word of God is needed to purge our minds, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). As we see in Israel’s future behaviour their minds were yet full of and desirous of returning to Egypt. But are we any different? God wants them not just out of Egypt, that’s the easiest bit. It’s getting Egypt out of them, us, out of our minds that is. What is best for us, God’s good and acceptable, perfect will (Romans 12:2). This is our spiritual worship (Romans 12:1). The will of God revealed in his word is to be the regulator for the entirety of our lives. The word of God is our moral standard, not the Egypt’s, i.e., the world’s. It exercises us in spiritual hygiene, and the standard is of zero tolerance. If we allow the leaven to remain it will grow more and more, it must be excised completely, giving it no quarter whatever. Our society today, morally speaking, is in free-fall and the church is not far behind. God’s moral standards are embedded in his character, reflected in his law not the culture of the day (1Corinthians 6:9-11). Sin is a choice, grace is given to us to overcome sin.

The word of God in preaching is the primary means God uses to purge sin from our lives. Note in all this record of Moses dealings with both Pharaoh and Israel too, his courage. And his faithfulness to God’s message also. He stood against the pressure and forces of the state and the idolatrous culture of his day. What was the divine agenda? To prepare and get Israel, God’s chosen people to the promised land. Even though often times we see that they do not want to go. Again we are no different today. In other words to prepare God’s people for future glory. That in a word is the agenda of biblical preaching. It is through the faithful preaching of God’s word that sin is purged from our lives and the mind of the church is purified of the leaven of Egypt, i.e., the world. Always reaching forwards and upwards towards perfection of holiness, “as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). So Israel, we, are called out of Egypt into God’s best. The leaven, the roots of sin run deep. We can cut off the shoots and it appears for a while that they are gone, but soon they are back again. We have to go deeper, the very seeds need to be gotten rid of. The soil needs to be purged and spiritual plants sown and bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the beauty of holiness flourishing in all of our lives. So remove the leaven (v15). Sanctify yourselves. For, “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)
Sermon Audio

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