Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/31/2018

Randall Caselman

 

Red Sea Grace

 

  Sometimes we look at the Old Testament, seeing a much different God than the One we see in the New Testament. It's often said, "The Old is about law, the New about grace. Perhaps we should ask; "Was there grace in the Old Testament? Wasn't Noah saved by grace? Wasn't Abraham given a new homeland by grace? Can't we see grace at work in the life of Joseph? Then we come to the Red Sea crossing; a grace event, a grace event that included salvation through Jesus?

 

  Hosea 11.1 – "When Israel was a child, I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son."

 

  Matthew 2.15 reads – "And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the Prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called My Son.'"

 

  Was Jesus present and at work in the Old Testament? Paul says yes when he wrote First Corinthians 10.1-4: "For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."

 

  Was grace at work in the Old Testament? Sure! Israel's salvation was through baptism in the cloud and in the sea. Grace brought the east wind drying up a path in the water. Grace walled the water, holding it back as Israel crossed in exodus. Grace allowed the flood to return destroying Pharaoh and his army. Grace upon grace!

 

  This Red Sea Grace is a symbol of our grace crossing, a picture of our salvation through Jesus...

 

  1) We're exiting sin's bondage. It's interesting to note that the Greek word translated "redemption" originally meant "to loose, to release from bondage." You see, our salvation is about being released, escaping, exiting sin's hold on us; freeing us from its eternal consequences.

 

  2) We're delivered by grace. Our sin exodus is by grace through faith. It was Moses who said: "Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord." What could be more clear than "Stand Still!" Israel did nothing! The battle belonged to the Lord. Israel couldn't deliver themselves, could not contribute to the salvation God effected except by faith, stepping forward on the dry path; follow where the Christ-rock led.

 

  Likewise, our salvation is "by grace through Faith – Not of works, lest any should boast." Israel obeyed and was "baptized in the cloud and in the sea." Here came the Egyptians with no faith, and they drowned. When our faith leads to obedience, it results in deliverance, exodus. Read Hebrews chapter eleven again:

By faith Able offered a more excellent sacrifice.

By faith Enoch walked with God.

By faith Noah built an ark.

By faith Abraham left his homeland.

 

  Genuine Biblical faith includes our obedience, "being a doer of the Word, not hearers only." The devils believe, but they do not obey. James tells us in 2.22 that "faith and actions work together –faith is made complete by obedience."

 

  3) Saved Israel became God's prized possession. "If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, you will be my treasured possession... You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19.5-6). We too are saved to serve the God who gave Himself to purchase our pardon. Grace doesn't save us, deliver us, exodus us, so we can go on living the way we want. We're to become changed people:

 

• Instruments of God

   (Romans 6.13-14 & 16)

 

• Living sacrifices

   (Romans 12.1)

 

• Ambassadors for God

   (2 Corinthians 5.20)

 

• A holy nation, a royal

   priesthood, a peculiar

   people, belonging to

   God (1 Peter 2.9).

 

  Jesus purchased our pardon, Grace, a free gift of God, but grace has its demands: It compels us, constrains us, to continue to work out our salvation as God continues to work in our lives – (2 Corinthians 5.14 & Philippians 2.12-13).

 

  Indeed, the Red Sea was a grace event – Our being raised from baptism free from sin, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, to walk a new life is a grace event – Acts 2.38 & Romans 6.4).

 

  Just as Israel celebrated their deliverance, on the east bank of the Red Sea, so should we celebrate our deliverance from sin's bondage. Celebrate and praise our deliverer, being eternally thankful for His grace.  Amen?

 

—Randall Caselman