During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (5)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16, 1 Peter 1:3 and Exodus 14:13-18.
MAY YOUR PROGRESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)
Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!
Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!
THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
The Resurrection of Christ, a central doctrine of Christianity, is based on the belief that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day after his Crucifixion and that through His conquering of death all believers will subsequently share in His victory over “sin, death, and the Devil.” The celebration of this event, called Easter, or the Festival of the Resurrection, is a major celebration day in the church. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates the power of God. It proves that Jesus is truly the Son of God. Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). It is part of the true Gospel of Christ. The resurrection vindicates Jesus who predicted it. Jesus resurrected and ascended to heaven to be our Great High Priest. The resurrection of Jesus is the pattern for all believers. At the second coming of Christ the bodies of all the believers who have died will resurrect so that their salvation is finally complete. Faith in Christ Crucified and Resurrected justifies us. Righteousness “shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 4:24). The Cross was the greatest crime done by humanity. It was also the most necessary act because only thru it, sinners could be saved. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:8).
Resurrection is a miracle. During Christmas it is easier to imagine a woman giving birth to a baby. But at Easter you need the help of the Holy Spirit to believe in the Resurrection. Holy Spirit please help us to celebrate Jesus Christ, our Lord!
Faith in the resurrection gives believers a new living undying hope! Hope is defined as the joyful expectation of the future, a confident desire to obtain what you dream of today and to have fulfilment in life. It is a confident feeling that something good will happen in the future. Faith in God works now. Hope in God applies to the future. Agape love is stronger than both. These three gifts of grace, Love, Faith, and Hope are connected, but are also separate. The natural hope of any child is to be an adult one day. He will be wiser, stronger, and more courageous. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:11-13). It is the hope of all believers to make progress in life and to become spiritually mature. The greatest hope of the Christian is to go to heaven, to be glorified, to see Jesus, to be like Him and to worship Him forever! That is why some have called Hope ‘the homesickness for the future glory’.
NOW FAITH AND THEN HOPE
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). In Greek, the word ‘substance’ means confidence, assurance, reality, or the title deed of our hope. Both the ‘now faith’ and the ‘then hope’ are not based on our imaginations. These are rooted in the Word of God. Faith is a present mindset that has a vision. Faith’s feet are standing now in the present circumstances. But faith has good eyes to see ahead. Faith sees the future and believes that no matter how hard it is now, God’s Word will be fulfilled at last. Faith believes that your God given dreams will come to pass. Faith is so sure of the future that she decides to become the foundation ‘substance’ to support these dreams, to invest in them until they come to pass. True faith is always hopeful seeing a brighter future. “E go good!” (Nigerian saying).
JESUS IS MY HOPE AND MY FORERUNNER
“We who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us. This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:18-20;AMP)
God wants us to have ‘strong encouragement and indwelling strength’ by receiving the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Forerunner and the High Priest of our faith. A forerunner is someone who goes ahead, to prepare the way for others to follow. In the Old Testament there was no such revelation. Each year the high priest Aaron entered the Holy of Holies with the Blood of the sacrifice. No one else could follow him there. If any man entered in that Most Holy Place, that man dies instantly. Aaron was always alone in the presence of God. He had no followers and no fellowship with the brethren inside there. But when Jesus passed thru the heavens and entered the Most Holy Place, He tore the veil of separation for His children to follow. That is why He is called the ‘Forerunner for us’. There is another definition for the word ‘forerunner’. In the ancient times, when big ships came to the Greek islands and the tide was low, they could not enter the port because of sandbars on the floor of the sea. Then they sent a strong little boat carrying their anchor to the shore. The anchor will be securely hooked on the rocky beach so that the big ship will not drift away with the currents. Later, when the tide is high, the big ship can come inside the port. That little strong boat that carries the anchor ahead is called ‘a forerunner’. Jesus rose from the dead to become our Forerunner and High Priest!
In Christ I declare: The hope of glory that I have in Christ is an anchor for my soul. My soul is not connected to this earth. My soul is eternally anchored to the presence of God, inside the Holy of Holies of heaven. My life is like a ship that can never be lost, no matter the storm and the wicked ocean waves of this life. I am eternally safe and secure! I know where I am going! When my work is done on earth, I am going to heaven! I have no fears and no doubts about my eternal destiny and destination! Glory to God!
HOPE MEANS WAITING ON GOD. HOPE GIVES COURAGE AND STRENGTH
In the Old Testament, God’s people are encouraged to trust God who is their only Hope. To connect with their hope they must wait for God to help them. For the Israelites, most of their hopes were earthly. For example, they hope, trust, and wait that God will deliver them from their enemies and give them peace and prosperity in the Promised Land. “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:31). In Hebrew, the word ‘wait’ means to bind together in expectation. Hope is strengthened in the assembly of the believers.
The effect of patiently and faithfully waiting on God with hope, is that the believer does not lose heart, his heart is strengthened, and he becomes more courageous. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Ps 27:13, 14). The words ‘I would have lost heart’ mean to despair, or to faint. The opposite of hope is despair. It is the feeling that there is no hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation. Despair or loss of hope leads to depression. In the US, depression is a major health problem. Almost 10% of the population struggles with depression. These are some clinical signs: felling hopeless, worthless, or guilty. People with depression feel lonely and isolated, even in the crowd. They lose the joy of living. Everything they do requires a great effort. They feel tired always. They have problems with eating and sleeping (too much or too little). Depression is connected with anxiety. People feel nervous, fearful about the future. They get irritable and moody. They manifest bursts of anger and mis-placed aggression. They may decide to alleviate the anxiety with alcohol or drugs. They think about committing suicide. Advice: Depression may be medical or a spiritual attack! Pray to God! Tell your doctor or your pastor about it! Do not suffer in silence! There is hope!
WE ARE SAVED IN THIS HOPE
In the New Testament, our hope is more spiritual, and it is connected with the glory ahead. The greatest hope is to go to heaven, to see Jesus, to be like Him and to worship Him forever. Hope has a purifying and sanctifying effect on the believer. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn 3:2, 3). We are saved by Grace and thru Faith, ‘in this Hope’. Once saved, the seed of hope is deposited in the heart. Each child of God believes that he is saved and has hope that one day he will go to heaven. The trials of life are painful, like labor pains before a child of born. During difficult times, the believer continues to hold on to this hope that even if he dies, God will take him to heaven. He also hopes that when Christ comes again, his mortal body will be resurrected and changed to be like Jesus. The future for the Christian is always better than the present. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to hold on to his hope of heaven and pray in line with God’s will. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:20-27).
HOPE IS A LIVING PERSON – CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY
Your hope is a Person. Not any person, but the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in your heart. He died and rose again in your heart. He lives forever in your heart. Because Christ is in your heart, you are sure that your soul will go to heaven immediately you die. This is your sure hope. Because of this hope, you are ready to endure all things and serve God to your last breath. In the past, the Jews thought that they alone are saved and will go to heaven. But when Jesus came, by His death on the Cross, He opened the door of heaven to all who believed, Jews and Gentiles. This salvation was a mystery in the past. The revelation of this mystery, the hope of glory and of heaven is the strength behind all true ministries done of Christ’ sake. Apostle Paul said: “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Col 1:27-29).
ABRAHAM’S FAITH AND LIVING HOPE
One of the effects of the resurrection of Christ is that it produced a living hope in all believers. Hope is defined as the joyful confident expectation of the future. It is a desire and an expectation that your dreams will come true. It is faith that the Promises of God will be fulfilled in your life. The greatest hope is to be glorified, to go to heaven and to worship God forever in an infinitely deeper relationship. Hope is always connected with the future, with fulfilment and joy. The hope of the believer is not dead. It is living. It cannot die. Oppositions, failures, losses, and the stress of life cannot destroy this hope we have in Christ. Why? Because hope is living and breathing. For the child of God, if hope dies, it shall rise again. The power of resurrection manifests in the grace gift of living hope. When all things are against you, when all hope seems lost, hope still rises and lives. This is the experience of all believers.
For example, Abraham believed that God is able to fulfill His promise that he will be the father of many nations. Abraham, “contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be” (Rom 4:18). Abraham believed in this living hope that cannot die. He knew that in the natural, both him and Sarah cannot have children. They were too old for that. Looking at himself, he knew that there was no hope. Abraham’s hope was not taken from looking at his life or circumstances. It was based on the Promise of God who said that he will be a father of nations. Abraham has faith in God’s promise. God’s word was enough for him. That word gave him faith and hope that just could not die. He strengthens himself against all human hope, and still believes in the hope promised by God. He continues to serve and glorify God. He was not put to shame.
How was Abraham able to go on believing God’s promise for a son for 25 years? It is because he believed two things about God: he believed that God could create something out of nothing, and he believed that God could raise the dead. He believed in a God of Creation and in a God of Resurrection. Anybody who believes these two things about God, will not waver in faith. Abraham trusted God’s character. He knew that God is a God of grace. He knew that he has no power to contribute to God’s work. He knew that his body is dead, and Sarah’s womb was dead too. But he was not discouraged at the deadness of their bodies. He is the father of all who believe in God. In the natural, he is the father or the Jews and of the Muslims. In the Spiritual, he is the Father of faith of all Christians. Faith and hope are stronger than all disappointments of life!
HOPE IS GIVEN ONLY TO THE RIGHTEOUS AND IT MANIFESTS AS JOY
“The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish” (PV 10:28).
HOPE IS MEDICINE TO THE BODY AND SOUL
“I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope” (Ps 16:8, 9)
THE LIVING HOPE
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).
Apostle Peter praises God the Father and God the Son for their abundant mercy towards sinners like him. He says that because Jesus died and resurrected from the dead, we are now born again into a Living Hope. Peter praises God because he knows what God has done for him. At the Cross, Peter’s hope died. At the resurrection of Jesus, Peter’s hope resurrected. This praise is Peter’s testimony concerning his living hope!
PETER BEFORE THE RESURRECTION
Study Apostle Peter before and after the resurrection of Christ. There is great difference in his faith, hope, confidence and anointing for ministry. There was a time in his life when his hope died. But the resurrection of Christ from the dead, revived his hope in Him. Peter’s story is our story too. To understand Peter’s pain and betrayal of Jesus, we need to go back and study Peter, how he failed, and how Jesus helped him to recover. Peter was a fisherman. Like any man on earth, he was born a sinner. He needed a Savior. Jesus called him. He left his fishing nets and followed Jesus. He loved Jesus. He listened to His teachings; he saw Him doing mighty miracles. He tasted the power of His Words. He felt His love and compassion. But just before the Cross, Peter failed Jesus. Let us study him and learn some lessons from Peter.
At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus became extremely famous. Because of His teachings and miracles, people were impressed, and crowds followed Him. They ‘wanted to make Him King by force’ (Jn 6:15). Peter and the disciples were very excited that such a great Man like Jesus is now their Master. They enjoyed the fame of their leader and had big hopes about their future together in His Kingdom. They dreamed about positions of authority. That went on for some time. Suddenly, Jesus started preaching spiritual things, about dying to self, about the Cross. From that time, many of Christ’s followers drew back. They did not want to suffer. They wanted material blessings and religious entertainment. They were not prepared to sacrifice their dreams of fame in this world. Jesus did not call them back. This change of atmosphere was disappointing to Peter and to the disciples. At this time that Jesus asked them two questions. Peter was the spokesman for the group.
*First question: Do you also want to go away? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn 6:66-69)
*Second question: Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked His disciples, saying, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt 16:15-18).
As you can see, before the Cross, Peter was sure of at least two things about Jesus. This understanding came thru God’s revelation. The first thing Peter was sure about was that Jesus ‘has the words of eternal life’. The second thing was that Jesus is ‘the Christ, the Son of the Living God’. What was Peter’s faith? Peter has heard Jesus preaching to the crowds. He also has heard His teachings in private, to them, His close disciples. Peter felt the power of God’s Word in the mouth of Jesus. When the religious rulers sent army officers to arrest Jesus they too were impressed with His Words and could not arrest a preacher like Him. They went back to the chief priest empty handed and said: “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn 7:46). Peter has never seen or heard a preacher like Jesus. He believed that Jesus was indeed the true Prophet God has promised to send to His people to teach them His Word. God told the people of Israel: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your countrymen (brothers, brethren). You shall listen to him” (Deut 18:15). Peter was convinced that Jesus, his Master, was that promised Prophet/Teacher to Israel. Ans he was ready to ‘listen’ to Him! That was his first revelation!
Secondly, Peter believed that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. To understand the meaning of Peter’s faith that Jesus is the promised Messiah, we need to know something about God. He reveals Himself as the Covenant keeping God. He made a covenant to be the God of a nation called Israel. This was a covenant of grace. God initiated the covenant. The people were not faithful to God, but God continue to be faithful to His covenant promises to them. God called a man, Abraham, and made him to be the father of the nation later called Israel. He promised that Abraham will have many descendants, like the stars on the sky. Though Abraham and his wife Sarah were old, they believed the promise and Sarah had a son called Isaac when she was 90 and Abraham was 100. God confirmed His covenant with Isaac and Jacob. Out of the twelve sons of Jacob, God chose Judah, and promised that a ruler, a king will come from his lineage. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Gen 49:10). The name Shiloh is another title for the Messiah. In Hebrew it means ‘to whom it belongs’. In other words, the scepter, the throne, and the crown of the King of kings belongs to the promised Messiah. Later, from this tribe of Judah, God chose King David. He promised him that his son will be a king forever. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son” (2Sam 7:12-14). This is the promise that the Messiah will come thru the lineage of King David. He will be a King whose throne will be established forever. He will build a House for God’s Name. He will be God’s Son. All these promises apply to Jesus Christ. He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph. Both of them were descendants of King David, from the tribe of Judah. Peter believed that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah King from the line of King David. That is why he made the confession before the other disciples saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. It was God the Father who revealed this truth to him.
Peter truly believed that Jesus Christ, His master, is the Prophet-Preacher-Teacher of God and soon, He will be crowned in Jerusalem as the Messiah, the King of the Jews. He saw himself serving King Jesus on this earth. Then what happened? Why did he deny Jesus? Why did all the disciples run away when Jesus was arrested? This is the answer: At the foot of the Cross, their hopes, and dreams to crown Jesus as King and them becoming royalty crashed to the ground and died. Why? Let us find the answer. After Peter had the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus told him that He will build His church. Jesus told Peter that the devil and his gates of hell cannot stop the building and growth of the Church. The revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, will be the strength of the believers. Then see what happens: “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt 16:21-23). Jesus is telling Peter and the disciples that He ‘must’ go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and be raised the third day. Peter refused to listen to this prophetic word. His dreams and hopes did not include a dead king. Jesus rebukes him saying that he is Satan, who is interested only about the things of men, only about material things, and not God’s spiritual Kingdom. It is good to note that each time Jesus spoke about His death He always added the resurrection. He never spoke about His death as being a victim. He always spoke as a Victor! But the disciples refused to listen to the Gospel. They believed the truth only after the resurrection!
This is when Peter failed in His obedience to Jesus. It is true that He believed that Jesus is the Prophet and the Messiah King. He trusted in the strength of Jesus. But He refused to believe that Jesus is the High Priest chosen by God to also be the Sacrifice, to die for the sins of His people. The reason why Peter rejected the revelation of Jesus as the Priest and Sacrifice is because of pride. Though he knew that he is a sinner, he did not believe that the only way for a sinner to live thru the Substitute Sacrifice of Jesus. He did not believe in ‘the weakness’ of the Cross.
Lesson: the false Gospel preached by the devil’s agents tells men that Jesus is the Prophet and the King. He has the words and the power to do miracles. But this false gospel avoids the Cross. It does not preach Christ becoming the sacrifice and the Great High Priest of our profession. The devil preaches that if you believe in Jesus as the Prophet and King, you will have wealth and fame. But the devil says nothing about dying to self, to sin and to the world. Peter fell into the religious trap offered by the devil. Many still do so today. Be careful what Gospel you believe!
When Jesus was arrested, the disciples ran away. Afraid for his life, Peter denied him before a servant girl. Peter’s hopes that Jesus will be crowned in place of Herod died in that courtyard fire, as he warmed himself among unbelievers. Peter still loved Jesus. But his hope in his future with Jesus died that night. Jesus prophesied his denial. It came to pass. When the cock crowed, Peter was heartbroken. He wept for his dead dreams and dead hopes. This is the story of Peter before the Resurrection.
PETER AFTER THE RESURRECTION
After the resurrection, we see a new Peter. The change is dramatic. When the women told the disciples that Jesus has risen from the grave, they did not believe them. “Their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened” (Lk 24:11, 12). In Greek, the ‘words’ of the women is ‘rhema’. This means the special prophetic powerful spoken word of God. Because the disciples were crippled by their dead hopes, they thought that the rhema word of God is nonsense, foolishness or ‘idle tales’. This is always the effect of empty religion. But Peter, sensed something new stirring in his spirit. He did not believe the women, but their words brought new hope in him. He arose from his depression and ran to the tomb. He saw the empty tomb and the linen burial clothes lying by themselves. He did not understand. He marveled to himself. The word means to be shocked, amazed, and greatly surprised. This shock stunned him. The resurrection of Jesus was a big blow to his pride. What he rejected came to pass. Peter needed this blow. By the power of the Holy Spirit his fears and doubts started melting away. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (PV 13:12).
Jesus showed Himself to Mary Magdalene, to the two disciples going to Emmaus and to the disciples in Jerusalem. But we are told that Jesus showed Himself in His resurrection glory to Peter alone. I am sure, that this was a very emotional encounter. Jesus did not forget Peter. Jesus had a talk with Peter even before He went to meet with the other disciples. The disciples said: “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!“ (Luke 24:34). Paul said: “Jesus was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve” (1 Cor15:4-5). Peter received forgiveness of sins in this encounter. Later, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Jn21), Jesus reinstated Peter as an apostle and a teacher of the Word in the presence of the other disciples.
Do you see why Peter was a changed man after the resurrection? On the day of Pentecost, he preached powerfully that Jesus died and rose again. In the past, he only believed that Jesus is God’s Prophet and King. Now he knows and believes that He is the Great High Priest and the Sacrifice. God has made a new covenant thru the precious Blood of Jesus. We are in Him a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9, 10). Peter now believes that Christ died as the Substitute and Sacrifice for sinners, to become their Great High Priest. We are now ‘a royal priesthood’ in Christ! This revelation feeds hope forever! Halleluiah!
THE EXODUS IS THE PICTURE OF RESURRECTION
“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Ex 14:13-15).
The New Testament is the concentrated spirit of the Old Testament. The Exodus is a picture of the Resurrection!
This is the story: the people of God have been in Egypt as slaves for 430 years. This period in their lives is a symbol of sin. Man is born in sin and until God comes to free the sinner there is no hope for him. God sends Moses as their Deliverer. Moses is a symbol of Jesus. God judges the gods of Egypt with ten plagues. After that, God tells Moses to kill a pure lamb and smear its blood on the doors of the Israelites. This is the Passover Night. The Angel of death kills the first born of all families in the houses where there is no blood to cover them. Passover is a symbol of the Cross. That night, Pharaoh sends them away. They carry along the wealth of the Egyptians. When Israel entered Egypt, they were only 70 people. Now, they are more than 3 million. They come out from Egypt not as a mad crowd of slaves, but as an organized nation. “The children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt” (Ex 13:18). God leads them with a pilar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They stopped at the Red Sea. Pharoah and the Egyptians regret letting their work force go away and they pursue them. God’s people are trapped between the Egyptians, the Red Sea and two mountains, left and right. The people weep and complain. God gives three commands: Fear not! Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! Go forward! Moses has faith. He stretches His rod, and the waters divide for the people to cross over on dry ground. When the Egyptians pursued them in the Sea, the waters come back, and they all drowned. The people praise God with songs and dances. From here they move forward towards the Promised Land! Praise the Lord!
Lessons: In times of crisis, trust God and fear not! Fear blinds but faith sees the road ahead! Stand still or stand firm waiting for God to speak! Be ready for action. Move forward in your miracle! It is time to make progress and it will be evident to all! As Moses and the people believed the command, the miracle happened. The sea divided into two. The power of resurrection is stronger than sin, slavery, or death. Resurrection makes all things new. God always wins! The devil always loses! Resurrection power always ends in praises! Worship the Lord!