Salvation by Grace Alone

October 23, 2022 ()

Bible Text: Exodus 12-14 |


Salvation by Grace Alone | Exodus 12–14
Brian Hedges | October 23, 2022

Let me invite you to turn in your Bibles to the book of Exodus. This morning we’re going to be looking mostly at Exodus 14, but actually beginning in chapter 12 and a little bit in Exodus 12 and 13.

While you’re turning there, let me share an illustration, and allow me to kind of nerd out for a minute on something that I’m growing increasingly passionate about. In recent years I’ve discovered the joys of watch-collecting. This all began with a gift from my son Stephen, who several years ago gave me the nicest watch that I’d ever had. Then last year on our 25th anniversary Holly gave me a really beautiful, nice watch. So I’ve kind of begun to explore this world of watches.

It’s amazing the artistry, the craftsmanship, and the detail in some of these watches. Here’s one in particular that I think is a really beautiful watch. This is called the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. This watch is kind of famous because it was worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film Doctor Strange. This is an amazing watch! It automatically calculates the day, date, month, year, and phase of the moon correctly, and once it is set will do so until March 1, 2100, without requiring a correction. It only requires correction once every 122 years. There are 336 parts in this watch, 46 jewels, with an approximate power reserve of 43 hours. Once this watch is completely assembled it goes through a rigorous 1,000 hours of testing before the watch is sold and shipped out.

Now, I don’t have this watch. This watch would require me to sell every vehicle that I own and probably mortgage my house and do a lot more, so I’m not likely to ever own this watch. But it is a beautiful watch, it’s a wonderful piece of craftsmanship, and there is a complexity beneath this simple design that only a collector or a watch enthusiast may recognize.

You might wonder, What in the world does that have to do with Exodus? I’ll tell you. There’s an analogy here. This watch performs a simple function: if you look at it, it will tell the time. It will tell you what time of day it is. It will not only do that, it will give you the month, it’ll give you the phase of the moon. It will give you some basic information. But there is an artistry and a complexity and a design to this that required hours and hours and hours of craftsmanship and skill.

In the same way, we could say this of the Scriptures as a whole, but especially the book of Exodus tells a simple story. The simple story—if you read it (and a child can read it and see the simple story): God delivers his people. But there’s also an artistry and there is complexity, and there is a design to this book, which is really a literary masterpiece, with such marvels to it that we cannot even hope to do it justice.

That is especially true this morning as we begin to dig into Exodus 14. Exodus 14 is the climactic moment of deliverance for the people of God, as they pass through the waters of the Red Sea and God once and for all triumphs over Egypt. We’re actually going to take two weeks, because the event is recorded for us in Exodus 14, and then it’s celebrated through poetry and song and worship in Exodus 15. So today we’re going to begin to get into chapter 14, and next week we’ll be in chapter 15, but recalling some of the things in that previous chapter as well.

It is a literary masterpiece with layers, with what we might call complications. If you’re a watch enthusiast, you’ll know what I mean by that. It is a masterpiece with links all the way back to Genesis 1 and all the way forward to the prayers of the Psalms, the prophecies of Isaiah, the life of Jesus, the epistles of Paul, and the apocalypse of St. John. I’m telling you, this piece of literature is foundational to the worship of Israel and foundational to our understanding of the gospel.

That’s really why we’re studying the book of Exodus. This is not merely an arcane interest in an old book for the sake of gaining information; it’s because Exodus gives us the story of the gospel. It gives us the language, the images, the motifs, the categories, the conceptual framework for understanding the good news of what God has done to deliver us through his Son, Jesus Christ.

We’re going to see that this morning in Exodus 12-14. The way I want to go about it is, very simply, to point out five different aspects of salvation. You might think of these as five different pictures or five different motifs that are given to us in these chapters, all of which I think have practical relevance to our lives, all of which get picked up in the New Testament as themes that are woven into the Scriptures and are important for our own life of faith.

Because we’re looking at so much Scripture this morning, I’m just going to give you the points and then read the most relevant passages. But I would encourage you to go home and read Exodus 12-14 if you have not done that recently. So, five different aspects of salvation.

1. Rescue from Judgment through Sacrifice

Here’s the first thing. This one is almost by way of reminder, and it’s simply that salvation is portrayed as a rescue from judgment through sacrifice. Salvation is rescue from judgment through sacrifice.

It’s been two weeks since we’ve been in Exodus, but do you remember Exodus 12 and the story of the Passover? We looked at that last time. The Passover was the moment when God redeemed his people, he rescued his people, redeemed them or purchased them from their slavery in Egypt. The scene is really given to us in Exodus 12:29-32. I want to read this passage and try to get into the emotion of this for a moment, to recognize what a great moment of rescue this was for the people of God. So, Exodus 12:29-32 says,

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. [Remember, this is the tenth and final plague in Egypt.] And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

That’s the moment when they are set free. But just try to enter into this scene for a moment. They have just undergone—the Egyptians and the Israelites that are living in Egypt have just undergone this series of plagues, calamities that have fallen on the land of Egypt. The Nile turned into blood, the pestilences, the plagues on livestock and cattle, several days of darkness; and then, finally, this one, the death of the firstborn. The firstborn in every house in Egypt; the firstborn child, the firstborn of every beast or animal.

Can you imagine the confusion that people felt, having gone through all of this? They were going through what was literally for them a world-changing event. It was a series of catastrophes. To try to get into the emotion, you might think about how you felt and what you thought in some of the life-changing events that have happened in our own lifetimes.

Probably every single one of us, if we were alive at the time, we remember what we were doing and where we were on September 11, 2001, and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. We remember that, and we were all glued to our television sets. We were trying to understand what was going on in our world, and there was a sense of trepidation. What’s coming next?

Or remember those early days and weeks of the pandemic, just two years ago. We kept hearing stories of people who were dying, and shutdowns, and all of this, and we felt like the world was changing in front of our eyes. We were witnessing history, something that we have not seen in our lifetimes.

Now, those are fairly modest examples, actually, compared to what the Israelites felt. They had been 400 years in Egypt. They have now witnessed a series of calamities, plagues, and pestilences; the judgment of God; and now judgment is coming on all of them, including the Israelites, unless they are covered through the blood of a slaughtered lamb.

So you come to that night, and it’s midnight of that night, and there are shrieks and cries and wails from every house, except dead quiet in the houses of the Israelites, as they have now slaughtered a lamb, they have smeared blood all over their doors. They are dressed and ready and waiting in anticipation, but also fearful for their lives. Are they actually going to be rescued?

Of course, they are. The moment comes when they are released, when they are set free. But it was a rescue from judgment, from the very judgment of God. It was rescue through a sacrifice, the Passover lamb.

Of course, the analogy here is very clear for us, isn’t it? This is foundational to our salvation, because you and I also are rescued from God’s judgment through the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, who died as a Passover Lamb, taking our sins upon himself and bearing in his own body the wrath of God for us, so that we could be set free. Salvation is rescue from judgment through sacrifice.

The first question for every one of us this morning is simply this: Have you trusted in Jesus Christ to be your substitute, to redeem you? Are you looking to Christ as the Lamb of God who was slain for your sins so that you could be freed from God’s judgment?

That’s the first picture we get of salvation. That was basically a recap. We looked at that in detail a couple of weeks ago.

2. A Pilgrimage through the Wilderness

Here’s the next movement in the story and the next picture or aspect of God’s saving work. Salvation is pictured for us in Exodus as a pilgrimage through the wilderness.

Just a few verses later in Exodus 12 we read that “the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.” That introduces the journey motif in this book.

Then it becomes really clear in chapter 13, and I want to read Exodus 13:17-18 and 21-22. As I read, notice the emphasis on God leading them. Exodus 13, beginning in verse 17.

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. [Drop down to verse 21.] And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

As soon as the people of God are released from slavery in Egypt, as soon as they are liberated, as soon as they are redeemed and rescued and saved, they begin a journey. That journey is actually a part of God’s deliverance of his people.

It’s been said many times—and I’ve said it many times in this church—that we can rightly say that we have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Salvation has these different tenses, these different dimensions.

A.W. Tozer wrote an essay one time where he talked about how we are saved to as well as saved from. We are saved from something; we are saved from sin and judgment and wrath. But we are also saved to something. We are being brought to God, we are being brought to rest, brought to the promised land. That’s what’s happening with Israel.

A pastor named George Morrison put it like this. He said, “It took one night to take Israel out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel.”

You see, they were beginning a journey, they were beginning a process, and this journey that they were on—this whole journey motif—is something of a metaphor for us for the whole life of sanctification. We are being led by God out of the old life into something brand new.

Just think about what they needed for that journey and what God provided for them. They needed, of course, provision, and I didn’t read it, but in the passage (in Exodus 12) it’s very clear that they plundered the Egyptians. They walked away fully provided with food and with animals and with silver and gold. That happened because God so worked in Egypt that the Egyptians freely gave this to the people.

Not only that, they needed direction. That’s what the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud were there for. This column of cloud—it probably looked something like a tornado that was leading them by day; and then at night it was a column of fire that was leading them along the way. The text tells us that God himself was leading them through this. A later passage will describe it as the angel of God who is leading them, but then the Lord himself sometimes speaks to them from the pillar of cloud or fire.

That also becomes for them a protection, as you will be able to see in Exodus 14, where this pillar of cloud and fire stands between them and the Egyptians, protecting them. You see, God was giving them everything they needed for the journey. He was providing for them, he was leading them, he was directing them, he was protecting them; and it was the very presence of God himself with them.

This story has been captured in some of the great poetry, some of the great hymns of the church. I think of that great hymn by John Newton, “Glorious things of thee are spoken, / Zion, city of our God.” There’s a line that goes like this:

’Round each habitation hovering,
See the cloud and fire appear
For a glory and a covering,
Showing that the Lord is near.

It was the presence of God with his people. God himself was going with them; he was leading them.

Again, I think the application for us is pretty obvious. If you’re a Christian, you are also a pilgrim. If you have been saved, you have begun a journey. If you’ve been delivered from sin, you are now on the path of sanctification. You have embarked on what Bunyan called The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. A journey from Egypt to the promised land; a journey from slavery into rest. You’re making your way through the wilderness, with all of its temptations and tribulations, its many dangers and trials and snares, and you’re coming to that new city, whose builder and maker is God.

What is your hope in this journey? Your hope is that God himself goes with you. It’s not that we have a pillar of cloud and fire; we have something better. We have the very presence of the Holy Spirit of God in us and with us, indwelling us, and the Spirit of God leading us through the word of God. That is how he leads us. The Spirit leads us through the word as God directs us, as he provides for us, as he protects us, as he shelters us in his presence.

Again, the application question for us is this: have you not only trusted in Jesus Christ to be your substitute, the Passover Lamb who took the price of your sins, paying for your release; but are you now following the Lord? Are you walking with God through the wilderness of this world? Are you trusting his guidance? Are you sensitive to his Spirit? Are you following his word? If you have been saved, you are on a journey, and you are called to be a pilgrim. We don’t settle in this world, but we journey to the world to come. That’s the second picture.

3. Deliverance from the Powers of Evil

The third picture gets us into Exodus 14, and it just adds another dimension, another layer, to this beautiful story. It’s a picture of deliverance from the powers of evil. I want to read two sections from chapter 14, Exodus 14:10-14 and 30-31. As I read, notice the language of salvation that is used in each of these passages. The scene now is that Israel has journeyed to the Red Sea or the Sea of Reeds; if you want to know which it is, read the commentaries. I’m not going to bore you with those details. But it’s a sea; it’s a great body of water. They have to get through, and the Egyptians are coming up behind them, and they feel like they are going to be slaughtered. In fact, even though they’ve seen so many great and mighty works of God, they are still struggling with unbelief and with doubt.

That’s the scene when we get to Exodus 14:10. It says,

When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? [That’s a lie, by the way; they never said that.] For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

You see unbelief and doubt and how it’s working itself out in their hearts. But listen to what Moses says in verse 13.

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

If that is not a picture of salvation by grace through faith, I don’t know what is. “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” It’s deliverance from the evil powers.

Then verses 30-31: “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.” They passed through these waters on dry ground, you remember—God divides the Red Sea—but then, as soon as the Israelites have passed and the Egyptians are following, the sea closes in on the Egyptians and drowns them all, and it says the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians.

Then verse 31: “Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.”

I tell you, this is wonderful storytelling on the part of the author, the narrator here, as he’s getting us into the scene of Israel between a rock and a hard place; I mean, they’re between the Egyptians and the Red Sea and they are sure they are going to die.

They’ve seen so many great works of God, they’ve seen Egypt judged and humbled and brought down and low by God’s mighty power, and yet still they struggle with unbelief. It’s sort of like in a movie, when you think the final battle has been fought, the villain is dead, and then in the very last scene of the movie the villain comes back with more vigor than ever before, and you have the final battle. That’s what this is in this passage. You see the people’s fear and you see God’s response as he fights for Israel. The Lord is a mighty warrior fighting for his people. We’ll see more about that next week in Exodus 15.

It gives us hope as well, hope for us in our warfare, in our fight of faith, that there is deliverance for us from not just the penalty of sin, but there is deliverance from the power of sin, from the power of evil. You and I are in warfare; we are in a fight, what Paul calls the good fight of faith. And we are commanded and taught by our Lord Jesus to pray daily, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” “Deliver us from the evil one,” because there is this recognition that while we are in this world we are surrounded with evil. We are attacked on every side. Paul tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” We face that great triad of enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil.

You might think of Luther’s words from the wonderful hymn:

For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate;
On earth is not his equal.

What is our hope in this? Our hope is that the God who has redeemed us is also the God who delivers us. He delivers us from evil. He delivers us from the powers and the threats, the enemies that assault us.

Listen, Christian; sometimes in your Chrisitan life you are going to feel like Israel at the Red Sea. Sometimes you’re going to feel like Egypt, Pharaoh, the old slave-masters are right at your back, and you have an obstacle in front of you that seems insurmountable, that you can’t get through. You’re going to feel like the old sins are coming after you, the old addictions are trying to creep back into your life. You are going to feel the pull to go back to Egypt. When you feel that, you are being assaulted by Satan and his forces. You are being attacked by the world, the flesh, and the devil. And you know what? There is absolutely no way that you can extricate yourself from that situation. You know what you need? You need deliverance. The same hands that have rescued you from the penalty of sin—that granted you forgiveness, redemption, justification—that same hand is the hand that now fights the battle.

Did we in our own strength confide
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he!
Lord Sabaoth [Lord of hosts] his name,
From age to age the same,
And he must win the battle.

Whatever it is that you may be facing in your life right now—whatever sin, whatever temptation, whatever assault on your soul from the powers of darkness—stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. He will fight for you. Look to him; cry out to him; trust him; lean on him. Believe the promise of his word. Don’t go back to Egypt.

4. Rebirth through Death and Resurrection

There’s yet another picture of salvation for us in verses 21-22, and I’m calling this one rebirth through death and resurrection. Verse 21:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

I believe this is a historical event. This happened. Moses stretched out his hand and the waters parted and a wind blew through and the Israelites walked through on dry ground. So this is historical narrative, but it’s not only that. There are verbal links back to the stories of Genesis. This may not be obvious at first, but let my try to put the pieces together for you.

You have to remember that in the mind of the ancient Near Eastern people the sea represented the forces of chaos and death. They were mostly landlocked people, and they were afraid of floods and afraid of the sea; they were afraid of the deep waters. We see this represented many, many times in the psalms, as the psalmists are talking about how God rescued them from the “depths,” from the deep waters that were about to swallow them up, the forces of death and of chaos.

You have to remember how Genesis 1 begins with God speaking his word into the primeval chaos, and he divides the waters and he creates dry land, called the earth. You have it in Genesis 1:6-7 and 9-10.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. . . . And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

That language, the language of dividing and dry land and even the east wind—the Hebrew word for “wind,” ruach, carries this double meaning of wind and spirit. It’s as if the wind blowing through and dividing the seas is giving us a picture of the Spirit of God working in creation to create the land, a place of habitation, a habitable place for his people to dwell. That’s what God does in creation; he’s preparing the land for humanity.

What this story is doing is it’s showing us that God in his saving work is bringing about new creation. It’s utilizing these creation motifs.

These also are used in the story of the flood in Genesis 8. Once again, the flood is a story of salvation through judgment. The floodwaters come on the earth in judgment over man’s sin, but God begins again with Noah and his family, delivering them through the ark.

You may remember that even in the first two chapters of Exodus you have some echoes of this, as little baby Moses is delivered from the waters of the Nile through an ark. Now this deliverance is happening on a grand scale for the whole people of God as they go through the waters of chaos and death. They go through on dry ground because the Spirit of God, the wind of God, blows through and makes a way for them.

It is giving us, I think, a picture of new creation, the language that the Bible picks up in the New Testament as new birth, rebirth, regeneration, new creation. It happens through death and resurrection. They went into the sea. The sea represented Sheol, death, chaos. They go through death, and they emerge alive on the other side.

It’s what Jesus Christ has done for us. He descended into the grave, he faced death, and by tasting death for everyone he defeated the powers of death, and he delivered us from the fear of death through his own death, and then he rose again to new life as the firstborn of a new creation, the head of a new creation.

Listen, every single one of us who experience salvation in and through Jesus Christ also experience this. It’s part of salvation: rebirth, new creation, being born again! You are united with Christ in his death, and you are raised to walk in newness of life.

This is what baptism symbolizes, folks. This is why we submerge in that watery grave to show, “I have been buried with Christ, I’ve died with Christ, and I’ve been raised out of the waters in baptism to walk with Christ in newness of life.” Then we are called to live this way; to die to sin, live to righteousness, live in a new way. Rebirth through death and resurrection, as we are united to Christ in his death and resurrection for us.

5. The Display of God’s Power and Glory

One more picture. Here we go back to the beginning of Exodus 14. We could simply call this the display of God’s power and glory. In some ways, this is the whole point of all of the images. This is why God does what he does. This is why God saves us. He saves us for the glory of his name.

You see it in two places in Exodus 14. Beginning in verse 1,

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

This is amazing! What this text is telling us is that God led them to exactly this place deliberately. He led them to this place. We’ve looked before at the mystery of Pharaoh hardening his heart and God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. There’s a mystery there. But here the emphasis is on the work of the sovereign God. God leads his people to this difficult place, the banks of the sea, he hardens Pharaoh’s heart so that the Egyptians pursue them after letting them go, and God does it for a reason. His reason is so that “I will get glory over Pharaoh.”

Look at verses 15-18.

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

That could not be more clear. The reason that God is working in just this way is so that he will get glory in delivering his people from Egypt.

This is good for us, brothers and sisters. It’s good for us to see this, it’s good for us to understand it. It’s good for us because it helps us see that he is the true Lord. He is the true God. It helps us see that he is the Lord who is for us and he is not against us. The measure of his commitment to us is the measure of his commitment to glorifying his great and holy name. He’s not doing this because the Israelites have earned it! He’s doing it graciously, but he’s doing it that he might be glorified.

This is true of our redemption. Read Ephesians 1, that great hymn of praise from the apostle Paul. Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and you’ll see that there is a refrain in those verses, where three times it says that it is “to the praise of his glory,” or, “the praise of the glory of his grace.” Paul is telling us—and he’s using language that evokes the whole story of Israel—he tells us God has blessed us, chosen us, accepted us, predestined us, adopted us, redeemed us, forgiven us, given us an inheritance, and sealed us, all for the praise of his glory.

You know what that means? It means that salvation is not ultimately about you. You benefit from it, but it’s not ultimately about you. It means that you and I are not at the center of the universe; God is at the center of the universe. We are privileged as his people to be brought into this great drama, to see the glory of God, who is the champion of his people. It means that you’re not the hero in your own story! God is the hero, and you’re the one who gets rescued.

It means that we are then ushered into a life of worship and praise of our great God. That’s what salvation does. Salvation brings you into a life of worship and praise.

The old Westminster Shorter Catechism said, “Man’s chief end is to glory God and enjoy him forever.” We could paraphrase that to say that the chief end of God in saving us is that we would glorify him and enjoy him forever. That’s why you’re rescued. You’re rescued to enjoy the great God who is glorious and who has shown his glory, has flexed his mighty arm, to show himself the victor, the redeemer, the champion, the hero of the story. He is the captain of our salvation.

Five pictures here of salvation; five aspects of what God has done in our lives. Do you see yourself in this story, not as the champion but as the beneficiary? The one who has received grace from God; redeemed from your sins, delivered from evil, brought along on this journey as God leads you; and all for the glory of God. Look to Christ this morning and trust in him. Take your place among the worshippers of the Lamb who was slain for our sins. Let’s pray.

God and Father of Jesus Christ, there’s so much here for us to marvel at and rejoice in, so much here for us to celebrate. The only appropriate response from our hearts is to worship you and to praise your great name. We thank you for saving grace. We thank you that you rescue your people through this mighty act of redemption. We thank you, Lord, that you’ve worked effectually in our hearts to draw us to yourself.

Lord, we do pray this morning for anyone who is not in Christ, who has not experienced this deliverance, this salvation. I pray that today would be the day of salvation, as they look not to themselves but to Christ alone, who is the Savior.

We ask you to draw near to us in these moments of worship as we come to the Lord’s table. May we in these moments renew our commitment to fight against sin and darkness, to resist the temptations to go back to the old slavery. May we renew our commitment to follow you wherever you lead. May we draw near to you in faith, trusting in what Christ our Savior has done. May your Holy Spirit be present with us as we come to take the bread and the juice. We ask that you would be glorified in our hearts this morning. We pray it in Jesus’ name and for his sake, amen.