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Living by Faith (Vol 51) - Moses' Faith: Deliverance #2

Sunday English Service - 18 AUG 19


Hebrews 11 verse 29. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. We've been studying Hebrews chapter 11 and we’ve titled this series as Living by Faith. Here, the author teaches faith using the great Old Testament saints like Abraham and Moses and others, drawing from their life lessons concerning faith. And in that, the section on Moses is a large section. Section on Abraham also is a large section. The section on Moses begins with verse 23 and ends in verse 29. So, we've been looking at all these verses, now we are in verse 29. Last week, we looked at it, once again, we need to look at it.

Last week, when I began this thing, I showed you that the crossing of the Red Sea, this great event that happened in the life of Israel is not just an event that took place in their life as a miracle, but it has more than just a miracle. It has a meaning to it. It teaches something, it was meant to teach something. Therefore, it must be preached in that way. We cannot just deal with it like a Sunday school story, tell the story of how the people crossed the Red Sea and just go on with it. Or we can present it like the Ten Commandments movie where you show the crossing of the Red Sea and show the great miracle happening. It's not over with that. It's not just a miracle that took place there, it has a lot of meaning to it. That's the way the Bible teaches it. That's why we must teach it like that. Some people who are not used to that kind of preaching may think that we are taking something and making too much out of it. Therefore, I want to show you in the first section, that this is the way we need to study the Bible. The way the Bible treats it, we need to treat it.

If you look at the story of the crossing of the Red Sea, it happens in Exodus chapter 14. The whole chapter 14 is about that in the book of Exodus. But one great Old Testament scholar says that it is mentioned again at least two dozen times directly in the Old Testament and indirectly, innumerable number of times again and again. It shows the magnitude of that event, the meaning that it carries. If it’s just a miracle that happened for those people, you don't need to mention it two dozen times in the Old Testament alone, and then mention it indirectly, innumerable times, allude to it in some way or the other. But in the Old Testament, we see references to it in that way, so many references. It shows the importance of this event, the meaning of this event, there is a meaning to it. That is why it is again and again brought up and things are told based on that.

In the New Testament also, there are significant references to it. For example, remember when Jesus was born and Herod hears that the King of the Jews is born, and he inquires to find out where and what and so on, because he wants to kill, because he thinks the competitor has come. So, he passes an order saying that all children below the age of two must be killed. The madman. So, Joseph and Mary take Jesus as a child and go over to Egypt and live there for some time until this Herod dies and then they come back. Talking about it in Matthew chapter 2 verse 15, Matthew says that this happened because that which was written by a prophet must be fulfilled. What was written by the prophet? He mentions that. He said, “The Prophet says, ‘Out of Egypt I have called My son.’” Who's the Prophet? Prophet Hosea in chapter 11 verse 1, you read that. Out of Egypt I have called My son. That prophecy must be fulfilled, Matthew says. But if you look at that prophecy, Hosea 11:1, it was not directly about Jesus, it was about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. Out of Egypt I called My son is a reference to how God brought Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt. Out of Egypt I've called My son, the Prophet says. It is about that exodus out of Egypt. And God calls Israelites, His son.

Remember, when the 10th plague was sent, the killing of all the firstborn in every household, from the king all the way down to the common man? In every household there was death. That was the last plague that was sent. And when God was getting ready to send the plague, He sends Moses to talk to Pharaoh and tell him this. He says, “Tell him, ‘You killed My son.’” God calls Israelites His son. Remember, Pharaoh ordered all the children to be killed in Moses’ days when Moses was born. Referring to that God says, “You killed My son. Israel is My son, and you killed My firstborn.” God refers to Israel as His firstborn, “You killed My firstborn. Now, you see, in every house, the firstborn is going to die.” It’s God’s reply to that horrible thing that Pharaoh did at one time.

And Hosea, therefore, is talking about the children of Israel as God's son, and talks about how God says, “Out of Egypt, I’ve brought My son.” And then Matthew takes that and applies that to Jesus. In other words, what Jesus is about is about an exodus, he says. Just like the people of Israel were brought out of Egypt, God's son, Israel, was brought out of Egypt, in the same way, Jesus has come to accomplish an exodus. So, there is a connection between Jesus and the exodus - a coming out of the people of Israel from Egypt, through the Red Sea, into the wilderness and into the promised land and so on.

A more important reference is Luke chapter 9. In Luke chapter 9, you have the story of the Mount of Transfiguration and what happened there. Heard of the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus goes with Peter, John and James to a mountain, takes them there? And verse 29 says, As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, verse 30, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah. Just imagine what Peter, John and James would have felt like. These two great personalities from the Old Testament times, Moses and Elijah. Peter and the other two disciples are looking in amazement as Moses and Elijah, the great men, come and talk with Jesus. And then verse 31 talks about what they talked about, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Spoke of His decease. It says here, I'm reading from New King James Version. But the English Standard Version is the closest now they say of the English versions of the Bible to the original right now. From time to time, they come up with new versions more up to date. Today, it is English Standard Version. And English Standard Version uses the word departure. It says, they appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 

What departure was Jesus to accomplish? If you look at the Greek, the word departure comes from the word exodus. Some of your Bibles, if you have a good Bible, it'll say in the margin, it literally comes from the word exodus. In Greek, it's exodus, it will say. Very interesting. Jesus was about to accomplish a departure, an exodus. In other words, Jesus has come into this world like another Moses, going into Egypt to accomplish an exodus. In other words, He has come to take people out of the bondage of sin and Satan, bring them out of the power and the bondage of sin and Satan, deliver the people from bondage of sin and Satan, what Jesus would do on the cross of Calvary.

They talked about what He will accomplish in Jerusalem and the cross of Calvary as He dies. What He will accomplish in the cross of Calvary is a departure, is an exodus, it says. So, there is a connection between the exodus and the departure. An exodus is the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt and their journey into the promised land. We have a whole book of Exodus. What Jesus accomplished on the cross is an exodus. Just like Moses brought the people out, Jesus has made a way for the humanity to come out of the bondage of sin and Satan, and into the Promised Land of a new life.

And Hebrews chapter 3 and 4 compares Moses and Jesus. Talks about how there is similarity between the two, Moses and Jesus. It was Moses in the Old Testament; it is our Moses in the New Testament. That's the way Jesus is presented there. And then a more important reference, I would say, in the New Testament about the exodus is 1 Corinthians chapter 10. I know that some people, if you're not used to this kind of preaching because it involves some typology and all of that and sometimes people think, “Well, does that really mean all this? Does being in Egypt mean...? Can we say that Egypt equals bondage to sin and Pharaoh equals bondage to Satan? Can we preach like that? Are we making too much out of something?” And as I grew up as a young man, in those days, they used a lot of typology and preached, and I'm used to all this typology. I'm not sure these days how many people are used to it. That's why I'm saying that this is one way of teaching because the Bible oftentimes uses typology and teaches through typology. Sees types and shadows.

Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 10. Look at how here Paul talks about it. Paul, the great teacher uses this method. Chapter 10 verse 1, 1 Corinthians. Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea. Amazing. This man teaching the New Testament saints is saying they were all under the cloud, our forefathers, they all passed through the sea. Now listen to this, he uses New Testament language to explain something that happened in the Old Testament. He puts it in New Testament terms, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Talks about crossing the Red Sea as a baptism. And, all ate the same spiritual food. Talking about the manna they ate. And all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank water over that rock. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and listen to this, and that Rock was Christ.

How much more typology can you get? He says that rock out of which they drank in the wilderness is Christ. Christ was there in the Old Testament. Paul sees the scriptures in a different way. He says Christ was there. They drank the spiritual drink, that water from the Rock, and that Rock was Christ, he says. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples. See, those people did not succeed in going into the promised land, the first generation died because of unbelief. He’s referring to that and says, these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. In other words, he sees a great lesson as he scans through that exodus. As he looks at the Book of Exodus, and the crossing of the Red Sea, and all those things that happened there, he sees great, wonderful lessons for us today, as New Testament believers. He says, it teaches us something. These things became our examples. So, he sees meaning in all of those things.

Now, if there is one Old Testament passage that the New Testament invites us to read in a Christ centered way, as a paradigm of Christ’s salvation, it is this passage of the crossing of the Red Sea with Moses, the people of Israel. We need to look at it in light of the New Testament truth of Christ, the redemption, salvation, and all of that. You cannot look at it as just an event, a miracle, a great thing, and say, “I believe in a miracle, I believe that.” That's not enough. You need to believe in salvation, the way that passage teaches. You need to look at the redemption, the way that it is presented there. There is some tremendous teaching there. You want to understand salvation and redemption? Look at Exodus. Look at what happened there. You will see what happens today in the Christian believer, he says, these are things that happened as an example for us.

Now, if you get a chance to talk to someone who went through the Red Sea, actually, maybe in heaven you'll get a chance to do that. Talk to a person who went with Moses in that Exodus and came out of Egypt, experienced all of those things and observed the Passover and left Egypt, crossed the Red Sea and asked him, “What happened?” You know what he will say to you? He’ll say, “On the dreadful night, the angel of death came by, but we were instructed to kill a lamb for every household. And we shed the blood of the lamb, and we smeared it on our doorpost, and we sat behind that doorpost in that house. While every house in Egypt screamed with a desperate cry as their children died, the firstborn died, the old men even died if they were first born, they all died. But in our house, there was no fear. There was no death, the angel of death passed over us. We were under that blood. We were protected by the blood. We were saved by that blood, the blood of that lamb,” he would say.

Then he’ll say, “We ate the flesh and we were strengthened by that flesh that we ate of the lamb. And then we departed from there as the people begged us to leave the country and go. And we departed from there in the strength of what we ate, and we proceeded and there we found ourselves pinned down by the Red Sea in the front. And meanwhile Pharaoh's hardened his heart and he was chasing us in the back. It was a dreadful situation as we had no place to go in the front, no place to run to the back. We'd be killed both ways. There was danger either way. And as we stood there, God did the most amazing miracle of splitting the Red Sea, making a way for us right in the middle of the sea so that we walked as if we walked in a dry land. It was a road arranged for us. God laid a road right in the middle of the sea. We walked over and God put a separation between us and the Egyptians who were chasing us. God was going before us in the front and leading us, now came behind us. The Bible says so. He came behind us to keep the Egyptians at a distance. They were never able to get to us, though they were chasing us. And as we crossed the Red Sea, and Moses turned and again used his rod, the waters gathered together again and drowned the Egyptians. We saw it with our eyes, the great Pharaoh and his army, drown and be killed in that mighty incidence. God is our salvation.”

They sing a song as they cross. And we sing that song many times here. We used to sing in the old days. I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and the rider, He has thrown into the sea. The Lord my God, my strength, my song, and He has now become my victory. What a song. They worshipped God, sang to God. They will tell the story of the amazing crossing of the Red Sea. And the story will be about how they were freed from the power of that enemy, that held them in bondage and they came, and they thought they're free. But they found that the enemy has not forgotten them. The enemy is chasing them again at the Red Sea. Pharaoh who said, “Go, take your people and leave,” now changed his mind and he's pursuing them.

It is a picture of how, yes, we are saved but after we are saved, the devil in so many ways, tries to enslave us again to himself and to sins. He chases after us and runs after us to somehow seek to, again, bring us under bondage. The book of Galatians is about that kind of bondage. All these people are saved, redeemed, blessed, accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior through Paul's ministry there. They've come to Christ. But somebody has come in and has brought the people into bondage again, bondage to the law. Instead of living by grace, now they try to live by the law, try to please God by the law. They are again into bondage. The devil is a tricky devil. If you become a church goer and a religious person, he tries to play that game and through some religious nonsense, he will try to put you in bondage again. If he cannot keep you sinning and drinking and rolling on the street or something like that, and you started going to church, he will find a way to enslave you in your church, bring you under bondage in some way to make you unhappy, to live not the life that God has intended for you to live, but live something else. And it will be ultimately a bondage to sin and bondage to Satan, that kind of life. Somehow, he wants to bring you under bondage. He wants to pursue and bring you back into bondage. That's the picture. That's what the Red Sea incidence is all about.

Pharaoh already said, “Leave, go.” Then he’s pursuing again. And in that pursuit, God defeated Pharaoh and delivered the people of Israel. The story is not only about how Jesus saves, but how He delivers from the power of sin and Satan permanently, from the power of sin and Satan that pursues us, trying to bring us into bondage someway or the other. It’s an amazing, amazing story. If we don't go into that, like that, we miss the whole point. So, that's why I want to spend some time in this because this is a truly amazing truth that it's bringing out. A New Testament truth brought out in the Old Testament itself. So, let's look at it.

What can we learn from the Red Sea crossing about Jesus and our salvation? What can we learn about our redemption, our Christian life, our deliverance from sin and Satan? What can we learn about that from the Red Sea crossing? Three things you can learn. One, what we are delivered from. We’re delivered from bondage to sin and Satan. We’ll look at that. And the deliverance from bondage is several-layered deliverance. Layered means it happens in different stages. First, you get saved, that's a deliverance. You believe in Jesus, you're born again. That's wonderful. But then, like I said, the devil pursues. He wants to again bring you into bondage. A lot of people do get into bondage, and how God delivers you from bondage, on various levels, it’s a several-layered deliverance. So, it's about this whole story of the Red Sea crossing is about what we are delivered from. We’re delivered from the bondage of sin and Satan. Not only at the time of our salvation, but also in our life as we live it for God how the devil tries to bind us again, bring us again into the bondage and now, we are delivered.

Secondly, it's about how we are delivered out of that bondage. How we are delivered by the very grace of God. Exodus chapter 14 is the place where you look at the whole incidence happening, the Red Sea crossing is happening. And we read verse 13 last time, and I preached from 13. Today, I want to concentrate on 14. But let's read 13 and 14. 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.” There can be no better words to describe salvation and the grace of God, through which salvation is accomplished.

The grace of God means there is nothing for us to do in that; everything God does. That's the grace of God. It's about what God does. Grace always refers to what God does. Whenever you talk about grace, it's about what God does. And look at what God has done. He says, “Stand still.” Everybody say, standstill. That’s salvation by grace. That means you don't do anything because you cannot do anything. There is nothing that you can do, no effort of yours, no works of yours, no goodness of yours, no prayer of yours, no fasting of yours, nothing can accomplish this. It is God who accomplishes. No religious works, no works of the law, nothing can accomplish this deliverance. This deliverance is accomplished by God. It totally God's.

Last week I talked about how God brought them to the Red Sea, and brought them to the point where Pharaoh pursues them. It was God who had hardened Pharaoh's heart, the Bible says. He deliberately brings them to the situation where there is a sea in the front and Pharaoh in the back. Why? Because God wants to draw a picture before the people about His salvation, His redemption, and show Himself magnified. Show that He's a big God. He's a great God, as a big, great Mighty God, He brings the salvation. It is not the work of man.

We need to be very careful preaching the gospel. We need to preach the gospel of grace, not the gospel of works. A lot of times what you hear is gospel of works. It’s the gospel of grace that we are supposed to preach. Paul says, “If anybody preaches any other gospel other than this gospel, let him be accursed,” he says. Writing to Galatians because that is where works were magnified. That is where instead of giving glory to God, they were magnifying their works. They were observing special days, they were observing special rituals and they were exalting circumcision, they were making a big deal out of all this religious stuff. The churches which Paul had the privilege to establish and lead people to Christ, were turning into religious centers, because some people have come and taught wrongly. They'll come to people that are already baptized, they say, “Well, have you been circumcised?” Before baptism, you need to get circumcised because Abraham's children were circumcised. Do you know about that? This kind of mess. And he really gives it to them.

I started Book of Galatians 30 years ago, here on Tuesday night, verse by verse, and it's one of the books with very strong words from the Apostle Paul. Condemning the works religion, exalting the gospel of grace. So, it's grace all the way. And there can be no better statement than this to explain that. He says, “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” That's grace. That means you don't do anything; you can't do anything. There is nothing that you can do that will help you. With regard to salvation and deliverance, there is nothing in this whole world that can help you. Just stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Everybody say, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. You say, “What should I do? Can I fast? Can I go up this mountain? Can I pray? Can I do this? Can I do that?” Stand still, see the salvation of the Lord. All you can do is just stand there and see what God does. That's the way God paints the picture of the salvation redemption. Amazing. He will accomplish this for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 

Now, look at verse 14. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. I love the Tamil translation of that. It says, you shall hold your peace, that's very polite and nice. Tamil says, “Neengal summa irupeergal, karthar ungalukkaaga yuttham pannuvaar”. Neengal summa irupeergal. And I think everybody understands. Neengal summa irupeergal - you'll do nothing. He will fight your battles and you will do nothing. Summa irupeergal What a way to explain the gospel of grace. He will fight your battle, and you will be doing nothing basically. There is no part for you to do anything. You will just see and be amazed at the salvation of the Lord. Amen. It's about what we are delivered from. We’re delivered from bondage of sin and Satan. How we are delivered out of it? By grace. That's what verse 14 says. “You'll be doing nothing. Stand still, see the salvation. He will fight the battle and you will hold your peace. That means, you’ll just stand still.

Thirdly, it's why we can get out of it or why we can be delivered from, on what basis we can be delivered, because we have a mediator that is Jesus. Now, this is a big subject. I don't think I'll be able to cover everything but I'll cover something today, at least one or two. But next week, we will cover the rest because it's a very huge subject and beautiful subject. Let's look at what we are delivered from, let me describe this thing, our salvation, our redemption. Because this is what the crossing of the Red Sea is all about. We are delivered from bondage of sin and Satan. And this bondage is in several layers, I said. And you see that played out here. The picture is given here perfectly. The king hears that people have fled the country and Pharaoh and his officials change their minds. And they take their chariots and horses and mighty men and go after them. Because they lost the labor force, they lost a lot of gold and silver to them. They want to bring it all back. And the labor force is very precious, because they want all these people to come back and work for them free. So, they pursue them.

Pharaoh says, “We're going to get them. We're going to kill them. Let's go after them.” The old slave master hates to give them up, hates to see them just leave just like that by the droves. 3 million of them just pack their bags and just leave. His heart breaks. Even after experiencing 10 plagues, he just couldn't stand to see these people go free just like that, because their God delivered them. So, he gets in the chariots and chased down the Israelites. When the Israelites saw them coming, the Israelites were afraid. And they said, look at chapter 14 of Exodus verse 10. When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

Said, “We told you to leave us alone, man. You are the one that insisted on us leaving the place. We told you, ‘Leave us alone. We’ll just rather serve the Egyptians, at least they give us some kanji.” Don't think kanji is very ordinary nowadays. I saw in Singapore hotels they're serving kanji. I couldn't believe. Congee, it says. I thought, what is this? Some kind of Chinese dish? I opened it and saw it was kanji, our kanji. Just our kanji. “At least we'll have kanji and stay there. Why are you bothering us? Because there are no graves in Egypt, you're taking us there to die? To bury there?”

Did they actually say this to Moses, when he first called them to leave Egypt? Let's look at it, chapter 4, because I want you to know something about people. Chapter 4 verse 29, is the first time when Moses and Aaron go to the people and call them and tell them about how God is going to deliver them. Look at this. Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. Remember the rod becoming snake and snake again becoming rod and all that? That kind of miracles, he performs it before the people so that they'll know that God is in it. So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

So, they never said, “Leave us, we’ll eat kanji and stay here.” They said, “Yeah, we know that the Lord is in it. God has looked on our affliction.” So, they bowed their heads and worshiped. And now they're saying, “We told you to leave us alone. We didn't want to come. You're the one that insisted.” You can see how fickle people can be. They can talk one thing today and another thing totally different tomorrow. And Moses has to be a pastor and lead these people out of Egypt and into the promised land. And this is a great redemption. It's a picture of a great redemption. The word redemption is a very important word in the Bible. In the New Testament, the Greek word has the meaning of setting someone or something loose. That's what redemption is all about. It is to loose. It is to be released from bondage. That's what redemption is all about.

So, the very heart of our understanding what salvation is all about is release from bondage. You want understand salvation, think of it as a release from bondage. That's what it is. And the Israelites are a perfect picture of that. They were in bondage but the bondage had many layers. I say many layers, because when they observed the Passover, got ready to leave, Pharaoh and the people begged them to leave. They said, “Please leave. We don't want any more trouble. We've had enough. Please leave. Goodbye. Good riddance.” But then they change their mind. See, there's another layer to it. They said, “Go,” but then they changed their mind. So, I would say that there are many layers to the bondage from which God's people were redeemed and are redeemed, even Christians today.

There are many layers of deliverance. It's not just something that just happens in one shot at the time of our salvation. Yes, when we receive Jesus Christ, something significant happens. Objectively, we may say, delivered from bondage. When I say objectively that means that Jesus took our sin, He took the punishment for our sin, which is death, He took the curse upon Himself, He literally became like us, so that we can be freed from the condition that we are in. So, He did that. Objectively, we were set free. In other words, we were given the document of freedom.

Now, the world of that time, the word redemption meant something very strong, because it was a world of slavery. All these nations, the Roman Empire and the empires before them had slavery. It was a fact of life. And slavery existed even until a couple of hundred years ago in England and America and so on. Slavery was everywhere. You can't blame one nation for it, every nation had slavery. And in that slavery, the slave markets were common. Slaves will be brought to the market; they'll be kept for sale. You just went and examined the slaves. See how old he is, young he is, how strong he is, and whether you can use him, whether you need him, and pay the appropriate price. And buy the slave and take him home. When you buy the slave, you're given a document that you are the owner of that slave. Now, that slave cannot run away from you. If he just is found walking on the road traveling somewhere, he'll be stopped by the police and he will be inquired as to who he is and why he's walking around. Is he free or slave? If he is a free man, he can walk but if he is a slave, he cannot. So, he has to show his document of freedom, if he has to be around and about going somewhere. You cannot just walk away, you'll be caught and brought. You can report to the police, they'll bring the slave back. It’s a property. That's the way people were treated.

So, there was a document of freedom attached to it. There's a document of sale, ownership and so on. So, people went and bought slaves and brought them home and kept them but there are times, they say, when someone would walk into the slave market and feel pity about a slave and want to give him freedom. And if they’re well-to-do people, sometimes they may buy a slave, a man or a woman. Purchase a slave, pay the price, buy the slave, get the document that they’re the owners, and then turn around and give them document of freedom. And give them the document saying, “You are no more a slave, you can go free.” With the document, now the guy can go anywhere, travel anywhere and be free. He is officially legally free.

So, now you can understand how the word ‘redemption’ meant something in the times when the Bible was written. It was a very strong word. People can picture slavery and the freedom, the freedom document and so on. So, when I say that Christians were at one time objectively in bondage to the law, but are now freed from it, we were in bondage to the law. Bondage to the law is a terrible thing. The law was given, like I said, to prove our sin. It constantly screamed at us saying, “You're a sinner. You're no good, you're worthless. You're condemned.” The law condemned us. Every time that you looked at the law, a man living under the law felt condemned. That's the way the law was. And when Jesus came, He took the condemnation upon Himself. The cross is a place where Jesus took the condemnation upon Himself. He was condemned on the cross, condemned to die, condemned to be cursed. He was considered accursed as it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.’ He became accursed, condemned for us, took our condemnation. And we were freed from that condemnation.

The tremendous event. That’s the way Bible pictures it. We were under the law, we were condemned, Jesus set us free from the law, saved us. By His grace, we have no condemnation now. There is now no condemnation to them that believe, to them that are in Christ Jesus. Sin cannot be our master because we are not under the law. See, under the law, sin was our master. Because we had no power over sin under the law. Sin was our master. And every time we tried to do what the law said, we failed, and that was sin. And we were put down again, but now we are under grace. That is objective freedom. Objective freedom in simple terms means, now you have a document of freedom. You were a slave but now you carry a document. Heaven has executed a document on your favor. It says, “Sam Chelladurai is free. He’s not a slave, he has been set free.”

Hello, are you there? Are you free? I am free, you are free. We've been set free. This is a documented fact. The document is the word of God. It tells us that we are free. But you know how many Christians even though they're free, subjectively, they're still in bondage to the law. Objectively, they're free, subjectively, that means in reality, in real life, in practical terms, they are in bondage to the law. And so, they try to be good and satisfy the law by the works of righteousness. They try very hard to do the works of righteousness, to obtain righteousness. And the whole book of Galatians is about that. Paul says, “You all began with faith now, you're going to finish it by works? What happened to you? Who has beguiled you? Who has bewitched you?” He says, “Who has cheated you out of this teaching?” He says. “Who has brought you under the law? Who has made you feel condemned again? Don't you know the truth? Don't you carry the document that you were set free? Don't you know that that's what Jesus did? We have gone through the exodus with Jesus. Jesus, our Moses, has brought us out. Our Passover is Christ. We have come out. We have crossed the Red Sea. Then enemy is behind us. The enemy is defeated.

But people lean towards the law very easily. Have you ever seen it? It's very easy to teach the law, people will say, “Yeah, that's right, brother. Oh, you said it right.” When you teach the law, they love it. Because inside them, there is a tendency like that, because they are made in the image and likeness of God and everyone knows that you ought to be perfect. That is in every man that you ought to be perfect, that sense of perfection, that demand for perfection. We all try to be as perfect as possible. We all know that we should be perfect. And God has satisfied that requirement for perfection in a very novel way. Since He knows that we can never be perfect, He has imputed to us, given to us freely, the perfection of His Son. That is what happened on the cross of Calvary. Since He knows that we can't accomplish that because of our sinful nature, He has given us the perfection of His Son, and looks at us in Christ. That's how He treats it. And He's very gracious to us.

But how do we look at God? Now, and sometimes in parents, when they raise children, knowingly or unknowingly, we make some mistakes. Ever seen parents who say to the child, “You better get 95 marks, otherwise don't come in front of me.” 95 marks. So, the kid gets 90 marks, he still can't go before the father. He needs a pair of pants and shirts. He says, “I only got 90. How can I go and ask? I'm sure he won't give because he said 95. I need to get 95. I didn't live up to his expectation. I didn't come up to the mark.” So, he's never feeling free to go and ask the father. No confidence to ask the father. Doesn't know that the father will oblige if he goes and asks.” See, that is why a lot of Christians are writing to evangelists, they don't go to the Father. Because the evangelist says, “Don't worry, I will fast and pray for you. And you write the letter to me.” And so, they write the evangelist and they ask. I remember when I first came and started preaching here, people used to come and say, “Pray for me.” And then they'll say, “Did God say something to you?” So, they think God won’t speak to them. They’ve decided, “God will speak to this great man. He’s a preacher after all. So, God will speak to him because he's always in prayer, always fasting, always on cloud nine. But me, a worldly person, how will God speak to me? I have so many imperfections. I'm not 95-mark person. But that pastor is, that evangelist is. So, let me go to him, let him do.”

So, they're convinced that what they pray they will not get. Somebody else, some great man of God prays, they will get. So, they go to that man of God and they want prayer. Their confidence is gone. See, that's why when I taught about righteousness, I said, we have made a big mistake in the church. We have said to the church that we need righteousness. The need for righteousness was preached for many years. You need righteousness. We said, “Where is your righteousness? Are you righteous? Are you right before God? Did you fast? Did you pray? Did you read your Bible today? Last month you didn't come to church, how can God bless you? You never fasted in one year, so how can God ever send His blessing upon you?” And we preached like that. So people were sure that they won't get anything. They came to church and learned that. They need some help learning that. If they just read the Bible, they’ll learn different, I think. They came to church and learned that God will not bless them, there's so much imperfection, they could never satisfy God's demands.

Now, if you run a family like that, if you have children, and if you treat them like that, I'll tell you, that will be terrible. Your son or your daughter will never feel like looking to you for any needs, asking you for anything. They will not have the confidence to ask from you what they need. They will not have the confidence to share with you whatever their problem is, they will not have the confidence because you are like this. But the fact is, our Heavenly Father loves us. Even our earthly fathers, see how they are, most of them are not like that, they are nice. How many times you’ve failed actually, didn't get 95 leave that alone, you didn't get the 35 you’re supposed to get. But still he let you inside the house. He had a table full of food. He bought you clothes, he did everything for you. And then he inquired what the problem is, why there is so much difficulty in passing this subject. And then he went and found a good tuition master. And found that you didn't listen to the math teacher from the seventh grade, now you are in tenth. So, you don't know math from seven standard onwards. So, he tells the teacher, “Teach him from seven standard maths, because this guy doesn't understand anything. That's why he's getting zeros.”

And so, they start you from seven standard math and run you up to tenth standard. And now you're very confident, now you become better. The father knows how to cultivate his child. The father knows how to help the child to come up. The father knows how to send him to school, give him tuition, give him whatever help he needs. He's ready to spend the money. He's ready to spend the time. He's ready to make the effort to make this child shine, come up and do well. He's not going to reject the child just because the child failed. In many places, the wayward child that doesn't do well, more attention is paid to that child because that only is proper, he needs more attention, more care, more love, more guidance. And you think our God is any different? See, people have departed from the gospel of grace so we look at God as one who's got a stick in His hand and waiting to smack your head the moment you sin, the very first wrong thing you do He’s ready to smack you on your head. He’s not like that, my friend. You can go with your sin, with your shortcomings, with your problems to God. God will embrace you. He will touch you; He will heal you; He will deliver you; He will help you; He will show the way out. He will help you to overcome your problems. He will help you to get the 95 if you allow Him to help you. He's interested in your welfare. He's interested in helping you.

Somehow, the church has failed to preach the gospel of grace and present God the Father, as this kind of father. So, we preach the law. And so, law keeps people condemned. So, we have Christians who are condemned, Christians who constantly live under condemnation, because all they hear is the law. They don't hear about grace. They don't hear about God's love, God's mercy, God's kindness, they don't hear about. They all know they should be perfect and they all know they're not perfect. That's a problem. We all know we need to be perfect and we know very well that God knows that we are not perfect. And that's the problem. So, we resort to works of righteousness. We just try so hard to work righteousness, to do something good, so that we may please God. Do this, do that, do all kinds of things to please God. We subjectively stay in bondage to the law, even though we are objectively no longer under the law. That is the problem. So, we are objectively free from the law. We have a freedom document, we received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

But the devil has chased us down that road leading to the Red Sea, pinned us down. And just like the people looked back and they were afraid of Pharaoh, we look back.  If we were already freed, we should look at the devil and say, “Don't lay your hands on me. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. I am bought by the blood. God is my Redeemer. God brought me out of Egypt. You told me to go, I was given a clean document. I am free from your power and from your authority. You have no authority to touch me. You leave me Satan; I cannot come under your control.” You can talk back to the devil. You can resist him and, the Bible says, he will flee from you. Instead of resisting, we were like the people of Israel. We saw the Egyptians following, wanting to bring us back into bondage. We were ready to go back into bondage. We yielded ourselves into bondage. We did exactly what the people did there. They murmured against Moses. They said, “You brought us here to be killed, to die in the wilderness.” They have decided already their destiny.

Thirdly, Christians they have to cross another layer. They're in bondage to their sin nature many times. See, sin is something terrible. It is very possible to be not under the law, objectively be free from the law, but to be a slave to sin in practice. In other words, it is possible to be saved and to still be sinning in practice, still not be delivered from this thing from the sin that draws us into sinning again. That is why Paul writes to the believers and says, “Don't be a slave to sin.” Why would he write to the believers and say, “Don't be a slave to sin”? Because it is possible to be free, it is possible to be objectively free from the law, to be saved, and still find yourself in bondage to the power of sin and laboring under sin in practice. That's why he says, “Don't be a slave to sin.”

Why? Why shouldn’t you be a slave to sin? Why shouldn't you sin? Why it's not all right to sin? See, sometimes when you teach grace, people say, “Oh well, that means he says it’s all right to sin.” No. Nobody teaches like that. We never say that. Why should we not sin? There's a very good reason why we should not sin. You know why? Sin is a suicidal action of the human will against itself. Which means that sin contains in itself something that makes you a servant, a slave to sin. When you transgress and sin, you are doing some terrible damage because next time you become less able than before to do the right thing. More able to sin, less able not to sin. That's how you become by sinning. Every time you sin, every time you compromise, every time you do something that is sinful, it becomes difficult for you to do what God says next time, and becomes more easier to do what your flesh says. That is why you should not sin. That's why Paul says, “Don't be a slave to sin.” It destroys. Because when you sin, it's a suicidal thing. It’s like you're destroying yourself. Suicidal action against your will. It destroys the power to do right.

And the power to do right is true freedom. You know what true freedom is? If you can stand up today and do what you want to do, what you decide to do, and do what is right before God, if you can do what is right before God, then that is freedom. That is what true freedom is. You know what is bondage to sin? You want to do what is right, you know what God's law says, you know what God says, you know what is acceptable before God, you want to do what is right, but the power to do what is right is not in you. So, the bondage to law is the absence of the power to do what is right. Therefore, true freedom is the power to do what is right. Hello? Better get that. Not having the power to do what is right is the bondage to sin. If you don't have the power to do what is right, if you think, “I don't want to do it. This is not right before God, I don't want to do it,” and you're not able to do it, that is bondage to sin. If you find yourself having the power to do what God wants you to do, what is right, then that is true freedom.

The question is, do we have true freedom? Are we living in true freedom? Every time you sin, you're destroying your ability to resist that sin, every single time. Every single time. The more you sin in one particular way, the more easier it becomes to sin in that way. It becomes harder to be delivered from that sin. And sin has become the habit of our life. Before our salvation, we lived in sin. We thought sinfully, we did sinfully, we acted sinfully. We were sin oriented. We lived like that. So, we carry that practice into our new birth life. We're born again now. Inside you’re made new, you've become a new creation. But habitually, you've been sinning, habitually we've been thinking sin, habitually, we've been acting in sin. Therefore, we carry that into the new life many times.

I heard about a story of a girl begging in the street, a little girl, found with a woman sitting on the street begging. I mean, she's showing her stomach and says, “Food,” and showing the right actions and looks very pathetic, so that the woman keeps that girl in the front and begs, and everybody's throwing some money. They found out that girl belonged to a very, very wealthy family. The child has been stolen by this woman and now she's trained the child to beg. And the child is well trained now to beg. I mean, actions are perfect, begging actions. When they found the parents and returned the child, the child is still sitting at the table in one of the richest man's house, with sumptuous food in plenty on the table, still saying, “I'm hungry. Give me some food.” That's the only way the child found food before. Taught like that, habitual. It is a habit. It's the way that she knows how to behave. She only knows how to be dirty; she knows how to only sit on the floor. She knows how to only beg. She knows how to ask for food only in that way. That is the habit, that is the way she has been oriented, trained. Now, anything and everything she wants is available. Somebody's got to teach her who she is, who her father is, what belongs to her.

Christian teaching. I'm telling you, my friend, it is not about what you should do, it is about who you are in Christ. It is who your Father is. It is about what belongs to you, what is yours. That's what Christian teaching is all about. When you learn that, you begin to straighten up. The more knowledge of that comes, you begin to straighten out. That's what we made a mistake, teaching about righteousness, which I did here in great detail. You can hear that on my series, many Sundays I did. Church has been teaching, “We need righteousness.” That is the wrong teaching. We need a sense of righteousness. We don't need righteousness. We have righteousness. Objectively, we’ve been made righteous. God sees us as righteous. God has declared us as righteous. God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. 2nd Corinthians 5:21. The one who knew no sin became sin so that the one who knew no righteousness - that’s me and that's you. We never knew any righteousness. We only knew sin; we have become righteous.

People are ready to believe that He became sin even though He never knew any sin. People are not ready to believe that we who knew no righteousness can become righteous. That's a problem for people. We have great difficulty. “I believe, brother,” one fellow said, “I believe that Jesus had no sin and He became sin.” By the same token, and the reason the one who knew no sin became sin, is so that the one who knew no righteousness, the one who knows no righteousness, that’s you and me, can become righteous. Why would God make the one who knew no sin to be sin? So that He can make through that the one who knows no righteousness to be righteous. We are ready to believe that Jesus became sin without sinning, we are not ready to believe that we can become righteous without doing any righteousness. The good news and the gospel of grace says, I became the righteousness of God in Christ, not because of what I did, not because of my righteous deeds, and my righteous works, I became righteous without ever doing righteous. Unbelievable. God is simply by an edict, by an order, the Supreme Court of heaven, placed an order said, “He is righteous.” And when the Supreme Court says, you better believe. Righteous.

Now, do I believe in righteous works, good works? Yeah, I believe in it. Why do I do righteous works? Not to become righteous. I believe I should do righteous works because that is what a righteous man should do. Hello. We made a big mistake. We told people, “You are a sinner,” every time they came to say, “You’re a sinner.” We were in competition in those days, we used to stand up and testify. One fellow will stand up and say, “I’m a great sinner,” the other one will say, “I’m the sinner, the greatest sinner.” We were in competition with one another who the greatest sinner was. So, we were all very good sinners. I never saw anybody stand up and say, “I'm the righteousness of God in Christ.” Never. Nobody believed that. Nobody ever believed that.

The first time I preached that, one fellow came with a rolled-up sleeve wanting to fight me. “How can you say that? Where are you coming from? Where did you learn this nonsense?” From the Bible, brother. Jesus became sin, who knew no sin became sin, so that I who knew no righteousness can become righteous. I become righteous the same way He became sin. He didn't become sin by sinning. I don't become righteous by doing righteousness. I do righteousness because I am righteous, because He has made me righteous. See, people have a crooked mind. They’ll say, “Well, he says you don't have to do any works of righteousness, then still you can be righteous.” I did not say that. I did not say you don't have to do any righteousness. Don't worry about that, you are righteous. I didn't say that. I say, you don't do works of righteousness and get righteous. You become righteous by the grace of God, by an act of God, by the splitting of the Red Sea, by a mighty miracle of God. You stand still and watch the salvation of God. You keep quiet, He does it and you receive it. And because so great is the salvation, you begin to live up to it now. You are not going to become righteous because you've been righteous. You are going to act righteously because God in His graciousness has declared you as righteous. So, I got to behave now. I got to live up to it because He has declared me as righteous. Please understand that correctly.

Finally, fourthly, let me say this and close. Christians are in bondage to various idols. Now, we think of idol worship only in terms of very simplistic terms. No, the Bible describes idols as anything that replaces God. That is, you replace God with anything else, that is an idol. Now, the devil is a mean devil. He knows that he can't really make you go and do something really wrong, because you're saved. You’re a child of God. How to get you in bondage? See, that's why there are many layers to this deliverance, I say. Which layer you are in, you got to determine. Many layers to this deliverance. The devil knows that he cannot make everybody sin, he cannot make everybody fall into such traps, as coming under bondage to the law or something like that. So, he tries, very novel methods, very new methods. For example, if you are a good worker, you have a business or you work and you’re into working well, you have a great commitment to do your work right, which is good. When you're like that, if anything goes wrong in your work, you'll feel sad because you've done your best, things are not working well. So, you feel sad. That's normal. Everybody does that, everybody feels sad.

If someone gets in the way of your work, and disturbs you, and does not allow you to do your work properly, then you will be mad, not sad. You'll be angry this time because you want to do your work right, this person is getting in the way and causing you trouble. So, you'll be mad. That also, I will say is normal. You'll be angry because this person is getting in the way. You are interested in doing the decent work and this guy is getting in the way. If there is a threat to your work, and that ends up to be a threat to your job itself and the future of your career, then you'll be afraid. And that's also normal. Anybody that feels like they're going to lose the job, there is a threat to losing a job and they feel afraid? Well, that's a normal reaction, I would say, of human beings. But if your success is more important to your self-image than what God says about you, then that success, that career success that you're thinking about is functionally an idol. That's the way the Bible teaches it.

God wants success, believe me. I've taught on success for so many weeks. I believe in success. I believe this is a success book. I believe that God wants every one of us to succeed. There's no doubt in my mind about success and prosperity and all of this. But if your success in career is more important to your self-image than what God says about you, then that success in career becomes an idol. Why? Because it has taken the place of God, it is more important. Your success in career is more important to you than what God says when it comes to your self-image. You're saying, “I'll feel good and I’ll look good only when I am successful.” So, you find a person all grumpy and sad-faced and downhearted.

And I’ve asked some people like that, “What happened?” He says, “Well, I’m going through stuff and I'm full of tension, and I’ve got a problem. If everything becomes all right, brother, then I'll become all right.” Well, my thing is, only if you become all right here first, then only everything will become all right out there. As your soul prospers, you prosper. What do you believe? Do you believe that your success in your career is the thing that feeds your self-image, or the Word of God feeds your self-image? As far as I'm concerned, the Word of God feeds my self-image. If the Word of God feeds your self-image, then you know that you are a child of God, that you are unbeatable, the devil cannot succeed against you, that you are in the hands of God, that God goes before you, that God makes things possible for you, that God is gracious to you. He will lead the way and guide the way. That's the attitude you hold.

I've discovered that many, many years ago. That's why I decided to put a little hut and start there. The hut didn't hurt my pride. Initially it did and I had to deal with this issue. Initially, it did because I was pastoring in another place, and so on. And I came here and I was in a hut preaching. And I've cried about it to God. Said, “God, you brought me from that place to preach in a hut. There was not even a fan there because at that time, that was feeding my self-image. I needed to look good. After all, a man needs to look good. What will people think if they find me in a hut? And some of my friends from that country were coming to see me. When they saw the hut, they said, “Sam, what happened to you?” That feeds the self-image.

I had to come to a conclusion at one point in my life - my self-image is fed by the word of God, not my success. Whether I'm successful or not, I am successful because I am a child of God. Because I'm a child of God, I cannot fail. Because I'm a child of God, I have a great future. Because I'm a child of God, God is the one that empowers me and gives me the strength to do what He wants me to do. When you have that attitude... Just imagine the grumpy face and face down and downhearted you go and look for a job, nobody will give you a job because they're not sure whether you are in the right mind to do a job. When you dress up well, clean yourself up and look good and be positive and be filled with the Word of God and what it says about you and build your self-image with the Word of God, and you go look for a job, they want people like that. You need to look like you can do the job first. One fellow told me, “Once you give me the job, brother, then I will become all right, brother.” I said, “You first become all right brother, then we'll think about giving the job.” He doesn’t understand which comes first, the chicken or the egg.

In the Israelites’ hearts, there was slavishness, they were slaves in their heart. That's why they were like that. In America when there was slavery, Abraham Lincoln declared freedom, emancipation. But for 100 years, they didn't have civil liberties. The African Americans there did not have civil liberties. There were slaves at one time so now they're being ordered around. Even though they are no more slaves still, they obey everything that the white man says. Because you get in the bus, you can't sit in the front row. They say, “Go back and sit over there.” And they just go back and sit over there. You can't live where they live, you can’t use the same toilet, you can’t use the same restaurant, you can’t sit in the same section. All these things are there. They quietly obeyed everything. But the law doesn't say, the law set them free. There are no slaves. You cannot differentiate on the basis. For 100 years they lived like that. Can you believe that? Until one day, a woman who got in the bus to travel she got at the front seat and sat and another man got up, white man got in and came there and said, “Lady, don't you know you need to go sit in the back?” She said, “No. Why don't you go sit in the back?” Then everybody came on the street. They started protesting. They started claiming civil rights. And that led to a great protest and civil rights happened.

What I'm saying is, even though we are free from the slavery of sin and Satan, many times we obey the commands of sin and Satan because even though we are freed, because of our past, and because of our life under the law, under the sin, under the devil, literally put down under that and humiliated under that, because of that, even today, we dread the devil, even today we dread sin. We need to realize who we are, who’s behind us. We need to realize what we are in Christ, we need to realize our position, our power. You need to understand where a Christian stands. That is the exodus story. God delivers them but Pharaoh’s chasing them again. And God delivers them from that also.

God has saved you but sin and Satan pursues you, want to bring you under bondage and sometimes has gotten you under some kind of bondage sometimes. Some of us get into that bondage knowingly, unknowingly, because we think there is no other way, it has greater power. But the news is that our God is mighty. Trust in God. Stand and see the salvation of the Lord. There is total deliverance, total victory that God guarantees under this salvation. This redemption is like no other redemption. This is the greatest redemption that God has accomplished through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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